Monday, March 2, 2009

An Earworm

To wean or not to wean? That is the question, right? All nursing women ask it at some point or another. For some it is a passing, fleeting thought. For others, the question is persistent.

The Boy is 26 months, and we've nursed for 26 months. The Boy nurses two or three times a day. It is not a burden. I have enjoyed it. I continue to enjoy it, and so does The Boy. However, ever once in a while, the thought creeps in to my mind...should I force him to wean? Encourage him? That thought returns more and more these days. I have hit the medical benchmarks. Yet, the thought creeps in to my mind... like an earworm... is it time?

Our upcoming travels to Italy have only intsified the earworm, and all of the doubts from before he was born have come flooding back. What will people say when I nurse him? What if I need to nurse him in public? He hasn't used a blanket since he was around four weeks old. He never would tolerate it, and I could never keep it on.

In the end, I know it doesn't matter what people say. My feelings might get hurt, but my resolve won't. I am not ready to force him, much less force him abruptly at a time when a lot of change will be flying at him. But I suspect the earworm will remain after the trip, and once again, I will be faced with the question.--To wean or not to wean?


Bethany said...

I know the feeling. We are still working on weening from day time. It is not easy. When you make the decision to ween, remember all the good stuff you have given him.

Anonymous said...

I remember that feeling so well. I really struggled with weaning my daughter. I was so scared of damaging our relationship, but I was also ready to move on. I spent a long time, cried a lot of tears, and went back and forth in my mind. And then I decided to place some limits on nursing that I could live with, and it all went very well.

The secret that I've found is that if your child is ready, weaning doesn't really change anything. They've gotten what they needed, and the transition is fairly painless. Weaning didn't bring us any of the 'miracle cures' some promise (better sleep, less clinginess) but it also didn't bring trouble, either. It just was.

jenx67 said...

My 2 cents: Press On. I worked fulltime w/ all three kids. i'm home now, but was only able to nurse them each for a few weeks - except the first, that lasted part time for six months. Once it's over, it's over. I know someone who nurses a three year old. It's an individual choice. All I'm saying is - once you stop, you can't go back - and eventually, he'll be 18...My 3 1/2 year old son - he's only getting older. We can't go in reverse. Blessings. jen

Rebecca said...

With an upcoming extensive vacation coming our way where Frank and I will be separated for almost two weeks, that same earworm has been pestering me. What do I do if he wants to nurse after the separation? Should I just use this separation to initiate weaning? If he wants to nurse after the vacation, should I let him? I'm sure that we will continue breastfeeding after our separation if he wants to, but like you, the earworm is there...

I got to spend time this weekend with a couple of women who breastfed preschoolers. One said that her son told her that breastmilk was better than ice cream. The other mother's son told her that nursing was "better than anything." With that in mind, why would we force them to stop?! If ice cream were healthy, wouldn't we let them eat it all the time? How many things are there in a kid's world that are both yummy and good for them?

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