Sunday, May 30, 2010

To Wean Or Not To Wean?

Lately, there's been a huge debate between the Sailor and myself.

The Monkey is nearing 14 months old, and surpisingly, I was able to make it to his first birthday sucessfully nursing him. For awhile, it was touch and go. I was concerned that my milk supply might not be adequate. Not to mention that the Monkey developed the habit of biting, and that was rather painful. However, despite everything, we made it to the 1 year mark, and now for the last couple months, I have been working on gradually weaning him.

What does gradually weaning mean?! Well, the number of times a day that he nurses has decreased to just 4 times. First thing in the the morning, when I am not quite ready to start my day, (At 5:30 in the morning.) before both his morning and evening naps, and before bed. The rest of the time, he is eating solid foods, and drink fluids. However, the Monkey doesn't have any interest in being fully weaned yet, and sometimes, I feel as if I am jumping the gun a bit.

The Sailor on the other hand, is firm in his opinion. As far as he is concerned, the Monkey should have been weaned at 6 months. A point that he has made more than clear for the last several months, and despite the fact that I have yet to completely wean the Monkey, he seems to feel that we decided as a parenting couple to wean the Monkey 8 months ago.

So, now the Sailor is resentful and frustrated with me, because he feels that I did not take his feelings into consideration when it came to the whole subject of weaning. He feels that the Monkey has an obsessive attachment to me because I am still nursing, and he wants me to stop completely and suddenly, COLD TURKEY.

Unfortunately, at the Monkey's 1 year check up, his doctor informed me that he was slightly underweight. A fact that more than surprised me, and despite the fact that we offer the Monkey cow's milk on a regular basis, he still isn't quite interested in drinking it. Because I don't allow him to guzzle down juice all day every day, I feel that nursing gives him extra calories, in addition to the food he eats, as well as additional fluids, combined with the water, and some juice he does drink.

Not to mention the fact that the Monkey has completely transitioned from breast to cup, having skipped the bottle phase completely. The Sailor believes we should start bottle feeding milk to the Monkey, so that he will wean completely from my breast. But why would I take a step back and put the Monkey on a bottle when at over a year old, he should be off the bottle?!

Lastly, there is a small part of me that isn't quite ready for the Monkey to be completley weaned yet. He is my last baby, and the bond that has been established between the Monkey and me, because I have spent all these months nursing him, is special to me. It is something that I have felt proud of myself for continuing on with, and shouldn't it be my decision as to when I am going to wean him anyway? It is not as if I plan to continue nursing him till his second birthday. I do plan on him being weaned well before 18 months. However, he still isn't quite 14 months old and I wonder why nursing my son became such a problem with my husband?!

Or is it that he is ready for the "baby phase" of our lives to be over with?


  1. I can understand your ambivalence about weaning. I'm sorry your husband isn't supportive of extended BFing, that must be so frustrating! I think you're doing what your mommy instincts tell you to do, and what could be wrong about that? :)

  2. oh man, this is a toughie! I ditto ella's comment....go with your mommy instincts in the weaning department. My girlfriend BF both her boys beyond 1 year. She said they both decided when they were done and sort of weaned themselves by showing less interest just before being 1.5 years old. As for me, I'm still doing the BF thing but hope to wean by 1 year old. If that means giving him a bottle of formula then so be it. Right now, he does take bottles, but only of BM b/c I'm pumping.