I have already written about the experience of completing breastfeeding with my eldest daughter here . It is noteworthy that in a year and 4 months with the eldest, we have already completed the process of weaning, while with the youngest, at this age, in fact, has just begun. But first things first.
For the first couple of months, my daughter didn’t really need breasts. She was much more familiar with her own finger. I literally taught her to fall asleep on her chest and calm down with her, and not swear at her. As a result, the friendship with the breast has developed quite strong. Until 5 months and 1 week we had exclusive breastfeeding. Then the baby took some rice from my plate, and we gradually began to introduce complementary foods.
The breast was parallel with the complementary food. The daughter could eat complementary foods, drink breast milk, then continue the meal. I didn’t restrict her in any way between feedings. Thus, by the year we were still feeding without any regimen. The only difference from the first months is that the baby could already wait if I was busy with something and at this particular moment feeding was inconvenient for me.
Separation of breast and sleep
At a year and 2 months, we began a targeted separation of breast and night sleep (daytime sleep at that time was completely with the breast in the mouth). At this time, my daughter had just begun to sleep fully all night in an extra bed. I put her in the crib, crawled partly to her, gave her breasts, waited for her to fall asleep, took her breasts.
When the baby got used to sleeping in the crib, I began to breastfeed her on the large bed, and then half asleep said that it was time to go to the crib, helped to roll over. And I began to do so during the day. Less than a week later, my daughter began to let go of her breasts and roll over to herself. At night, she crawled to me 2-3 times, kissed, rolled back.
Gradually I introduced new rituals, and pushed my chest further and further from sleep. She took her breasts from the still quite cheerful and offered to stroke, sing, pat on the belly, etc. Usually the daughter agreed quite easily. If at the same time she could not fall asleep for a long time, then she could again ask for breast – I did not refuse, because I saw that it was really needed now. Then she again offered to continue laying with strokes and other amenities. The first time we fit with 3-4 approaches. Gradually, the baby got used to relax without breasts. And here, to try to return to my chest, I could calmly suggest: “Let’s try a little more without sissy? I’m sure you will succeed! ” And it worked. From that moment on, the chest was finally brought to the beginning of the ritual of falling asleep for a night’s sleep. At the same time, daytime sleep was separated more difficult and longer,
Avoiding daytime feedings
At a year and 4 months, we began to organize the daily feedings. At that time, we still had on-demand feeding, and my daughter could even feed every 15 minutes during the day, if she was especially bored (for example, when I was doing something with the elder).
One day I just talked to my daughter. She said that now we only suck tits on the bed and only when we are alone, because she is already a big girl, and big girls do not suck tits in front of everyone. If she wants to suck, you need to tell me about it, and we will go to our secluded place.
Further, it was important to structure the day in such a way as to distract the child from thoughts about the breast as much as possible. When she did think about her, I found an urgent matter, which I will now do, and we will immediately go. And I have always kept my promise.
Thus, we managed to switch to the feeding regime every 2-3 hours in just a couple of days. At the same time, night feedings became more frequent. My daughter woke up literally every hour to kiss. At this time, it was very important for me to show the baby that I am with her even without a breast, that we can still communicate, just in other ways.
As a result, after 2 weeks, we still had feedings before sleep, for waking up and 2-3 times at night.
Then we removed the feeding for waking up. When the baby woke up, I went into the room and offered her something very exciting, which distracted her from thinking about her breasts.
Further, in a year and 6 months, feeding was spent on daytime sleep. At that time, our breasts were already separated from sleep and brought to the beginning of the ritual. My daughter was applied for just a couple of minutes “for show”. I just suggested in the form of a game: “Let’s try to fall asleep today without sisi? I’m sure you will succeed! We will just hug, I will stroke your belly, and we will fall asleep together. ” The baby agreed. The next day she also tried to ask for a breast, to which I said that yesterday we managed to fall asleep so well without sissy, and offered to try again. On the third day, she just hugged me and fell asleep.
Feeding around the night’s sleep
Night feedings were next in line. We left them in a year and 7 months. I wrote more about this here . As a result, feeding remained before bedtime and at about 6 am to extend sleep by another 1.5 hours.
The main difficulty in avoiding feeding for a night’s sleep is that it is often still difficult for a baby to find other ways to relieve tension and excitement accumulated over the whole day. It is very important to help your child relax and get ready for bed.
At that time, the duration of feeding before bedtime had already significantly decreased as a result of the gradual separation of feeding and sleep. My daughter applied for just a couple of minutes. In general, I was satisfied with the current feeding regime, and I was not particularly eager to reduce further. Nevertheless, in a year and 8 months everything worked out by itself.
Usually I read a book to my elder daughter before going to bed, then I said goodbye to her and went to put my younger daughter to bed. That evening, as usual, I read a book by my eldest daughter. The youngest was playing nearby, waiting for her turn. I finished reading the story, and then the little girl brought me her book and asked me to read it. I said that I would be happy to read her fairy tale, only then we would not have time for sisya and would have to go to bed without her, but with a fairy tale. The daughter agreed. We read a fairy tale and went to pack. She asked for a breast – I reminded her of the agreement, as well as that Anya is already waiting for her in the crib. Anya is the favorite doll of the youngest daughter, with whom she decided to sleep. The argument about Anya became decisive. The baby dived into her crib, I sang a lullaby, stroked her, and she fell asleep.
From that moment on, we have replaced the breast with a fairy tale. There is one feeding left at 6 am. On the one hand, it was easy to remove it, on the other hand, it was not possible to put my daughter to bed without a breast, and I had to get up at 6 in the morning, while it was possible to sleep with her breast until 7:30.
Nevertheless, in a year and 9.5 months, my daughter, half asleep, bit me hard on the nipple due to the teething of another tooth, and I made up my mind. For three days I woke up at 6 in the morning and went to cook breakfast, play with my daughter. On the fourth morning, the baby still managed to fall asleep without breast. So we returned to the previous sleep pattern, but without a breast. Thus, we completed breastfeeding at 1 year and 9.5 months. Moreover, the process of weaning began actually in a year and 2 months, when they began to gradually separate breast and sleep. Everything went smoothly and calmly for both the daughter and the breast.