Since I shared my thoughts on a year of nursing and pumping, some things have changed and some haven’t. Still, I wanted to provide an update along our weaning journey.
A couple days after Vera’s 1st birthday, we went to the doctor for her 12-month check-up. Mike and I asked a lot of questions about weaning, and our doctor was really supportive and helpful. With her dairy intolerance, it was even more complicated but still we developed a plan.
My overall priority was to be able to stop pumping, so the day of her appointment, we switched Vera’s two daytime nursing sessions/breastmilk bottles to almond milk. As of now, I continue to nurse her first thing in the morning and right before bed.
How’s it working? Mixed reviews 🙂
(Almond/Coconut) Milk Consumption
Vera took the almond milk like a champ on the first day, but since then refuses bottles. We’ve tried mixing it with my breastmilk as well as giving her coconut milk…but still nothing. She’ll sometimes take sips out of her sippy cup, but she won’t just sit down and take a bottle like she used to do with my breastmilk (we never had any trouble giving her a bottle of that stuff!).
What does this mean? Well, it’s hard to say. Since I’m still nursing twice a day and she eats really well (3 solid meals filled with lots of fruits and veggies, plus a snack), I don’t feel she’s missing out on any nutrients. She also does drink water really well so is staying hydrated.
Still, it’s frustrating. And I wonder: is the nursing saving her from dehydration or making her feel like she doesn’t need the bottles?
We have a plan for introducing Vera to dairy milk – start with cooked dairy (like mac and cheese), then organic milk then regular…as long she responds well. However, she was on amoxicillin for an ear infection so we haven’t started yet. Even still, I don’t think she’s going to take her bottles because of that. My sense is she just isn’t interested/doesn’t need the milk for nutrition.
So Long, Pumping.
Guys, the FREEDOM. It feels really good to be done and have a little of my life back. Don’t get me wrong, I am so so so happy I made the decision to nurse/pump and am grateful I was able to keep it up for a whole year (well, 8+ months of working and pumping). But I was ready to be done. It was seriously stressing me out.
The Nursing Continues
As I mentioned, pumping was the thing I was really over. I love nursing and am happy to continue…just not forever. I’m kind of just rolling with things right now and don’t have a real deadline for when I want to stop. I generally plan to continue until A. Vera is no longer interested or B. I run out of milk (the less you pump/nurse, the less milk you make….so eventually my supply is going to patter out with only two sessions per day).
I completely trust that Vera will tell me when she’s done. She did it with her bassinet (at 2.5 weeks – tear!) and with snuggling to sleep (at 10.5 months – tear!).
Earlier this week, she was teething bad and refused to nurse – for the first time ever. So I put her to bed and she slept through the night without nursing. This suggests she COULD be done nursing but is not ready or is doing it out of habit – at least at night. I think the morning session will be the tougher one to drop because she freaks out if I try to hold her off for a few minutes.
I’m traveling at the end of July so that may force things to come to an end because she may or may not take a bottle and I am not at all interested in breaking out the pump again :). For now though, I’m not interested in speeding things up.
Phew. Like I said, things are still evolving, but I feel pretty good about where we are now.
Now, tell me about your weaning experience! Tips for getting my kiddo to drink milk?