Weaning Off Of Breastfeeding?

I got mastitis again last week. To be fair it has been a good long while since I last had it. This time I’m putting it down to sleeping on my belly. I do it all the time even though I know I really shouldn’t. I’ve almost had it again in between bouts but I managed to stop it in its tracks. This time I think my body was just too tired to and I got the aches and the temperature that always follows a sore red breast. I also have a wisdom tooth trying to come through at an awkward angle in an even more awkward place. I’m also getting very tired. I don’t know how much longer I can carry on with waking at 5:30 every morning, but that is for a different rant of a post.

It has been a while since I was last properly bitten so things have been going well on the breastfeeding front for a good chunk of time now. You may know that I struggled a lot with breastfeeding. I’ll link those posts here, here, here, here, here oh and here.

After this bout I have been advised by some family members to wean. Now I already had plans in place to wean after our summer holiday. I still don’t plan on weaning much before hand. We go on holiday in less than two weeks and I do not want to be worrying about getting milk and keeping it cold etc while on a long drive. I also do not want to be worrying about Little Man not wanting French milk or the stress of travelling and being in a new place surrounded by new people to stress him out, that is just going to make the whole process harder.

At the moment Little Man’s feeding looks like this:

  • Wake up
  • Breastfeed
  • Breakfast
  • Breastfeed
  • Nap
  • Lunch
  • Breastfeed
  • Nap
  • Dinner
  • Bottle of Expressed Breastmilk
  • I pump before bed

He may also have a small breastfeed after naps and if he is feeling unwell or unsure or is hurt he will have a comfort feed.

He obviously has playtimes in there don’t worry! He doesn’t spend his life just eating and sleeping!

The first part of my plan is to turn that night time bottle into a feed. Therefore I do not have to pump afterwards. This will also help me get to bed a bit earlier. The bottle was supposed to be so that when Big Man is home at bedtime he could help but because he works lates and then when he is home he will walk the dog in the evening, it has been a bit pointless to introduce it.

I plan to start that now.

Next I plan to cut out pumping while I am at work and trying to settle him for naps without a feed. I will still allow a feed during the day, but maybe as an after lunch type thing, or whenever, just more like one feed in the day instead of two. As he doesn’t really take milk while he is with other people it should not be much of a problem to just feed him before or after work.

I will then slowly replace morning and night feeds back to bottles as I have a nice enough freezer stash, then I will slowly introduce him to full fat cows milk.

That’s my plan anyway. I know life doesn’t always go to plan so we will take it as it comes but I will keep you updated.

The only problem left is are we both ready to wean?

I suppose I feel like I don’t feel ready, I had such a bad start with it that I want to carry on and be able to say I DID breastfeed for a year. But then I know I will want to carry on until I can say I breastfeed exclusively (no formula) for a year. That would take me up until he is 18 months. Now I’m sure I could do this in reality, but I also know that if he takes a bottle in the morning Big Man will HAVE to get up with him in the mornings and I will be able to sleep in and not feel like I may as well get up instead.

I’m not sure if Little Man is ready. He loves a good breastfeed. Sometimes he refuses the night bottle and I end up having to feed him anyway. Usually when he is unwell or teething. He also seems to be asking, or trying to just find his way onto the breast without asking, a lot more recently.

If it turns out neither of us are ready I will just postpone it or take it really slowly. But it would be nice to be cutting out the night time bottles for the holiday, as I do not want to be pumping every night. It would also be nice to cut out pumping at work as sometimes I end up having to pump in a cubicle because the room I usually use ends up being full of people. Though it is nice to have an extra 20 minute ‘break’ during the day. But then I also end up feeling like I’m not actually working a lot while I am at work or I feel like something will get missed etc.

I would love to hear about your weaning journeys!

 

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