Motherhood is a blessing its said ; to hold a baby in arms , to breastfeed her , to keep your flesh and blood close to you , all these are precious moments for us moms. As a mom, I vouch by breast milk , I was one adamant person when it came to my daughter’s food for the first 6 months. People started pouring in with advises on starting solids by 1 month for baby , but some how deep down in my mind , I wasn’t prepared for it. I had a good BM supply and wanted my daughter to be exclusively breastfed till 6 months. I continued breastfeeding till Anshika turned 1 year and 3 months. Then I started my weaning process, had many unsuccessful attempts but now I am glad to say at 1.5 years she is completely weaned off. This post is on how I weaned my toddler completely from breastfeeding.
My flexible office hours helped me well initially. Anshika was just on BM till 6 months. When she turned 1 , I resumed my regular timings. There started my difficult story.
9-10 hours of office work , cooking , cleaning , nursing , home , baby , daycare, grocery shopping a day of 24 hours wasn’t enough for me. At night Anshika started getting up frequently for night feeds. Like every 2-3 hours. I was asked to give her heavy food at night. I switched to daal khichdi and boiled veggies for her dinner , but those frequent night feeds never ceased. As days passed , I grew tired , exhausted. Sleep deprived and working 24*7 , I started falling sick often , my immunity was down.
I consulted a nutritionist expecting that she would prescribe some healthy food charts for my schedules . Instead she asked me to start weaning my baby from breastfeeding at 11.5 months. I nodded and came back. My attempts were a mere failure , Anshika just didn’t want to stop !!
I used bitter gourd and neem juice to wean her off, but somehow Anshika felt even those bitter juices sweet and demanded more BM :P. I panicked , even hubby can’t help me here , I have to find a solution I thought , frustration , stress , sickness, you name it I had it.
How can I tell my boss that I haven’t had a good night sleep and that I can’t concentrate as I am drowsy ? How can I tell my baby that I am too tired to even play with her once I reach home ? How can I not clean my house for days ? All my “hows” remained unanswered until I consulted her ped.
My ped asked me about the pattern of night feeds and pointed out that 99% of the night feeds are not to curb hunger , but the security and comfort babies got used to right from their birth. He suggested cutting out the BM feeds gradually one by one and weaning off completely . He asked me to ignore the night cries and continue the same for the next 7 days until she stops asking for feeds.
The night began . Anshika woke up at 11.00 PM searching for milk . I slept . She started crying . I ignored . Her voice grew louder , I ignored . Couldn’t ignore more , anytime my neighbors could barge in to my house , I gave in . She had BM and slept , I failed, my techniques failed
This continued for all nights as we couldn’t see our baby crying at the top of her lungs for milk at midnight . The next week, we started taking her on our shoulder once she starts crying for feeds. Sometimes she cried, sometimes yelled , again I gave in ; second failed attempt !! In fact I had nicknamed my daughter as “Dhudhusaurus” , one kind of dinosaurs which preys on ” dhudhu ” (breast milk) Haha !!
After some weeks , we tried patting her back when she wakes up. Bravo!! It worked . We realized that she was seeking our presence each time she wakes up . So this gentle pats on her back confirmed our presence even while she is asleep. Our third attempt worked !! YAY !!
Gradually our pats reduced to a single gentle pat when she wakes up crying , it worked too. A few weeks later , we stopped that too . Now Anshika sleeps 8-9 hours without waking up even once asking for BM. My sleep returned , I regained my energy , immunity and focus. I started enjoying my 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep !!
I know there would be many moms who are going through / went through this phase of sleepless nights . Each baby is different , so is their pattern. Keep trying one or the other methods to stop frequent night feeds until you succeed . Hope this post helped you . Do let me know your thoughts on this. Also share with me which is your tried and tested method of weaning baby from breastfeeding.