Nurse, nurse, wean, nurse, nurse, wean

April 23, 2009 § 1 Comment

I’ve been in a loop in my head wondering how to word this. It’s nothing bad but it is a touchy subject.

I’m night-weaning bilingual baby.

Bilingual papi told me that I have a tendency toward the delayed lead so I wanted to put it upfront. It may also be because I’m coming to terms with it. I’m dealing.

Why would I night-wean a 28 month old?

I’ve come so far with nursing bilingual baby. Why stop now? I was getting angry and annoyed but I was having a hard time even thinking about weaning. One night, after having progressed from tricky to plain unbearable, I wondered why I could nurse her during the day just fine but got all worked up at night. That was when I figured out that I could partially wean her and still continue nursing her. It would be the best of both worlds.

Why at night?

Most of my friends have already weaned their 2 year olds but a couple of friends still nurse. What’s interesting is that they’re aiming for a daytime wean, though they still nurse at night. Maybe it’s because I’m nursing a baby at night as well (or was) or maybe it’s because I got my period and am potentially ovulating (all I know is that I’m PMSy to da max!). It could be a variety pack of things. All I know now is that even though it takes a day and half to get bilingual baby down for a nap and bedtime, I feel at peace with the move.

Also, during the day, I can distract myself a lot easier than at night. At night, there’s nothing to look at; no book to read; no baby to enjoy watching.

What do I tell bilingual baby?

She can nurse when we’re downstairs but not upstairs. It made more sense to me that way since I was also nap weaning.

How did she cope?

This is a person who needs to nurse. More than anything. She needs to nurse. I don’t buy into the philosophy that a toddler doesn’t need it, even if she doesn’t aim for the milk. This is coming from the mother of a toddler who, before the night-weaning, would cry this unbearable cry in the middle of the night because she wanted to nurse. As you can imagine, at first it was really hard. This time, different from any of my nursing breaks, it was hard but also necessary for me. At other times I’d just say I could get through it and I did. Those times were really hard but not as hard as it was before this night weaning.

What do I do when she asks to nurse upstairs?

I gently remind her that we nurse downstairs on the sofa but that upstairs we do cuddles and hugs and kisses and snuggles. She likes asking me which I want first and which one I really like. It’s pretty cute. After 2 weeks of beginning the night wean, she still asks to nurse upstairs and I’ve only broken with my decision once.

Reasons to step back from a night wean

Bilingual baby ran a nice healthy fever for a couple of nights and when I reached over and felt her little body warm despite being uncovered, I offered to nurse her when she stirred in the middle of the night.

I also offered to nurse when the “nene” next to her was really full. I’d rather be inconsistent than get mastitis again. (Four times is enough.)

I nursed bilingual baby to sleep the other night. We were downstairs on the sofa, so logically it was still within our partial wean. She didn’t get a nap in and was getting sick so I figured I could save everyone a headache and ease her into sleep in a comforting way. It worked. She was out within 3 minutes.

In short, this upstairs wean, cos it’s not really a night wean, is working out for the best. For my best. I really tried everything in me to keep from an early wean (early for her) and got through quite a few road bumps during the night.

Nursing two can bring on the challenges but I feel so strongly about doing it. Like I said in my earlier post about tandeming, I can’t expect everyone to understand- that’s a lot to expect. It’s not a common practice. It’s like someone expecting me to understand the life of a single mom. How could I ever understand? Or even have a reaction that would be acceptable and nurturing to a single mom?

I can’t believe I’ve tandem nursed for almost 8 months. I remember thinking I’d only last 3 months. I have to say it is easier to see the challenges than the easy days. I take my tandem nursing one day at a time.



§ One Response to Nurse, nurse, wean, nurse, nurse, wean

  • QueenHoneyB says:

    I am also in the process of night weaning. Svara is allowed to nurse before she goes into her crib, and once during the night. After that one time she has to wait until morning to nurse. So I remind her of that when she asks to nurse the first time. Soon I’ll try cutting out that one time as well. A month ago I was going nuts as she was wanting to nurse all night long and I wasn’t getting any kind of consistent sleep. Now it’s getting better. she still nurses a lot during the day, though.

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