The end of breastfeeding…such a difficult topic and one that is very different for everyone. Breastfeeding a child can be a very difficult and emotional journey. There are so many moms who can’t breastfeed, others who do it for a few months, others for a year, and then there are those of us who are doing it way into the toddler years and don’t know how to stop.
To be honest with you, I never thought that I would be one of those moms that would breastfeed a 20-month-old, however, here I am, and so far weaning my child has been the hardest part of my breastfeeding journey.
Breastfeeding for me was very difficult in the beginning. We had a lot of problems and went through a lot of tears and sweat to be able to do it, but once we got through all the bumps, breastfeeding became a natural and amazing bonding experience. One I wish didn’t have to come to an end.
My goal was to nurse him until he was two years old, and as his second birthday is approaching soon, I know that this is the right time to end our breastfeeding journey.
We tried weaning a couple of times already without success, and honestly, I never thought about how hard this would be.
You hear all the stories about the toddlers that wean themselves and I have been praying that my child is one of them, but unfortunately, I don’t think he is. After reading several articles and books on the subject, I know that no matter how gentle our weaning method is, there will be tears and sadness as part of the process and I just can’t handle it.
Why is it so hard to wean a toddler?
As a mom, you always want your child to be happy, safe and protected, and I feel that breastfeeding offers a high level of all of that and more. Over the last 20 months, breastfeeding has provided us with a bond that can’t be replaced with anything else, and even though I’m ready to get my body back (and ready to not have my shirt pulled down everywhere we go) I’m also very sad that this period is ending.
I will miss nursing him to sleep and seeing how safe he felt in my arms. I will miss knowing that no matter what happens, I can always count on nursing to make everything better. Nursing has been such a big part of our lives the last two years that it will be difficult to go through our days without it; however, I’m looking forward to this new stage and finding different ways of bonding.
Everybody’s journey is different, and even though I’m so grateful for all the resources and information there are about the beginning of breastfeeding, I don’t think there is enough talk about the struggles of the end. Weaning for me has been the hardest part of our journey, and something that I continue to fail at.
If you are in the same boat as us, I want to let you know that you are not alone and eventually we will do this!