Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Beginning of the End

Weaning your almost-nine-month-old: many people have an opinion.  "You're weaning her ALREADY?" or "I'm surprised you waited so long!".  As a result, I'm somewhat hesitant to write about my reasons for choosing to wean Ada at this point, but I'm happy to discuss the process...

We decided that I was going to stop nursing Ada in the middle of the night about two weeks ago, and instead give her a bottle when she woke wanting milk.  We thought this would be a good first step towards getting her weaned, and it was the feeding that was the most difficult for me.  The first few nights, I woke up anyway and found it hard to go back to sleep while E Ben got up to take care of Ada.  Luckily, she was perfectly happy to have a bottle in the night, and after the first few nights I was able to sleep through as well.  There have even been a few nights where I haven't woken up at all!  I think it will probably take a little while longer before I really feel rested, but there's already a big difference.  It seems like I can think more quickly and focus more easily.  I'm also just happier in general and I have more energy.  I get home from work and actually take the kids on missions to do things like buy rain boots and pick up library books.  The other nice thing is that Ada will accept a bottle from me in the middle of the night, so E Ben and I can take turns doing the middle-of-the-night duty, depending on who is more tired/awake each night.

So, weaning has begun, and it's going pretty well so far.  Ada's now nursing 3-4 times a day instead of 5-7, and she has two bottles of extra milk each day (one in the middle of the night, and one in the middle of the day).  As of last week, I'm no longer pumping twice a day at work.  I think I'll pump once a day for a few weeks, then stop pumping entirely.

My guess is that Ada will be done nursing entirely by the end of February or possibly even sooner.  She is eating so much food now, and loves eating so much, that drinking seems less and less important to her.  She's also so interested in what's going on around her, and even when she does nurse it is only for a short time.  Also, when I get home from work, she doesn't seem to need me to hold her for the rest of the evening anymore.  She has other interests besides a single all-consuming one (nursing) and it takes some of the pressure off of me.

Here are a couple of recent photos.  Ada doing push-ups.

And Jude wearing his Alaska hat.

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Natalie said...

It sounds like you're doing exactly what you should be doing - following Ada's cue on when she's ready. Good for you.

Alex, Andrea, Lucia, Magdalena Jones said...

stop the pumping! You go girl! that alone brought my mood up several notches. :-)