The Business of Weaning

Now that Max is a big one year old I’ve been getting asked a lot about when we’re going to stop nursing, when we plan on potty training, when we’re going to give him a cup, get him his own bedroom, turn his car seat around…pretty much everything. Everyone has an opinion and everyone is right. What I’ve come to learn since the beginning of my pregnancy is that there are a few people I really respect and look up to for their parenting and I can take everything I hear and filter out what I think will work for us. The result is lots of important decisions we are comfortable with even though most of the time they might not be as popular as what others choose to do. Luckily I have a group of awesome judgement-free friends and sisters who I can turn to when I need someone.

Breastfeeding. I don’t know how long Max and I will go on to be a nursing pair. I was actually told by a couple of people when Max was only 4 or 5 months old, “Isn’t it great that you’re almost done?” It occurred to me that they must not have had a nursing relationship with their children, had no children, or if they did nurse, it wasn’t for very long and perhaps they didn’t have a good experience with it. I remember being told when Max was a newborn that he needed cereal. When I had low supply I was told, “You gave him a good start! I wouldn’t worry about it.” All of these people had the best intentions, but what I really needed was support and encouragement! I remember talking about it with a coworker and she revealed to me that she nursed her children passed the age of 3. She also bed shared with her children. Before having Max I would have though all of this was crazy. I wasn’t educated on the subject. I wasn’t experienced. Now nursing Max until age 3 , 4 or even 5 sounds perfectly normal to me. Like all aspects of parenthood, I won’t truly know how I feel something until I am immediately faced with it. I feel like Max probably won’t be an extended nurser. He does it a couple times a day now but in between its mostly short bursts for comfort, when he’s whiny, sleepy, or has a little fall or accident. At night I feel like a human pacifier. Sometimes I resent it. I can’t wait for the finish line. All I want to do is sprawl out in bed, not curl up in a very uncomfortable position all night long. But I get through it and on the other side I can see that I’m doing the best thing for my child, and myself too. With a mother who once had breast cancer, its actually preventative (though not a guarantee) that I do this. As someone who also went through postpartum depression, its actually beneficial in that way, as well. It works for both of us so I see no reason to put the breaks on.

Potty training. This is one thing that I have absolutely no clue about. I love the idea of EC but I don’t think its for us at this time. Being able to skip the whole traditional step of potty training and never having to change a diaper is intriguing to me and I think something we might consider starting from birth with future children, but we will probably just wait until Max is older to work on that with him.

Bottles and cups. This is something we’re working on right now! We’ve tried out a variety of sippy cups with Max but he hasn’t been interested in them. We’ve decided to go straight to a regular cup. While the mess factor is 100% more guaranteed than a sippy cup, Max LOVES to drink out of one. It does require a bit more time and patience to help him with it but that’s what we’re here for and its been working out just fine. We are currently working on his bedtime routine to eliminate bedtime bottles when I am at work on the weekends and can’t nurse him to sleep. So far, so good! We still bed share for at least half of the night and while it is exhausting, having a one bedroom apartment puts its limitations on bedtime setup. For the most part it works fine, but having a bigger bed would be amazing…we’ll have to remember that next time! I think it’ll be at least a year before we get a new bed. We know that the size we want won’t fit in our apartment. We wouldn’t even be able to get it up the stairs.

Car seat. Some friends came over recently and we were talking about our babies. They mentioned that maybe Max would be nearing the weight limit to turn his car seat forward facing. When we told them that it is now recommended to keep children rear facing for 2 years, and as long as possible, they seemed surprised and didn’t seem to think it was all that important. There has been so much research done over the last few years about this subject. The car seat that my dad gave us for Max when he was a newborn is made specifically for this purpose. We never got a bucket carseat. I definitely see the benefits of those- such as when a baby is napping in the car and you don’t want to wake them when you transport them inside, but I have really enjoyed babywearing while we’re out and about (I’ll post about this one of these days) and the carseat we have goes all the way to 65 pounds! Very cool! I have a feeling Max will outgrow the height limit before the weight limit, but we’ll see!

So there it is. I’ll have a Max-photo-heavy post in the next couple of days! Happy Tuesday!

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