April is Child-Led Weaning Awareness Month! We are kicking it off a few days early! If you would like to contribute, please e-mail your story and photo(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Our goal is to help normalize breastfeeding past infancy and help parents who may feel alienated. So, even if you helped the weaning process along, but breastfed past infancy- please still send in your story!)
By Kim Pendleton
Baby, you are weaned!
There were days when I thought this time would never come; but of course it did, I always knew it would. You enjoyed almost every moment of “mama”, all three years, three months, three weeks and five days of it. I fed you at home, at friends and family’s houses, in the park in ankle deep snow (see attached pic!), in the swimming pool partially submerged, in the Lake District, in Cornwall, in carparks, in supermarkets, in cafes, at the doctors, while you were so poorly at the hospital, in a tent, in a sling walking round the park and Ikea, at a gigi, while I did my Breastfeeding Network Helper training, sat on pavements on the street, in the bath and shower, in the garden, while you were asleep, while I was asleep, while we both slept! In the dead of night seeminly all alone, but knowing so many other mums were doing the same. We fed as light crept in through the curtains at 4am, as fireworks sounded at midnight. We fed in groups, surrounded by lots of other mums and feeding babies. It always made you ask for more than you usually would!
You were not the easiest little creature to feed, you sometimes scratched and kicked and bit me. Your tiny fingernails would hurt so much! We bought special mittens. Once, you bit me thirty times in one weekend! But just as I thought I was ready to wean you, something always changed, and I was left suddenly wondering what I’d been so bothered about in the first place….had it all been in my imaginataion?!
Learning how to feed a baby isn’t easy, you’ll find this out when you have your own babies, but I can help. At first, it was so tiring, you fed so much, your tummy was so tiny. But you grew so quickly and soon it was easy and really lovely.
There is nothing so lovely as holding my contented baby snuggled into my breast as you fed to sleep in my arms, or while feeding, catching my eye and smiling, mid-feed! As you got older and walking and talking, you often gave your “mamas” more attention than me! They got all the hugs and kisses and “I love you”s. I did wonder if you’d love me as much when we stopped feeding, but you do seem to!
I loved being able to solve your every problem with mama. Falling over to tantrums to frustrations to insomnia to illness, all just magicked away…what will we do now?! We’ll learn I suppose. That’s what motherhood is all about, learning on the job, finding what works.
You have become such a big girl over the last few months. Since you turned three, you got your own big girl room, said goodbye to nappies, night-weaned from mama and just recently started big-girl nursery. So I couldn’t really believe it when I suggested you didn’t need mama at all anymore, and you simply agreed, and never looked back! I was expecting a gradual, gentle weaning, but since you went down to just morning and evening feeds, the seed had already been planted. You are so grown up, managing all this at once. And I am so ready to stop, I have been for ages, it’s just that you weren’t ready. But now, wow!
Big girl, you are weaned!