HOW I STOPPED BREASTFEEDING MY BOOB-OBSESSED TODDLER AT 16 MONTHS COLD TURKEY
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Do you have a boob-obsessed toddler like mine? Was it very difficult for you to stop breastfeeding? Did you wean gradually or cold turkey? Keep reading to see how I successfully weaned my toddler cold turkey at 16 months.
I was blessed to have my breastmilk come in immediately after I had Jidenna. He also latched on properly from the first day. This little man was not one to joke around with his food. Prior to giving birth, I had set a breastfeeding goal of one year. I wanted to breastfeed exclusively for about 6 months and then introduce formula and solids in the 6th month. In my mind, I had it all planned out, after all, I was the planner. Nothing could wrong and we were going to stick to it. Little did I know that my child had other plans and was literally laughing at me every time I mentioned it to anyone who asked.
I’m not even sure what I was thinking, because this little man refused to go near formula. I searched on google, asked many questions, looked for tips and tricks to get him to drink formula. We tried the sippy cup, we tried the cup that we drank from and even pretended to drink it but every time we brought it close to him, he would scrunch his nose and literally act like he was about to throw up. Once he collected a bottle from his friend when she had come over for a playdate and was about to drink from her bottle. I was delighted because I thought he would finally drink formula. I quickly made him a bottle and as soon as it touched his lips, he dropped the bottle.
He wanted absolutely nothing to do with formula, bear in mind we had tried different brands. He was just not having it. I mean, on the flip side, he was saving me a lot of money. After all, breastmilk is free. The worst part was the refusal to drink the bottle. He wanted it straight from the source. Not sure if the bottle changes the taste, but he sure as hell knew what he wanted.
Fast forward to him turning a year old. My mom had come around and I was super pleased because it meant that I could finally wean him off easily. All I had to do was go the whole day without breastfeeding him and leave him with my mom. The joke was on me though. Grandma came and raved about how his skin was glowing and breastmilk was really good on him, and she couldn’t bear to see him cry, etc. Basically, our plan was a bust. She went back home and we were still breastfeeding.
Now don’t get me wrong, at this point I decided to breastfeed him till he turned two. Well, that was the new plan. We would go out and ignorant people would go on and on about how I should stop breastfeeding him, he’s too old for it, blah, blah. Anyone who knows me knows I would never do anything just because someone said so. I turned deaf ears to all they said and continued breastfeeding my baby.
Well, we continued going on and on and somewhere inside of me, I prayed he would stop on his own as I have heard other moms say. Haha, not this one. He was a boob-obsessed baby. Jidenna was no respecter of the time, place, or outfit I had on. When he wanted his mama’s breasts, he would just whip them out. After all, they belonged to him. What else were the boobs made for if not to feed him? We would nurse all through the night and I was barely getting any sleep. At this point, he was already sixteen months old.
I started looking for ways to gently wean him off as I did not feel like my heart could take weaning him cold turkey. As the books/google/other moms say starting this way makes it easier. I tried this and it still did not work. And then one day while I was on the internet I saw a blog post about a mom who had used apple cider vinegar to wean her baby. Voila! I tried this and the first time I sprayed on some on my nipples, Jidenna stayed far away from me as soon as the smell hit his nose.
This would have been an effective way to stop but I was too lazy to spray it on my nipples every time he wanted to nurse. At some point, he even got used to the smell and would weather it and continue nursing. So I gave up and we continued our breastfeeding journey.
On several occasions, we would go out and Jidenna would want to whip out my boobies. Some days I’d give in, other days I would let him cry it out. I still was not getting enough sleep, and my concern really was him refusing to take formula or cow milk. We tried other types of milk and he refused. However, at his next wellness visit, I had mentioned to his pediatrician and she suggested yogurt (which he loves) and other calcium alternatives. Not to forget, the occasional biting, after all, he now had a lot of teeth (most times the biting was unintentional though). I knew then it was time to wean him off. I prayed to God to give me the strength as we embarked on this journey.
About a week later, I finally braced myself up and one morning I decided it was time. Before Jidenna woke up, I taped my nipples with a band-aid. Some moms swear by this, so I decided to try it out. When he woke up and wanted to nurse, I brought out my boobs and told him mama’s nipples had disappeared. He looked so confused and tried to take it off. I was well prepared so he couldn’t take it off. He cried the whole day, the day after and two days after. On the third day, he had zero interest in my boobs. At this point, I had used up all the band-aid in my first aid box and was already making plans to buy more.
At night, he would still wake up and try to nurse. On the first night, I offered him water. He was so mad at me. The second and third night was better and he actually did take the water and went back to sleep. By the end of the first week, he slept through the night. Victory at long last! This mama had reclaimed her body back. It was time to get those sexy dresses out of the closet.
No jokes though, I think the process was harder on me. I almost gave up. I was so emotional, and my heart literally felt like it would break every time he wanted to nurse and I showed him the band-aid. My boobs were also sore and I was depressed. Ice packs and cold cabbage leaves were my best friends. They helped relieve the engorgement and I also had to take pain-killers to relieve the pain. Luckily for me, I did not get mastitis or a clogged duct.
Honestly, I will not advise anyone to stop cold turkey. It is hard, both on mom and baby. I still sometimes miss the closeness that comes with breastfeeding and oh, I forgot to mention that my boobs shrunk so much that my already small breasts became even smaller. I guess you can’t have it all right?. Before we start celebrating, as the saying goes, once a boob-monster, always a boob-monster. We are now dealing with boob fixation. His hands never want to leave mama’s boobs. Could this be my punishment for weaning cold turkey? I’d like to believe so. Just when I thought smaller shrunken breasts was more than enough punishment. Lol!!!
Well, did you stop breastfeeding cold turkey or did you do it gradually? When did you stop breastfeeding? What are some tips and tricks you would suggest? Feel free to post in the comment section below. I look forward to reading your responses. And don’t forget to like, share and subscribe!