I nursed my oldest child until she was just over 14 months old. I was pregnant with her little brother and felt that my body just couldn’t sustain all of that activity. I felt like my life force was depleted, so I cut her off. With my son, I pretty painlessly weaned him around 15 months. He was eating tons of solids, only nursing at bedtime and it was an easy transition.
My youngest, however, is a slightly different tale. My easiest baby is the hardest to wean.
I was hoping to follow a similar timeline as her siblings; she’s just over 15 months now, so we’d actually already started the tapering off process. She dropped her morning nursing session in September when she started attending “school” during the mornings. I’d basically nurse her at naptime, bedtime and overnight when I needed to get her back to sleep as soon as possible. It was progressing. I was ready to cut out another feeding when The Fever struck.
Just after Thanksgiving, she got sick. She started with a drippy nose and then a fever set in. A fever that had me calling the pediatrician at 10 p.m. on a Friday when it reached 104.3 degrees. A quick doctor visit the next morning was the standard “It’s a virus, give it three to five days” diagnosis, but they should have also mentioned, “Hey, this will set weaning back. A lot.”
Her appetite for solids vanished. Any solid foods that graced her plate would get tossed to the ground. Per doctor’s orders, I tried to keep liquids in her so she wouldn’t get dehydrated, but even juice wouldn’t tempt her. Any liquids I’d put in a cup would get pushed to the side. The one thing she would stand? Boob.
So instead of getting rid of feedings, I was adding them back in. As it took over a week for her to recover and get some sort of appetite back, I feel like we’re nearly back at square one with weaning. It’s comforting to know that even when she was refusing all other sustenance, at least I knew she was getting some fluids and nutrition; I would have been extremely worried had she even refused the boob, so there’s that. And it only seems right that as my last baby, I’m dragging my feet with the weaning process. Really, now that she’s figured out how to work around her big front teeth (that was a week of OW! let me tell you), I don’t mind nursing a toddler even if I’d love to burn all of my nursing bras. I’ll be pretty happy to not wake in the night any more, though, because it seems like if they are still on the boob, that’s all they want at 3 a.m.
But mostly, I can’t wait to be able to take all the drugs whenever I need them for colds. Because this illness she had? It’s pretty much the worst.
Ever had big setbacks when weaning? —Erin