The trouble with weaning

The Boy will have his first birthday in just eight incredibly short days. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year (just as it’s hard to believe he’s learned so much in just one year).

In February, we were forced to begin the weaning process much sooner than I had planned. In fact, it was always my plan to let him decide for himself when he was done breastfeeding (though he always had breastmilk while he was at school). I was away from the baby for six short days, but without the constant demand for more milk, my body started slowing milk production. Finally, about three weeks ago, I gave up on trying to (literally) squeeze out six ounces a day (we had to begin mixing his milk with formula while I was away because I only had a three-day supply in the freezer) and limited attempts at nursing to the moments right before bed time.

My supply is almost nonexistent now, but The Boy doesn’t understand that. All he knows, when he awakes in the middle of the night, is that Mommy is offering a sippy cup instead of her breast, and that when he lifts Mommy’s shirt and finds said breast, he can’t get anything out. So he gets frustrated.

And he cries. A lot.

I’m not really sure how to deal with this. Last night, I kept a sippy cup ready so that the second he detached, I could slip it into his mouth and let him drink – until he realized what was going on and would push away the cup. It seemed to work a little bit; he slept more soundly last night than he had all week. But I find myself hesitant to go to bed now, knowing that he might awake any moment, wanting to nurse, and, because he’s so frustrated and wound up, won’t fall asleep again for a good two hours.

One day we’ll figure this out together. Today would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath!

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