SPOILER ALERT!! She's still not completely weaned... and she'll be 2 years old this month. Sighhhh...
Xaryah and I officially started the weaning process in May 2022 (yeah yeah yeah over a year ago, I know!) when we met her paediatrician for her 18 month check-up (after shots). Doc showed some concern about her teeth turning yellow. This was due to me nursing Xary to sleep in the night (it's her comfort to sleep ok? Don't throw any torches!). I knew that children could get teeth decay from bottle-feeding to sleep - I actually know of a couple people whose toddlers needed to do surgery to remove the decayed baby teeth so it doesn't affect the adult teeth coming in - but I did not think that it could've happened to breastfeeding babies too. Doc informed both Roy and I that breastmilk does have a high fat concentration which can lead to yellowing of teeth and after a while, teeth decay. Jeeeez!
That concern by Xary's doctor was the push I needed to begin the weaning process. However, fast forward to 1 year and 5 months later and I still can't get her completely weaned off my boob!
To be honest, breastfeeding takes a toll on me physically and mentally, and I've BEEN wanting to wean, but then Xary would have these big developmental changes and its associated growing pains (like teething for one) or she would get sick, I would pop a boob in her mouth and she'll be fine. It's a quick fix for many emotional moments too. However, when I'm done nursing, I would feel like a shell of myself with little to no energy and slightly irritable, which would then lead me to either overeat, eat rubbish or sleep (at times when I should be awake).
So that's it, time to stop involuntarily procrastinating and wean!
We've noticed that going cold turkey or outright refusing to feed her when she wants it only made her want it even more... and I don't know about you, but fighting with a 2 year old is not fun. So Leroy and I decided on the substitution method. Xaryah is a big fan of Milo so whenever she wanted her "tatas", we would offer her a cup of Milo - to which she would quickly accept and enjoy. This worked well a couple times until she realized what was happening and started refusing the Milo. WTH?! We also tried offering her water, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, yogurt (all favourites of hers) but to no avail. Dammit this child is smart! (Thank God)
I eventually reached the point of putting aloes on my boob... Yeah you read that right! ALOES! Now, I don't know if you've ever smelled aloes but it really isn't nice (for those of you wondering, it's like a sweaty, almost rancid scent). Anyway, that aloe method lasted all of one night - actually it was more like 2 hours, because as soon as she fell asleep, I rushed into the bathroom to wash off that aloe scent. I really couldn't stand that smell and I couldn't handle Xaryah gagging every time she came close to me. I mean... I wanted her to avoid breastfeeding, not avoid me completely!
So we have returned to the substitution method, which although painful, seems to be working... somewhat.
What have I learned so far on this journey?
Breastfeeding is an intimate experience and my daughter isn't ready to give up our special connection just yet. I need to be patient. Xaryah is a girl who knows what she wants and does not settle for anything less (kinda like her mom) so this weaning journey may be a long and tedious one but it's one we'll get through together. I have to admit though she has slowed up alot on nursing, only wants it to sleep, so I know it's only a matter of time before she stops altogether.
I'll let you guys know when that actually happens. Lol!