The end of breastfeeding…The beginning of sleeping through
For nearly 29 months I have been breastfeeding Lucas, I have loved it, it was difficult in the first couple of weeks and more than once, I have fallen out of love with breastfeeding but the majority of the time, it has been a lovely experience. I think Lucas was about 16 months when I cut out his day feeds, which wasn’t too bad if we were up and about but if it was his nap time, it was awful, he screamed, he cried, he tried grabbing me and threw himself around in a stress. It took 2 weeks of me driving him to sleep for his nap rather than going straight to bed for it. He was already at a childminders 3 times a week so he had got out of the habit of feeding from me all the time but it didn’t make the days he was with me any easier.
For this reason, I was dreading stopping breastfeeding completely, cutting out his bedtime feeds. I finally decided a couple of weeks ago it was time, he didn’t need it anymore, he just liked the comfort, the habit of it, so without realising at the time the morning of the 8th July was our last breastfeed. I only decided later that day that we weren’t going to continue and I told Lucas there and then. I’m glad I didn’t have a date in mind as I would have got myself worked up. I told D that I wasn’t feeding anymore and also mentioned it to my parents, I told them casually in front of Lucas so it wasn’t a big deal and I wanted to hear it said. Lucas has always understood more than he can say back, in the past if I have been worried about something and mentioned it to the health visitor in front of Lucas, he has stopped whatever it was.
Night 1, we went to bed as normal. Lucas went to breastfeed and I calmly told him it had all gone and offered him a cup of milk. He took the milk but still wanted his other hand down my top. That’s it, no big kick off, he just acepted it. Waiting for him to understand more was definitely worth it! During the night when he woke to feed, I reminded him and he took his cup but did make a whimper sound when he turned his back on me. During the night, he drank less than half a cup of milk.
Night 2, same as night before but when he fell asleep I swopped the milk for water
Night 3, he wouldn’t have the cup and put it at the side of the bed, he didn’t try to breastfeed either. He woke less during night
Night 4, same as the night before but he SLEPT THROUGH 🎉
Night 5/6 same as the night before
Night 7, only now did my boobs start being painful, it took 6 days for them to fill up, that must show how little he has been drinking each time he woke me
Night 8, I’m leaking and they are really sore
By night 12 my boobs aren’t feeling as sore and have calmed down on the fullness but I am still producing milk, I wonder how long that will last? Lucas goes to sleep snuggled up with a hand on me but seems quite happy with no boobs or cup to drink from
I have heard people saying they felt relieved when they finished or guilty or sad that it was coming to an end but I just feel lucky that we got to breastfeed for so long and that it was the right time for both of us, Lucas has taken it really well and I am not tied to breastfeeding through the night
If you are just starting to breastfeed, check out my breastfeeding essentials and don’t worry. Don’t put pressure on yourself, enjoy it. I also really recommend finding a local support group, I wouldn’t have lasted if I didn’t have a local volunteer support me the first week we were home. If you are breastfeeding or thinking of stopping, there is some beautiful breastmilk jewellery available to keep as a momento x