As we approach the end of Harry's first year, I find myself reflecting on our nursing relationship.
Several people have asked me if I'm looking forward to weaning him or if I'm tired of nursing him. A year ago, I would have thought so. I thought it would be weird to nurse such a long time. I joked about the "Nipple Nazis" and the "Hippie Mamas" who nursed their walking, talking toddlers and how that would never be me. I believed the old wives' tale of "if they're old enough to ask for it, they're too old to have it." Funny how things change, isn't it? Now, I can't imagine NOT nursing him. I'm not alone, either. More and more mothers in this country are practicing child-lead weaning. This article has more information on extended breastfeeding and its benefits. Here is some information on weaning after a year: link.
I guess, what I'm trying to say is that I'm planning to continue nursing past a year. I have no plans to wean him completely yet, and I'd like to follow his cues. We have started "pump" weaning him this week. I've been off work with no pumping since 6/26, and do not plan to start up again. By eliminating the midday feeding now, it should be easier to have him day-weaned by the fall. He'll learn that he gets milkies when Mama is home and he gets other food with Daddy. He loves his solids, so milkies will no longer be his main source of nutrition. But I can't see us giving up sleepy-time nursies or comfort nursies anytime soon, and I don't mind one bit. In fact, I'm proud that I can still offer him immunities and comfort into his second year, and maybe beyond. Yes, it can be tiring being the "mommy binky" but rest assured, he won't graduate from high school needing to be nursed to sleep. I'm pretty sure he'll wean before he graduates preschool (though, talk to me then). This has worked well for us so far, and has produced a thriving, outgoing, joyful boy. We couldn't ask for more.