Read Part One here
Read Part Two here
Well, The Day came. No Mummy milk allowed until bedtime. We'd prepared, discussed, and braced ourselves. I expected the tantrums to be epic, for her poor little world to be ripped from her, while we tried to support her as best we could.
What do you know - it was ok. No diasters, no tantrums, no screaming. She asked for Mummy milk in the afternoon, and I said my well rehearsed 'No darling, you're too big for Mummy milk in the day time now. Remember no Mummy milk in the day time after your party?' She was happy with a cuddle and a drink of water instead. Well, she wasn't really happy, perhaps 'reluctantly accepting' is a better description. She had a little bit of a whimper, a snuggle and her water bottle and she was ok. No screaming, no crying, no tantrums. Wow.
It seemed that I'd underestimated her ability to understand what was going on; I'd sold her short. Day weaning so far has been far less painful for everyone than we were expecting, and I'm very thankful for that.
After The Day we tried to make things as smooth as possible for Chubs. I skipped playdates and made other arrangments for meetings for a week or two where there were likely to be breastfeeding bubs. Daddy started to offer 'honey milk' (warm cows' milk in a cup with a teeny drop of honey) when 'Mummy milk pweeze' was called for. We continued to distract as needed - either with a different activity or by offering 'Daddy milk - tee hee hee' or suggesting that one of her teddies have 'Chubs milk'. Last week I was holding a newborn baby for a moment while her mother got her things ready to leave. Chubs insisted that I hold the baby up to her to pretend to have 'Chubs milk' - she even told the baby off when I handed her back to her mum saying 'other side! other side!'
A month on and she still sometimes asks for 'Mummy milk' during the day but again is generally happy with 'No Mummy milk in the daytime, remember?' I'm not going to jinx it and actually call her day weaned just yet, but things are certainly going well. She generally feeds to sleep at night, and I still give her a feed if she asks after daycare (probably about two thirds of the time). She feeds in the morning if we don't have anywhere to be before 10am and can have a lazier start, but on my work days it's up and go go go so there's no time for milky snuggles and no one seems to mind - it's been this way for at least six months. I had expected an increase in night feeds to compensate for the day time drought, but it never really happened. She often sleeps through (about five times a week) and when she does wake it's generally towards the end of the night and one quick feed is enough to get us both back to sleep quickly (although it is a pain to get out of bed now she's in her own room - now I remember why I liked cosleeping in the first place!)
I've noticed a difference in my attitude to breastfeeding. I'm resenting it less and enjoying it more, which is just how it should be. I am missing feeding during the day - just a little. What I'm missing a lot more was having breastfeeding in my 'parenting toolbox' - Chubs gave up feeding out and about to reconnect/ destress a long time ago (too much going on) but I could still use it to get her to sit still for five minutes. I do miss that now when I try to stall for time and finish an urgent conversation! Since we're only feeding at night I'm not feeding in public anymore, and I do miss the smiling nods to other mothers with a baby at the breast (it looks a bit funny if I do 'the nod' without a child at the breast!) Overall the changes have been for the best, and all three of us are happier now.
I now post the same question that I did a year ago - so, where to from here? My answer this year is the also same as last year - simply, on. As with any good relationship, our breastfeeding one has faced change and our whole family responded with love, support, respect and flexibility. Our breastfeeding relationship changed a great deal in it's first year, and just as much in it's second year. What Chubs' third year will bring, breastfeeding or otherwise, I'm sure will be just the same - full of colour, excitement, unpredictibility, hope, tears, laughter, craziness, gusto and love.