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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Boob Talk

A few months ago, I mentioned that I was trying to start weaning my son. Well, here we are, it's nearly mid-November, and I'm still trying. This is seriously getting old.

Once I decided to stop taking the breast pump to work, neither Adam nor I had a problem with skipping over the hours of 8 to 6 during the week. The weekends -- or my days off when the center was closed for Jewish holidays -- were are another story altogether. If we were at home with no company, Adam noticed that I wasn't nursing him; if we went somewhere else or there were other people around, he was sufficiently distracted. He doesn't seem to mind whether he's drinking breastmilk, formula, or juice, and he doesn't even mind the sippy cup (he refuses bottles of any kind; he must think we're trying to trick him into taking a nipple other than these two). He just misses the sucking, the comfort, the bonding.

At this point, I'm pretty much down to two feedings a day: once when I get home from work, when he's super needy, and once when I put him to bed for about five minutes before I switch him to the pacifier and pat his back until he's asleep (actually doesn't take that long anymore -- and I'll tackle the issues of him falling asleep on his own and in his crib when I get to them).

It's taken this long and still isn't there yet for one simple reason: I'm working full-time. Yes, that's the reason I was actually able to start, since I'm away from him for 10 hours every day. But because I work, I've just been too tired to figure out when I can push feedings back gradually to eventually cut them out -- let alone actually implementing that.

I'm kind of stuck here at the two, but I'm trying. Yesterday I had a painful clogged milk duct at work and was looking for a kind of hot pad to massage it with, and a coworker advised me to get cabbage leaves. Apparently since they're already a nice cupped shape, you just stick them in your bra, and they dry up your milk pretty quickly. So I asked Brandon to pick up a head of cabbage at the store. I'll let you know how it goes.

You may wonder why I want to wean my son, if I've breastfed him for this long. I didn't even mind when he started teething, getting those two little pearly whites on his bottom jaw. He bit me accidentally a few times before his medicine kicked in and he was in too much pain to latch properly. But it wasn't a habit. Well, now that he's got four more teeth on the top as well, it hurts almost every time. He's just so eager to nurse, he sucks really hard and his teeth can't help but get in the way and I end up with bite marks on my precious boobs. Ow. That, and he's also been pinching them when he wants to nurse, or outstretching his hands and saying, "Mamamamam" -- I can thank my mother for teaching him to say that.

Guess it beats "mommy's numnums" or "me eat". I don't think I could nurse this boy to toddlerhood, and I heartily applaud anyone who is brave enough to complete such a journey. Actually, I got the same kudos from that same coworker who recommended the cabbage leaves. She went back to work quite a bit earlier than I did, though. She had this job to come back to; I had to find it and spent a few months doing so.

Ah well. I'll keep everyone posted.

2 comments:

lamaro

I don't even know where to start in weaning my little guy. He has been teething and I feel bad for him - he wants to comfort nurse and I'd rather do that than listen to him cry. I've got to begin soon though- my problem is that I am home with him all day- he will attack me at times.
It will work out for the both of us, I'm sure ;)

Mel

Lamaro: That sounds like where I was before I started working. It's still a problem if we're home alone, like on the weekend. Sometimes it helps to distract him with toys, books, or people, or other food -- he loves to eat. He also likes drinking formula and juice out of a sippy cup. But the easiest change from nursing all day to not nursing very much at all was going back to work.

As far as teething goes, do you use teething rings, toys, and/or medication? Hyland's Teething Tablets have worked pretty well for us, and he chews on pretty much all his toys.

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