Not that long ago I was wonder when would be the best time to stop breastfeeding. I have gone past the original point that I expected to stop and was questioning what I wanted to do going forward. I think it is a topic a lot of mothers worry about, and I definitely aren’t alone in it!
What I hadn’t factored in to this whole thing was what Piglet was going to want to do. I was busy thinking about what I thought would suit us, but obviously hadn’t asked him what he wanted! To say I was surprised by how things have panned out is an understatement.
Once I had made the decision to keep breastfeeding Piglet I kind of thought that was it. It was pretty soon after that when I noticed he was mucking about a lot during some of his feeds. Every afternoon he would pull off, fuss and generally not have very much. I could tell he was hungry, he seemed to want solid food as a snack rather than his breastfeed.
I was a bit unsure of what I should do. A morning feed and a bedtime feed didn’t seem like it was enough milk for him at 8 months old. He gets dairy through his food, but I don’t think it is the same as a good milk feed.
I decided to try offering him a bottle before his afternoon nap. My theory was that if he rejected that too then I would just go ahead and cut that feed out completely and give him an afternoon snack instead.
I needn’t have worried. There is no doubt that a bottle feed is what he wants. He knows when its coming, and he will drain 8oz without pausing for breath.
It hadn’t occurred to me that he would be the one telling me when the breastfeeding would end. In my head I imagined a tough cold turkey approach with him being upset that Mummy had taken away her boobs and me feeling bad for upsetting him! It looks like we won’t face that drama at all.
As I gave Piglet that first bottle and he took it happily, not phased that he wasn’t having a breastfeed I felt sad. Sad that it was the beginning of the end. Sad that he was growing up. Sad that he wouldn’t need me in the same way again. I’m not an particularly emotional person generally, but I was feeling it that day!
For now, the afternoon is the only bottle Piglet has. He still wants a breastfeed first thing in the morning and last thing before bed, and sometimes mid morning too. I think over the next few months we will probably phase those out, replacing them with a bottle one at a time to cause as little disruption as possible.
As with this first bottle, I’m sure Piglet will be guiding me the whole way.
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