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May 14

Two steps forward, one step back

Julianna is weaning.  Slowly, slowly, but I’m starting to see real progress towards her not nursing at all anymore.  I initiated the process, but really wanted it to be as easy and non-traumatic as possible.  I have miserable memories of weaning Sam.  Part of it was that he was older than Julie, he was closer to four by the time he stopped.  But mostly it was that I was pregnant with Julianna and incredibly, incredibly uncomfortable.

With Julie, a couple of things have really helped the process.  Number one – I put her in her own bed.  It’s not a huge transition, she’s still in our bedroom.  But she’s got her own bed, and sleeps in it all night long.  She very rarely wakes up at night to nurse now.

I also started really limiting how long she’ll nurse for any one session.  I didn’t focus on eliminating nursing, I focused on shortening the duration.  That took a little while to work, but now she knows that it’s only going to be for a few minutes, and it’s got the added bonus of eliminating some of her desire to do it.  She’ll still ask, but it’s not as a big a deal anymore.  We’re down to one or two nursing sessions in a 24 hour period.  And we’ve done it with no tears (on either of our part – which is HUGE compared to how rough Sam’s weaning was) or frustration.

I’m also doing my best to mirror the potty training experience.  No expectations, or exceptionally low expectations, and then let her do it on her own.  I let her nurse when she needs to, and don’t get frustrated or angry about it.  She’s going to backslide a little, every now and again, and that’s okay.  She’s been nursing for her entire life, and it’s a big change to outgrow something that fundamental.  But she’s making more progress than I expected.

I found out I was pregnant with Sam in late September/early October 2005.  Which means, this fall, I’ll have been pregnant or nursing for eight years.  I’d like not to reach that goal.   I don’t know that we’ll get there, but that’s my hope.

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