Several weeks ago, I was chatting with a high school friend (who's a first-time mama and is super amazing) about not knowing what to do with our still-breastfeeding toddlers. Both of our kids were well over a year old. Hers would still wake up to feed in the middle of the night and mine would ask me to feed her during the day for comfort. Now, even though I've breastfed all 3 of my kids and feel confident about doing it, when it comes to weaning, I am pretty clueless. Zoey and Nathan both woke up one day and decided they didn't want to suck on my boobs anymore. It was totally sudden and I didn't have to do anything.
While I respect and think it's totally great that some kids breastfeed until they're 2 or older, I knew I didn't want that for me and Izzy. But I just thought and thought about weaning for months and never had the determination to really end it. I'd give in every time she asked me to feed her because usually that was the easiest way out. So at the end of our conversation, I could only tell my friend (and myself, too) to relax and take it easy because this is just a phase, like many other things with little ones. Sometimes things get exhausting and difficult but eventually you'll get pass it and before you know it, you're in a different phase with your kids. It was the best advice I could come up with for her, and really, I think I needed it then too.
In the past several weeks, I began to see more and more just how well Izzy was doing on her own. I could tell that at 18 months, she was ready to move on and learn how to be okay with feeling tired, frustrated, or sad on her own and not come running for my breasts for comfort. Physically, I was very ready to do the toddler phase without the breastfeeding, too.
Two weeks ago, when Gary and I went on a spontaneous overnight date alone, I decided it was time. Izzy is always great with Gary's mom, so that really put me at ease that first night. The first week afterwards was rough, having to say no to her 3-4 times a day. But she took it really well, praise the Lord. No crying, not too much whining at all. Gary has been putting Izzy to bed at night everyday since, and so far, things have been going great. She actually sleeps better at night now because she's not expecting to be breastfed at some point (I wish I could sleep so soundly for 12.5 hours straight like her, too!)
Aaaaaand so, just like that! We are in a whole new phase with Izzy now. I can't believe it sometimes. It's liberating in many ways, and I'm totally cherishing these days when I don't have to lift up my shirt and expose my boobs for anybody. Until July, that is!