Monday, June 04, 2007

Weaning troubles

Sorry to keep banging on about this, but I could do with some advice. Here’s the situation. I need to wean Sebastian. I’ll be honest: I love breastfeeding my children (I love those quiet, intimate moments of cuddles and comfort), and I could happily breastfeed him for several more months (he’s only just over a year old). But I have several good reasons for wanting to wean Sebastian.

Firstly, he still wakes up every night wanting a feed, and it is absolutely wearing me out. I think that if I wean him this may improve or at the very least we may be able to achieve what we did with Joaquim until about 18 months, which was give him a bottle at night, which takes up all of 2 minutes: wake up, mix powdered milk into bottle, give to child, go back to sleep. Sebastian is not wild about bottles, but he’s getting there.

Secondly, I am going on holiday in mid-July. I would like to be able to drink more than a glass of wine (I’m very strict with myself when breastfeeding), especially at my sister’s book launch, and even maybe leave Sebastian overnight with a willing grandparent knowing that he won’t scream for lack of a maternal boob.

Thirdly, it’s getting increasingly difficult to work in the field with Sebastian in tow. He needs proper meals, someone to play with, and he’s heavy. I need to be able to leave him behind in Pemba for a few days at a time in order to do my work properly.

So, although my heart is not in it, I know I must wean him. The problem is that he is ADDICTED to the boob. Whenever he sees me naked he points at them and makes sucking noises (yes, it is very funny), then clings at my legs and tries to climb me! At the slightest opportunity he pulls at my clothing to get to them. When, as increasingly has been the case, I refuse him access, he has an absolute fit. He screams, goes rigid, throws himself to the floor or struggles and fights to get at them. Occasionally he can be distracted with water or juice. Often not. So, how do I do it? It was so easy with Joaquim, just a gradual transition from breast to bottle and no fuss at all. Answers on a postcard to the usual address please.



At 11:50 pm, Blogger Tea said...

i see sebastian is winning the battle... surely he knows his time is running out and he's making a last scramble for it. trying to command the boob! what if paulo sat him down and had a man-to-boy chat about it? he's old enough to understand... if that doesn't work, perhaps the holiday scene will create a good distraction from routine. he won't be sleeping or eating in his usual way, so the lack of boob might not strike him as so different... and as a last resort, drink a couple of glasses of wine before going out, they say it makes em sleep better... anyway, i'm not exactly the expert, just a few thoughts on the matter... luv.

At 9:28 am, Blogger Rebecca said...

We think he has cottoned on too. Anyway, I am sticking to my guns and gradually reducing the number of times I allow him to feed. I am down to about once on each side per day now, and trying to introduce a bottle when he wakes up hungry in the morning, as that is a key moment. Thanks for the moral support, I will persevere!

At 4:29 pm, Blogger Marie said...

Squirt breast milk onto a cuddly toy.

This is similar to my famous "put a hamster bottle full of milk on the side of the cot" suggestion in that I will refuse to see why it won't work. Sour milk, what? I wouldn't know about that, I'm lactose intolerant.


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