I think I just weaned my baby.
Actually, I think my baby just weaned himself.
Actually, I think my milk supply dried up from the pregnancy.
Actually, it doesn’t matter. I only know that it’s been three days in a row that I haven’t nursed him at all.
Before I found out I was pregnant, I hadn’t given too much thought to when I’d wean Ezra. I just wasn’t concerned about it. But after I realized that not weaning Ezra would lead inexorably to tandem nursing both kids — something I think is kind of awesome, but don’t feel physically or emotionally up for — I decided that I’d have to come up with a plan.
But I did not come up with a plan. I waited.
A few months ago, Ezra was still nursing four to six times each day — when he woke up, before each nap, after at least one nap, and before bed. But then I noticed that his post-nap crankiness could be just as easily cured by cottage cheese as by nursing. So I stopped nursing him after naps. With two naps a day, this meant we were down to four nursing sessions max. Then, he cut himself down to a single nap. So, three times a day.
While we were on vacation, it became clear that he could nap just as well if he hadn’t nursed beforehand, because he had to take every nap in his stroller while we cruised the streets of New York. Since I could see that he could fall asleep fine without nursing, I just stopped. Since we’ve been home, I just haven’t done it.
So we were down to nursing just before bed and upon waking. Except he started getting really antsy when I nursed before bed, a time when I think my milk supply must have been particularly low. He’d nurse for a few seconds, then stop. Switch sides. Stop again. Crawl away from me on the futon. Come back. Try side #1. Switch.
One night I tried just putting him to bed without nursing, and it was exactly as easy for him, and quite a bit more pleasant for me.
Then we were at one nursing session per day, first thing in the morning, where I was sure we’d stay for weeks until I worked up the nerve to wrench it away from him. But on Tuesday, he seemed distracted while nursing in the morning, more interested in petting Lucy than staying latched on. And then on Wednesday he slept really late, and woke up cooing and chatting, not whining and crying. I decided to strike while the iron was hot. Sandy went in to get him out of his crib, changed his diaper, and brought him right into the kitchen, where I had breakfast ready. He ate his banana and yogurt and muffin right up, and appeared not to notice that we’d skipped the appetizer.
This morning and yesterday, I got him up myself. Instead of taking him straight from the crib to the futon to nurse as we’ve done every morning for months, I changed his diaper, brought him to the kitchen, and gave him a banana. He didn’t seem to notice at all.
Somehow I thought there would be more fanfare. More crying. More drama. And I suppose there still could be. It’s only been three days after all. But in a way it appears this is just another developmental stage for Ezra. He’s ready to learn to climb up onto couches and down stairs, ready to start learning animal noises and parts of his body, and ready to not nurse anymore.
And me? I’m not feeling sad at all. I’m actually kind of excited to get a few months back in regular bras before I start this whole thing again.