I am leaving Syd tomorrow. For a whole 36 hours. It will be the longest we have been apart since he was born. I don’t leave him often at all. An hour or two here and there with the teen, so me and the bloke can have a quick meal out. Or an evening with my mum while I go to watch a band.
When my elder two were small I was still playing in bands. So while I was at home with them all week in the day, from when they were a fairly young age I often went away for a night to do a gig. This meant they had to learn to be a little more self-sufficient, and possibly as a result of this, they had both self-weaned by 14 months old.
Syd has not self-weaned. Syd still likes to be breastfed almost to sleep, he wakes a couple of times still for a slurp in the night, and as we co-sleep this is not overly disruptive for either of us. It does however mean that his Dad possibly faces a difficult night tomorrow night, while I am swanning about at the BritMums Live blogging conference.
I have been trying to wind down feeding, following the don’t offer, don’t refuse approach. I have also finally managed to get him to drink milk from a beaker. He will now drink endless amounts, but still wants mummy’s milk too.
As he heads in towards two, I am feeling more and more ready to stop, although it will be with a degree of sadness, as Syd will be my last baby, and I have enjoyed feeding him for an extended period. I am hoping some of you may have some tips/distraction techniques/general tales of success you can regale me with. I am not a huge fan of the idea of an abrupt stop, but rather am hoping to encourage him to stop, or at least give him a gentle nudge in the right direction so that when I decide enough is enough it is less stressful for him.
We are gradually replacing the lunchtime feed with a nap in the pushchair. And employing the No Cry Sleep Solution techniques at night means he can now fall asleep without being attached to me, and as a result is going much longer between wakings, and meaning we have finally reclaimed our evenings. Part of me is secretly hoping that a miracle will occur tomorrow night, and that he will just sleep without me, meaning we could just do a few nights with me on the sofa to break the habit, but bearing in mind the only other time I have been away for the night it took until the small hours for him to go to sleep, I am thinking it is unlikely!
I have adored being able to breastfeed my three babies, and will miss the feeling of closeness it provides, but equally, now Syd is becoming a little boy before my eyes, I am starting to feel that it is the right time for both of us to move onto the next stage of our relationship – still plenty of cuddles, just no milk!
I will carry on the path I am on for now, but if following his second birthday in the middle of August we are seeing no natural progress I may have to consider a few sleepless nights as the solution, lets hope it doesn’t come to that!