Although for the majority of my journey, I fed Sadie to sleep, she never seemed attached to my boob or saw this as comfort outside of feeding times, such as pulling at my top. Sadie was far too interested in exploring the world around her due to her observant nature. I had chosen to make my boob her sleep association, and knew the time was ready to make the change. Sadie loved books, so it took a dose of inner courage, some positivity from my Mum, and I set the scene ready for her. A cosy gro bag, soft night time book, kisses, cuddles, and a silky muzzy comforter in her bed all helped set the scene. I did stuff the silky elephant comforter down my top so the scent would transfer, yes, I have stuffed an elephant down my top! The ridiculous things we do for our children! Finally, we say night night to the bunnies in her room, and sing a soothing tune of twinkle twinkle from outside the door. Do they make gro bags in my size and can someone do this for me please! As Sadie settles down for the night, I watch her waving to her bunnies on her shelf from the monitor, and she really learned to love her cot.
What I truly love about breastfeeding is that there is no right or wrong way aside from getting a latch. It is your own journey between mother and baby, and what you make of it. One of my motto’s in life is “what you put in your get out”, and this definitely applies with my feeding journey. Breastfeeding is just one part of motherhood journey, and I am grateful in so many ways.
I made it! Or should I say we made it! Apparently twelve months commitment entitles you to the title “golden boobies”. There is obviously no such thing as the boob Olympics, and there are no medal’s to be collected. All jokes aside, I think every mama out there deserve a gold medal.
Any chance to put a bit of a spice girls reference in! Thirteen months in, I now dropped from two feeds to one per day. I decided to drop the morning one first as was going to be less noticeable for Sadie. I love my lazy mornings with cuddles in bed, morning feed, books and peepo. I did try replacing the feed with cow’s milk in her cup in bed; however, she just didn’t want it so didn’t force it. After speaking with my health visitor, I knew she was getting enough calcium from her diet, and just made sure she drank a good amount of water first thing being conscious of her liquid intake. I continued to offer milk from a cup at least once a day in the highchair just so she would get a taste for it. The first morning I missed the morning feed I felt like I had forgotten something. Lazy mornings, Peepo, books and cuddles carried on as normal before breakfast and playtime, and a little piece of my journey had come to an end.
As it hit me that my journey would be coming to an end, I cherished my feeding time even more. My mornings of staying in bed until 8am, getting cosy with my duvet and lots of snuggles and laughter made me so happy. Sadie already had a love of books and I could see her imagination coming alive with her playful character and cheekiness. After her bedtime stories and silliness with teddies, once I started her feed, we would reflect on the day together which turned into a story itself, “have you had a lovely day, what have we been doing” I would go through the day’s events, from the small things such as playing on the swings, and finishing with having a bath, and saying night night to the bunnies. Sadie looks and into my eyes with the most adorable calm smile in her eyes whilst feeding, and I could feel her resting heart rate whilst she listened to every word.
I continued with my night feed until Sadie was 17 months, as chose to continue feeding through the winter season to help with antibodies, and until Sadie had most of her teeth. It felt right for the both of us to continue our journey. Before dropping this feed, I wanted it to be a natural weaning process rather then something I was forcing upon her. I could see from signals she was giving me that she was becoming less interested, and knew that my body and mind were telling me I was ready too. In my heart of hearts, I also knew that if I didn’t encourage the natural weaning process, then I would just end up carrying on. I didn’t feel emotional about my decision, as just felt right. Sadie wasn’t going to drink cow’s milk as a replacement at bedtime, as she didn’t love the taste. I continued to offer a few sips after dinner in her highchair each evening, so she could make a choice. After speaking with my health visitor, I was confident she was gaining enough calcium from her daily diet plus adequate liquid intake and wet nappies daily, so there were no concerns about this for me.
At thirteen months, I was spending about 20 minutes on my feed before bed, so over the course of four months I reduced this to 10, then 5, then nothing. I always used to read Sadie bedtime books first, before turning the light off to feed her before putting her to bed. To encourage the process, I changed this to feeding first with the light on, giving her teeth a brush, then a drink of water from her cup and reading books after. Sadie was far too interested in her books to concentrate on her feed so it naturally came to an end. I have always told Sadie our special story each night from about 6 months old, where we go through the day’s events, and she intently listened. As I always used to do this whilst feeding, she became a little fretful for a few minutes on 2 days when I started the tell the story with her lying in her cot like she could tell something had changed. I wanted her to feel extra special so added some new teddies for her to cuddle and of course more books to read. Sadie would look forward to her special story every night where she listened word for word.
Although I will be packing away my clip style nursing bras this month, my journey and adventure as a mother has only just begun. Adam and I are so excited to find out we are expecting baby Chodosh number two due in September pg, and we are excited for all there is to come. Whether you are in the world of motherhood or not, life is about moments, so create them don’t wait for them.
Thank you for reading my personal insight into the land of milk and mummy. I found breastfeeding to be so much more then feeding my baby, and the reassurance it provided comes through in her personality. I am so grateful I have been able to experience this.