As I sit here nursing what is likely my last baby for the final time, I realized a few things. I feel so lucky that I have been able to nurse all three of my babies. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but I knew it was something I wanted try to do and I made it work. I struggled quite a bit with each of them at the beginning (Alex being the most challenging) and I started using a nursing shield with all of the kids and weaned off it with them all. I’ve become more confident with nursing in public, multi-tasking while nursing and the whole process.
I nursed the girls for around six months. This had worked for me. I stopped nursing around the time they started solid food, started sleep training and got their pacifier taken away. I know that sounds harsh to do them all about the same time, but it has worked for us.
With Alex, I had planned to nurse until six months as well. He’s been a great sleeper from the beginning, but hasn’t really been satisfied nursing. He enjoys it, but never seemed full. I started giving him bottles before bed a couple months ago and he would get swaddled and sleep through the night. This is when we knew that he needed more than I could give him. He would also seem very frustrated while he was eating. Maybe because he had to work to get his food, or there just wasn’t enough there.
In the end, we decided that it was time to switch to bottles and end the nursing. The past few days I have been weaning him off me and moving to bottles during the day. He’s done great and has been a happy boy. He naps longer and is happy much longer. This has given me the ability to get some much needed chores and tasks done around the house that I wasn’t getting to before because I was stuck on the couch with a baby attached to me.
I was a little hesitant to stop before he was six months old (he’s almost four months), but in the end, this is what was right for me, him and our family.
I also thought that I might have a hard time (be emotional) stopping because, well, my baby. My last baby. But I have confirmed that I’m not a very sentimental person (something I already knew about myself). I thought there would be tears or something. But I nursed him and fell asleep while he was eating. Pretty anti-climactic. And so typical of me.
I’ve been lucky enough to have this time with each of my kids, but I am anticipating the next stage of life with my kids. I am looking forward to being done with the baby stage and moving on, taking the kids on vacations and adventures and not being tied to bottles, nap times, all those things that can be stressful. Granted, I know this is a long way in the future, but it’s something I am excited about.
So there you have it. One baby closer to growing up. Me, I’ll be wearing some tight sports bras for a couple days and then looking forward to actual undergarments and fitting into my clothes again. And now that I can’t justify eating anything I want since I’m not nursing, it’s time to start watching what I eat again and work off the rest of this baby weight. Just in time for summer, right!? Oh, and wine. Don’t forget the wine. I mean, I have three kids four and under. Mama needs some wine!