Weaning the Baby - When to Stop Breastfeeding

When Ikaika was born I was completely committed to breastfeeding for the natural-mom-norm of 2 years. I stuck it out through the first 6 weeks, which were the hardest considering how frequently a newborn nurses and how painful it is (I distinctly remember feeding him while watching a football game with Mr A, looking up at him and whimpering "I have to do this again in 3 hours..."). 6 months were the glory days of breastfeeding. He wasnt nursing ALL THE TIME anymore and, physically, it was a breeze. I also didnt need to feed him right away so there was no need to deal with nursing while out and about. As he started eating more solids I got ready for the next year of breastfeeding once or twice a day...easy as pie.

Surprise, surprise, Ikaika seems to have weaned himself. I realized earlier this week that he didnt really want to nurse, he got distracted after 3-5 minutes and would just squirm away. He went to sleep without nursing and woke up ready for some real food. I finally decided two days ago to completely stop breastfeeding him and he seems totally content.

Im a little disappointed because...you know...its "healthy". But I dont see why I should be forcing him to do it if he honestly doesnt want to. Now I need to figure out where to go from here. So far the hardest part has been remembering that he needs more liquids. He need water constantly now (before when he was nursing he got most of his water from the breastmilk but now I have to remember to give him a cup).

Ive also been debating what to do about milk. I havent been giving him any dairy except for the occasional yoghurt due to the fact that I was very prone to ear infections as a child and Mr A has a history of allergies. I give him soymilk every once in a while but I need to find something that will essentially replace breastmilk. Right now Im leaning towards goat milk. Im also planning on giving him a supplement, like Shakleebaby Multivitamin Multimineral.

At 10.5 months, the end has come to breastfeeding Ikaika. Hes plenty big so Im not too concerned about him being undernourished. My chest is returning to its normal size, which means my clothes fit again! Even though the plan has changed, Im still looking forward to the next year of feeding fun! I followed his cues and weaning was a dream.

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