Bye bye boobie

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25 May 2014.

Pegasus Air flight.

Somewhere over Europe…

What’s the significance?

It was my last breastfeed…

 

I struggled to start and continue breastfeeding, but once I had the hang of it I had set my mind on doing it until 6 months.  Once it settled down I decided to continue until a year old.  Whilst I had days and weeks moments of doubt where I felt trapped, like a milk machine and frustrated that no one else could look after my baby because of the boob addiction, by 9 months Jem went down to feeding only in the morning and last thing at night so it was manageable.  I even discovered that if I went out in the evening (about once a month I have an evening meeting for my voluntary work) although he wouldn’t take a bottle he would settle to sleep without milk with the Turk.  I began to question what he was really getting from breastfeeding, but given that it was only twice a day for about 5 minutes I figured that even if it was only for comfort or routine I could live with it.

In fact I was planning on continuing this pattern even when I returned to work, but Jem took a different view.  When we were on holiday shortly after his first birthday he didn’t seem bothered about his morning feed, in fact twice he went without it and didn’t bother at all!  By the final week of our holiday when I tried to feed him in the evening he actually burst into giggles (RUDE!) when I tried to feed him and was more interested in playing.

I can take a hint…

On the flight home Jem slept for an hour and then got very fussy, singing, toys, breadsticks, leftover simit, rice cakes didn’t do the trick so I broke out the failsafe booby distraction to try and stop invoking the rage from the other passengers.  He was still very tired so I thought it might make him nod off…it did not.

Anyway, what I didn’t appreciate at the time was that this was it.  When we came home I decided to start the “real” milk, and Jem loved it.  I was really surprised as he never really took to formula, it took months to get him to drink ANY water and when I tried cow milk before he wasn’t bothered.  Perhaps it was because I warmed it, or maybe he was just ready to move on, whatever it was I had expected to wind down from the breast and have a month or so of switching over, but it wasn’t needed.

I was reading other blog posts around the time and Donna from Red Head Baby Led was writing about her experience of finishing breastfeeding and my NCT friends whom mostly fed up to 12 months were going through the same thing.  It struck me that they were all experiencing pain, engorgement or other niggles from finishing bf…but I wasn’t.  In fact for a couple of months I’d been back in pre-pregnancy bras, I literally had no “side effects” from stopping…

…I suspect that Jem had been rather taking me for a ride for a little while!

Well I’m not complaining, it was mixed but overall I’m pretty glad it’s over.

Although as this is probably my last opportunity to comment on breastfeeding can I direct you to the Two Boys One Mum blog, here, for what is probably my favourite ever post on this topic.

Does your baby lead weaning…?

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Well weaning got off to a difficult start in our house, you may have read a previous post about the poo issues we had when away in Turkey, after several attempts at the Dr to fix this the only suggestions we stuck with were to try and get Jem to drink water.  Jem doesn’t drink water.  He only drinks breast milk.  I tried to reason with him, it didn’t work.  Anyway despite having read a friends BLW book from start to finish it became obvious that the only way to force him to ingest some extra fluids was to mix various foods with water in a puree and spoon feed him.

At the time I started weaning we were still squashed into our carpeted loft room with all our belongings.  Our beautiful new wooden highchair was given pride of place next to the sofa and we began the process.

Jem didn’t take to spoon feeding.  He did take to throwing his spoon and it’s contents on the floor and then rubbing any leftover puree into the crevices (of which there are many) on his highchair.  Not impressed.

Poo or no poo I decided that puree was not the way forward for us, and I reverted to large chunks of food, perhaps way beyond what was meant by BLW.  I was always told that BLW was far messier than puree, but when your baby is a food monster, like mine, it’s actually far easier.  From 6 months Jem has managed to devour whole pears, skin, seeds and all in a matter of seconds.  I treated it as somewhat of a party piece as people couldn’t believe it of such a tiny baby.

For the first couple of months he ate everything he could get his hands on (yes, including cat food, shoes and elastic bands…) and only after this he became more choosy.  Green vegetables are strictly off the menu at the moment, and whilst I of course want him to have a wide range of healthy food I don’t think that this is the age to have the argument (“food is for fun…” and all that jazz).  I keep trying, and Jem steadfastly gives me a look as he dispatches the offending green item over the side of the highchair.

To this day he has a voracious appetite, no one may eat within his sight unless he has a ready supply of ricecakes/bread/cheese/grapes or blueberries, but woe betide the person who attempts to give him broccoli…

On a recent trip to Turkey he discovered the joys of eating fruit from trees…that’s interesting when you walk through the park now!

 

If you would like to read some great posts about BLW please do check out the Red Head Baby Led blog which features some great guest posts on this topic.