Still my baby

Posted by ~Summer~ on December 15, 2014
in ,

So the little one is just one week short of turning two years old. Yet, it still feels like yesterday when she just arrived in the world and I was admiring her chubby face, double eyelids and heart-melting smile. It was the day I felt the amazing wonders and joy of motherhood all over again, and I was deeply thankful to have been blessed with a second beautiful baby in my life.

While my first breastfeeding journey was a 16-month long learning process filled with mostly joy (and a little pain), I knew that to me, it was one of the most rewarding and miraculous parts about being a mum. So, my initial plan was to make my second breastfeeding journey at least an 18-month long one.

That said, perhaps it comes with experience and luck, this second journey has been a very smooth one since the beginning. Yes, even though this baby might have woken up eight times on some nights to demand for her milk and her first reaction whenever she gets into a car is to ask for the boobs, at least I have not encountered any infection, bad swelling or terrible pain.

Thus, I have been loving every moment and every time that I am able to experience this wonderful feeling of her latching on while feeling snug in my chest.

*****

I started introducing formula to Ariel when she was around 13 months old. I wanted to take things slow and easy this time because I remembered how it was a struggle back then trying to get Angel to drink formula and it went on for a few months. For some reason at that time, I felt desperate, frustrated and upset when she wouldn't take the milk no matter how much I tried, or forced. There were even nights when both of us ended up in tears. Then, one day when we were on holiday, she just suddenly took to the bottle and gulped down a whole bottle of milk in one go. From that moment on, she started to love formula and slowly, the boobs got cast aside.

Bearing that in mind, I keep telling myself not to pressurize Ariel or coerce her into switching from breast milk to formula if she did not show any sign of readiness. Instead of me trying to compel against her will, I wanted to take the cue from her and let her decide when to move on. So, time and again, she would reject the bottle and I would tell myself "Never mind, let's try again tomorrow".

10 months later, we are still in the trying process.

Has she made any improvement in drinking formula? Yes, but just a little. Is she still waking up in the middle of the night? Yes, but just once or twice. Maybe she just wants another brand of formula? I have tried almost all, including fresh milk. Does she still prefer the boobs? Yes, every single time. Can she survive a day without the breasts? Let's just say she probably can't even last half a day.

Yup, she is still very much addicted and needs her daily dose of human milk, though I highly suspect if there is any left and that all she wants is mummy's comfort. There were many days when I did try to cut down the number of feedings and would give her excuses like "Mummy pain pain", but you should really see how she would break down and cry like the end of the world while screaming "I want neh neh" over and over again. That is enough to break anyone's heart and sadly, I can't just pretend that I can ignore those pitiful pleas.

Someone told me to rub some wasabi or chilli on the nipples which might have the effect of making her hate my boobs forever. I considered that for a split second before I decided it seems a little too cruel on a toddler. I'm not sure if that was a convenient excuse or if it was me who was the one reluctant to put an end to our journey. All I do know is that I do treasure this bond and I will deeply miss these days when they are finally over.

******



Well, that means we are coming to six months delayed from the initial plan but when it comes to breastfeeding, I don't think there should be any plan in the first place. The longer the better, right? It's one of the perks of being a stay-at-home mum who can let her child latch on at any time of the day, so I think I am going to do my best to hang in there a little longer before trying to wean her completely. Moreover, breastfeeding still remains as the most effective way to calm her and the quickest way to make her fall asleep.

While it might be exhausting and taxing to hear her pleas for "Neh neh" eight times or more a day, at the same time, it feels so extremely endearing and sweet too. You know what I mean? That's probably something that only mums will understand.

Two years might have passed but for now, she still feels very much like my baby. And I can't tell you just how much I am cherishing this feeling.

How was your breastfeeding journey like? Do you have any tips on how to wean a child who is very much dependent on mummy's boobs for comfort?

4 comments:

  1. Sigh as for me, 2.5 years and she still asks 妈妈,我要喝奶. I console myself with the fact that she only seeks me for comfort when she gets up in the night. I'm not sure when I'll stop but no, not when she's 10! But for now, she's still a baby!

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    1. I know! I tell myself I should be happy that she only wants Mummy, no matter how tiring it gets! =) Seems like our second one tends to be more dependent on mummy's boobs! Yes yes, for now, they are still our babies for sure! =) I will miss this feeling when she's not anymore, ya know!

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  2. for my second who I know will be my last I stopped at 3+ close to 4. wanted to prolong the bond cos breastfeeding mummies will understand the bonding. however she developed a decayed tooth which was my wakeup call, i think it's the night feeds for comfort. ended up needing a root canal. so it was cold turkey for her as she was old enuf to reason.

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    1. Power mama, close to 4yo!!! I see I see, decayed tooth sounds bad and is a strong, valid reason to finally stop bfing. Good that she was old enough then to understand! I'm sure those four years were very precious for both of you! Thanks for sharing about your experience!

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