Desperately Weaning Zoe
I’ve been trying to wean Zoe from breastfeeding for the longest time. One year turned to two, two years turned to three, and she’s still at it. I usually get the “whaaat?!” reaction from people who mean well and I try my very best not to go into technicality on how breastmilk is still best for babies even beyond the 2 years’ mark. A part of me still wants to keep on keeping on, knowing that it’s best to wait for the time Zoe thinks she’s ready to let go, but a part of me wants to give breastfeeding a rest. Believe me, breastfeeding a newborn is far, far different from breastfeeding a toddler.
As much as I would want to self-wean her, I’ve also been desperate so as to try all sorts of tricks like ginger, lipstick, band-aid, and, ah yes, even Tabasco sauce, which among all these made me feel like I’ve been one bad, selfish momma. The Tabasco made her sleep without feeding the whole night, but come morning, she forgot about the Tabasco altogether and, to my surprise, breastfed as if there was no tomorrow. (Note: I fell asleep too without rinsing out the hot sauce!)
With credit due to Zoe, I’ve noticed that she’s minimized her feedings, especially her night feedings, and I see that she looks for my breasts more as a pacifier than a source of milk. I actually doubt if there’s still enough milk left. She usually gets her daily supply of fresh milk and can finish a one-liter carton in a day. I’ve been talking to her a lot about how she’s getting older and how, with God’s blessing, she might be an Ate Zoe in the near future. With this, I would relay to her stories of how she was when she was a newborn, how her future baby brother or sister would want my milk day in and day out, and how she will have to help me with that. Matter-of-factly, she tells me, “Oh I know, what if I will share my milk with my baby brother?” And when I prod her further that I might run out of milk and her baby brother/sister will have nothing else to eat because he or she can only drink mommy’s milk, she replies, “then mom, you’ll have to drink lots of water so you’ll have milk.” I suppress a giggle, but deep inside I was laughing and totally impressed at how her little mind works. I guess she still wants to get the best of both worlds, which means I have to face the fact that I might still be a “milking cow” for a long, long time.
P.S. Any suggestions on how I can wean my daughter sans the trauma of weaning will be welcome : )