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How I weaned my 3 year old

It’s over!!

A late post- Late because for many days I wasn’t sure if it was over.

I thought I would give in and like always we’d start all over again; but it didn’t happen. He kept coming back to me, pleading, asking if I was okay and if I could offer him his favourite aadudu( his word for breast/breastmilk)

It broke my heart each time, but I denied because it was getting tough for me to continue our breastfeeding journey, tougher than it was to control myself from starting again, giving in to those yearning eyes.
29th January 2019 was the last day he nursed, Just when he completed 34 months of breastfeeding.

I started conditioning him long back (can’t recall) but it’s been many months. He would talk to aadudu, sing songs and say things like “I’m so happy to see aadudu”, “ye mera aadudu hai”, “I love you aadudu”.

I asked him that soon aadudu will stop as he was growing up and that he must thank aadudu for nurturing him, for making him a strong and big boy from a tiny, feeble baby that he was. He would say “aadudu thank You, aapne mujhe chhotu baby se big boy banaya”. On asking “baby when will you stop having aadudu”? He would promptly reply- “Tomorrow”, a tomorrow that never came! A tomorrow that came months later!
I have a heavy heart as I write this, but I know I did my best.

We ‘ve come a long way and we loved our nursing sessions, despite the occasional bouts of frustrations because sometimes you feel that that’s the only thing you do through the day, sometimes the back does ache from being in a certain position for long.
Weaning needs a lot of strength and determination and that is why it took me so long. I just did not have the heart to do it. With cracked nipples and toddler reaching 3, I realised that it was the best time to do it. 

Sharing my weaning journey and few tips for moms who are nursing older toddlers or older kids.

How I weaned my 34 months old child from breastmilk?

There is nothing that will help as much as talking to your child will. At almost 3 yrs I could easily to talk things out to him, he however had difficulty falling asleep without nursing.

He knew he was a big boy with teeth, a big boy who could chew on to yummy food and didn’t need breastmilk, but somehow wasn’t ready. Finally I resorted to putting band-aid on my sore nipples and told him I was hurt.

This continued for weeks and he stopped asking for it. Some stories, lots of cuddles helped us get through this phase. 

Weaning is easier with spouse and family support. 
Here are a few things you can do to make it easy for you and your child.
 
Distract- When you know your child is going to ask for it, just distract. For example, it is her naptime and you know she needs it for her naps; distract by reading a story/ singing to her and rock her to sleep. I know of some parents, who would take their child on drives and make him fall  asleep in the car. some took for stroller rides, some carried their kids in the Carrier and made them sleep. 
 
Once the day feeds have reduced, it is not so difficult to distract them.
Take a break -I know of someone who took a 4 days break and traveled with friends only so that her son could get off the breasts. 
 
Ask your husband or other family member to help-
Spouse can be the best support. Let him take over the bed time duties till the child has weaned. 
 
You can start some new bedtime rituals while you are still nursing so that your bub feels normal and the transition is smooth. 
 
few things to ensure-
 
See that the change is gradual, to help both -You and the baby. Your breasts should have reduced the supply when you plan to completely stop nursing. You don’t want to end up with plugged painful ducts. If you face engorgement use heating pads to comfort yourself. 
 
Take it slow and easy. 
 

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5 Breastfeeding Myths Busted

Pregnancy and motherhood open a gateway to the Myth-world! There is too much of information that is dumped on these new moms, most of which is nothing but myth.

Motherhood would be so much better and lesser of a worry if we didn’t have people burdening us with their belief system or with anecdotal advices.

I have been an exclusively breastfeeding mom for the first 6months of my child’s birth and I am still nursing him at 28months. This post is to bust a few of the myths that most new moms are confronted with.

Read on and do share this article with expecting and new moms.

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“Annaprashan ” The first Food ceremony

Image source: FreeFoodPhotos.com

6 months passed by and it looked like a thing of yesterday when we were all excited yet nervous about the delivery, anxiously waiting each day if it will happen today; and after the birth, as the 6 months mark approached it hit me that my baby was about to move a little further from me, beginning the solid food journey. The selfish mother in me was a little sad, seeing time fly out of my hands, it was just 6 months and I could already imagine him 6, 16 and 26 years old an independent young boy!!



I consider myself blessed as my breastfeeding journey has been smooth ever since the first moment we were born (baby A and the mommy me) and baby was put on my breast. I have read and heard horrid breastfeeding stories and struggles of new moms. My heart goes out to all the mommies who have or are struggling with breast-feeding; and the only advice I have is to tell them to hang in there; you have come this far, it too shall pass. Just don’t give up and give in to the various suggestions of all the well-intentioned aunties, those who ask you to start solids sooner than 6 months and those who tell you that your supply isn’t enough (well-intentioned, well they sure are)

The first-food ceremony in many parts of India is called Annaprashan (feeding ceremony where “anna” meaning grains or food). We had a pooja at home that was followed by feeding the baby and then a ritual wherein we keep different articles like book, pen, currency notes, a bit of soil, knife etc on a tray. The baby is expected to touch one of these, and the first thing that the baby puts his hand on is symbolic of what his future will be. It’s a funny ritual that only adds amusement to the ceremony. A initially held the entire tray; today’s babies you see, they want it all. Later he picked up a book and a pen.

A day before A’s annaprashan, I prepared date syrup to be used in the kheer that we planned to feed him as his first food; I wanted to avoid sugar completely hence date syrup. The memory of annaprashan is not a pleasant one for me as it left A with an upset stomach for almost 3 weeks, and it totally sapped me off emotionally and physically. Apparently, A was fed a bit of sweet from the market and that’s what I suspect did trouble to his tiny immature system. Well it could also be because of those few drops of kheer or little water that was offered.

Kheer
The first food of our baby

Soon after he completed 6 months and got back to his normal healthy self, I started off with solids for him. Steamed and mashed apple being the first thing, followed by banana, moong dal khichdi, avocado and naachni/ragi porridge. 

In the first month of feeding (7th month) we followed 1 meal a day and increased one meal each month; by the time we were 10 months old we had 4-5 meals schedule which included 3 major meals and 2 snacks/fruits. 
Other dishes that were offered during first few months:-
1. Nachni/ragi pancakes (egg/ eggless both)
2. Oats idli
3. Moongdal cheela
4. Beetroot parantha
5. Homemade potato fries (for snacks)
6. Homemade sweet potato fries (for snacks)
7. Makhana/lotus seeds fried in ghee (for snacks)
8. Ragi porridge
9. Khichdi
10. Porridge from homemade cereal powder mix.
11. Oats porridge
12. Oats pancake
13. Steamed broccoli florets
14. Steamed beetroot
15. Sautéed paneer (cottage cheese)

As you go about feeding solids to the baby, remember to not reduce or stop the breastmilk or formula. Formula/breastmilk should ideally remain the primary source of nutrition till the baby is 1 year. Go slow and do not worry about how little the baby is consuming, keep a check on pee and poo and that the baby is active and happy; that’s all that matters.

Happy feeding and happy weaning

Click here to see things to keep in mind while starting solids

Also do let me know in comments, how the first-food ceremonies are held in your culture?