Ever since I gave birth to my son a little over two years ago, breastfeeding has been a huge, and overwhelmingly positive, part of our relationship. Once we got over our initial latching struggles and new-to-nursing adjustments, we've had a really great experience. While I always left open the possibility that I might wean him if I felt I needed to, I long planned to let him self-wean whenever he was ready. However, one of the many things no one tells you about weaning is that breastfeeding aversions are totally a thing, and they can strike anyone, even confirmed nursaholics like myself, even if we're not pregnant. Now that they have, and don't seem to be going away (especially at night, shudder), I've made the tough choice to start gently nudging him along our previously unpaved path to weaning.
Technically speaking, we’ve been weaning since day one, particularly once he started eating solid foods, and slooooowly started letting solid food take the place of some of his nursing sessions. Now that he's getting bigger and I’m feeling some breastfeeding agitation, that doesn't seem to be going away, I know I need to move this process along a little faster than it might otherwise proceed.
While I'm really looking forward to moving on from this phase of life, I'm really sad about it, too. In addition to being a pretty big part of our relationship, breastfeeding has been a pretty useful tool in my parenting arsenal. I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty bummed to be forfeiting my two "get out of tears/chores/awkward conversations with extended family members during the holidays free" cards. I, like, actually have to learn how to parent a mood-swingy toddler now, and that's really hard. I didn't realize it would be this hard; no one ever really told me anything about weaning, much less anything about weaning a toddler who still really loves to nurse. So in the interest of helping someone else feel way less in the dark than I have during this process, here are a few things I wish someone had told me about weaning before I got started.