Courtesy of Crystal Henry

I Tried Weaning With Band-Aids, & It Worked Like A Charm

Ad failed to load

I'd only intended to nurse my kids until they were a year old. I'd assumed that on their first birthday they'd seamlessly graduate to a sippy cup, and then I'd part ways with breastfeeding. But then a year came and went, and they were still nursing. They were largely attached to the boob for emotional reasons: when they fell down and skinned their knees, nursing made them feel better, and it was the nightcap they needed to help them doze off to sleep at night. So I kept breastfeeding long after a year was over — not because I had anything to prove, but because it made my life a little easier.

Just before my oldest daughter turned 2, however, I caved under the social pressure to quit. As much pressure as there is on moms to breastfeed, there's an equal amount of judgement when we breastfeed past a year. After that, people assume you're just “doing it for attention” or that you're doing it to feel better about yourself as a mother.

When it was time to wean my oldest, the weaning method that worked for us was a quick spritz of apple cider vinegar on the nips before she nursed. But when it came to my second, nothing worked — until I discovered weaning with Band-Aids.

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Crystal Henry

I decided to wean my younger daughter about six months after she turned 2. One weekend, I knew I was going to be going out of town, and I wanted to make sure she had other soothing methods in place before I left. She only had a few nursing sessions at that point anyway, so I thought that weaning her would be easy.

I had the apple cider vinegar bottle ready by the nightstand, but I should’ve known by the way that baby loved lemon wedges that pickled nipples wouldn’t be a problem for her. Day after day, she powered through the vinegar and kept nursing. Eventually, I resigned myself to the idea that she’d just be one of those kindergarten breastfeeders, and there were certainly worse things than that.

Ad failed to load

Then I remembered how much she hated Band-Aids. I think it had to do with her getting vaccines at the doctor's office: every time she got a shot, the nurse would immediately cover it with a Band-Aid, and I think her brain associated the Band-Aids with pain.

Courtesy of Crystal Henry

One night, I was trying to get in the shower, and she toddled into the bathroom. The sight of my naked boobs was like popping the top off an ice-cold beer. Since the bar was already open, she wanted to knock one back. I, on the other hand, just wanted to shower in peace for a few minutes without anyone pawing at me.

Ad failed to load
"Mama’s boobies are a little owie," I sadly told her.

So I told my daughter that my boobies had bobos. She’s a compassionate child, so just the thought of someone being injured concerned her — especially since it was her milk jugs that might be damaged. I told her I needed to rest in the shower for a minute so they would feel better. But I could see the compassion on her face when she said, “Aww, I’m sorry, Mama. Your boobies have bobos?”

“Yeah, Mama’s boobies are a little owie," I sadly told her. To be fair, it wasn’t a lie. She’d been cutting some molars, and when she cut teeth she tended to clamp down a little hard on the nip. So I was pretty sore.

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Crystal Henry

When I got out of the shower, I saw the box of Band-Aids sitting on my counter. I didn’t know if it would work, and I was a little worried about ripping a Band-Aid off my nipple. But I slapped one Band-Aid over each nipple and walked out to get dressed. She was laying on my bed playing with her stuffed puppy when she looked up and saw my bandaged boobs.

I didn’t say anything as I got dressed, but she came over to investigate. “Your boobies have bobos?," she asked again. I told her yes, but they’d be okay in a little while. I put my pajamas on and laid down in bed to snuggle up with her and read. She kept looking over at my chest, and at one point, she just put her little paw right on my boob and patted it, as if to say “Get well, soon friend.”

Ad failed to load

Over the next few days, she kept asking if my boobs were feeling better. Each time, I sadly told her they were a little better, but they still had Band-Aids. I was surprised at how much empathy a toddler could have for another person, because other than newborns and politicians, toddlers are the most self-absorbed people in the world. But she was so worried about my well-being that she put her nursing needs aside until I felt better.

It turned out to be her breastfeeding swan song.

After a week of no nursing, I stopped replacing the Band-Aids. She saw me get in the shower, and she asked if my boobies were better. I told her they were, and she seemed relieved — but not for herself. She genuinely seemed glad that I was going to be OK.

Ad failed to load

She asked to nurse one more time after the Band-Aids, and I let her. I’m glad I did because it turned out to be her breastfeeding swan song. I can vividly remember lying in her bed and letting her nurse, knowing it would be the last time. As my kids get older, I've started to become very conscious of the "last time." I know there will be plenty of “last times” for things as my kids get older, and I'm glad my youngest child gave me one last time to remember. I'm happy that the Band-Aids gave me a chance to gracefully ease out of my breastfeeding journey.



Ad failed to load

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills