When R was a baby, she didn’t want to nurse. It took two months of trying, pumping, and supplementing with formula before we got the hang of it. She would still have formula but the majority was nursing. At nine months old, she decided that she was done nursing. That was it. Seven good months of nursing. At that point, any time I would offer her the breast she would scream at me. If I pumped she would take the bottle but nursing was out. I continued to pump for a while more, then switched to formula until she was getting enough nutrition through her solid food.
N was different (because all babies are). He took to nursing almost instantly. I pumped on occasion in the beginning so that C could have a turn to feed N, and also to help with my milk supply. However, N was not a big fan of bottles and the one time we gave him formula he spat it out. I’m sure if we tried different brands of formula and bottles we could have found ones that worked, but N was nursing well enough for that to not be necessary.
For a long time, I used nursing as a way to get N to sleep for naps and bed time. I knew it wasn’t a long term solution, but it was so convenient. Recently we started sleep coaching, putting N down awake and letting him fall asleep on his own in the crib. We have been working on this for a few weeks now. He is pretty good at bed time but nap time can be a struggle. Half the time he puts himself down for a nap on the couch or falls asleep in the car if we are out. His nursing had also gone down to twice a day, before nap time and before bed time.
The last two days have been different. N hasn’t nursed. Yesterday wasn’t a big surprise because we were out all day. His nap was in the car seat and he fell asleep in the car on the way home that evening. Sometimes he will wake up in the middle of the night and I will nurse him to calm him but he slept through the night. Today was the shocker. When nap time rolled around, he just wanted cuddles. N climbed up onto my lap and fell asleep. That was it! He didn’t say “naa” (nurse) or pull down my shirt looking for my breasts. He just gave me a hug, laid back, and passed out. When it got to bed time, I was fully expecting him to kick and scream until he got to nurse, but I was wrong again. I got him all ready for bed than told him it was bed time. He just nodded at me like ‘of course it’s bed time mommy, why else would I have pajamas on’. I put him in the crib expecting him to change his mind, but he couldn’t have been happier. He asked for hugs and kisses and that was it. Not even a peep after I closed the door.
I know twenty months is a solid time for nursing, and more than double what R did, but it still feels like it’s too soon to be done. I guess that is true for a lot of things children grow out of though. And, no matter how old they get, they will always be my babies!