Personally, I think it's a big accomplishment to have nursed Ben for 11+ months! I know that there are some crazy women out there who do it for 1, 2, even 3! years, but I am perfectly content with less than a year. I nursed Owen until he was about 9 months, and the only reason I stopped was because he ended up weaning himself due to a miserable teething experience. He wanted nothing to do with breastfeeding at the time and preferred the bottle.
When I first started nursing Owen, it was difficult. Neither one of us knew what we were doing; it was a learning experience. But we figured it out and stuck with it the best we could. I struggled with the worry that he wasn't nursing for a long enough time or that he wasn't getting enough nourishment, but he hit every growth milestone right on track, so I must have been doing something right. I was a bit disappointed when he started refusing to be nursed because I felt as though I was failing him; I thought that I needed to be nursing him for a longer time. (I thank all of the emails and websites and books that I read about breastfeeding that tell you that it is best to breastfeed for the first year for that guilt). I got over it after I realized how much easier it was to actually toss the kid a bottle in his crib at 5:00 in the morning, and let him fall back to sleep! And the new freedom I had to actually be away from him longer than a few hours at a time!
Ben has been a different experience. It should have been obvious to me right from the beginning how much of a Momma's Boy he was going to be by the way he immediately took to nursing. That boy latched on like he'd been doing it his whole life! Which I guess, technically, he had been..... But he took to it like a fish to water. My only concern was that he spent no longer than 10-15 minutes nursing at each feeding. When I expressed my concern to my doctor, he was actually amazed at how long Owen had spent nursing, and in fact accused him of being a greedy feeder! (Apparently all of "the books" are wrong when they say that babies are SUPPOSED to be nursing 15 minutes per side? I thought that was normal...)
Based on my experience with Owen, I only expected to be nursing Ben for about 8-9 months, but he's been such an easy teether, that he had lost no interest in nursing on his own. I am the one who had to call it quits on him. Breastfeeding with two new bottom teeth was no problem, but as soon as those top teeth came in, and Ben started experimenting with them to discover what exactly he could DO with those top teeth? THAT was the problem. The little monster started biting! And I'm sorry, but there is NO biting allowed! (I have issues with my nipples and physical contact that almost prevented me from wanting to breastfeed in the first place).
But what really did it for me, was when he took a break from feeding, and looked at my boob as though it was the first time he had really looked at it. He seemed to be thinking Hey, what is this? and then proceeded to tweak the spot where momma-don't-like-to-be-touched! And then he laughed at me. And tried to do it again. That's when I decided enough is enough, and put that puppy away. For good. Well, maybe not for good right then and there. I didn't make him quit cold turkey, but he's finished now. And imagine all of the possibilities this opens up for me! Daddio no longer has an excuse for not watching/feeding Ben! I can go away for a day (of shopping?) without taking him with me! I can leave the boys at Grandma's house for
(And because someone doesn't like it when I post without a picture, here's one for you, OBG):
|Sure, he looks all sweet and innocent, but did you check out those fangs?|