What to Do if Weaning Your Baby is Emotional

Weaning your baby can be emotional

What to Do if Weaning Your Baby is Emotional

When the time has come to wean your baby, not only are there physical considerations which we talked about here, but there will also be A LOT of emotions.

Each time I weaned one of my babies, I felt equal parts relief and a deep sadness. For me, weaning meant that their baby stage was over and they were turning into little people. I also felt like I was taking something away from them that brought them a lot of comfort.

However, I also knew that a year of nursing was what was right for me and I didn’t want to go beyond that. Obviously everyone is different. For some, a year is not nearly enough and for others, a year is months too long.

Here are a few tips for what to do to help you get through the wide array of emotions that accompanies weaning.

Find Other Ways to Connect

For many mothers who nurse, that time is sacred. It’s a quiet moment to bond. If you are missing those moments, find another way to connect with your baby. Try taking five minutes every morning to read a book together while your baby has a bottle or sippy of milk. You could also make it a priority to take a walk together after dinner every day, wearing your baby. That way you still get the physical closeness of nursing.

If you're feeling emotional, make a list of everything you gain by weaning

If you’re feeling emotional, make a list of everything you gain by weaning

Take Time for Yourself

Taking time for yourself sounds so easy but we all know it’s not! One of the best parts of weaning is the freedom you gain from not being attached to a baby or pump every few hours. To celebrate, take yourself to a movie with friends or for a mani/pedi without worrying about when you have to be home. Even a single outing can help you remember the freedom you have just gained which can help counteract the more negative feelings you may be having.

Make a List

If you are still struggling, try making a list of all the ways weaning is going to enhance your life. What would you put on there? For me mine included: not having to wash pumping supplies, not having to pump after a night out when all I wanted to do was crawl into bed, being able to consider traveling without the logistics of pumping, the freed up cabinet space in my kitchen where all my pumping supplies and bottles currently resided, and the list went on.

That didn’t mean that I was 100% glad to be done breastfeeding, but it made it easier to remember that even though I missed my time with my baby — and I missed giving him the comfort of nursing — I was my own person again, and that felt pretty great.

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