As surprising as it may seem, I have talked more about breastfeeding now that I have returned to work than I had while I was on maternity leave…As any new Mom can attest, the bulk of your conversations tends to focus on those little wee ones, and the sleepless nights we have because of them. And in my case, weaning my little Nugget off the boob was (and for the moment, still is) front and centre on my mind daily.
Much of this, of course, was my own doing…I was well aware of my return to work date but was very much in denial about it, and I had just started the weaning process just a few short days before. In my defence, I didn’t have to wean my first son, as he was drinking exclusively from a bottle by 10 months old, making the transition from formula to whole milk quite easy for him. Not so with my second, who has outright refused pacifiers and traditional bottles every time they were offered. So, not only was I anxious about being away from my baby for an extended period of time but I was also stressed about the possible discomfort I would have not being able to nurse while I was at work as well (and OMG would I have to pump and dump while I was at work too?!…Thankfully, I was comfortable enough that I didn’t have to pump at work.)
As the first few days passed, little Nugget and I eased into our new routine: he would nurse in the morning before I got up and ready for work; then again as soon as I got home; and, of course, at night as per usual. But as the days turned into weeks, and the more sleepless nights I seemed to be having more often than not, I had to get serious about weaning the baby and ultimately (fingers crossed) to get him to sleep through the night – two equally impossible feats. I didn’t realize how closely weaning and sleep training were intertwined.
I’ve been back to work now for almost two months and we have made much progress in our weaning journey. I have successfully managed to eliminate the boob/soothe to sleep, which is a huge victory in my opinion, and we are down to a few soothing/boob sessions in the early morning hours. Not quite the “he turns one, and we’re done” (with breastfeeding) plan I had in mind initially but we’re slowly getting there. And for all of you exhausted working Mamas who are struggling with weaning while you work…I’m here and in it with you! *BIG yawn*
In life and in parenting, everything is a process. And it is also important to remember that everything is progress. Breastfeeding was a learning process in the beginning and the same is true as it ends. Here are the 3 best tips I picked up on my weaning journey:
- To begin the weaning process, eliminate one unnecessary feed per day. (For us, it was the pre-nap morning feed)
- Slowly increase the time in between each feed. Distraction, distraction, distraction – keep that baby busy with lots of play and activity!
- Do what works for you and your Baby. And whatever doesn’t, discard immediately
Tune in next week, for Episode 2 of Confessions of a Working Mom. Until then, Girlfriends, sweet dreams!