Now that we’re nearing Graham’s first birthday, I’m seriously plotting my strategy for weaning Graham from breastfeeding. It’s been real, but, sweet baby boy, I am done! Not only is little G going to lose his boob privileges soon, but I’ve also been reading about how it’s recommended that 1-year-olds no longer get a bottle. Something about oral health, preventing tooth decay … What a big change this will be for our little guy!
I’ve heard that the bedtime bottle/nursing is usually the most difficult to drop as it’s usually baby’s favorite. Not so with us. Months ago I decided that we would give Graham a bottle at bedtime instead of nursing him—I didn’t want to be the only one who could get him settled for bed. So I would pump every night before I went to sleep, and that would be the bottle he’d get the next night.
About a month and a half ago we decided to drop the bedtime bottle. Our little man is such a good eater and usually eats a pretty substantial dinner. Because our dinner is only about an hour before his bedtime, we noticed he wasn’t finishing his bedtime bottles anymore because he was already pretty full. It’s gone over surprisingly well. I’m still pumping before bed, which has allowed me to increase my freezer stash a little—that’s comforting.
Our bedtime routine has changed a bit. It’s been simplified since beginning sleep training. After dinner we play for about a half-hour—reading books and playing in the living room. (This week, his favorite activity is stacking cups, putting small items in cups and pulling them out over and over again.) Then daddy does bathtime, brushes his little teeth, lotions him up and puts his pajamas on him. Then I usually take over to read three books in his dark room with the night-light and then rock him and cuddle for about five minutes. I say good night, put him in the crib and close the door behind me.
It’s still far from perfect; Graham still fights getting in his crib almost every night. I’m still waiting for the day that I say good night and put him in the crib and see his little smiling face happily drift off to a peaceful all night’s slumber. But it’s getting better. Last night he fussed lightly for about five minutes before I saw him (on the monitor) roll over and go to sleep until 5:15 a.m.
He usually wakes up for an early morning feeding around 4:45-5:30 a.m. That’s when I bring him to bed with me and nurse him—and we sleep together for another hour or so. This is the feeding I’m most dreading giving up. It’s so easy and sweet. But once I cut out all of the other feedings, I doubt my body will continue to produce milk for just a morning feeding. We shall see.