So… my little baby is now a whole year old. I breastfed her for her first six months of life. I couldn’t believe I still had milk, although I understood how milk production worked. Every time she would leave a satisfied customer, or I pumped more than six ounces of milk (at 5, 6 months) I was in such awe! You know? Some friends and family members suggested I give her some cereal in a bottle, so she may sleep longer at night. We stuck it out though, she and I (and dad), and made it to six months with breastmilk only.
The introduction of solid food was slow, and I breastfed her as much as I could so production would remain decent. She would eat her solids and ger her fill, so that even if I offered her a breastfeeding session (I know it sounds like I was trying to give my baby a coupon/voucher for Eat One Drink One Free) she would think she was interested but soon realized she was too full to eat (or drink) anything else.
Now at 12 months she eats a lot of solid baby foods and I breastfeed her 2 to 3 times daily. Because of the amount of milk I produce (which is far away from the 6-10 ounces I boasted at six months) and because of some other reasons, my husband and I have been talking about weaning her off this awesome mama milk. I don’t know if she heard us and understood what the plan was, and I must say I am very suspicious of this… but all of a sudden all she wants to do when she sees me is “Um?” “Um?” . Oh, this means: “Food?” “Food?”. Well, “Um?” she says with an inquisitive intonation. It literally means “I am hungry, may I have some food?”. Actually it used to only mean this. Now, when she sees me after work, whether she is hungry or not, and whether she is sleepy or not she says “um?” to say “I want to relax in your arms and suckle. I may get some milk, or I may not. Either way, may you pick me up and let me suckle?” Awwww… right? How can I say no to that?
Well, as most mothers will tell you, some times we have to say no; even if it is a temporary answer. My little babe, however, doesn’t yet know about temporary answers, and unless she is distracted by daddy or her sister, or a box, or a tag, she doesn’t take too well to a delay in the fulfillment of her new “um?” request.
As soon a I can (and some times I make this ‘can’ happen faster than I thought I could, because again…how can I say no that special “um?”) I pick her up, and let her suckle. We have a little ritual conversation, a little mom’s-face-smacking, nose pinching & poking (things she does to me; not vice versa), and she relaxes as she said she would. Yes, she is 12 months old, how could I know what she is saying exactly? Pshh… how could I not know? Come on now! 😉
As she lays there I wonder how I will wean her off the breastfeeding and suckling. It truly is such a unique bonding experience between mother and child, and she shows much more awareness of it now than ever before; now that daddy and I spoke about ‘the weaning’. I tell you, you have to be careful what you say around children!
I won’t go on and on with this story 🙂 I am just sharing the present moment with mothers and parents out there who may or may not be going through a similar experience with their babies. Word of unsolicited advice (which comes with the territory of parenthood, right? People are always willing to offer you advice, whether you ask for it or not. But you know it comes from a good place, so it’s all good 🙂 ) … 1) Enjoy every moment with your baby without wishing for the next stage, as it will come all too quickly. 2) Don’t have certain convesations in front of your baby; she may hear you and sabotage your plans! 🙂