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February 2007
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April 2007

Weaning a Breastfeeding Toddler, Part Two!

I thought I'd update you on my weaning attempts. How's the weaning going? Simple answer, it's not!! Jack is not at all impressed and instead of graciously accepting that I have breastfed him for 20 months, he has decided to rebel against any attempts to stop and has upped the ante!

The first night was fine. He woke up three times and screamed the house down but each time I gave him a few sips of water and eventually he went back to sleep whilst holding my hair which has become somewhat of a security blanket for him at the moment. (I dread how I'm going to wean him off that particular habit!!)

Night two Jack really went for it. He resisted all attempts to prevent breastfeeding and eventually I foolishly gave in just so that I could get some sleep.

On the third night my wonderful hubby, aka Grumpy Old Man, had organised a surprise birthday party for me. He had invited all my family around after telling me he was taking me out for a meal and that my mum was coming to babysit (in order to get me all dressed up!). I was thrilled when people started arriving and couldn't believe he had organised it all by himself. (Although he later confessed my mum had a part to play in it all!).

Anyway, needless to say it was a very late night, again the weaning didn't go well and I gave in to the screaming bundle of frustration (Jack, not hubby!) at least twice...

And so to last night...

Well, last night was no better and as far as I can recall I breastfed Jack three times!

Admittedly I now realise it's time for strict self-discipline. I really do want to get Jack weaned but I find it hard to avoid giving in to him when he gets distressed, pulls at my clothes and pleads with me in his sweet little baby voice, "Mama Dooce" (Mama Juice!!).

Maybe I need to take a long lonesome holiday far away from that little voice - that would certainly do the trick! :)

Me and My Boy!

Just the Two of Us! In my last post I lamented the fact that I have started to properly wean Jack. But today, as I was thinking about whether my reasons for doing so were selfish or sensible, I came across a couple of posts from my breastfeeding blog carnival fellow bloggers.

Angela at Breastfeeding 123 has a great post full of night-time weaning tips which I plan on trying out over the next few days. And she got me thinking that if I can stop the night-time breastfeeding then I could still breastfeed Jack during the day until he reaches his second birthday; perhaps then it won't be such a big wrench for both of us!

Meantime I also discovered that Andi at Mama Knows Breast is also contemplating life without breastfeeding once her baby hits his first birthday in a couple of weeks!

So it seems I'm certainly not alone in my weaning plans!

By the way, I've just uploaded some more of my photos to my Flickr  page if any one wants a peek! They have nothing to do with breastfeeding but hey, I am a breastfeeding mum and they are my photos and this is my blog!! :)

Also whilst I'm shamelessly promoting my photos, I thought I'd mention Grumpy Old Man (hubby) has finally posted his five things few people know about him which I tagged him for last week!

Weaning a Breastfeeding Toddler!

After twenty LONG, sometimes difficult, but mostly wonderful months of breastfeeding, I have finally decided the time has come to stop.

I have a number of reasons for this but mainly it comes down to the fact that I personally feel the time is right. Jack has never slept through the night (apart from a handful of times) and the lack of sleep is killing me.

I weaned my daughters at around sixteen months and loved having the energy to take them places like the seaside, park and shops - but the exhaustion now has got so bad that I just feel hungover every morning! And at this point in my life I feel like I shouldn't be desiring a daytime nap at any and every opportunity! I'm only 33 for goodness sake, not 93! In fact there are probably many 93 year olds out there who have a much more active lifestyle than I do right now.

I do feel a little bit sad that I am unlikely to make it to the two years that the World Health Organisation recommends but I am delighted to have made it this far - and not that I feel the need to justify my decision, but Jack is big for his age - people often ask me if he and Sarah are twins and she is a full two years older than him!!

So how am I going about weaning my little breastfed boy?

Well I'm not so cruel or so foolish (I am well aware of the risks, signs and symptoms of Mastitis if I stop too suddenly!) as to just stop his bawbaw! (In fact as I sit here typing he is having  a breastfeed!) But during the day I do encourage him to drink milk, juice or water from a sippy cup and during the night I have given him a few sips from my own precious pint of water - which he accepts quite happily and then goes back to sleep.

Basically I am just slowly reducing the all too frequent breastfeeds and replacing them with other sources of fluid... And so far so good. However, I do realise that sometimes all he wants is a breastfeed and at those times I am happy to oblige.

It's working for now and hopefully over the next few weeks I'll have him fully weaned by simply carrying on the way I am - it worked for the girls so let's see if it works for Jack!

It's Mother's Day!

Yesterday, St Patrick's Day, today Mother's Day - in the UK and Ireland anyway! So here's a Happy Mother's Day wish to all you breastfeeding mums out there. :)

So far I've had a lovely time and Grumpy Old Man excelled himself bringing me breakfast (Tea, toast and TWO boiled eggs!) in bed, cooking a lovely chicken casserole for dinner with ice-cream, fresh fruit and apple and blackberry pie for dessert and taking me out for a drive in the Cooley Mountains so that I could take a few photos for Lens Camera Action! (Ya see he's not always grumpy! :))

Anyhow why don't you join me and put your feet up, take it easy, enjoy a bit of a pampering and have a well-deserved rest!

That's what I'm intending to do anyway...

(I'm barely fit to move now anyway after the feed I had but Jack will get the benefit of all the calories later and a boosted and tasty sweet milk supply I'm sure!!)

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Happy St Patricks Day Happy St Patrick's Day- especially to those of you far from the old turf!

I'm just heading off with kids and hubby in tow to watch the parades in town! We'll probably get jostled and bumped by some old drunks... but sadly we'll not be joining them in drowning the shamrock for the foreseeable future - what with the breastfeeding and just being responsible parents! ;)

Anyway,  it's usually a fun day and the kids enjoy dressing up in silly hats and glasses etc! So I'm sure we'll all enjoy ourselves - assuming the rain stays away, which, looking a the sky appears increasingly unlikely!!

If you are going out today have a fun time - and keep a close eye on your little ones!

Oops I've been Tagged! You're Next?

Thanks sooo much for tagging me Cybez... I just love revealing stuff about myself that only the select few already know!

So what five secrets will I reveal about my life. Hmm that's hard for me because I usually tell everything to everyone - loath as I am to admit it, my dear old dad often speaks true words of wisdom. Regarding the quickest way to spread news, with a twinkle in his eyes he takes enormous delight in saying, "Telegraph, telephone, tellawoman". So honestly there's not a lot left that people don't know about me!

But after a bit of a think about it, here's what I've managed to dredge up from the depths of my memory:

  1. Shamefully I used to have a granny perm - not a good look for a 14 year old girl; I was nicknamed "teacosy" by the boys in my street!
  2. I once visited Fota Wildlife Park in Cork, Ireland, and noticed a gate had been left open in the cheetahs enclosure. The cheetahs noticed at the same time. One looked at me, looked at the gate, told all his friends and decided to have me for lunch. Much to Stan's amusement I started to run screaming towards a big tree which I thought I could climb to escape (this from someone who has NEVER climbed a tree in her life!) People all around were taking great delight in watching my impromptu display of fear and falling about laughing. Needless to say the cheetahs didn't escape and I have never returned  to the park since... because I know they are just waiting for me!
  3. I bought my mum a pet hamster for Mother's Day when I was twelve - because she wouldn't buy one for me! She wasn't a happy mother that day! (Tara wants a horse. I've said no. It's Mother's Day on this Sunday...)
  4. I am absolutely petrified of flying and spend the whole time I'm on a plane listening for bad noises, willing the propellors to keep spinning and studiously reading the stewardesses faces...
  5. I am afraid of lions and believe I may have been eaten by one in a previous life - every time I see one I am sure he is just waiting for his moment to pounce (hence the thing with the cheetahs!) ... but then again I used to think maybe I was a lion in a past life so I don't know what that all means!!

Okay that's my dirty laundry aired so now I tag Sandy, Tracey, Grumpy Old Man (how could I not?), Jennifer and Tanya! Tell five things few people know about you. I'm waiting...

Breastfeeding Blog Carnival - Good Advice/ Bad Advice

Welcome to the fifth Breastfeeding Blog Carnival!

This month's topic is one many mums will be familiar with - good and bad breastfeeding advice!

As usual, everyone involved in the Breastfeeding Carnival has worked extremely hard putting together lots of excellent posts, the links to which are at the bottom of mine!

So here goes - enjoy!

Good Advice/ Bad Advice

As any breastfeeding mum will tell you, when you openly admit to either breastfeeding your child or to considering breastfeeding when you are pregnant, the advice from often well-meaning professionals and strangers comes flooding in. You are presented with a colourful array of tales - many of which stem from "this happened to a friend of mine" and so the urban myths take hold.

In my own experience I was very fortunate in that all I ever got was good advice, the best of which was being told by my health visitor to take breastfeeding as a whole on a feed-by-feed and day-by-day basis rather than aiming to breastfeed for a set period of time.

By proferring such words of wisdom the pressure to breastfeed for X number of months was immediately lifted and ironically I went on to breastfeed each of my babies for at least 15 months (still going strong wth number three at 20 months!) as opposed to the initial three months I had been aiming for!

Not all new mums are so lucky though. Just a few weeks ago I reported how one mother with a peanut allergy was advised by her GP not to breastfeed as it would make her baby more susceptible to allergies! Another lady I spoke to in just the last couple of days told me how she was advised to quit breastfeeding by her GP because she had mastitis!

With GP's of all people dispensing such bad advice, who can breastfeeding mums turn to in those early days when they feel everything they do is being judged and that everyone but them knows the answers?

Luckily, there are many organisations and groups just waiting to help. From breastfeeding support workers/ lactation consultants to websites like The Breastfeeding Network and La Leche League there is ample great advice and support available - assuming new mums know where to look of course.

And therein lies the rub...

Because if no-one is spreading the word about such wonderful sources of breastfeeding help, breastfeeding mums feel isolated, helpless and are obviously vulnerable to bad advice.

So I challenge every breastfeeding mother out there, instead of just offering your own words of support why not make a point of mentioning the names of the support workers, helplines, books and websites where professional breastfeeding support is available or which you made use of when you had problems.

Together let us put an end to all the bad advice that is scaring mums off and encouraging them to quit breastfeeding at the first hurdle. And if  your good advice helps just one mum embark upon or continue breastfeeding then isn't that one more success story for us all?

Please visit the following regular contributors to the Breastfeeding Blog Carnival to read more stories of Good/ Bad Breastfeeding Advice:

Angela at Breastfeeding 123 writes about how to get good medical advice on breastfeeding.

Tanya from The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog lists some of the commonly heard breastfeeding advice, good and bad, which bombards new mothers as well as suggesting ways to ensure the advice you get is good.

Andi at Mama Knows Breast suggests way to find a good Lactation Consultant and offers some breastfeeding tips.

Jennifer from The Lactivist writes about her own experience of exclusively pumping breastmilk for her newborn and offers advice and resources for other mums facing the same dilemma.

Please also check out this month's guest contributors:
Jennifer from Black Breastfeeding Blog writes about how her mother came to the rescue when she first started breastfeeding.
The Baby Gravy Train lists some useful things that made breastfeeding easier to cope with during the early awkward weeks.
Micky at Mocha Milk urges mums to learn to weed out the good advice from the bad by trusting their own instincts and seeking advice from reputable sources.
Karen at Cairo Mama confides that her own experiences taught her that breastfeeding is not a test and does not always work out as expected.
Stacie from The Twinkies lists some of the things she wishes she had known about breastfeeding when she first began her journey.
Steph from Random Wonderings posts a beautifully moving piece about her own disappointing attempts at breastfeeding.

I Should Have Done It Myself!

Yesterday I had a bit of a grumble about the kids breaking everything. Well, just look at what my husband did to our lovely sofa last night:

My Burnt Sofa!

We had bought a new aquarium (for my upcoming birthday) and he decided to set it up - even though I was quite keen to do it myself. Anyway, as I sat here typing up yesterday's post he wandered into the kitchen to enquire if I was cooking something. When I replied in the negative he sloped back into the lounge with a puzzled look on his face.

Approximately 60 seconds later I heard a frantic roaring noise and ran into the living room to see him standing with an electrical appliance in his hands. At first I thought he was being electrocuted... but it was not to be!  ;)

Instead he exclaimed, "I've burned an effing hole in the sofa!"

And so he had - with the water heater for the aquarium which he had switched on and then sat on the sofa as he read the manual!

I said nothing (for once!) and simply returned to my laptop. I had decided during my previous post not to get too worried about stuff  anymore - after all I knew I could just turn the cushion over.

But he knows from past experience I will NEVER ever let him live it down!!

It Works!

My children break everything. Make that anything and everything. And when I first embarked on my breastfeeding journey and got mastitis on more occasions than I care or want to remember, I recall thinking with horror that they had broken me too!

No-one warns you when you are growing up that children break things. One day you are an independent happy-go-lucky woman, the next time you look you are an over-stressed mother of three dependents and everything has well and truly changed!

No longer can you leave your makeup bag unattended whilst you run upstairs to switch off a beeping alarm clock - if you do by the time you return one of your children will have smeared your very expensive, only-for-luxury-nights-out special lipstick all over the sofa! 

Nor can you leave a glass of water unattended anywhere in your home because wherever you leave it someone small and very agile will find a way to tip it over. (Jack has been known to pour a bedside glass of water over Sarah as she lay sleeping in the middle of the night.)

And don't ever leave CD's or DVD's unprotected for any length of time. When Tara was a toddler Stan treated himself to a couple of new and much longed for CD's. Unfortunately he left them on the kitchen table when someone phoned him. To his horror when he returned to the kitchen Tara had managed to get both out of their covers and had one under each hand as she used them to shimmy herself along the tiled floor!

Speaking of CD's and DVD's, now that she is older she is much more careful - especially with her own - but her baby brother Jack is the culprit these days. However, all is not lost anymore with such things...

I have just had about 10 CD's and DVD's repaired that were consigned for the dustbin. I couldn't quite bring myself around to actually placing them in the bin as one in particular was a firm Playstation favourite, Barbie Horse Adventures, and was no longer available to buy.

A few weeks before Christmas I came across an advertisement for a company called Scratch Busters who skim damaged CD's and DVD's and fix them. I sent off for some information but with all the hustle and bustle of the festive period I forgot all about it and only when clearing out last week came across the form and envelope they had sent me.

At first I was a bit reluctant to post off the disks thinking it couldn't possibly work especially considering the state of some of ours - but we have just in the last few days received ours back and all but two were fixed. (The two that couldn't be repaired were refunded.) And all of the fixed ones are working perfectly, much to the delight of the children!

So it seems in the world of parenting all is not lost when it comes to damaged disks - but what about damaged mummys?

I for one am feeling the effects of Jack's extended breastfeeding experience and I fear the time is drawing very close for it all to end. I'm proud that I have managed to breastfeed for so long especially as I only ever intended to breastfeed for the first year or thereabouts. Jack has rarely slept through the night in all the time I've breastfed him (I think he slept through three times in all!) And I need a rest.

So watch out Jack - after a long 20 months of breastfeeding, your night-time feeding is reaching its end. And your recently developed 3am porridge fests will be stopping too. Mummy needs sleep or she may be irreparably broken. And as far as I'm aware science hasn't yet come up with a way to fix that one!!