Operation Off My Tit (aka 'Mama's Shutting Down the Milk Bar')

K. Emily Bond
8

weaning toddlersAs previously discussed, I'm still nursing my 19-month-old toddler. Simply put, he just really loves the boob. Even though I'm ready to end our long-term nursing relationship, he's not letting go ... unless I ask him to.

Yep, when I say, "Let go," he lets go, which is either really genius or flat-out weird.

What I do know is that if I don't curb his enthusiasm for my breasts, I just might go insane. Good thing I've learned a few tricks of the weaning trade, which I will try out after our next transatlantic voyage. My boobs are too precious an air travel commodity to stay holstered up for 8 hours. 

Care of La Leche League International, here's an abridged rundown on the basics of weaning:

6 Tips for Weaning Your Breastfeeding Child

1. Move him to his own bed.

2. If he doesn't ask, don't offer.

3. Switch up your routine and stand as much as possible.

4. Pass him on to other family members when he gets grabby.

5. Substitute and distract, like offering a snack or drink at that time instead.

6. Shorten the length of nursing sessions.

It's equally as efficient to exploit the fact that they understand pretty much everything you say to them. I realized this the other day when he started saying "sheet" after spending the afternoon with his auntie Jessica and her sailor mouth. 

My other sister told her weaning toddler, "Sorry, honey. Mommy's boobies are broken." And he got it. "Uh oh," he said, "poor mommy's boobies" before moving on to his Thomas the Tank Engine collection.

My cousin tried, "Listen, sweetie. We're not going to do this anymore. Okay?" And her pragmatic little guy said, "Okay," with no hurt feelings. 

Another woman I know told her son, "Your teeth are starting to hurt mommy." He felt guilty and laid off.

My trick, which I sample with on those occasions that I really don't feel like nursing (although I'm hesitant to unleash this tactic in full Operation: Off My Tit mode quite yet), is expressing a droplet of milk and letting it dangle on my nipple. Sounds repulsive, doesn't it? It is.

Theoretically my son understands what's coming out of mommy's cushions, but when he sees what that something looks like in the context of my actual flesh, it grosses him out.

He'll invariably change the subject and reject the boob of his own volition. I call this the "Ick, milk mommy!" approach.

If that doesn't work, I'm going to need some more ideas. What's your secret weaning weapon?

 

Image via Tambako the Jaguar/Flickr

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