After one year and two weeks of breastfeeding, Greta is weaned. Last Friday, I just decided it was time. Greta is drinking cow’s milk, she’s eating a ton, and she was nursing out of habit, not any real need. So I just—stopped. I didn’t really intend to do it cold turkey, and if she’d protested, I would have kept going and phased it out gradually. But this wasn’t the case. At her morning naptime, I gave her her pacifier and blankie, snuggled her close, sang her a song, and put her in her crib. She went to sleep without a peep. Same thing for her afternoon nap, and then at bedtime. I did nurse her late that night, but the next day, that was it. She’s more or less stopped waking up during the night now (though she’s been getting up quite early, like 5:30 or 6), and she goes right to sleep at naptime and bedtime. It’s like she doesn’t even remember breastfeeding was something she used to do.
I was ready to stop, but Greta is my baby, and weaning her means I have to (sort of) acknowledge that she’s not a baby-baby anymore. She’s walking, playing, trying to talk. She’s her own little person. She needs songs and stories and cuddling before bed, but she no longer needs to nurse. She is weaned.
My breastfeeding days are over. This seems like a big thing, a chapter of Having Babies that has come to a close. Not an ending to celebrate, really; just—an ending.