By the time I went back to work when Sebastian was just over a year old, we were down to two feeds per day, one in the morning and one last thing at night. I loved how I would scoop him from his cot in the morning and bring him into bed for a snuggled up wake up feed. Setting my alarm early so I knew I would be able to have a lovely half hour together before the world woke up and I had to get ready for work. Sebastian had begun to call our feeds “Ning Ning!” and I would often hear him in his cot in the morning calling out for it. It would melt my heart.
One evening, just as In The Night Garden was finishing I asked Sebastian if he was ready for “Ning Ning” and the usual bound across the room didn’t happen, the clamber into my arms eager for our special pre-bed routine. So I offered a story and over he toddled, selected book in hand. My boy was growing up before my very eyes, becoming less of a baby and making decisions for himself.
The next morning we fed as normal but again when bedtime came around, he had no want or need. After that night I didn’t offer again, we had done this method to drop all feeds, if he didn’t want it I wouldn’t force it, and after a second offering I wouldn’t offer it again.
Once the bedtime feed had gone, we carried on with the morning feed for about another six weeks, during that time I often wondered just how much milk those saggy sacks were producing for just one feed per day and wondered if I was just selfishly carrying on more for my own needs than those of my baby. Then one uneventful morning, I carried Sebastian back into our bed, for what would be our last ever feed. The next day he would refuse and that would be our feeding journey over.
Had I have known I would have savoured every moment, every gulp, tried to remember exactly what he looked like in that moment, my grown up boy becoming so independent. No longer needing me. I now had no excuses to leave him, for 14 months I had been there to put him to bed every night and wake him up every morning. I felt so lost.
Our feeding journey was a wonderful experience, I was so proud not only that I was able to feed in the first place but that I had continued to do so for as long as my boy had wanted to, there had been no tears or weaning nightmares, and it reached a perfect conclusion.
I am so thankful for the support I received, without that I wouldn’t have made it.