Now that it's been 3 weeks, I can say that Collins is completely on whole milk and is sleeping through the night. Hallefreakinlujah!
If you don't want to hear about breastfeeding, go ahead and skip this post. I wanted to write about this because I was clueless on how to do it and couldn't find much info on how and when to do it. I wanted her weaned by the time she was 1 so we started the week before she turned 11 months.
She weaned out of 2 of the feedings on her own around 10 months. I didn't offer and she didn't notice about her late morning session or before dinner session. I just made sure to replace them with a snack. Usually fruit in morning and crackers of some sort in afternoon.
On Oct 13 I started dropping 1 feeding a week. Morning one went first, then before nap and then before bed. The first week I mixed breastmilk and whole milk. I had enough frozen milk that I didn't have to pump, I just let my body adjust to the new schedule. I knew she wouldn't drink much milk from a sippy yet so I did 2 oz breastmilk with 1 oz whole milk. I was right, she wasn't a big fan but would drink 1-2 oz of it. We tried it warm and cold. She was still nursing twice a day and in the middle of the night so I wasn't worried. Later in the week I switched to 2 oz whole milk and 1 oz breastmilk. She still wasn't drinking much of it.
The next week, I gave her all whole milk (warm) and she drank it!! We dropped the before nap nursing this day too and again, she drank all the whole milk. It took a little bit of crying the 2nd day for her to take a nap without nursing before. But that was the only day. I think she either didn't like breastmilk in a sippy or didn't like them mixed together. She was loving the whole milk by itself though.
That same week, she was waking earlier and earlier in the "middle of the night" to nurse. On Wedneaday it hadn't even been 3 hours and she was crying. I said there was no way I was already going to nurse her, so we made her cry. We set the timer for 20 min. I always give in closer to 15 min but we just went in there, rubbed her back and walked back out. Took over an hour but for once, the crying it out actually worked!!
The second night she woke up before midnight but only cried 8 min before falling back asleep! And just like that, the middle of the night nursing was done. She still sometimes wakes up but either goes right back to sleep on her own or we just give her her binky and cover her back up. It's been glorious.
That next Monday it was time to drop the last nursing session. Before bed one. Derek was out of town for work so I just sat in the rocker with her and she drank her milk from her sippy. I sang her a song and into her bed she went. She turned over and went right to sleep. Really?! Your not even going to care?! I'm chopped liver just like that?!
I was a little sad about it but mostly happy. Happy with myself for making it 11 months, happy I was able to provide her with 11 months of nutrition and ssooo happy to have some freedom. Our breastfeeding experience had a lot of ups and downs but I can pat myself on the back for sticking with it and not giving up the countless times I considered it. Now drying up was a whole other experience. OUCH it was painful!!!