How, When, Why?
Meeka has always been a boob girl. She loves to nurse. She latched on immediately in the hospital, and has been trying to live attached to my boob ever since. She’s currently working out her own exercise routine, tentatively called “Breastfeeding Gymnastics” – and no, it’s not the boobs doing the gyrating (thank god!) but rather, the baby trying to see how many ways she can contort herself while still keeping the nipple in position (she’s got some good rotation going, as well as some pretty impressive one-leg-only poses)
Of course, the converse of this is that she is not now, and never has been, a bottle babe. Since she is in daycare, she does get them … But doesn’t really like to drink from them. And, like her mommy, can be very stubborn. And good at refusing what she doesn’t want. And so – some days when I pick her up, she’s had only 4oz from a bottle. (Other days, she’s had 20oz. So. Yeah) They offer, she refuses. And refuses. And refuses.
Which leads to a bit more night feeding than I’d like. OK, a lot more night feeding than I’d like.
Now, my basic parenting philosophy is to do what is best for the baby – go where she leads, etc etc (within reason). Which in this case, seems to be, stick with the boob, lady! Sure. Fine. I’m OK with that, in general…
(You knew there was a but)
My problem is that my husband and I are leaving on vacation in 2 months. For 10 days. Without the baby.
She’ll be one year, at that point. My mom is coming to stay with her, in our apartment, her familiar environment. She’ll be going to daycare every day like usual. (Yes, I am still talking myself into this, a bit. Because – I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE MAH BABY!!! MY PRESHUS LITTLE BABY!!! … On the other hand, VACATION! Alone, with my husband, in an exotic locale, to celebrate 5 years of marriage and the end of his training and x y z… But this isn’t a discussion of that, really.)
Sure, it’s 2 months away. A LOT can change in that time (and most likely will). But I know my stubborn little one. I know I need to think and plan for this now. Because it might just take her that long to adjust… But to what? That’s my problem. I don’t quite know what to do with this situation.
Do I stay on course – which is nursing at wake up, upon return from daycare, at bedtime, and then on demand at night? (Generally 1-2x per night, though she’s had a sleep regression recently)
Do I try to gradually wean from the boob? (Ideally get down to wake up and bedtime nursing, perhaps?) And how do I do this? Any tips?
I don’t want to cut it all out now, that’s not on the table. For one thing, I’d like to nurse at least a year. It’s working for us (too well, that’s the problem).
But what would an abrupt cut-off when I leave do?
And… If we’re still going with the nursing then, would we be able to pick it back up when I return? (I know that would mean pumping while away, which I am OK with doing if I thought she’d still want to nurse when I got back. But would she? After 10 days without? I know some kids go right back to it after a 2-3 day break, but a longer one?!?!)
(And I’m also wary of how any changes would affect her milk intake – right now, despite being at daycare all day, the majority of it is via nursing. If I cut this back, then perhaps the bottle intake would go up. But… if it didn’t… DEHYDRATION! My least favorite nemesis, since we went down that road once before… And while we’d be watching closely for that, how to fix it if she’s refusing bottles? ARGH!)
(And yes, given my reading, I should be all zen and “my job is to provide the food, her job is to eat it”. And I am, sort of. But I also know how stubborn she can be about drinking… such that she dehydrated herself once before… So that makes the zen-state a bit harder to attain)
She’s offering you the sippy cup. Because she sure isn’t going to drink from it!