Weaning can mean something different for every mom. It may be a welcomed change, bittersweet, or something that you just aren't ready for yet as a parent. Whether you're planning on baby led weaning or creating a schedule for weaning your child on your own, it is an extremely tough thing to do because there's more to nursing than just feeding your child. There may be fear and anxiety about the close bond you've created with your child ending with the nursing, or that your child may not want you around as much as their independence grows. It's definitely emotional for both the little one and mom so to make things a bit easier for those of you struggling with this right now, here's a fun list of things moms can look forward to doing again once their child has weaned. Focus on the positive, and know that your little one will always love you.
1. Sleeping More at Night
The idea is that once you wean you get a bit more sleep in the middle of the night. A lot of moms look forward to this one . . . it works out sometimes.
2. Dry Clothes
Sure the occasional drink spill will still happen, but now you won't have milk spots all over your clothes. (Or pumped breastmilk all over your pants.) Yay, you!
3. Freedom From That Sour Milk Smell
There's nothing like waking up in the morning to milk-soaked pajamas, which of course reek because the milk has been sitting in your clothes for hours. Once your baby weans your clothes are now fresher longer, or at least without the sour milk scent.
4. Personal Space
Being close with your baby/child is one of the fantastic benefits of breastfeeding, and moms love it, but there's no denying that a little bit of personal space after being manhandled for so long is kind of nice. Suddenly your body isn't just the baby's anymore, it belongs to you again.
5. Drinking Alcohol
Some moms say they are excited about being able to drink beer or wine more often once their little one weans (when ready).
6. Overnight Dates
For many breastfeeding moms, nights away from the little one simply don't happen, so the idea of an overnight date somewhere fun with their partner would be refreshing. (Just be aware that you may spend the first night away doing little things like watching a movie and sleeping through the night. The fun stuff may come after a few nights away once you have regained your mojo.)
7. Working Out
If you're deprived of something enough, you miss it. This even applies to exercise, I guess. Since exercising can sometimes decrease milk supply for some moms, they simply don't. This can cause muscles to deteriorate, which makes carrying your child harder (without a carrier), and you weaker. Regain your muscle mass, tone up areas you want to be toned, and enjoy listening to your own music again while getting your fit on.
8. Less Multitasking
Have you ever pumped or nursed while working on the computer, filing things, trying to fold laundry, or doing anything else? Chances are you have, and your list of multitasking goes on. The longer your little one breastfeeds, and the more active they are, the harder this becomes. Once your child weans, you'll be able to actually sit at a desk, without hunching over, and work on just work.
9. Comfortable Car Rides
It isn't a recommended practice, but if you've ever reached over to breastfeed your infant while on a long drive, you will understand this one.
10. More Bed Space
One you're little one is done nursing they may decide to sleep in their own bed more often, or at least with a little more space between you.
11. Eating Whatever You Want
Now that you don't have to restrict your diet based on your child's food intolerances, cheese sandwiches and yogurt are a go!
12. No More Sticky Nipples
Unless you're left still treating a nipple condition, you're done with sticky nipple creams for a while. your clothes will thank you, and you just may enjoy being able to take the nursing pads out of your bra (great for protecting the bra from the creams and milk leaks).
13. A New Relationship With the Kiddo
Instead of thinking that you will have less to bond with your child about, think about all the new enriching activities you can work on with your child! Now, you can share some of your passions with him through art class, ice skating, music, play, or anything really (specific to your little one's age of course).
Have more to add? Share your ideas in the comments below!