Since Aaron is out of work, I am even more thankful we breastfeed. Putting the emotional bond and perfect food design aside, I simply can not fathom paying $27.00 a can for formula at least twice a week. Not to mention Miles has digestive issues and I’ve had to modify my diet to remove all dairy. Can you imagine the amount of money that would go down the drain trying out all different sorts of formulas until we found one that worked for him?
On March 14th of this year, Ella nursed for what I thought was the last time. During that moment, I had no idea that she would be completely weaned afterwords. She simply never insisted on nursing again and accepted the alternatives I offered (like snuggling). When I realized what had happened, it was a very bitter sweet moment. As much as it was a sweet bonding experience, I was glad she weaned on her own (due to lack of supply during pregnancy).
The last time we nursed, March 2009
Fast forward to about a week after Miles was born. She began to express interest in nursing and asking to “share nummies with baby”. I wasn’t really interested in nursing two children (who were different ages) but the last thing I wanted to do was create jealously over something as basic as nursing. So I agreed to let her nurse with Miles. The huge grin that broke across her face was amazing and the tender way she stroked his head while they nursed together affirmed my thought that unweaning would help ease the transition of having a sibling.
The road of tandem nursing hasn’t been always paved with golden bricks, though. I have very defined boundaries for Ella as to when she can or cannot nurse. It’s been a hard transition for her to know that Miles can have milk whenever he wants but she can’t. It’s hard for me to stand strong and stick to the boundaries but things get so much more stressful if I let her have free reign. It’s always so interesting to see how she thrives in an environment of age appropriate boundaries. But that’s another post for another day.
I honestly believe that rolling with the concept of unweaning cut down on a lot of potential sibling rivalry. When they both nurse together, Miles has been hardly able to contain his giggles while Ella rubs his head. Other times, she simply holds his hand or just looks at him while they “share nummies”. I feel this is aiding their sibling bonding. I also feel that when Ella nurses solo, it helps reaffirm that she is just as special and loved as Miles.