There is nothing to compare to the magic of pulling your newborn infant in and nurturing them with life sustaining milk, but 6-12 months later, nursing seems to lose some of that wonder. Your sweet child now has teeth and regularly begins undressing you in public. That’s okay momma. You did good. You can wean your baby now.
In case you haven’t tried weaning a toddler before, I thought I would give you a simple, 5 step guide to the weaning process. Here are the stages you can expect to go through over the next few, beautiful weeks:
Step 1: Adding Solid Foods Into Their Diet (And Into Your Home Decor!)
Head to Costco and get the good blender, because you’re going to need it. Every food item in the house is now at risk of going under the spinning blades, and when they come out, they will be part of a sloshing, mushy, unrecognizable substance called baby food. While you’re at Costco, pick up a bulk package of paper towels, because guess what? The food concoction you whipped up is going to end up everywhere but in your baby’s tummy.
Step 2: Starting the Baby on a Bottle
After you’ve given up making your own baby food, and buy the big bag of Cheerios and a case of Gerber baby snacks, it’s time to get your little one to take a bottle. You lovingly prepare a bottle, warmed to just the right temperature while you reminisce about the beauty of your breastfeeding career, and offer it to your baby. Don’t be surprised when they treat that bottle like the amazing new toy that it is rather than a legitimate drinking device. They’ll chew on the nipple, shake it a little bit, and then discover that if you bang it hard enough against the floor, fluids come out and make miniature puddles. The fun only increases when they discover that slapping those puddles with their tiny hands, sends little balls of milk shooting in every direction.
Step 3: Experimenting With Milk and Juice Varieties
Apron securely tied and mop at the ready, you are now ready to continue searching for a liquid that your child will ingest that was not manufactured in their personal breast milk factory. The counter is soon cluttered with formula brands, milk from a variety of 4 legged creatures, 100% fruit juice, juice blends, and finally juice with at least some percentage of fruit involved. Your apron, and baby’s bib, are now dyed an abstract spit/drool pattern with colors from across the fruit rainbow. You’ll need to take those off, because the baby is worn out and ready to nurse.
Step 4: Buying the Right Bottle (Or all of Them!)
After a rest and regroup, you can head to the store to purchase a new apron. While you’re there, slowly walk through the infant feeding aisle, and grab one of every bottle type, nipple variety and sippy cup shape, in each color. When you reach the checkout counter, if you are properly meek, the clerk might just assume you are purchasing in bulk for charity and give you a small discount. Head back home, and repeat yesterday’s fiasco, except this time, after you’ve nursed and put the baby to sleep, you’ll have a full load of dishes to wash, top dishwasher rack only.
Step 5: Success
Because you now need a well deserved sugar binge, you call your husband, requesting him to bring home a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Your children won’t be able to eat the doughnuts without a glass of chocolate milk, so have him pick up a gallon of that as well. As you are sitting at the counter, forgetting your misery in a warm, round, melt-in-your-mouth pastry, you will look across the counter and see a row of chocolate filled cups with a straw sticking out of the top. An idea will sneak it’s way into your tired brain. You’ll pull an old cup from the cupboard, pour a bit of chocolate milk in the bottom, insert a $.01 straw in top, and offer it to your baby.
SUCCESS!! The milk level in the cup is going down, and it isn’t flowing back out of your baby’s mouth. You hear the sweet, sweet sound of swallowing, and your heart is full… until you realize that you are feeding your child chocolate flavored, sugar filled, 1% milk. You then start a facebook petition, begging your friends and the general public, to support your case to Enfamil for Chocolate flavored infant formula.