How I weaned my baby (Part 1)

Today I weaned my son. She is 18 months old. My initial plan was to breastfeed him until he was two years old. I had no problem nursing him because he doesn’t bite or hurt me in any way. However, he has grown very fond of me. He doesn’t want anyone, not even lola or granny, to feed him or put him to sleep. He only wants me. Since he works at home, he has become a huge distraction because he knocks on my office door and never stops crying until I leave the room. He takes me out of the office and into his bed to nurse. He sucks at mealtime, while he watches TV, while he plays. I always have to wear a jacket when we go out because I don’t know when he would rip my shirt off and lick it off me. He needs to suck at night while I work. I’m not getting enough sleep because he wakes me up from time to time. Activity that was once pleasurable has now become a burden to me.

The right opportunity came when my mother needed to visit my grandmother last weekend. Granny went home too, so Aki and I have the house to ourselves. She had my full attention for three whole days. While I was at Grandma’s, she texted me that my cousin Cathy already weaned her daughter and that she is bringing home the herb plant they used. She told me to prepare my son for weaning. For three days I regulated his lactation, letting him nurse only after meals and before bed. He doesn’t seem to care. He seems to be satisfied and very happy just to be with me. When my mother came back, she brought home some panyawan stems from my lola’s garden. I decided to wean my little one the next day.

Early the next morning, I prepared my weaning materials. I crushed one end of the Panyawan stem and smeared the extract on my breasts. Panyawan is a herbal plant that is believed to cure diabetes. It has a bitter taste and is usually boiled and drunk. At first I wanted to use ampalaya extract but decided against it because my son eats amplaya. I also thought about using chili extract, but that might be too much and I don’t want to hurt myself too.

When Aki tasted the bitter Panyawan, he was surprised and puzzled. He tasted the other breast and found that it tastes the same bitter. The bitter taste had such an impact on him that he stops whenever he feels the urge to nurse. I gave him a chocolate wafer as a reward for remembering the bitter taste, and to my astonishment, he wiped my breasts with the chocolate and tried to eat. Maybe he thought the chocolate would take away the bitterness! That was a fun moment!

The first day of weaning my little one started well. My fear is how he would do during the night when I put him to bed.

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