I have about seven posts in the draft folder as I really intend to keep notes this summer but as soon as I sit down in a chair, the baby takes that as her cue to climb into my lap to nurse.
So yay! After our intensely rough start, she's still nursing um, very, very well. I'd say it took 6-7 months before I felt confident that we had it down. She was a bit early, and small, and didn't really have any interest in eating for the first two weeks. That, along with jaundice, landed her in the NICU a few days after birth and had me supplementing occasionally with formula for the first month. Her bilirubin levels stayed weirdly high through her third month and after scans revealed that her liver was fine, the doctor had me bottle feed her for three days to see if it was breastmilk jaundice, a condition I hadn't heard of before then. So we endured the three days and I cheated every single night but her bili levels dropped and all seemed well, so I was clear to resume breastfeeding. (Note that my doctor used the temporary weaning as a diagnostic tool and he was never suggesting I totally wean as a treatment. It was either a 3 day fast of sorts, or more invasive tests.)
She was also colicky until she was about 18 months old. Or something. So even after she settled into her newborn body, she was always hard to feed. At 18 months old she decided she liked nursing a LOT and has been doing so as much as possible since which meant I was still nursing through the night until this past week.
The internet told me time and time again that nursing won't contribute to cavities but guess what? Nursing all night totally contributes to cavities and y'all, my daughter has them. This was devastating news to me. We are (insert last name)! We are never late! We don't leave bacon on the table to be thrown out! We do.not.have.cavities. These are the tenets upon which our family is built and I was devastated. No exaggeration, I went into a 2 week depression because not only did she have cavities, but I CAUSED THEM because I AM A BAD MOTHER. I have factual proof.
So night weaning was a must. I read so many books and tried so many methods and we weren't getting anywhere. It did take me just getting desperately to the end of my rope. The family kept wanting to wait until the weekend and I just couldn't do it anymore. So with no plan in mind, here's what we did. The trashiest way out there to night wean, but it worked.
First night: She woke up at 1:30 and wanted "boobies" our charming, discreet word for nursing. I said no and to keep her from screaming for the next several hours I turned on Little Bear. We watched 3 hours(!) of Little Bear, then I let her lay beside me looking at my photo stream on my IPod until she conked out without nursing!
Second night: I told her boobies were for daytime only and after it was dark we were all done with boobies. When my son turned off the light she said, "All done boobies! Goodbye!" She woke twice, I patted her and told her no and she went back to sleep.
Third night: More of the same. If she is inconsolable, I let her look at her pictures on the IPod and she eventually falls asleep. She usually only messes with it for a couple of minutes before tossing it and turning over to go to sleep.
And done. Night weaned for about a week now. I don't think we are forming good sleep habits, but the primary concern was for her teeth at this point so we will establish better sleep habit gradually in the next few weeks. She is sleeping with me for now. We had her in a toddler bed, but she woke much more frequently and again, we are prioritizing dental health over everything else right now.
We do play, and this really does seem to relax her, this music. We played it for both our other children before bed and we call it "Sleepy time music".
So that is how breastfeeding is going at 2 years. I thought night weaning might make her day wean as well, but no. We're nursing as much as we ever were and I'm content to continue until she's ready to stop.
I have our homeschooling year in review almost ready to post but I feel weirdly more self conscious about publishing that.