I'm an extended breastfeeder. I decided when I read my first breastfeeding book when I was pregnant, I would breastfeed my babies until at least age 2, per the World Health Organization's recommendation. Well, the second birthday came and went for both my girls, and I knew they weren't ready yet, so I continued on. Lacy weaned at 39 months, a little less than 2 years ago.
Rose is just under 39 months. And she hasn't nursed in three days. I gave her the choice last night and the night before. Tonight I didn't even offer. I did ask her vaguely if there was anything else that she needed before she went to bed. All she wanted was to read Wolf's Coming and get a drink of water. I tucked her into bed. Ten minutes later, she was asleep. I'm not going to offer to nurse her again. If she asks, I'm going to tell her that they're for the new baby. She'll probably have mostly forgotten about nursing by the time the baby comes in January, anyway. Sure, she'll always know what it is, but by January, with a new baby cousin coming a few months before, she'll associate it with babies, not with herself. Which is fine by me. I was ready to be done nursing her. I think that's the beauty of extended breastfeeding. When it's time to end the relationship, everybody's ready, which makes it easier to deal with. Plus, the gradual weaning means less engorgement (unless, like me, you're either nursing a younger sibling or pregnant again with a diminished milk supply).
I'm not sad about weaning her, but I am a little sad about the end of an era. How did my little Roo Roo go from this:
But soon, another little nursling will be added to our family, and a new era will begin.