My Breastfeeding Journey – How I Weaned my Baby

My Breastfeeding Journey – How I Weaned my Baby

Today was the very last day I breastfed my baby. And wow…I really had to let that sink in today! I even got a little emotional and teared up. Not only did I reach my goal of breastfeeding for 12 whole months, but it was also a personal accomplishment for me for sticking with something for so long and not giving up. So, I thought I would share a snippet of my Breastfeeding Journey with you guys, in hopes that it could possibly help another mama out there!

After not being able to breastfeed my first baby, I was completely against even trying with my second child. I had so many issues the first time around and was completely devastated, and I was just not emotionally ready for that again…or so I thought. About two weeks before giving birth to my second child, I had a major change of heart and decided I was going to try again! I was determined to do things differently this time, and I was successful! I was able to breastfeed my second baby for 7 months and I was SO proud of myself and of him. We had many issues with breastfeeding, including clogged ducts every month and baby having tongue and lip tie at first, but we pushed through it and made it work for as long as possible.

breastfeeding newborn, newborn baby, baby boy, normalize breastfeeding, nursling, nursing baby

Enter baby number 3 – Colton. Going into breastfeeding this time around I felt well prepared and confident that we would be able to make it to at least 7 months. Things got off to a rocky start at the hospital when I realized after I gave birth that he had a lip-tie. Here in Tennessee, they won’t clip that for you at the hospital. You have to be referred by your Pediatrician to an ENT. So, I knew I was in for a wait and I knew that I was going to struggle for a while before we could be seen, because I went through that with my second baby. If you are new to lip-tie/tongue-tie, that is when the frenulum on either (or both) the top or bottom is too close to the lip or tip of the tongue. This can cause breastfeeding to become incredibly painful for the mom and doesn’t allow a good latch for the baby, ultimately not allowing them to get enough milk out. Getting the tongue or lip-tie clipped, solves this problem and is a quick and easy procedure most of the time.

It took a little over 2 weeks for us to be seen by the ENT. During the time in between, I can honestly say that is the worst pain I have ever been in in my life. I won’t go into detail here, but it was literally the worst. Just getting through that 2 weeks was incredibly difficult, to say the least, and the fact that I didn’t give up and persevered makes me incredibly proud of myself. Even after we were seen by the ENT and Colton’s tongue-tie was released, it took about one more week for me to fully heal and not be in pain anymore.

After that, you could say it was smooth sailing! We nursed on demand…all day and all night! Colton did have a dairy sensitivity for the first 6 months, but eventually, he did seem to take to it better if I decided to indulge in some ice cream or cheesecake (Y’all know I love my sweets). Until Colton was around 10 months old, I was still waking up with him about 5 times a night, sometimes more, every night. I was exhausted and a total Mombie. At that point, I decided I would try introducing a little bit of formula into his diet right before bed to see if that might help. I had introduced him to the bottle back when he was around 2 months old, with pumped milk, so he was already familiar with it and didn’t fight me. Giving him his first bottle of formula also became our first step towards weaning.

pumped breastmilk, spectra s1 breastpump, breastpump, liquid gold, mama milk

How did I wean? A question I get asked quite often!

I only ever intended to breastfeed for 12 months, so starting to wean at 10 months was PERFECT for us, because my supply suddenly took a major dip and I was unable to raise it back to where it had been in the past. I took that as my body saying, “Ok, Mama! It’s time to slow down and start the weaning process.” I had never weaned a baby (quit cold-turkey with my second baby…worst idea EVER), nor had I ever breastfed this long before, so I had to do it my own way. Formula really helped me in this way. Also, just wanted to say, you will never see any formula bashing here. It has been such a help to me personally and nourished my first two babies when I couldn’t, and for that, I am so GRATEFUL.

breastfeeding baby, weaning baby, baby nursery, tranquil nursery, nursery decor

After about a couple of weeks of giving the baby one bottle of formula at night, I finally noticed he was sleeping a bit longer and only waking up 3 times a night to nurse. Also, about this time we started sleep training, so that helped as well. In the last month of nursing, I upped the formula by one bottle each week – 2 bottles a day for one week, 3 bottles a day the next week, and so on, all while still breastfeeding on demand during the day. I also stopped night feedings at this point. THIS allowed the baby to start sleeping through the night for the first time since he was born! Two weeks ago I was down to three nursing sessions a day, one week ago I was down to two nursing sessions a day, and this week we were down to 1 nursing session a day. This last week, I started introducing whole milk. No more formula whatsoever, and we are also switched over to straw cups! I can link one of our favorite transition cups for you HERE. I’ve found that straw cups work best for us when transitioning away from the bottle, but you can do whatever works best for you! What I found out about this way of weaning, is that it allowed my body to naturally start making less milk, without ever becoming engorged. Let’s face it, engorgement is the worst, but slowly weaning allowed me to skip all that discomfort.

breastfeeding baby, bonding with baby, baby-led weaning, weaning baby, eye contact, happy baby, normalize breastfeeding

So, today, I nursed my baby for the last time. Snuggled him close, let him play with my hair and kick me with his feet. It was bittersweet. Tomorrow he will be a 1 year old and our Breastfeeding Journey will officially come to an end. I feel good about what we were able to accomplish. I am so proud to have made it this far, especially with the rough start we had! Nothing comes close to this amazing bonding experience, and I highly recommend it to every new mom out there! Try it, you won’t regret it! And if you fail the first time, give it another go the second time..or the third time! Our bodies are AMAZING, and they change with each pregnancy and with each baby. If anything, I hope that this post can be an encouragement to any mom struggling to try again to just go for it! If you have any questions, please feel free to email or comment below. I have been on both sides of this, so I know how it feels to be defeated, and I know how it feels to make it passed the finish line. I’m here for you!

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  1. May 17, 2018 / 12:41 AM

    I just love you and your babies!!!! Love your ice breaking post ♥️♥️♥️ Mwah mwah

    • kateschwanke
      May 17, 2018 / 12:46 AM

      I love you!! You are the sweetest!

  2. Ashley
    May 18, 2018 / 3:21 PM

    Such an amazing journey!!

    • kateschwanke
      May 18, 2018 / 4:10 PM

      Thank you, Ashley!! Love you girl!

  3. Alicia
    May 18, 2018 / 8:37 PM

    Very cool Kate! I’m excited to read your blog!! ?

    • kateschwanke
      May 19, 2018 / 9:46 AM

      Thank you so much for stopping by! So happy you’re here!

  4. Maribel
    May 18, 2018 / 9:13 PM

    Great blog and tips on weaning! Thank you for sharing!

    • kateschwanke
      May 19, 2018 / 9:46 AM

      Thank you so much! I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  5. Neha
    May 18, 2018 / 9:28 PM

    Its really so helpful..i am so glad you accomplished your goal ?.. I will remember these tips with this baby!

    • kateschwanke
      May 19, 2018 / 9:48 AM

      I am so glad to hear my tips were helpful! This method really made things easier for us. Thanks for checking out my Blog!

  6. Yanely Castellon
    May 18, 2018 / 9:38 PM

    Congrats on the lovely blog. God bless you in this new endeavor. Xoxo

    • kateschwanke
      May 19, 2018 / 9:48 AM

      Thank you so much for your kind encouragement!

  7. Danielle
    May 18, 2018 / 9:44 PM

    Congratulations mama!!! My daughter is 10.5 months and I’m wanting to start the weaning process as well, so thank you so much for sharing your journey and tips! Couldn’t have come at a better time for me 🙂 p.s. I’m so excited for your new blog!

    • kateschwanke
      May 19, 2018 / 9:49 AM

      Yay! I am so glad my tips could be helpful for you! Thank you so much for visiting my Blog! I am super excited about this new journey <3

  8. Victoria
    May 18, 2018 / 9:53 PM

    Such an amazing story… So glad the journey was all that you hoped for and more. Such a great read, can’t wait foe the next blog…. Congrats on the new blog journey

    • kateschwanke
      May 19, 2018 / 9:50 AM

      Thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoyed reading my story!

  9. Caroline
    May 18, 2018 / 11:23 PM

    I was so hoping that you would share your journey with us. I started following you when you were pregnant with Jensen and I was having my first son. I nursed him for about 8 months but pumped mostly because at the time I was working. I am now a stay at home mom and still nursing my daughter who is 10 months old. I can tell that my body is slowing down at this time. It is sooo bittersweet because I am ready for more freedom but this is our last baby so it’s sad to let that kind of bonding come to an end. Both of my kids were tongue tied so I understand the toe curling pain breastfeeding can cause but with a lot of perseverance it can totally be done. You are doing a great job raising those sweet boys. I promise to never complain again that my little girl gets up once or twice some nights. How in the world did you get up that many times a night for soooo long? You are a super hero mom!!! 🙂

    • kateschwanke
      May 19, 2018 / 9:54 AM

      Hi, Caroline! Omgosh, first of all, THANK YOU so much for following me for so long! That’s so amazing and I appreciate you so much! Second, it sounds like you and I are a lot alike!! Colton is also our last baby, so I totally understand how bittersweet weaning the last baby is. I haven’t nursed in 3 days and I feel so-so about it lol! Enjoying my freedom, but also missing the bonding time! There comes a time though when we just need to let go and let them grow 🙂 Thank you so much for checking out my Blog, mama! Love you!

  10. Dayna
    May 19, 2018 / 4:18 AM

    Thanks for this! I’m not sure if we are ready to wean just yet. It’s also longer for me than my first born. This baby doesn’t seem to like the taste of milk though.

    • kateschwanke
      May 19, 2018 / 9:55 AM

      Babies can be finicky about changing over to something new! As with all things with babies, you just have to gradually introduce new things and the trick is to KEEP TRYING. Eventually, they will give it a go!

  11. Sarah
    May 19, 2018 / 9:34 AM

    I’d love to hear how you sleep train, too! My littlest is just about 10 months and we’re going to slowly start transitioning from nursing to bottle. How do you not feed at night?! How do I forget what I did with my first two?! ?

    • kateschwanke
      May 19, 2018 / 10:03 AM

      Lol! I know, I was the same way when I reached this point, I was like “How do I do this again?” Mostly for us, it was the CIO method. I know some people do not agree with this method, but I have used it with all three of my boys and they all turned out just fine. They are all loved to the MAX. For quitting night feedings, it all came down to that bottle of formula before bedtime, and also sometimes giving one in the night and letting him CIO if he got up a second time. He usually went back to sleep within a couple of minutes. Then I would take away that first bottle in the night, and within a couple of days he wasn’t waking up at all to eat! Finally getting that sleep I needed so badly has been amazing!! Good luck, Mama! Whichever method you decide to use, the key is to be CONSISTENT.

  12. Flora Yang
    May 20, 2018 / 7:50 AM

    Great job! I have a newborn and my goal is to also breastfeed her until she is one! I have 2 girls and was only able to breastfeed my first for only 6months (due to going back to work and supply going down). My newborn is only 7wks and it’s been a struggle as well because she was also tongue-tied. The pain your talking about, I know all about it too! Her latch wasn’t there and I was so emotional and feeling down about her not getting enough milk. Finally we decided to clip her tongue at 2wks and it’s been so much better now! I love following you and watching your videos! Just wanted to say “hi!” and thank you for sharing your journey!

    • kateschwanke
      May 20, 2018 / 2:01 PM

      Hi Flora!! Thank you so much for following me and for coming to visit my Blog! So happy you’re here ♥️ I am so happy to hear your Breastfeeding Journey has improved! I wish you the best and I know you’re going to make it to your goal ??

  13. Katie
    May 21, 2018 / 12:01 PM

    Thanks for your encouragement cousin! Evelyn and I are at 9 months, and I’m struggling with wanting to be DONE. But it’s so good for her, she nurses well, and she still loves it. Trying to keep my motivation strong.

    • kateschwanke
      May 22, 2018 / 10:16 PM

      Hey girl! I’m so glad my words could be an encouragement to you! Way to go on nursing for 9 months!! That is such an accomplishment and definitely something to be proud of. Keep going! Only 3 months left to go, and I know you can do it!

  14. Elise Williams
    June 3, 2018 / 4:50 PM

    I only made it 2 months with my son before my supply started to deplete due to a hormonal disorder called PCOS. My lactation consultant had me pumping at every chance I got and breastfeeding so much that I was worn out and tired and ready to throw in the towel because I wasn’t getting as much as I needed even with all of that work!! Luca would scream and cry because he could never get enough so she had me supplement with formula at the end of each feeding and that was a slippery slope because once I held the convenience in my hand of a nice full baby with a nice big bottle it was all down hill with breastfeeding from there. He is now 6 months old and looking back and I would have persevered!! I only wish I could try again with him because he was such a great nurser from the jump! He had a perfect latch and even in the hospital the nurses used to say he was a natural. I had thought that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed because of the PCOS because we needed one fertility treatment to conceive! When I got to the hospital they had told me that it might not work but they’d try to get me there and I was OVERJOYED when it worked!! This is another reason I am so bummed that I didn’t try harder! For the next I will definitely try again! I loved your post and it was truly inspirational!

    • kateschwanke
      June 5, 2018 / 11:42 PM

      Elise!! I think you are amazing! Breastfeeding is not easy. Pumping is not easy either! Your first experience reminds me a lot of my first, and it left me feeling very much like you are now. When you have your next baby give it your best shot again! And if you need a boost in your milk supply, read my latest blog post. It should help! Best of luck mama!

  15. Cherrylightz
    June 17, 2018 / 1:03 AM

    Love you sharing something like this is private and the same time something sometimes women dont talk about aout loud. Is nice to hear that more moms have troubles too, you get to hear how perfect it is and easy that it leaves a stigma for the ones who struggle to talk about it.

    I have just 1 son, and it wasnt such a good experience it end up in formula. If we have other kid I hope I can make it differently.

    Love you Blogging momma.

    • kateschwanke
      June 17, 2018 / 11:43 PM

      Thank you so much! I agree people don’t talk often enough about the struggle! Breastfeeding is so natural, yet also not at the same time. Definitely give it another go when you have your second child; I’m rooting for you, mama!

  16. Laura A
    July 20, 2018 / 12:46 AM

    THIS was so encouraging to read! My breastfeeding journey has been very similar to yours and here I am, nursing my 9.5 month old son (and thirdborn child!) and reeeeally hoping to make my goal of 12 months once and for all. I feel for you with the night wakings – my little one wakes up twice a night still to feed and I was thinking that was bad. Thanks for sharing on the weaning process and how you integrated formula. We just introduced formula a couple weeks ago so I might start trying to drop a feed each week and replace with formula. And yes, breastfeeding is such a precious bond and experience. I feel so mushy saying that – but it is truly special and so lovely when it seems to just work!

    • kateschwanke
      July 21, 2018 / 4:54 PM

      Thank you so much for reading! I am so glad this post could be an encouragement to you! ♥️ I know you can make it to 12 months. Even if Formula is in the mix, you can still breastfeed and draw it out as long as you want to! That is what helped me get through to the end. Best of luck mama!

      • Laura A
        September 28, 2018 / 11:04 PM

        Hi Kate! I posted the above comment which you replied to and just wanted to do a “follow up” comment. Tomorrow my baby boy turns one years old. *Tear*. I have successfully dropped down to one nursing session a day with the help of formula. I think we are both pretty much done with nursing – he has an ear infection so he didn’t want to nurse much tonight and I might try in the morning but otherwise I’m ready to end this journey. The last few months have been challenging at times with nursing strikes and diminishing supply (I’ve been SO tempted more than once to throw the towel in!) but I kept thinking about your story and your encouragement. Thank you so much! You honestly helped me achieve this goal – I might have given up at the 10 or 11 month mark had I not come across your blog. It is strangely bittersweet giving up breastfeeding especially because I’m certain this will be my last baby, but oh how precious that experience was. Take care!

        • kateschwanke
          October 4, 2018 / 10:56 PM

          Hi!! Thank you so much for telling me about how your journey is going! I am so glad my story was an encouragement to you and helped you get to your goal! I am seriously so happy for you!

  17. August 1, 2018 / 9:19 AM

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something that too few people are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy I found this in my hunt for something relating to this.

  18. December 17, 2018 / 5:58 AM

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from.


    • kateschwanke
      December 24, 2018 / 3:57 PM

      Hi! I arranged everything the way I wanted it, but I did use a template created by Pipdig if you want to check them out. They have some great themes for Bloggers ?

  19. May 25, 2020 / 3:34 PM

    It s ok to feel a mix of emotions, and even a bit sad about the end of the special intimacy breastfeeding provides. Your breastfeeding journey is ending, but so many exciting adventures are ahead for you and your little one!

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