I believe in extended nursing (nursing beyond one year). I also believe in child-led weaning (weaning on the child's schedule as opposed to pushing my own weaning agenda).
With Teagan, I was very strong and certain on those ideals. Stuck to them, fought for them.
With Zach... second child syndrome may be setting in.
I nursed Teagan until she was 25 months. I was pregnant with Zach when she weaned. My pregnancy caused nipple issues and it was very painful to nurse. One night, I offered her a cup of warm milk instead of the boob. She refused, went to sleep, never asked again.
My Zappy... he only night nurses. He nurses at bedtime. Then he nurses through out the night.
The dilemma... I know that I will have required business travel in the next few months. I have desired personal travel this fall. Both will require anywhere from 2-4 nights away from home, without my kids. At this point, I can't imagine Zach not with me at night. I can't imagine being away from him like that. But I also feel that he doesn't NEED to nurse anymore. He's 14 months old. I think it fills his tummy and mostly provides a lot of comfort to get back to sleep. The plan formulating in my brain is being met with resistance from my heart. But my gut says it is the right thing to do.
Our typical evening is to put Zach to bed around 7ish. He nurses on both sides and usually sleeps until 10 when he wakes to nurse again. I am usually heading to bed at that point so I generally bring him to bed, nurse, fall asleep. We co-sleep so it's easy. Then he wakes however many more times throughout the night and nurses as needed.
The plan? I have to discipline myself to get up, nurse him, put him in his bed and go back to my own bed. In some ways, this will be easy because he now has his twin size bed that he is already sleeping in. In some ways, this will be hard because he has that twin size bed that I can sleep in! So do I fight the urge to stick with the easy route? Part of me says that doing the work now will make it easier when I have to be away from him later. I don't really want to fully wean but at the same time, I'm ready to be done. I almost even fantasize about him being an independent little cuss who self-weans cold turkey one day.
I don't feel any guilt about this decision making process, thankfully. Having made it a full year and beyond is awesome and I know it. There isn't some glory prize if we make it to 18 months or 2 years. I don't believe there will be any harm to him if we wean. I just want to be certain that we are making the right choices for the right reasons. I've reached a point in parenting where I don't think the sun rises and falls based on the choices I make for my babies. I used to defend my choices to breastfeed and co-sleep as though our lives depended on it. A real "mama bear." But now... I dunno. It changes. I guess because those things were so new and so hard the first time around, I felt like I needed to defend my choices to myself, too. To convince myself that I was doing what was best, to prove it to myself and the world that I was capable of making good choices and sticking with them. But now... I feel like I know what I'm doing (kinda). I'm no expert but I've certainly relaxed since Teagan's babyhood, as has Jeff.
I'm happy to hear input from my fellow parenting readers- and my non-parenting readers. All opinions are valid and welcomed!