Today I wean my little one. He is 18 months old. My initial plan was to breastfeed him until he was two years old. I had no trouble breastfeeding him because he doesn’t bite or hurt me in any way. However, he has become very attached to me. He doesn’t want anyone, not even Lola or Yaya, to feed or sleep him. He only wants me. Since I work at home, he has become a huge distraction because he calls my home office and never stops crying until I leave the room. He takes me out of the office and takes me to his bed to nurse. Suck during meals, while watching TV, while playing. I always have to bring a jacket when we go out because I don’t know when I would rip my shirt off and suck. He needs to suck at night while I work. I don’t get enough sleep because it wakes me up from time to time. The activity that I used to enjoy has now become a burden on 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. He had my full attention for three whole days. While I was at Grandma’s, she texted me saying that my cousin Cathy had already weaned her daughter and was bringing home the herb plant they used. He told me to prepare my son for weaning. For three days I regulated his lactation, letting him suck only after meals and before sleeping. He doesn’t seem to care. He seems to be satisfied and very happy just to be with me. When my mother returned, she brought home some Panyawan stalks 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 spread the extract all over my breasts. Panyawan is an herbal plant that is believed to cure diabetes. It has a bitter taste and is often boiled and drunk. At first I wanted to use ampalaya extract, but decided against it because my son eats amplaya. I also thought of 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 shocked and puzzled. He tasted the other breast and found that it had the same bitter taste. The bitter taste had such an impact on him that he stops whenever he feels the urge to breastfeed. I gave her a wafer of chocolate as a reward for remembering the bitter taste and to my amazement she wiped the chocolate on my breasts and tried to feed! Maybe you thought chocolate would take away the bitterness! It was a fun time!
My little one’s first day of weaning started well. My fear is how it would go at night when I put it to sleep.