Ihsan has been exclusively breastfeed until he was 7 months old. At this age I also introduced him solid food and plain water. Then right after that he has been fully breastfeed up until now, 22 months. At the age of 12 months, I have introduced fresh milk and juice to him simply to vary his list of drinks. I offered Ihsan fresh milk twice daily in straw cup, during breakfast and during tea time. Although the quantity is about 120ml but he rarely finished up his fresh milk. I think it’s because he doesn’t really like the taste. Then, when he reached 20 months, I started to offer him Dumex Dugro 1-3 Honey Flavor hoping that he could drink this milk better than fresh milk. Why I chose this formula milk was because Ihsan tried this milk once when we visited Ummi Murni’s house. Ihsan didn’t reject the milk at the first sip so I’m sure he could accept this milk. I introduced him this formula milk because, he always has trouble eating his meal. He always didn’t want to eat. So I thought, the formula milk could at least replace his meal. However Ihsan still rarely finished up his milk although I made for him only 100ml every time. I think this milk is bought and half of the pack is simply to be dump. But still luckily he drinks this formula milk better than fresh milk.
Anyway, I just introduced those milks, fresh milk and formula milk simply to vary Ihsan’s drink and not with the intention to replace breastfeeding. So, I don’t mind if I don’t follow the serving suggestion as stated on the pack since I still fully breastfeeding Ihsan. Some people might give Milo, tea, carbonated drinks, soy milk and etc during other time. But I’m more comfortable giving Ihsan to drink diluted fresh juice, fresh milk or formula milk. I still give him other kind of drinks like Yakult, Calci-Yum, yogurt drink and etc. Okay lah kadang2 bagi chance juga bagi minum air sirap or orange Sunquick atau apa2 yang merepek but just for a few sips. Kesian siapa jadi anak I kan? Xboleh makan and minum sesuka hati LOL 😛 Tapi I memang xajar sangat dia makan or minum foods and drinks yang manis sangat, banyak pewarna or perasa. Memang pantang! Masa kecil2 ni je lah boleh control pun. Dah besar nanti xdapat lah kan.
So after Ihsan has reached 22 moths very recently, I have started a few small steps of weaning off Ihsan. Ihsan is the kind who mostly all the time he needs to breastfeed in order to fall asleep. In fact he wakes up a couple of times every night for night feeding. So, I introduced Ihsan to bottle feeding hoping that he doesn’t need me anymore in order to fall asleep. I made him formula milk of course because the last time I expressed my milk was long ago so I simply don’t do milk expressing or pumping. Ihsan enjoyed the bottle feeding at first and he managed to finish up his milk a few times. But that only lasted for less than a week in total. Apparently he just got excited with the feeding bottle. Yelah orang xpernah guna botol susu so jakun lah kan. Padahal sebenarnya dia bukan lah nak habiskan minum susu tu pun. I tried to push the feeding bottle while Ihsan already asleep but to no avail. Dia macam tau2 je itu bukan Mama so dia xbuka mulut langsung. Actually I don’t want to introduce Ihsan to bottle because he’s already big and I don’t want to struggle weaning him off from feeding bottle pula nanti. But at that time I was still searching for the right method to wean him off. Ihsan just drinks through bottle simply for fun.
Then several days ago, I actually got a big pimple on my n*pple. Of all places why on earth it chose to grow on my n*pple? At first I was so worried sick because it could be something serious. After surfing the internet, luckily I feel a bit at ease. The skin on the n*pple and breast is like skin anywhere on the body and is subject to a variety skin problems. So, because of this I avoided direct feeding with Ihsan and gave him only the other breast. However the infected breast started to engorge and thus causing blocked duct too. I tried expressing milk using hands then using breast pump. Unfortunately due to both methods of expression causing my breast to swell even more. I got hard lumps under the breast and it felt very painful. Selama 20 bulan breastfeeding Ihsan ni, rasanya xsampai 5 kali kot I guna breast pump. Tapi boleh kata each time mesti membuatkan my breast sakit and bengkak. Xtau lah kalau I salah handle the pump or simply because my breast xbiasa. Rasanya I guna pegang elok2 je pun. Takkan lah guna breast pump pun cerewet sangat kan? Ada sesiapa pernah experienced macam ni or dengar macam ni?
Whan I was still in pain I still offered Ihsan my breast a few times but he just couldn’t drink his milk nicely causing me yelling in pain every now and then. I was so tensed and thus at that time I thought of weaning him off totally! 😛 So I put on olive oil mixed with garlic on my breasts. Seharian bau garlic je 😛 With the hope he didn’t want to continue breastfeeding. Ahaa… dia merungut marah2 sekejap je lepas tu menyusu macam biasa. Nampaknya xboleh pakai la tips ni. Kena guna benda yang lebih extreme macam jadam ke sebab super pahit kan. Baru Ihsan trauma sikit. But I will use this once he reached 24 months nanti lah kalau dia still refuse to wean off. Because I have decided to wean him off slowly. Anyway, because of that I only offered him my other breast. At the same time my infected breast ended up on ice pack for the whole day and night. I also tried to clean up the infection and put on Bepanthen. When it got better then only I offered to Ihsan because direct feeding really effective on easing up the blocked duct too. Thus, the swell also slowly subsided. Alhamdulillah it healed a few days later.
After that I have discussed with hubby that we will slowly wean off Ihsan. I educated hubby a little bit about this too because I need hubby to understand and cooperate along the process. We have to be really consistent and determine. I think the hardest part of all is the need for breastfeeding to sleep and night feeding. So instead of me, I suggested hubby to start putting Ihsan to sleep while I wait outside the bedroom until Ihsan falls asleep. We changed sleeping position too. All this while I will always sleep in the middle. But now hubby sleeps in the middle. So far it has been a week of nights this step going smoothly, Alhamdulillah. Although there is still a few struggles and all but I could say that hubby has done a great job on his part. Ihsan sleep well until the morning although he still wake up during early morning a few times asking for milk. But I think Ihsan is progressing good too because he managed to sleep long hours before waking up for milk. Maybe I could tackle this by making sure he eats a lot during dinner and drink some milk right before going to sleep instead of during early dinner. But this is actually a bit tricky because Ihsan is naturally a picky eater and eating is his least concern too. Sigh!
Not only that, although I should try not to refuse when he asks for breast milk because this might disturb him emotionally. But I try to avoid voluntarily offering Ihsan my breasts so that he will not think about breastfeeding so often as before. I let him do what he likes and enjoy his activities. Try to always makes him occupied. I also offer him his meal right before he’s getting really hungry. Because once he’s so hungry or thirsty, usually he will nag for breast milk. Other than that, I also try to divert his attention to something else when he asks me for breast milk. I will hurriedly get his favorite tidbit like marukku, biscuits, raisins and etc and some drink. Or sometimes I will try singing his favorite songs or read his favorite books etc. Also, I don’t forget to pray to Allah for the weaning off process will run smoothly. Skrip doa pun dah kena tukar dah 🙂 However, despite of all the efforts sometimes I don’t always succeed. He might still insist to breastfeed and I give in because I don’t want to trouble myself having hard time ignoring of his request. Even some times I myself offer him because I need to ensure that he will not bug me later especially when I’m in the middle of running my chores and at times when my breasts are full and need to be emptied. I also breastfeed him for afternoon nap too when it’s hard to put him to sleep.
On top of that, I try to remember that I want to wean him off slowly. So, I don’t want to be in a rush. Although ada waktunya Ihsan really pushes my button especially at times dia xnak makan his meal. To him, breast milk is his staple food. I paling tension kalau jadi situasi macam ni. Rasa marah sebab dia xnak makan so I play cold turkey. But the thing about Ihsan is dia takkan surrender and will keep on crying non-stopped until he gets what he wants. Bila dah lama2 I pun kesian but at the same time rasa depressed sebab it makes me feel like I’m a crap mom. Seriously, at times rasa sedih lah. Sigh! I think if Ihsan is a good-eater and has a big appetite this wouldn’t have to be so rough. So ibu2 yang anak suka makan bersyukurlah ye. Jangan sekat kalau anak nak makan. Daripada nak paksa anak makan tiap2 hari, sadis okay. Anyway, perhaps eventually the number of breastfeeding session from day to day will decrease and he will eventually graduate by the time he’s 2. Breastfeeding isn’t simply about feeding or drinking milk to fill in the tummy. But Ihsan needs me for him to feel comfort, secure, entertained and loved. Because at times he seems so desperate for breast milk, crying buckets in front of me when I refuse. But when I give in and once he’s in my embraced, turns out all he wanted is just to pacify himself. And there’s a happy grinning baby babbling to me with his mouth full.
Breastfeeding is really a wonderful and sweet moments. I will surely cherish the last 2 months of our bonding sessions. Although I can say so far nampak gayanya kami ni tergolong dalam kategori susah untuk bercerai susu. But hopefully this journey will end with least damage and scar to both of us, InsyaAllah.