Can I ask you to see into the future?! Or, rather, to tell me about your toddler (self)-weaning experiences?
I have a 5-day work trip abroad coming up in November to which I need to commit firmly now. My daughter, nearly 18months, will be turning 2 that month. She still breastfeeds several times a day, often pretty avidly, though perhaps mostly for comfort. I’ve already done some work for this trip, thinking I’d probably not be breastfeeding by then, but I’m now not so sure. Taking her isn’t an option. So I’m trying to guess (!) at whether she’ll be likely to have weaned. Or whether I should just back out of the trip. Or even whether being away might present a good opportunity to wean her… I understand there’s such a lot of change 18-24 months, so I don’t know if she’ll need me so much by then.
A bit more information… she’s petite & not that wild about food. She’s quite ‘mummy-ish’. We’ve not yet been apart more than 10hours. For the last fortnight, she’s had no milk at night (7pm-5am); she’d gone down to just 1 feed, so I decided to encourage her to shift to cuddles instead. She takes longer to go back to sleep without milk but seems fine. I think my milk has dropped recently (no longer pumping at work). She likes cow’s milk from a cup. I’ve never wanted to rush her so I know that the only safe answer is ‘don’t go’, but it’s such a big trip to miss out on that I wanted to think it through properly with your help. Just writing this, I’m already seeing more starkly that the leap from only 10hours apart to 5 days is a big issue, even without the breastfeeding…
I think there is a poster on here called leedy who went away for around 3 days when her child was a comparable age - still breastfeeding fine.
I have been up to 48 hours away from my daughter who is 18 months and we're still bf ok. So it may not have to mean the end if you don't want it to? Though obviously there is a good chance she may just naturally wean at that time. I think your supply is bombproof by that age. I don't think I have much milk left (we do once a day and occasionally skip it) but I think that is more to do with pregnancy.
Hello! Yes, it is I, the "went away for work lady".
It was actually nearly five days (Mon-Fri, away for four nights) and yes, continued to breastfeed when I came back. DS1 was feeding twice a day when I left, I brought a pump and pumped morning and evening while I was away (mainly for comfort), and he just pretty much continued where he left off when I got back. So if she hasn't weaned by then you don't have to wean for the trip if you don't want to.
Thanks, both: good to hear your experiences and that going away doesn't mean the end of breastfeeding. My main worry is more that DD would be really distressed by the sudden absence of mum & milk, so will keep thinking… Hope the pregnancy is going well, weebairn.
One thing we did (initially kind of by accident) before I ever went away for a full night was have occasional "daddy bedtimes" when I went out to band practice, it got him used to short absences and doing bedtime etc. a different way. I'm planning on introducing same to DS2 soon (he's 17 months and will nap fine without me but still insists on me for bedtime...we'll see how it goes).