Victoire and I’s breastfeeding journey started on March 25th last year. She and I will celebrate our nursing anniversary in a couple weeks. I never planned to breastfeed for so long. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to when I was expecting, yet somehow I decided I would give it a try. I knew more this time. I wanted more this time.

I read a lot and was ready to make it work if that makes sense. I knew not to let the hospital’s medical staff complement her with formula if she didn’t really need to. I knew to hang in there even if it wasn’t painless or easy.

The first few weeks were incredibly hard but I had a wonderful midwife who helped me through obstacles and discouraging moments. I decided I would nurse for three months. Once I hit the 3-month mark, I decided to nurse for 3 more months, and 3 more, until Victoire would turn 1.

She is just about to turn one, and I am wondering…Is this the end? I have mixed feelings. A part of me wants to stop and another part of me wants to continue. I love the bond Victoire and I developed throughout all our nursing sessions. We have had cries, and laughs and quiet moments…but as she grows up and I start needing my own space, the idea of prolonging the experience leaves me pondering…Do I still want this? How is she going to feel? How am I going to feel? Breast is best! Breast is best! I know that, but what if I don’t want to nurse anymore? Does that make me a bad mother? Sixtine was breastfed very little time, she is healthy and I wanted the best for her to.

I need to start thinking about myself. What do I want?

Please share your experience.

43 thoughts on “Is This The End?

  1. Elizabeth

    Hi Deb! I’ve never commented, but am so inspired by your blog for my 21 month old. I breastfed her until 17 months. I definitely wanted to stop by the time I did, and wanting to stop does not make me (or you!) a bad mother. It is hard work, it is intensely physical, and it is definitely fine and great to be ready to have your body back! We night weaned at 15 months, having my husband go in and comfort her if she woke up at night. It took about 3 days and she started sleeping through the night. To day wean, I stopped offering her milk and only nursed when she asked. It was a slow process, and took about 3 months. Good luck!!

    Reply

    1. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

      Hi Elizabeth, I am so glad you took the time. It is always to get to know my readers a little more! So welcome and thank you for following along. I like the idea of getting my husband to go in and comfort her – I think it is a brilliant idea. As of right now, my focus is going to be on night weaning because it is what bothers me the most. I don’t mind nursing during the day actually. Thank you for sharing your experience!

      Reply

  2. amoremiobello

    I breastfed my daughter only 1 month although at the beginning, i wanted to do it for a long time…I had one infected mastistis on each breast…(and even had to go to surgery!). I wish i could have breastfed for a longer time but even though i didn’t do it my daughter is in good health and very rarely sick!
    Maybe if you start questioning yourself is that you don’t want anymore. You should only think about what you really want (people have so many different opinions about breasfeeding..).
    You can be sure you would be considered as very weird in France still breasfeeding at one! (a pity but the truth, but that you certainly know! ;-)

    Reply

    1. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

      That sounds awful! I think I have reached a point where our current nursing situation isn’t working for me. I need proper sleep to be able to function and nursing during the night is extremely exhausting, especially considering I have no one but myself to rely on. Thank you for your input!

      Reply

  3. Vanessa

    I exclusively breastfed my daughter until she was 11 months. Then we passed mixed feeding: morning and evening only instead of morning, noon, 4pm and evening. Then I breastfed evenings only. Gradually, feedings become less long. I think this sounded the end of breastfeeding for both of us. I’m glad this has ended like this, gently, slowly, without forcing, when it began to become increasingly autonomous and claimed his little character, and when I was beginning to accept detach myself to her a little, back to work (part-time), and enjoy it all.
    I have the sense of accomplishment, that I achieved something . It was nice, but sometimes it was difficult. I wanted to give up when she was around 4 months, but actually, I really want our breastfeeding to continue, so I continued for me, and for her with the idea that she would give me the signal end.
    I did not want my breastfeeding continues up until she is two years old, so I thought if I understand, if I capture the signal end, it does not go far.
    She is 14 months old and it has been 2 weeks since I stopped breastfeeding and it’s going very well, it takes out the bottle without any problems.

    I’m sorry, I am not coping very well in English, I tried to explain this by using google translation. I hope I have succeeded at least a little bit.

    Soon!

    I find your posts very interesting and your daughters are beautiful :)

    Reply

    1. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

      Hi Vanessa! Thank you for sharing your experience and please don’t apologize about your English. I understood your comment perfectly. I like how things worked out for you both…peacefully! I hope things will work out for us as well.

      Reply

  4. emily

    Hi! I’m a new reader to your blog and have an almost 18-month old daughter. We just finished weaning, somewhat by accident. I went back to work full time when she was 2 months and I pumped all through the day and nursed at night. We mostly night weaned around 13 months, and she started sleeping through the night consistently at 15 or so months. She slowly started requiring less milk during the day and I started only offering at bedtime and the morning, with extra sessions during the day only when she asked for it. By the start of this year, we were pretty much down to just those two sessions. Then a few weeks ago, my husband went to get her in the morning and she demanded breakfast right away and forgot about nursing. She never went back. 2 weekends ago I had to travel to visit a sick friend and couldn’t take her with me and she did fine at bedtime and didn’t need to nurse when I got home again so that was that! In the last couple weeks, she’s tugged at my shirt a handful of times and with exception of one time, has always been content with a cup of milk or water and food and snuggles. She is weaned! I’m a little sad about it but it’s been a positive thing for the most part. Please be aware that there is a thing called weaning-related depression. If you feel out of it, hormonal or stressed, it’s ok, it will pass! I suffered a lot of anxiety and couldn’t sleep and then one day, it just lifted.

    Reply

    1. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

      Hello Emily and welcome! It is nice getting to know about you. I did not know about “weaning-related depression” and I am glad you mentioned it! I am already quite hormonal and stressed out so I wonder how that is going to affect me. To be quite honest, I know it will be a very emotional time for me…the thought of it all makes me sad so I can just imagine. I think I am just going to have to take it slow and start with night time weaning. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

      Reply

  5. montessorilifeasweknowit

    It’s difficult Deb. I remember weaning Joshua involuntarily at 22 months, it was the right time to let it go. I cried and felt very sad for at least a month afterwards and cried while writing about it. I am ok now and if you do decide to wean know this: you did great. I still remember my boy feeding through illness and cold nights and remember it fondly, as you will with Vic. Hope you are ok, much love from our house to yours xo

    Reply

  6. Beth - Our Montessori Life

    Hi Deb,
    I agree with others that doing the right thing for you is important. I might like to add what may be an unpopular opinion. If you are thinking of pursuing work/school/volunteering outside the home that will require Vic to be in daycare, you may want to think about weaning far ahead of that. The transition to daycare can be a hard one for everyone involved. It was for us even though everyone including Quentin loves it now. I have seen and coached many Mothers try to wean close to daycare and that is an added stress they just don’t need.
    Now, there is nothing to say that you couldn’t continue partially breast feeding at night or in the morning before she goes, but it is something to think about.
    Ultimately, look at your next 6 months/a year and think about what you really want.
    Our love to you as always,
    Beth

    Reply

  7. Delphine

    Hi Deb,
    I’m still breastfeeding Eléonore who is now 16 months old. The world health organization recommands to breastfeed till 2 or more. Anyway unless you really want to stop, don’t do it because people say you have to stop! Prolonged breastfeeding is perfectly ok and it’s recommended so people should just leave the mothers who do it alone!

    Reply

    1. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

      Hi Delphine, thanks for your encouraging words. I don’t really feel pressured to stop, I am just not sure that it is what I wish for myself anymore…and yet, a part of me doesn’t feel ready. It is a quite strange feeling actually.

      Reply

      1. Delphine

        I know the feeling! If you are not sure you can always reduce the frequency! Breastfeeding during the night is exausting. I don’t breastfeed during the night. Eléonore sleeps non stop for 12-14 hours. It took time and a bit of letting her cry but now eveything is great! I only breastfeed during the day and I know when I become tired of it I can reduce to say once a day.
        Long store short, the choice may not be to stop or not to stop, but how many times a day which is sometimes less brutal.

        Reply

  8. Kirstin

    I am still breastfeeding my son, Darwin, and he’s almost 15 months. I have been ready to stop for a few months now, but something always seems to come up, like an illness or a big change (like starting daycare). Right now I only nurse him in the morning and at night, and even though I’d be more than willing to stop those, Darwin frequently tugs at my shirt and makes the sign for “milk” throughout the day. I’m in the same boat as you, all I hear is “breast is best! breast is best!” and it makes me feel guilty for wanting to quit, but dang! 15 months is a long time!

    Reply

    1. emily

      I hate the amount of guilt we mothers are made to feel over breastfeeding. 15 months is a long time! you’ve done an amazing job and I’m sure your child will be awesome! If you feel like going on, do. If you don’t, don’t! No one should judge you for that. The science is so fuzzy on breastfeeding after 6 months because that’s when things like solid food introduction and other home environmental issues start making more of an impact so we are relying on several generations ago or less developed societies for breast feeding information. It’s hard to know what is “best” but 15 months is great! for my daughter, 17 months was best. and While I miss our nursing I’m looking forward to a totally new phase of our relationship. One in which we build our relationship doing other activities together (just signed us up for piano lessons!).

      Reply

      1. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

        Emily: “new phase of our relationship”…I think that is what scares me the most. We bonded so well over nursing, and with another little girl to look after, I felt it was “our thing” so I am a little nervous about how weaning will affect our relationship.

        Reply

    2. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

      Morning and evening sounds good to me! I could deal with that :) I know what you mean though…between new milestones and teething, I have had my fair share of sleepless nights. It is exhausting! Your comment made me smile Kirstin, so thank you!

      Reply

  9. Faith

    You’re not a bad parent. In this day and age, we are fortunate to have the choice to stop when we’re read to stop. I breastfed my daughter for 26 months until her brother was born. Then I breastfed him till 23 months and 6 months pregnant with #3. I just couldn’t do it anymore and he seemed ready. He still asks every now and then, but we snuggle instead.

    My point is that it’s your choice and yours alone. Sure “breast is best” but then again if you’re ready to be finished, then you’re ready to be finished and that’s best too.

    Reply

  10. Elsa

    Exact same feelings here, Deb. I meant to start weaning at the start of next week. The decision had been made about three weeks ago. But… I realise now that what I wanted three weeks ago is not what I want today. When Finn breastfeeds (he is 2), he sometimes stops, looks at me with a big grin and says: “hmmm miam miam!” How can I take that away from him?? I am ready to stop, I know that, but the hard part for me is forcing it onto my son… Good luck with whatever decision you make! You will find support here whatever you decide.

    Reply

    1. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

      Oh I know the feeling Elsa! Victoire looks so peaceful and happy when she nurses. It is such a great feeling to provide food for them too. Oh dear! What are we going to do? Thank you for your kind words and good luck to you too!

      Reply

  11. abelleabroad

    Congratulations on one year of breastfeeding! Everyone tells you it’s the most natural thing in the world, but they don’t ever tell you how physically and emotionally hard it is. Every mom is different and you have to do what’s right for you and your little one. I breastfeed both my little ones exclusively for 6 months, then started solids and breastfeed for an additional year. I gradually weened them until we were completely done at 18 months. It was a transition that worked easily and well for us. I definitely had mixed feelings about stopping, though. I knew we were all ready, but I also knew I’d miss that particular bond.

    Reply

  12. mymyblue

    I breastfed TJ exclusively for 1 month and a half than gradually introduce bottle until he was 3 month old.
    I breastfed Hanaé until she was almost 10 month old : she was showing signs like she was more playing with my breast than actually feeding, so I tried a bottle of 100ml and she drank it all, so I began to wean. her.
    Whatever you do is your choice and should not be dictated by slogans such as “breast is best”. What’s best for a mom and her baby is not necesseraly what’s best for another one.
    If you feel that you are ready and want to try wean her, do :-)

    Reply

  13. Meghan

    I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus saying: do what seems right for you & your family!

    If you no longer want to breastfeed, then it’s time to stop. Nothing good comes from giving too much of yourself.

    Reply

  14. kenza

    Hello! I just want to say that I just discovered your blog and you are wonderful inspiration to me. (I am also a born and bread Parisian so… a bit biased). Thank you for everything you are sharing. You are a true inspiration. Kenza.

    Reply

    1. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

      Thank you for sharing your experience and link! Victoire will come to me and pull my shirt down, and jump on me so I mean, she is perfectly able to say that she wants it so it is definitely going to be harder than with an infant/younger baby!

      Reply

  15. Jessica

    I think when you are “ready” you will know! If you’re unsure then you might not be ready to wean yet. It’s great to bf as long as you can. It is completely natural for children to breast feed for 3-4 years, although mom may not be as interested for that long! I bf my daughter until she was 21 months. There was no doubt in my mind that I was ready to stop, although I wished I could have bf longer. It is so calming and soothing for the baby; I call it baby xanax. Plus she barely ever got sick. I definitely noticed an increase in crying and frustration in my daughter after I completely ended breast feeding, which made me sad because I felt in my heart it was related to weaning. Always listen to your heart in these matters and try to let it be organic, instead of setting goals and limits. Best wishes to you! I really enjoy your blog.

    Reply

    1. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

      Jessica, I think you are right! I am not ready and that’s why I can’t seem to decide to stop it completely. I have decided to go with the flow and focus on night weaning it will be a huge improvement in our day-to-day life.Thank you for your encouraging words. x

      Reply

  16. ourmontessorijourney

    Hi Deb, we are in the same boat on this one, my girl is 14 months old and I have also been thinking of weaning her off gradually but eventually when she is around 17 or 18 months old. I have dropped the middle of the night feeding already and that has helped her to sleep through the night. I figured she woke up to nurse because she expected that to come. One day I decided not to nurse her at nights and instead comfort her and lay down next to her when she woke up. She fought that for a couple of nights and now she only wakes up on some nights and within seconds she is back to sleep. Having a floor bed really helped cause I was able to lay down with her. But my issue is she has dairy intolerance, meaning
    I have to give her special kind of formula in cup if I stop breastfeeding. I don’t know if she would be happy to drink 2 servings of 200ml of formula in cup though. This is what stops me at the moment. I am also like you not sure what I’m going to do. I have mixed feelings about this. I do not want to force anything. I’d like this to happen naturally and peacefully. I’d like to work on this as a team with my girl. I have to really think this through. Good luck Deb and whatever you decide I’m sure that will be the best for you and your baby because every family is different and every child is different. :-)

    Reply

    1. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

      Thank you for sharing. I have tried refusing to nurse at night…didn’t work too well. She was so squirmy and getting frustrated – she almost started rooting on my back haha. But on a more serious note, I really need to do something about it. Nighttime nursing isn’t working for me anymore – it makes me grumpy during the day. x

      Reply

      1. Delphine

        I don’t know if your hubby is with you but if he is, it can work wonders!
        Instead of you going, he can go. Victoire won’t be happy, but she’ll quickly understand. We did that, because it’s too hard to resist, especially during the night. Fred went to see her and after a couple of days she didn’t wake up anymore. Even now when she wakes up or cryies, once in a while, I don’t go, Fred goes. Good luck!

        Reply

      2. ourmontessorijourney

        Hi Deb, just a quick note on this, I have introduced alternative to cow’s milk (Rice, oat milk, etc) to my girl and she seems to like it most of the time (only if I give it to her in smoothie, porridge, etc), so we are on step closer, we decided not to go with Formula and stick to non-dairy milk, we are going to continue with breastfeeding for a while longer cause I still have mixed emotions about this and until my girl is ready to eat a range of nondairy food that are rich in calcium, fat, etc will be following this post :-)

        Reply

  17. Jenny

    Hi, love your site! I got here through howwemontessori . com . I check in there occasionally to get inspiration for my son’s work/play spaces and activities. I am a former Montessori primary teacher, but was clueless what to do for younger children. Now I have another place to look for ideas.

    I am so glad to have read this post. I appreciate all the words of encouragement from others! My boy is 17 months and I too am struggling with weaning decisions. I don’t think we are ready to stop completely but feel I need to wean at night to regain my sleep and sanity. He was down to three times during the day until I began working part time temporarily and he was staying with Daddy. When I was home he would sign for nursing often and I felt he needed the reassurance I was there for him. But I think it has been a set-back for our gradual weaning process. I too attempted night weaning at times but with co-sleeping there is really no way to do it! We have been discussing moving him to his own room and I think the night weaning will be a part of this. He has already been sleeping on a floor bed in our room for naps, so I’m hoping it will be familiar enough to him.

    Reply

    1. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

      Hi Jenny, thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself and share your experience! I think the older they are, the hardest it is to wean them.
      Like you, I co-sleep but part of the night only. She naps in her own room, and starts the night as well there but whenever she wakes up, I take her with me.
      I totally agree with your “regain(ing) sleep and sanity.” I find it really hard to be patient during the day after a short night which is why I was hoping to wean during the night!
      I wish you good luck Jenny!

      Reply

  18. Kaitlin

    This is completely unrelated to this post, but I had a quick question! I see in the photo that you have a baseboard heater. I also have heaters like this in my home. I’m currently seeing up a Montessori style Nursery for my first baby (due in August) and I assumed I would need to somehow babyproof the heater. Have you have any trouble with having the heater in Sixtine’s play area?

    Reply

    1. Sixtine et Victoire Post author

      Hi Kaitlin, thank you for your question. To be quite honest, I have never even thought of them as a hazard. The girls don’t really pay attention to them and ours don’t get very hot, they are warm to the touch. How many of them do you have in the baby’s room? Could you try preventing access with furniture? Congratulations on your pregnancy and best wishes.

      Reply

Leave a Reply