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Why I’m Slowly Weaning My Triplets

For the first two months of my babies’ lives, I pumped every 2-3 hours, around the clock. I attempted breastfeeding. I got frustrated. At two and a half months, I began to teach Noah to nurse. It was painstakingly slow: weigh Noah, breastfeed Noah, weigh again, feed the girls, pump. For one feeding.

weaning main(By the way, don’t let this picture fool you – those sweet little kiddos were mostly whining and sobbing while waiting their turn. But, I digress.)

Then I attempted to teach Makenna. Weigh the babies, tandem breastfeed, weigh again, feed Emma, pump. For one feeding.

Oh yeah, there’s a third baby! How to fit that third one in? Well Emma turned out to be the most challenging baby of all to teach to nurse. And she is the one I am most proud of on this subject. She finally latched on when we were both in the bathtub together – at three and a half months.

Getting all three to nurse for one feeding was never really on my radar. Until little Emma set me down that path. I share that incredible story in detail here: Breastfeeding Triplets: A Battle of Love. (<– I’m also an author at this website – an online community of moms and professionals that offers encouragement and support for breastfeeding women. You can check us out here, here and here – can’t wait to see you there!)

Fast-forward a bit more: I am breastfeeding all three at almost every single feeding! At around five months old, I was breastfeeding the equivalent of 15 times a day plus pumping three or four times. Any time I could, I dropped a bottle feeding. Soon, they were completely breastfed – no bottles!

Weaning Slowly

At a year old, I was still breastfeeding the equivalent of 15 times a day. They were not all night-weaned till after 15 months. So at 15 months old, I began my first attempt to wean from a breastfeeding. It went very smoothly; age had a lot to do with it, I think. (You can see what our day looked like at this point: 15 Month Update. It made my eye twitch just re-reading it!)

A couple months later, I was ready to wean from the most challenging time of the day: right before dinner. At almost 17 months, I was still spending a good four hours a day breastfeeding babies! Or the equivalent of breastfeeding every two hours!

I knew I didn’t want to end breastfeeding completely (we worked so hard to get there and we all really enjoyed it). So I knew that weaning from the most difficult breastfeeding session for me would, ultimately, help me to continue the breastfeeding relationship much, much longer.

A book I highly recommend for mamas of multiples is Mothering Multiples, by Karen Gromada. It is a stellar resource from pregnancy to toddler-hood and focuses on breastfeeding – the challenges and joys of breastfeeding two or more same-aged children.

One of the chapters discusses “mother-guided weaning” and I knew that is what was right for us. One La Leche League Leader described her need to put some limits on her twins’ breastfeeding relationship as “mother-encouraged, baby-led weaning.” I loved that! And I knew that this would work well for us.

My babies clearly loved to nurse. I loved that they loved it. I would just help them by setting some limits so that it wasn’t such a large portion of our day.

I’ll be sharing the most recent changes in our breastfeeding relationship soon. Don’t miss it – subscribe in the sidebar to the left and never miss a post!

Comments

  1. I think I stopped breathing when I read, “Soon, they were completely breastfed – no bottles!” WOW.

  2. You are amazing! You have been such an encouragement to me with my two! I know this time is bittersweet for you. :)

  3. Absolutely beautiful! I admit I was a more than a bit sad when my twins self-weaned at 21 months. I desperately wanted to make it to that two year mark. But I am grateful for the time we had, and I was actually grateful for short break in nursing before their younger sister was born 3 months later (the only nursing break I’ve had in 7 1/2 years!).

    • Hi Emily!

      Thanks for stopping by! :o) 7 1/2 years is QUITE an accomplishment – is that with twins and your singleton?! Or were there more kiddos in there, somewhere? :) Wow, congratulations mama on giving your kiddos such an awesome start!!

      {hugs}

      • I guess I should have mentioned that I have 7 children. :) My twin boys are #4 & 5. My oldest is 8 1/2. Since my second was born 7 1/2 years ago I’ve been nursing, nursing while pregnant, or tandem nursing all but those three months between the twins self-weaning and my #6 being born. And if you include pregnancy without nursing, my sister recently pointed out that it has been over 9 years since I had my body to myself. Such is motherhood. :) My #2 & #3 weaned at just over 2 1/2 (the first we only made it to 4 1/2 months because of incorrect information and lack of support). Currently #6 (23 months) & #7 (6 months) are tandem nursing.

        • Oh.My.Wow! What a blessed family! Love it! And how incredible to have given them such a wonderful start! :o) I joke that if my trio were spaced out, I’ve been bfing the equivalent of 6 years. :D Ha!

  4. Wow, what an amazing story!!! I’m so happy that you made it work and have kept it up. I love extended nursing.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I shared the first part of my journey on breastfeeding triplets and weaning slowly here. […]

  2. […] day started out like normal – nurse the kiddos, breakfast, get dressed. Then I threw dipes on the line and piled kiddos into the car to get the […]

  3. […] haven’t weaned the triplets yet. But I know that when it happens, I will have mixed emotions. I ran across this precious poem and wanted to share it. It’s so […]

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