Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Going Cold Turkey

This post is probably TMI, but if it helps somebody else, I'm glad to share it.

Everything I've read tells you not to do it.

Every professional says not to wean cold turkey.

Most sites recommend gradually stopping the mother's milk supply by eliminating feedings. For the last few months, we've been trying that.

The problem is, Kevin is a stubborn boy. If he knows there is a chance that he's going to get milk, he won't quit until he gets it. For the last few months he's woken up every 3-4 hours demanding milk. I'm tired. Some nights it's easier not to fight and it's hard to be consistent, especially when I don't wake up when he comes in (I'm a pretty deep sleeper).

Sunday night was the last straw though. He'd gone to bed early, but thirty minutes later he woke up, nursed for forty-five minutes, and wouldn't go to sleep. For some reason, that was the last straw.

We decided we were done. It also just so happened that Grig didn't have work Monday (they are working Tuesday-Friday this week). Timing seemed perfect.

A new tradition we're starting. We had a lot of fun making this poster.
The first night was miserable.

It took two hours (from 9-11:30) to get Kevin to sleep initially. However, he finally settled down in his own bed and went to sleep.

At 1:30, he woke up again. He screamed for another two hours until he finally curled up next to me in his bed and went back to sleep. We repeated the process one more time at 7:00 a.m., but it was much shorter this time.

It was a long night, but we felt pretty successful the next morning. We were worried that nap-time was going to be just as bad, but Kevin, like us, was very tired. After a little bit of rocking and singing, he went right to sleep.

He had a fairly short nap, but he woke up happy.

Last night went much better. It only took about 40 minutes for Kevin to settle down and go to sleep. He was out by 10. He slept until about 1:05 again, and then after a bit of rocking (an hour's worth this time), he settled down.

At 6:30 a.m, he came into our bedroom and without trying to nurse, went to bed pretty quickly. This is the most improvement we've seen in months.

As for me, I'm tired and swollen. Evidently I've been doing everything wrong too. I took a warm bath this morning, and tried to massage the swelling down. Not a good idea. Evidently that's exactly what you're not supposed to do. I kept trying to find help on the internet this morning, but most sites don't tell you how to help, they simply tell you not to go cold turkey.

Thank you, but I already am, and I'm not going to reverse the progress now.

Finally, I found some suggestions. They recommend putting cold cabbage leaves on (after using a rolling pin on them), taking ibuprofen, and using cold compression. Also, sage tea. I don't have cabbage, and we're out of grocery money for a few more days. However, we do have frozen vegetables. Those seem to be helping.

Yes, it is painful, but I'm pretty confident that we're doing the right thing. Kevin will be two next month and he and I are bonding in a new way.
Kevin loves his puppy

We're pretty excited that he's sleeping by himself and putting himself to sleep.

If you can gradually wean, that is much better. However, if you have a stubborn kid like me, know that sometimes you have to go against recommendations in order to help your kid.

He needs more sleep too.


  1. I had to go cold turkey over the summer as . well. For me, it was because I had to attend the temple....I badly needed it...and I felt strongly I needed to be at girl's camp. In the end there were very good reasons for that.

    I got a really painful mass near the center of my breast. Be careful :/ but you will be ok....in the end that cleared up for me, too.

    I had a thought as I was reading this. For me, breastfeeding has always been very effective birth control. Particularly night feedings. Even feeding once per night, Jeff and I could not concieve. I did not even ever cycle until I quit night feedings entirely (TMI, twin :) ) anyway. A thought.

    1. Thank you. That same thought had also occurred to me, but having a couple people echo it has made it seem more of a possibility for why we haven't been able to get pregnant yet. Thank you for you comments and support.

  2. When we lost our baby, my milk came in just as much as when I had my other kids. That is so painful to quit cold turkey. I hope that your milk dries up really quick.

    1. Thanks. That's pretty rough with Abrielle. How long did it take your milk to dry up?