This is my 1st child...the little of my life. I have been exculsively breastfeeding my son since he was born and he will be 17 months old this month. My son has never used a bottle and he stopped using his pacifier at 6 months old on his own. He has several teeth and eats solid foods for all of his meals. I am still nursing however to get him to sleep for naps and at bed time...and he still nurses for comfort, especially if he gets hurt.
I have been testing the waters as to how to stop nursing with him. I have tried giving him milk in a bottle (refuses). I have tried giving him milk in his sippy cup (which he has been using since 9 months) and he also refuses this. Not only does he refuse, but when I have attempted these tactics he gets angry and will throw them down and cry as he reaches to find my breast. I have also tried nursing him for a few minutes and then genltly taking him off and snuggling him to try to get him to sleep without nursing for the full amount of time he usually does. This also makes him angry and he will cry non-stop until I give in and give him my breast.
I am concerned about 3 main things: 1) His emotions- I don't want him to feel like I am rejecting him as I wean him off the breast. I am afraid he will feel hurt and not understand. 2) His age- my little bear is almost 17 months and I am afraid that I have waited too long to wean him off the breast. (People have made me feel like I am doing something wrong for nursing him this length of time, very critical of me). And I am afraid of continuing to nurse him longer than 18 months because it is only getting harder trying to wean him. 3) My pain- I know it will be painful as I stop nursing: the leaking, swelling...and all that b/c my friends have gone through it and shared with me. I don't know the best way to do this: cold turkey or gradually.
I hope that helpful mothers will respond to this post because I feel lost in the woods on this one. Thank you.