We started to wean Nadra off breastmilk when she turned 16 months. Partly because we wanted her to get use to the taste of formula before starting daycare since the center can only allow formula or fresh milk (exception only for infant care). The main reason behind that was, I was not producing enough. My supply started to decline from the moment we found out about my pregnancy. We had to start supplementing her milk intake then.
Nadra was not ready to be weaned. She would spat the formula or fresh milk, especially if I was the one feeding. She would wrestled the bottle away till it was out of my grip. Milk feed was a torture for both her and me. At times, she even went on milk strike.
My lactation nurse advised to mix her milk in a ratio of 3 parts breastmilk to 1 part formula/fresh milk. She was fine with the taste but not with me feeding. Somebody else have to feed her. I slowly decreased the breastmilk portion, by weekly, till it was full formula/fresh milk. By this time too, we realised that Nadra only drank better if her milk is very warm. So fresh milk is out. Daycare does not warm up fresh milk.
The day before she started school, I tried feeding her, but again, she squirmed herself away. I was actually worried she might not drink any milk in school the following day (she did drink, finished it actually and even held the bottle herself!).
Nadra has been on full formula for 2 months now.
Yes, we finally weaned her off. It was such a bittersweet moment as I now see the importance of breastmilk.
Nadra seldom fell sick when she was breastfed. If she did, her recovery was very fast, within a day. After switching to formula, she fell sick easily and took longer time to recover. I knew breastmilk contains antibodies but I did not know how great the impact was until we switched.
My only hope is that Nadra’s immune system improves soon. Seeing how helpless she was when her flu acted up again and again, broke my heart.
I pray that Allah will give me the strength and patience to resume my breastfeeding journey when our second child is born. Insya Allah.