So have I mentioned that I don't really know anything about babies? I know, I know...I should know a little something seeing as I have one, and I am writing a blog about it. The truth is, I'm definitely just winging it over here.
Here's the thing...I was one of those lucky moms who had no problems breastfeeding (even with my c-section baby, thanks to the coaching of my AMAZING midwife). I didn't have my heart set on nursing, but I was glad I was able to do it without much worry. That is to say, I was open to bottle feeding if nursing didn't work out and also happy to nurse if it did. And it did. I had a goal of weaning by 12 months, though I was also not putting undue pressure on myself if I was ready to wean early. I was raising a foodie baby, after all! In my mind, she would be so into food that she'd basically wean herself when she realized all the amazing options she had. Who wants breastmilk when there's baked brie and rhubarb custard on the menu! I mean, come on right?
Yeah, well. I have to admit that while I didn't mind breastfeeding and definitely found it easier than preparing bottles etc, I found it exhausting. I was constantly starving and have never been thirsty that way in my entire life. And I was pretty much the only one losing sleep, as it was easier to prop myself up and nurse while binging on Netflix than to deal with the whole bottle-warming situation anyway. So, needless to say, I was more than ready to wean around the nine month mark. I had given my babe a good start and was ready to pass on the experience to her dad and the grannies, and maybe carve out more than 45 minutes to myself. See, it took me almost that long to find a bottle that my baby liked and was willing to drink from and even then she really only drank expressed milk a few times, refusing the bottle and screaming most of the time.
So, at nine months, I was ready for the switch to formula. I researched brands, and selected an organic, low sugar formula from a company I trust. She hated it.
The other moms assured me that taste is a factor when it comes to formula and that we would have to try a few kinds before we find the one she likes. Ugh. That stuff is expensive. Breastmilk, free. We tried and tried, brand hoping, only to have the baby spit out her formula and bat the bottle away from her mouth while screaming horrified and trying to gnaw her way into my shirt.
Soon the reason became apparent: remember that dairy allergy? This is how we discovered it. Out of desperation, I found a formula that was tops for the taste category on the top ten list and the baby slurped down half a bottle. Then vomited all over me, several times. Then, while I was peeling pukey pjs from her, I was horrified to discover welts all over every bit of her little body. Big, fat, red welts.
So yeah, formula was out. Even the hypoallergenic version which is still made with cow's milk. And remember that legume allergy? Guess what--soy is a legume. So that's out too. So now, with my return to work looming, and a baby who won't even go into a room with a bottle let alone drink from one, how the heck do I wean this baby before it's too late.
And before the rest of the teeth come in, because....ouch.