Boy Blue has stopped nursing after eight and a half months. I made the decision to stop because he is starting to get teeth and eating “real” food has become his main diet. Every mother and baby make the decision to stop when it is right for them. It was the right time for Boy Blue and I.
Part of me is excited because that means anyone can feed him now. My husband and I can leave him with his sisters at the grandparents to spend the day walking alone. To walk without a stroller while keeping a constant eye on one child or another is a freedom that I don’t remember any longer. I don’t have to nurse him in public which I was actually pretty comfortable with these past few months. However, I never see mothers feeding their babies in public in Strasbourg. While living in Dayton, I didn’t see it all the time but more than here. I am not sure but I think French women give a bottle in public and nurse at home. I have nursed Petite Clown and Boy Blue in just about every park or public place in Strasbourg. No one seems to notice or care. Why should they? Nursing your baby is the most natural thing in the world.
Boy Blue doesn’t seem to care too much. He will root around the front of my shirt when he is tired or hungry. He minds not the bottle or pacifier given in the place of nursing. Last night I laid with him in bed beside me like aways. However, instead of him nursing himself to sleep he soothed away the day with his pacifer. He snuggled close to me and sighed.
He loves his bottle. Every time he takes it, he laughs like it is a new game. He knows he is bigger and somehow the bottle is a step for him. He feels the weight of this step grasping onto it with both chubby little rubber band hands. He presses the nipple of the bottle into his wide open mouth which is shaped into huge smile of delight. He is a big Boy Blue. My little babies are all big babies or small girls or a big girl blossoming into pre-teens.
The last time I nursed him I held him close and he snuggled against me like a little baby ball just like when he was a newborn. I watched him fall deep asleep trying to take a picture of this moment for the photobook in my mind. I have so many memories that I leaf through on quiet day or moments. So many precious and beautiful memories of love, laughter, tears and toothless grins. Little moments of love shared between mother and child. Sweet and delicate seconds of sheer happiness.
I think it is harder for the Mama to stop nursing than the growing baby.
I miss the connection and the special moments shared with my Boy Blue. All the months that I nursed away the tears, the fears and the hunger by wrapping him up in the sleepy warm love of his mothers milk.
For those American mothers living in France, like me, who don’t know what formula to give your baby, I gave Petite Clown and I am currently giving Boy Blue Enfamil. You must buy it at the pharmacy and it is a bit more expensive. However, the babies doc recommended it highly and I am familiar with Enfamil because that is what my own mother fed me as a baby in America.
As with all things, I would check with your babies Pediatrician as to what formula is best for your baby.