When Extended Breastfeeding Makes You Want to Shave Your Head Bald


Image adapted from photo By mikecoghJust a quick note to share that it is not exactly easy to detach from the digital world and accomplish real life things when you and your 8 year old suddenly get sick. Swollen glands and fevers don’t exactly lend themselves to productiveness and I can’t exactly wallow in the bed all day when my girls are still running around healthy and wired up. So, digital world, I embrace thee still, and thank you for keeping me sane when I would much rather sleep!

I read a post this morning from Sisters 'N Cloth on how breastfeeding isn’t always easy in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, and boy is she right.

I’m a long hair kind of gal. Rarely in my life have I had my hair shorter than shoulder length, it just does not suite me. Working on trying to convince my 33-month-old daughter that she doesn’t need her “ba’s” anymore literally has me wanting to shave my head bald though.

You see, I’m very much for child-led weaning and a strong advocate for extended breastfeeding, but even I get to a point in the process when I’ve just had enough. With my now six year old, it was around her third birthday. I was pregnant with Little Red and nursing just became horrendous for me. We were at the point where she would only nurse twice a day, to take a nap and at bedtime, obviously comfort nursing, but those two times were awful.

I would find myself wanting to crawl out of my skin within second of her latching on. I would sit there, grit my teeth for five minutes, and unlatch her within five minutes because I just couldn’t handle it. I was lucky enough at this time though to have a great helper in 20 year old who was staying with us because we were helping her out. She LOVED playing with the kids, and would do so for hours each day, which quickly became the distraction I had been looking for that allowed Goldilocks to wean on her own without a bat of an eyelash.

Now, my Little Red, she is a different story. She has absolutely NO interest in being done, would latch on all day if I would let her, and I starting to get to that skin crawling point again.

Don’t get me wrong, we have our good days, the ones where she stays occupied and won’t even ask for the ba at naptime. But then there are the days that she tells me “I’m sick, :::cough::: :::cough:::, I need it!” and sticks out her pouty little lip. Or the newest phrase, “Please, it’s my birthday!” I can’t help but giggle at that one, but the point is she does not want to give it up easily obviously and is going to make this a chore for me.

So what does my hair have to do with it you ask? Well, as I slowly convince her that she doesn’t need the ba, she instead wants to “play” with my hair. I use the word play loosely because this often results in her wrapping a chunk of it around her hand and then repeatedly pulling.

I already cut my hair from being half way down my back to shoulder length again because she has been a hair baby since she was infant. Some kids have a blanket, a stuffed animal, a pillow but not my Little Red, her lovey has been and still is my hair.

So, as we go through this emotional process of letting go of breastfeeding I find myself wanting to shave my head bald before she has the chance to pull it all out herself.

Are you extended breast feeder? What challenges have you faced when weaning your child, or allowing them to wean? What advice would you give to a new mom about extended breastfeeding?