Today I weaned my little boy. He is 18 months old. My initial plan was to breastfeed him until he is two years old. I had no problems with breastfeeding him because he doesn’t bite me or hurt me in any way. However, he has become very attached to me. He doesn’t want anyone, not even lola or yaya, to feed him or put him to sleep. He wants only me. Because I work at home, he has become a major distraction because he knocks at my home office and never stops crying until I get out of the room. He pulls me out of the office and brings me to his bed to breastfeed. He sucks during mealtime, while watching TV, while playing. I always have to bring a jacket when we go out because I don’t know when he would snatch my shirt and suck. He needs to suck at night while I’m working. I’m not getting enough sleep because he wakes me up every now and then. The activity that was once enjoyable has now become a burden for me.

The right opportunity came when my mother needed to visit my grandma last weekend. The yaya also went home so Aki and I have the house to ourselves. He had my full attention for three whole days. While at grandma’s, she texted me that my cousin Cathy already weaned her daughter and she’s bringing home the herbal plant they used. She told me to prepare my son for weaning. For three days I regulated his breastfeeding, letting him suck only after meals and before sleeping. He doesn’t seem to care. He seems to be satisfied and very happy just to be with me. When my mother came back, she brought home some Panyawan stalks from my lola’s garden. I decided to wean my little boy the next day.

Early next morning, I prepared my weaning materials. I crushed one end of the Panyawan stalk and spread the extract to my breasts. Panyawan is a herbal plant that is believed to cure diabetes. It has a bitter taste and is usually boiled and drunk. At first I wanted to use ampalaya extract but decided against it because my son eats amplaya. I also thought of using chili extract but that might be too much and I don’t want to hurt myself as well.

When Aki tasted the bitter Panyawan, he was surprised and was taken aback. He tried the other breast and discovered that it has the same bitter taste. The bitter taste had a big impact on him that he stops every time he feels an urge to breastfeed. I gave him a chocolate wafer as a reward for remembering the bitter taste and to my amazement, he wiped the chocolate on my breasts and tried to feed! Maybe he thought that the chocolate would take away the bitterness! That was a funny moment!

The first day of weaning my little guy started well. My fear is how he would fare during the night when I put him to sleep.

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