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How Do You Wean?

8 kinds of "weaners:" which one do you think you and your baby are?

How Do You Wean?

Whether you've been breastfeeding your little one for 6 months or 2 years, you've nourished him with your body. And despite the fact that it came at a price (sleepless nights, sore nipples, leaky boobs and the inevitable milk stains on your favorite loungewear), it is one of the most beautiful accomplishments there is. But now is the time to stop, and for many moms out there, the weaning process is no easy feat.

Weaning is often described as a beautiful mutual transition between mother and child. But as with all things parenting, it's much more complex than that. There are in fact many different ways to go about helping your bambino part ways with the boobs, and every family is bound to have a unique experience in dealing with the challenges and emotions weaning inevitably comes with. From the mom who weans progressively to the baby who goes on one final strike, here are 8 kinds of "weaners."

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What category do you and your little one fall into?

1. The reluctant participant. When I say reluctant participant, I really mean the unwilling participant. That means you need to brace yourself for some temper tantrums and lots of shirt grabbing in public. Have no fear, you can do this! And if you reach your tipping point, it may be time to plan a mommy weekend getaway! Out of sight, out of mind! Mojito, anyone?

2. Pump no more. Extra props for all the pumping moms out there. Pumping adds another layer of complexity and effort to breastfeeding that should earn every mother a gold medal or at least a couple of good foot massages. Did your co-workers walk in on you AGAIN during your mid-pumping session? Are you tired of having to end the day with a milk stain (or ten) on your pencil skirt? Or are you simply done with the prospect of going topless at work? Whatever your reason, the white flag is up, and it's time to move on for your own personal sanity. Get excited! More time for you, and less time scoping out that perfect pumping location (not the bathroom!).

3. I’m pregnant! This just in: baby #2 is on the way, and your milk supply is out! In some cases pregnancy can crash your milk supply or change the taste so much that your babe is no longer interested. Your little one may not know it yet, but they will thank you for the new sibling! Enjoy the break ladies, you’ll be back at it in no time!

4. The baba lover. Did your little one realize on their own that gulping milk from a bottle was a little easier than your boob? You need to give them credit for figuring this one out on their own... Baby genius anyone?

5. The last boob standing. A mom’s supply can start to wean on its own. However, mom’s supply doesn’t always drop in unison. I’ve often heard the last boob standing referred to as the good boob -- the one that just keeps on going, and it’s no longer an even package. Although we appreciate the effort, can we have two matching boobs please?

6. Gentle Weaning aka Extended Anguish. This is a well-known “recommended” method: slowly reduce breastfeeding one feeding at a time. Personally, I couldn’t deal with the long term tata engorgement, but maybe you’re a rockstar and figured this one out. If so, kudos to you, mom!

7. Cold Turkey. A little jarring perhaps but pretty easy to follow. Step 1: pick a time and a date. Step 2: close down the boob buffet. Step 3: stock up on cabbage. You'll most likely have breast engorgement and clogged ducts, and cabbage is an effective home remedy for that.

8. The nursing strike. This one got me. After I dedicated eleven months to nursing my babe, he decided he’d rather bite than suck. After I had been bit a couple of times and yelped in pain, I finally decided to google how to deal with my little bitter. The internet unanimously instructed me not to shriek while being bitten because in rare circumstances this can cause nursing strikes. I’m not sure how you aren’t suppose to react after having your boobs chomped on, but that never stops those superhuman requests from rolling in. Well, for us, that was it. Oh well, eleven months is a good run.

The weaning process is the final hurdle and it’s a big one, however the most difficult part is dealing with the emotions of it all. It’s hard to see your baby grow up and lose the special bond of breastfeeding. Take comfort in knowing you aren’t alone and as every phase ends another one begins and the adventure continues.

Photography via Amy Frances Photography.

Veronica Horner is the co-founder of Maia Moda, a modern breastfeeding clothing line of tops and dresses for stay at home and working mothers. As more and more moms are choosing to breastfeed and for longer periods of time, better designed and stylish clothing is another great way to help moms on their breastfeeding journey. The launch of the clothing line will be this upcoming Spring of 2017. You can keep up to date on the launch by signing up for the mailing list or through Instagram and Facebook.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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