It was January of 2020, the middle of the pandemic, and I was still breastfeeding my 17-month-old daughter. This was my second go-round with breastfeeding. I weaned my older son at 14 months and it was easy. My daughter, however, had a different plan. Due to the pandemic, we weren’t apart often. She rarely took a bottle, and she never took a pacifier. Not only was I her primary source of food, but I was also her primary source of comfort. She was so attached to me, and the thought of weaning her stressed me out. I honestly had no idea where to start. There’s so much talk about the importance of breastfeeding, but not enough talk about weaning and the emotional toll it can have on mom and baby.
Thankfully Nikki Osei-Barrett, my co-author of Boobies Go Bye-Bye, was already in the trenches of weaning, and she frequently documented her journey on social media. Over a few weeks, I watched as Nikki transparently recorded her concerns about weaning. She shared weaning techniques that worked for her, and finally reported that she had weaned Faye (her daughter and main character in the book). It was the inspiration I needed to wean my daughter. Little did I know, our back and forth would lead to something that would help women and babies everywhere.
Why not write a book about weaning?
“I reached out to Cyana with the idea of a children’s book and wanted to collaborate since she recently released a Best-selling children’s book.” said Nikki. “We read all kinds of books to our children — ranging from potty training to good manners — preparing them for current and future life experiences. Why not write a book about weaning, explaining the process in simple terms for children ages 0-3 to understand, while also empathizing with mom’s emotions during the transition?” added Osei-Barrett. I loved the idea so much and we got to work immediately! We did our research on children’s weaning books that already existed, and found out that not only are the books dated, but none of the books had Black characters.
Black voices in breastfeeding
Boobies Go Bye-Bye furthers Black representation in children’s literature and also within the breastfeeding space, subtly addressing extended breastfeeding and gentle weaning. These are two topics seldom discussed in Black breastfeeding communities. This book is inspired by Nikki’s extended breastfeeding journey. As we prepared the manuscript for the book, I was in the middle of weaning my daughter. This allowed me to use some of the language from the book to help her throughout the weaning process.
Boobies Go Bye Bye is a weaning story that helps mom and baby navigate the ups and downs of weaning. We know firsthand that weaning can be stressful, and we hope Boobies Go Bye-Bye helps to make the transition smoother. The language in the book is simple enough for children to understand, and the message also comforts mom. Boobies Go Bye-Bye is the weaning book we wish we had when we weaned our children, but we are thrilled other moms will have this book for their journey. You can pre-order a copy here!