DS is almost 13 months and around the time he turned 1 year, his nursing to sleep behavior (which has always been tried and true) changed. He is always been a huge nurser and nursing to sleep when he was tired would always work. Now, he will nurse...and nurse...and nurse......and not fall asleep, even though he is tired. He wakes up every 2-3 hours at night and will nurse for 30-40 min sometimes and it still won't be enough to get him back down.
I have started feeling very burnt out. I work FT and have nursed DS on demand for a year, sometimes for two hours at a time, and I plan to continue to BF but the long nursing/sucking and NOT falling asleep, at this age...I'm just starting to reach my limits!
Around the 12-month mark, I had seen that DS was starting to nurse, would roll over awake, and then would pass out. That got me excited because I thought maybe he is finally learning how to put himself to sleep. So, DH and I decided that he could try putting DS asleep at night after I nursed him, then would go to bed with him (we co-sleep) and would try and handle the nighttime wakings as well to see if DS could put himself to sleep without nursing for nearly an hour. I don't intend to nightwean him but this was sort of a nudge in that direction to see how he would handle it being away from my boobs here and there at night.
Well, now I feel like we've created a disaster. On most nights, DS will go to bed very well for my husband after I nurse him (if he is tired...if not, DH will let him play quietly a bit longer). But, the nighttime wakings have been a MESS. DH will get up with him, and DS will see me in the bed and just cry. We never let him cry, so that really bothers me. So, he'll hand him over to me and I will try to nurse him back to sleep like usual. 40 min. later, after he has delatched and rolled over and come back to nurse again 50 times, I have nearly had it, so I'll ask DH to try to put him down again. Well, when DH takes him, DS starts SOBBING. He'll walk around with him in another room trying to put him down and DS will just cry louder and louder. And I can't take that. I feel so guilty that he is crying because I was too selfish to just keep him latched on as long as he wanted, but at the same time I can't sleep when he nurses for over 40 min to get back to sleep and is still awake and rolling around.
So, I'll go in and get DS back and say I'll nurse him again and then DH is upset, claiming that DS is fine, that I'm messing it all up because I cant make up my mind and then we start yelling at each other at 2 am in front of DS who gets quiet as soon as I take him and then just watches us yell at each other. This is NOT the way I want bedtime to be, nor do I want to yel at my husband l in front of DS after he has cried for 10 min. because he wants me.
It is like, the only options I have are to let DS nurse away at night and I won't sleep, or to let him cry hysterically in DH's arms. At times he will fall asleep quite easily in the middle of the night with DH, but not usually. Although I feel at the time that I can't let him nurse any longer b/c I'm frustrated, and maybe DH can get him to sleep, once he starts screaming I would much rather let him nurse forever!
Anyone have any tips on how we can handle these nighttime wakings better? Right now DH and I have barely talked all week and I'm sure some of it is sleep deprivation, but this is not what I envisioned when we started doing bedtime differently.
Edited by LHcj2008 - 1/13/12 at 7:17am