DH asked me to post on here b/c we've been having the same conflict over DD's nursing for about a year now, and it doesn't seem like it's going to change anytime soon. We're at a loss about what to do!
DH first started suggesting that we actively wean DD when I was pregnant with DS, who is now 9 months old. DD was not quite 2 yet, and I had always assumed I'd at least nurse to age 2, so I said, "just a little longer." Then, as the birth of the baby drew closer, I realized that weaning her in the middle of all the rest of the major life transition was going to produce nothing but trauma. After the baby was born, she went through a phrase where she wanted to nurse night and day, every time the baby nursed. It was dreadful. DH and I had a lot of "I told you so" moments during those months.
So now, she's drawing close to her 3rd birthday, and we're still nursing. A lot. And she doesn't show any interest at all in stopping. For the most part, that's fine with me, but there are days when it's exhausting. And she melts down when I try to say no or establish some boundaries (like "no, we don't nurse in church"). Frequently she'll wail, "but my brother gets mama milk!"
We night-weaned her for a while when I was pregnant, but when DS was born she regressed to night-waking at least once/night to nurse. With a newborn also waking all the time in the night, I didn't have the energy to battle over the night-nursing, so we fell back into the habit. But now the baby's 9 months old, and they're both still waking at night to nurse, and it's getting Very.Old. I'm exhausted all the time from the interrupted sleep.
And then there's DH. Because nursing is so much a part of DD's routine, she won't have anything to do with him at night, screaming, "NOT you, only Mama!" and yelling "get outta my room!" If he persists in trying to get her ready for bed, she melts down into full temper tantrum mode, kicking and biting herself and throwing herself around the room. DH is understandably frustrated with this situation.
So here's the conundrum: DH thinks that the only way to get her to accept him as a nighttime parent is to wean her, while I can't figure out any way to wean her without assigning him all nighttime parenting. I don't particularly want to wean her altogether, because it seems clear that she still needs that connection with me. However, I'd like to be able to set some boundaries on the nursing relationship without the inevitable meltdowns that I've been getting as a result of any "no." And I definitely need DH to be able to do some nighttime parenting, because with both kids refusing to be comforted by their daddy, the night waking can be a real nightmare -- no pun intended.
What do we do?? Is weaning the answer, or are there ways of reducing the conflict around the nursing relationship without cutting her off altogether?