Alex is only 7.5 months, so this isn't an immediate issue. But after an epic session of nursing to sleep tonight (he's about to crawl, and would really prefer to be practicing his all-fours rock than actually sleeping ), DP surprised me by asking (to be clear, not advocating for) when we'll start letting him cry himself to sleep. Um, never, was my answer.
But what she's really asking is how/when we might expect that we could lay him down after a nice bedtime routine (even one that includes some nursing), and he'll drift off.
And I have no clue what the answer is. What are your experiences in evolving from nursing an infant to sleep, to an older toddler/baby independently falling asleep at night (in the family bed or otherwise)? We currently co-sleep, and plan to for 'as long as it works,' which could easily be another year or two (once he's asleep, it's awesome - barely wakes me to nurse once or twice a night, and otherwise sleeps through to the morning).
Does this mean I'll be spending an hour nursing him to sleep every night for the next 600 nights??!!?? Does this sort of thing evolve when you night wean? Or perhaps when they're verbal, and you can talk about how mama's going to tuck him in, but she won't be joining you to sleep quite yet?