I am 21 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and my son is 26 months old. He was a typical to poor sleeper, depending on your gauge lol He loved nursing and although it's a blur it seems like he became quickly (a few weeks) dependent on nursing to fall alseep. While I know that is normal, he woke every 2 hours or less until 16 months old and napped for less than 30 minutes a time until he was a year. I feel that he was overtired from waking so often for so long and I was definitely upset and drained. At 16 months I contacted a sleep consultant and we gently nudged him toward sleeping longer stretches and not nursing to sleep, although I still nursed him 2-3 times a night until 23 months because I was so tired and didn't believe in crying it out at all. He weaned completely at 23 months when I went out of town for 3 nights and began sleeping 11-12 hours a night no problem.
Sooooo, my fear is that I will have the same difficulties with my daughter. I would really like to teach her from the beginning to fall asleep without a boob in her mouth. I still want to exclusively nurse and I don't want to sleep train at all but I really do feel that my son's dependent on drinking milk to fall asleep hampered his ability to get a good nights sleep for a long time. He is a happier kid these days and wakes up happy, which honestly, he NEVER did before. I have no problem nursing her often but I really feel like my son was more just in the "habit" of nursing as he got older, more than really hungry (he was HUGE, chubby and in the 95th percentile). At 9-12 months we were both just miserable. I tried co-sleeping and he seemed so restless and not comfortable at all. I guess I would just like some tips from anyone who maintained a strong breastfeeding relationship with their baby but also managed to get them to sleep longer stretches as they got older ( I am talking latter half of the first year and just some 4-5 hour stretches, not the whole night or anything)
Thanks for any ideas you may have and I apologize if my thoughts are a little unclear (pregnancy brain:)