I am a very tired mama of two - DS is 3 years old and sleeps well and DD is 6 months and is awake every 1-2 hours. DS slept poorly for the first 2 years of his life, but I continually nursed him back to sleep, reasoning that
"this too shall pass" and that I could sleep when the baby slept. This time around I'm struggling. As much as I'd like to say the same, I'm feeling torn, as DD needs me to be with her to sleep, wakes frequently, and has trouble settling - but I can't just catch up by sleeping when she sleeps as I need to keep up with her brother through the day. I also want to be able to enjoy DS and I find myself more and more irritable and grumpy with him, sometimes snapping over minor things and I can recognize it's just exhaustion. I babywear extensively, but DD will not settle anymore in the carrier with her brother around, unless we're actively walking, which with a 3 year old, we often have to stop on our walks to look at ants or play on a slide etc. She'll wake up right away. And wake up once we walk in the house too. And for sleeping in bed, we've tried white noise and swaddling. Last night I had to nurse her for over an hour before I could sneak away. She nurses actively for about 5 minutes, falls asleep, but as soon as the nipple is removed, she stirs and wakes up. So I kept nursing, while keeping an ear out for her brother who should have been asleep but wasn't - and was nervous the whole time about what he may be getting into (he is an extremely curious little guy!). So it doesn't feel right to stay with her and not alert to him, but it also doesn't work to get up from her and have her sleep deprived and grumpy!
So, I'm starting to consider sleep training options, and I feel guilty about that. I don't want DD to cry, but I wonder if I should move her out of my bed (we have co-slept since birth, and did so with DS for 2 years) or try not nursing her to sleep (I don't even know how to do otherwise) or what to do! I would just deal with it, but it's hurting DS too for me to be so tired, that it's something we need to change. Has anyone faced a similar situation? It seems all the advice regarding sleep coming from attachment parenting sources is much easier when it's just one child! I don't have the means to get extra help in the day to catch up on sleep. Help me think through how I can help the family.