I'm not sure if this is better posted here on in single parenting, but I'll start here since even non-singles might have some ideas.
I've got a 10 month old and a 5 year old. Right now I co-sleep.
The 5 year old is in her own bed but comes into my room during the night. That is working ok for now, although it can make things more challenging.
The 10 month old, however, is not really doing so well co-sleeping. She starts off in her own bed (an Amby motion bed) and then comes to my bed when she wakes. Once she is in my bed the all night nurse-a-thon begins. She really can't sleep next to me without being latched on.
Her older sister nursed a lot at night too, but she didn't have to stay latched on. We've been struggling with thrush, and I'm sure that sleeping with that moist nipple in her mouth isn't helping us. It isn't great for her teeth either. Plus, I'm not getting the deep sleep that I need to cope with being on my own with them. I have sole custody, so there is no "every other weekend" for me to catch up on sleep.
I think that I need to night wean and/or move her to a separate bed. She seems to know when I am in the room, even when in her own bed, so I may need to move her to another room entirely. She is also too big for the Amby, but I am afraid she won't sleep alone in a bed that doesn't move (I have tried a few nights). I'm so sad because I really would rather have her in bed with me, but I just don't think it is working. Neither of us are really getting good sleep.
How can I possibly make these changes when I don't have another adult to help out? There isn't anyone else to be with her to offer comfort as she adjusts to a new routine. It would be nice if someone who didn't smell like milk could rock her or sooth her back to sleep. And I just don't think I can afford the sleepless nights it might take to help her make the changes. I just don't have enough reserves in me to go for a few nights with even less sleep.
I had to handle all night time parenting even when their dad was living here, but at least I could fall back on him if things got too bad for me to do it alone. Now I don't even have that.
It seems impossible right now, so I'm just staying with what we are doing, figuring bad sleep is better than no sleep at all. But we really do need to make some changes. I could use some ideas.