Ok. Here goes. I'm trying to figure out how I'm really feeling about a few things and wanting to hear others experiences, thoughts, commissaries, etc.
I have always felt very strongly about breastfeeding on demand through age 2. No matter how intense it got, it always felt right. The only parameter I have ever put on our nursing was 1/2 a year ago when my daughter was about 18 months I said we could only have one "ummie" out in public at a time (she's a twiddler...). This took a few weeks to adjust to from her end but then it was the new normal. She'll actually specifically ask for "one ummie" when we're out so as to be clear that she understands the new rules.
I'm definitely in the baby-led weaning camp more than not but told myself I'd reassess when she was 2. See how it was all feeling. And now it's a month past 2 and mostly it feels good. I have no desire to wean her completely. I nurse her down for nap and up from nap and sometimes in the middle of nap. I'm ok with this. One day a week I work in my school acupuncture clinic and our sitter wears her down in the pack with no ummies without a problem. In fact, oftentimes WAY faster than I can get her down.
We nurse to sleep at night. I don't mind the first hour. The 2nd that it usually takes for her to really settle enough for sleep gets a bit tedious and my nipples are sore by the end. She's on and off, pacifying, playing, rolling around, etc etc etc.
She'll stay down for 2-3 hours and then needs the ummies again. I don't mind this. I'm used to it. She never fully wakes up. Unless I don't give her a boob. I don't even mind the 2+ other times she latches on for a feed throughout the night. If she's just feeding and going back to sleep I don't wake enough to be bothered. But if she's restless (often) and she's pacifying more than actually getting milk it's a real drag. She thrashes and yells and has to be moved from one side of me to the other, all with her eyes closed.
But then there's the 4-8am stretch. That one's REALLY getting to me. She's ALWAYS restless then and can't stay asleep without a nipple in her mouth but it's more like she can't sleep with it or without it. She'll kick and moan and yell in her sleep and twist all around without letting go of the nipple. I wake up real fast with this behavior. And then I'm awake. If she settles back to sleep and I can get my boob out, I can't move a muscle or she starts screeching again. If I try to get up to pee she starts sobbing for me. Eyes still closed. No matter that she's snuggled right up to her Daddy.
I'm tempted to just get her up at 6am when I can't stand anymore and have our day start then. But that's never been our rhythm. She's always been a later to bed, later to wake girl not matter what we've tried.
She also nurses during the day when she gets hurt, if she's overtired, freaked out, etc. I don't mind any of that.
She's working on her 2 yr old molars like crazy. One is 3/4s through, the other is 1/2 through. There's drool pouring out of her mouth like crazy constantly.
She fights sleep all the time, always has, any where and any how. I can count on one hand the number of times she's fallen asleep in the car since she was born. And all of them were after intense agony or when she'd refused a nap and we had to be in the car late in the day.
90% of the time she gets 12 hours of sleep a day, 10 at night like clockwork and 2 during the day. Since she turned 2 there have been more and more days where she won't nap but she usually makes up for it at night and sleeps 12 hours.
If I'm wearing her and she gets sleepy she wants to get down. None of this letting sleep take over her thing I see happen with some other kids. We were hiking last weekend and she was on my back in the kinderpack and she was incredibly tired and I knew she wouldn't be able to fight it any longer but she wouldn't let go into sleep without ummies. Which meant switching her to my front. Which, her being a 3 ft, 30 lb 2 yr old, means I can't see my feet. Awesome. I tried to tell her I needed her to wait for ummies, that it was too hard for Mama to carry her on my front while hiking anymore. But after 20+ minutes of her sobbing for them I gave in. But I felt resentful. Until she woke up an hour later. Then I felt lucky to still be holding my little girl so close and have her be so snug and comfortable on me.
She is not a big eater of food. She'll graze a tablespoon of whatever at a time. But it's always nutrient dense food. I try to be careful about that. Sometimes I worry that she's starving all night long and that's why she can't settle. But while I suspect she's still getting 12-18 ozs of breastmilk from my saggy boobs, my supply is definitely not what it used to be.
So I guess if I have questions from all of this they'd be: What does it look like to practice baby-led weaning from 2 yrs on? Would night-weaning help her sleep better in the long run? Is she hungry at night because she's not getting enough calories during the day? Would it free her in some way to have me set a clear boundary around when we were nursing and when we weren't? How do I keep nursing her while at the same time helping her learn other ways to get to sleep? How do I do all this while continuing to co-sleep?
Thanks for reading all this!!!
Edited by wolfmama31 - 8/20/13 at 10:18pm