My daughter will be three in February, and she nurses herself to sleep at night, as well as occasionally nursing during the night.
Right now I'm feeling exhausted by our nursing relationship. But in all honesty, it's more than that. We are having a really rough time with nights and going to sleep - two hours of crying, nursing, etc. is not uncommon.
I'm really feeling like my husband and I need a night away, just the two of us. But I'm worried about having that first night away from our daughter. Will it be an awful, traumatic experience for both her and the grandparents? Will it mean the end of nursing because my milk will be gone? Will leaving for a night make her feel abandoned and undo everything I've worked so hard to build over the last three years?
How have other people handled the need for "couple-time", with nursing demands? Any advice?
One night (or even 3, or 4) will not cause the milk to dry up. You can pump a little on each day if you really want to keep a supply going My kid went away with his dad for 4 days when he was 3 years old and I was really worried about milk supply/if he would wean. He was apparently perfectly happy the whole time (we were using a pacifier at that point at night to sleep) and did NOT wean -- he nursed again as soon as he got home and we went back to our very occasional nursing for another 6-7 months when he really did wean himself. While he was gone I pumped a couple of times a day (just a tiny bit -- less than an ounce which is all he was really taking anyway at that point).
I bet your daughter would be totally fine if you went away for a night (or two...).
The first night away might be a little bit hard for everyone but chances are it will go just fine & be the start of something special (my ds loves sleepovers with grandma). One night really shouldn't affect your supply - I personally would only pump for personal comfort.
Alternatively, could you do a sleepover at the grandparents but you & dh stay home the first time with the anticipation that if things are not going well they could call & you would go get dc.
Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).