Wasn't sure if I should post this here, or under Nighttime Parenting, or someplace else...
DS1 will be 3 in September and is still very attached to nursing. Sometimes I think he nurses more than his 6-month-old brother, and he DEFINITELY nurses more than the baby at night. That said, when he is away from me, he seems to be fine without nursing and makes up for it by eating more solids. I've only ever been away from him overnight twice: once near the end of my pregnancy with DS2 and I had a suspected case of swine flu so I spent a night at my parents' house to get a good night's sleep, and then once when DS2 was born (we were apart for 36 hours then, and he resumed nursing just fine when we reunited). Both of those times, he slept pretty well with DH despite not being able to nurse. If I'm there, he definitely wants to nurse.
Anyway, DH is considering a trip to visit his family for the 4th of July weekend. His grandmother is very sick and is basically waiting to die, so he would like to see her. We've decided not to go as a whole family because DS2 HATES the car. When he's not tired, he's okay for a little while but gets bored easily (even if I sit in back with them) and if he's tired, he'll cry and scream but not fall asleep. I'm rarely able to get him to sleep and then transfer him to the carseat. The drive to my in-laws' is about 6 hours already, so having to plan several stops would make it an all-day affair (and still miserable) which isn't realistic for a weekend trip. So DH was thinking of just going by himself, until he got the idea to bring DS1 with him. I know that from a nutritional standpoint, he doesn't need to nurse and can make up the calories in solids. And history has shown that he MIGHT sleep fine for DH without me there... but what if he doesn't? We tried the Dr. Sears crying-in-dad's-arms approach to nightweaning about a year ago when I was pregnant, and he was OK for about a week until one night he was just hysterical for over an hour until I finally came in to him and we decided he just wasn't ready to nightwean. I worry too about him crying a lot because it's in someone else's house, and my in-laws haven't been the most supportive about our parenting style anyway, so it would open us up to a lot of judgement.
And it just seems so long... to be away from him for a whole weekend. I have very little doubt in my mind that he would resume nursing when they get back, he's very attached to it and very strong-willed, plus he has a great memory. And even if the small chance of him completely weaning... I would be sad, but I'm happy we've made it as long as we have. If they do make it through the nights pretty well, we'd probably have DH sleep with him in "his" room when they get back to hopefully keep him nightweaned (we've been having them start in his room in the beginning of the night, and they come join me and DS2 when DS1 wakes to nurse for the first time).
So what do you all think? Is a weekend away from a nursing 2.5y/o reasonable? Thanks in advance for any replies.
Faith, wife to Ben 9/24/05 Tandem nursing and cosleeping graduate (for now!), babywearing SAHM to Solomon 9/18/07 and Abram 12/10/09, expecting our 3rd boy in December/January!
Master Babywearing Educator and President of Babywearing International of Central New York