My son will be 2 years old at the end of the month and I am reaching my limit with nursing. I nursed my daughter until she was almost 3 years old, but it was not nearly as intense as with my son. She was able to do nights away; she drank cow's milk; she'd go a day or days without nursing. My son on the other hand still nurses like a baby, including at night. I actually don't really mind night nursing except when he nurses so long that I can't shift position (he'll nurse sleeping). And I'd like to be able to spend a night away at this point. I've done a max of 2 nights away and it worked basically fine. He woke up but never more than 5 minutes and dad was able to get him back to sleep pretty easily. He seems to understand that if I'm not there it's not an option. It's more the constant nursing that bothers me as well as the neediness; it's hard if not impossible to make him wait. In addition, I'm ready for a much more equal parenting relationship with my partner and at this point I do really think the nursing is a barrier.
I don't want to wean completely right away but I'd like to lead us down a road where he maybe weaned in 2-4 months and we drastically reduced the nursing. My question is that most advice seems to assume a fairly predictable schedule of when mom is around. We don't have that at all. For example, I would like to nightwean but there are some days that night will be the first time since morning that he can nurse. So if I don't do it, he will end up going 20 hours without milk. I know he CAN do this (because he has), but I don't really want to make him. So do people have any suggestions for things I can do. Some ideas I've had is to just really try to feed him more food (he doesn't drink milk) and offer it more predictably and often. Also, to try to delay or "just say no" more. For example, this morning he had nursed off an on for a couple of hours and I was trying to get him out the house to daycare. He kept begging for mama's milk and I just said no (over and over).
To give you an idea of my schedule if this is helpful:
3 days/ week he is at daycare from 9-5. Most of the days I pick him up but sometimes his dad picks him up and I am gone for the evening.
1 day/week he is home with dad all day and sitter in evening.
2 nights week (sometimes more), I'm out at meetings from 5 or 6 until between 10pm and 1am.
As I said it's highly variable. How to begin the weaning journey with this kind of schedule?