I have a beautiful 28 month old daughter who is an avid nurser. She's my last....I have nursed all three of my kids, from only 21 months with my first, to 3 1/2 years with my second, and now am going strong with Linnea. We co-sleep, as well. However....I am exhausted with the night nursing, which goes on from about 1 AM until we get up at 6. I basically am getting about 3 or 4 hours of sleep every night. I think that my presence keeps her in a half-wakened state and she knows I'm there, so want mama milk. We often end up leaving my husband in our king size bed and going to a different bed so we won't disturb him, still leaving me with no sleep. It is turning into a nightmare and I am actually getting fearful of going to bed because I know I won't get to sleep after the first 3 or 4 hours.
I'm a special ed teacher by day, too, and am just so tired in general. I want to be present and my old positive, clear self for my own children and my students. I can't just kick Linnea out of bed - she wouldn't stay, wouldn't stay asleep, at least at first, and I love the connection we have. I just wish she wouldn't nurse so much!
I don't know what to do! I know we're not ready to stop nursing, but I think I would like her to sleep apart from me, yet not sure how to support this change. I just know something needs to change.
Any experiences or ideas to share, mamas? Thanks!
I have heard that lack of sleep can change your brain chemistry. I truly think I am so stressed that I am getting depressed. :(
How long has she been in this nursing pattern?
My 28 month old has nursed for several hours if he has a fever. It only occurs for one night though. Otherwise it is the regular "several sessions per night".
Any changes per your schedule or availability to her lately?
As you know, they will latch on "literally" if concerned that you are going to leave them. It's a successful mechanism to keep mom close.
Does she have a snack before bed? Those early feeds corrolate with high prolactin levels and therefore abundant milk production.
Has your daughter's caretaker changed the daily routine, or is there a new caretaker or anything different lately?
Thank you, Asiago! No changes in our lives or her care...she's got lots of consistency, loves her caregiver to pieces, and has no illness, but I just took her to the dentist last week and learned she still has one molar to cut, so maybe this is about teething. Since my post yesterday, I read Jay Gordon's article about changing sleep patterns. We're starting with a twin bed next to our king. She loved her "cozy little bed" as she called it, and climbed right in after she gathered up all of her babies and animals. She listened to some books like that, with my little boy next to me on my bed. She fell asleep there, right where I was nursing her. Of course, after I stretched out into my "new" big girl bed with my husband, she woke up :) She slept again in our bed, but we had more psychological room, and wanted to get into her own bed again as soon as she woke up.
Slow process, but I'm going to follow her lead and try to rest as much as I can. I may try Gordon's ideas and schedule, but will have to make it work for us.