Ds3 is pretty much attached all night long. Once I put him down, he'll give me a two hour stretch - and sometimes I can nurse him back to sleep for another little stretch if I'm not quite ready for bed - but it seems like once I come to bed, he just won't unlatch. I am so frustrated and tired. Ds1 and ds2 both took forever to actually get to sleep but would give me a good 4 hour stretch before waking every 2-3 hours until morning. This is my 'easy' baby - for the first six months, he even put himself to sleep in his own bed! I didn't believe babies really did that! I never did get that nice 4-5 hour stretch from him though.
I night weaned the other two around 20 months when I got pregnant and am thinking of starting the process now before school starts for ds1. My other two slept through the night for the most part from that point on - or at least that 7 hour stretch. I'm crossing my fingers that it works for ds3 too. I'm terrified that it's going to be so much harder though. I've been putting off even thinking about it for months and have been blaming developmental milestones and teeth - which I'm sure are not helping - but at this point, I think it's mainly a habit.
Not sure if I'm looking for actual advice or just support and commiseration. I feel so sad that I have so little energy and patience with my older boys. Three kids, six years, and this is the first time I've actually felt like a human pacifier!
Do you mean he STAYS latched all night, and you have to try to sleep like that? I am new to the hardcore AP scene.
My daughter will usually allow me to unlatch her after a few minutes of nursing, though I have had nights with long stretches of latching and they nearly drove me crazy. I cannot sleep in that position, and eventually my arm and hips ache so that I cannot even be comfortably awake.
I am going to look into the book that leedenise recommends.
When it really feels like DD has just nursed and is up again, we try one of the following, and have about a 1 in 4 success rate. These are not great odds, but these ideas are the best we have:
1) My husband and I both sing to her (together).
2) My husband talks to her in a very soothing voice, explaining that everything is all right and that sleep is nice. (Sometimes, if I do not consent to nursing, DD doesn't want anything to do with me, so DH takes over.) I've been surprised to see this work a couple of times, since I never believed she was in a sufficiently wakeful state to have a conversation. It was a pleasant surprise.
I recently found this, though there is relatively little on this list that we haven't tried. Number eight is the one I am looking at the most closely, having seen that my daughter DOES listen to our (or, at least, DH's) speech at night. She does understand sentences already, certainly during the day:
One thing I believe will help is to focus on finding another way to get your toddler down at night besides nursing (just for the initial bedtime-- that's supposed to magically make them sleep longer). I'm trying wearing my toddler down tonight to see what happens.