I thank you all now (and warn you) if you are willing to embark on this long post!
Elijah is nearly two (now 22 months). We've co-slept and nursed his whole life. For the last three months or so, he's been nightweaned, except for that he has found it especially difficult to give up his last night nursing ... so even though we've followed Jay Gordon's program, Elijah still cannot sleep through until 5:00 a.m. Instead, he tends to wake at 4:00 a.m., crying, goes down again with a lot of tears and hugs at 4:15 a.m., back up at 4:30 a.m., etc. until I finally nurse him at 5:00 a.m. -- all with the hope that he'll sleep through until at least 5:00 a.m. eventually.
So far, that just isn't happening. Often in the night that late, I'm so tired and out of it that I am less consistent than is fair to Elijah ... so I read the clock wrong and nurse at 4:40 p.m., or think, "I really want us all to be able to sleep, etc." But each time I do that, he then wakes up earlier and earlier and then wants to nurse until he is awake for the day.
I simply can't do this any longer ... often, he and I have been awake or "trying to sleep" from 3:45 a.m. until he wakes for the day ... which is often 5:20 a.m. (I think the struggle to nurse is making him so awake he can't fall asleep). He's exhausted early in the day and I'm totally wiped during the day -- when I absolutely need to be fully present for him and able to get real paid-work done during his naps.
in the last week, its gotten even worse ... he is back to waking nearly every two hours from 12:30 a.m. on I don't know what to do. Clearly, this early morning nursing is essential to him; but when I go ahead with it, he just wakes earlier and earlier and nurses longer and longer. He is hot at night and our air conditioner sucks and our fan, at high, still doesn't seem to make Elijah truly comfortable ... he is sweating up a storm at night. So I'm sure that is part of why he is waking ... his incisors have also broken through the gum ... so that too, is part of it. I've been loathe to give him motrin, but maybe I should.
TRANSITION OUT OF BED QUESTION:
In addition, DH and I are really wanting to transition Elijah (slowly is fine) out of our bed. We are going to TTC#2 and want to have time in our bed that is as a couple and also want Elijah to not associate transitioning with a new baby. Elijah has a bed on the floor in an area of our bedroom -- and he LOVES playing on it, but refused to nap on it. We've not even bothered to put him there at night. We are going to be staying in a cabin upstate for six weeks in the late summer, and we thought that would be a good time to transition him since everything is already different ... that we'd put him to bed on a mattress near ours as just part of our "cabin routine." But can that work if he isn't weaned at night? Does this seem like a reasonable plan or is it the opposite ... loading up too much change too fast?
I'm just totally confused and getting back to that pre-weaning level of exhaustion. It feels so much harder, since I'd gotten a bit used to sleeping at least four hour stretches again and SAH parenting a toddler takes so much more energy -- especially in this hot NYC summer.
Can you tell I'm confused and in an exhausted ramble. Any suggestions would be totally welcome! I'm starting to resent nursing and co-sleeping altogether -which isn't good for any of us.