My son has been a frequent waker since he was born in November 2006. We had some trouble with breastfeeding/milk supply when he was tiny which I feel is the root of the trouble but that may just be because of how upset the whole thing made me. He needed supplementing (genuinely, we'd tried everying prior to that) but we were able to combine succesfully and we stopped the supplments when he started solids at 6 months. We did a combination of baby led weaning and the traditional puree route and he eats well and a range of foods in addition to about 4-5 breastfeeds a day.
Temperament wise he's the happiest, sweetest little boy you could wish to meet. He's bright and funny, very sociable and confident and loves nothing more than meeting people and doing new and exciting things. And then there's night time!
He fed to sleep until he was over a year old when he stopped doing so of his own accord and since then has fed and then got into bed and needed me in the room to go to sleep. He's now in a bed and needs lots of hugs and strokes to settle to sleep but he doesn't have any kind of aversion to going to bed or to sleep. Once he is asleep he doesn't stay that way for long though! We have had occasional stretches of 5-6 hours but its usually 2 or 3. More often than not he wants to feed back to sleep, though we do try other techniques first. He will usually only settle for me, though is Dad does go to him in the evenings when he wakes I have been the only one to get up for him at night because Dad has a long commute in the morning. In spite of low points I've stuck with doing things the way they were because it felt like the right thing to do. I've resisted suggestions to night wean because I think he's waking for a reason not related to feeding, but its a useful tool to get him (and so me!) back to sleep quickly! The waking is the same whether we bed share or not, and we've tried changing the lighting, heating and other things in the room to get to the source of the problem.
I fell pregnant again in June and really struggled in terms of energy, and was quite impatient with th enight waking as I had visions of 2 of them doing this! Feeding became very painful too, but I really didn't want to wean my son under those circumstances. Unfortunately I lost the baby at the beginning of August but we are still actively trying for another. Since then my breasts have been very sore with feeding for the last two weeks of my cycle and although I'm having some complementary therapies to help me rebalance I'm wondering if I shouldn't make myself more of a priority and wean (at least at night) before I become resentful and 'spoil' the time we've had breastfeeding.
The thing that makes me pause is that my son is a child of extremes, he doesn't do half measures. If you tell him no, however gently and positively, he goes from sweetness to screaming rage with no stops in between! None of the tactics I've read in books about night weaning seem like they would work, and as I don't want him that upset I know I wouldn't see it through. I am trying to prepare him in advance by talking to him about being able to sleep all night, and how tada (his word for breastfeeding) will go to sleep too but what else do you think I could try? His Dad works away 2 nights a week as well which means I would have no support.
A part of me feels that having come so far with it being child led it would be a shame to stop that now, but I think that's just my perfectionist side
Any comments or suggestions gratefully received!