I am happy to have found this forum and a place to speak with other AP parents about an issue I am having surrounding my 12 month old's sleep issues.
My husband, myself and baby co-sleep/ bed share. We have a futon that we have as a side-car attached to our bed and bed share interchangeable, baby-led.
I have breastfed my daughter her whole life and would like to continue to BF until she decides that it is no longer something she needs. I am happy with and enjoy breastfeeding. I love the connection with her and the time it allows us.
That said, I do feel like I have "set myself up" somewhat in that my daughter refuses to go down for a nap or night sleep without BF. We tried very briefly to wean her, by daddy soothing her while she cried, but neither one of us liked this and it brought her such anguish that we just could not follow through. We are both very sensitive to her cues and are at a loss of how to break this pattern effectively and compassionately. **One might suggest to BF her and then go out, but the added problem is that with each wake-up, she requires BF to fall back to sleep.
The root of the problem is that the issue is affecting our home life. Date night and self-care time away from baby is virtually impossible because of the fact that she needs to feed before we leave. She does not sleep through the night. The most she has slept in my period is perhaps 3.5 hours, averaging 2-3 hours. Nap time can last from 30 minutes - 1.5 hours during the day. Additionally, she has never taken a bottle and refuses to.
I need to come up with a solution that will allow us to have some autonomy from her, whilst she feels safe and able to fall asleep without BF.
NB* It often takes me anywhere from 45mins - 2 hours to get her to sleep now. (as you might imagine this has added additional stress, as I have very limited time in the evenings to get regular life things done.) I wonder if this is a normal for parents, or if this seems like a long time to you....
Please share any and all suggestions/ comments you may have. This is our first child and we are doing the best we can to meet her needs, but feel that it is also important to meet our own. Happy parents = happy baby!