Basically at 6 weeks into motherhood (after bollocks failure to progress (wait) labour with horrible midwife and homebirth transfer, and real nightmare establishing breastfeeding - took 3 months in total, not latching on, extreme weight loss/6days ICU, and nipple shields, agony but final success, yay), I looked to my sister for advice and support, her being an AP mother, I thought her way would be baby-led. I suppose I really didn't know anything about baby-led/parent-led at the time and just thought everything would fall naturally into place.
Anyway, my sis put me on what she calls 'rhythm' which i've only realised since is an adapted, flexible Gina Ford/supernanny/baby whisperer routine. I say 'put me on' makes me sound like I don't have a mind of my own - I do and I question every decision I make with a fine toothcomb, to my detriment at the moment, I was just vulnerable at the time and really trusted her. So Feed, awake, sleep (but looking for cues rather than enforced timings) it became, and as I am a keen baby wearer she said sling-sleeps were the way to go.
So when he would look tired after about 1 ½ -2 hours of being awake, I would put him in the sling. in the beginning he would then root and put his hand in his mouth, I thought he was just confused between hunger and sleep, at a tender 6 weeks of age, (and to be honest with having to use nipple shields as he wouldn't latch-on on his own, I probably hoped he was confused and perhaps overlooked this ( *slap wrist* ) and my sis didn't tell me that he was probably wanting boob to sleep - I didn't know it's a basic need for babies - despite previous post and advice on here, it didn't quite sink in. I'm actually quite annoyed with my sis about this, she was there as he was showing all the signs of wanting boob - I would liked to have known to have made an informed choice as to whether to nurse to sleep or not! god I wish i'd read more about life after birth rather than just preparing for the 'perfect' birth!
After doing a lot of reading about nursing to sleep, and a bit of soul searching, I really believe this is the way to go. I feel awful that my LO was trying to tell me what he wanted, all those cries whilst getting to sleep in the sling that I thought were normal and him just winding down for sleeps, were his way of telling me that he wanted boob to sleep, I feel like I CIO-d him but in the sling (suppose is not as bad as leaving him to cio on own but I feel awful all the same). I wish I could go back to him at 6 weeks and start again, and see what natural rhythm he would have got into.
So today I decided to try and nurse him to sleep and pop him down in the moses basket. Didn't work as I thought it mightn't, poor wee thing was v confused, he nursed to sleep fine but when I put him down he lifted head up and looked all around, very confused and clearly wasn't going to go back to sleep in a hurry. So i've put him in the sling as I want him to get good sleeps. I feel like I've conditioned him to sleep in the sling, is good from a closeness thing but is impossible to nurse to sleep then get him in sling, and means I can't get any sleep during the day, and I would rather sling him awake and him to sleep in bed/moses basket so I can sleep too. I have managed to nurse him to sleep for some sleeps the past few days and put him in our bed (he's used to it as we cosleep) but he only sleeps for half hour at a time and ends up knackered in the evening, and so am I!
I'm sure that he would still be able to sleep anywhere if i'd continued to nurse him to sleep from the beginning and I really hope that the sense of trust that i've broken won't damage him in the long run. I just don't want to mess him about, he's used to sling sleeps, not nursing to sleep during day and nursing to sleep at night, and I'm worried if I try and revert him back to nursing to sleep during day it's going to make him lose trust in me more and feel like 'what the heck is going on?!'
I don't have anyone to talk to that's along the same AP wavelength as me which is why I am yabbering away. I spoke to my dad in tears yesterday and he said that I should just leave baby in bed and tap his bum to sleep, that's what he did with us, takes a while to stop crying etc etc. I said 'no way am I not picking him up if he's crying'!!!
I'm at my wits end, I never wanted to become someone who conditions my baby out of his natural balance, and I feel that I have and don't know how, or if it's even fair, to revert back.
Any advice gratefully received.
Note: i reread previous replies to post when LO was 3 weeks, how i wish i'd absorbed the info better from you all on nursing and 'if in doubt nurse!'