I'm currently right where I aimed NOT to be almost a year ago; sleep crazy as a toddler.
When G was three months old I started gentle sleep training and it worked pretty well. Then she got out of it and I re-sleep trained her. It took a while but eventually she got pretty good at putting herself to sleep. We kept going on this sleep crazy roller coaster until I finally just got fed up with what she was "supposed" to do. I decided to just roll with whatever happened--and that included letting her nurse to sleep if she so chose. Sure, there were occasions when she would not nurse to sleep, but over half the time she would, and that spelt trouble. I knew in the back of my mind that would bite me big time some day--and it now has.
She's now officially 14 months old and I think it's seriously time for her to stop nursing to sleep. She is a 'big girl' and I recently read that her sleep habits now will carry over to the rest of her life. I don't want nursing to be what she needs to sleep, especially since I really want her to wean by the end of the summer.
Obviously she isn't happy about it, especially since she just got over being super-sick, when both my husband and I did ANYTHING we could to get her to sleep. I don't have a problem nursing her before she goes to sleep, but I refuse to let her fall asleep on the breast anymore. I know I've said that before, but for one reason or another let it slip back into our life.
Last night I wanted to put her down to sleep earlier than usual because she's been waking up before 6:30 AM, and I thought maybe she was just overtired, so an early bedtime should clear that up. It pretty much backfired because she cried until her usual bed time anyways. I went in at 10 minutes and then she cried another 10 before falling asleep.
And it just took me 40 minutes to get her down for a nap because she wanted to nurse to sleep but I laid her down awake. I hate letting her cry, but she's got to learn to fall asleep on her own again all the time, not just if she feels like it. I went in at 10, 10, and 15 minutes, then she finally fell asleep after crying for another 5 minutes.
I hope a few days of this shenanigans and she'll be on track, but she is 14 months old and much more stuck in her ways than younger babies...plus she's my daughter which automatically ups her stubbornness by 50%. Let this be a resounding lesson to me for future kids; stop nursing to sleep before 6 months old and do the Wake, Eat, Play, Sleep thing I scoffed at before.
I just thought of something--perhaps part of the problem is that she's stopped sucking her thumb. She might be having a hard time falling asleep without nursing NOR sucking on her thumb. The times that she wouldn't nurse to sleep previously, she would suck her thumb until she fell asleep. Now that I'm not letting her do the prior and she's not doing the latter anymore...I bet she's just got to learn to sleep without any sucking at all--which is definitely an important 'big kid' thing to learn.
When we get on the other side of this hurdle...perhaps potty training will be in our future ;-)