I just want to start this by saying that I love nursing my LO. Nursing has been one of the most loving acts I've ever experienced -- and I love my DD for sharing that with me. And nursing has saved us in some bad situations: stuck on the tarmac for 2 hours and, worse, stuck on the side of the road after a car accident (no one was hurt). Not once did I have to worry about my baby going hungry or thirsty.
And, especially as a breast cancer "survivor" (I use that word reluctantly), nursing is one of the most life affirming experiences. Nursing with one breast made me fiercely protective of my supply. I never gave a paci, never gave a bottle (except when advised by an LC), and never denied my girl comfort nursing or middle of the night nursing. Since birth she's nursed to sleep... and I think that's our problem.
LO is now 5 months and for the past 6 weeks she's woken up and nursed back to sleep at least once every hour -- sometimes twice an hour. Lately she screams within a few seconds of waiting for me to even get my breast near her. We're co-sleeping so, really, we're talking a matter of seconds. She usually goes right back out after a few minutes of comfort sucking (no swallowing whatsoever and these are fast and furious sucks). We've been doing a nice early bedtime routine for a while and, despite thinking I'm timing things to her cues, she's getting harder and harder to nurse down after a bath and a story. I'm exhausted and she's also a little bit off during the day -- less smiles and more anxious.
On top of it all it's now impossible to get her to nap with nursing. I walk her in the Ergo 3 times a day for an hour. So I can't even catch up on lost night sleep during her naps. I'm a mess. With all the walking I now weigh less than I did prior to pregnancy. I nearly walked in to traffic with her the other day. I'm scared that the lack of sleep will lead me to hurt her.
Sooo... from reading Pantley I think my dear baby doesn't know how to put herself to sleep and how to get to the next sleep cycle without nursing. I'm afraid that my nursing her to sleep and co-sleeping has just made this much much worse.
I've tried to gently pull her off once she's asleep and to do it again and again when she roots and relatches. This never works for more than 15 mins. In fact, she'll wake up angry and go straight to tears.
I'm not going the CIO route. But I just don't know what to do. Any advice? How can I get her to fall asleep on her own and stay asleep for more than 45 mins? I'd do anything for 2-3 hours.
Thanks for all the support.