Re: Sleeping with soother?
hi mama, your baby's sleep patterns sound pretty normal. two 4-hour stretches is wishful thinking; even having 1 4-hour stretch is pretty great, and might not last.
so: the key for you, especially since she takes such short naps, is getting rest at night, minimizing how much you have to wake up and move around each time to nurse. i really think co-sleeping was amaizng for us, and side-lying nursing saved my career and sanity. i found this helpful: http://mother-2-mother.com/tut-layingdown.htm. i also went ot bed with baby around 8 pm, so even though my sleep was quite broken, i was always getting at least 8 hours. definitely worth the trade off, for us.
as far as a soother at night: yes, the big payoff to a soother (or swaddling) is that you mute the baby's cues and they sleep longer. but that means precisely that you're "artificially" muting the baby's cues to eat or suck, and so there is some risk that the baby will not be getting enough to eat. so i'd personally only try this in very limited circumstances, kind of as a last resort, and only with a healthy thriving fat baby. but i think you may have other options to try first to make sure you're rested.
Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.