My daughter is 21 months and we nurse several times a day, anywhere from 5 to 10. At night she goes to sleep without nursing, but for her naps I lie down with her and she nurses to sleep. (The nighttime routine does not work for naps; first of all, her dad can't do his part because he's at work, and secondly, she just isn't tired enough for it to work.)
She naps once a day, at about 1 pm. When she wakes up, the tantrums are epic!! If I nurse her immediately upon waking (I usually stay in bed with her and rest while she naps), she will usually not freak out. But I am getting so tired of all the nursing. She will usually have only slept about 20 minutes, and I just can't handle nursing her again after just having nursed her. Sometimes I do it, but it just makes me feel so trapped.
On occasion, she will roll over and go back to sleep after the 20 minute waking -- sometimes without nursing (she only half-wakes) and sometimes with it). Then she will sleep about another 45 minutes, and I can even get up out of the bed while she sleeps. But more often, she is just awake.
She will do the same thing if I nurse her to sleep and then put her down in her crib -- wake up hysterical. She did not used to do this to nearly the same degree -- we did naps in the crib for months -- and used to nap longer, too (about an hour at 18 months or so), although she has never been a "great" sleeper. She does sleep through the night, and has done so reliably for about 4 months.
Help! Any ideas? I do not want to wean her completely right now, but I have got to restrict the nursings. It is too much for me personally to nurse that many times a day right now (I have D-MER, which makes it emotionally hard every time, although it is much better than when she was a newborn!) There must be a way other than nursing, right?
I try many things to calm her down: holding, walking, going outside, offering food and water, time outs...the only thing that works is either nursing or taking her on a drive somewhere (she calms down in the car). I am having trouble telling if this is a discipline issue or if she has some other need that I can help her with that I am not seeing.