My 20 month old nurses every morning when he wakes up, down for his nap and at bedtime. And, a whole lot in between -- mostly in the morning and after his nap when we are quiet and at home. I'm not looking to hasten the weaning process.
For about 18 months, I put him to bed almost every night. It has always taken about 30-45 minutes but hasn't been a problem. He stopped nursing to sleep around 14 months, and for the next 4ish months nursed and then cuddled before falling asleep.
The last two months have been so.much.harder. He just won't settle for me. I'll nurse him and then he is all.over.the.place. Jumping on the bed, crawling off the bed, leaving the room to go to the living area, crawling over me, wanting me to tickle him (I don't), tickling me, singing songs -- you get the idea. The last time I did bedtime on my own, it took 2 hours. It drives me nuts (he will often remain calm by fiddling with my nipple a lot during this time which I HATE -- and which is another thread altogether -- and my attempts to redirect/stop this usually disrupt any calm that is occurring).
What we've discovered, however, is that when DH comes in to help, LO is quiet and calm and goes to sleep! So, clearly, our solution has been that DH puts him to sleep. I give him his bath, read stories and nurse and then DH comes in to get him to sleep. Still takes about 30 minutes, but it isn't so dramatic.
This is all well and good except we are going to be apart for 4 weeks soon, and then once we are all back in the same place, DH will be working 1-2 nights/week. So, I can't get out of bedtime!
I had to do it tonight and after just a few minutes of the craziness (15 minutes of nursing), I gave him a bottle of cow's milk (about 4 ounces). He settled right down and was asleep in about 30 minutes. I know it was just once, but I think this might be a good approach for me.
Except that I am worried how it will affect our nursing. I would still nurse him before bed, just once we were done with that and ready to actually go to sleep, I would give him the bottle (he doesn't actually fall asleep drinking, btw). It would be the same way we do it as when my husband is home, except he doesn't give the bottle at all.
What do you think? Bad idea? Okay to try for a few weeks and then 1 night/week?