Re: Rotting Teeth/Breastfeeding over 2 years
Does your child have any evidence of dental decay? Does she have weak, stained, or pitted enamel? If the answers to those questions are all "no", then you almost surely do not need to worry. First of all, the sugars in breastmilk are not the ones which are associated with dental decay. Second, the mechanics of breastfeeding prevent problematic pooling of fluid in the mouth; when a baby is nursing, she must continue to swallow or the milk will stop flowing. This is unlike what happens with a bottle, which will continue to drip milk into the mouth even when the baby is no longer sucking or swallowing, resulting in a pool of sugary fluid forming in the mouth. The colloquial term for dental decay in a toddler is "baby bottle mouth" not "baby breastfeeding mouth" for that reason!
The only exception to this rule would be if your child happens to already have signs of decay or weak enamel. If that is the case, it might be a good idea to limit night nursing, and to have the dentist take some action to prevent/halt decay, for example putting a flouride paste on your child's teeth.
If you're concerned, you could always stay in bed after nursing, and wipe down your child's teeth with a clean wet washcloth.
Has your child been to the dentist yet? My kids' dentist wants them in for their first visit around 18-24 months. If you do go in, I recommend that you don't mention that you're nursing. Dentists tend to be even more poorly informed about night nursing than pediatricians are.
There's no reason to think that co-sleeping is in any way inhibiting your child's independence or the development of normal sleep habits. Your child will move out to her own sleep space when she's ready. The only problem with co-sleeping is that it can get old for mom and/or dad long before the kid decides to sleep in her own bed- in which case you can feel free to take steps to change things. But no need to force the process if everyone's happy with a family bed!
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"