Re: Night waking and nursing
I thought I would chime in as my son is close in age to yours. I think another poster hit the nail on the head about sleep... society has a very skewed idea of what normal sleep habits for babies are and I think you may find that if you polled some moms you will find many have similiar struggles. Between my 2 boys one is 3 and one is 15 months, I have found that sleep comes and goes but eventually becomes consistent. My first woke every 1-2 or 3 hours until he was almost 2. Since I was pregnany with #2 and knew that bedtime routines would need to change, my husband took over bedtime and it was a rough couple of nights for DS1 and us. My husband read to him and talked about it and DS cried for about 45 minutes the first night. THe second night was less and after that he was ok with it for the most part, occasionally asking to go to bed with me. Oddly enough, this was the time he started sleeping all the way through the night. Prior to all of this, any time he would be coming up on a milestone (new words, teeth, walking, etc.) he would have a couple of very restless nights. And DS1 does his fair share of headbutting lol.
Now with DS2, he has been a better sleeper since day 1. It is just how he is wired. BUT... he still wakes at least 2 times a night and when he hits his milestones we get restless nights. If he is really teething or sick we get some pretty sleepless nights. Every now and again he will throw in a good nights sleep, maybe only waking one time, and I feel like a new person. We have an odd bedtimes routine with him now, but he generally goes down for the night by 9:30ish and gets up for the day at 6:30 when I work and about 7:30-8 on weekends. He usually wakes at the most inconvenient times for me on work mornings, around 5:15 or so and I get him back to sleep so I can finish getting ready.
What I have found makes all the difference in handling crazy sleep patterns from my kids is this: Change my perspective. I have no expectations of a full night sleep in the next 4-5 years. I know that my youngest will be waking to night nurse for at least a year more and at that time I will decide if I feel the need to night wean. It would be awesome if he would start sleeping through sooner, but if I expect that then I know myself, and I will just get frustrated and resentful. Neither of those reactions will make him a better sleeper, and will most likely affect my relationship with him at night. It took me a little while with my first to work through these emotions, and once I did I was ok with how things were. I also did not discuss my kids sleeping habits with anyone who I knew did not practice the same habits as we do. There is no point in comparing your child to someone else's. Anyway, I'm not sure if that helps, but it is my experience with the situation! This too shall pass!
FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03