I posted about our sleep troubles a little while ago on the sleep board but after more reflection I have reframed the whole situation in my head and I think it has to do with our night weaning so I wanted to repost here!
My daughter just turned 2. A couple of months ago I gently "night weaned" her, i.e. I ended the 3 am nursing session. It went very smoothly and now she still wakes at 2:30 or 3 and gets into bed with us but goes right back to sleep. Coincident with that, however, she started waking to nurse at 5 am or, often, earlier. At first I was so happy she had virtually slept through until then that I have been nursing her wen she wakes very early in the morning.
The problem is that she wants to nurse from 4:30 or 5 until about 6:30 and then will often fall back asleep until 8, which doesn't work for us because my husband gets up and leaves the house at 6 and I need to be up with her by 6:30 or 7 to get us out the door to my job and daycare. So in practice the result is that we're both awake for the day before 5 am--not enough sleep for either of us but particularly her. Her bedtime has been 8 pm, but since the night weaning that has also shifted back to closer to 8:30 or 9. So she's getting roughly 8 hours of sleep at night and a 1.5-2 hour nap at daycare and she's clearly not well rested.
We've tried endlessly to get back to an earlier bedtime and she's just not going for it.
I have tried refusing to nurse her when she wakes at 5 am but she is not letting go of this one. When we dropped the 3 am nursing she accepted my explanation that my breasts were tired and it was time to sleep. But she's not having it and every morning this week has resulted in crying for about an hour from 5-6 am (with me there comforting her but not nursing) at which point I give in, which I know is sending a terrible message to her.
I'm not sure what to do next. Ideas? Thanks