Hello! (First time poster here )
We have a 16 month old who has always nursed to sleep. We co sleep and she naps in our bed. She has always been difficult to get to sleep, and there were many many MANY months where I would spend hours everyday trying to nurse her down. She has never let my husband put her to sleep, or even soothe her if she wakes up, she will scream until I come in to take over. We have accepted this (however, a little grudgingly) and have felt fairly successful with figuring out what works. We have recently made an international move, and anticipated her need for extra "support" during this massive transition. I feel like we are on the road to being in a normal routine.
That said, we've had a few unforeseen hurdles leading to a switching of roles. I will be returning to work full time and he will be the primary caregiver for a little while. This is a drastic change, as I have been with her 24/7 for the past 16 months, and she is EXTREMELY attached to me. During this move, for the last month, I couldn't even go to the bathroom without her crying and banging on the door.
The last week or so, I have been leaving her with Dad for short trips out and it seems to be going really well. Dad is great and I never had any doubts in his abilities, yet they both needed to learn how the other operates, so to speak. He is making great progress anticipating her needs and she has bonded with him in such a sweet way.
However, starting in a few days I will be gone for much longer chunks of time, and sometimes in the evenings until late at night and I'm not quite sure how we tackle getting her to bed without nursing. I think the day time naps will be easier because she could eventually just poop out in the afternoon if out and about, in the stroller or car. But the nights I have to leave before bedtime has us both super nervous. He's tried wearing her in the carrier to sleep, but she will usually scream and cry herself into hysterics, for a really long time. I know it's hard on him. She is incredibly strong willed and determined to get what she wants.
At this age will she understand that she'll get milkies when I'm home but learn that dad putting her to sleep is ok? Should we consider weaning at night or for sleeping? Should I expect to have even more clinginess and separation anxiety? She's never taken a bottle. Should I pump some milk for a sippy cup?
This is hard because it wasn't really the plan and I hadn't planned on going back to work until she was older,