Hi, new here! First a little background!
I'm a young first time mom, DH is military and we are stationed in Germany. DS was born prematurely at 32 weeks and spent 4 weeks in the NICU. I exclusively pumped for 4 months before I could get him to breastfeed.
He is pretty high needs, until very recently he was still nursing every 2 - 3 hours day and night. He is a very highly strung, sensitive, careful little boy and due to some minor developmental issues gets easily frustrated and turns into a little wildcat.
He is nearly 13 months old now and only nurses about 3 or 4 times during the day, these sessions are generally before nap times or bedtime. He nurses to sleep always and will absolutely not go to sleep any other way. We also co-sleep, mainly out of necessity!
The problem is that he will not go to sleep without nursing and still wakes every 2-3 hours during the night to nurse! If I am covered up he will kick me and bite me until I wake up and nurse him.
I don't want to wean him completely, I really enjoy nursing and want to continue until he self-weans however this night nursing habit is making everyone tired and miserable, including him. I don't think he's getting enough deep sleep, he very often is over-tired despite the fact that he goes to bed at 8pm, gets up at 7am and has 2 daytime naps.
I can't get a sitter for a much needed break because he will not nap or sleep for them, even my parents (who successfully raised 3 children) could not get him to sleep without me and had to call me back early from my date with DH last week.
It also usually takes at least 3 attempts to get him to fall asleep when I am nursing him. This boy just does not like sleeping!
As a last ditch effort DH tried to get DS to cry it out. It was a complete disaster, DS spent 20 minutes throwing himself at the sides of his crib screaming like a wild animal. NOT an option!
Any advice (or commiseration!) definitely welcome.
P.S. In case it has any bearing on why he does this, his developmental/medical issues are as follows -
Recently corrected tongue-tie
Recently had enlarged adenoids removed
Recently had tubes put in his ears to drain fluid
He does not use his left eye (lazy eye? We're currently seeking treatment).
His fine motor, cognitive and social skills are at the same level as a 6 - 9 month old (currently seeking therapy).