"Full term BFing" question about sleep. Yes, it's long, my apologies. :(
Hello ladies, for those of you who are BFing or who have breastfed toddlers/preschoolers, were you the only one who could put your kids to bed until they weaned? I ask because in 27 months my DH has put DD to bed for a nap or at night maybe three times because she has always nursed before sleep. When she was younger the only way to get her to sleep was to nurse her for at least four hours (that was hell, yes) but now that she's two I can put her to bed awake and she can finally fall asleep on her own but she still nurses right before going in. She just won't settle down and sleep if she doesn't get to nurse. She doesn't have a tantrum or get angry or anything, she will just sit awake for hours in her crib, until she passes out after midnight. Then she is in a horrible mood for days or a week afterward because of loss of sleep from one night. She has always had sleeping issues, and has been extremely sensitive to any little change in sleep routine and to any sleep loss and I'm wondering if this is more of the same issue now affecting her as a toddler or if this is normal for BFing toddlers/preschoolers to still need to BF to be able to throw the sleep switch. What brings me to posting this is that I have been invited to go out with some of the ladies from my ex-workplace in a couple of weeks but it's in the evening and I'd have to leave DH to put DD to bed. I actually have serious anxiety about it because I am afraid she will stay awake all night and then I'll have to deal with the horrible aftermath in her attitude and behavior, and after two years of walking on eggshells with her sleep issues I'm not good at handling that for a week. So those are my questions...what do you do when your toddler/preschooler still nurses before bed and you can't be there? Do they go to sleep anyway or stay up like mine does because she hasn't been given the sleep signal? How does your DH make up for nursing if he puts your toddler to bed? I really have been through the wringer and back with DD's sleep issues and at this point I really don't know what is what, and if I should try to go out with friends for an evening or just decline yet again. Thanks!
Just adding an edit to clarify...that DD doesn't need to nurse until she falls asleep, she just has to nurse before being put into her crib. She is still awake when I put her in there, but in the past if she wasn't nursed or if someone else tried to do the bedtime routine and put her to bed, she would just stay awake for hours without falling asleep. It's like nursing is the switch that lets her get ready for sleep.