For the past couple of weeks I've been thinking about how I need to get Madeline on a more regular sleep schedule, but my plans end up getting spoiled when I want to stay up later than her, because she won't go to sleep without me.
During the past week, for a few of the nights I nursed her until she was just about asleep and then took her off.. only to have her start kicking her legs and flopping her arms about, wiggling her head back and forth with her mouth wide open in search of my breast. I tried keeping my breast away and just put my hand on her to soothe her, but she would cry out for me. I would A) feel bad that my baby was looking for me and couldn't find me and B) be too tired to try making a battle out of this so I would just offer her my breast again and we'd both fall asleep. I did try swaddling her one of the nights, but that ended up pretty much the same, although she lasted a little bit longer without waking up to search for me.
So today while she was laying on her play mat, Maddie fell asleep. Just flat on her back (a position she generally hates), no one holding her, nothing in her mouth.. she fell asleep. I took a picture of her to show her later and say "Look! You CAN fall asleep without my boob in your mouth! I have EVIDENCE!" And she would say "Mom I was just meditating, not sleeping."
Right before bedtime while I was changing her diaper, I told Maddie the following. I said "You know, if you could fall asleep without my boobie, things would be a lot better for everyone. You would sleep better, Mommy could get her chores done faster, Mommy and Daddy could spend the evenings together, maybe even get all romantical and stuff some day and give you some brothers and sisters! You do want brothers and sisters, don't you?"When it was time for Maddie to go to sleep, I sat in a chair and nursed her, then I rocked her, then I laid her in her bed and helped her find her thumb.. and guess what? She fell asleep. It took 3 more hours of rocking and helping her find her thumb, and a little bit of fussing.. no real crying actually! Yay! But darn it if she didn't finally fall asleep, flat on her back, looking like a frog. I love my little girl. :)