Since Cruz was 4 days old he has slept in my bed with me. We didn't co-sleep in the hospital or on our first night in our home. But that quickly changed as I realized how much more sleep I got when I could just roll over and stick a boob in Cruz's mouth vs having to get up, nurse him back to sleep, gently, gently try to place him in his bassinet and then do the whole thing over again in 45 minutes.

So co-sleeping has always been what worked best for us. And people have always had VERY mixed reviews on it. Actually, most people I know where pretty against it. Papa's family warned us of all the people they knew that had rolled onto their babies in the night. Others told me that I was setting up a terrible sleep pattern and that he would never be able to sleep without me. And I worried like crazy in the beginning. I was sooo afraid that I would roll on him. Or he would suffocate in the pillows. I used to limit Papa to one pillow and a compilation of thin sheets that had to pass my rigorous "breathing" test (basically I would wrap the sheet around my face in as many ways as I could think of and make sure that I could still breath in case, heaven forbid, Cruz ever got one over his face.)

And, actually, it was Papa who was my greatest comfort in co-sleeping. Neither of us had planned to do so before Cruz was born. And I was constantly wracked with fear of hurting him while we slept. But Papa always calmed my nerves and told me not to listen to his families stories if they scared me. Cruz was our son and we were doing what we thought was best for him. And even though Papa did give several attempts at getting Cruz into the crib, they never lasted long. Papa is a total softy when it comes to sleeping with Cruz. When we used to live together, I would always nurse Cruz to sleep and then lay him in our bed while I finished up chores. Every night Papa would go to bed before me. And every night, about 5 minutes after he had gone to bed, I would hear him call "Cassie, Cruz is awake." Because every night Papa couldn't help himself when he would crawl into bed next to our sweet sleeping baby. He would snuggle up to him, wrap his arms around him, smell his hair, kiss his little ears, and inevitably wake him up almost every night.

But I digress. My original intent of this post was to ask advice. Cruz has slept with me every night and I love, love, love it. But the only way he will fall asleep is if I lay next to him and nurse him. He has to nurse to fall asleep. Nothing else works. And since he sleeps in our big bed with no railing and I dont even have a crib, I have to stay with him until he falls asleep otherwise he will just crawl off the bed and come find me (its actually kind of cute because he can crawl up and down the stairs now so he follows me all over).

I am not interested in weaning yet which is a whole other can of worms as Cruz nears his first birthday and people somehow always associate that milestone with the start of the weaning process. I get asked about weaning all the time as well. In all honesty, I have no plans to wean yet. I have been blessed with a fantastic milk supply and I have never had any issue with breastfeeding so I don't really see a need to wean.

Except for at night!!

I just feel like it would be great to have another way of getting him to sleep aside from nursing. Everyone else seems to be able to do it. My mom was babysitting Cruz the other night while Papa and I went to counseling and she was able to walk him to sleep (I was only gone 1 1/2 and he just passes out on me!) And he goes to sleep at his Papa's all the time. Granted his Papa does hold him the entire time he sleeps (because he says if you put him down then he wont stay asleep long. Really he is just a softy and likes to fall asleep holding Cruz!) And obviously Papa and my mom don't nurse Cruz. But with me he just refuses to go to sleep if I dont nurse him.

And he still wakes up 4,5,6 times a night to nurse! He doesnt really wake up, he just stirs around and starts to cry so I roll over and nurse him and he usually falls right back to sleep. But at 1 year old (almost) I feel like he should be sleeping through the night entirely without waking up to nurse.

I sometimes think that if we didnt sleep in the same bed that he wouldn't wake up. But even if I put him down to bed and then leave the room, he still wakes up within an hour or 2. I dont think he can sleep more than 2-4 hours without waking up to nurse. I'm not positive because its the middle of the night and I dont really look at the clock, but I do know that I wake up a lot during the night to nurse him.

Sorry for the longest post in the history of man, but does anyone have any suggestions for getting him to fall asleep without nursing/ staying asleep all night? I dont want to wean him or move him to a crib. I can't stand the "cry it out method." But any other suggestiond would be greatly appreciated.


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