I read the chapter on sleep in "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" by Tracy Hogg yesterday. As I was reading, I felt this overwhelming sense that Charlotte will never sleep through the night because of the habits I have instilled in her. Because she gets milk when she wakes up, she will continue to wake up, even though she might not be hungry. Also, I have only allowed Charlotte to soothe herself to sleep a few times. Mostly, she nurses to sleep because that's what makes her sleep longer, and that's why I kept on doing it! According to Hogg, that is a huge mistake. She needs to be able to get herself to sleep, and should be sleeping approximately 12 hours at night..... STRAIGHT!
So last night I tried putting her down, I tried the soother (because I notice that she is sucking to soothe now, when before she didn't)... I tried rubbing her back, sitting in her room while she stood holding the crib bars and making spitting noises.... and guess what??? She didn't go to sleep!
My dear husband tried to convince me that it was ok. That I believed strongly about nursing on demand and that co-sleeping is not the end of the world. She tucks in bed with me for periods of time throughout the night to nurse (while I sleep). He tried to convince me that I had not done everything wrong!!
I guess part of me agrees with Hogg, in that fostering independance is important (especially now that she is nearing 8 months). And maybe I was supposed to foster it from day 1 instead of starting now. I am torn in this matter, and I know that it will be a huge struggle to change any habits that have developed. I guess you have to live and learn with the first one!
I am going to keep trying to get her down without nursing, maybe starting with nap time. And I think she would benefit from having something else to suck, so I am going to keep trying the soother. (She bites it and plays with it, but doesn't suck it!)
I will try to be discouraged either. It's so easy to lose perspective. She will only be little once, so I will try not to panic about her sleep habits!!