My 11 month old has never been a good sleeper. We co-slept from birth to 7 months, and then she moved into her own room. I have always breastfed on demand, and she feeds nearly every hour/two hours at night. I'm exhausted!!!
Here's an example of her schedule:
9.30 nap for 1.5/2 hrs
12.30 - 1.30 play/errands
2pm bf and nap for 1.5/2hrs
4pm - 6pm play
6.30 dinner, bath, bedtime routine
7pm bf, sleep
She will then wake up around 8.30 and cry until I feed her again, and this happens continuously throughout the night.
In terms of naps - she's pretty good. She'll go down with minimal effort and doesn't wake up during the naps. That said, she will only go down if I'm the one putting her down. She refuses to nap if it's anybody else.
I wanted to wean her off the breast around 9-10 months, but it just didn't happen. She would not take a bottle. She refused formula, pumped milk, full cream milk, goats milk, water...etc. I have about 15 variations of sippy cups, cups, and bottles, none worked. It didn't matter if it was me trying to feed her or someone else, she wouldn't take anything but the breast. I thought maybe her issue with sleep was that she wasn't getting enough milk before bed, but there's not much I can do to monitor how much she's getting if she will only breastfeed.
I know she uses bf as a way to soothe herself back to sleep at night, and I've tried to break that association. She has a lovey, and a pacifier, and a special blankie. She has white noise and a dark room. The times that I tried to drop a night feed and just soothe her with any other means instead of my boob, she just went so hysterical that she threw up. And then I felt like I HAD to feed her because she'd just emptied all her dinner out of her stomach! I've tried sending her dad in instead of me (she goes even more hysterical, and he has work all day so him going in every time throughout the night to soothe her isn't really an option) I've tried her grandma, I've tried shushing her, patting her, singing to her, letting her cry, shortening the feeds...nothing has worked.
I'm getting to the point where I am really starting to resent breastfeeding her, as well as just being absolutely exhausted from getting up every hour or two at night. I've tried letting her cry it out when she struggles with getting to sleep at night - which worked, but then when she woke up an hour later, I let her cry for a while until after ten minutes I finally went in and she was once again at that hysterical point where she nearly vomits.
I have no idea where to start, everyone kept saying that by about this age she'd be sleeping better but...I'm still waiting for that!
My main issues are that she wakes SO many times in the night, and she'll only be soothed by the breast. I'm totally okay with her waking once or twice for a feed, I don't expect miracles! Just a bit of sleep!! I'd love to be able to have someone else put her down as well, so that I can go out to dinner once in a while or go out for more than a few hours.