Cross-posting from breastfeeding forum, because I'm not sure if that board is primarily focused on infant breastfeeding and associated issues...
I have to travel for a week-long mandatory conference for
work in late June and cannot bring my husband and son with me. I had to
travel for 3 days last fall and it was a disaster. DS only fell asleep after
prolonged crying, and woke up within a few hours to full wakefulness and
sobbing till he exhausted himself enough to sleep again. I do not want to put
either of them through that again.
Because of this, I've been slowly trying to edge towards weaning for awhile, but we haven't really been making much progress. I've now learned that I also need to travel for work for 3 days in late May, which makes weaning more urgent (and anxiety-inducing). At present, DS nurses right before falling asleep, about half the time when he wakes up during the night (every other day or so), and before naps on weekends (he's in daycare during the week).
Do you have advice/experiences to share on weaning a toddler somewhat quickly? Especially one who strongly associates nursing with sleep, despite months of trying to gradually loosen the association?
A few more details (for those who want them):
DS is definitely on the clingy side, and has never been a good sleeper. He only started to sleep through the night on a semi-regular basis over the last couple months, and still wakes up most nights. Lately, I've been trying to put him back to sleep with a backrub, which works about half the time. He only goes to sleep at bedtime for me, and does not seem to go back to sleep for DH during the night at all. DH was pretty traumatized by his experience last fall and has been reluctant to try bedtime or even naptime on his own since then.
Until he was about 28 months old, DS would only fall asleep at the breast. After the fall trip, I stopped allowing him to do so at bedtime, which meant 2 months of cuddling a crying toddler for 40-90 minutes. These days, he doesn't usually fall completely asleep at the breast, but if he isn't close, then he tends to wake himself up again once he's in the crib and either wants to nurse again or gets totally hyper. I've been limiting him to 3 verses of "My favorite things" on each side, but if he asks for more once he is in the crib, I usually allow one encore.