This looks like a terrific forum and I look forward to getting to know you all. Let me start by saying I have a 6 year old daughter who I nursed until she was 3 1/2 or so. She was exclusively breastfed till 6 months when we started cereal and other solid food. I did not replace the nursing at this stage, only supplemented it because I nursed her before she ever got solid food. I went back to work when she turned one and she moved right to sippy cups and cow's milk. She would not take breast milk in a sippy cup and she refused bottles and soothers. I co-slept and learned to sleep through her nursing at night so I never lost any sleep. The only problem I ever had was that she over ate because she would comfort nurse and still want regular meals. She essentially got a breast every time she fussed. When her tummy hurt she'd want to nurse more and wouldn't take a soother. So it was sort of a nasty cycle for a while.
Anyway I'm working on baby #2 now and we're due in January. I'm very excited and looking forward to nursing and co-sleeping another baby. However, circumstances have changed slightly. I will not be able to stay home full-time for a year like I did with my daughter. I will have to go back to work part-time (half days only 2 or 3 days a week) when the new baby is about 2 months old. I'm looking at having to introduce bottles and potentially soothers this time. I will introduce the bottle at around 4 weeks and hopefully we won't have too many issues.
My main concern is actually around the comfort nursing and soother thing. I don't like soothers, it's a nasty habit I'd rather not develop but I want to be nice to my parents who are babysitting and give them options for calming a fussy baby. Comfort nursing though presented over feeding problems that I would also like to avoid.
Those of you that comfort nurse, do you have problems with over feeding? If not, how did you strike the balance?
Those of you who went back to work early, did you introduce soothers or not?
Sorry this is so long. I follow the attachment parenting theory pretty closely and became a bit of a fanatic about nursing / co-sleeping / baby wearing with my daughter. Circumstances have changed and therefore my methods have to change with them. Any insight all of you can give me would be greatly appreciated.