Bedtime Breast Battles

I feel that there is something inherently wrong with the fact that other people can put my daughter to sleep, yet I can’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I can put her to sleep. Almost every night and naptime she falls asleep at the breast and I’m perfectly fine with that. By at the breast, I mean at the breast, in the rocking chair, with the lights off (heaven forbid Mama read a book), music playing. Even that I’m fine with—minus the grumbling that others can get her to sleep without all those magical stipulations. My problem comes when the breast doesn’t put her to sleep.

Most of the time she falls asleep after eating on one side, but occasionally it takes two. Most of those occasions, she’ll fall asleep after the second side, but rarely she doesn’t. What then? I’m screwed. It is absolutely impossible for me to get her to sleep after that without taking her for a ride in the car. I’ve tried rocking her in the dark—she wiggles away from me within a minute. I’ve tried playing games on my phone and letting her watch (which worked for my husband in the past and sometimes my mother still)—she gazes at it with interest for a few minutes, then wants to take the game and play it herself. I’ve tried walking around with her—she leans all over the place until she wakes herself up fully (though sometimes when putting her back to sleep this works). Really, I can’t think of a sleepy-sounding situation that I haven’t tried to just Get. This. Child. To. Sleeeeeeep!

Yet, the other day when my husband and I went to see a movie and left her with a friend who had only watched her once before, we came back to find her dead asleep on him on the couch with the lights on and everything. I’m fairly certain he doesn’t have lactating breasts so I feel I am entitled to ask WTF?!?! Every time my mom watches her while I go to class in the evening I come back to find her asleep on her in the exact same situation.

Really, what am I doing wrong here? I’m perfectly fine with putting her to sleep how we already do when it works, but those rare times it doesn’t I want a back-up plan that doesn’t involve an automobile. Is it just that I’m there so she realizes I have the good stuff and doesn’t want to sleep without it? Maybe she only goes to sleep for others because she realizes she won’t be getting any milk?

Everyone talks about “parenting to sleep”, but for me it feels like it’s just breastfeeding to sleep.

Does anyone else feel this way? Is there anything I can do about it?