DS is 9mo and has always fed to sleep. He's becoming more and more annoyed at this and he wants to stop I know, but he doesn't know any other way of getting to sleep (unless we're on the move - pushchair, car etc).
I'm going back to work 2 days in March when MiL will be having him - trouble is she's very critical of my parenting style and keeps on at me to just leave him crying in his cot - I refuse to do this but need to get there some other way.
I've read about PUPD which I will probably try, but am looking for ... a) reassurance that I haven't left it too late b) PUPD success stories in older babies c) other tried and tested ways of stopping feed to sleep (he won't take a dummy or bottle)
No Cry Sleep Solutions is a good book. Gives some good tips on overcoming the nurse to sleep without distressing anyone too much. We got out of it pretty painlessly but I honestly can't remember quite how we went about it in the end but I did use the book.
No such thing as "too late". It just takes a bit longer to change their habits the longer you wait.
I would think the obvious way is best: Just don't let him sleep on the breast. Feed him a bit before bedtime, then play. Put him to cot slightly later than his normal bedtime so he will be sleepy, give him a kiss, and out you go. If/when he cries, go in, shh/pat whatever and then leave again, until he falls asleep.
He will cry a bit. I don't think you should be so scared of hearing your baby cry.
If your DS gets annoyed, have you tried popping him in his cot? Repeat the same thing when it's nap time so he knows what's coming. With my DS I tell him beforehand that it's "nap time". We also have a little routine. Usually I feed him to sleep but sometimes he gets annoyed, starts wriggling, so I put him in his cot, stroke his back and he falls asleep (not always). Keep trying that and he'll get it. I was worried about going back to work and the nanny having to do his naps - so we got a little routine going (in sleep bag, milk, cuddle). She rarely has trouble putting him down - sometimes giving him a cuddle. I've found as he's a little older, he's easier to teach to self settle. At 6 months it was a nightmare and I gave up!
Bear in mind though, around 9 months there's a developmental leap and if your DS has three naps, he'll likely want to drop the third one... All making sleep difficult!
We tried NCSS (for naps), Baby Whisperer for nights (for four weeks) and then we did controlled crying. CC worked almost instantly and with way less crying than anything else.
We had a generally good sleeper (who was EBF and always fed to sleep) that started having night wakings at around 6 months and eventually she would only sleep latched on sometimes! So cosleeping was not the solution. (She also napped on me - PFB!)
Anyway, she just turned 1 and for the last two months (or more) she has been sleeping 11-12+ hours in her cot by herself. She takes her nap in her cot as well. We started sleep training in earnest around the age of your child. So, maybe CC isn't what you were hoping to hear but it is a success story.
The only tip I have about CC is to make a plan and stick with it -- doing it halfheartedly, or inconsistently, is torture for both of you.