Before I continue on with my craft show story.....keeping you all on the edge of your seat LOL.....I need to solicit advice. Why won't my baby sleep???
Here's the story, I think I was spoiled by her early on, so now I'm having trouble coping. When she was about 2 months old she started sleeping through the night - meaning 8pm to 8am.....yes, seriously. And yes, it was awesome. Then around 4 months she started waking up at about 4am, would nurse, and fall back to sleep until 8am. I thought she was going through a growth spurt, which she probably was, and so kept feeding her at that time thinking eventually the growth spurt would end and she'd start sleeping 12hrs again. Not so much. Instead, she started waking up at midnight too. I thought maybe it was a BIG growth spurt, and so nursed her, and got her back to sleep two times a night. Every once in a while she'd sleep through one or both of her night feedings and it'd be like Christmas morning for me. Month after month went by and nothing changed, so I started doing some serious research. I read that you should start sleep training at about 6 months since soon after that babies should be able to sleep for 11-12 hours at a time. Please correct me if I read wrong.
So I started doing the 5, 10, 15 minute thing.....for about 2 or 3 days at a time. Some nights it worked, some nights she would scream bloody murder until I picked her up, feeling like a horrible mother, and ruining all our hard work in the process. I know, I know, they all say to try it for 2 or 3 weeks, not 2 or 3 days, but one night of her screaming at the top of her lungs for even 30 or 40 minutes straight was enough to make me stop. I can deal with crying, but I cannot deal with screaming that makes you think someone is getting a finger cut off. It was just too heartbreaking to deal with. Sigh. I knew that if I held her or nursed her until she fell asleep she'd be awake in about 4 hours, but I thought, oh whatever, just nurse her. She is now 8.5 months old, BUT, lately she's been getting up at midnight, nursing, and then not wanting to go back to sleep. WHAT HAPPENED??? The more I try and make her fall asleep on her own, the louder she screams, but if I get her to fall asleep in my arms, she wakes up crying and wanting to be held back to sleep every time she wakes up - which, last night, was 3 times in 3 hours, and 6 times total for the night. The real problem this week has been her newfound ability to roll over, crawl to the side of the crib, and pull herself up to a standing position. Ok, "cry it out" is not an option when they are STANDING UP. Which reminds me, the next thing I'm going to sew is a crib guard so she doesn't chew the rails to bits. I also read that getting your baby to bed earlier can help so we've tried that these past 2 nights. Well, I tried to get her to bed at 7 rather than 8, and instead she fell asleep at 10.
I know this is all probably due to our inconsistencies with her bedtime routine, trying this or trying that to get her to sleep better. She's a great baby, and my husband and I say that it seems WE'RE the problem! She's fine as long as we're doing what's right, but as first time parents, that rarely happens. All I know is I keep looking for a sleep reset button but I can't find one! I also read that around 8 months babies go through a "sleep regression". Tell me please, what do I do??? I've combed through "The Baby Sleep Site" and others, but I'm against letting her scream her head off, standing or lying down. I'm also not sure how the "no cry" methods work. I can't really just lay her down and sing to her or pat her without her crying still, albeit not as loudly as when I just walk out of the room. She's a pretty feisty little one so when she gets agitated all drowsiness disappears and it's hard to calm her back down. I think another problem is that she is what our pediatrician calls a "wiggle worm". She wiggles in the tub, she wiggles on the changing pad, she wiggles standing up, sitting down, and of course, lying in the crib. She keeps awake with all the wiggling. She literally wiggles and bounces all day long. I've purposefully NOT bought her a bouncer because I don't want to encourage it. I think it may lead to her not being able to sit still later on in her life.....but I'm sure that's a'hole'nother topic we could discuss. First things first, Mama needs some sleep! Help!