I am a sleep deprived mum of a 9 1/2 month old boy. He's otherwise a smiley, healthy and seems to be on the top percentile for both weight and height for his age. So he doesn't seem to be sleep deprived, grumpy and starving or obese.
He is also completely breastfed- fresh from the tap, not through choice but he simply refuses the bottle (which is another issue) but my plan is to wean him in 3-4 months. He also doesn't take the pacifier... he objects to anything artificial in his mouth and we have tried many things (except for starving him until he takes the bottle) and now we have simply given up. He's eating solid alright and basically enjoy eating, he has also cut his day feeds drastically.
Nighttime however is becoming more and more of a nightmare. He was never a good sleeper and I made the rookie mistake of letting him sleep on the breast. I never managed the put him down awake thing that everyone else seems to be able to do. We also co-sleep so that I wouldn't die from all the multiple wakings.
Recently things have gotten from bad to worse. He goes to sleep fairly easily but wakes up every hour up to midnight or 1 am, then he wakes up every 2 hours until he wakes up for the day between 0600 to 0630. He goes to bad between 1830 to 1930 depending on when he wakes up from his last nap but typically he is out by 1900. Then the hourly waking starts.
I have searched the Internet and it seems the sleep association is to blame, as he falls asleep on the breast he needs it to get back to sleep again. He can't connect the sleep cycles himself. These sounds most likely the most plausible reason, but what can I do about it save cry-it-out?? I think he also have a second sleep association- which is being close to me. Sometimes (but rarely) he does get off the breast and wiggles himself to sleep but usually stuck against me.
The reason why I would like to leave CIO until there are no options left are because:
He wails and get more upset the longer he cries. He doesn't calm down easily once he starts.
He started crawling and few days later crusing and now he can go from furniture to furniture and climb down from the sofa, things actually started to worsen a month ago when he started turning in his sleep and got on all fours at night and started crying but he wasn't mobile until 2 weeks ago.
He is teething. His 3 teeth broke through in a week and one more on the way. I started giving him ibuprofen yesterday and he seemed to have slept better; will do it again tonight.
His separation anxiety seems to be getting worse. He was always clingy but now he wails when I leave the room and crawls to chase after me. He also clutches to be tightly after every feed.
So with so much going on, I really don't want to make it harder for him.. but at the same time things are getting worse on the home front as dear husband is blaming me for fostering his bad habits, inhibiting his ability to be independent and basically being the reason why he can smooth himself to sleep.
What can I do to improve the situation? Should I wait it out, cry it out?