Remember how in Ivy's 7-month update I mentioned that sleep was still an issue, but that I was dealing with it?
Well, I take that all back. I think I am going to go crazy. I've never had such a bad sleeper, and I can't think of anything that would make it better. Everything we try makes it worse.
Last night, for example, she woke up around 11 pm. I nursed her and put
her back in the crib. 15 minutes later, she woke up again. I asked Eric
to help, since I was just so tired. He patted her on the back for an
hour. She was still wide awake, so I swaddled one of her
arms and snuggled her in bed with me. She cried for more than an hour.
Finally at 2 am, she fell asleep--for only 5 minutes. When she woke up again,
I finally gave up and nursed her so I could get some sleep. Even with
being awake for several hours and therefore exhausted, she woke up again
to nurse at 5:30 am. (And then my alarm accidentally went off at 6 am, and I didn't get back to sleep after that. Curses. It was a terrible night.)
Ivy's basic pattern is to sleep from 7-11pm. From then on, she wakes up every 1-2 hours all night long. The ONLY thing that will settle her back down is nursing. Sometimes she wakes up just 10-15 minutes after I've nursed her, and the craziness starts all over again.
If she wakes up before 11 pm, she will usually fuss herself back to sleep. She's never once gone back to sleep without nursing after 11 pm. Never.
Anything we do (short of me nursing her) makes it so much worse. Patting...rocking...snuggling her in bed...bouncing...singing...swaddling...not swaddling...all terrible. She works herself into a frenzy no matter what we try. She also stands up in her crib if we don't get her right away. Then she's wide awake and either really mad or ready to have a party.
Ivy is a super light sleeper. When I creep into the room at night, I often wake her up. I slide ever so slowly into bed, moving the covers carefully so they don't rustle. I try to avoid any squeaky spots in the floor. She has a white noise machine next to her crib going all night long. But still, she wakes with just about any movement we make.
Because we have 10 extra people living with us right now, I can't put her in another room. Plus the thought of having to get out of bed, walk down the hall, nurse her, and then come back to bed 5-6 times a night is too terrifying to contemplate.
I wish cosleeping would solve the problem, but I had to put her in the crib next to my bed a few months ago. She became so wiggly that no one was sleeping well. Plus she sleeps better in the crib on her stomach than next to me in bed.
I could just keep nursing her every single time she wakes up, but sometimes it reaches point of ridiculousness. I'd also like her to not be entirely dependent on nursing at night to settle down. Most of the time? Sure. But not every single time.
But if I don't nurse her, it's 100 times worse. I would like her to sleep more than 1-2 hours at a time. I don't think she's waking up that often because she's hungry. It's habitual, and I don't know what her reset button is. I'm not even asking for her to sleep through the night. Just 3-4 hours at a time. Even having one 4-hour stretch of sleep would be positively amazing. Is that too much to ask?
The most depressing thing is that no matter how much I declare that I've had it, that something has to give, I can never give up. I can't put a pillow over my head or go sleep in another room. I'm the only one who can help her. Believe me, if Eric tries, it's a disaster for all parties involved. Nothing but nursing will settle her down.
So, help? Please?
ps-- thanks for slogging through my long rant. I'm not necessarily expecting any useful advice, because frankly I don't see how anything could help right now.