I'm not the world's most tolerant person when it comes to waiting. As my friend Michelle puts it, I have a bit of a patience problem. This applies to a lot of things in my life, including the baby's obnoxious nighttime behaviors. I've discovered that I can put up with his crappy sleep habits for a period of four-to-five months before I hit a massive brick wall of annoyance, and realize that something HAS to change.
When W was a newborn, he wouldn't sleep more than two or three hours at a time unless one of us was holding him, which we didn't do at night. We made him sleep in his crib, and we (I) got up every few hours to nurse him, as it was the only way to get him back to sleep. This was fine when I was on maternity leave because I got to nap. When I first went back to work, I was at my former job, and I only had to phone it in for two weeks before I quit/got laid off. But then I started a brand spankin' new job (when my son was just two months old), one that I was excited about and wanted to do well at, and the sleeping issues started to get to me. I was regularly getting four hours or less of sleep a night, getting up at 6:30, working my ass off for eight hours a day, coming home to a disgruntled, laid off, sick-of-being-a-stay-at-home-dad husband who would throw the baby at me and disappear for a couple of hours, and finally ending my day around 10:30 when I put the baby down for the (first time of the) evening. It was exhausting. And sanity-robbing.
In April, when I was just about to hit my final breaking point, a friend convinced me to start my own modified version of crying-it-out, even though he was *gasp* technically still too young. B was out of town for the weekend, our neighbor was gone because he was doing some jail time for not paying his child support, and I was so ready for some sleep that the thought of incessant crying didn't phase me. It was perfect timing. And it worked! He went from up every few hours to mostly sleeping through the night, only waking once for a bottle. It was heaven.
Fast-forward another four-to-five months, and this up-once-a-night crap is getting old. He has no physical need for a midnight bottle any more. There is absolutely no reason that he shouldn't be sleeping straight through the night. But he doesn't. For awhile, we thought it was the excessively wet diapers that were waking him, so we bought the extra-absorbent overnight diapers in a size larger than his normal diapers. That helped a bit, but not enough. He's still not sleeping through. Sometimes he will, but it's a rare occurrence.
And I'm done with it. I've hit my wall again. He needs to change his sleep patterns again. But I'm clueless as to how to make it happen this time. Last time, sleep training was the answer. This time, I don't know what the answer is. We've tried the same type of techniques we used the first time, and they haven't worked. His sleeping habits are killing me. Well, those, coupled with this craptastic insomnia I've had going on for weeks now. I feel like I'm never going to get good sleep again, and that makes me sad.