A million dollar question, right?
We are still struggling so much with sleep, both at night and naps.
Thankfully, we do have him consistently going to bed - in the crib - at around 8pm. That took about 2 long months of consistent routine, but we all survived. In fact, if we push it much past 8 pm, he does NOT do well.
The problem has been whenever he wakes up - and that could be anywhere from 11 pm to 5 am, he wants to eat and then he has zero interest in going back in the crib.
So, we end up on the couch together, where he proceeds to nurse the rest of the night. And honestly neither one of us sleep very well from that point on. Those people that say, He will only be a baby for a short time, let him sleep on you as much as he likes, do NOT say this to me. This is not good quality sleep for either one of us. He is constantly moving around, and this tells me that he isn't all that comfortable anyway. Plus, this situation allows him to tank up on calories during the night and doesn't want to nurse much during the day. Yup, some days he will go from 7 am to 7 pm without nursing. Oh, he'll take a bottle - that's easy. But not nurse.
Then there are the naps, or lack thereof. Unless I can get him to fall asleep while nursing (which remember, he hasn't been doing much lately), the majority of naps involve thrashing and crying for at least 20 minutes before he gives in. It absolutely breaks my heart to see this. He can be rubbing his eyes and yawning, but he just won't give in without a fight. This upsets and baffles me. He is sleepy - it's so obvious! I hate it so much, and has been so hard for me to deal with.
But the bottom line is, if he doesn't nap during the day, then he is an absolutely miserable child by the end of the day. These days we know his night time sleeping is not going to be good because he is going to bed over tired. If he naps, he is happier in the evening and sleeps much better at night
This whole situation has really, really stressed me out. And I'm sometimes exhausted to the point where I know it's not healthy.
But we're working on it, and it has slowly been getting better. I've started only letting him nurse once during the night. When he wakes up, I go in the nursery and let him eat for about 30 minutes- long enough for him fall back asleep. Then he goes back in the crib. And he cries. Sometimes for a long time, sometimes only for a little while. This. Is. Hard. For everybody in the house.
But guess what? He's starting to nurse again better during the day.
We're trying to fix one thing at a time. We've got him on a schedule at bedtime - that's been mastered. Next is getting him to sleep at night, in the crib, all night. He HAS to learn to do this, for all of our sanity. And for those who think we're mean for letting him cry - I'm sorry, but this is the way it has to be.
Other than the whole sleeping thing, he really is such a good baby. He's so happy to see other people, and he loves to play. He is my whole world, I love him so. Being a parent is the best job I have ever had. I look at him and I can't wrap my head around how lucky I am.