OK, all the mommies out there or anyone else who knows what to do, I could use some serious help with this one!
Apparently my beautiful daughter simply does not believe in the word 'sleep' nor in the word 'nap' and certainly not in the phrase 'sleeping through the night'. I have never seen a child this age go with so little overall sleep. I mean honestly, where are my two hour naps or my 10 -11 hours on continues blissful nightly sleep?! Where?!
Little Ms. Tessa is up anywhere between 4 to 5 times a night and then wants (read into that demands!) to suck on her bottle for a few minutes before she'll go back to sleep. (FYI -apparently, the caregivers where giving her two bottles a night in ET.) She also wants to sleep right on top of me or, when I just can't take that anymore, she will agree to sleep along side of me as long as this is accompanied by a nighttime concert of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" sung in a pleading, disoriented, sleep deprived tone of voice. Yes I can get her into her crib at the start of the evening (and by start I mean anywhere from 9 - 10 pm before she will finally fall asleep) but that usually lasts about three hours before she wakes up crying and the bottle in bed with me routine begins. I've tried letting her cry. Really I have. I've sat outside her room while she wailed for 50 minutes straight refusing to nap. I've tried not giving her a bottle at night or simply putting water in it but the volume and length of the protesting makes for no sleep for anyone else in the house and my 5 year old then joins in because he's been wakened and can't go back to sleep. On most days, a good nap for Tessa is anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes so you would not believed the sheer rejoicings that takes place at our house on the rare days she actually naps into the one hour zone! The latest wrinkle is Tessa has decided the best time and place for napping is in her highchair during dinner. Ouch.
And just so you know, this is a very happy little girl during the day. She simply doesn't act cranky (unlike her mother) or tired.
I'm not normally a push over in the sleep department. We used the Ferber method with our son when he was 5 months old (yes I know not everyone agrees with this method but Neilan was done in three rather painless nights and has been a good sleeper ever since) and I was OK with Tessa's sleep habits for the first couple of months because I was simply more worried about bonding and making sure Tessa felt safe and knew I would be there for her then the actually sleeping part. But now, well now I'm just plain tired and cranky most of the time from not having had a solid night of sleep in almost five months and there doesn't appear to be any end in sight. So I'm throwing in the towel and waving the white flag on this one - I don't know what to do about the sleep situation at this point so if any of you have any advice at all I would be very, very grateful to hear it.