Background: I'm a 28 y/o first time mom to Alex. My husband travels frequently for his job, so I am the primary parent, which we are both OK with. Currently the hubby is out of the country for a month, which is not too uncommon. I am a SAHM. Alex is almost 16 months old, and a VERY active, sensitive boy. He has always been very spirited and happy. He is the best thing in the world, but also exhausting to take care of full time. I rarely get a break from DH/family, simply because they are not available or Alex just plain tires them o ut, so after a few hours, he's mine again! I'm also VERY particular about his parenting, so it's hard for me to let go sometimes to get a break.
Anyway (and sorry this is getting long!)...Alex sleeps in his own crib most of the time. We co-sleep when necessary (teething, bad night, whatever). But Alex actually prefers his own space (and so do we as he's a super duper wiggle worm!). I am the only one who puts him down for sleep. Ever. I have always rocked him to sleep. Very often, I have to try several times to get him down in his crib. He'll be fast asleep in my arms but of course wake up panicked when I place him in his crib. Lately, it has gotten so bad. It is taking him FOREVER to fall asleep, no matter what we've done during the day (activity wise), how his nap was, how last night's sleep was, etc. So I've finally decided to relax and stop watching the clock and enjoy this snuggle time. But then it's taking me up to 2-3 hours to get him down, and I've started getting angry . I think it's more my own stress and whatnot, but I hate hate hate that I can be angry with my innocent child. I've come to the point where I feel conflicted because my head is saying it's time to try CIO (mostly b/c of what other people have said that make me feel like it has to be done, etc). but my heart says absolutely not. I can't stand to hear him cry and feel like such a failure. In my heart I don't believe CIO is the answer. I feel like him giving up the fight is exactly what I don't want him to do. I feel like he truly does still need me and that's his "safe" time. So why can't I just calm down and keep my cool at night (or before naptime)? I'm frankly becoming ashamed at my parenting .
Whenever I read posts of people who have BTDT or who have the same feelings I do towards CIO I feel better and more able to work on it. BUt lately I just read people who say you have to CIO, etc. So I am hoping that you all might have some encouraging words to help me believe that I am NOT setting him up for sleep failure and that I can continue to parent him during the night, etc. I know there is no magic solution for better nights, but I just need the emotional support right now that I can't seem to find elsewhere. My husband was raised very differently from me and frankly would be OK doing CIO, so while he supports whatever I choose, he's not able to emotionally support me when it's hard. I feel like my son and my relationship is so fragile and I want to nurture it, but I'm not doing well with that through these sleep issues. I also have some outside stress right now (my dad is very sick, my husband was recently diagnosed with an illness, etc) so I know that's contributing too.
I hope this is at least somewhat coherent, I'm running on very little sleep (aren't we all!). So thanks for letting me get that all off of my chest and I look forward to e-meeting you all!