I am mom to a beautiful 9-month old boy named Benjamin. I also have a 3.5 year old adopted son, Gabriel. I am practicing attachment parenting with Ben. Gabe came to us at 7.5 months of age and his sleep patterns were already established, and quite good. So, my question/concern is in regards to the 9-month old, Ben.
In a nutshell, Ben's napping is pretty horrible. I continue to try and affirm myself that "this too shall pass" but it's very much on my mind. The more I read, the worse it is. Everything you read talks about a 9-month old needing at least 2 solid naps a day, not in motion (i.e, not in the car, which is where he's started taking at least the morning nap the last 2 weeks or so). Ben co-sleeps with us at night and his night sleeping is pretty bad as well. He's up about 4 times a night on average. I keep reading that one of the keys to good night sleeping is good napping. I feel like I'm in a catch-22. I have been refusing any form of "cry-it-out" or sleep training up to now, but when it gets to the point where he won't sleep for a nap even if I lay with him, I start to get insecure and desperate. His top teeth are starting to come in, and he's also just hinging on learning to pull himself up to a stand. I know I've read in countless Sears books that developmental milestones can do a number on sleeping in general - I just have a hard time buying it.
My husband has been super supportive, but even just recently when I mentioned about needing to go lay with Ben for a nap he said "You're going to have to break him of that eventually." After a long discussion, I found that he really didn't mean that, but he's just frustrated at the level of sacrifice this takes. I had enough confidence to get him to a place where he felt better, but in turn depleted my own reserves.
Does this get better for real? Everything you read has you believing that the only way this gets better is if you train them and train them early. The literature is all about how you're enabling them if you continue certain attachment type sleep associations (like nursing to sleep and for comfort). You're one of the "lucky" ones if you child just gives it up on their own and you make it worse for everyone the longer you wait. When Ben gets to the point where he won't lay down for a nap for longer than 20 minutes and then wakes 4 or 5 times in the night just to comfort nurse, I start to lose confidence in what I'm doing.
I need some support, some stories, some reassurance that others have and are going through the same exact thing and that it really does get better. And, that I'm not doing my son a disservice by not training him so he'll take better naps. He's very obviously tired, but just won't settle down at naptime, even if I try to lay him down earlier or later. He can't stop moving his legs and twitching about. And, I've had him to the pediatrician a number of times thinking something physical might be causing it. As of yet (2 specialists later) we can't find anything physical causing it, so I have to believe it's just him. Please tell me I'm doing okay .. and if I'm not, what should I be doing instead.