Thank you! Things are much better.
Nothing was working, and believe me we tried it all. We tried diet stuff, we tried all kinds of the gentle sleep methods, we did chiropractic care and craniosacral, and nothing helped. In fact, to be totally honest, some of it even made it worse.
For example, I tried the whole thing of sitting next to the PnP with DS and holding his hand or letting him see me while he fussed. But that made him angrier and angrier. As though he was saying- you're RIGHT HERE, pick me up, woman! His cries only escalated.
So after exhausting every avenue, we went with something harder core when he was around the 11 month mark. We would let DS fuss or cry for five minutes, then I would go rub his back and talk to him for a couple minutes, then leave, and wait another five minutes. The first night this went on for hours and it really was sucky. But, it really wasn't that much worse than what we'd been living with. I think I still got about the same amount of sleep, and there were about the same amount of tears for both baby and mama.
The next night, I set it at 7 minute intervals, and the ritual went on for maybe an hour? The third night, it went on for 20 minutes, then the night after that, he slept through the night, no fussing, and woke up a very happy bubbly well-rested boy. Sometimes now, I can hear him wake up a bit in the night and roll around, coo at his hands, then drift back to sleep. But he no longer wakes up screaming inconsolably unless something is wrong (poopy diaper or fever). Sleeping through the night wasn't really even my goal- I just wanted to be able to go and comfort him and have him go back down in his PnP, but it's what happened and I'll be honest, I was ECSTATIC.
I know that CIO methods are not welcome here at MDC. And I don't know if what I did counts as that. I didn't leave him to scream for hours, but I also did let him cry for those 5 minute, then 7 minute intervals. What we did, I think, is a modified Ferber method. But I truly believe that it was needed for my whole family to be more peaceful and to enjoy each other more. The situation had become intolerable for everyone in the house, and all other solutions proved to be dead-ends. DS sleeps much better now and has so much more energy and smiles during the day. I also have a lot more energy and patience with him, and we are having tons more fun than we ever did. In the end, I think I did what is best for my family and I feel good about that.