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I'm sure you wouldn't be at the end of your rope if you hadn't tried next to everything already. I remember what it was like to be feeding bag to my constantly fussy, thankless DD. Never brushing my teeth or eating until DP came home in the evening. Not being able to take the "me time" that everybody said I needed because she would not EVER take a supplemental bottle (and there was no nipple or bottle that was going to change her mind about it). She didn't want me to sling her, to rock her, to walk her. As long as I was nearby, she took any other form of "comfort" as a slap in the face. Everything that wasn't the breast was a denial of the breast, as far as she was concerned. And she wanted it every hour, day and night. She nursed for 40 minutes at a time, so that meant 20 minute breaks! Day and night! and she played with it, gnawed on it, lapped at it until my nipples were bright pink and stung when I changed clothing or got in the shower. I remember resenting her, and resenting other people with their 'easy' babies and their casual, friendly advice, because of course I'd tried it all already.
I remember coming home from the supermarket the first time I left dd with her father, to find them both red faced with tears streaming down their faces. And the thing is, the whole time I was gone I knew that that's what I would come home to. Some "me time"! I didn't do it again for a long time!
This is the power of a high needs baby.
You do anything that you think you can to save yourself and your household, even abandoning AP if it helps. Nobody else can walk in your shoes right now, so you just do whatever you need to... but I want to suggest, without judgement, that you may have a rude awakening coming if you think that turning away from AP will make things any better! That proximity to you (and yes, your breasts) may be the only thing keeping your adorable parasite from innocently wrecking that last little shred of sanity you're holding on to!
We tried the CIO method. It was a nightmare. Not only for baby, but for mom and dad as well. Crib sleeping? Ditto. And weaning was the worst. It took 5 full months of a power struggle so ugly that I still hate the thought of it. We were at war with an infant, trying to force her to be the serene person she just wasn't capable of being.
DD is still sleeping in the bed, still wants to be held and cuddled all of the time... of course, now it's adorable. Now I feel like she's growing up too fast, and I regret ever ebing in a hurry to make her grow up faster. All I can say is that there may not be a solution in the immediate future, because I don't think there is ever a "solution" to personality. Your baby is who he is, but if it's any consolation:
My almost-4-y/o Olivia is the most independent, free spirited, brave and loving child I have ever known. Since infancy she has never thrown a single temper tantrum. There were no terrible 2s, no T3's... she is bright, cheerful, and outgoing. She never has to be prompted to share a toy or forgive another childs inconsiderate behavior. That mean and crabby little thing bloomed overnight into a baby who would light up the faces of stranger after stranger while I carried her down the corridor in the mall or the shopping aisle of the grocery store... just by beaming her eager, enthusiastic smile at them.
Believe me, she is still as strong-willed as ever, but she's never unkind or "bratty". There are some tears when she's sleepy, but she understands that no means no and that good behavior is rewarded; she also has the empathy and maturity to understand that good behavior is just right, whether it's rewarded or not. And I think that her spirit of independence and her ability to rationalize and to sense right and wrong... I think it all comes from the same place that the screaming and crying came from, way back when.
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