Pertinent Background Info
- We have a bedtime routine and put Mason down at the same time each night (with rare exceptions). (Routine = bath, lotion/jammies, nurse, prayer, goodnight kiss)
- We put Mason down awake and he puts himself to sleep. He's usually calm and relaxed when we put him down, but not always. Sometimes he's wide awake and occasionally a little fussy. But he always figures it out and gets himself to sleep.
- He wears a sleep sack (too big/old to be swaddled) and we have the ocean sound playing in his room. We just started giving him a lovey to hold, but he doesn't seem to care much about it.
- Mason soothes himself by sucking his thumb.
- He's been sleeping 10+ hours/night since he turned eight weeks old.
- Mason just turned nine months old. He is showing signs of separation anxiety.
The Current Situation
After one night of rebelling at bedtime, we let our boy cry it out. For a few nights, the situation seemed better. But recently Mason has started screaming during the bedtime nursing session--something he has never done before--and his temper escalates until he has a full-fledged meltdown. Initially, I freaked out because I thought my milk supply was drying up and he was hungry and therefore, angry. But we've tried a bottle the past few nights and he loses it just the same. (And pumping at bedtime has proven that my milk supply is hanging in there. Why oh why do we women put such pressure on ourselves when it comes to breast feeding, or really, anything mommy-related? Clearly, this is a topic for another post.)
Mason eats a tiny bit, and then gets mad and refuses the breast/bottle. He cries and cries. We do our best to try to calm him down: walking with him/rocking, singing, rubbing his back, talking to him in a soothing voice, etc. If he does settle down, he starts crying again as soon as we say goodnight and stick him in the crib. His face grows red with anger. He rolls/thrashes all over the crib. And he screams for 30+ minutes before he finally gives up and goes to sleep.
Mason eventually puts himself to sleep, but this process is miserable for all of us. How can we get our uneventful night-nights back again? Thoughts? I have a babysitter coming in 10 days who will need to do night-night with Mason, and I'm terrified for her!