I thought I had posted this thread last night - guess I failed.
We have officially started sleep training. My DH is off for 3 weeks so he can help.
Sleep before Will was 6 months was ok - 4 hrs at a stretch or so. Sleep after 6 months (specifically after he learned to stand up) has been very bad (1-4 hour stretches). We tried some Baby Whisperer inspired sleep training in Feb (approx 8 months old) and it was a disaster and resulted in me sitting next to his crib with him screaming. Shortly after that I just resorted to co-sleeping after midnight because he was constantly sick and otherwise waking me every 1-3hrs. (But co-sleeping means Will and I are in a different bed from DH most nights b/c DH works 12 hr shifts 2 days, 2 nights).
Since Feb I have read 7 sleep books and tried to think about how to best tackle this when the time came.
Anyway - our goals are: a) sleep minimum 5hrs stretches (or all night would be idea) and b) sleeping in his own crib.
My approach was (based on my own intuition): a) re-soother / re-settle as needed, b) stay in his room for a few minutes while he settles and put my hand on his if needed, c) continue to lay him back down if he stands up. (If, however, he jack-in-the-box continually stood up time and again as he did in Feb I figured I would continually lay him back down like the BW suggested until I came up with my own plan). As it turns out he is laying back down with ease almost every time and putting up almost no fight! He is settling slightly faster than when DH let him CIO a few weeks back (cried for 20 minutes each time he woke) so I think we will actually accomplish our goals and feel more rested and less distressed by this approach.
And as it turns out - when I re-read the BW (before implementing my new plan), my plan is very similar to her suggestions.
I think the problems last time (Feb) were:
a) Will was not ready - he was way too obsessed with standing up
b) I was leaving the room too soon so my departure was re-upsetting him
Results so far are promising (sorry for all the details below - but in case it helps someone else). (These are my emails to friends about my progress so far):
Night one was not as bad as expected but the next nights could still be doozies. He slept in his own bed until 6:45am with wakeups at 11:10 (final feeding), 2:45, and 5am. Each time I did have to spend atbou 10-20 minutes in his room but not bad. And there was NO crying!! I didn't have to leave him screaming in his room. (I would lay him down, put my hand on his back for a couple minutes, and then just sat quietly in his bed until he was sleeping and then I left). He stood up 5 times at 2:45 wakeup but otherwise only stood up 1-2 times. He IS very tired at all these wakeups so hopefully with some consistent encouragement to go back to sleep in his own bed he will eventually be able to get back to sleep on his own. (Once he gets the hang of this more I will leave his room earlier and earlier). I hope tonight is as good or better!
Night 2 - still not bad. He woke 3 times - the first 2 were easy and quick to get him back to sleep but the 3rd one took an hour to settle him (4-5am - ugh). Oh well. We will continue.... one more night for me and then daddy takes a turn.
Night 3 - still small improvements. He woke only twice (11pm final feeding and easy to sleep) and then 2am (45 minutes to get back to sleep - no screaming, just a lot of tossing and turning and I had to put my hand on him to reassure him 4 or 5 times). Then he slep until 630am! Baby steps. Here is hoping for continued improvements and that we don't regress too far when we go to C/River next week.
Night 4 - Bedtime at 8:15 and he needed re-soothering at 9:15. Then he slept until 1am (unheard of) at which point he had his final feeding (normally 11pm). Then he slept until 4am (also a good run). But, sadly, after that it was not so good - he was up at 530 and I will admit I put him in with me (530 after just getting back to bed at 430 is cruel) and he was ready to party at 6am after a 30 minute nap. So still improving (I am hoping the feeding keeps inching along until it disappears - it was slated for destruction once the sleeping was sorted out). He is still going to bed easier which is nice - no screaming!
Night 5 - daddy's turn! yippee!
PS - our success at night is translating also to more success in getting him to bed for daytime naps with less fight. All in all we are paying more attention to his tired signs and acting on them instead of being influenced by the clock - whenever I let the clock have a say things go to hell.
Wish us continued success! I am back to work on Monday so it would be nice if we are well on our way by then and if DH can continue the work I have started.