(I apologize for the essay. I am at my emotional wits end here)
My baby girl Iris will be 6 months next Thurs. Lately, like the last two weeks, she has started to fight at the slightest sign of tiredness. From 6 weeks old to about 3.5 months she slept thru the night* 10:30pm-9am. Then she started waking during the night to feed, 3-5 times per night. But it was never a fight to go to sleep. She was also more if a cat-napper during the day, maybe 3 x 35 min naps. I never enforced a schedule because I seemed to be OK at reading her cues.
About 3 weeks ago at an unrelated checkup the paed said she should ideally be in bed/asleep by 8:30pm and sleeping right thru till 6am at least. So I started to work at changing her routine (or lack thereof).
(I tried one night to not nurse during the night but it was such a bad night for us I decided to tackle that issue at a later stage. I am bipolar but not medicated so that I can breastfeed and so I need as much quality sleep as possible. I am also a SAHM so waking for feeds during the night doesn't affect me as much as her screaming does.)
We had 4 days of bliss in which she had 2 x 1.5+ hr naps at regular times during the day and she is now asleep by 9:30pm most nights. Those 4 days were relatively painless. But then she started to fight me and herself the moment I put her in her crib. She whips her head back and forth and kicks at anything in range and makes shrieking noises to keep herself awake. She arches her back with her body rigid. And if I don't pick her up within 2-3 min then she starts SCREAMING.
I have tried to stick it out for up to an hour nearly every sleep time. I have tried comforting her without picking her up by leaning my whole body into the crib and cuddling her. I have tried picking her up and holding her until she calms down (with minimal patting/rocking) and then putting her down again. I have tried both techniques while staying beside her, and by moving out of sight each time she's in the crib. The only thing that seems to calm her and send her to sleep is if I nurse her while in the rocking chair. But then she will wake again as soon as I put her in her crib.
Now she seems tired all the time, yawning and rubbing her eye about an hour after getting up in the mornings (around 8am).
Does anyone have more suggestions? Or just let me know I'm not alone in this...