I started by simply refusing to feed him before a minimum of 2 hours had passed since his prior eating - if he wanted to eat right at that 2 hour mark, I'd feed him, otherwise I waited for him to tell me he was hungry. I did that for a week or so and he's naturally spaced that out to eating roughly every 3 hours now, all on his own. Since then, we've also convinced him to now eat 6 ounces of formula when we bottle feed him. I've also been very slowly switching him from nursing to bottles. Right now he's getting 2 bottles a day but I think I'm gonna start adding a third one in.
As for sleep training. Well. That's been fun. He's really good now about going to sleep without being nursed or rocked to sleep but would still prefer to be held. I tried laying him in his crib and standing over him, patting, soothing and picking up to cuddle and laying back down as necessary. You can stamp that with a big gigantic FAIL. So I finally decided to just try letting him cry it out. I tried going in periodically to soothe and reassure him that he's not being punished but that just made it worse. Every time I'd go in, I think he'd think I was coming to get him and then when I left again, it would just make the crying like 1000 times worse. I've been doing the cry it out method since Friday afternoon. The first time I did it, it took about a half hour of crying before he went to sleep. Friday night I did nurse him to sleep because well, it was just the timing of it. He woke up about a half hour later - I went in, gave him back his pacifier and told him that it was night-night time and left. That one was a bit longer, nearly an hour before he fell asleep. Since then, only 5 or less minutes of crying/fussing before he realizes I'm not coming back and it's bed time.
This makes me feel like the most awful person in the world. It's the worst feeling ever to let your baby cry and cry and cry. I wouldn't do it if he was hurtful to him, but I can tell by his cries that he's pissed - not hurting. I'm not the first mother that's let her baby cry themselves to sleep and I certainly won't be the last. I know some of you that will read this don't agree with the cry it out method and I have to say that to a point I agree with you. I didn't want to do it, I was against it but in the end - apparently it's the method that works best for Ben. He will never learn to fall asleep on his own if I don't give him the opportunity to do it.
In other, non-mean-mommy news: I'm so excited for my brother and my nephew!!! Their Little League team just won State Champions!!! They're headed off to San Bernardino, CA in August for regionals and if they win that it's off to Pennsylvania for the Little League World Series. Such a wonderful accomplishment for them!! I'm SO excited they are having such a fantastic season!!