Re: 4 mo old baby replaced with overtired raccoon. PLS ADVIS
Welcome to the forum!
It does get better. I'm not lying, and it's not because I'm a terrific person who is never less than truthful. It's because I don't have to. Both my kids were "bad" (a.k.a. normal) sleepers at 4 months, but by 12 months they had gone from waking 5-8 times a night to waking just 1-2 times a night.
A lot of people talk about something called the "4 month fussies" or the "4 month sleep regression". Neither term is really accurate- especially the "regression" one because the baby isn't losing ground, just going through a new stage- but the fact that there are widely used terms for this period points to the normalcy of what you're seeing.
Has your baby ALWAYS been like this, or is this just happening over the last week or so? I'm wondering if maybe he's not a bit sick, and that is explaining the frequent wake-ups.
8 wake-ups per night is pretty intolerable, and you've clearly reached a breaking point because you're using formula, thinking about solids a full 2 months before they are recommended, and reading The Baby Whisperer. Unfortunately, none of those things works witht a d*** when it comes to promoting better sleep. All they do is make you doubt your capacity to breastfeed. I'm especially down on The Baby Whisperer because she has some pretty crazy ideas about schedules, what babies "should" be doing, and about self-soothing. This review does a good job of explaining why that book is good for propping up wobbly furniture, but not much else. If you want to read a more realistic and much gentler book on infant sleep, I suggest Elizabeth Pantley's "The No Cry Sleep Solution".
I understand that your partner has a medical condition that means he needs unbroken sleep. But if you are truly at the breaking point, here's what I suggest: you go to bed with the baby. Your partner takes the first 1-2 wake-ups, feeding the baby your expressed milk if possible, donated breastmilk or formula if not (and if you are comfortable with that). That way you get at least 1 solid stretch of sleep before you have to take over the wake-ups. What do you think?
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"