My 21mo dd can almost never go back to sleep after 8 hours of sleep. I have no idea what to do...we've been fighting this fight for months now and it's not getting any better. Could something be wrong? I don't know what to do.
During a typical night for dd (after a huge battle to get to sleep in the first place, but that's for a different post), she's asleep by 8 or 9. She might fuss or need soothing back to sleep once around 12 or 1. Almost every night between 3:30 and 4:30 she wakes up crying for me. She says, "mama, I awake!" and is usually standing up in bed by the time I get to her. I've tried moving faster and getting to her before she sits up. I've tried letting her fuss longer but she just wakes herself up more. If I get to her before she's wide awake, she's happy to let me bounce/rock her for up to an hour, but she just can't go to sleep. I feel like she WANTS to go to sleep. She gets frustrated. I get frustrated. She will seem asleep after 30 minutes or so of soothing and I'll try to put her back in bed, but she'll arch her back and cry and completely wake herself up again. At that point, she'll let me pick her up and soothe her again for maybe 15 minutes, but her eyes will be wide open, blinking patiently at me. Then she'll start to struggle to get away from me and want to get down and play. She's up for the day at that point, showing no signs of needing an early nap. She usually naps (with no battles!) for about 2 hours around 11.
I feel like we've tried so many things to help her get back to sleep. Dh has no luck. Taking her back to bed with us doesn't work. She would probably let me nurse her back to sleep in bed with us, but I don't want to back slide with nursing. For one, I'm 6 weeks pregnant with #2 and nursing is PAINFUL...we need to cut back during the day but we need to solve our nighttime problems first. Secondly, we night weaned around 16 months because she just kept herself (and me) awake nursing all night long and did not sleep. Her sleep has been so much better since then, but we have continued to have this middle-of-the-night waking problem. It used to be earlier and we could at least get her back to sleep after a few hours, but dh and I both work and there's no option of a 7:30am nap for us.
One other observation - she went through a period a few weeks back of wanting to nap for 4 hours at around 11am. Her sleep cycle is obviously confused. But she seems FINE during the day. Not over tired...except for the fact that it's nearly impossible to get to to sleep an night, which may be related.
I'm so confused and don't know what to do! Is this just a phase? Is there anything you know of that I'm missing to help her get back to sleep? Help please!