I have read some of your other posts and really like your approach. I feel like I have read every sleep book out there and can't resolve our sleep issues with my daughter.
My daughter is 2.5 years old and has always had trouble transitioning to sleep, even as a newborn I spent most of my day trying to put her to sleep. It takes us, on average, an hour to get her to sleep AFTER all the bedtime rituals. Naptime was easy until a few months ago. After trying for 20-30 minutes, I now let go of naptime so that I don't get overly frustrated (plus I've tried in the past for 2 hours and it still wouldn't work some days). Those nights are easy to get her to sleep for the night, but she sleeps even less soundly than usual (she still wakes regularly one to five times in the middle of the night).
A few other details:
*I am almost a week into night weaning right now. She has taken to the night weaning quite well, with some crying, but mostly an understanding that we nurse when the sun comes up because Mommy doesn't have very much milk. Sleep problems have preceded the night weaning and I am hoping it will help. My husband does one or two night wakings and I do the rest as he works outside the home while I'm a stay at home mom, plus my daughter prefers and is accustomed to me being her "sleep parent".
*My daughter has her own bed which she happily transitioned to at 21 months old, but I have been co-sleeping and night nursing in her bed half the night since she moved out of our bed.
Here are the issues:
1. If she naps, she has a hard time falling asleep and usually won't go down until 9:30 up to 11pm (she'll wake up around 8am on late nights and earlier nights her wake up is closer to 7 or 7:30am).
2. If she doesn't nap, she is obviously tired in the late afternoon and doesn't sleep as soundly, though she'll sleep an overall 12 to 13 hours (with at least 3 to 5 wakings). Plus with night weaning, it was harder for her to fall back asleep with as many night wakings as happened last night with our first day of no nap in over a week.
3. Bedtime is a time when my husband and I have the least amount of energy and we both procrastinate the whole thing. I went through different periods of being strict about it but it always takes that hour AFTER bedtime rituals unless she is completely exhausted and it is late.
I have heard the idea that she just needs to get to sleep earlier, but there are nights when we have tried this only to end up in the bedroom with her for hours on end... plus my husband doesn't agree with this thinking so it takes a lot of pushing on my part to make it happen.
Our current general bedtime routine is this:
Books in bed
Rock with Mommy in Rocking Chair to sleep
My husband has been able to get her to sleep by lying next to her in bed and singing "Old MacDonald" but she won't let me do so. Last night she did let me lie in the bed with her after a night waking while she tried to fall asleep without nursing... that was a big step though she didn't fall back asleep until I got up and walked her to sleep.
Our house is quite small and I am not sure we could do the two different rooms idea for preparing for sleep, especially when my 12 year old stepson is with us (summers and every few weeks on weekends). I guess I could propose it to my husband but it would probably require him to either do the bedtime rituals or be quiet and not watch TV while I did (which he hates the idea of as he feels it encroaches on his adult space).
Some days she will nap for 2 to 3 hours and she really needs it! I try to not let her nap more than 1.5 hours but some days she fights waking up and then I know she just needs the sleep too much for me to wake her. The problem is that we then get sent on a cycle of late nights and late mornings and later naps.
Any advice would be welcomed. Including how to get my husband on board with bedtime without my having to bug him about it:)