We are at our wit's end here with our soon-to-be- two year old. We have had severe sleep issues for more than 6 months. It started with more frequent night waking, and then for a while it got to where he was up for HOURS in the middle of the night. At first he wanted snacks, and we would give them to him because my milk was drying up due to pregnancy and we felt he was legitimately hungry. But a midnight snack turned into being up for 3-4 hours at a time, 4 nights a week. We seem to have gotten past that for the most part, but now he is still waking to nurse every 90 minutes (or less!) all night long. If I'm lucky, he goes right back to sleep, but just as often, it's a huge battle to get him to sleep again. Between him and the 2.5 mo baby, I'm lucky to get an hour of solid sleep at a time. Last night, I couldn't take the horrible-latch-nurse-a-thon, so at 10:30 I took him to the playroom and held him/laid next to him for an hour while he screamed about not being allowed to nurse. (DH tried to take him, but he came running back to the family bedroom screaming every time.) I finally gave in and nursed him, but same thing at 4 am. He finally fell asleep in my arms after 90 min of crying, but when I tried to take him back to bed he woke up. So I've now been up since 4, with a total of 4.5 hours of broken sleep. I cannot function like this.
I really feel like he can't get into a deep enough sleep cycle to stay asleep. For a while, we were giving him Calms Forte, and that seemed to help, but not any more. And I don't want him to be dependant on taking something to get to sleep every night at 2 yrs old! He is obviously just exhausted all the time. I feel bad for him; he just looks sad. And it can't be healthy for such a young kid to not get enough sleep.
The only solution we can think of is to move his bed into the playroom and have DH sleep with him in there. (A little background on our sleeping arrangement: we currently have a queen size bed and full size bed pushed together in our room. The baby, the 4.5 yo, and I sleep in the queen bed, and the 2 yo sleeps in the full bed. Sometimes DH if DS1 isn't kicking too bad.) We had tried not letting him nap, and he slept better for a while, but now he's back to not sleeping at night, so we're going to encourage naps again. At least he'll be getting more sleep that way. I'm also considering taking him to the pediatrician to see if there's anything physically wrong that would cause him to not be able to sleep.
I don't know what else to do. Part of me really wants to just wean him (if he starts sleeping alone with DH, he'll be weaned, because he's not nursing during the day at all). Part of me feels that he's too young, but it's getting to the point that I'm not happy with the nursing relationship, and I don't want my bitterness at nursing him to carry over to nursing the baby. And will weaning really help? What if he still wakes at night, but can't get back to sleep??
We have no idea what else to do. Open to any and all suggestions, here!