Second problem (more recent), he wakes up in the middle of the night and is awake for 2-3 hours on some nights. Generally, these are nights when he has only one nap that day (he is still transitioning). A couple of times, I have spent the time trying to get him back to sleep, rocking, bouncing, laying next to him, putting him in the crib when I'm exhausted, alternating with DH, etc. a couple of times, I have allowed him to get up and play in the dark room while I doze in and out of sleep. This is not ideal, as the room is not perfectly baby proof. And, it's the middle of the fricken night and he needs that sleep! This is like 11pm-2am.
Usually he wakes and wants to nurse about 10:45 or so. If we see if he can work it out on his own and let him fuss a bit, he wakes up too much and will be up for an hour or more (see above).
Third problem, he is having a hard time getting to sleep. These are nights he is over-tired (only one nap) or has had two naps and is not tired enough, so won't go down until 8:30 or 9. Usually hubby bounces him on ball and then rocks him to sleep (he never falls asleep on the boob, don't know why--pops up instead).
Ideally, he would adjust to a schedule of bedtime at 7 and wake up around 6 am. instead, it's down at 8:30-9 on nights with 2 naps, at 7:30 or even later on nights with one nap (despite trying earlier), up at 5:30 on nights he's not awake during the night and as late as 8:30 if he is awake in the middle of the night (or as early as 6, if big brother comes in looking for me and wakes him up). He wakes to nurse about 3-4 times, though after that first nursing session, it's really just brief comfort sucking (as I pray each time that he doesn't wake up fully!!).
Tonight we resorted to Ferber check and console. First, I tried the method of me being there next to him while he was in the crib, and it was too heartbreaking to hear him cry. I had to pick him up and rock him. Then, he kept popping up like he wanted to go play, and would not relax. And then, finally fell asleep in my arms, until I tried to put him in the crib, when he started screaming. I then tried rocking him again, tried having him lay next to me, to which he just sat up, and then tried rocking again and he wouldn't have it. I then gave up and put him crying into the crib. Then, DH did the check at 5 mins, 5 mins, then 7 mins, and he finally fell asleep 5 mins later.
This is not what we want, but we are feeling desperate. What do you do when a cosleeper starts to play when he should be sleeping? My other son would always just nurse back to sleep. As I write this, I realize it is all pretty linked to the nap transition.