My son is almost 19 months. For the first 4 months he slept pretty well - we had a bear of a time with bedtime, but once he was really down (about midnight) he'd consistently sleep for 6 hours.
Then the famed 4 month sleep regression hit, and we still haven't gotten over it. At his worst, he was waking up 10-12x a night (around 9 months.) I stopped nursing him every time and after some resistance his sleep improved to "only" waking 4-6x a night. We started trying to fully nightwean when he was 12 months but were only really successful as about two months ago. It hasn't really helped, however.
After 19 months, combined with the wicked pregnancy insomnia I had and poor sleep before that due to hormonal imbalance, it's been many years since I've had a good night's sleep. I feel like I am going insane. I am so tired that I spend most of the day sitting in a recliner chair zoned out. I am putting on weight rather than losing baby weight. I want to have another baby, but my health is suffering because of getting so little sleep and I really want to be in a better place physically before dealing with pregnancy again. But I can't eat well, cook good food, or workout when I'm so tired.
I get angry and frustrated when I'm tired. Oh, and depressed.
It feels like I am turning into a horrible person and that this is ruining my life. I am not doing all the cool things I want to do with my toddler because I am too damn tired.
I am the BIGGEST opponent to CIO you will ever meet, but sometimes I think it is the only way I can get my grip on sanity again. Most days I want to claw my eyes out. Or bash my head into the wall.
We have tried everything. Bedsharing, same room different bed, different rooms. Nightweaning. White noise. Chamomile tea before bed. All organic PJ's, sheets, and blankets. Lavender oil diffusing in his room as he sleeps. Nightlight (the no-blue-light kind that doesn't disturb melatonin), no nightlight. A long wind down period before bed with no lights on, just candles. Same.exact.bedtime.routine. for many months. Stuffed animals to cuddle with. I'm sure there are more things we've tried that I can't remember. Everything in the No Cry Sleep Solution book. Earlier bedtimes, later bedtimes. Hours of calm before bed, we've also tried high-energy rambunctious playing before bed to try to tire him out. Doesn't really matter what we do, none of it helps (or helps very much.)
As of now, we nurse and then he falls asleep lying on his bed in his room with me either sitting next to the bed or just outside the door with the door open. Yes! He can fall asleep on his own. But it hasn't helped him sleep better overall. 45 minutes later, on the dot, he wakes up. Sometimes I can just give him a drink of water, help him lay back down, and he's out again. Other times he puts up more of a stink. Then he might sleep an hour. This time it's harder to get him back down. Then he might sleep another hour, during which we've usually gone to bed, and we leave teh doors open so when he wakes up the 3rd time he can just come into our room. (He has a floor mattress in his room.) He climbs into bed with us and this is the only good stretch he'll get all night - 3-4 hours. Then from 3 or 4 am til 7 he is up every 45-60 minutes, wants to nurse (if it's 4 or later I will nurse him), and DH and I get very little sleep during this time period because we are mostly just dozing in between his wake-ups.
Is there ANYTHING else we can do? I'm not sure how much more I can just "wait it out." I am seriously dying here. I've heard of toddlers who don't sleep well until they fully wean (not just nightwean), but I can't even imagine how traumatic that would be for him. Nursing is VERY important to him and he nurses 6-8x a day still (sometimes more.) If I try to put him off or offer him food or drink instead, he gets very upset.