Okay, this is just my experience. Every child is different.
I had a hard time sticking to a routine when she was nursing and I'd read on MDC it would all happen "naturally" so at 19 months we were more or less where you are. It never happened for me until I had a new baby and in order to survive (literally, I was risking falling asleep at the wheel). Then I just had to be a hard-ass.
I should mention that I weaned her before the baby for health reasons, so she was not nursing to sleep by that time, but I was lying down with her.
In short, being with me stimulated her.
Being awake too long stimulated her--as lach says of her daughter.
She had to learn to fall asleep in her own bed, with me standing nearby.
I basically took a number from Babycenter's recommended sleep (the average) and planned a sleep schedule, under the assumption that my child was not one of the one or two percent that "really doesn't need that much sleep." I was also working under the assumption that sleep hygiene is as important for her health and development as nutrition, so treating it like it was really important. I wouldn't give her Pop Tarts for breakfast, so why let her skip sleep?
The schedule I chose was routine begins at seven, stories are finished by 7:45 at the absolute latest. She wakes when she wants--in reality that ends up being between 6:30 and 7:30, depending on when she nods off. She MUST get up by 7:30. Nap begins at one p.m. and finishes NO LATER THAN THREE. She is three now but technically your child should need at least that much sleep.
Pantley suggests that most kids are tired by 6:30 - 7:00 and I think she's more or less right, if they are waking at 6:30 - 7:00 too.
My approach may sound AR, but the fact is that if we do not stick to the schedule, it gets insane (like, 1 a.m. bedtimes, cranky days, no naps, pure insanity) really freaking quick. And then I can't drive, I can't think, I can't hold my temper. It's bad.
But if we just treat this schedule like we treat our meal schedule, and just say, that is HAPPENING, no. matter. what. It works.
"Getting up earlier in the morning just is not an option in our house."
In that case, I'd plan around a twelve or thirteen-hour day, meaning 8 - 9:30 bedtime with a one-hour nap right smack-dab in the middle.
However, if it's not an option because YOU are tired (which I totally understand as I'm presently dealing with night-waking and can't get up early enough either...) I will suggest that after you've got your routine, you may find that six months into it or perhaps even earlier, you may be able to start moving it up in 15-minute increments on a weekly basis so that after one month, you will have him in bed by 7:30.
That's what I did with mine. I think it took two months.
It sounds hard but it was worth it. I am so glad knowing that we can go to the park in the morning, that we can sign older DD up for lessons in the morning, that she can go to pre-school, etc. I cannot imagine if we were still in total sleep hell. It's so awesome to have time with my husband!
The No-Cry Sleep Solution may work for you since all you need is a routine. Good luck. I know how hard it is and your son is still a baby but even if you can make a quick, gentle routine work (maybe he just needs a no-nonsense patting to sleep?) at any time, that will work for you.
It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad