Not really sure what is going on with my 19 month old. She wakes fairly frequently (usually 3x/night) for a bottle (I made the mistake of starting the combination birth control pill when she was 15 months and my milk disappeared.. ugh), which I don't mind giving to her, but every few nights, sometimes a few nights in a row, she wakes a couple hours after going to sleep and won't take a botte and can't be otherwise consoled. I have had her doctor check her ears, I've given her teething tablets, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen (not all together, have tried each of them various times) thinking it was teething pain, she doesn't SEEM to be in physical pain except for the SCREAMING. I have tried bringing her into bed with me or simply holding her a million different ways, rocking, bouncing, etc. NOTHING consoles her when she gets like this. In a few desperate moments, I have turned on Sesame Street, and that will calm her down, which confirms to me that she is not in physical pain. :-/ Obviously watching Sesame Street for hours in the middle of the night is not really a viable option. And it's not that she's not tired--she is CLEARLY exhausted. I'd even say she's overtired, but we have tried making sure she gets a good nap, putting her to bed earlier, etc. None of it seems to make a difference. Her diet doesn't seem to make a difference. She eats pretty much the same foods everyday, and this is totally sporadic. Last night we were up for 4 hours... an hour of crying while being held, 2 hours of Sesame Street (UGGGHHH!!!), another hour of crying while being held (because I hoped maybe she'd fall asleep after having calmed down for 2 hours), and then I turned on another episode and she calmed down and fell asleep with that on while I held her, and I was able to put her down after making sure she was in a solid state of sleep.
I'd be all for co-sleeping if it actually worked. But she screams and flails JUST like when she's in her crib. I have tried "swaddling" her while I hold her thinking she needed some added security, but it didn't help at all. She's exhausted, I'm exhausted. I'm really not sure where to go from here.
Mama to DD 2.18.03, DS 3.18.06, DD 5.7.11
Does she respond to you during these episodes? My DD used to do something similar (still will, occasionally) - and always at exactly the same time of night. I suspect that she may have night terrors, as I had them when I was young, and there's a genetic component. With my DD I've learned that she gets MORE upset the more I try to intervene. Asking her questions about what's bothering her, otherwise talking to her, trying to sit her up or pick her up, offering her a drink...it all serves to prolong and intensify the episode. If I keep very calm, lie down next to her and lay my hand on her when she'll let me, she will often snap out of it in about 20 minutes.
Also, has your dh tried co-sleeping? I find that dads can get toddlers to fall asleep quicker and more efficient than moms sometimes.