Is there any possibility she might have an earache, or any other health issue? My daughter and I regularly see a chiropractor, and a lot of times when I mention she isn't sleeping well, there is some fluid backed up either in her ear(s) or lymph nodes and having adjustments helps immensely. Also, my daughter just turned 3 and hasn't napped for me for a month and a half. She gets tired between 3 and 4 (she used to go down at 1 and still does for her care provider when I'm at school) and might have a rough hour where she's crabby, but I don't let her fall asleep then or she'll be up til 10. It was a tough transition giving up nap, and she has not once slept through the night in her entire life, but when she wakes up repeatedly or crying, there is usually some physical discomfort. However, we are mostly into a new routine now and I've accepted that she doesn't need her nap most days. That was huge for me, accepting it. She does go to bed earlier though, but it took a good month of craziness and transitioning for her to not be totally crabby and unpleasant in the evenings.
Does your daughter have all her molars? Could it be that she still needs that one nursing session? Any chance nursing at midnight might ease her back to sleep? Also,around 7:30 after the bedtime routine, maybe you could try rocking or snuggling instead of leaving her to fall asleep? I've recently swaddled and rocked my daughter a couple times and she really liked it. Also, her refusal to cooperate at bedtime sounds just like an almost 3 year old to me. Maybe she is starting to really search for boundaries and this is an area she's choosing to do that with? I know that's been huge for us lately, and it is exhausting and draining, but from what I hear it's age appropriate. Maybe you could think of a small change in the routine that would help her fall asleep better? I've done that a few times when it seemed necessary and it's worked, I just tried to really relax with her and get a sense for what she needed to help her get to sleep. Right now our routine is nursing on the couch, she falls asleep, and I put her in bed. It's strange but it's working for us, where before I would always lay in the bed with her. It can be really rough dealing with sleep issues. Good luck to you, tired mama!
Ruth-single mommy to Maya 01/12/07