This is going to be a little long, so I will apologize in advance.
My son is 18 months old and lately, bedtime has been a total nightmare. Since shortly after he turned a year old, we have been fighting him, tooth and nail, to get him to go to bed. I have had him on a routine since he was about 8 months old and up until he was 13 months old, it worked like a charm. Nothing works, anymore, and hasn't for months (5+).
After a few nights of him screaming his head off at bedtime, I thought that maybe he was afraid of the dark. To help ease that discomfort, we bought him a night light. I let him help pick it out (Cars or Bob-Bob) and he was thrilled. For a night or two, it worked. Then, we were right back to where we started: a screaming baby who refused to go to sleep. I went through many thoughts, over the course of the next few months: sleep regression, over-stimulated, growth spurts, not being stimulated enough throughout the day, tummy aches, gas, too hot, too cold, too much noise, not enough noise....I tried EVERYTHING I could possibly think of and nothing helped. He was laying down at 8:30, each night and it would be midnight or later before he was sleeping peacefully. Eventually, it got a little better and I was able to get some kind of sleep at night.
For the past month or so, his issues have gotten much worse. Now, there is simply no comforting him through this. Routine doesn't work, nothing we tried in the past works...he just screams. Instead of the midnight break in his screaming and fussing, it is now 3-4 in the morning. He tries EVERYTHING to keep from going to bed: sticking his hands down his throat until he pukes, taking his diaper off and peeing everywhere, throwing his sippy cup (water, only) across the room, ripping his sheets off the bed. It is just an all around NIGHTMARE.
His pediatrician seems to think that it is just for attention (and that there could be some separation anxiety involved) and says just to let him CIO --- he says not to give in, no matter what. I can assure him that it doesn't work. In seeking a second (and third) opinion, we found that this is just a test to see how far he can push me before I feel like the world's worst mom and give in to him. I can't just let him sit there and puke!!! :( Has anyone else faced night time horrors to this degree?! Any suggestions? I have had no more than 3 hours of sleep a night for 6 months and this is killing me. He is exhausted, I am exhausted and something has just got to give, soon! HELP!!!!