We have a 2.5-year-old boy who naps at preschool (3 days a week) but not at home. He gets wild before nap and bedtime. He'll run around the room, jump on the bed or on us, and won't listen to anything. If we leave the room, he cries furiously. We don't want to 'cry it out'.
He was a good sleeper until about 3 weeks ago (when he started preschool). He has been changing a lot e.g. speaking more, more tantrum-like behavior. He's also recently potty trained.
We did 'cry it out' (very reluctantly) twice before at about 1 year and 1 year and 8 months. This is last resort of sleep book we use. We really, really don't believe in it and don't want to (won't) do it again.
He has been in his own room and crib since about 6 months. Started climbing out of crib about 2 weeks ago, so we switched to bed on the floor. He naps at preschool but now, not at home. He's obviously tired. We put him in the car to get him to sleep; this worked for a week or so, but it's now unreliable. He just gets so wound up when it's time for bed. It's a pattern now.
At night, one of us just hangs out with him until we can eventually get him to settle. We have been trying to leave the room, just let him play in his room, but he screams and cries when we leave. We tried about 30 minutes of cry it out last night but we're just not going to do that anymore, whatever it takes.
We have a mat on the floor next to his bed. We've been sitting on that, even lying down with him and sleeping with him until he eventually falls asleep. It takes a long time, and it doesn't work at all for naps: he just won't settle.
What can we do to help him sleep?