We have always had trouble with our little boy not sleeping through the night. He will do it in spells (every night for a week, then not at all for a fortnight). But he has recently developed a frustrating habit.
Having fallen asleep by 9 O'clock, he wakes again distressed at around midnight. When I come in to him, he is wide awake and asking to go downstairs to play. I usually try gently explaining that it is night-time and that he needs to go back to sleep. He is a clever boy, and I know he understands this, but the moment he is put back into bed he screams angrily and will not settle. It takes up to 4 hours for him to tire out enough to fall back asleep.
I've tried leaving him to cry, visiting intermittently. This technique is ineffective, since he tends to be more angry and upset each time I leave him. The other night I tried this for four hours- he was in an awful state by the end.
I've tried sitting/lying in his room with him. This stops him crying but he is still wide-awake and keeps sitting up and talking.
We're at the end of our tether at the moment. Can anyone suggest what would be a good way to get him to sleep through the night consistently.
UPDATE: It's now 3 months on and his sleep is a lot better. Two things that made the difference for us: (1) A new "big-boy" duvet, instead of blankets/growbag (2) A toddler sleep-training clock, so he knows when he's supposed to get up.