This could be long as I am exhausted! I should preface by saying we won't do CIO.
DD (16 months) has always been a rubbish sleeper. It has been continuous ups and downs since she was born but I'd say things have never stayed "good" for longer than a couple of weeks. Actually that would be pushing it. Every time we think we've cracked it something changes. Even if we are consistent to the minute with timings she is just a different kid every week.
Anyway our latest problem is that she is waking for long periods in the night. This started a couple of weeks ago and I am at a loss. I've stopped feeding her to sleep as I am 14 weeks pregnant, milk has dried up significantly and I am over it. This went surprisingly well and now DP or I can put her to sleep which is great. We read, sing etc. she eventually lays down and sleeps.
Some nights she will wake after 2/3 hours but go back to sleep instantly after a quick comfort suck. Some nights she will sleep through until her early wake up which can be anywhere from 3-5am. She doesn't want to be up. She wants to be asleep but won't sleep. She breastfeeds, she has a drink of almond milk, we read, she plays with my phone. She will lay quietly and I think she's almost asleep and then she will crack it and get hysterical again. She is completely exhausted and I don't know what to do. She won't sleep if I bring her into bed with me. If I take off her sleeping bag to get up she completely loses it. It's clear she wants to still be sleeping. It really doesn't seem like she's in pain.
The clincher is that after finally getting her back to sleep after 2 hours she only sleeps for another 40 mins. So for example last night she fell asleep at about 7:40pm after going into her room at 6:30pm with DP. She woke at 2:45am and it was 1.5 hours of me trying all of the above before I burst into tears and DP came in. He walked her around the house for a while, offered her a snack which she didn't want, and after 15 minutes of her wailing I put her back on the breast and she calmed, I laid down with her in her bed and she fell asleep (on the breast) after 10 minutes. This was about 4:45am. She then woke again at 5:20am.
DP has taken her out for a walk a few mornings and she has slept for a couple of hours but obviously we can't do that every day and it's not a solution.
I am hoping that just like all of her other sleep issues it will pass over time but this is seriously sucking the life out of all of us and I have no idea what to do.