So, we changed the bedtime routine per my earlier entry. It worked like magic.
Now, it doesn't work like magic.
I think it is a teething issue. But, who knows? Izabella can now cruise quite well. She stands and does a little dance. So walking can't be far behind. Maybe it is the walking, a developmental milestone, that is messing up her sleep. What I do know is that she is not happy about sleepy time.
Tonight: after a relatively calm day with a good nap, we performed the entire night time ritual. On time. She was content and relaxed throughout. The moment I placed her down to sleep, a raging toddler erupted. Not just crying, but screams and thrashing. We nursed back in our room. Then back to her room and a return to the crib. Pandemonium. Inconsolable.
So, I think that letting a toddler---a person---cry it out alone is just plain wrong. If I were raging, I would want someone there even if they couldn't solve my problem or right my wrongs. But there was nothing I could "do" to comfort or console her. So, I sat down on the floor next to her crib and just stroked her back while she raged. Occasionally I said comforting words. Mostly I just tried to be a warm human presence. I tried to be all Zen about it. Strange thing happened: after about twenty minutes of standing at the rail in a full-on rage, she laid herself down, hugged her teddy and bunny, and passed out. From rage to sleep almost instantly. I waited there with my hand on her back for a full fifteen minutes to make sure she was deeply asleep. Then I performed a special yoga move to stand up from the floor--I am nine-months-pregnant after all--and was able to leave the room. We'll see how long she sleeps.
Two nights ago she was up from 12:30 - 3:00 am before my husband and I finally just took her into my bed. Last night we realized that she was inconsolable and I slept with her most of the night. She didn't want to nurse. She just didn't want to be alone. I can dig that. How human. I too hate to sleep alone. Especially when I have toothache AND I am working on a major life skill.
So, there is no "sleep solution." These little people are constantly new little people each week. What works now will probably not work next week and certainly will not work in six months. There can only be a sleep solution if you choose to view it as a sleep problem. It is what it is. Fight it in vain.