apparently "18 month old sleep regression" is a thing. zu is only 16 months old, but she's always been a step ahead.
here's what is going on....
so zu has always slept like a champ. from 6 weeks, we have had hardly any trouble getting her to sleep and keeping her sleeping through the night. she self-soothes, cuddles her stuffed animals, and konks right out.
then we went out of town for a couple of weeks in december. over our travels, we stopped in this kid-focused restaurant with animatronics and such ( rainforest cafe) which we thought she would love but freaked her out instead. ever since then, animatronics and movements scare her--from the curtains moving in a breeze to the pedals on her tricycle rotating when she pushes it. it hasn't been a major issue--usually she'll just shake her head No and look at me concerned until I stop the offending motion.
the problem is at night.
she goes to bed at her usual time, no struggles (typically), but around 2 or 3 AM, she wakes up and will NOT go back to sleep in her crib. it does not matter how long i rock her, if i give her a teething ring (molars are coming in), read to her, sing to her, give her teething medicine, let her get up and play (desperate!), nothing nothing nothing helps Unless she gets in bed with mommy or daddy.
of course then she goes right to sleep.
so i don't really know what to do about this. its not every single night, but it is most nights, and it is wearing us out! bryan has been great--he gets up with her a lot of nights since he works til 11 and i work early in the morning, then i take night "shifts" on days that i don't have to teach in the morning. i think if it were just a matter of her wanting to sleep with us everynight, then she wouldn't be so easy to get to sleep in her own crib initially (and she sleeps there perfectly during naps). something is going on--nightmares, teething, sleep regression. i don't know. hopefully this phase will pass soon....advice in the meantime...?