I remember hitting this point with Nathan. I don't remember how old he was, but it seems like he was about the same age.
I'm at the point that I am so tired of being the only one that can get Jacob to sleep. The only way he will go to sleep is to fall asleep nursing, but he's figured out that if he nurses, he'll fall asleep, so he doesn't want to do that. So what results is that he'll nurse for about 4.3 seconds, then yank off (which feels like he's going to tear my nipple off), and bend over backwards in my arms until I put him down. But then after I put him down, he wants to be picked up. Then he squirms to get down, so I put him down and walk away. Then he starts crying, so I pick him up and try it all again. Do this about three times, then go up to his room and try it again in the cool and dark. Same deal. So I put him into his bed awake.
He's been screaming for over a half an hour. Screaming. Not just kind of meh, meh crying and whimpering. We're talking, if it was me, I'd have given myself an aneurysm already. I could go up there and try the whole routine again, but the result would be the same. I could go be a human pacifier for an hour, but as soon as I try to put him in bed, the screaming begins again. (I tried it yesterday.)
I'm tired of it. I'm counting down the days until nursing is over.
I want to know what parents do to get their kids to fall asleep like you see on funny video shows - where they're eating supper and falling asleep at the table. My boys have never, ever done that. Even when he's exhausted, I can count the number of times Nathan has fallen asleep in front of the television on one hand.
Granted, after going through this exact thing with Nathan, he goes to bed pretty well now. But I remember it took several days of letting him cry (scream) it out - for 45 minutes. But it really wears on you.
Some moms may disagree with my approach, but the alternative is to let him stay awake all afternoon, because that's what he wants. Naptime is a non-negotiable around here - I'm the adult, and I know what they need even if that's not what they want. If I were to let him stay awake, I don't get anything done, because he wants to be held all afternoon.
Maybe I'm selfish, or maybe I'm just doing what I have to do.