2 1/2 Year Old Sleep Issues

Question

My 2 1/2 year old son has been a great sleeper since he was 6 weeks old. However he has always fought the process of actually getting in bed and going to sleep. In the past month it has gotten much worse. He will scream, kick, and hit while we put him in bed and after we leave his room. It takes multiple attempts for us to go back in and calm him down for him to actually go to sleep. How should we handle this? We've tried several approaches- ignoring it, trying to reason with him, timeout, spanking (only in the worst of the worst tantrums). Nothing seems to work and it's a terrible battle every night. Suggestions on how to handle this? He's sleeping in a twin bed. Thank you in advance!

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