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18 mo Sleeping Issues

Question

HI there,
I need help with my 18 month old boy. He has been sleeping poorly, crying at bedtime (7:30 or 8pm), waking at 6am before everyone else, crying hysterically..takes a very brief nap and that's all I get out of him. We usually start the day at 7:30am. He will not resettle, nor will he go back to sleep, he will keep crying. If I leave him there until naptime/sleeptime is over, he will be crying the whole time. He is generally cranky, whiny, tantrumy and unhappy, crying at the drop of a hat. Refuge used to be during morning and afternoon naps. Then morning nap is dropped and I had the afternoons in which he would sleep for 2 hours! Now he sleeps for 30-45 minutes and cries, still cranky and tired. My older daughter gets woken up too and her sleep is disrupted from his wakings - for both her afternoon nap and night sleep. I get one disobedient (tired) child and another one who doesn't stop crying (pitifully) or whining ALL DAY LONG if he doesn't get his way! I have resorted to leave him to cry until its time to get him up to preserve what little patience and sanity I have left. I have been a really tired mess myself. His crying stresses me out because I fear it means I am not responding to his needs. Also, it disturbs other members of the household. What is reasonable to expect from a child of this age? I admit I have let him cry for an hour+ in desperation of having my own time and space. We cannot afford a nanny nor a housekeeper at this point in time. I stay home with the children full-time. Any advice?

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