I have 16m twin girls: ELise *usually* sleeps through the night (she did this on her own with little encouragement from us) and Thea, a high needs baby who wakes several times to nurse back to sleep. Thea usually goes to bed around 8:30 -- she seems to sleep longer in a swing (but is going to outgrow that soon) rather than the crib, but will wake back up anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hrs later (4hr is a good night!). I usually bring her back to bed with us and then let her nurse on demand when she wakes up at night (about every 2-3 hrs). She usually goes back to sleep very easily after nursing in bed, but screams & cries if you try to get her back to sleep without nursing! The twins are in separate rooms so that they do not wake each other up if they do cry in the middle of the night. So far co-sleeping with Thea has been the best way for all of us to get enough sleep (I work full time and she started reverse cycling when I went back to work at 6m -- prior to that she was able to go 5-7hrs).
My ped keeps telling me that the only way to get her to sleep through the night is to try CIO and move her out of our bed. I am not a big fan of that and would prefer to try other approaches first. So far we have had no luck with the "No Cry Sleep Solution". DH and I have both tried to rock, walk, etc to get her to fall back to sleep without nursing, but she gets very upset and I usually give in and nurse her as it is so much easier.
I am worried that the Elise (the non co-sleeping twin) will start to feel left out or jealous, so I would like to get them back together in the same room if they can fall back to sleep on their own and not disturb each other. We never did CIO with Elise and now that her molars are coming in she regularly wakes up in the middle of the night. DH is usually responsible for getting her back to sleep in the middle of the night (as Thea always seems to be nursing when Elise wakes up :-) and it often takes an hour to get her back to sleep. If I night-wean Thea, does that mean she will sleep through the night (generally) or will I still be faced with frequent night-wakings, but have a harder time getting her back to sleep?
WIll "sleep training" or night weaning really be harder as she gets older? What approach works best with a high needs toddler?
Gotta run - Thea is up!