A couple of months ago our 18 month old daughter was teething, had a stuffy nose and a cough. We had to sleep with her sitting up to prevent postnasal drip . If we didn't a horrible cough would start and result in gagging and she would end up throwing up. I'm afraid this may have created a bad habbit because now she wakes up every night and winds up in our bed. Once in a blue moon she will sleep the entire night in her crib. Before this she was sleeping a good 10 hours in her crib without waking, or if she did she would put herself back to sleep. She would also sit with Mom for a couple minutes then ask to go night night and off she would go without a fuss. Now I have to rock her until she falls asleep. We have tried letting her cry , which resulted in crying for two hours off and on and getting herself so worked up she was shaking. I don't want her to feel abandoned, but I want her to be able to Drift off to sleep without someone always being there. As soon as her head hits the pillow in our bed she is out like a light most nights.
Hi, I am very unhelpful I'm afraid, I'm in exactly the same position with my little 17 month old. Its so frustrating to go from relatively good sleep to broken sleep because of illness. I tried letting her cry it out last night but she became so agitated I gave up. We have had good success with this in the past, a few nights of returning to her every 10 mins or so and gently telling her to go to sleep while she cries and from then on she sleeps through, but I can't bear to do it again and again every time she has an illness. I've decided to put up with it and return her to her cot whenever I can. Tough times.
Ugh, it's tough isn't it? I often let my 2yo DS sleep with me when he's sick, it's important to be there for them and to relax your rules, but I am then very firm about not letting him into our bed to sleep at other times. (Mostly because it means none of us sleep properly).
If I was you I'd prepare yourself for some rather sleepless nights, and just NOT give in about letting her into your bed. If that means making yourself a cup of tea and sitting by her cot rubbing her back and murmuring comforting words while she cries, just do it. You're not abandoning her, but you are letting her know that no matter how much she cries, she's not coming into your bed or being rocked to sleep. It might take a few nights, but she'll get the message - and it'll be better for you both in the long run. GOOD LUCK!