I also meant to say, after he wakes from this early evening sleep (or if he doesn't have it), it takes me about an hour to get him back to sleep. He doesn't want to be held, or left, or fed, or anything really.
I have no advice, but wanted to sympathise. DS is 9 months and a terrible sleeper. His one saving grace was that he would BF easily to sleep at night. Over the past few nights, he's either fed and then perked up, wide awake, or fed to sleep then woken after 40 minutes or so, ready to play!
He wakes frequently throughout the night - always has - and is usually easy to settle with a BF. Sometimes, however, he just thinks it's party time.
I think, in DS's case, the evening difficulty is because he thinks it's just nap time. He's impossible to get to nap for any decent amount of time. He wakes after 20-40 mins whether in sling, car, pram or cot. Today was a kind of miracle - he slept for over 90 minutes in his cot, late morning. But he refused to nap again.
So, just sympathy, thinking aloud, lurking in case you get great advice, and general night time hand holding from me.
We seem to have developed a new difficulty with bedtime! DD (10mo) has always pretty reliably fed to sleep ok and when she doesn't feed to sleep she settles pretty well with some ssssh patting.
However in the last couple of weeks she's not falling asleep on the boob, or she is but then waking up as soon as she goes in the cot. She seems pretty wide awake even though she seemed tired before she went down. She is quite content and happy rolling around her cot or playing with her comforter bunny as long as I'm standing by the cot. As soon as I leave the room she starts to cry. Ssssh pat seems to be over stimulating her. She goes on like this for about an hour til she gets really upset and then ssssh pat eventually gets her off.
Bedtime is 7pm and we have a bath-story-boob-bed routine. She wakes around 6:30/7, has a 45min-1hour nap at 9:15 ish and a 1.5-2 hour nap at 1pm.
Any ideas? She is teething at the moment - I don't know if it's this or something else.