I'm going to try to keep this short; DD is 14 mos now. We had a co-sleeper when DD was under 6 mos, then moved to co-sleeping with her in our bed. We then downsized to a queen bed and needed to move her to her own crib/mattress about 8 months ago. It seemed to go OK at first, but for the last 5 months, it's been pretty bad, no matter where she sleeps (our bed, her crib, a separate mattress).
We're trying to avoid CIO at all costs. We have a bed time routine (playtime, bath, little massage/get PJs on, read a book, then bottle and bed) but it doesn't seem to be working anymore. Instead of getting sleepy, she just seems to get more amped up before bedtime. It is now taking 45min - 1hr of parenting her to sleep to get her to actually go to sleep; during that time, she isn't crying (unless we physically make her lay down) but she's waving her paci around, kicking her legs, wanting to walk around her bed, and generally acting not tired. We've tried moving her bed time earlier and later, neither of which seems to help (we're currently trying to get her down between 7:00-7:30pm). She doesn't like to be covered, she doesn't want a lovie (throws them out of her bed), and we already keep the room dark with a sound machine on. We've tried putting her to sleep in her crib in her room, in our bed with us, and with her crib mattress on the floor of our room, next to our bed - she is still up 5-7x/night. She tosses and turns constantly (often ends up sleeping perpendicular to DH and I when she sleeps in the bed with us) and can't put herself back to sleep when she wakes up. I can usually get her to go back to sleep on her mattress the first 2-3 wakings, but after that, she cries until I bring her into the bed with us. If bringing her to bed would get us all a good night of sleep, we'd happily do that, but even after she comes to bed, she wakes up crying because of the tossing/turning, she has lost her paci, she just wants to be awake and crawl around, etc.
It is getting to the point now that she wakes up at 6am, has breakfast and is only awake for another hour before she crashes for a 2-3 hour nap in the morning because she is so tired from lack of sleep at night. Clearly this isn't working for her and I'm going to be starting work again soon. She looks exhausted every morning (not to mention that DH and I are both feeling the effects of constantly interrupted sleep for the last 5 months) but I don't know what else to do. I do know that some nights have been interrupted by teething, but we can generally tell the difference (crying on a regular night vs waking up screaming, refusing paci, holding her mouth when she's teething) when it's a physical issue.