Okay, so now that I've written this I have no clue what the sleep gods will do to me, but we're trying sleep training on J and it seems to be working. ( :o :D )
When J was in a crib, we rocked him to sleep. He HAD to be asleep when we left the room or he would wail until he puked. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
Then we ditched the crib and gave him his big boy bed (twin bed) at 18 months. We rocked him to sleep for the first bit and then a few months ago we started lying down with him until he was asleep and then would sneak out. He wouldn't cry until he puked anymore, but would hammer on the door and scream for us if we left before he fell asleep.
A couple of weeks ago, he started taking longer and longer to fall asleep. Soon we were staying in there for an hour or more, trying to calm him down enough to fall asleep. I had some bad mommy moments where I found myself barking at him repeatedly. It was obvious that this wasn't working for anyone anymore.
So... 2 nights ago we said: "THAT'S IT. When it's time for him to fall asleep, instead of crawling into bed with him, we're going to hug him, kiss him and tell him it's time to go to sleep. Then we'll tell him that we'll come in in a few minutes to make sure he's closing his eyes and going to sleep."
There was a LOT of protesting, and a few tears the first night, but things went better than we expected. When he'd call out for us, we'd go in and tell him to go to sleep. Then we'd wait a few minutes and remind him to go to sleep again (the intervals getting longer and longer each time).
Eventually he just passed out, and it took less time than it would if we were in there.
The second night there were no tears, and everyone was content the entire time, and he went to sleep a bit quicker :)
I think it was just time for him (and us) :)
I just wanted to share, in case someone was in the same situation and was getting frustrated - it might be worth a shot :D