Originally, our plan for helping Sydney learn to go to sleep by herself was to do a little bedtime/nap routine, give her the little bunny lovey we got for her, and put her in the crib. Awake. And somehow she would just drift off to sleep, according to the several sleep books I read. Ok, I told myself. You can do this, just give it at least a week. Reid was sleeping better after a weekend of sleep training when he was a baby. Sydney should be no problem!
Her main issue is the pacifier- she can’t go to sleep without it. That resulted in putting her down either totally asleep (which could take 20-90 minutes) or dashing upstairs every 5 seconds because the damn pacifier had fallen out. Again. One time she was literally holding it in her hand- she had taken it out herself. This was at naptime too. I felt like a prisoner in her room. So, we figured if she could fall asleep without it, our problems would be solved!
I lasted 2 days. 😫
She caught on at bedtime pretty quickly. The first night Sydney fell asleep in about 45 minutes, and it got better from there. Naps, however – and Sydney takes up to 4 a day – were a total disaster. She’d cry for an hour each time, and by the end of the second day she was so tired that she could barely stay awake for her bottle and fell asleep while I was burping her. So I decided I couldn’t do this anymore and maybe we needed to slow it down a little.
So a week or so later, she goes down for bed pretty easily without a pacifier which is awesome. Naps are still a crapshoot, but what we are doing is working for us.
I think that’s the takeaway here- do what works for you. If rocking your baby or nursing her to sleep works for you, then don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong! It just wasn’t feasible anymore for us.
That’s pretty much the approach I condone for the rest parenting as well. We don’t restrict screen time and other families do. We are psychopaths about our kids’ bedtimes and other parents are way flexible. It all evens out, so just do what makes you and your family happy!