I am wondering if I can get some input on how to handle putting DD3 to sleep. She has never been the type of baby that falls asleep nursing or really likes to be rocked (this is quite sad to me since she is definitely my last baby ). Anyway, putting her down to sleep for the night has basically been a nightmare since birth with her. I try nursing, rocking, walking, looking at a crib fish tank thingy...sometimes it's ok but lots of times I run from the room practically in tears because she just wont settle and I have no idea what else to do and can't take it anymore so I have DH take over.
Since she is over 6 months now and she doesn't respond to the usual methods I figured we might as well try to leave her be within reason. I have never really used this method but nothing else works and she cries anyway so I figured why not see if she would be more comfortable in her own space. I am not one that can handle a lot of crying and was VERY turned off by one of DH's friend's wives who said she let her 5M old baby cry for an hour and 40 mins to get him to sleep better. So whenever I heard "CIO" I thought of that but I realize there is a very wide range of methods and how much the parents are involved.
Lately I have been nursing and rocking her until she starts to get drowsy and fidgety and then I put her in her crib (a mini co-sleeper) and see what happens. I let her fuss for 1 minute and then if she hasn't settled I help her on to her belly. She can roll over but doesn't always have enough room to do it and she seems to prefer to sleep on her tummy. This is where it gets confusing. 70% of the time once I flip her over and pat her back for a bit she is fine. I do stand there and pat her and then I will step back and see if she fusses. I will leave her for a minute to see if she settles but I will help her if she doesn't. The other 30% she goes totally crazy and cries and fusses and will not calm down.
So my questions are: is what I am doing going to lead to her successfully sleeping on her own? I know I need to be consistent but I get confused when she has different reactions. How do I handle the 30% of crazy baby? Am I not waiting long enough? If she gets too worked up then she doesn't calm down and I am just not that comfortable with extended periods of crying. Am I making things worse for her by doing that? Should I be waiting longer each time? Also if I am waiting say 1 minute and she cries for 20 seconds but then stops for 30 seconds but then starts again how long should I be waiting to see if she will settle again?
Any advice is appreciated. I'd really like for this to be a helpful discussion and not an anti-cio thing. I don't consider what I am doing to be cio but honestly I am kind of at a loss on what to do here and have tried my usual tactics and she isn't responding to them. FWIW she does seem to prefer to fall asleep on her own I am just not sure she totally knows how...
Sorry this ended up long!