After many, many nights of fighting Ava to sleep (rocking her, putting her down, her waking up, rerocking her, putting her down, her waking up...), we have decided that it's time to enlist the Ferber method. We used this method on both of our other kids (although with Layton we used our own version because we were not educated in the ways of Ferber), and it worked for them. It's very difficult, and I look at it as a last resort. Using it does mean that you'll have to listen to your child cry, for often lengthy periods of time at first.
We decided that our night time routine, which is KEY with Ferber, would be modeled after the routines that we used for the other two kids. At the first sign of sleepiness, we jump into full bedtime routine mode. She gets a bath, a nice rub down with lotion, a bottle, a book, a song, a prayer, and then we lay her down. The whole account takes about 30 minutes.
Then she cries. And cries. And cries. She cried for about an hour and 15 minutes last night. We laid her down at 7:00. After 5 minutes, I went in to comfort her, careful not to touch or pick her up, even though I so badly wanted to. Then after 10 minutes, Trey went in. Then 15 minutes, and I went in. And so on. Finally at about 8:05, we only heard a small wimper, and by 8:15 she was asleep. She slept until about 6:45 this morning.
That hour and 15 minutes was brutal. However it was nice to have the next two hours. Usually we're rocking her until about 10:30 or 11:00, which means that the rest of the house has to be absolutely quiet: no dishes can be done, no laundry, etc. for fear that she'll wake up.
Tonight will be night number two. The first cry period will last 10 minutes, and the second 15. Wish us luck!