Ever since our car trip across the country, our baby no longer takes naps. And, the only way she falls asleep is if she is being held and fed. Then we play my favorite game of all: Tip-toe to the crib, say a silent prayer that she stays asleep, and try to put her down very gently and quietly as to not wake her up. 9 times out of 10, this is followed with screams and crying. After playing this game several times a day, I was starting to feel very frustrated. So I checked out a book my sister-in-law recommended, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. The book was great. I learned that I need to be in control of my baby's sleep and that she is old enough to learn how to fall asleep on her own. The author recommends putting the baby into bed for bed time and naps and not coming back in to rescue them regardless of how loud the baby cries. It sounds a little harsh, but, as the author explained, you are doing it because you are the parent and know that this is what is best for the baby.
So I decided to try it today and it was marvelous. Laura took 3 naps and went to bed at 8:00. She cried as usual when we first put her down, but I just let her cry until she fell asleep. With the first nap she cried 45 minutes. It seemed very long, but by the last nap she only cried about 5 minutes. And she was a much happier baby all day. And I was a much happier mother.