Dr. Ferber, I think I love you!
I don't think I ever really believed it was possible, but Maya is sleep trained! It only took three nights in the end, and by the forth day, she was sleeping on her own, naps and all, after only 0-10 secs of protest crying!
It wasn't all smooth sailing. We had one hiccup on the third night when Maya threw up after about 1 minute of crying. (On retrospect, I think I overfed her milk that night). Mo had extremely serious guilt issues, so I had to put on the 'tough mommy' hat and order him to help me change her sheets and sleeper as quickly as possible. He then tried to hold her, and wanted me to rock her to sleep but I was adamantly against it. If there was one time when I would not rock her to sleep, this was it. Otherwise, she would throw up every night to get us to do the same.
I put her down without any rocking and forced Mo out of the room. Over the next two minutes, Mo alternated between guilt over Maya ("If we need to rock her to sleep we will! I promise I'll put her to bed half the time!" and anger at me ("You're so mean! How do you have the heart? This is going to harm her psyche!" etc etc etc). Then Maya stopped her crying and promptly fell asleep. "It's a fluke" Mo said. "It's only because she's worn out."
Although I felt confident I was doing the right thing for Maya and me ("You're so selfish" was another guilt inducing statement of Mo) Mo's comments added to the doubt over what I was doing. What if Maya cried every night and never got used to it? Will she really be psychologically scarred over this? She woke up once that night, and it took 18 minutes for her to stop crying and fall asleep. (Read 18 minutes of additional guilt from Mo, and building anxiety from me). The next day, I felt the same nagging worries as I put her down for her nap. As I left her room, I picked up the video monitor, ready to see her pulling herself up against her crib rail looking for me. To my surprise, she was lying down exactly where I put her. A minute later she stopped crying and went to sleep. Her second nap went even easier, and by that night, she didn't cry at all when I put her down!
Mo was shocked and begrudgingly admitted that maybe I was right. When the next day when off with the same success, Mo thanked me (haha!) and said he was glad that one of us had the balls to do it.
Maya is now a model sleeper. I still rock her for 2-5 minutes until she reaches that drowsy but awake stage, but I always make sure to put her down awake. She occasionally protests for about 15 seconds but usually goes right to sleep!
We went to a birthday party yesterday and Maya needed to nap there. I doubted she'd sleep easily there, so I was ready to rock her to sleep and hold her if needed. I accidentally woke her up when putting her down and to my surprise, she rolled over and started sucking her thumb! When I left the room, she cried briefly and went right back to sleep.
As I returned to the birthday party, experiencing a kind of freedom that I'd longed for these past months, Mo greeted me with a look that said "I'm not worthy".