I have been trying to get her to fall asleep on her own without crying. I've read that routines help so every night we change her diaper, get her into jammies, brush her teeth, pick out three stories to read in mommys bed, when the stories are done I pick her up and walk her to the light switch while I pray with her and then I turn off the light. We go back to my bed and lay quietly until she falls asleep. Then I transfer her to her crib.
It all was working fine until she started crying when I laid her down in her crib. I decided to switch it up a bit and try reading the last story to her while she was in her crib to kind of prepare her and inform her that she was supposed to sleep there and it was a safe place. Since doing that we added singing "twinkle" after the last story. It seems to calm her. She usually whimpers cries when I leave but not for more than 5 minutes (and she doesn't sound terrified so I'm ok with it). Needless to say, I dread bedtime every night because I never know how bad the crying will be, how terrified she make look, and how long it might take. But, I figure just like weaning is easier when it's gradual maybe falling asleep on her own will be easier when it's gradual.
Well, this week, after her routine, I lay her in her crib to read another story and sing to her and she pointed to the door and said "all done". I didn't understand what she was trying to say so I started reading her book to her. Then she said, "bye bye" and pointed to the door. I got the point. She wanted me to leave! I asked her, "Do you want me to leave?" And she nodded her head "yes!" So since Monday I have a very big brave girl who can fall asleep on her own without crying!
I sure miss those early days of nursing her to sleep and all the cuddles. I knew those days would end and they would fly by fast. I cherished each moment and I'm proud of my big girl. Now to get her to sleep through the night...