So, if I had this all to do over again, I'd do it differently...but I need help with this whole putting the kid to sleep thang for naps and bedtime. I haven't had a lot of help in parenting, was never around kids growing up, and do not have family nearby, so I also recognize and own that I feel very insecure and inept about all of it.
After being pretty certain we wouldn't co-sleep, we co-slept for about a year. We are in a small living arrangement right now so the baby doesn't have her own room/space yet (we're looking), so she's currently sleeping next to the bed. We tried a lot to get her to sleep in the crib but it was bloody murder and a ton of wakings. Ultimately, when it wasn't comfortable for any of us in the queen bed we're in, I moved the pack-n-play out and made baby a little nest of comforters and pillows. You can imagine the first few weeks of this was "holy shit, it's still playtime!" Since then, she's been better about staying in the "sleep nest" but she often takes an hour to sleep. This has included getting her laid down, resting, and then leaving the room and letting her cry. I have a feeling it'll be more of this.
In general, I think she doesn't sleep well or long enough. She's going to bed around 9 and gets up around 6. She has several wakings and we still have two naps where she naps 3-5 hours total between the two. My thought is that she should be doing more night sleeping (as should we) and less day sleeping.
I really try not to feed to sleep, although there are some nights we do. The conundrum for me in this whole thing is that she naps well *in her swing* /cringe. Now naps in anything other than a swing were dismal. She's a large baby and she doesn't really fit all that well in a swing - but my god, she is out like a light on that thing. And here's the thing, we never even turn the swing or its mobile/sounds on. I put her down, give her her giraffe/lovee, give a pacifier and then she decides if she wants it in her mouth, and a light blanket. I close the shades, turn on the crickets (her sound machine), close the door, and leave. She never makes a sound. Sleeps for 2-3 hours. I feel like part of it is that she just knows she can't move around, so I'm just wondering if anyone knows of a bed or sleep surface that could replicate some of this "cradling" effect that the swing seat has. Again, its not the motion, it's really just the seat and possible being off the ground.
I've been the only one to put her to bed since she was born and it's a process that's taking 1-3 hours every night, so I'm just ready to set her up for success in this whole process. I appreciate any thoughts you have.