My wife and I. have an 18 month old daughter. She sleeps straight thru the night from 8:00-8:15pm to about 7:30am. We have a bedtime routine of going upstairs, picking out her pajamas, changing her and then we brush our teeth. Every two days we give her a bath, so on bath nights she gets a bath before all that. We give her a bottle and hold her until she falls a sleep before we put her down in her crib. Certain nights she goes right down after she finishes her bottle, other nights she fights it some and it takes 45 mins for her to fall a sleep enough to go down. I know we have trained her to sleep this way but we have wanted to start getting her to self soothe to sleep. My wife wants to let her cry it out but I honestly have a hard time with it. I have such a hard time letting her cry for longs stretches. It makes me feel like we are abandoning her and stressing her out. We have started to put her down after her bottle and if she doesn't stay down to sleep, we stay in the room with her (to let her know we are there with her). And soothe her every so often with words (which doesn't seem to work). My wife says to be firm with her and tell her to lay down and go to bed but I just feel like this is wrong to do and I don't want to be yelling at her like that before bed I've found this difficult to just sit there and watch her cry as well. I almost feel like it would be easier to just walk out the door. But the whole thing is very hard for me. Tonight our daughter was hysterical when I put her down. She held her breath for long periods of time and at one point it seemed like she was going to puke. I let her go on for 15-20 mins and it wasn't letting up. I was in the dark crying over this and then I gave up and picked her up and she was so upset she pulled a tantrum and it took me twenty mins to relax her enough to go back to sleep in my arms before I could put her down. My wife says I don't have it in me to let her do this and cry and I think she's right. But I'm willing to try if it makes our lives easier. We are expecting our second child in October and wanted to help our first self soothe before the baby is born. I'm carrying this baby (my wife carried our first). She is home with our daughter most of the time. She works part time and while she works her mother watches our daughter.
So in addition to that, I feel like me not completely being on board with her crying it out is making it difficult for my wife to put our daughter down for naps during the day. She normally takes her naps from 12:00pm-2:00pm, just recently she has been refusing her naps. She will either wake right up (wide awake) and stay up once we put her down for her nap or she will beg for us to hold her while she naps. This piece is just recent. I don't know if it's her phasing herself out of naps or if this is from us trying to get her to self soothe by letting her cry it out after her bottle. I just don't want us to backwards and make it worse for her either.
Like I said I'm willing to continue to try having her cry it out but it is hard for me. I do want our lives to be easier though. Does anyone have any suggestions at all? This is become a huge issue in our lives and I want to do the right thing for us all.