Some babies are born easygoing and able to self-soothe. But others -- usually active ones -- may put up more of a fight at night, says Lynne Bail, a sleep consultant for the Jewish Family & Children's Service of Greater Boston. When figuring out the best way to get your baby to sleep -- whether it's one of the most common strategies or your own blend of them -- your baby's personality is a key factor.
Take Mary Kay Waugh of Bowie, Maryland, whose 15-month-old daughter is a kid who doesn't give up easily -- even during the day. Waugh tried for two months to put Sophie in her crib while she was still awake at bedtime, but she screamed, jumped up and down, and often got so worked up that she'd actually throw up. "I found myself asking 'What's wrong with me?' when my daughter wasn't doing what the cry-it-out books said she should," says Waugh.
And even though Waugh rocks Sophie to sleep -- and her nighttime wakings keep bringing Waugh to her crib to sit with her until she's down again -- it feels right. "I wonder if she'd be a better sleeper if I'd have let her cry it out," Waugh says. "But Sophie winds herself up so much that we all end up awake and upset. I've decided to go with my gut, and if rocking works, so be it."
Hollace Schmidt is a mom of three in Bainbridge, Ohio.