When we first decided to nightwean, I struggled. I worried about how Lucy would handle the change. She surprised both Brett and I when she made the adjustment relatively smoothly, with very little fussing at all. The whole process took less than a week, and we maintained our family bed. For more details on the technique we used, check out Dr. Jay Gordon's website.
However, we all knew this was a short-term solution- while I love, love, love bed-sharing, it simply isn't safe with a toddler and a newborn in the same bed. So Brett and I finally took the plunge and began to make the adjustment to having Lucy sleep in her own crib. Right now, the crib's still in our room, but eventually we will move her to the nursery- we don't want to have issues with the new baby waking her up and vice-versa.
Anyway, tonight marks Lucy's fourth night in her crib. The first two nights, it took 45 and 30 minutes to put her to sleep, respectively. Because I don't believe in allowing babies to "cry-it-out," I spent that time sitting on a pillow beside Lucy's crib. Following her nighttime nursing session and follow-up bottle, I would lay her down in her crib with her "lovey" and "paci," and rub her back while singing to her. If she stood up and tried to play, I would simply lay her down again and continue on. Although it took more patience than I previously knew I had, my persistence overcame Lucy's will to stay awake, and she eventually fell asleep with virtually no tears shed and minimum fussing.
On the third night, Lucy put herself to sleep! After laying her down with her paci and lovey as before, she just went right to sleep. The same thing occurred tonight. I am in awe!
Although we still have a ways to go (Lucy still wakes up several times at night, often needing one of us to replace her paci before she can fall back asleep, and she does come in to our bed in the morning, because I nurse her before work), I am so proud of my daughter! She is proving to be a very flexible and resilient little girl.