I agree each baby is different and every situation is too, which is why some moms really work from the get go to get baby to sleep through the night b/c of work etc. The Ferber guy was on THE DOCTORS and basically he doesn't stand by the method anymore b/c when babies cry out in stress for 15 mins- that causes the stress/ toxic hormone release. Dr. Sears stated that distressed babies go into a toxic state which is unhealthy and they won't sleep usually.
My LO is 18mos and still wakes up to nurse about 2 times a night. Sleep was always a struggle but getting better.
I was told to never let baby sleep more than 2 hrs that 1 hr was best. Let baby sleep on own by self soothing..leaving toys in crib, music etc....none of it worked. I was also told that swings were better than a rocking chair and use a bassinet b/c of nursing.
Well at 6 mos I got a mini crib that rocked, against all the objections from family that it would be a waste of $ (b/c amazon has great return policy). The mini crib got us started towards better nights....wish I had gotten it instead of bassinet b/c I am STILL using it since it goes thru doorways easily when moved thru out the house. Baby still fits. I got the mama wonder bumpers that wrap around the crib rails which I think are brilliant (you tube shows DIY videos for those on budget). Finally at 14mos I got a Dutailier gliding chair thru Costco b/c awesome returns BUT it has been the MAGIC GODSEND b/c LO now just nurses to sleep so easily while Mozart/ classical music for baby plays on Ipod/ CD player- got baby classical music on amazon. I also got Munchkin Nursery Projector & Sound System but keep it for the projector since it has timer options 15,30,60 mins AND a voice activation button so when LO cries projector turns on (15 mins for me since that is what I leave it on) again- amazon b/c easier to return. The projector on voice activation is great b/c LO cries out gently now upon waking since projector lights up the dark room and baby can see everything. LO is VERY comforted by that light w/ the animals twirling above on ceiling. B/F the projector LO would wake up screaming/ scared obviously.
I now have my LO napping around 1:30PM-2:30PM and let the baby wake-up on own. Now baby's avg nap time is 2 hrs...sometimes little more and sometimes a little less. When LO falls asleep and wakes-up on own (W/O us waking the baby up) we find LO falls asleep more easily, sleeps more soundly, at night the stretches are getting longer & now avg closer to 6hrs b/f waking that 1st time to nurse. Better napping has resulted in better sleep at night! I rock & nurse baby to sleep for naps and at night in the glider and then transfer baby to mini crib. Occasionally we push LO in stroller around the block for naps.
If LO fights sleep at night or at nap time and it is obvious LO is tired b/c yawning & eye rubbing then I do put LO in crib- talking w/ soothing tones that is sleep time, have music on, & put projector on for 15 mins w/ voice activation on and I allow her to cry BUT I MONITOR her crying. I make sure that the crying is NOT intensifying and that there are pauses b/c there are occasional outcries after silence but I know my LO is waking back up/ trying to stay awake w/ the outburst, and then usually gets quiet again. If LO is not calming down after 4-5 mins then I go back to check diaper, nurse again while rocking, and try again for LO to fall asleep while nursing. Usually if I have to place LO back in crib the 2nd time then after 4-5 mins cries subside and baby is asleep.
Dr. Sears/ The Doctors Show said 8-10mins if crying is subsiding i.e. they wake up cry hard and then silence cry again then pauses/ silence but baby is asleep in 8-10 mins otherwise go get baby.
I think parents need to do lots of trial and error b/c once we let LO set own napping guidelines then night sleep got better.