Thanks for the No Cry Sleep Solution advice!! I read that book early on, whilst bouncing a young infant to sleep in a wrap, when we were going through the age of 2-5 months which was quite horrific in the sleep department!! The concept was useless then because she just needed to sleep on a warm body. Then one day she just outgrew that need and napped all by herself for hours at a time. I can give it another look to see if that will help us.
But last night was amazingly wonderful with an earlier bedtime and a little implementation of RIE concepts. No, I didn't have her cry at all but I did use a lot of listening to her frustration while I got her ready for bed (as opposed to the usual hurrying and trying to make her happy asap) and when it was time for sleep I told her calmly that I wouldn't bounce much. Well, she fell asleep calmly and easily while I nursed her and gently patted her arms. She woke when I placed her in the side-carred crib, which she often does, and I sang to her until she drifted off. As usual she woke up every 1-1.5 hours UNTIL she slept a 5 hour stretch!! Unheard of. She put herself back to sleep multiple times as could be seen by her wrangled positioning. I feel so happy because I'm sure she's been struggling and wanting to be able to just fall right back to sleep, but hasn't been able to. Perhaps it's because of the earlier bedtime, but I think it also has to do with the change in attitude about her struggling. Maybe she picked up that it's okay to struggle and doesn't need to be fixed? Perhaps. We'll see how it lasts!