For us as foster parents, who take emergency calls at all hours. The worst age for trying to get babies to settle to sleep in a new home with total strangers has been from about 7mths to age 2. They know somethings not right, they don't understand why and don't get what you are trying to do.
It can be really tough.
Latest foster guy is 20mths and sleeps like a dream, his mommy said he was easy to settle and she was so right.
But we have spent a lot of time in the rocker in the bedroom holding onto screaming crying babies. The less they sleep the worse they seemed to fight the sleep (does that make sense) They get so overtired.
Due to lack of sleep I even have resorted to some sort of sleep training with a few of them, something I never imagined I'd do in a million years.
I will rock and pat for so long, they (hopefully) stop crying and start to relax, then I lie them in the crib, they immediately pop up, (no matter how long I have rocked and patted) I then lie them back down, and continue the pat/shush/It's OK thing I have going, like a mantra
They eventually will either relax again and drift off to sleep, or I will leave the room for a few minutes, maybe two or three, they stand and cry, I go back, don't speak, gently lie them down, pat/shush/chant .
Rinse and repeat. I've known to spend the whole evening doing it all the way past my bedtime, dog tired and ready to drop.
I have learned never to remove them from the crib once I have started this "routine" and after a few days they usually will settle enough to let me lie them, pat/shush/chant and they don't get up and cry for me to do it over and over.
I also make sure to go back promptly if they wake in the night, and repeat the same thing, lie them down, pat/shush/chant.
Also we have a dimmer switch in the room, so I dim the lights never making it completly dark till they have learned to settle better. We also encourage binkis or any other kind of soothing thing they need.
I did have to do this with my adopted Daughter, she came to us at 7 mths, and had just learned to pull up, so tried to do that all night, I kept repeating and she got better and slept (as she had in the other foster home) all night without waking.
She is the best sleeper ever for me. She will sleep in any situation, on vacation, in a shared bed, in a stroller, car seat, anywhere when she's really tired or it's dark and night time. She's very confidant and independent, but at the same time a real mamas girl.
We still sit in the rocker each night and sing nursery rhymes and talk, and then she happily goes to bed with teddy and sleeps. She's 3.5 now.
edited to add my bios.
DS#1 would wake every two or three hours till he was about 7 mths then at least once a night till he was 5 yrs.
Ds#2 Came home from the hospital sleeping like a dream, 5-6 hrs straight at night, Dh thought there was something wrong with him, he was sleeping all night by the time he was 6 or 7 mths. They have totally different personalities, each favors a different side of the family Ds#1 is like mine Ds#2 is like Dh's family.
Is this what we were asked about or did I go off on a tangent