Tonight I am thankful and relieved that Merritt has turned into a good sleeper. With a combination of her reflux, nursing, and being the last child in general, she had racked up a total of MAYBE two full nights of sleep in the first year of her life. Because I value my sleep, I eventually started bringing her to bed with me, which was fine, except I couldn't get a shower in the morning because I was afraid she would roll out of the bed.
Finally, on the advice of our pediatrician, I started letting her cry it out so that she could break the habit of waking multiple times at night (and face it, her routine was to be rocked to sleep around 8, fight it for at LEAST 30 minutes, wake up and nurse around 9:30, wake up and nurse around 11:00 (and come to bed with me), and then wake to nurse multiple other times during the night.
Within 3 nights, she was fine going to bed on her own. I took a step-down approach. First, I got her where she would go to sleep initially on her own. Then I would cut out the other wakings. It was true--she did not need to nurse at that point; it had just become habit.
Now that Miss M is on the mend from her latest respiratory/ear funk, she has happily played until I dropped her into bed, 7:30-ish, and has promptly conked out.
She was MUCH different in the sleep department that Lauren or Tucker, but we have finally developed a good pattern.
(and seriously, I thought Lauren was an issue b/c she wanted to be held all. the. time. after coming home from the hospital, but she was an awesome sleeper by 8 weeks. I just didn't appreciate it until after having Merritt)