When Klara is sleepy, she motions towards her crib. We put her in the crib and leave. If she doesn’t fall asleep immediately, she sings a little song to herself, shifts around for a while, stares at her fingers, and then falls asleep. Except for actually placing her in the crib, she doesn’t need us to help her fall asleep.
We never used any of the “let her scream it out and she’ll fall asleep eventually” methods to get this result. We are old parents, and we’d have heart attacks after hearing her scream for 15 seconds, let alone 15 minutes.
All we did was never put her to sleep anywhere but the crib and never let her do anything but sleep in that crib. We don’t use it as a playpen, and we have never given her a bottle, let alone any food, in the crib.
This didn’t happen immediately, of course. She needed rocking to sleep when she was an infant. But by the time she was a little over a year old, she learned to put herself to sleep both at night and for her naps during the day.