The rocking started quite soon, when she was roughly a couple of weeks old but it was because she developed colic and the rocking was the only thing that seemed to help her relax and sleep, so although it was an evil of sorts, it was a necessary evil and we knew kind of what we were getting ourselves into.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago now we decided to try and tackle the bedtime issue first, so we didnt stress about the rocking, we just started setting up a system for her to get used to, starting with a bath, change of cloths, last feed and then some rocking.
It took 2 or 3 days but seemed to work out ok and now around 7ish she starts rubbing her eyes and getting a little fussy, so we start the bath etc and things seemed to be working out fine. The only hiccoughs in the whole thing is the fact that she was waking in the night and needed to be rocked asleep again but sometimes she wouldnt sleep for another two hours.
At first we were worried that we might have left it a bit too long as she 6 months old now but we did some research and found out some things that helped and some that definitely need to be taken with a large pinch of salt.
One of the things that we came across was the cry it out method, at first we didnt like the idea of this approach, although it seemed to pop up on pretty much every site, so we tried other things such as the patting and shushing etc but all of these failed miserably.
Two nights ago now, we decided to give the CIO method a try but to use the gentler kind where you check on the baby every 5 minutes ago (although it has been suggested that this is more to ease the parents minds than the baby's).
The first night was really a test of nerves, we followed the usual bedtime routine but after her last feed and burp we kissed her good night and put her into her cot and left the room. From that moment she went absolutely ballistic with her crying and screaming, it was really quite hard for both of us but we stuck to our guns and just went in to see her every 2-5 minutes or so.
After half an hour it didnt look like we would have much luck, so we tried starting her musical mobile, this distracted her for a bit but not too long and the crying continued. Almost an hour later and I was saying to my wife that maybe this approach wouldnt work and we should just go and get her to sleep and try something else tomorrow when the crying stopped. We waited a minute and still nothing, total silence, so we snuck to the room and put our heads round the door and she was sleeping peacefully! It was a relief I can tell you :)
Unfortunately she woke up again at midnight but we kept to the same routine and just kissed her, told her that everything was ok but otherwise let her be and after 15 minutes she was asleep again.
The next night, we followed the same routine, bath, feed, bed but this time we also turned off the night light (its still light enough here at 8pm that theres a dim light coming through the window). Again she started to cry when we left the room but not as much or as intensely as before but still a fair bit. So we switched the mobile on again and continued our 5 minutes visits and then to our surprise after about 15-20 minutes the crying started to subside and after another 10 minutes she was sound asleep. :)
So, so far so good, we just need to keep this up now and see if she will master falling asleep by herself but it really looks promising so far, so keep your fingers crossed for us.