I've been rocking my (nearly) 17 month old ds to sleep for his daytime naps since he was born (he goes to sleep on his own at night time) but he is starting to get too heavy to rock to sleep (he weighs nearly 27lbs).
I've tried reducing the rocking time bit by bit, but he just cries and cries and cries when I put him down as he's awake.
I've also tried just putting him down without rocking, but the same thing happens.
Is there a way to get him to sleep without all the tears and arm aching?
I don't know about this age, I managed to sort something else a bit earlier, but maybe the principles are the same. Because she was going to sleep by herself well in the evening, I just worked on making the nap time a bit like bedtime. I was nervous that if I did this the magical power of the bedtime routine would be lost, but it didn't turn out that way. The essential parts of my nap routine are - put on sleepy tunes (the music we listened to during bedtime routine and final feed of the day); into sleeping bag; shut shutters; into cot. I generally said to myself that if the crying hadn't stopped by the time I had made a cup of tea, that would be a nap fail, and I'd go back in, but it generally had stopped.
Unfortunately, our house isn't really big enough to rock him back and forth in his pushchair.
Thesurgeonsmate: I had thought about doing the same thing at nap time as I do for bedtime, but as you said, I am nervous about loosing the effectiveness of the routine at bedtime. So you think it worked for you?
Yes, it worked really well. I consulted a friend first too! I don't think she understood the concern about losing the effectiveness of the bedtime routine, although you obviously feel it too. She just confirmed that making naps a bit like bedtime had worked for her. The bedtime routine is a bit longer, with a feed and a story, and I turn the tunes off at bedtime and sing a lullaby. At naps I just leave her to listen to them. I think (but who knows!) that with the bag, the tunes and the shutters I'm just giving her enough indication that it's time to sleep, and that I haven't just dumped her in the cot on a whim.
If you find (as I did) that replicating the bedtime routine doesn't work, it's worth considering one of these - assuming your DS will sleep in a buggy/car when in motion, it will probably work. It saved DH and I many miles of shoe-leather for naps! Eventually, DD stopped needing to be rocked in her buggy and now I can usually just put her in it (sans rocker), read a story, sing a lullaby and leave her to it. She now naps for up to 2.5hours.