I am currently doing battle with my better judgment when it comes to getting Simon to sleep (what little sleep he's willing to get / give us, anyway). At present, the only successful routine seems to consist of lying him on my chest with his head turned to one side and my pinky finger in his mouth as a soother, then thumping or rubbing his back until he stops wriggling and his breathing becomes slow and deep. Then, assuming he really is asleep at this point, I oh-so-carefully turn to the side and slide him off onto the bed beside me. For the last week or so we've been doing this at night and also for the afternoon nap.
However, all this means that Simon ends up sleeping on his stomach, which all the pediatricians etc. say is a big no-no and a major indicator for SIDS. But it seems to be the only way that he does sleep for any reasonable length of time or with any degree of comfort (especially when he's feeling colicky). And when the only alternative is a sleepless night for mother and a nearly sleepless night for baby, I'm not exactly convinced that's a healthy situation either.
My experience so far with Simon is that his breathing is perfectly steady and regular. He can lift up his head and turn it from side to side when he wants to. Nobody in this house smokes, nor do any of my friends and relatives with whom Simon comes in contact (second-hand smoke being another major indicator). I check him often to make sure he isn't overheated, and I don't let him sleep with soft bedding near his face. So, although I still feel some misgivings about going against current medical wisdom, I think that I'm doing this about as safely as it can be done, and I think I'm going to keep doing it, for the time being anyway.
I was reading some articles at BabyCenter about getting infants to sleep, and I must say that I was inspired to cynical laughter at the prevalent notion that young babies can and should be trained to go to sleep independently ("Lay your baby down while she is sleepy but still awake... don't rock or nurse her to sleep, or she will not be able to sleep without your assistance..."), and that one can actually achieve this without major trauma to mother and/or baby. Well, it sure never worked with Nicholas, and having listened to Simon yell for amazingly long periods of time without ever going to sleep in the process, I'm not exactly optimistic that it would work with him either...