Oh, sleep training. I can practically envision everyone's shoulders tensing as they think about it. It's controversial, wonderful, "mean," and about a million other things depending on who you ask. Just like every other decision we make as parents, though, it's ultimately our business. We can have a polite conversation about it, yes, but wait until you're educated before you squeeze in your questions. After all, there are things you don't get to ask me when I'm sleep training.
Sleep training my daughter probably took the better part of a month when she was a few months old. Why? Well, I was watching and observing her every move so I could sufficiently learn when and how to put her to sleep as best and easily as possible. You see, my partner and I were actively trying to actually avoid crying it out. When our daughter was around 6 months old, we ended up doing cry it out after all, and within a week she went from crying for 10 minutes at a time, to babbling in her crib before she fell asleep clutching her lovey.
I think about sleep training our daughter and subsequent foster babies, and to me, it's all about consistency and detective work. If you really want it to be successful, you have to constantly watch for their cues before they get too overtired to put themselves to sleep. No, it's not cruel. No, it's not going to damage my child forever and ever. Actually, let's just go ahead and say "no" to all the other questions I don't feel like answering when I'm in the thick of sleep training, thank you very much.