As I see it, there are two ways to approach this one:
Approach Number One: Embrace your Snuggler
My daughter was very much like this when she was a baby. Desperate for a break once in awhile I tried "crying it out" but since she also had reflux, she just got herself worked up so much she threw up all over her crib. It took less than a week for me to look at my husband and go, "this just isn't helping." I got a baby sling and learned how to wash dishes, fold laundry and all of it with a baby attached (I'd been avoiding bumping my big ol' belly for a few months already so in reality it didn't change much anyway). We let her fall asleep with us, and after checking she was truly all the way asleep (mouth slightly open, no fluttering eyelids, deep breaths and fully limp) we'd put her down in her crib and have a little time before she needed us (me) again. For night-time feedings, I'd feed her, stick her back in the co-sleeper and go back to sleep. I think I actually got MORE sleep this way while she still needed those night-time feedings.
When she was two we still had the rocking chair in her room and she would lay in her bed while one of us sat inn the chair reading or working on a lap-top till she fell asleep when we'd tip-toe out of the room. She still shows up in our room in the middle of the night to snuggle from time-to-time at age seven, but those nights are so rare now, I'm almost glad for them when they do come. Sometimes I miss the snuggling now that she needs so much less of it. Most nights she sleeps really well, and she is very flexible about where she sleeps when we travel too (she can sleep pretty much anywhere).
- These babies can sleep anywhere as long as they have a little snuggle time.
- You get to feel closely connected to baby and enjoy all the snuggles and so does baby.
- If you also co-sleep, mom's sleep will feel less interrupted when breast-feeding than having to get up entirely etc. for the process.
- I was also able to breast feed with her in the sling (once I got used to using it) so I could double up and grade students papers or do dishes or something if I was in a real crunch for time.
- The sling is a much safer place for baby (when properly used) than many other places, AND the baby can sleep there as well as watch, learn and interact with you while in the sling it makes multi-tasking AND being totally tuned in to baby pretty easy to do.
- Having time alone with each-other can be awkward and difficult as child might wander in at any time iykwim.
- It takes longer to put baby down which can mean lost time for all kinds of things.
- While in the stage where snuggling is required, (which lasts awhile) it also makes it difficult to go out, being celebrating and other such things when you will be away at bedtime. Timing outings for before bedtime or only after bedtime is finished is necessary at times unless you have a family member or sitter everyone is very comfortable with available.
Approach Number Two: Teach Baby how to sleep with The Baby Sleep Training Solution (Or Perhaps, the NO-Cry Solution or other similar ones - though I have no experience with these what-so-ever) Cry it out methods are NOT good for kids under six months.
The book I recommend is by Suzy Giordano and although we did not use this method with our daughter, I know a family that has used it successfully with two baby boys quite well. The book goes over what is going on with kids at each age-level and what to do depending on the month range your child falls under. It is respectful of baby AND parents and from what I've seen works really well. It isn't as harsh as various "cry it out" methods I've seen even though there is an element of this after six months (but it really is a lot less painful with the pre-training that is offered up at the earlier ages.
With this method, at the stage/age you are at now, it goes over how to wake baby gently and put baby down in a settled calm way so that baby falls back to sleep again on his/her own and learns to settle him/herself so sleeping comes easier later as well.
- Once trained, it is SUPER EASY to put baby to sleep at night and if the routine is followed, ANYONE can do it.
- Training steps are age appropriate and developmental steps with baby are actually considered so you can rest (or do chores or whatever while baby rests) peacefully knowing you aren't hurting baby's psyche.
- Baby is somewhat constrained (and even toddler and pre-school aged child later on) to a very specific sleep environment and routine. This makes it harder to travel or let various other family members take over when they visit (as well as baby-sitters that are not trained in sleep training) Travel remains difficult even into the preschool years because they are not in their own sleep environment and have a hard time falling asleep.
- When baby is sick and extra sleep is needed, it can be difficult to stick to the suggested routines and still allow for that extra sleep (in my experience with it though the book may address this better than I think - I've only read parts of it and used training from it as it applies to when I am with the boys).
Whatever others say, your baby's sleep as well as your own are closely intertwined either way you go. Sleep matters and it IS a big deal, but doing this "wrong" isn't really possible unless you just chuck all efforts to let your baby sleep all together. A few stalls now, won't hurt baby later. If baby needs you to fall asleep now - it doesn't mean baby will always have a hard time on his/her own. Likewise, a time or two of crying it out now isn't going to mean baby thinks you aren't there for him when he is older.
These things are never as "critical" as various camps like to think they are for later on in life really. For centuries moms and dads have been making it up as they go and for centuries most kids grow in to relatively well balanced and productive healthy adults - crying included or not. It is your job to find a system that works for your baby AND for you. If mom and dad aren't healthy, baby won't be either so taking care of yourselves (including considering what is convenient for you) Is important too.