My sweet little boy finally goes to sleep at night without a fight. He still sometimes falls asleep while nursing, and I just plunk him into his crib, but often does not. We used to put him in, stay in the room, repeatedly stop him from chewing the crib rail and lay him down. There would be tears and it would take a while. Now, as long as you give him his whale, he lays down and quietly puts himself to sleep in a few minutes. He loves his whale and likes to hug it and lay on it when he is tired. He carries it around and sucks his thumb.
This is how I found him tonight after he fell asleep.