First, I don't think that 1 is too old to rock to sleep at all. I was still nursing both my boys to sleep at 1. My younger son (not including the one in my belly) is 2 and we just recently (in the last few months) started the process that worked really well with my older son when he was 2 (now 5 years old).
First, make sure you have a consistent bedtime routine. At the same time every night, brush teeth (or tooth, or just gums) ;o), put PJ's on, then read a couple of books snuggled together in a chair or in bed (or whatever you want to do). Some kids (maybe needing to be slightly older?), also really like having visuals to help them understand their bedtime routine. For example, print or color or cut out pictures of specific steps (brushing teeth, putting on PJ's, reading, sleeping.) If you talk about them before you start the routine, they get into it. The routine also really helps the little ones understand what's to come.
Sometimes my boys would fall asleep during reading time, but if not, we started with snuggling with them in their bed until they fell asleep for a few months. In the last week or so, we would talk about taking the next "big boy" step (to prepare them for a change), then we would stay in their bed for a specific amount of time, then move to the floor right next to their bed (usually keeping a hand up on the bed touching them) for a few months. This transition usually includes some whining and a little crying, but you are right there and if you stay firm, yet assure them that you're right there, it will probably only take a few nights for him to get used to the idea. For the next few months, we would again start talking a week or so before the change about the next step, which was to stay and cuddle for the specific amount of time, then leave the room. (We starting with 30 minutes and worked it down to 15.) We have stayed with the 15 minutes for several years with my 5yo because we both really enjoy that time that we have together to snuggle, and he usually falls asleep before the 15 minutes is up anyway.
Around 3yo, we also started doing a 5 minute "talking time" after reading time where my oldest could talk and "clear his head" before cuddling to fall asleep - but then it was "quiet time" and time to go to sleep. This helps get all the thoughts out to help him relax, but that's not until he gets a bit older obviously. Explaining the time thing might not work too well with a 1 year old yet either, since they have little to no concept of it at this point, but the idea is to figure out some sort of similar gradual process. Again, it did involve a little bit of whining/crying, but nothing like the CIO method. (This all is only if YOU'RE really wanting to do this, not just your husband.) I know having a "lovey" helps with some kids too, though it never worked with mine. I've heard the key is to wear stuff it in your shirt about 5 - 10 minutes before bedtime so it gets your scent on it. Another thought is to add to the routine, something like "we get to have 10 kisses, then it's bed time."
Another thought to share is to have your husband help put him to bed at night. My husband and I switched off every other night when we had one, and have switched off with each child with 2 every other night (he puts one to bed and I put the other to bed). I have no idea what we're going to do when the 3rd comes. We'll be outnumbered! ;o) I realize that some hubby's are better about night-time involvement than others, but it's not only reasonable and fair - it also helps the separation for night time, so if you're husband wants to participate in taking the steps to help make what he thinks is necessary possible, then that will be a huge helping factor.
As a final note, ENJOY THIS TIME! I still get to have it with both of my boys, but I know that it will be soon enough that they won't want me there anymore.
Also, never doubt your own feelings/instincts as a mother! :o)
Best of luck to you!