Here's what I did: Once he was in bed, he was given a snack and water to drink. I would read to him then suddenly "remember something I forgot" and tell him I would be right back. Then I came right back - I would keep doing this, each time leaving the room for longer and longer and always coming back. This only took a couple of days to get him used to falling asleep on his own without tears. My son also decided that he needed something of mine to hold, so he would take my hair clip out and click himself to sleep. When I left, I would also offer him the choice of keeping his door open or closed, trying to give him as much control over the situation as possible. My son also knew where I was and sometimes would call out (but not leave his bed), and I would respond...generally with one last hug. If he wasn't in bed, then no hug until he was.
at 9:58 AM on Jan. 7, 2009