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How do I get my daughter to fall asleep on her own?

She's 5 months old and since she was a newborn, she needs my help falling asleep for the night. They say you should just lay then down and they'll fall asleep but she doesn't; she will stay awake until you go in and pick her up or rock her. Once she does fall asleep, she stays asleep until morning. I'm tired. Please help!

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Asked by MaMaKassDog at 5:38 PM on Mar. 13, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (8)
  • I'm personally a big fan of co-sleeping. I think it is more natural, and is one reason why I've never had a problem with my daughter getting to sleep. However, it isn't for everyone, and if you'd rather use a crib, I'd say to make sure your daughter is actually tired before you try to lay her down. Babies all have different schedules, and if your daughter is wide awake at bedtime, getting her to sleep isn't going to be easy. If she is tired but just can't seem to sleep without you, you can try weaning her off your presence gradually, moving further and further away from the crib each night until she gets used to you being there, but not RIGHT there when she falls asleep. Also, try keeping the same routine each night before bed. I wouldn't let her just "cry it out," though- from what I've heard and read, that doesn't help the baby fall asleep on his or her own, it only numbs the parents to the sound of the baby's crying.

    Answer by Mergath at 5:43 PM on Mar. 13, 2009

  • Well you have a few choices.. There is always the CIO method I've used it and liked it a lot it worked great for us.
    There is also the no cry sleep sloution which I have also tired and it works ok the CIO method is what I use and liked.
    It is always up to you how you choose to go about it. I never let my son cry longer then 5-6 minute at a time I go and tell him it's bed time and calm him down and walk away never pick him up. It will take time but both methods take time. So you can research and choose but those both work and have worked for me in the past. We went backward here lately not sure why havent figured that out yet but once I can I will go back to the CIO method. Thats just me though

    Answer by TristansMommy16 at 5:45 PM on Mar. 13, 2009

  • I know many people think it is terrible, but we let our kids cry themselves to sleep. It took both of my kids 2 nights. The first night they cried for hours, the second night they cried for only 20 minutes. After that they both just went to sleep. We haven't had one single problem with them going to sleep since we did it.

    Answer by Marwill at 5:52 PM on Mar. 13, 2009

  • Girl, you just lay her in her bed, turn off the lights and go to bed. She might fuss, she might cry.. but she will fall asleep eventually... NO child has ever DIED from crying. Trust me..

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:53 PM on Mar. 13, 2009

  • 5 months is still pretty young. There is no reason why you shouldn't continue to rock her to sleep at this age. I nursed my kids to sleep until they were about a year old. They are great sleepers!

    Cry it out is an option, and Anon is right, they will not die if you let them cry. But have you read any of the research on letting baby cry to sleep?

    "the widespread American practice of putting babies in separate beds -- even separate rooms -- and not responding quickly to their cries may lead to incidents of post-traumatic stress and panic disorders when these children reach adulthood."
    "Parents should recognize that having their babies cry unnecessarily harms the baby permanently," Commons said. "It changes the nervous system so they're overly sensitive to future trauma."


    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 6:21 PM on Mar. 13, 2009

  • If she's falling asleep and staying asleep, why mess with it? If she's sleeping through the night, what is making you so tired? Does it take hours to get her to sleep? If that's the case, then you might need to reevaluate how she's napping.

    It's totally normal for a baby to "need" their parent to fall asleep. If you think about anthropology, I doubt our ancestors expected babies to fall asleep on their own, it's more of a modern expectation because we kind of want our children to go along with our lifestyles. ;) That said, we live in a modern world. But if what you're doing works for you, don't feel pressured to change it. There's plenty of time for your child to "learn" to fall asleep on their own. But if you're hurting for sleep, you might want to look into some different sleep methods, but I've always found that following where my mom instinct takes me works the best for the whole family to get good sleep.

    Answer by lifetimelove at 8:15 PM on Mar. 13, 2009

  • As soon as the baby sleeps through the night they should learn to go to sleep alone. My first one I just let cry it out. The first couple nites are the hardest then they adapt. My second thoughj I learned and didn't have that issue she got fed her bottles burped and was put to bed partially awake. so she was always going to sleep on her own.

    Answer by hot-mama86 at 8:42 PM on Mar. 13, 2009

  • I've got twins. Right around 4 months is when I started putting them to bed awake. My daughter fussed for about 3 days in the beginning but she learned to self soothe. My son never had any issues. Now they are 20 months and we have no issues whatsoever! They actually will play in their beds with their mobiles or gloworms and before long they are fast asleep. I will admit tho there are times when they are up for 45 minutes before falling asleep, but that's the beauty of self soothing, they don't mind and it's almost as if they enjoy going to bed. You'll find a system that works for you, don't worry. If self soothing is something you're willing to try, try it for a week or just a couple of nights and see how you feel and how your daughter does. If it doesn't feel right then it's not right for you. Good luck.

    Answer by Rach716 at 12:22 PM on Mar. 15, 2009

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