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My duaghter is 18 months and has to fall asleep with her fingers in my mouth... How can I break her of this?

She does it at naps and bedtime and I can't let go anywhere because everyone can't stand that it takes hours to put her down and lots of crying. So I am the only one who can put her to sleep..I need help!!!

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Asked by emeraldkelly at 3:55 PM on Jun. 3, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (4)
  • She has to put her fingers in your mouth to fall asleep? That is one that I haven't heard!

    At this age, you can let her know that you are the boss. Not her. Just put her in her crib and close the door. She may fuss for a while, but if you have to go in to check on her, dont speak to her or make eye contact. Just simply say it is bed time and leave.

    See if you can replace your mouth (?) with a new stuffed animal or blanket that she can hold and drift off to sleep.

    Answer by Glowing4Caleb at 3:58 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • I think you have two different prolems. First, the fingers in the mouth. Kids self-soothe differently. My younger brother sucked his index finger. I'd ignore it and let her outgrow it.

    I'd focus on getting her to sleep without battling. Admittedly, I'm not a "cry herself to sleep" person. It didn't work with my son because he'd work himself up so much we risked him getting hurt. Here's what we did. Establish a bedtime routine. Go through it, put her into her crib/bed, say goodnight and leave. Give her a few minutes to see if she'll settle. If not, go back in and just sit there with her. No talking, no yelling, no nothing. Just sit. (I use to have a booklight for reading.) Be very, very boring. When she's asleep, leave. Try each night to just leave before sitting with her. In our case, one night I left and never went back in. He just settled. You can also try moving closer to the door each night. Good luck!

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:15 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • It sounds like you are her lovey! Kids often had some object they use to self-soothe, such as a stuffed animal, a blanket, etc. It appears that you are that for her. You can try introducing a non-you lovey as part of your bedtime routine. Encourage her to hold that instead of putting her fingers in your mouth. Over time, hopefully she will come to rely on that rather than you so you can get a break.

    Answer by crazydogchick at 5:36 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • My DD nursed to sleep for the longest time. As crazydogchick said, I was (and still am) her lovey. What really got DD to sleep was when her papi would rock her to sleep. I was out of the house (working) and he HAD to get her to sleep. It took them an hour the first night, and shorter every night after that. When I stopped working and I had to put her to sleep, I continued the rocking. It takes a while, and sometimes the LOs scream, but it is worth it in the end.

    DD is to the point where she can only sleep if I'm in the room. Huge improvement! We went from nursing to sleep, to rocking, to me laying and cuddling with her, to me laying next to her, to me sitting at the end of the bed. I hope to transition myself out of the room before she's two.

    Good luck mama!! Sometimes it is so hard to get these LOs to sleep :~)

    Answer by epoh at 6:03 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

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