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How can I get my 13 mo. old to sleep on his own?

I'm new here and still finding my way around the site, so forgive me if this is a repeat question. My son falls asleep in our arms when he feels like it, usually around 11 or 12. He sleeps with us and wakes up at least 2-3 times a night, takes a few sips of his bottle, and falls asleep. He wakes up and cries if he's not lying next to someone, and he won't even nap unless it's in someone's arms. We're trying to get him off his bottle and to sleep all night in his own crib. We tried CIO for a few days months ago and it didn't work. He is very stubborn and will cry for hours. Does anyone have any advice? My 3 yr. old has always been a great sleeper, so I'm at a loss here for what to do. Thank you so much!


Asked by betheroo at 4:53 PM on Sep. 21, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • There is another question right now about this, I just kind of went thro this and used the CIO method succesfully. I don't know that that would work in your situation since he has always slept with you (my son slept from 0-11m on his own happily so what I went thro would have been a much milder version of what your going thro). First I don't think it would make sense to just put him in his crib in a different room right away, that would have to be pretty scary for a baby, maybe try a crib in your room first, that way he can hear you/its still familiar surroundings, second I would try a paci and soothing music (might not work but it might), and third I would either try to wean him off the night time feedings (he doesn't NEED them now) OR try to get him in his crib... Definitly wouldn't try both at the same time...... And the routine suggestion, definitly try that. And try getting him used to sleeping in crib for naps first...

    Answer by KatieP. at 11:58 AM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • All of us parents will go through some "challenges" at one point or another, and this happens to be yours at the moment. Though I am not an expert, I suggest that you make a bedtime routine for him. After dinner, you may start to wind him down, give him a warm bath, read a story or listen to soothing music, and let him know that it's bed time. You've got to do this everyday (hence, it's a routine..hehe) and that way he knows that bedtime is coming.

    Also, I am not sure what your son's routine is during the day, but keep him active and busy. Of course, if he sleeps all day then it will be difficult to put him to bed at night.

    Lastly, it takes patience and a bit of sacrifice in your part. It's not as easy as snapping your fingers, but the good thing is it CAN be done..

    Good luck!

    Answer by raelen06 at 4:59 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • What you describe is normal for a breastfed baby this age. Babies no longer need formula after 12 months. Since your baby goes to sleep late, which is fine, you need to feed your baby a small meal close to bedtime with protein. This meal should keep the baby full until morning.

    When babies breastfeed at night the nipple is suckled deep into the baby's mouth by the throat and the milk is swallowed down. It doesn't pool. If babies are given bottles at night after they have teeth the formula pools in their mouth and the teeth are damaged. If you have to give bottles of formula the baby's teeth should be cleaned before the baby goes back to sleep.

    Your baby has sucking needs at night. You might try a pacifier.

    Answer by GailllAZ at 5:02 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • Ignore the first answer. there is nothing wrong with having him in your bed, and its okay that he still has his bottle so long as you are slowly phasing it out.

    13 months old is really still just a baby, and babies need closeness. try just laying down beside him as he gos to sleep and then just leaving when he's fallen asleep. you'll never regret the time you spent getting him top sleep happily by your side.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:08 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • It's funny how some people use question boards to air their insecurities. I've found that moms who harshly judge other moms are insecure about their own parenting, and that those who "stick to the book" in every situation aren't able to use their own heads to come up with solutions that work for them. My son has always slept in his crib and was off his bottle at 12 months, but I'm smart enough to know that doesn't work for every kid! I have many friends who have struggled with this with one kid and not another. I say good for you for being a nurturing mother who is willing to make sacrifices for your kid. You obviously want to find a good solution, so you're clearly a good mom. Good luck!

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:59 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • So, the longer you wait the harder it will be on all of you. My son would cry for 4 hours in his crib before falling asleep on his own. He is not manipulating you, he is just used to sleeping w someone. Practice putting him in his crib for naps first. After that is successful, try it at night. If he is waking every few hours, maybe he will sleep better alone. stay strong.

    Answer by Amberoz at 1:35 AM on Sep. 22, 2009