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Can you force your baby to go to sleep??

Our son is 10 months old. He has a regular bedtime, but often he just isn't tired and I can't get him to sleep. He won't even lay still for a second. I don't think I can force him to fall asleep if he isn't tired, but DH seems to feel otherwise. He gets pissed at me if our baby isn't tired and won't lay still. He seems to think I can magically make the baby fall asleep. DH has yelled at me about it and it starts fights between us. I don't know what else to do. If the baby isn't tired than he isn't tired. So most of the time baby and I will leave the room to hang out on the other side of the house until he gets tired. Even then (when I am sacrificing my sleep so DH can sleep) DH will come out and bitch at me about us being awake! Our son is on a good schedule. He wakes up from his nap around 2pm. There isn' anything I can do if he isn't tired 8 hours later.
BTW Please do not suggest CIO. I will not put my baby through that.


Asked by Anonymous at 3:09 AM on Nov. 26, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • I think your husband sounds like kind of jerk. Have you tried giving him the baby and you going to bed? Let him see how it really is? I don't know about that optimal time for most babies bit. I recently read an article that said if your baby is an early bird or a night owl at 2 months, that will usually follow them through their childhood. My daughter usually goes to sleep for the night between 9-11 PM and every now and then it's later. She's a night owl just like her mom and dad. She's only 3 months, though, so who knows when she'll be ready for bed in a few months. I also don't have her on a napping schedule. When she's tired, she sleeps, when she's not, she's awake. I think your husband needs to get over himself and just deal with it. I don't know how to tell you to do that, though. My husband could care less if my daughter is awake in the middle of the night as long as I take her in another room so he can sleep

    Answer by Christina807 at 1:27 PM on Nov. 26, 2009

  • My baby is 1o months, too. He doesn't automatically fall asleep at an exact time. I don't any baby does. Every night he has his bath, lotion, I nurse him, then he's out. The set routine helps A LOT. This is between 8 and 9pm. When he doesn't want to sleep for bedtime or naps. I lay him in our bed and lay down with him. If he tries to get up I put my arm over him and don't let him. I don't pin him down,just snuggle really. I let him roll over if he needs to. Once he's asleep u can move him to his bed. Mine co-sleeps w/us. The 1st time I tried this he cried for about 5 minutes then fell asleep. Next time it was only 3 minutes. Now he'll put up a fight for about 30 seconds then lays there with me and/or falls asleep. See he doesn't know he really needs a nap or it's BT and I know what he needs. The main thing is a BT routine and to stay constant! Tell your husband he can help or shut up. He should never get mad at the baby.

    Answer by crystal1480 at 4:10 AM on Nov. 26, 2009

  • Can your husband force YOU to fall asleep? No? Then how are you supposed to force another individual to fall asleep?

    What does he expect you to do, drug him?


    Answer by Anonymous at 7:28 AM on Nov. 26, 2009

  • Try moving his bedtime.

    Answer by MoonLover06 at 9:07 AM on Nov. 26, 2009

  • try moving his nap time up earlier, so that he'll get tired earlier. all you really need to do it wake up him earlier in the morning, he'll be cranky about it for a couple days but he'll fall asleep sooner because of it. also try to establish a bed time routine. warm bath with lavender wash. nice rub down with lavender lotion, pajamas, bed time story. maybe a song, and lay him down. after a while of that he'll start to get in sleep mode automatically when you start the routine. and tell you dh yelling and escalating the tension doesn't help create a relaxing environment for sleep so he needs to just go back to bed and get over it.

    Answer by Pudge_Pie20 at 9:50 AM on Nov. 26, 2009

  • You can never force a child to fall asleep unless he's a robot and you can turnthen on and off. If you didn't let him sleep more than an hour and a half twice a day he would go to sleep and should sleep all night. Feed him some oatmeal then bath him before bedtime then he'll sleep better for you. Just the more you force him and get upset cause he's not going to sleep then he's going to whine and cry. Wait till he's older and gives you an attitude. I have five kids so i know.

    Answer by Jeatonic1 at 10:09 AM on Nov. 26, 2009

  • Of course you can't force someone to sleep, though breastfeeding often works.

    Answer by rkoloms at 10:26 AM on Nov. 26, 2009

  • Sorry your DH thinks the baby came with an ON/OFF switch--there isn't one. That said, try taking him for a walk in the stroller , playing outside, doing something active between the time he wakes up from his nap and the time you start getting him ready for bed, so he's tired, but not wound up at bedtime. Your DH does need his sleep, but tell him to grow up.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:40 AM on Nov. 26, 2009

  • Of course you can't make someone fall asleep, but both of my babies went to sleep around the same time every night (it varied by 30 minutes or so). It was just their natural rhythm.

    What is your LO's bedtime? Perhaps it's not optimal for him. You may be missing the window and putting him down to late. Or maybe you're trying to put him down too early. I've always worked with my kids' natural rhythms and have set their bedtimes accordingly. But, I think it's fine to have a bedtime that might vary by 30-60 mins every night, depending on when your LO woke from his afternoon nap.

    Also, what is your bedtime routine? Do you have a regular routine every night that serves as cues to your LO that it's time for sleep? If you have a LO who tends to fight sleep or has irregular sleep strict routines become even more important.


    Answer by EmilyandIsaac at 12:07 PM on Nov. 26, 2009

  • I also wanted to add that optimal bedtime for most babies that age is between 6:30-8:00 pm or so. My 16 month old is usually asleep for the night by 6:30-7:00pm.

    Answer by EmilyandIsaac at 12:08 PM on Nov. 26, 2009