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Toddler sleep solutions?

my son is 18 months. At bedtime I place a pacifier in his mouth, put on a lullaby CD, and sit in a chair in the dark until he falls asleep. I then move him into his bed where he sleeps for a few hours. He wakes up anywhere from 11 pm to 3am. If he wakes around 11 or 12 I can often go in and hold him in the chair again until he falls back asleep. If he wakes at 2 or 3 I bring him into bed with me, but lately he just squirms and kicks in bed and won't go back to sleep. I'd like him to learn how to fall asleep on his own, but I am not sure where to start. I've tried the no cry sleep solution, and CIO and niether has worked for him. He will not take to a lovey.

How did you teach your toddler to fall asleep on his own?


Asked by Anonymous at 7:39 AM on Dec. 29, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • Just hang in there. Try talking to other mom's and finding out what worked for them. I wouldn't subscribe to any one strict method, but do what works for you. Pay attention to his cues and be patient. All things come in time!

    Answer by beckcorc at 1:22 PM on Dec. 31, 2009

  • It is hardwired into children's brains to wake at night to make sure they aren't alone. Throughout time it has been important for babies and toddlers to nurse at night and to be next to their mothers for safety. Even today in most places babies and toddlers sleep with their mothers. Usually around age 3 toddlers will start sleeping through the night. Experts consider 'through the night' to be something like 12-5.

    Your child's brain biology doesn't change just because we live in a culture that values babies and toddlers sleeping alone. That's why its so hard to change. It may not be wise to try and change brain hardwiring and just wait until the child develops the maturity to sleep through the night on his own.


    Answer by Gailll at 8:56 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • We all wake up during the night to a degree. For those of us (adult and children a like) that need certain things in place to fall asleep to start the night, we look for those when we wake up at night to get us back to sleep at night. Your son falls asleep in your arms. When he wakes, he's looking for that to fall back to sleep. Focus on just the start of the night. Start with small changes and work up a little at a time until he can get himself to sleep without you holding him. Tonight, hold him as you normally do. When he's drowsy, but not asleep, put him in his bed. If he makes a fuss, stand near him and rub his back, reassure him. He'll drift off. Expect it to take time! When you can do this with little intervention skip the chair all together. Do your routine, put him down awake and stand near by to reassure. When that works wihtout much intervention, put him down and stand farther away. It Takes time. Be consistent.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:45 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • Everyone wakes at night, the problem is that he doesn't know how to put himself back to sleep because you are rocking him to sleep and sneaking him to bed. So when he wakes up he freaks out because he doesn't know where you went... you were there 2 seconds ago! So he crys out for you and you have to start all over.
    You need to break the habits of rocking him to sleep and sneaking him to bed and you'll have a better sleeper. We used the book "Solve your child's sleep problems" by Ferber and it worked wonderfully... we changed our son's routine as suggested in the book (we were rocking and sneaking him to bed too) followed the CIO method (which we had tried before but not knowing a real method and it had failed) and it only took 3 nights and 8 minutes TOTAL of crying and he was going to sleep on his own and waking less at night... after a couple of weeks he didn't wake at night either.
    Be firm with the method and it will work

    Answer by AmiJanell at 11:04 AM on Dec. 29, 2009