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Self soothing

My 19 month old is in his crib until about 1:30, then ends up in our bed, as when we soothe him, he refuses to go back to his crib. We have to hold him until he falls asleep and sneak him back into the crib, but after a certain point, he wakes up every time you try to put him back in. How do we teach him to self soothe back to sleep, so he stays in the crib all night?


Asked by musicpisces at 4:08 PM on Mar. 25, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • Check out a copy of No Cry Sleep Solutions by Elizabeth Pantley. Lots of good advice in there. Basically, what I would do is ease your way into it. If you put him to bed asleep right now, then try to get him to go to sleep while you're in the room, but without you holding him. Night by night you can move first away from the bed and then out the door. If he gets used to going to sleep at the start of the night by himself, he'll start to realize he knows what to do if he wakes in the night, too.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 7:46 PM on Mar. 25, 2010

  • if he wakes up try giving him a sippy cup of milk, but not alot of milk. go to his room give him the milk and walk out dont pick him up. if he knows how to climb out of his crib put a baby gate in his door way that way he stays in his room. if he starts crying let him know that its okay that he needs to go back to sleep. he will finally get tired enough he will go to sleep. trust me it will work it worked for my daughter.

    Answer by MarissaDavis29 at 4:15 PM on Mar. 25, 2010

  • Don't put him in while aslepp, put him in really drowsy. DO NOT GIVE HIM A CUP OF MILK!!!!! Bad habit and bad for teeth. He might cry, but, he is old enough now to learn and cry. Just go back and lay him down and say goodnight. No lights etc. The, go back and lay him down, no words. Then let him cry for a bit. If he is still crying, start over.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 4:19 PM on Mar. 25, 2010

  • It's normal for human toddlers to breastfeed and sleep with their mothers. Humans have done it for all time and still do in most of the world. If a toddler wakes in the night it is hard wired in the brain to cry or to seek his mother. You can't change what has worked for all of human history because for the last 100 or so years toddlers have been able to survive not sleeping with their mothers in part of the world.

    It's not good to teach kids to self-sooth. We want babies and toddlers to be independent and self-sooth and then wonder why as a society we have trouble staying married and being team players. You want toddlers to be connected. Children outgrow the need to sleep with their mothers.

    Answer by Gailll at 4:32 PM on Mar. 25, 2010

  • Gailll..I agree with you, but, she wants to stop. My son was in my bed until 5. Then, had no issue moving out. So, I concur. She wants advice on getting him out though.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 4:34 PM on Mar. 25, 2010

  • I've tried the No Cry Sleep Solution before, and had some success, but at the moment, I'm in school, so the temporary loss of sleep isn't really an option. We're TTC once the semester is over, so I want to try to get this done now, as opposed to when I'm in my exhausting first trimester, or with a newborn, who will also be in our bed. I've been trying as hard as possible to avoid CIO. We don't want to do milk, for the sake of his teeth, but we did put one of his water bottles in the crib with him, so at least when he wakes up thirsty, he can take care of that (and he does, sometimes).
    When I do go in, there are no lights turned on, no words, and sometimes, he does let me just lay him back down. I do try that a few times before picking him up.
    It's also hard, because when he does sleep with us, I lose a lot of sleep. He snuggles so close to me that I have no space, and he makes sure I face him all night, or he cries.

    Answer by musicpisces at 8:30 PM on Mar. 25, 2010

  • Even if you sleep train him, a new baby will flip his world upside down and he will need and want to be next to you more than ever. He will outgrow it, but it can't be forced without tears and emotional upset.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:20 AM on Mar. 26, 2010