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How can I teach my baby to put himself to sleep without using the CIO method?

I feel lost. My baby has always gone to sleep by nursing and rocking or by nursing and then swinging. Both are followed by putting him in his crib after he has already fallen asleep. I'm okay with the nursing and rocking him to sleep but sometimes even after that I may put him in the swing because he is still awake. I would really like it if I could nurse him (and/or rock him) and put him in his crib regardless of whether or not he is completely asleep. I don't know how to show him to go to sleep by himself. I'm going to start using a different bedtime routine. I had a bedtime routine that included a bath but now it seems to wake him up more than make him sleepy. By the way, the age of my baby is 11 months, be 12 months mid January.

I DO NOT want to use the Cry it Out method, so if that is your suggestion please don't leave an answer. That's fine if it worked for you, but I personally can't stand to leave him alone and hear him cry. It just isn't my style. I am currently reading "The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers."

Extra Info:
- I used to let him co-sleep with me but he wants to nurse all night and tends to move a lot more if he sleeps in bed with me and my husband. If he sleeps in his own crib he only wakes up 2 times.
-My baby will not take a bottle or a pacifier.
-He is still Exclusively Breastfeeding
-The reason I've used the swing before he goes to sleep for so long is there is rarely any fussing. But these past few days he has been fussing a lot when he gets into the swing.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 3:48 AM on Dec. 28, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (6)
  • I used to rock my sons, while warming a blanket in the dryer. Then when they were asleep, I'd wrap them in the warm blanket and put them down. I have to admit though, it only worked part of the time, and I too couldn't let them cry it out.

    Answer by ohwrite at 4:02 AM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • They say you're supposed to put them to bed when they are sleepy but not out. Now sometimes when you do this they will cry for a few minutes (5 or less) however it's NOT the CIO method. Unfortunately no method will completely eliminate crying. BTW crying for a few minutes will not only not hurt him but it will give him stronger lungs so if you have to let him fuss for a couple minutes I know it's hard but don't stress.

    Answer by 2murphyboys at 4:46 AM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • I agree with 2murphyboys. Get the baby to the point of being drowsy and put him down. He will not learn to self soothe if you don't give him the chance. This is what worked with our two and they might fuss for a few minutes but it was not screaming their lungs out. I could not have dealt with that. However, we did this from day one so you will have a transition to go through. It might take a few days for the baby to adapt to the new routine. GL!

    Answer by elizabr at 7:22 AM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • Bump for more suggestions.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 1:47 PM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • My first born, DD was like this. I was EB her and I always rocked her until she fell asleep. I would sit there until she was asleep, explaining that it is her big girl bed and she's got her blankie and little stuffed animal etc. with her. I would sit there, not look at her, or talk to her the rest of the time and let her fall asleep then sneak out lol

    Answer by CABlonde at 11:56 PM on Jan. 5, 2011

  • Here is something I did with my son. I set a timer, each few nights were longer and longer. I started out at 3 minutes.
    If the timer went off and he was still crying i went in and rocked him. Then a few nights later it was 5 minutes, and so on,
    The longest i ever went was 10 minutes! It was a very long time for a mommy to hear her son cry, but in reality it was only 10 minutes.
    He never went passed that, and actually started falling asleep while we were on the 10 minute stage within 3-5 minutes!
    He now (2 yrs) runs to bed, we read a book, he kisses us goodnight, and we leave. It is wonderful! i love bedtime!

    Answer by RachWell at 11:57 PM on Jan. 5, 2011

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