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A bad bedtime habit... Is it too late to retrain me and baby?

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I have entered into a really bad bedtime routine with my 13 month old.I am still rocking her to sleep and when she wakes up,picking her up and comforting her back to sleep. My Husband tells me that it is time to have her start going to sleep on her own. I know this needs to happen,but it is just so automatic now,I dont know how to stop it and just let her do it on her own. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

by on May. 11, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Replies (141-147):
by on May. 15, 2013 at 11:23 PM

I have a 13 month old also and I rock and cuddle him to sleep every night and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. At this age, children still need assurance throughout the night that mom and/or dad are close by..especially because a lot of babies start dealing with separation anxiety around this time.

If you don't mind rocking your LO to sleep, I wouldn't change a thing. It's great bonding time for mom and baby. Trust me, the time will go by very fast. My older DS just turned 5 and I still have all those great memories of rocking and cuddling him to sleep.

Do what you need to do to comfort and care for your LO...she has to be your top priority.

by on May. 16, 2013 at 12:11 AM
2 moms liked this
Really? You think humans have to be taught how to sleep?

Do you think humans never slept before doctors told us the "right" way? If cosleeping/bed sharing causes dependency issues, why are we seeing this supposed trend now, and not in the centuries prior to doctors telling us they know better, when cosleeping/bed sharing was not only normal, but necessary?

Sleep training isn't necessary. It may be preferred by some parents, but to call it necessary is false.

Quoting Libertyinlight:

To everyone who do not understand why not to help a little one learn to self soothe and sleep on their own there is plenty of evidence and parents who have 5-12 yr. olds who will either not sleep in their own beds, wake up and need soothing all night long. Yes this is necessary to help them learn sleeping independence. I am also an infant care and breastfeeding educator and feel it sets babies behind and creates more codependency if they don't learn healthy sleep habits. I have seen this with many clients and also had a friend who has a 6 and 8 yr. old who do not sleep well on their own and are up all night needing soothing. There are very loving ways to help a little one learn sleeping independence. For those that say that it's no problem getting up and rocking children to sleep for years are full of it. Not only is it not good for a child but not good for the parents either.
by Member on May. 16, 2013 at 12:33 AM

Maybe see if she likes her back rubbed.. DD loved when I rubbed her back and would go to sleep.  Or another thing is i played some soothing music and that worked sometimes too.  I dont think it is too late, its never to late.

by on May. 17, 2013 at 10:16 AM

My son is 2. He went into a toddler bed when he was 20 months old. I put him in his room put a gate at the door and leave him alone. He cries, talks, plays with his toys, and when he is ready will go to bed.

When he was still in a crib, I would put him to bed awake, give him a toy and leave him alone. Before I went to bed at night I would remove the toy for safety reasons.

The only way I can tell you to break this habit is to STOP. It's that simple. I know it will be hard for YOU but your child will be fine after a couple nights

by on May. 21, 2013 at 5:11 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree with you 110% and that is what we do for our son. He will be 3 in Line and will continue to be held, rocked and cuddled to bed in our bed until he decides to sleep on his own. It makes me so sad to hear all these hard core moms more worried about harsh sleep routines rather than what is best for their children:(

Quoting MentorMom1:

You don't need to retrain yourself or your baby. You are doing just fine. As a former La Leche League leader and Certified Educator of Infant Massage - as well as the mom of four grown children who as babies and toddlers were rocked to sleep night after night in the same chair - right now you are doing what is absolutely best for your baby.

Trust your instincts, which, by the way are now supported by science. Babies your daughter's age need to be comforted back to sleep. By rocking and holding her, you are regulating her breathing patterns, increasing her sense of security, and relaxing her through the release of oxytocin, the "cuddle" hormone, and ultimately teaching her how to put herself to sleep - someday. But there is no need to rush. She will eventually go to sleep independently.

What you are doing is absolutely perfect. If your husband is beginning to get impatient,  and wants you to be focusing your time on him, just help him to understand that by allowing you to nurture your daughter in this way, you are putting gold in the bank. Your actions now will pay huge dividends in terms of a secure, confident child in the future. 

Here's the link for the excerpts that follow:

"Rooted in attachment theory, Attachment Parenting has been studied extensively for over 60 years by psychology and child development researchers, and more recently, by researchers studying the brain. These studies revealed that infants are born "hardwired" with strong needs to be nurtured and to remain physically close to the primary caregiver, usually the mother, during the first few years of life. The child's emotional, physical, and neurological development is greatly enhanced when these basic needs are met consistently and appropriately. These needs can be summarized as proximity, protection, and predictability.

"The baby's crying, clinging, and sucking are early techniques to keep her mother nearby. As the child grows and feels more secure in her relationship with her mother, she is better able to explore the world around her and to develop strong, healthy bonds with other important people in her life.

"To help guide parents along their journey, API created The Eight Principles of Parenting. These guidelines are founded on sound research and are known to be effective in helping children develop secure attachments." (Click on to read the Eight Principles of Parenting.)

by on May. 21, 2013 at 5:22 AM
1 mom liked this
I see nothing wrong with rocking your baby to sleep. I still rock my 18 month old to sleep. She sleeps just fine on her own and if she wakes up in the night she can put self back to sleep most of the time. They are only little for so long and I like to to full advantage of the times when they want to snuggle.
by on May. 22, 2013 at 1:17 AM

I made this mistake with two kids they did not go to sleep on their own for years yourself and your child a favor listen to your husband on this one put them to bed full clean and dry in their own bed they will cry but let them. I was miserable for years at night kids have to learn to go to sleep on their own.

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