I'm having a problem of getting my 3yr old to go to bed without being rocked first and then staying asleep during the night. Please give me some ideas I could try to fix this problem

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Michelle - posted on 11/12/2008

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I went through that with my 16 month old. I asked my pediatrician for advise and he said if you can get your child to sleep at bedtime then they will be more able to sleep through the night with fewer issues. Here is the routine my dr told me is fail proof...and it worked for my son and a few friends of mine as well.
Give him/her a bath about 1/2 hour prior to bed time, the warm water relaxes them.
Put in a calm movie, sing or read a book to them for only a few min while he/she is tucked into bed. Tell them that you'll be back to check on him/her in just one minute. Literally after one minute, go back in, make sure he/she is tucked in, give a kiss and tell him/her you'll be back in to check on them in just a few minutes. Wait three minutes, go back in, make sure they are tucked in, give a kiss and tell them you'll be back again. This time wait 5 minutes before you go back in. Do the same routine but wait 10 min the next time then 15, 20, 25, 30, etc until they are asleep. If he/she hasn't fallen asleep after 2 hours then they win and just try again the next night. Your child will know you are in the next room and he/she will get tired of waiting for you to come back. It took my son 2 nights of that to relax and fall asleep and it should only take a week max. Once my son started going to sleep more comfortably, he started sleeping through the night without any problems.

Kristina - posted on 11/12/2008

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I totally understand how you feel. Mine is three as well and I had a very hard time getting him to start going to bed on his own. First you need to find out why he/she wont go to bed on their own. If its simply because of routine and rocking has always been the norm then no problem. As cruel as it seems simply put your baby in bed and say good night. Do what it takes to make him comfortable, (read,or sing) But the truth of the matter is no child has ever been hurt by crying a little at night, If that doesnt work then there may be another reason she wont sleep. She may be scared or uncomfortable in which case you attack that problem with a fovorive blankie or night light. Every child is different, but my little guy just had a hard time not being in mommy's bed. Also make bedtime fun. If the child is praised for being 'so brave of such a big kid' it may make it easier for her. I hope this helped a little good luck.

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