can't fall asleep on his own

Anamari - posted on 05/21/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My boy is having a hard time falling asleep at night on his own. He just turned 2, and needs me to stay in the room until he falls asleep. If I leave, he freaks out. He can cry and cry and cry until I come in, and I can't take hearing cry so bad for so long. Any suggestions?

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Amber - posted on 06/04/2009

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I understand where you all are coming from, but to be honest the cry it out method does work. My daughter had a little bit of trouble with routine changes affecting her sleep as well. I didn't like listening to her cry, but I would take her to bed, give her hugs and kisses and tell her it was night night time and as I walked out of the room I would keep saying things like Mommy loves you and night night baby doll and just little things like that. She would cry and freak out a little bit but within a couple of weeks things were fine. It is very difficult to listen to the crying and I know this. But if you stay there with your son/daughter then all it will do is make them dependant on you staying there until they fall asleep. I would give her a favorite stuffed animal to sleep with and tell her that Mommy was going night night as well and that she was such a big girl for going night night by herself. I would never let her cry for more than an hour and then I would go back in there just to let her know that Mommy was still there and wasn't going to leave her but that she needed to go night night. and go through the regular bedtime routine again. And I would just keep doing it. But I never really had to go back in there more than twice. And like I said it only took about 2 or 3 weeks and everything was back to normal and now she puts herself to bed. She'll come over to me and her Daddy and tell us night night and give us hugs and kisses and grab one of our hands to take her and tuck her in for bedtime.

Esther - posted on 06/01/2009

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Sorry - I just noticed you said it has been two months. That's a while. Maybe you should try making small changes in your routine like I said, even silly stuff like where you sit or stand can make a difference. Try inching toward the door a little more each night. I personally really don't believe that letting them cry does anyone any good, but clearly many moms would vehemently disagree with me. There is also a book you could try for tips, called the No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers.

Esther - posted on 06/01/2009

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Hi Anamari - My son is the same way. He's very sensitive to routines and anything that messes that up will affect his sleeping. I don't know how long he has been like this but if it has only been a week or two, I would say just be patient, it will probably return to normal again pretty soon. I started "training" my son to fall asleep on his own a few months back and it was going great, I was even able to just put him in his crib, give him a kiss & walk away while he was still awake. But then he got roseola and was sick for a few days. After he had recovered from that, he would not let me leave the room until he was asleep. Small things can make a big difference. For example, if I sit in the rocking chair in his room to wait for him to fall asleep, he will get very upset. Sitting on the floor next to his crib however, was always acceptable. Except after the roseola. Then he insisted that I stand there, rather than sit. It can be exhausting and frustrating, but in the end, it really only took a little while for things to return to normal again and if this reassures him, I'm willing to make the sacrifice. Good luck!

Anamari - posted on 05/21/2009

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Yea, I don't know about the medical proof about this, but my instinct tells me it can't be good for a child to cry that hard for that long, no matter what the peds say. (Mine says the same).
My son was doing great, falling asleep on his own for a while, and then after some family that came to visit (change in routine) he's been acting up for about 2 months now. His crying is a panicked type of crying. When I sit by his side, he falls asleep right away, within 5-10 minutes. I don't interact with him once he is in the crib, and he knows.
I am trying to slowly pull out of the room while he is still awake. I give him a book to read, and that sometimes distracts him and he falls asleep, but usually he is expecting me to sit. I don't know how to deal with this.
Every night is a stress for a while. do you give in and comfort them, or do you try tough love.
don't know.

Barbara - posted on 05/21/2009

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My daughter is the same way and I also don't know what to do. Our doctor said to let her cry it out, but I can't/won't do this.....mostly because I feel horrible and also because there is a lot of evidence now coming out showing that babies that are left to cry it out for long periods of time don't develop emotionally and tend to develop issues with trusting people. I'm hoping she will outgrow this?

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