How do I get him to fall asleep on his own??

Kami - posted on 01/31/2011 ( 31 moms have responded )

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My 2 y/o use to sleep in bed with me. I broke that bad habit over the summer but he still wants me to sit with him until he falls asleep. I try to leave him alone in his room but he just get up nd starts crying and comes out. And if he gets up in the middle of the night and I'm not in his room with him he comes to my room to either get in bed with me or have me sit with him til he goes back to sleep. I just started locking my bedroom door at night so he cant come in. That has helped a bit. But now if my door is locked he takes his blanket and pillow and sleeps on the couch. Does anyone have any answers as to how I can get him to go to bed on his own?

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Kim - posted on 01/31/2011

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Sitting with him until he falls asleep is sometimes part of the job as a parent. I would suggest some type of routine. Sitting and reading in his room for about 20 minutes of quiet time before bed. We often walk around the house and say goodnight to everyone bf bed time too, good night dogs, good night daddy, ect. This lets him know what time it is, I think he actually looks forward to it. Then we go into his room for quiet time. Sometimes my hub even just plays guitar for a few minutes. It works everytime. Kids like routine, they crave it. Something about locking him out of your room seems a little "not nice". Sorry, not to judge, I know you are at the end of your rope. But if something was really wrong, that would be bad. Plus it could cause abandoment issues which could leave to future behavioural issues.He is only 2, be patient. Good luck!

Heba - posted on 01/31/2011

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hi there, im going through the same thing... only that my son used to sleep on his own and all of a sudden started asking for me to sit by him until he falls asleep, so i decided not to do it because it was very tiring.. so i started sitting at the edge of his bed with my back at him , then standing where he doesnt see me, he'd off course asked for me to come and sit, i say to him dont worry baby, go to sleep mummy is here for u, then slowly i sneak out and if he hears the door and calls for me.. then i start only when calls for me, shuushing quietly from behind the door,so that he knows im around him but not with him. so now the process takes much less time... i started 1 week ago from first night 2 hours to down to 5 mins now....
the reason why the first night it took so long coz he would want me to stay next to him and was coming down from his bed, but i put him back and tucked him in each time .... it was harsh on both of us, but it was worth it...
i hope this helps.... good luck...

Erin - posted on 02/01/2011

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My son has always been a good sleeper. Every once in a while he will have a night where he won't go down. Once a few months ago he had one of those nights and I got into a habit that lasted about a week where he would only go to bed with me. Until, one night I decided to break that habit so I put him to bed at his usual bed time. He kept getting out of bed in tears running out into the living room. He didn't want to go to bed unless it was my bed but I had had it with that. I said "I love you but it's bed time." and I put him back to bed. He got up again, still crying, I said nothing and put him back. He kept getting up I kept putting him back saying nothing. After about 5 min of this he fell asleep. I knew he was tired because he went to bed late the night before, up early that morning, and he had no nap.. The next night he tried the same thing but was asleep in his bed after 2 min and the third night he went to sleep no trouble at all. He was just testing me, he wanted to sleep in my bed and me to sit with him until he was sleeping. I love him more than anything but from 7:30 until about 10:30 is MY TIME.

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[deleted account]

Ive got a light that I got from Spencers and its keeps his room bright enough to where he can see but still kinda dark so he can go to sleep. he never liked the dark but once we got him that light he sleep great on his own

Leah - posted on 02/10/2011

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my son is the same he goes to bed at half 7 nevr sleeps in the day but always wakes up in the nite for me to sit with him or get in my bed he will only ask for me he wont let his dad any were near him and most of the time he wakes up with bad belly ach and then sits on his bed screaming i have had him at hospital but they said nothing was wrong with him but am sure there is mothers no when some thing isnt right and he has never slept through the nite and i also have a 5 month old he is the total oppersit he sleeps throught the nite and is always happy my eldist is always sad we do try to make him happy but there is always something wrong with him and we cant figger out what it is

Gloria - posted on 02/10/2011

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Same thing happend with my three yearold but some times just letting them cry is best... Broke my heart but shes god now it only takes practice

Anna - posted on 02/09/2011

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i had the exact same problem. I was lying next to him for an hour some nights and it made me crazy. we talked up the new plan for a couple of days. Daddy would put him to sleep. he would get 2. stories, 2 songs, 2 hugs and 2 kisses and go to bed. we made a chart. if he made it for 5 nights (each night a square that he colored) he would get a thomas train. if he could do it for the next 5 nights he would get another train, and after the next 5 nights (or squares) he would get the train set that he wanted. It worked like a charm. the key was, that we prepared him ahead of time... got his buy in. then had daddy put him to sleep. it was too hard to separate from me, not so much for dad. the key was in the repetition beforehand as well. the number 2 was crucial too.. the second song was nick nack patty wack.. kind of a long song... that helped too. dad had to walk him back to bed a couple of times the first night.. but after that.. pretty smooth sailing.. now, if he would just stay in bed.. i now have a toddler bed mattress on the floor beside my bed and if he comes in he just plops on that. we're all happy... happy enough

anna

Krissy - posted on 02/09/2011

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yeah, it's a lot easier to break habits when they are younger. I try to let them put themselves to sleep when they are pretty young infants so that by the time they are two it's just routine to go to bed.

I don't know if locking the door would be my solution. Not to knock the previous poster, as we are all just moms with all our own opinions...

But I think that would be more like the child obeying the power and authority of the door.... rather than the child learning to obey his/her mother's expectations.

I actually like the way super nanny does it... just keep putting said child calmly back into bed until they give up and fall asleep. BE CONSISTENT AND DON'T GIVE IN. Every time you crack, figure you have to do it double (or triple) next time just because you caved the last time.

Just quietly take child back to bed... over and over and over... at first, a gentle reminder of... "no it's bedtime"... then nothing after that.

Kami - posted on 02/08/2011

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@Kristi- I tried so many things with his door, such as switching the knobs with other ones in my apt. switching different parts and NOTHING worked. But tonight, I laid him down and said mommy will be right back and walked out. Usually he jumps up screaming and following me. But tonight he is still layng in his bed. Im thinking it is bc I didn't shut his door. I am actually very excited hoping he does fall asleep on his own. And Chetna- We read stories everynight while he is laying in bed. And I scratch his head or play with his ears. The locking the door thing is not permanent, it is just to teach him tht he can't sleep with mommy. He took advantage of that. Esp when he got in his big boy bed (bc mommy accidentally fell asleep in it with him a few times). So I am just trying to get him to learn to sleep through the whole night and he is getting better.
Well thanks everyone for all of the help!! I will keep y'all updated if he actually falls asleep on his own and it continues! =)

Chetna - posted on 02/08/2011

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I think you should pamper him, make him listen to some bed-time stories while you read them for him, love him as much as you can so that he doesnt have a feeling of being ignored. Toddlers of this age usually start getting disturbed sleep only if they have gone through something bad during the entire day. You need to keep alot of patience to do this and one day you will realise your world has changed. He will take his time to adapt this habit of sleeping alone but please dont lock your door cause even if you get a bad dream , you want to be hugged. Please care to understand your baby's feeling too.

Kristy - posted on 02/04/2011

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My sons door does noot shut properly either so the locking the door thing didnt work for numerous reasons, they are just boys and very clinging, some nights my son goes down easy, some I just sit in their for a while and some I stroke his head still and sing and he will always sneak into bed with me early in the morning for a cuddle.

Kami - posted on 02/04/2011

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Yes I've tried the same thing with the door. I turned it around but his door doesnt shut all the way he just has to push it and it is opens.

Kristy - posted on 02/04/2011

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P.S Krystal I didnt mean to say what you said was wronge, just didnt work for me but I had a new born at the time of trying it and was very tired.

Kristy - posted on 02/04/2011

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I tried the obove on my 2 year old and it was way too distressing for me, It worked on 6 week old and she is fine now 8 months. They say letting them cry doesnt work on toddlers. I rang a parent help line and found the information they gave me was so helpful.

[deleted account]

i understnad that its hard fr you to hear him cry but hes not hurt so you gotta let him cry. if you dont break this bad habit now it will be you with the 6 year old who still needs to be soothed to sleep. have you tried locking his door? i had to do this with my daughter. we turned the door knob around so that the lock was on the outside. i would put her to bed and then leave and lock the door. she would scream and wail and knock on the door to get out but eventually she fell asleep on her own and as soon as she did i would unlock the door. now if she wakes up in the middle of the night she still thinks the door is locked and will knock for me to come. i only come if she says shes gotta go potty. other than that i stay in bed and she goes back to sleep. you are not helping your child at all by keeping up with this behavior, you gotta stay strong and dont let your kid be the parent. you are the parent and you set the rules

Kristy - posted on 02/04/2011

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Yep the camping out effect is the best, it really works but take it from me, do not miss one night of doing it or or have to start over again. Start with reading him a book, not on his bed but next to it on a chair or matress, stay until he is asleep all the while comforting him with soothing words, each night move the chair closer to the door, eventually you will be out the door. Good luck

Kami - posted on 02/03/2011

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Ya I kind of wish I didn't get rid of my son's crib bc that would prob kind of help me break the habit. But since he is in a toddler bed he can just get up without me. And all the child cares that I have spoke with, I asked about that and they said they have people who sit with them until they sleep. You might be able to find one like that in your area.

[deleted account]

I was afraid that my son would get into the habit of being held to sleep or someone with him so we would let him cry for about 10 mins and we would go in and tell him everything was ok and put him back down. He is able to be put to bed with out a fit. But he is still in a crib so going from that to a toddler bed will be interesting. If you find a good way for naps at day care could you let me know :)

Kami - posted on 02/01/2011

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Ashley-Yes he has a good routine we eat and if theres time he will watch his movie or we will play. Then he takes his bath and brush his teeth. If my bf is home he tells him goodnight and we're off to bed. I'll read him a few books and then get him to go to sleep. And with me locking my door, he can't open my doors. I have some kind of child proof thing where he cant open them. Even some grown people don't know how to open it lol. But we have a deadbolt which he can't reach and a latch at the top of the door. He just gets up and if he can't get into my room he just gets on the couch. And ya I don't know how to fix it either. Its hard when Im trying to clean or cook. The only thing is he loves to help cook and clean. Can't complain about that. lol. But as for him wanting me to do things with him, I will sit and play or color for a bit then I get up and tell him I will play later. Its hard though bc I can't even go the bathroom alone.

Ashley - posted on 02/01/2011

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hey kami........... i have that same prob with my kid where he wont do anything without me...........he wont play in his room without me or eat withotu me there or anything....... unless im at work then hes an angel for everyone else. i just dont know how to fix it

Ashley - posted on 02/01/2011

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i agree with kim, the routine is important. i do the same thing with my (almost 2yr old) say goodnight to everyone kiss them brush his teeth bathroom then bed. as soon as i say nite nite he does everything without me even asking i just follow to supervise.

i wouldnt lock your door, just becuase that worries me. my fiances brother locked his door at night and his 3 year old walked out of the house with the dog and was at a neighbors. thats something i wouldnt do. but if he keeps getting up keep putting him back down he eventually WILL give up and get tired. you will have to do it a few more times untill he gets the point, that your not coming to lay with him. :)

Kami - posted on 02/01/2011

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Thanks Becky. I will start trying that tonight. Hopefully it works. My nephew just turned 6 and my sister still has to sit with him so I really want to break this habit as soon as I can. Esp bc he is about to start daycare in a few days and it's going to be hard for him to take a nap without me. But maybe the daycare will kinda help. Who knows.

[deleted account]

lol, i should have read the other comments first, I just read someone had the same idea but but it in better detail. I hope you find a way and that both you and him are able to sleep well

[deleted account]

I saw this idea from TV. Start close to him and each night get a little farther away until you are out of the room.

Kami - posted on 02/01/2011

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Yes he takes a nap between 1230 and 130.. I've tried it a few times but he is cranky without a nap and it's hard to go places in the evening bc he starts trying to fall asleep in the truck. But even then I still have to sit with him but it just doesn't take as long. lol. But yes a routine is very important. We have a good routine that he follows.

Erin - posted on 02/01/2011

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Does he nap? if so try having him not nap. And a bed time routine is important.

Kami - posted on 02/01/2011

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Thanks Erin. I have tried that too but after doing it repeatedly I would give up. I am going to try it again. And I understand bc my sons bedtime is 830 so from then until my bf gets home from work is my "me" time.

Kami - posted on 02/01/2011

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I've tried to let him watch one of his movies in his room to go to sleep but it didn't really work. He has a thing where he wont play in his room unless Im sitting there with him. And same with movies in his room. But i've been thinking about trying it again I just don't want him to get use to watchin tv to go to sleep, you know?

Jo - posted on 02/01/2011

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Thanks Kami I know I had that problem though with my oldest son when he was little too. Do you let your child watch TV at night Kami?

Kami - posted on 02/01/2011

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Thanks all of you.
@Kim-Yes It is part of the job, but also part of being a mother means to teach your child to be independent. And I understand it sounds a little mean for me to lock my door, but ever since I started doing it he quit getting up every couple hours. He gets a full nights rest and isnt as cranky in the morning. I hear him everytime he gets up so I know that everything is fine. Nd after he goes back to sleep I go and check on him to make sure he is covered up and everything. We do have a routine that he is on and he always knows when its bedtime. He doesnt try to fight it unless he is playing with my bf. Other than that its fine he just wants me to sit with him and sometimes have to rock him. Its not that I don't enjoy it bc I do. But sometimes I have a lot of things to do around the house before I can go to bed myself so it would be a little helpful if he would fall asleep on his own.
Heba- I understand. It is very tiring. I've tried sitting outside his door and letting him know Im just outside his door. I tell him everything is fine mommy wont leave you. Mommy's right here. But he will scream and and come out his room. I've tried all kinds of things but he just wont do it and I can't stand to hear him crying so much. Guess thats why I put up with sitting with him. And nap time is worse bc he will wake up 30 mins after i walked out and wont go back to sleep. I hope everything works out with your son too!
@ Jo- I'm sorry to hear that. Its good thought that even though he is in your room that he is in his own bed. That was a hard habit for us to break. I hope everything goes well with his surgeries.

Jo - posted on 02/01/2011

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I can't really say anything mine sleeps in my bedroom in his own bed but I have a good reason for that to and that is because i am scared with his breathing and all that since he has had 2 surgeries and another on the way. And plus I sit with my kid on the couch until he falls asleep and then a little while after i put him in his bed.

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