18 Month old will not sleep in crib!

Gloria - posted on 09/09/2009 ( 27 moms have responded )

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Kaitlyn has always been a good sleeper (usually most or all night) in her crib. She has gone through phases where it had been rough at night (usually a change in development like standing and can't sit down etc). In the last month of summer she has ended up sleeping with me because she would cry and wake her sister up (they sleep in same room...she is 4). A few days we had gone on vacation so she ended up sleeping with me and my other daughter. I feel Kaitlyn has always slept better and longer by herself in her crib. She does not seem to sleep that well with me. The last three nights, Kaitlyn would cry and cry (like throwing a fit) until I would get her. She will go down to bed at 8 but between 12-3 she would end up with me so I could get to sleep.....I have sat with her in the rocker for an hour and put her in crib and she would scream. She will sleep in her crib fine for a nap......My question...should I keep trying and hope the phase will pass (I do not have the option of splitting the girls up in seperate bedrooms) or maybe get out the toddler bed and put a baby gate up at night so she does not wander the house....then she just might stand at the gate screaming! Any suggestions would be appreciated (My older daughter ended up sleeping with me from baby to 3 years....don't want that again)

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Bonnie - posted on 09/10/2009

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well this is coming from a gramma of 8 grandsons and 4 children,first things first what happens in the first two years is suppose to be what affects you child for the rest of their life,and she is only 18 months so only 6 months to go.[1] is she cutting her 2 year moulders ,and if so may just need some luv. [2] some chilren handle crying differently than others,some can do it others puk and so forth so it depends on your baby . [3] for a while you could try a playpen in your room maybe she needs to be close enough to see you. when she goes to sleep in your bed then put her in playpen. [4] the thing with putting them to bed to cry your taking away from the good things of bedtime .[5 ] make sure they get out doors for fresh air as that is the best thing to make them sleep, and by the way you did it with the first you will do fine with the second,and also dont be in such a hurry to grow them up ,because one day you will ache for the good old days,because every year they need you less,but they will always love ya ,take care and follow your heart,nanny t.

Jodi - posted on 09/11/2009

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I agree with Bonnie! I know it seems like forever right now but in a couple of years you know she won't be sleeping with you.18 months is a huge developmental stage and your child just might need you more right now. I don't think letting her cry is the only (or best)solution. Have you read the No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers? It was written by Elizabeth Pantley and has TONS of ideas on how to get your child to sleep and keep them sleeping, no matter where it is at. My daughter is 17 mo old and we have used Pantley's sleep books for infants and toddlers. She is great! Lots of ideas for breastfed and not breastfed babies, babies who cosleep and those who don't. Just remember you are her mom and if you truly feel in your heart that she needs to be in your bed then that is where she should be! Good luck!!!

Donna - posted on 09/11/2009

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Hi Gloria,

when my son was 12 months old he did the same. He screamed all night.... i figured that yes he did want me with him but he also felt trapped. I bought him a car bed. for a girl and on a budget you can even get a trundle bed. the first few weeks i had to sleep with him so he could be comfortable with his surrounding and then eventually i just sat next to him till he was almost asleep.... and now i just put him to bed. Do you have a routine before bed? that always helps. my sone is 19mths now and he takes me to tuck him into bed rather than me fighting him to go to bed. make sleeping a ositive thing rather than something she dreads everynight. Hope that helps

Amanda - posted on 09/10/2009

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One other thing - does she have regular ear infections? My son just got tubes and seems to be sleeping better. He had fluid in his ears they couldn't get rid of and I believe it caused pressure when he laid down so when he woke up he was uncomfortable.

Amanda - posted on 09/10/2009

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If she is not climbing out of the crib I would not rush to put her in a toddler bed. I also would try the few minutes thing. Let her cry for a few min 2 or so then go in and calm her down but put her down before she is asleep. Also I have children of the same ages. I had this trouble at bed time with my little boy and also some thru the night. There were a few nights that I picked up my 4 year old and put her in my bed so she could go back to sleep while I worked with my little boy. It was exhausting but after a few nights he was doing a lot better.

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Bernie - posted on 06/24/2013

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my 18month old wont sleep in his cot since our vacation where he slept in the bed with us, he was fine the first week home but now he wont take a nap in the cot, he start to cry and scream before you put him in. Cried one day for 2 hours and slept half an hour. At night the same thing, he could be falling asleep in your arms and when you put him down he starts to scream and cry and this could go on for 2 hours before falling asleep. He used to sleep fine until this. Any idea's to why or how to get him to sleep as now he is getting over tired? Love some answers?

Heather - posted on 09/11/2009

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I really know how you feel because I have had similiar issues with my son. He was never a good sleeper and i tried for 5 months to let him cry it out and after colic, I just couldn't hear the screaming anymore. I finally started rocking him to sleep and placing him very carefully in his crib but eventually, he got too big and then I was chasing him and wrestling him. I said, "enough is a enough" around 18 months. We decided to create new sleep associations in his room so when he didn't know, we re-arranged his room and placed two new stuffed animals in his crib:Elmo and Abby from Sesame Street because he loves them. We gave him a bath, read him a bunch of books, sang a few songs, and then placed him in his crib (which was in a new location in his room) with a new Elmo blanket and his new stuffed toys. He cried for a few hours and then woke up again later in the night. It took about a week of this but we kept him in the crib and didn't go in. It was SO HARD. Now, he happily goes to bed (and we don't stray from the routine). You will have some sleepless nights at first, but the hard work pays off in the end. Now, my son is more indenpendent. He talks and plays in his crib and seriously, when I get him down, it is so easy, that I don't know what to do with myself afterwards. Good luck to you. I know all too well how hard this is. I do think my son grew from the experience; he is more independent and confident being alone. You might want to seperate the two kiddos while one is adjusting to the crib--so the other can sleep. Good luck!

Stephanie - posted on 09/11/2009

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I highly recommend reading the Baby Whisperer. I think you will find a lot of answers you are seeking regarding sleeping. This book saved my life when my daughter was young and having sleep issues.

Johanna - posted on 09/10/2009

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I'm gona read all the posts for this... i have a 5 yr old and a 2 yr old my 4th and 5th of the 5 kids i have all girls by the way... i just keep taking them and putting them back in their own bed, my 5 yr old has stopped, but could be cuz my 2 yr old beat her to my bed... my 5 yr old was ok with being put back in her bed, she'd just come back later... mow my 2 yr old is opposite... she crys and wants me to sit with her it work once... i didnt have to sit long n she was back asleep... so i'm open to suggestions as well...hope it helps

Priscilla - posted on 09/10/2009

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Well, I hear you. I suggest getting the toddler bed. W/ A gate. Make sure it is a strong one. My kids climbed over it.yes. Shook it enough that it came crashing down.yes.
I too, have shared bedrooms. I have 2 girls & 2 boys. My youngest 3 oldest 8. Just use ear plugs. I let the sibling sleep in my bed then When I was ready to crash myself I brought him/her back in their room. This way the other still ended up in their own bed.It is hard for the older one. But it is the age. Trying to lay down the law showing you are in control. Just be strong and stay with what ever you try for a few weeks. Change can set things off as well. My 3 yrld. slept in a toddler ony for 3 nights tops. He wanted the bunk bed. There I have it. But he does come to me. I mostly do bring him back in to his bed, but at times I am just to wiped. (my husband is a trucker. Not home much) So, He does sleep w/ me time to time. they all do. He still wakes up 4 out of 7 nights. (He just wants his way.) I listen to the cry for a bit and he stops. I even lock my door he always goes back then. The baby monitor is a heaven sent at age 8 even. never get rid of it.
Priscilla

Kelly - posted on 09/10/2009

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Babies are babies. maybe she needs a night light. My niece need a light that shined on the ceiling (animalzoos.com) and it helped to give some comfort! I got one for my son, it puts stars on the ceiling in different colors (blue,green, and orange) !

Jo - posted on 09/10/2009

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If this was me here is what I would do....I would put aside a week and prepare myself for little or no sleep. i.e get someone to come and stay for a week to help during the day when you will be tired and will probably be less patient lol and also to help out at night with your eldest(unless it's possible to send your eldest to stay somewhere else for the week??). Then when she wakes in the night I would go to her. I would pick her up and give her a cuddle and with a firm but quiet voice and with no conversation I would put her back down again and say a phrase like " it' sleepy time and this is your special bed". Then I would tuck her in firmly and Leave. If she starts to cry and throw a fit I would return after 2 minutes(unless she started to get hysterical in which case make it sooner). I would pick her up and when she stops crying put her straight back down and repeat the phrase. You may have to do this over and over again but she will eventually get the message. It will probably take you 3 nights and then she should be ok. Also by the 2nd night you will probably not have to go in as much or for as long. Most importantly though I would never leave her to cry it out as this would add to her insecurity even more and she will want you more. The aim of the game here is to get her feeling comfortable in her own room but also for her to feel that if she needs you, you will come. The 1st night it is imperative that you don't give in or else it will become harder and harder each time. So only do this if you are absolutely ready for having little to no sleep for the first night. I hope this helps!!

Stephanie - posted on 09/10/2009

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get out that toddler bed.i had the same problem with my son and he ended up sleeping in bed with me until age 5. noooo fun. i just started a good bed time routine by singing certain songs and eventually when he did wake up i sand the same songs. it is very very tiring and very frusterating but it will pass. i prommise. and even though ur tired and frusterated u will be more tired and frusterated when shes alot older and still sleepin with you. good luck hon i know this is a huge challenge and we r here for ya!

Candace - posted on 09/10/2009

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My oldest loved to sleep in our bed. When he was about 18 months I was trying to get pregnant again and knew there would not be room for him very much longer. We changed him to only having a pacifer in his bed (he couldn't have it in ours) and quickly changed him to a toddler bed (I was worried about him crimbing out of the crib anyway). After his brother was born he wanted to sleep in our room again but I didn't want him in our bed with the baby so we put the extra crib mattress on the floor in our room. This inadvertanty trained him to sleep on the floor if he wanted to be in our room. Now he rarely wants to sleep with us. If you do want to try letting her cry it out (tough but effective) I'd suggest finding someplace else for your older girl to sleep for a few nights like your room or the sofa--make it a special treat not an eviction--or you'll have 2 grumpy kids in the morning. Good Luck!

Daniella - posted on 09/09/2009

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My daughter Nina will be 2 in October, she will no longer stay in her crib at night... caughter her twice climbing out. We turned her crib into the daybed, first 2 nights were good, then last night she came into my room and slept with me. Still very new and not sure what to do either..... don't look forward to the sleepless nights!!!!...NOW IT'S 6 MONTHS LATER AND SHE STILL COMES IN MY BED EVERY NIGHT, EXCEPT FOR LAST NIGHT AND SHE WANTS TO SLEEP WITH TV AND LIGHT ON.

Gloria - posted on 09/09/2009

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Thank you all for your tips and advice. I do have a rigid bedtime routine and have had the same one since my son was a baby (he is now 7). Dinner, play, bath, story time. Bedtime is always 8 p.m. She goes to sleep fine. She has slept all night for a long time. Just recently she started waking up between 1-3 am (not every night). She naps 1-2 hrs (I put her in crib wide awake and she sleeps fine ) 12-2 and does get exercise....I think it has to do with her development. I will try toddler bed with gate up but door closed. Her sister may have to sleep in the playroom for a while.

[deleted account]

Quoting Dawn:

I agree with Faye. You are delaying on getting her to sleep in her own bed. She knows what buttons to push to get in your bed. If you have a crip that can convert to a toddler's bed go and do that, I just did with my 16m and she is loving it. If not take out the mattress and put it on the floor. So then she can't fall very far. You also during this all this will want to take your 4yr old out of the room. If you can put her in your room temp. This way she can get some sleep. I think also might be the problem is you have the baby gate in stead of shutting the door. She can see and hear anything that is going on and her crying is louder. I would just have the door shut. Just make sure she has a night light that she can't remove in her room. It can take from 2 days to 3 weeks before she is finally going to bed. Also, I found with my first born, who we co-sleeped with until 1yr, he took the longest. 3 weeks, and going in every 5-15 mins didn't work well with him. We just cold turkey and let him cry himself to sleep. It was hard but now he goes to bed at bed time 8pm. (also have bath time be right before bedtime) Good luck. I know how hard it can be.


I agree with this, sometimes going in and checking on them makes it worse, it did with our daughter.  Try the interval checking method but if the crying gets worse then just stop and realize that they will go to sleep eventually.  They just want you and they dont need it.  I suggest a very ridged routine.  That is what helped my daughter.  She knows now right after bath that she says Night Night and goes to bed.  they may cry a little in the middle of the night or before they fall asleep but it is easier to let them self soothe cause otherwise they will be stuck on you for a long long time.



I also coslept till my daughter was 13 months so It can be hard.  For us we moved and with the new house we started the new routine and the first week she wimpered a bit but now she just goes to sleep no problem.  Maybe move your 4 year old into your room or another room for a bit (temporarly)  then sleep train your daughter and get a routine going, Like Story, Bath, Bed!  Then just follow that every night.  also I agree with closing the door.  I mean if they are crying bad enough you will hear them.  keeping it open will just make it harder for her to fall asleep and stay asleep.  I wish you luck and patience.  It is rough but really it is worth it.

Magen - posted on 09/09/2009

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I agree with everybody, your best bet is to let them cry. I do suggest you try to make the first couple of nights on a weekend so no one will be exhausted at work or whatever after a long night of little sleep. My son was also a great sleeper for the most part but he would also go through these phases (usually around a growth spurt or something) they do have to learn that you are serious and that they will be fine in their own bed. You must be strong however because everytime you give up and put her in bed with you you are just telling her that if she crys long enough you will give in. As long as you know she is not hurt and is just crying you have to let her cry. I do agree that routines help, with my little one it is pee, brush your teeth, story and sleep. For him bath time didn't work before bed time because he loves baths and they get him excited. I hope that you take everyones advice I know it will be hard but remember you are NOT alone. We have been there too and we know that these techniques work.

Amber - posted on 09/09/2009

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My Kids do it sometimes to. Wehave found that it was the night light that we were using. It was a little fishtank that hangs on the wall and the characters move. We figured it would be reminesent of their mobile from the crib. However it did more harm then good. A regular night light is in their room now and they sleep from 8 to 7:30 with no problems. My son will be turning three next month and my daughter is almost 2.

Jessica - posted on 09/09/2009

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I would have to agree when my daughter pulled that I found the more I went and go her the more she wanted to sleep with mom and dad. I know it's hard but I had to just let her cry it out. She is now in a toddler bed and loves it. She is 18 months also. After she learned that mom was not gonna get her she started sleeping through the night and now she only crys if she really needs something like a diaper change and then she just goes right back to sleep. I know it will work out for you. Good luck.

[deleted account]

Quoting Dawn:

I agree with Faye. You are delaying on getting her to sleep in her own bed. She knows what buttons to push to get in your bed. If you have a crip that can convert to a toddler's bed go and do that, I just did with my 16m and she is loving it. If not take out the mattress and put it on the floor. So then she can't fall very far. You also during this all this will want to take your 4yr old out of the room. If you can put her in your room temp. This way she can get some sleep. I think also might be the problem is you have the baby gate in stead of shutting the door. She can see and hear anything that is going on and her crying is louder. I would just have the door shut. Just make sure she has a night light that she can't remove in her room. It can take from 2 days to 3 weeks before she is finally going to bed. Also, I found with my first born, who we co-sleeped with until 1yr, he took the longest. 3 weeks, and going in every 5-15 mins didn't work well with him. We just cold turkey and let him cry himself to sleep. It was hard but now he goes to bed at bed time 8pm. (also have bath time be right before bedtime) Good luck. I know how hard it can be.


I agree with this, sometimes going in and checking on them makes it worse, it did with our daughter.  Try the interval checking method but if the crying gets worse then just stop and realize that they will go to sleep eventually.  They just want you and they dont need it.  I suggest a very ridged routine.  That is what helped my daughter.  She knows now right after bath that she says Night Night and goes to bed.  they may cry a little in the middle of the night or before they fall asleep but it is easier to let them self soothe cause otherwise they will be stuck on you for a long long time.



I also coslept till my daughter was 13 months so It can be hard.  For us we moved and with the new house we started the new routine and the first week she wimpered a bit but now she just goes to sleep no problem.  Maybe move your 4 year old into your room or another room for a bit (temporarly)  then sleep train your daughter and get a routine going, Like Story, Bath, Bed!  Then just follow that every night.  also I agree with closing the door.  I mean if they are crying bad enough you will hear them.  keeping it open will just make it harder for her to fall asleep and stay asleep.  I wish you luck and patience.  It is rough but really it is worth it.

Cathralynn - posted on 09/09/2009

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I think you need to set up a routine and let her cry. I know it sounds harsh, but she has to learn there is a set way you want her to sleep and that crying won't change it. I understand she shares a room with her sister, can you set this up on a long weekend and let her sister spend nights somewhere else? Make it a treat for the sister. Or let the sister slumber in your room or the living room for a treat one weekend? It doesn't haver to be in your bed, it can be a party on the floor. And then set up a good routine for the baby and stick to it. When she wakes just rub her back or whatever you do but don't pick her up and then let her cry. She will learn she needs to stay put, and this will be easier in a crib. I'd want my baby to have a good sleeping pattern established before swithching to a toddler bed. This change should only take a few days and then hopefully sis can go back to sleep like normal too, its easier, I think, for a four year old to adjust than a baby. As long as it doesn't seem she's in trouble. Hope this helps.

Dawn - posted on 09/09/2009

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I agree with Faye. You are delaying on getting her to sleep in her own bed. She knows what buttons to push to get in your bed. If you have a crip that can convert to a toddler's bed go and do that, I just did with my 16m and she is loving it. If not take out the mattress and put it on the floor. So then she can't fall very far. You also during this all this will want to take your 4yr old out of the room. If you can put her in your room temp. This way she can get some sleep. I think also might be the problem is you have the baby gate in stead of shutting the door. She can see and hear anything that is going on and her crying is louder. I would just have the door shut. Just make sure she has a night light that she can't remove in her room. It can take from 2 days to 3 weeks before she is finally going to bed. Also, I found with my first born, who we co-sleeped with until 1yr, he took the longest. 3 weeks, and going in every 5-15 mins didn't work well with him. We just cold turkey and let him cry himself to sleep. It was hard but now he goes to bed at bed time 8pm. (also have bath time be right before bedtime) Good luck. I know how hard it can be.

Gayle - posted on 09/09/2009

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try getting a small toddlers bed. or if you can't do that make aplace for her beside your bed on the floor. and let her slept there.

Faye - posted on 09/09/2009

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For starters stop putting her in with you this is the biggest mistake you could have made, I understand you are tired sweetie but the more you put her there the more she will do this.
Secondly Get the toddler bed up get rid of the crib, but unlike what Brenda has said Do not under any circumstance make a big deal out of it....
Childre ncry because they either need or want something in this case she wants your attention, there is nothing wrong with her therefore you need to leave her to cry, try the 5 minite option, put her to bed, say goodnight, turn out the light, leave her for 5 minites, if she cries go back in after 5 minites and do the same thing again, dont make a fuss of her she will only get straight back up, as she starts to get quieter (which may take a while) leave the time you go back in longer say 10 minites go through the same routine.
My son is coming up for 3 and he has been in a normal bed for 2 years as he was climbing out of his crib all the time, he took a week of this technique and then he went to sleep fine. please try not to give her milk try water instead otherwise it will change her into wanting milk at silly oclock at night. Most of all have patience and good luck.

Sam - posted on 09/09/2009

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i have/had the same problem with my son. he use to sleep in his crib as long as he was in the same room as me and his dad. then he got sick ever since he wanted to sleep with us in the bed. then i made him sleep in his bed even if he woke up @ 3am. it took a while and a lot of patience he started sleeping in his bed in our room all night. but hes starting up again. i would lay her down and rub her back or head untill she fell alseep and mention its ok mommy is right here jus go to sleep ok? good luck!!!

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