How do I get my 11 month old son to just go to sleep. He keeps pulling himself up in his crib and cries! What should I do?

Sara - posted on 12/02/2008 ( 34 moms have responded )

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Sometimes he cries so hard that he gags, and he can cry forever! I usually will wait a little bit, then will go in and lay him back down. But that makes him cry harder and usually longer! What should I do? I feel so bad!!!

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Allison - posted on 12/02/2008

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I am going through the same thing! Except usually my 8 month old will GO to sleep - he just wakes up at all hours of the night - once maybe twice. Letting him cry does not work. He goes crazy. He also goes nuts when we even go in there - so "ssshhing" and patting does not work either. Sometime he calms down when we pick him up, other times he calms down. I am going to try that book. It might be teething because he is getting him 6th and 7th tooth right now!

Stacy - posted on 12/03/2008

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There are a number of helpful sites and books which use gentle and effective methods that should make both of you a lot happier. If something doesn't feel right for you then it isn't. Keep trying new things and you'll find what is best for you.



The Baby Book and the Baby Sleep Book both from the Sears Library as well as this link: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070300... - I've also heard good things about the No-Cry Sleep Solution.



I just follow my gut, never a pediatrician or anyone's advice. If it feels right, it is right.

Renee - posted on 12/02/2008

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Have you been to the Dr. and asked. I may be something simple such as an allergy. I know that the first most Dr. will say is that they are spoiled and they know that you will come. I have been there and done that too. My kids don't cry as much except my 2 yr old still does but it is getting better. We have just taken out 3 youngest of wheat so they will be following the gluten free diet. Maybe you son is having tummy aches at night or reflux? Good luck

Rebecca - posted on 12/02/2008

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my first was so easy. my second, is a boy, and he would do this too. I had tried letting him cry to sleep for 4 days on two separate occassions without any luck. I promised my husband and the pediatrician to try one last time and not go in at all. I cheated and only went in at of after 4am to nurse and lay him back down. miracle of miracles after 4 very painful nights, he was only waking up at 4am and then 1 week later only at 6am. he still wakes up occassionally, like last night, and sometimes i forget and go in to nurse and each time the next night is hard, but if i don't go in, he honestly goes back to sleep again. I wish it had been that easy the first time, but third times the charm. so maybe you guy hasn't been ready yet

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Myia - posted on 02/05/2012

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idk im dealing with the same thing my son donald hes 11 months turning a year on march 11tth and he doesnt like to go to bed or take naps. so watever helpful tips you have can u share with me cuz i have non either

Friskie - posted on 12/03/2008

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I have head that to make a habit it take doing it more than two times,, to break a habit it takes not doing it 5-7 times.. start a routine, with a soothing bath, then maybe a story, then soft music ,,, if you can do this maybe 5-7 times it might be worth the head ache. dont give up, and remember all kids are differnt and none of then came with an instructional manual...Its frusterating I KNOW... may god streathen u .

Stephanie - posted on 12/03/2008

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The crying out method is a give or take method by the time they are that old. Your child is definately going through a phase and he has gotten into a bad habit of waking up when he does. I would let the child cry but only for 5 minute interval, go abck in, put him down, go out, wait 5 minutes, go back in and put him down until he stays down and falls asleep. You mustn't establish any eye contact nor say anything except maybe a shhhhh, time for bed. After a few nights of this, it should take him less and les time to put him back to sleep and eventually he shouldn't wake up at that time anymor.... or at least that's the plan. Hope this helps and good luck! Oh, I had problems with my son as well and we found out that he was clostraphobic in his crib and he stopped crying and waking up when we put him in a paly pen thingy!

Rebecca - posted on 12/03/2008

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like jessica thompson my daughter usually ends up in bed with me and my partner or i can be up and down anywhere between 5 and 15 times in the night. and i have to be up bright eyed in the morning as i have to take my son to school. we have tried to let her cry but she screams and gets louder and louder until we actually give in and go into her. its getting exhausting. i have even wandered whether i am to blame as the same thing happened with my son. right up to the age of 5 years he was often in bed with me.

[deleted account]

My youngest daughter started doing the same thing at about 10 months. One night she feel asleep holding on the rails of the crib. The next night I figured neither her nor me could handle that again so I put a large but thin foamy on the floor instead, did our regular routine and then laid her down on the foamy, shut the door, and laid down beside her and she was asleep in minutes with no crying. She soon was not needing me to even lie beside her. A couple of weeks later we went to my parents house and I put her in the moms play pen and the same thing happened. I put the playpen mattress on the floor laid her down and she was asleep in minutes. It may not work for but don't give up hope.....you will find out what works for you and him....some of our kids just make us work harder at finding a solution to a problem :)

Jessica - posted on 12/03/2008

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Ok, I have to admit it, my son just sleeps with me. From the beginning he wasn't going to bed until 4am, so if I didn't, neither of us would have gotten any rest. Around 9-10 mo. I started putting him in his crib after he fell asleep because he was rolling so much. Now at 15 months, as soon as I even get close to the crib he wakes abruptly. So off to mom's bed he goes...it seems to calm him (even if I'm not next to him).

Shellie - posted on 12/02/2008

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Sara, I just got done going through that phase with my daughter. My personal feelings are that children develop insecurities when they feel left or aren't attended too as babies. They get to where they won't let anyone else hold them because they don't know if you're going to come back for them like at night with the cry it out methods. I'm ant-cry it out. At this age they are just old enough to realize what's going on about how to go to sleep and how it all works. I think they get scared of being alone and in the dark. I just always fed my baby and then set her in her crib standing or sitting down and told her night, night. Then she'd see me sit there in the dark on the rocking chair and wait. Knowing I was there she laid right down and slept and then I left. My three kids have all been the same way. They just trust that I will always be there when they need me. I get up at night if they cry, but only to pick them up, love them with a good hug, tell them it's okay, and then lay them back down with a little rub on the head or back. I don't ever linger too long. If babies get scared to be left during the day, it's just the same at night. You just have to realize this is such a short time of your life, a small sacrifice really, to be able to develop your childs self esteem and trust towards you. None of my kids are scared of anything now because they know that all they have to do is look at me and I will never leave them or lead them astray. I don't know, that's what's worked for me. Good luck. Every child is different.

Jessica - posted on 12/02/2008

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You have a lot of recommendations but here's another:

My 18 month old would wake up for 2-3 hours sometimes for no reason and cry and we were sleeping on his floor, awake all night. It was terrible. I was totally against the "cry it out" method until I got the book: "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" Richard Ferber, M.D. and decided to just give it a try. I figured at least if it didn't work I could cancel that plan out...

I read it first, then followed the plan. And it worked 100% in about 4 days. Not all childres are the same or will sleep perfeclty but I would at least read it and give it a try...

Good luck. I know it's hard.

Heidi - posted on 12/02/2008

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We put my daughters crib matress on the floor. When we go to bed, she gets on her matress and I get on the palet of blankets beside her matress. I wait until she falls asleep, then I go to sleep in my bed. It was hard at first, and my husband and I had to traid off nights sleeping in the floor all night, because she would get up several times and come to our bedroom. She is now able to sleep all night.

Kelly - posted on 12/02/2008

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When my daughter was younger I used the cry it out method. It took a few days but now she goes to sleep all by herself. It was hard but well worth it. I put her in her crib when i knew she was tired and if she cried I would go in and not pick her up but rub her back to let her know i was still there. The book i read reccomended boin in every 10 mins or so. After about 30 mins she was out, and when she woke up, i was there. She is now 18mos and doing great. Hope this helps. Good luck!

User - posted on 12/02/2008

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I agree with the people who suggest checking for a food allergy--a sign that something might be wrong is if he wakes up from a deep sleep screaming and acting like he is in pain. My doctor kept telling me that my son was just spoiled, but it ended up he had a milk allergy that caused constipation...and the poor guy was waking up in pain. I knew that all along, and I wished I had trusted my instinct.

Josephine - posted on 12/02/2008

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Sorry Sara, Jo again. I hadnt read your additional post. It sounds to me like he is waking up because of some discomfort. Could he be cold at all or too hot? It still could be a food problem. Is he eating something that he never used to eat? (he most probably is at his age). for example; have you stopped breast feeding and introduced cows milk? Anyway, main issue is, he has a problem and finding out what it is, is the only solution. i wish you well. Mothering is such hard work! All the best, Jo.

Josephine - posted on 12/02/2008

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Hi Sara, i had a similar problem with my son. I ended up having to take him off cows milk formula and change to soy formula. He was very hyperactive and cried a lot on the cows milk and he was a changed baby on the soy. I dont know if you're breast feeding or not but if you are then obviously it wouldnt be an allergy to cows milk. In this case, i suggest that he needs to do more during the day to tire him out. Are you getting him up nice and early in the morning?...say around 7am or earlier? Some babies need a longer waking day than others. I have 3 boys, aged 18, 16 and 4 years and in my experience, it is absolutely not necessary to leave your baby crying for ages as has been recommended to you. He is obviously distressed. So the first thing to do is ensure he is tired and not overtired. Read him a story, a good long one, explaining to him that when the story is over, it is time to go to sleep. Tell him this firmly before you start and try to get him to agree to it if possible. Babies are smarter than we give them credit for, i believe. But dont let your baby cry excessively, its distressing for him and you! I hope this has been helpful (and not too long winded), lol. All the best, Jo.

Rebecca - posted on 12/02/2008

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i need advice on that problem too. no matter how long me and my partner leave our daughter to cry she just gets louder and louder and as i have a 7 year old son dont feel like we can leave hr for too long as it wakes him and he has school. it also makes me feel really bad as she cries so much she ends up holding her breath and when we do give in she really sobs onto our shoulders

Tina - posted on 12/02/2008

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I read a late issue of Ladie's Home Journal about the soothing effects of water. Water is a stress reducer whether you swim, soak, or drink it. The article mentioned buying a CD with the sounds of water because our minds like that repeated sound, that's why we find the rythm of the ocean or rain soothing. I find that a small blowing fan helped my kids. So try a water CD and a small fan that rotates set it on low and play the CD. Having a night-light on helps too. Good Luck!

Nancy - posted on 12/02/2008

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the baby whisper book is good. I also give my son a bath and use the lavender Johnson & Johnson soap it works pretty good but I have to admit I do rock him for about five minutes before bed and we also have this little gadget that clips to the bed and vibrates it that helps him sleep

Heather - posted on 12/02/2008

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Out of four children I only had one that was easy. I had to teach them to put them selves to sleep. I would put them to bed,give them a blanket/toy and say night night and leave the room. If they cried I would go in evry 1/2 hour and lay them back down cover them up and say night night and leave again. Be prepared for a couple nights of no sleep but it will be worth it when he will lay down and sleep all night alone. I have a "noise maker in all of my kids rooms. It is a white noise that really helps.Good luck!

Liz - posted on 12/02/2008

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Each time you go in that reinforces the behavior, he cries you come. It's the same with my daughter too it really it becomes a battle of wills. Who can stand it the longest? Remember so long as he is safe, he is fine. Best thing is to get into a bedtime routine (eg. bath, bedtime story, lights out). It's hard at first but soon enough he'll catch on. Just keep consistent. It took my daughter about a week to get used to it.

Susanne - posted on 12/02/2008

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I have this little light that attaches to the crib, I taught my son how to turn it on (it shuts off after 15min) and now hes ok with being left in his bed, 'cause he knows how to turn the light on if he wants it. Also solved our waking up at night problem. I went with the sit in the room in the dark method, just out of his vision so that he could hear me breathing but not really see me. Did that for a week. Then I started putting on music so that he couldn't hear me breath but I could speak up if he started crying, another week. The next week, I snuck out of the room and he never noticed, haven't had to go back in since. I couldn't stand listening to him cry, so I had to come up with something that worked for us. Every parent and child is different and you have to think about what will work for you and your son without leaving you or him feeling miserable! Don't do anything that makes you uncomfortable, no matter what the advice books tell you.

Sara - posted on 12/02/2008

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We have a pretty solid routine before we put him to bed! We give him a bath, lotion with massage, read a story and put him to bed. We also play music in his room. He will normally go right so sleep, but will wake up in about an hour! Sometimes he will throw his binkey across the room, so that we have to go in and give it back to him. Thanks everyone for your advice!!!!

[deleted account]

I agree with the "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" recommendation. It has great advice. I followed it with my daughter and she is a great sleeper.

User - posted on 12/02/2008

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What is your bed time routine? My son was always the best sleeper. I'd always lay him down awake and he'd just lay there until he went to sleep... then he started crawling and it all changed. He started doing the same thing yours does. So I changed the bedtime routine a little. I started giving him a bottle at bedtime (but never while he's in bed) and then I read him a book. Then I rock him and sing to him until his eyelids start getting heavy. Or sometimes my husband or I just hold him for a bit while we're watching TV. He just loves that extra time cuddling before bed. The whole process never takes more than half an hour and he's ready to go to sleep. It's just the affection I guess. Maybe it's soothing to him. He goes to bed so much easier when I do this than if I just put him down.

Gina - posted on 12/02/2008

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I know how hard this is, but it worked. I had to let him cry it out. He threw up a few times- I changed his sheets and put him back in. Eventually he figured out he had no choice. What he didn't know was I was outside his door, crying from the guilt. Hang in there, it gets better!

Miranda - posted on 12/02/2008

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i mean...have her watch the dvd with you in the living room to calm her down..then bring her to her room while the music is already playing in her room...

Miranda - posted on 12/02/2008

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8 months is still pretty early to curb the issue..do you have any of the baby einstein dvds? before bedtime...after bathtime..throw one of those in for a little while..that will calm her down...and as always...try some soft soothing music...NO lyrics....just instrumentals....

Shannon - posted on 12/02/2008

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I am having the same issue with my 8 month old- nurses or rocks to sleep, as soon as we lay her down she pops back up and cries until you pick her up! I have tried all the tricks I can think of- tough love (she'll scream forever if I let her), staying in the room and patting her back, going back in after 1, 5, 10 etc minutes... nothing is making it better! Please tell me its just a phase (she was pretty good at getting herself back to sleep if she woke up in the middle of the night or even on the walk down to her room- but that seems to have ended)!

Miranda - posted on 12/02/2008

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my daughter is 18 months old and when we ask her if she is ready for bed she walks her little self to her room and stands by her crib for someone to put her in it...but we started just laying her down very early...but still sometimes she gets upset and needs a little music to put her to sleep...Have you tried putting a cd player under his crib with a nature sounds cd? Another big thing is a bath right before you put him to bed...the johnson and johnson bedtime bath really does help..then make sure before you put his pj's on that you lotion him up..but when you are putting it on...give his little legs a massage..it may sound goofy..but it REALLY calms them down...if he still cries after you lay him down...go in there and tell him that he's ok...give him a kiss and lay him back down...yes..he'll probably cry..but after about a week...max of like two..he'll get used to just being laid down and eventually the crying will stop.....I hope this helps!

User - posted on 12/02/2008

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I know what you mean,,for some reason I still didn't learn with my third,I rock all three of mine,they say the baby boot camp method,I tried it with my second and it did work,but with my third she is 15 months now and I can't find myself to do it,I don't know why.She goes to sleep on my chest I put her in her crib she wakes up a few hours later and screams,I hear the longer I put it off the harder it is gonna get,,they learn to dictate us.we have to keep stretching our time when we go in there,The doc says we feel bad now but it will get better

[deleted account]

I love this book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." By Marc Weissbluth. M.D. My sister has read all of the sleep books, and she says this one is the best, and I agree. It gives you great advice without making you feel like you have to follow every single guideline or your baby will never sleep well. It is just a great book that teaches you how baby's sleep at different ages and how to deal with various sleeping challenges. I recommend it to everyone!

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