Tired of rocking to sleep but no to crying it out?

Samantha - posted on 01/11/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

17

20

0

My 16 month old likes to be rocked to sleep and then sleeps all night in his crib. If he wakes up (teething or illness) I usually rock him for a little bit and put him in his crib asleep. I am starting to get a little tired of rocking him every night and I do want to transition him to a toddler bed soon (his crib has a rail I can install on the front to convert it). I would like some suggestions on getting him to sleep in his bed without me having to rock him. Crying it out is not an option (he tries to climb out of the crib and could hurt himself if I leave him alone). Also, I am a fan of Dr. Sears and if any of you moms have read or heard anything he might say about this, that would be most helpful.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Liza - posted on 05/22/2013

1

0

0

Hi Samantha- I know this post is 3 years old but I am in a similar situation with my 16 month old! Just wondered if you wouldn't mind sharing what ended up happening for you. thank you! :)

Ruth - posted on 01/12/2010

1

0

0

my boys are 11 and 8 now. everyone has their own way--no judgement, it's plain survival when you have infants and tiny kids. both my boys were 10 lbs at birth and my second woke up *every* 45 minutes to an hour for six months-then every 2 hours for 18 months. he finally slept through the night at 2 1/2 years old when i weaned him. the first did not do that but definately woke up a lot until 2. my second son slept in my armpit for 2 1/2 years --it was the only way i was going to sleep between feedings (he was large and could only take in a small amount-but you know how much i was nursing him when he weighed in at 12 lbs at his 2 week check up)...i too am a huge fan of sears and the attachment parenting style. but i have many friends who would never do what i did and are amazing parents. use your gut-know your kid. i could let the first fuss for a second-but my second boy-no way.



but what i want to say is that my sons are a joy-super smart,independent and now i can't get them out of bed they sleep so well! it's a short amount of time and you're in survival mode. do what *you* have to do to get through.



btw-you can't sterotype attachment parents as granola types...i have a master of science, i'm almost a black-belt in tae kwon do, i'm a screaming downhill skier, and i am addicted to anything fashion (i read proust *and* british vogue and love surfing the barney's and bergdorf's websites). i hope this helps--you are you and your answer *is* the answer and the right way! have confidence in you and follow your heart. and i know, it's friggin' bone crushing fatigue and after *all* these years i can finally sleep through the night too-and that will change in a couple of years when the get older and are out!



all the best!

ruth winick

Elizabeth - posted on 01/12/2010

4

13

0

I talked to our pediatrician today about this same topic. My 12 month old has been struggling to go to sleep lately after being spoiled around Christmas by traveling. He recommends trying CIO at 4-9 months, but after 10 months, it becomes more of an anxiety issue (which if you leave them, it only becomes worse). Once asleep, they should stay asleep. If they are waking up several times during the night, you should check with your pediatrician. The last three nights I have tried the same solution as Dana, routine with bath, reading and then bed. Once the lights are out and he's in his bed, I stay by his bed. The first night was a battle for about an hour, last night about 30 minutes. Tonight he was asleep in less than 5 minutes. As Dana said, if he sits up, I pat the bed and say lay down, I don't pick him up, and I only soothe as long as he is lying down, and only for a brief period - you really want them to learn to self soothe. I think the biggest hurdle is working through the anxiety of something new. I am not a huge fan of the CIO method as well, I could never tell if he was just upset because he was by himself, or his ears hurt, teeth, etc. I definitely agree that kids need to learn to be independent, but I want my son to know I will come when he needs me. The first night is definitely the worst... it gets much easier, and it is well worth it to give you some "YOU" time as well!
Hope this helps ( ;

Teri - posted on 01/12/2010

130

9

4

Ok -- so, I knew someone would suggest CIO -- there is tons of research that shows that babies who are left to cry for any reason -- essentially wire their brains differently than kids who get attuned response (or quick response) to a cry. When babies are left to cry they learn pretty quickly that no one will come.. so their brain chemistry tells them that there is NO reason to Cry -- cause NO ONE will come get them. This is hard wired in their brains -- That is WHY they no longer cry...

I don't know, I don't want my kids to stop calling for me if they need me -- they could have a health issue that I would want to be aware of. I am amazed that in the US we believe that kids are manipulating us at such early ages 0- Hate to say it, but babies are born to manipulate us to care for them. and when we ignore them, it is US parents that are NOT doing our jobs 00 the baby is doing exactly what it's supposed to do.

Research and knowledge is golden in parenting -- the stuff you lay down in the first 2 to 3 years of your kids life stays with them and is a map for all the other things that develop in their personalities - and most of all their self-esteem. I don't think that I am willing to mess with my kids future success just because I believe I deserve a break or whatever.

I don't fault folks who don't know this stuff -- but to suggest that these things are OK seems odd to me 0 the research shows different.

Gaynor-Marie - posted on 01/14/2010

42

0

0

All of mine would go to sleep if I patted or rocked their bottom while singing a soothing song. After a while (a week or so) I'd drop the patting and keep singing I use singing the same song when I need them to sleep in an unfamiliar situation till they are 4 like in the car, hotel, hospital, new bed. The other thing to try is to move him to a toddler bed. Read him a story or 2 or sing a song or 2 till he is asleep after a couple of weeks cut back on the reading or singing so you leave when he is drowsy but not asleep. Good luck

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

20 Comments

View replies by

Lindsay - posted on 01/13/2010

12

63

0

Everyone has their own parenting styles that they think is right. My son is 13 months and he has always slept well. He went thru a phase where he was crying when I put him down and only maybe 3 times has he cried longer than 30 min. But I always do the same routine, and as a mom, I know when something is bothering him or that he just doesn't want to go to sleep. The cry is different. But anyway, I worked in an infant room in a daycare for 4 yrs and was the "main teacher". I had 12 infants, and you better believe we had some CIO going on. But it was always the new ones that weren't familiar with the routine yet. This is definitely key, and I believe there is a definite time when the baby is old enough where he/she learns to manipulate. For those of you who don't think so, I don't think you give them enough credit. They're definitely not stupid. Anyway, I do believe that by a certain age (and you'll know when this is for your own child) they learn different ways to communicate. My son is 13 months and is not an infant anymore, so he doesn't cry for everything. His vocabulary skills are obviously still barely there and forming, but he knows he can get my attention other ways than by crying. That's just my thought.

Oh, and the whole security thing... Yes, that is very important. My son used a binky and switched in 2 days to this little blankey thing he has with a Mickey head on it which he LOVES! This is now his new security item. I go and get this before I change his diaper before nap and nighttime, and he knows we are heading for bed. Hope you find a routine that's right for you and your child!!

Michelle - posted on 01/12/2010

22

0

0

Excellent response Kathryn. Thank you for saying it all. My 19 month old girl is totally a mama's girl and goes to bed 98% of the time like a champ. I am proud to say I have taught her how to self-soothe for bedtimes but yet she still always comes to me when she needs anything. CIO is not easy for any mom and it jerks on our heart strings like nothing else. That's why I would never do it when she was an infant. However, there comes a point where they (and you) know they are pushing your buttons and that was when I knew it was time. Thank goodness it was a short process. So there is a difference between "baby" and "toddler" when it comes to research and the extremes of letting your baby cry for long periods of time vs 5-30 minutes or so. I always check on her to make sure she hasn't vomited, pooped, isn't too hot or too cold, etc. and ONLY after that will I let her cry it out. It never lasts more than 1-5 minutes. Most of them time though she is ready for bed and gives me no fuss.

Kathryn - posted on 01/12/2010

12

9

0

I rocked my son to sleep every night until he was 15 months. At that time, he started waking up when I first tried to lay him down, and I would have to start all over. I did this for about a month. Then one night he woke up crying and clinging to me everytime I tried to put him in his crib. This went on until 3 in the morning, when his normal bedtime was 7! Finally I had to just lay him down and let him cry. I told myself that I would rest for 1 hour, and if he was still crying I would go back and get him. He fell asleep at 1 hour and 3 minutes. The next night, he cried for 30 minutes and it went down drastically everynight until he didn't cry at all when I laid him down. I also tried to do CIO for naptime at the same time and was unsuccessful, I would only leave him for 1 hour. I tried this several times with a couple of weeks in between and almost gave up on it. Finally one day I was very frustrated and couldn't get him to go to sleep by rocking so I just put him in bed. He cried for 2 minutes and went to sleep. I never thought I would let my kids CIO, but sometimes you have to do things to survive. As far as the mom who said her kids wouldn't call for her if they needed her if she used the CIO method, my son does cry for me when he needs something. If he is sick, or if he loses his pacifier during the night he still calls for me and he is 2 1/2. I don't think there should be any judgement for different methods of parenting. My son is a happy, healthy, confidant, well-adjusted 2 1/2 year old and we did use this method. Did I enjoy it, no, but he is sleeping through the night and so am I. In the future, I think I might not rock my children to sleep. I will try to get them to go to sleep on their own from an early age. I feel that I trained him to become too dependant on me to fall asleep.

[deleted account]

Wow 16 months!!! My little girl was born at 26 weeks so spent 12 weeks in hospital. When she came home she was in a great routine and used to self soothing etc. I was so relieved at having her home finally that I broke all the rules and would cuddle, rock and breastfeed her to sleep. I was told that up until about 4 months of age they still think they're part of you so once she was about 4 months from her due date I started to try and stop. I did it in stages - replaced the boob with a dummy, stopped rocking but continued cuddling, place her in her bed and body rocked her, sat with her and sang, sat with her, put her to bed then sat further and further away from the bed... She goes to bed with a dummy and a soft toy now. No night lights, no messing about, she's happy and content and I must admit I do try and make it appear to her that she's making the decision to go to bed... It's tough and I'm not one for CIO either (tried it one night and after what she'd already been through I couldn't follow through with it) but now I have a brilliant sleeper who likes going to bed :-)

Julie - posted on 01/12/2010

3

19

0

I rocked both my sons and al 4 of my grandkids to sleep at night and never had trouble getting them to go to sleep. If the rocking is comforting to him I don't see any harm in it. He will grow out of the need to be rock as he gets bigger and becomes more independant.

Tanya - posted on 01/12/2010

45

29

7

Me and my husband have been going through the same thing with our 12 month old. He got used to me rocking him to sleep too. One night he did leap out of his crib and got a bruise under his chin. The thing is they know you will give in to the crying which is why they keep crying. What we did was let him sleep in the play pen cause it was harder for him to climb out of and we put it next to the crib. We let him cry it out each night and he went from crying for an hour and a half one night to now only crying for 15 minutes. When he doesn't fight it anymore then we will try to move him to the crib. Keep trying though, don't give up.

Michelle - posted on 01/12/2010

22

0

0

In my opinion, at 16 months of age, his crying is a total manipulation of you by him. Although he now has you trained that if he cries, you will always come in for him. I think he is old enough to understand that you are putting him to bed and not coming back til the morning. This is all a start of discipline. Also, the best gift you can teach him is to self-soothe himself at this age. I didn't like cry it out for infants but I did finally stop the manipulation and she learned very quickly that it wasn't worth her fussing and crying and she would just stop and go to bed. You could buy a crib tent so he can't climb out. I've heard good things about them. Just my 2 cents. I think you should reconsider crying it out. It only takes a day or 2. They learn very quickly.

Rachel - posted on 01/12/2010

23

3

1

hey! i did the same think with my daughter but she got so big it was hard to rock her to sleep anymore! I am the same why i just dont want her crying in her room in my opinion she needs to know im there for her always even at this age but anyhoo i started giving her warm milk before bed so she was very sleepy put her in her bed then we read a book. Lights went off and i walked out. she would fuss and i wouldnt walk in but as soon as she started really crying i would go back in...never take him out of his crib to rock him pat his back rub his hair sing softy so he can relax but dont cave! It takes a couple days of repeatdly going in there but its worth it because now my daughter goes to sleep on her own at 18months and i love it!

Elaine - posted on 01/12/2010

20

0

2

Remember, if you don't stop rocking him to sleep now, you will be rocking him to sleep when he's thirty!

Teri - posted on 01/12/2010

130

9

4

oh, I should add that with my daughter, we just moved her to a big bed (king size) and we lay down with her to go to sleep -- then we leave. she is a great sleeper. After having to transition twins to beds (from cribs) we decided that we'd just get her sleeping on a bed incstead of a crib. it worked great for us.

Teri

Teri - posted on 01/12/2010

130

9

4

I thikn most AP moms suggest Elizabeth Pantley's no cry sleep solution to offer some real good ideas that do not include CIO -- it may be a worthwhile book to purcahse.

Dana - posted on 01/11/2010

11,264

35

489

I'll start first off by saying I hate the idea of CIO, I wouldn't do it with my son. There was some crying involved though. What I did was put my son in his crib and stay right beside it. I kept my eyes level with his mattress and didn't make eye contact unless he was lying down (hence the keeping my eyes mattress level only) He would cry and stand up but I just stayed where I was and would whisper or sing softly which made him curious, stop crying, come down to my level and listen to me sing softly or talk softly which was usually shhhing and go nini, just reassuring words. The first night it took about 25 minutes of the back and forth of crying and laying down, then he finally fell sleep. The second night it took 7-10 minutes after that it was smooth sailing. I think your son is the perfect age to do this, he's old enough to understand what you're saying( as far as nini or whatever you call it) and he's old enough to catch on quickly. I actually did it when my son was 13 or 14 months. He's 17 months now and all I have to do is say nini and he knows he's going to bed and sometimes will actually walk me to the crib. :) Good luck!



Oh, I forgot to add, I would pat his mattress and only rub him or touch him if he was lying down. He'd try to pull my hand up to the top of the crib but, I'd say no then pat the mattress and then he'd lay down and I'd rub his back or whatever comforts your son. Just be consistent, mom!

Nikole - posted on 01/11/2010

86

31

38

from what i have read from dr. sears is that security for our little one is very important. try placing him in his crib and sit with him and talk to him. it might be hard at first but he will get it then gradually get farther away from the crib eventually he wont need you there any more

[deleted account]

I used a comfort object (or a couple). The child has to really choose it, but is the child has an object that seems to provide security, encourage that and then use it. Also, make sure and get a nightlight.



I started with a consistent nightly routine to wind my daughter and then son to sleep. Routines vary, but can involve story, rocking, cuddling, bath, song, small drink. This helps calm the child.



The hardest part is leaving. Most experts say keep it short and sweet. I couldn't always do that. Sometimes there was a little back rubbing or hand holding before leaving the bedroom. (Experts advise against this, but I went by my gut sometimes).



When my child cried, I initally went to him soon to comfort him, but did not rock him unless absolutely necessary. If at all possible, I laid him down and helped him calm, staying in the room. I replace the security object and retucking before slowly left the room. I would sometimes leave soft music on in the room with the night light.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms