Napping and Bedtime Routines for 1 year old

Melissa - posted on 12/12/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My little boy has always been a pretty good sleeper, which I am grateful for. He'll be 1 year old this month, and to this day, he still has to be swaddled, held, rocked, and nursed to actually go to sleep and stay asleep. I don't swaddle his legs anymore, cause he's just too strong. I have tried several times to just hold him and rock him, unswaddled in a quiet, dark room, and sometimes he does go to sleep on me, but the moment I lay him down in his bed, he wakes right up and bawls and screams. I can't stand to listen to it any more than 30 minutes so I "cave" and go in, wrap him and nurse him to sleep like always. I just wonder how long he will need me this much to go to sleep? And pretty much every other mom I've met says they can just set their baby down in their bed, and they'll go right to sleep. Yeah, RIGHT! I know I shouldn't compare, because I know my baby is special in his own way. But I am just wondering how many other moms have had similar experiences or if you have any advice?! Thanks :)

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Karen - posted on 12/13/2012

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I had the same problem and I couldnt do the crying thing either so what worked for me is having a cosy wind down time with some stories or a favourite quiet activity before bedtime then a bedtime song to go upstairs (same every night) then bath/brush teeth etc then tucked in with a bedtime story and keep telling him (and yourself) he's going to go to sleep all on his own. Put some calming music on and lights out and potter around tidying up out of sight. Reassure him (without talking) if hes v upset but keep persevering with getting him to settle on his own. Sometimes i had to sit in the room with my back to my little one and this reassured her that i was there but wasnt interacting. But i had stopped nursing her at this stage which i think makes it easier but see how it goes.

And although a lot of mums say they just put them straight down, its probably still part of a bedtime routine which you're already in-you just need to tweak it a bit. She settled really well until she turned 2 and became an expert at demanding more stories, needing the toilet, a drink of water etc etc...! So it was back to the drawing board. But thats how it is. Its about not engaging too much-they are so clever at getting attention when we are tired in the evenings! Oh and make sure he gets plenty of physical activity (outside ideally) so hes tired out and then he hasnt got enough energy to challenge you! Good luck!

Lungile - posted on 12/13/2012

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It may be that you waited too long to to begin "training" him to sleep on his own, but hen its never too late. I trained my from about 5 months to sleep on her own by trying not to swaddle her to sleep. I actually googled online and came across the "crying" method which it seems you are doing. Start at night time where you give him his bathtime then milk etc then simply put him in his cot and walk out the room immediatly and close the door. He will cry alot the first time but just try let him cry it out for a bit. If he doesnt settle and the crying seems to drag on go back into the room DON"T pick him up just rub his back and sooth him for comfort and leave the room again. He may cry again but let him cry again for a bit and try not to go in unless he becomes inconsolable. You have to do this every night so that in a few nights he will gradually become used to this and eventually will stop crying. My child took 4 days to stop crying completely to the point where I put her down and she was fine. This should work provided you are disciplened and not pick up your baby after putting him down for a sleep. A friend tried this method when her son was already 18 months so I don't see how it would be a problem for you.

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