how can i get my 18 month old to sleep through the night and in her own bed?

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I am a mother of 3 children and have done different things. With the first we just quit cold turkey and put a baby gate on his door. Let him cry it out, fall asleep on his own, and then snuck in to put him in bed. This method worked in 3 days! The crying is horrible, but if your husband or someone else can stand to listen to it go for a walk or to the store. My second child we didn't have trouble with until she was about 3, so we told her if she got out of bed and it wasn't an emergency she would get a toy taken away. This worked after about 5 toys disappeared. My youngest is only 21 months now, but has been sleeping in her own bed since she was born and through the night at 10 weeks. She has also already transitioned to a toddler bed. I read the Babywise series of books for her and I LOVE them. They even make books for different age groups and even for potty training. Hope one of these ideas or someone else's works for you. Either way, getting her to do it now is going to help you so much once she is older. Good luck!

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Kristel - posted on 11/12/2009

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Trust me, it wont happen overnight, but you can do it! You have to have a routine and stick with it, every night! For example, bath time, brush teeth, story time, bedtime! Tell her what you're doing/going to do every nite. You could get her a special nite light with a character or something on it that she likes. You could sing her a special song. You could lie next to her as you're reading to her, then every night- gradually make your way out of the room. I have 4 children, and every one of them had a different sleeping pattern/sleep habit, but we got through it! Personally, I could not stand hearing my kids cry after I put them to bed, with their separation anxieties! Before you know it, they're out of diapers and in kindergarten! What works for someone, may not work for you! Be strong & Goodluck! :)

Caryn - posted on 11/12/2009

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I personally don't like the cry-it-out method, but thats just me.

My suggestion is to form a good solid bedtime routine that you will use every night. We start at 7PM, give baths, brush teeth, clean diaper/potty, read a story and bed by 8PM. Assuming she is in a toddler bed (guessing not since shes only 18mo...)place her in her bed, tell her good night, kiss her and tell her you love her. Walk out of the room, turn out hte light. She will get up and follow so pick her up, place her back in bed and tell her the same things. Leave the room again, for everytime after taht she gets up just simply put her back in bed, don't say anything, don't kiss her, don't hug her. This will take a few nights but she will quickly learn that when you say good night that means she needs to go to sleep right then.

If she is still in a crib, just alter that a bit. After you leave the room the first time, give her a minute to start crying, once she's crying, go back in kiss/hug her and say the same things as before, then leave again. Each time after that just lay her down and walk otu of the room.

I don't agree with giving her a cup of anything (including water!) to fall asleep with. This IMO is not teaching your child to fall asleep on their own, its just shutting them up for a few minutes.

Amanda - posted on 11/12/2009

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my daughter had the same problem. WE did the let her cry method. and it worked quickly. yes tehre will still be bad nights where even after she gets used to it the baby will cry, but put on a movie turn it up a little so you can stil hear them, but you jave something else to concentrate on. and wait. if after 15 minutes go by and they are still screaming go retuck them in and leave again. don't stay or dawdle. lok at them tell them goodnight cover them.
my daughter enjoys being put to sleep with a sippy cup with water.( don't put juice or milk it rots teeth.) she also enjoys the air bed matress on the floor. (we couldn't get her to slep in the crib and she's only 9 months so a tod bed is too high) BUt something they can get out f and play in the morning is nice. alot of times whne she wakes up she'll play for an hour and i can still snooze a little. Make sure to put a baby moniter so you can hear what they are up to. (keep wires unaccesable) But it will work. just grit your teeth and try not to go running caus eyou feel bad. the first few nights are the worse and eventually they will realize its not gonna cvhnage and will just start going to sleep. also they might wake up a bit at night since its unfamiliar to them and cry. go tuck them in with their sippy cup and let them put themselves back to sleep.
That way they learn to go to sleep without lots of codling form you and eventually they'll think its boring and go to sleep again without you completly.

Rose - posted on 11/12/2009

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Im really struggerling with my son. He wont go to sleep in his own bed, Just to get a good nights sleep I let him in my bed.
I have been reading a really good book called Toddler Taming and it has a few good suggestions. So tonight I am going to try it out and really be strict with myself.
It says you should put your child to bed walk away and then go back up after 5 minutes and just put them in bed and stay till they have stpped crying then go back downstairs and leave it for 7 minutes and just keep adding 2 minutes on. Eventualy it should work. The book says it should take 3 days roughly so it will be worth sticking to, to have a lfe time of better sleep.
Touch wood it works and hope you fiind the right way for you and your child

Kasey - posted on 11/12/2009

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my daughter was easy but my boy hasn't always slept well. i read a book called "Saving Our Sleep" and it really helped. just an idea.

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