baby cries at bedtime..help!

Catalina - posted on 03/27/2012 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I have a 19 month old who will cry for up to an hour or more at bedtime. I don't know what to do! We have a routine and I even rock him for 20 min. before setting him in his crib. As soon as I leave the room he starts screaming. I go in every 15 min. to try and comfort him but nothing works. What can I do? This cry it out method doesn't seem to be working...maybe it's because I just started it? I hate to hear him cry for so long but I also don't like rocking him to sleep every night especially when I have another baby on the way. Any suggestions?

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Emily - posted on 03/29/2012

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My son was 10 months old when I let him 'cry it out' at bedtime. He was a TERRIBLE sleeper up until then and I had tried soooo many gentler methods but to no avail. My plan was to come back into the room every few minutes to let him know I was there etc etc but every time I came back in the crying/screaming only escalated...so as hard as it is and as horrible as some people will make you feel for doing it, FOR ME leaving the room and letting him cry it out was the best option. It took around 45 mins the first night (which felt like 12 hours!) but I knew he was tired and there was nothing physically wrong with him so I perservered and within 4 days he was going down without more than a minute or 2 of whinging. It was the BEST thing I ever did for both him and me and not only did I get more sleep but HE was a much happier and he did not resent me at all or become emotionally detatched or any of that nonsense that people will say to make you feel awful.... He is still a great sleeper now (at 21 months) and will often tell me when he is ready for bed and always says goodnight and never complains (fingers crossed it stays this way!). Just make sure you have a good evening wind-down routine so he knows it's bedtime and use the same words when you put him in bed (it's time for sleep now, mummy loves you, goodnight - or something like that). If he is still screaming after 10 mins and you want to comfort him, try to do it without getting him out of the crib - just lean in and cuddle him and tell him it's time to lie down (if he's standing up, lie him back down each time). Also a comforter toy is a good idea.

Good luck!

Joy - posted on 03/29/2012

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I also hated CIO when I tried it a few times with my 2 year old (when she was much smaller.) Like Vicki, we're still breastfeeding and I lay down with her until she's asleep. I've been reading the No Cry Sleep Solution which might help you. I'm still reading cuz we have some night time waking issues, but it could have some help for you too.

Heather - posted on 03/28/2012

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Try not rocking him for so long. Try reading a few books, 2 or 3, to him, before you hold him for just a few minutes, then put him to bed. Yes, he is going to cry, but keep up the same routine with reading books, then rocking him for a few minutes and maybe singing him a few songs. Have the room dark when you do this. Make sure he has a night light so that he isn't afraid of the dark. He should also have a lovey, a favorite blanket or stuffed animal to sleep with.



I have learned with my daughter to read to her and then hold her for only a few minutes, sing a song or two quietly while the light is off, helps her to calm down and relax, and then I put her to bed. She goes to sleep without crying! We were having a hard time, and now this is what works for me and her.



The longer you rock him, the more he is going to want you to hold him when you put him down to sleep. If you rock him and sing to him for just a few minutes, and then put him him down in his crib, tell him you love him and tell him goodnight, then leave the room, close the door. He should, after a few nights be fine with it.

Vicki - posted on 03/27/2012

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I lie down with my boy until he's asleep. He's still breastfeeding so he has a quick feed then rolls over to go to sleep. My partner does the same on nights I'm working, minus the breastfeeding of course.

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Samantha - posted on 03/29/2012

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I've done CIO with all my babies, and they were brilliant sleepers, slept through from 8 weeks. But when they went into big beds, it was just too hard. So I lay down with them, or sat in the room as they got a bit older. My girls needed this around the same time, so i put their beds close together and sat with a hand on each of them. Just saying, "shush, be still its time to sleep". When their brother came along and I needed to sit with him, I put them all in the same room, and told the girls I would be right there with them, but he was the youngest and needed me to be by him, I sat across the room with him, and the just went to sleep. Eventually he needed a big bed, so I moved him out and the girls had to go to sleep without me even in the room. I still lay down and cuddle my 4 yr old to sleep. I treasure the time now, it doesn't last very long, and it makes him so happy.

Yurena - posted on 03/29/2012

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They go through phases, they also feel your anxiety. Work a 'happy bed routine': bath, dinner, story in bed. I wouldn't rock him before bed, just put him to bed, kiss him and walk away. If he cries, come back, caress him to reassure him and walk away, not talking, but gently and reassuring in your manner. Come back every 2, 4, 6, 8 min and so on but if you think it is not improving you can put a chair by his side and pat on his back, bottom or side until he dozes off. I had a couple of phases with mine and it worked. Thankfuly they've always been quite good at bedtime. You can try instead just the chair if he doesn't cry and gradually move the chair away, night by night, until he knows you are right outside but doesn't cry. I wonder if he is feeling the impending arrival (does he know, does it show) and is regressing a bit with it. Not to worry, it will pass, keep calm and if you can't crack it go to your health visitor, they may give you a few ideas. xxx

Shannon - posted on 03/29/2012

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He could be too tired. If my little boy went to bed after half seven I'd have to lie with him because he'd cry and cry, he was just too tired to deal with any perceived separation. If he went to bed at seven there was no problem.

Deanna - posted on 03/28/2012

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As with all new routines, time is needed to get used to it. But, on the other hand. If he seems to not even slowing down on the crying, this may not be right for him. There are other methods to try. Some parents find the comforting before bed until he falls asleep work. Others find letting him fall asleep in the parents bed and putting him in bed then works. It is a matter of finding what is best for you and the child. I was lucky that the crying method worked for my daughter. After a week she was good. My mother in law found that with my husband, letting him fall asleep in her bed worked best. So, try different methods. But always give 2 weeks try first.

Good luck!!

Mandy - posted on 03/27/2012

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i would be happy for my son to cry with me being right next to him, but i personally wouldnt feel comfortable with leaving the room.



good luck and i hope he gets easier!

Catalina - posted on 03/27/2012

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I tried staying in the room too but that just makes him scream louder bc he wants me to pick him up! He just now fell asleep after crying for 45 minutes! I guess what works for some does not work for others. Thanks for the advice though.:)

Mandy - posted on 03/27/2012

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i have my 19 month old in a big bed and i sit on the end of his bed. it doesnt take long for him to fall asleep but i find he still needs me nearby. i did try moving off his bed for a while but it started taking me 2 hours to get him to sleep.



maybe take a chair in the room to sit on while he falls asleep?



this is the time for seperation anxiety so maybe he gets scared when you arent there.



i sat with my older 2 until they felt comfortable to go to sleep alone, and they are now 9 years and 3 years and are happy to go to sleep without me nearby. there has never been tears at bedtime in my house.

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