17 month old won't go to sleep w/o being rocked!

Kelly - posted on 01/13/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My 17 month old will only fall asleep if I rock him to sleep. He was collicky in the beginning and rocking and running water were the only two things that soothed him (particularly at bedtime). So, now he's used to being rocked plus later it got him to bed a lot quicker and easier. I've tried to the cry it out method but teething has just put a wrench in the progress I've made so far. Any suggestions on getting him to fall asleep on his own?

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Erin - posted on 01/14/2009

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I had this issue with my son (now 2 1/2) and my doctor told me to put him down! Prepare him for bed time by starting a half hour before. Tell him " In a half hour it will be bed time, so lets start picking up our toys, read a story etc..." and then give him a ten minute warning and ten a five minute one.
Then bring him in his room and tuck him in. We play soft music in the boys room and this seems to keep them calm.
You must lay him down and make him feel safe, but then you have to leave the room!
Don't run in there right away if he cries (crying WILL NOT physically or emotionally hurt him) give him at least 20 mins. before you go back in the room. And when you go back in try not to talk just help him get comfortable and then leave again.
I promise this will work if you can stick to it! It will get easier for both of you!!!

Carissa - posted on 01/14/2009

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I rock my 20 month old. I don't rock her until she is completely asleep, but I just rock her until she is settled down and content. I like the quiet time....I enjoy the little bit of snuggling I get at that time! I used to rock to sleep, but I figured I needed to break her of the habit sooner rather than later. I let her cry it out....She wouldn't cry for more than a minute...Maybe if you try a blanket or a stuffed animal when you rock him, and then lay him down with it? Maybe it would be something familiar with him and he wouldn't get so upset...

Kelly - posted on 01/14/2009

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Thanks! That logic crossed my mind as well. I hope he does grow out of it. I can't imagine rocking him at 4 yrs old :o)!

Holly - posted on 01/13/2009

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My 18 mo old has to be "helped" to sleep every time. We just figure he needs it for security and eventually he'll grow out of it. I'm sure its not what you want to hear, and believe me, we get fed up with it sometimes too, but we really feel its just what he needs and we don't mind it if it makes him feel safe and secure.

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