sleeping situation--would love your help!!

United States
January 20, 2007 9:42pm CST
My daughter is 15 months old & sleeps with me and my husband because this is the only way she will sleep through the Night. I have tried putting her in her crib, but the minute I lay her down she wakes up and screams. I've tried the self-soothing and laying her in her crib while she's awake, but she screams & screams. People who say babies will eventually quit screaming.. we'll mine's the exception. I was wondering if any of you have the same problem or if you have any good ideas for me to try to get her to sleep in her own bed?
12 people like this
63 responses
• United States
21 Jan 07
I disagree with the other posters. My daughter started sleeping with us after she had stomach surgery at a month old. I think it was more for our comfort than for hers, but she did get in the habit of sleeping with us until she was about 18 months old. Then, we started putting her in her toddler bed for her naps. We made a big deal of ehr getting a big girl bed and ahving to be a big girl. My pediatrician argued that you could never spoil an infant that they need to be held and loved as much as possible and I went with his advice. He said just transfer her to her own bed when we could, and we did....no screaming, no making her feel abandoned, no making me feel guilty.
• United States
21 Jan 07
Ah, moonshadow68, you are like a breath of fresh air!! lol I like the way you handled that situation & I definitely think your daughter will be better off for it!
• United States
23 Jan 07
We got my daughter a toddler bed & she loves it-- but, not enough to sleep in it by herself & she rolls around so much that I wouldn't really feel safe with her in just yet. I think I will do like you did.. I'll let her pick out the stuff for her bed & I think she'll be happy with it & I think she'll have an easier time transfering if she doesn't feel like she's being pushed out. Thanks again for your post.. it made me feel good :)
@jenalyn (675)
• United States
25 Jan 07
This is the best suggestion I have read. If you are just trying to make her switch beds because everyone else thinks she shouldn't be sleeping there, then don't listen to them. I think that a gradual change and not making a tramatic change is best for everyone at this point. There is no reason for a power struggle, that is a pointless battle in this situation. It would bring no lesson learned, just a lot of misery. My daughter slept with me a lot because dad was gone all of the time. Eventually she made it to her own bed and it was not a traumatizing event. I am glad I never went through trying to make her sleep in her own bed. When dad came home, I would lay down with her in her bed and read until she fell asleep, like I always did when she was in my bed, maybe I was lucky, she never woke up screaming.
@SageMother (2277)
• United States
21 Jan 07
YOu really should never place a child in bed with you unless its anemergency and then you return them to their bed and leave them. you put her in her bed, and you let her scream. She will continue this behaviour unless you let her scream until she falls asleep from fatigue if nothing else. There is no reason to pick her up if you know she has been fed, and her other needs have been cared for. Stop thinking of her as an exception. Even if it take a month or two, you need to let her scream .
3 people like this
• India
21 Jan 07
I too have a 3month baby with us and same problem here too. but we thought that it will become alright once our baby crosses her 6th month. But got panic as the baby who's 15months old, still behaves so....im.
• United States
21 Jan 07
Mother - - you can call that being a MOTHER? Goodness, I have 5 children & when I was a young mother, I might have caught myself listening to advice like this, but let me tell you, you will get a LOT farther raising confident children if you MEET their needs...& that includes EMOTIONAL ones, too! Just b/c it's not a PHYSICAL need doesn't mean you can feel free to ignore it! Excuse me!?
1 person likes this
• Canada
25 Jan 07
You go Marytoad! I totally agree. You do NOT let a child scream their faces off. A few little cries are not going to hurt, but holy hell, screaming? I don't know a real mother that could bear to hear her child scream. I sure can't.
• United States
21 Jan 07
I went through this and it's a nightmare. If you start putting a child in her own bed while they're still awake from the beginning, they'll learn to go to sleep on their own. After I went through what you're experiencing with my first two I learned my lesson and that worked like a charm. However, since she's already 15 months old, the pattern has been set and it's going to take some time and some really miserable nights to break her of the habit. I know it's hard to let her scream and it feels like it will never end, but it will. Every time you give in and go back to pick her up, you are reinforcing her screaming. You're letting her know that it works. She's bound to continue. Have you tried giving her a dose of Benedryl to make her sleepy? I had to eventually use prescription sedatives on my babies for a few nights (their pediatrician recommended it). Once they had slept in their own beds for a few nights (because they were out cold!) it finally worked. I had to gradually reduce the dosage and let them cry if/when they did wake up. It's a real battle of wills, I know. Good luck.
• United States
21 Jan 07
I know I am the one that set the trend that we are in.. so I'll just have to deal with the screaming it sounds like :) I know people do give their children benedryl to make their child sleepy-- but, I won't do that. I'm wishing there was an easier way to get her to sleep in her own crib with out her having to scream. It just breaks my heart--which again.. is why I'm in the position I'm in. Thanks for your comments-- it's nice to know other people have gone through the same thing.
1 person likes this
21 Jan 07
This is going to be horrible but you must remember she is only crying because she has learnt that if she cries for long enough you will eventually pick her up. The best advice I can give you is to put her in her cot and then just sit next to her so she knows your there, but do not pick her up. Reasure her with a stroke to let her know you are not leaving her on her own, but do not talk to her and try not to give any eye contact. This may take a few days or longer, but persevere, it does work. I used to play The Snowman audio tape to my daughter every night. As soon as she got in bed I would put it on and within 10 mins she would be asleep. She associated bedtime with this soothing tape that was really calming for her. As long as you know your daughter is not in pain, and it is just temper, she will soon learn the routine. If she wakes up after you have left, just go back in and reasure her again but do not pick her up. Stay with her for a few mins without any eye contact and she will go off again. Once she realises she is not going to be picked up or put in your bed she will finally go off in her own bed. Good luck, I remember those days as if they were yesterday!!!
• United States
21 Jan 07
The tape is a great idea. I forgot to mention in my reply that establishing a bedtime routine is really useful. The same (especially if they're soothing) "rituals" every night will help establish the new pattern.
1 person likes this
@marytoad (54)
• United States
21 Jan 07
well, I'm thinking of the little baby beds, or crib-like thingies that go right up against your bed...seems like I saw them last when I was nursing. You just pull the side down & (it is the same height & everything as your bed) & it's like she's right there in an extended bed with you. (Key word here is "extended" bed. In other words, she's in her "Own bed" but it won't look like it, b/c w/the rail down, it just is an extension of your matress - - see? Then, hopefully, you can move it an inch or so after a while...etc...slowly does it. I think if you move her quickly, she might suffer like a seperation anxiety, which might cause her to get even more clingy, you know? (You could even get not a crib, but like a youth bed, even...whatever, just so the mattresses are the same height..don't tell her anything about that is being her bed, but maybe just that you are going to increase your mattress size today, so you can all stretch out! & she'll have her special spot to lay in your new mattress...Anyway, just go from there.
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
21 Jan 07
Bless your heart. To hear your child cry just breaks your heart. She's a little past the easy way of showing her how to fall asleep on her own. You can do the bedtime routine, place her in her crib. Stand next to her, pat her back, rub doesn't matter. Play some music really low. Something soothing. Each night just slowly work your way from the crib to the door. Invest in some ear plugs because your going to need them. Don't give in unless you want your child sleeping with you til she's 18, lol. You could also look around for toddler beds. They have some cute ones now. I seen at walmart you can get the bed, a table and chairs, and toy caddy all in one of disney, Dora, and Spongebob. Let her pick out her bed and the bedding. This is very important. While your looking around make sure you make it clear that she's a big girl. With a toddler bed you can easily sit next to her bed. With my oldest we put a tv and vcr( didn't have a dvd player then ) in her room. No cable. She would fall asleep watching one of her disney movies. Heck, we couldn't get her out of her room unless it was to eat, go potty or take a bath, lol. But night time routines was so much easier. She would pick out her movie and everything. Good Luck.
• United States
21 Jan 07
I appreciate you asking the question. Our daughter still sleeps with us because her dad is a push over and can't handle her crying for him. I keep telling him just what the other moms have said we just have to let her cry herself to sleep. So my advice do it now don't wait for her to get any older it only makes it harder.
@lpetges (3036)
• United States
21 Jan 07
the only times we allowed our children to sleep with us, is when they were ill, and we were worried about them. It is best to not start the whole thing. But, since you have this problem, i would try and stop it as soon as possible.
• United States
23 Jan 07
I always held my daughter when she was little because I nursed and as a first time Mom I was so nervous about SIDS & my daughter would always GAG & choke after she nursed & it was SO scary to experience. With the SIDS thing-- they have said that if a baby is laying on your chest there heart will beat insync with yours.. so, I did that.. needless to say I didn't get much sleep when she was little.. & then when she was older-- prob' 8 months, I let her sleep with us (no blankets on our bed) she was safe & then I tried putting her in her crib @ 9 months and it was too late by then.
• Philippines
22 Jan 07
well, all i can say is to each his own... some parents may say that you should start training kids (babies for that matter) to sleep on their own... but i say otherwise... you can never really spoil a baby just by letting them co-sleep with you... and besides they'll only be babies once... and this is the only chance you'll ever get of spoiling them that way... i'd like to think that they'll be more emotionally secure and stable when they grow up... i have a toddler and he still co-sleeps with us and we're still loving it... as i said "to each his own"... some may agree with the idea and some might not... she'll outgrow it sooner or later... just go with what you feel is right for you and your baby and everything will be fine
1 person likes this
@Lola2006 (86)
21 Jan 07
I had exactly the same trouble with my youngest daughter but finally got her settled at 18 months old. I would lay her down in her cot, regardless of wether she cried, but would sit on a chair in the room with her (in darkness), if she got up, would tell her to lay down and wouldn't leave the room till she was asleep. This wasn't easy though, the first night she cried for half hour and every time I tried to leave the room she'd wake up again, but as the days went on she stopped crying and just lay there with me in the room till she dropped off. Also at first she only slept about 5 hours, but in 2 weeks she was going to bed happily without me having to stay with her, and sleeping through the entire night.
1 person likes this
@Shababy (140)
• United States
21 Jan 07
It is hard to hear your baby who you love cry I know but it really is best to have her sleep in her own bed. During my first marriage I put my son in his crib from day one but kept the crib in our bedroom. My ex-husband was abusing me and when our son was 8 mos old he hurt him. I ended up moving into a shelter for battered women and eventually got out on my own. I let my son sleep with me for a year and a half while my divorce was going on and I was getting on my feet. After that I met the man that is now my husband and the situation did not work anymore. It was very hard for Ryan to sleep on his own. It was a terrible habit to break. It took several weeks to get him to sleep on his own and trying all kinds of things to comfort him. To this day he is 6-years-old and still had a hard time sleeping on his own. We now have a second son Connor and he has slept in his own bed from day one. When it is bed time he goes up his room I read to him and sing the itsy bitsy spider and he goes to bed. No fussing. It is going to be a hard habit to break but it is better to do it sooner than later. Find things that are safe to put in his bed and maybe play music for him on low and establish a good bedtime routine that you stick to. It is going to be very hard the first few weeks but eventually he will probably feel safe with this routine. I really made a mistake of starting to let my son sleep with me. The reason I actually did it is our first apartment was broken into the first few nights we were there. It scared me and I couldn't bear to be on my own and him in another room. But really I think if i would have kept him in his own bed it would have never been an issue. My son was 2 and a half when he had to sleep on is own again. I really did him a disservice. I think it you stop it now you will all be better off.
1 person likes this
@Ananasii (33)
21 Jan 07
I have a 23 month old, and when she started wanting to sleep in our bed and generally be with us over night, we put one of our pillows (unwashed) in her cot-bed with her, which settled her. Sadly now she has discovered that her bed makes a good trampoline, and will happily spend until 1am bouncing on it.
1 person likes this
@shemb1 (465)
• Sri Lanka
21 Jan 07
ok I think she needs your warmth mostly thats why she is cring when you try to put her crib. Why dont you try to sleep her in the crib so she sleeps there and you dont have to move her here or there after sleeping. I know this is the tric normal tric some mothers are doing for there babies,and sometimes you can do it while she swinging..
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jan 07
I also have a 15 month old & we lived at my father in laws house when he was born. We shared a not-that-big room with him in the beginning. We we moved out a couple months later he had to learn to sleep not only in his own bed, but in his own room. After a month of him relearning his sleeping habits, now he grabs his blanket, his pacifier & gets mommmy, that lets me know - he wants to go to bed. Of course there are nights where I do let him sleep with mommy & daddy - like when it is thundering & lightening. In the beginning I let him scream for about 30 minutes before getting him & soothing him & rocking him & putting him back to bed. Also a cold or new medications can mess up sleep times.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jan 07
All of my kids have slept in my bed, I LOVE them being next to me. When it was time to get them out I put my bed level to their toddler bed and put them even with each other, then as he would fall asleep I would scoot him/her over and then as time goes by you start to seperate the two beds. This usually takes a few nights. She just wants to be with her mommy, it is a comfort and security thing. my childs DR is all for it and as long as we are comfortable with it, it is ok. My youngest is 2 and he still sleeps with us and he will continue to sleep with us. When I was little my mother would not let me in her bed what so ever and it was traumatizing. I remember I would wake up in the night and want my parents so bad and I would stand in their door way and cry because I was gonna get in trouble. when my kids wake up in the middle of the night they come get in bed with us. It is very comforting for all of us. My son is 10 and still needs mommy and I will never push any of my kids out of my bed.
• United States
21 Jan 07
Basically alot of people have given very good ideas. One thing that helped us with our son was the "Bedtime routine"! For instance, at 830pm each night he gets a bath. He knows this is the start of bedtime. By 9 he is dried, dressed in jammies, and in his bed for a bedtime story. He does cry because he would rather lay down with mommy and daddy, but i just read softly to him, then after the book, he gets his nightlight turned on and i give him kisses and tell him good night and out the door. It took about a month before he finally got it. I would let him cry and every 15 min or so go back in and reassure him, by patting him and kissing him (but NOT picking him up) and saying it was night-night time. Now when we go start his bath, he's GREAT and says it's night-night and goes right to bed! good luck, i'm sure you will find what works for you best! Oh one other thing do you put her in bed for her naps? maybe try nap time first to get her used to the crib before trying at night when you are so tired.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jan 07
When my babies were little I would put them in their crib and sit by the crib and rub their back until they fell back asleep. Also, I gave them a favorite snuggle bear to sleep with. Sleeping with your children is a hard habit to break. It took me nearly 3 years to break my twins of the habit. The girls were easier for some reason.
@nishdan01 (3055)
• Singapore
21 Jan 07
Let your child sleep and then take her and put her in the crib.Keep 2 pillows on either side.This helps.Do not make the child scream a lot as she is still too young.Co-sleeping is okay untill 2 years.
• United States
21 Jan 07
before putting your daughter down for the night give her a snack to fill her tummy a warm bowl of oatmeal should work then give her a warm bath to help calm her for the night my daughter puts on classical music for the night to help her son sleep it is a soothing sound and you can alwasy put one of those new air freshners in her room that softly change colors to divert her attention as you leave the room.If this fails you could always try putting her crib in your room for awhile she will be in her own bed but yet still be able to see and her you once she is used to her bed you can move her into her own room if she doesnt sleep make a recording of you and your husband sleeping she maybe just used to your night sounds.I hope one of these work good luck
@buddha02 (128)
• Philippines
21 Jan 07
Honestly, i never had a problem like tha with my baby. but ive been hearing problems like that. older people, i mean my relatives who are older are suggesting that u lay her in ur clothes so she can feel the scent of u or ur husband with ur baby. try it..i don't know if it's true but u can just try...hope it works...
@deedles88 (297)
• Australia
24 Jan 07
I feel bad to say this, but honestly, its your fault that this situation occured. Once you start a habit, its very difficult to break. The only thing you can do is keep trying because eventually she will get used to it.
• United States
24 Jan 07
Nothing to feel sorry about. I know it's my fault for letting her sleep with us. I don't really mind her sleeping with us, but just want to get her used to sleeping by herself & being a big girl--especially when we have our next baby-- that way she isn't feeling any resentment towards the new baby or anything. I just want a smooth transition.