How to transition my 20 month old to sleep on her own.. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 02-18-2013, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Our 20month old daughter sleeps in bed with us. It has not always been this way, but my husband is in the military and we have moved quite a few times in her lifetime. For the first 10 months to a year she slept in her crib in our room. Than we moved 3 different times while transferring and waiting for our new home to be built. And in those months she started to sleep in our bed. I am almost30 weeks pregnant and I should have started trying to transition her to sleeping in her own bed by now but I haven't been able to do it. I love sleeping next to and snuggling her. I also still nurse her so having her sleep in bed with us is very convenient. We are now trying to transition her back into her crib in her own room before the next baby arrives. I will nurse her in our bed than my husband will carry her into her room after she falls asleep. She will usually sleep in her crib for about an hour before waking up screaming, and when I go and try to get her back to sleep she works herself up so much than she will not fully go back to sleep for quite a long time unless she is in our bed, and when we try to return her to her crib she wakes herself up and starts crying all over. My husband say we need to leave her in her crib and let her cry herself to sleep but I just cannot do that..Does anyone have any suggestions what I can do so our little girl will be more comfortable sleeping on her own? If i could crawl into her crib and sleep with her in there for a few nights I would, but being this big pregnant I surely would not fit Help!?

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#2 of 4 Old 02-18-2013, 11:26 AM
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Having her cry it out right before a new baby is born sounds like a way to make her really negative about the new baby. She might very well associate her losing her spot in such a difficult way with the new baby taking her spot.

How good is her language? I have never transitioned a child that young, but what I did for my older one was to put her in her room and then tell her if she woke up and felt lonely she could come in and sleep with me. If her language is good you and she might be able to talk about that. My daughter would come in with me every night for a little while but after a while she would wake up and be comfortable where she was and she'd just go back to sleep. So that would be exactly opposite of what you're doing - start her there and bring her in rather than start her in and take her out - but it might be another thing to try.

Hopefully you'll get a few more suggestions. Good luck!
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#3 of 4 Old 02-18-2013, 02:15 PM
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What we did around 19 or 20 months is ditch the crib. It's now in the third bedroom, awaiting our new arrival, due in late July. DD is 22 months and after about 18 months she became impossible to move once asleep. We went to Ikea and found the lowest bed possible. It's a frame with a set of slats for support and doesn't require a box spring. It's like having a mattress 2, maybe 3 inches off the ground. We got it in a double, put it in her room and I just started nursing her to sleep there. Once she falls asleep I can simply get up and walk away. When she wakes at night, I go to her and nurse her back down. If I'm very tired I simply stay and sleep with her, on a comfy, adult sized bed. The plan is that baby will have the crib in the nursery and I will still go to DD as she needs me. On tough nights though I can simply bring baby in with me and tandem nurse/comfort them both while I still get to lie on a nice, comfy bed with lots of room. DD has tumbled out of bed a few times but never got hurt, just startled because it's so nice and low.
Would an adult size bed be an option for your DD? You can get side rails to keep her safe, opt for a very low frame like we did or simply put the mattress on the floor. That way you do get to nurse her to sleep and actually curl up next to her for a few nights to help her make the switch.
This has worked wonders for us and DD sleeps better in her own space. I can't reccomend it enough because it's sooo flexible. You can do anything from 0 to 100% cosleeping depending on what is going on in your family and what everyone's needs are. Hth. Good luck!
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#4 of 4 Old 02-19-2013, 08:16 AM
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If you got her a toddler bed, you could start by having it right next to your bed, then every week or so, move it away some. Also, does she drink from cups? If she has a straw cup(most similar to breastfeeding), perhaps you could fill it with milk and tell her she's more than welcome to drink from it if she's thirsty at night but doesn't want to come see you.

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