Willl they ever fall asleep on their own? - Mothering Forums
Co-sleeping and the Family Bed > Willl they ever fall asleep on their own?
Heavenly's Avatar Heavenly 10:20 PM 04-18-2003
My son is 27 months and we still rock him to sleep every night. I tried CIO once at nap time and he screamed for 40 minutes so I gave up. He really does not know how to fall asleep on his own and I feel we may have done him a diservice. Will he ever learn to fall asleep on his own, and how do we get to that point. He is in a crib not a bed. My daughter is 5 months and nurses to sleep and also sleeps in a crib. Should I find some way to get her to sleep on her own or just leave it as is?

Momtwice's Avatar Momtwice 11:10 PM 04-18-2003
I remember being where you are...when your child has not done it yet you can't imagine that they ever will, whether it's falling to sleep alone, potty learning or whatever. My pediatrician kept bugging me because one kid was a late walker....he acted like he would never learn to walk, but he did. I thought my daughter would NEVER wean herself but she did....when SHE was ready not when I was.....although I do feel nursing is more negotiable as the child gets older, depending on their personality.

I assure you though, this Western/American idea that loving our children to sleep, that "parenting to sleep" as Dr. Sears calls it, is indulging them or spoiling them......It's Just Not True. It's a myth of our culture. They DO outgrow it when they are ready. My dd sometimes fell asleep on her own starting at 2. Every child is different.

Personally I found lying down with a child (or two sometimes) gave me much more sleep than the times I loved them until they were sound asleep and THEN put them down. But that's a personal choice.
USAmma's Avatar USAmma 12:29 AM 04-20-2003
I am in the process if helping my 28 month old go to sleep in her own bed. First we started out lying next to her but she was kicking us. Then I started sitting at the edge of her bed rubbing her leg. I sometimes lean against the wall and read by a dim light so I don't get frustrated about wasting time getting her to sleep. If you enjoy rocking, keep doing it. But if you are ready to move on a little, if it's no fun anymore, try lying next to him or rubbing his back in bed. Last night I rubbed her leg until she was drowsey, then turned on rain sounds and told her goodnight-- and she fell asleep on her own. Just do baby steps, and you'll know when it's the right time to start this.

lauraess's Avatar lauraess 01:40 PM 04-20-2003
sorry to hear you are frustrated but we all have been there and I think that if you try to look at the whole thing as a growing experience for all it may help. After two kids in and beside our bed in five years, I've found that the best way for us to deal was by gradually guiding and helping the child to sleep "on his own" - and that may mean just 6 inches from you but still without so much interaction between parent and child. my daughter who is 27 months will play with my hair while I lay near her in the sidecar crib. i try to settle her for a while by just reminding her to go to sleep. and yes, I've gotten very annoyed many times when she's taking an especially long time to settle, but it's all about my desire to not roll with the waves of parenting. I think it must be gradual and consistent. I think you must also look at the whole day and see if there needs to be changes in naps schedules to see what will help the child rest easier. Hang in there and ignore the pressure to teach your child to learn to do it by such and such an age. they all learn and the anxiety about this stepping stone is like all the rest of the anxiety/ guilt we get heaped on us: more guilt we just DONT NEED!
candiland's Avatar candiland 01:57 PM 04-20-2003
I am halfway through the book "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley.
I HIGHLY recommend it. It pretty much guarantees a decent result within a month's time. It's no absolute miracle cure, but the babe doesn't cry it out, and you can see gradual results taking place, which is veeeeery heartening!
sparklemom's Avatar sparklemom 04:03 PM 04-20-2003
3 - 4 years old is actually the natural, healthy, normal age when children begin falling asleep on their own and sleeping through the night.

it's our society/culture that is off big time.

hang in there. it does get easier. you're doing nothing wrong and everything right by rocking/nursing your children at bed time.
MamaMonica's Avatar MamaMonica 07:07 PM 04-20-2003
My DD almost 4 sometimes goes to sleep by herself. She also falls asleep quickly with a book and a snuggle. This is relatively new... I think 3-4 years must be the age it bgins.
youngnhappymamma's Avatar youngnhappymamma 07:19 PM 04-20-2003
I totally agree with the 3 to 4 age projection of independant sleep. And even later. We still stay wtih our two older kids until they are asleep.
Babe needs to nurse....
Gemini's Avatar Gemini 03:11 PM 04-21-2003
My dd is almost 3 1/2 years old now and we **** have to help her to sleep whether it's in our bed, the couch or rocking her. I remember being frustrated at the same age (after 2 yo) wondering if she should be able to fall asleep by herself, and we did get her doing it for about 2 weeks or so with looking at books by a night light but she got sick and got in the habit of rocking again.

I was thinking about what to do about this recently until I found this thread and figure I'll just let her do her thing when she's ready. I need those gentle reminders sometimes! Thanks for the thread!!
P.S.- on the flip side, I bet when she does go to sleep by herself me and my hubby will be sad to not cuddle her anymore!