Teaching a toddler to fall asleep alone - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 09-14-2003, 12:55 AM - Thread Starter
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The background: DD slept with us (side car crib with rail removed) until about 23 months when we moved her to her own bed in her own room (where she would nap in the daytime).

She is now 29 months. We still sit with her until she falls asleep at night. It can take quite a long time. I can't stand it. There are other things I would like to do at night (like be with my husband). DH doesn't mind so much when he puts her to bed (he gets home late, so it's extra time for him to spend with her), but he tends to fall asleep on the floor beside her. I think DH and I are missing together time, so I would love for DD to learn to fall asleep by herself, sometime before she is 3 or so.

What worked for your family to help your child learn to fall asleep alone? Any suggestions appreciated! Thanks.
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#2 of 6 Old 09-14-2003, 08:01 AM
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sorry, having to remove all posts with personal info due to an online stalker.
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#3 of 6 Old 09-14-2003, 11:07 AM
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ditto what lilirose said! especially that when we feel frustrated and try to rush, our babes will not settle as well.

and close to 4 is when my older girls (4 & 5) were trully able to go to sleep on their own. dd2 was 3 1/2 when ds was born 9 months ago & pretty quickly would go to bed with just a kiss and the promise that I would cuddle again when the baby was asleep.
my dd's do sleep together, but it seems that between 3 & 4 yrs is a time of huge change in all sorts of abilities that really make it easier for kiddos to go to sleep by themselves (& other things too.)

good luck!
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#4 of 6 Old 09-15-2003, 09:21 PM
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DD is 26 months and goes to sleep by herself most of the time. 2 buts: she has always slept in a crib, and, we have a cuddling routine for prebedtime. I can't drop her in her crib and leave or anything. We spend about 1/2 hr with her once she's in her crib.

I don't think age really dictates when they can do this, rather what they are accostomed to, and what they need.

I agree with the above posters that rushing it will not help.

Here are some things I wondered about your dd. What time does she go to bed? Is she tired/too tired? Does she nap? Is she where you would like her to be? Does she go to sleep happily? If so you are doing well!

What I try to do is picture where I want to end up, and then head there, very slowly. The slower the better.

Anyway, sleep is my only issue really, so I've given it a lot of thought. If I'm getting enough, I'm happy.

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#5 of 6 Old 09-15-2003, 11:30 PM
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My dd's 33 mos. old and just started falling asleep on her own on a regular basis. We have a baby coming and wanted to have her do this since we won't be getting any family suport with the new baby.

So anyway, 2 mos. ago we moved her into her room with dh sleeping on the floor. Half the time she'd end up on the floor with him. Last week I taught her about the baby monitor, that she just had to call me and I would come, and we practiced. She's not scared of the dark either.

Then I started sitting next to her but not lying next to her and reading a book with a book light for while. Next I said I would sit next to her for one song on her CD and then would move to the chair until she fell asleep. Finally I said I would stay for one song and then I was going to my bed to sleep because it's dark out and the sun is asleep and (everyone we know) are also asleep.

Oh yeah, and established a firm 8:30 bedtime and 12 noon naptime. Also did this with naptimes. Told her absolutely that she could not get out of her bed once it was time to sleep and enforced that rule strictly over the course of a few days. She got mad the first few times and tested me over and over again. I put her in time-out (a 30 second stint in the laundry room). I told her she didn't have to fall asleep but she needed to stay in bed, period.

So finally a few nights ago I left after one song and it took her 2 hours to fall asleep but I could hear hear singing to herself on the monitor. Obviously not scared or upset. SHe called for me a few times and I came to her and then told her it was time to sleep and left after a kiss. Second night it took her an hour to fall asleep. Third night 30 min. Last night she was fighting to keep her eyes open as I was finishing the bedtime stories and took her less than 15 mins. to fall asleep.

She's also been doing less nightwaking. Last night slept through until 5:30 when she called for me. I let her come back to bed with me until 7:30. She normally wakes up at 6:30 after a bad night's sleep, so this routine has been good for all of us!

Good luck! And remember that if your child is acting scared or whatever, then give it a couple more months. Add nightlights, music, stuffed animals, make it a safe place.


7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
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#6 of 6 Old 09-17-2003, 12:58 PM
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