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<p>feel free to move to nighttime parenting if you feel it goes there, just thought toddler moms may know the toddler mindset better...I've been working the last few months on very slowly and gently helping 28mo old DS (with some mild sensory issues) to fall asleep not in a bear hug and to accept blankets.  It took 8 weeks.  So now we read and cuddle, and then I remove my arm from around him and sometimes we spoon, but I mostly just lay there and I sing or tell a story.  He's done great with that, fantastic.  Now, my next challenge, is slowly and gently, teaching him to go to sleep without me in there. I only learned of this when one night he was being antsy and I said I was going to go clean in my room and be back in 5min and he fell asleep. So we've had about 5 successes where he's pretty close to sleep, but definitely awake enough to say "stay here", but not cry or fret, and I tell him I love him, night night, and he does fall asleep. No issues whatsoever. So now here's my problem, when I do this, like last night, and the non STTN kid actually falls asleep himself <strong>AND</strong> STTN (745p-5a), he said when he called for me this morning "Mommy I am sad you left me". OH GOD DAGGER THROUGH MY HEART. I felt so horrible. Is this a sign he's not ready, or is it just a new phase for him so it will be uncomfortable at first? I don't know what to do. If I should continue it, so he gets more used to it and ok with it, or see it as a sign to take a break. I don't want him to be sad or feel like I left him. HELP!   </p>
 

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<p>We're trying to work on the same thing with DD who is 32 mo.  I would also probably feel horrible if DD said that in the morning, but I don't think I'd quit the process of what you're doing.  What we've transitioned to is to lay down on her floor insead of in the bed with her and it seems that she tends to fall asleep a little faster then, and now that it's dark earlier I can sneak out without her knowing.  Our goal is to eventually not have to be in with her, but I think that at this age it's still OK to help with sleep.  I would take this opportunity to talk to your DS about the fact that you'll always be there, etc. and see if he will share more with you about his feelings.  Don't feel bad, mama, it sounds like you're being very loving and gentle!</p>
 

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<p>He's probably just telling you that he was a little sad that you didn't stay till he fell asleep - not that he feels like you left him forever.  Just be empathetic, and tell him that you're sorry he's sad, that you love him, and when he goes to sleep you can't wait to see him the next morning.    </p>
 
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