My son is 17 months and will not sleep in his own bed. Night night time has become a 'hey scoot over time'. My son refuses to sleep in his own bed. He cries until he finally snuggles his way back to our bed. Sleeping has become very uncomfortable for mommy and daddy but yet a comfy sleeping kingdom for my baby. How do I get him to sleep in his own bed?
i'll start by saying that my husband and i are self-professed "hard asses" when it comes to a few things and sleep is one of them. :) so take this for what it's worth. i know a lot of people won't necessarily agree with my suggestion, but this is what has worked for us so here goes...
I'm going under the assumption that at 17 mo he's still in his crib? If so, I'd go for cry-it-out at that age. The older they are the harder it is, but it'll only get worse if you don't correct it now - know what I mean? We used the method when we sleep trained our son, but did it at a much younger age. It made for a rough couple of days, but in the end proved to be one of the best things we've done. Our son actually wouldn't sleep in our bed now if we wanted him to - ha! Seriously, though, it'll be tough, but he's got to learn that his bed is his and your bed is yours.
I'd start out by making sure you have a well established bed time routine. As as example, ours is: pick up toys, brush teeth, get into PJs, read two books, go over bedtime rules (our son is just over 2.5 so we go over these since he's recently transitioned to his toddler bed), hugs and kisses, then we leave the room. at his age the only reason he is allowed to come out of his room is if he has to potty (he's not potty trained yet, but we're setting that up for the future). now, when he was still in the crib this wasn't an issue. we closed the door and that was it. at 17 mo the only reasons we'd go into his room were if he was sick or hurt (he'd gotten a leg stuck in the rungs of his crib once, for example). otherwise, we didn't go back in until morning. when he was much younger (we started this process at 3 mo) i would go in to nurse him if he cried out of hunger, but that's not an issue at this stage so i won't go into that.
like i said, it'll be a rough few nights (rougher on you than him), but it'll be so worth it in the long run. i love that from about 8:00 pm to 7:00 am is totally time for me and my husband. i need that time for my sanity! ha! just go through that well established night time routine (whatever yours is), shower him with lots of hugs and kisses, tell him you love him and want him to get a good night's sleep and then head out of the room and shut the door behind you.
some may also recommend "gradual extinction" as a way to sleep train. this is where you close the door, then if the child continues to cry you go back in and silently soothe (just rub his back or something similar) for a few seconds, then leave again - no talking, no socializing, just soothe and leave. then gradually make the time periods that you stay out of the room longer. like, first go in after five mintues. then 10, then 15 and so on until the idea is that eventually the child will go to sleep on his own. this was the method we tried first when we did sleep training at 3 mo and he outlasted us even then so i can't imagine trying to do that with a stubborn toddler. we ended up doing the total cry-it-out method and it was what worked best for us. as a point of reference - the first night he fussed around (not full out screaming, mind you) on and off for two hours before he fell asleep. the second night it lasted an hour. the next night about 20 minutes. the fourth night just a few minutes and by the fifth night we didn't hear a peep from him. he wakes up so well rested and happy to see us in the morning, it makes those few rough nights so worth it!
so like i said, i know this is a bit of a "hot button" issue in sleep training, but it is what worked for us. i hope you find a solution that works as well for you, too!
I have to agree with the above. My daughter is just over two years and for the most part she is good about sleeping in her own room by herself. It is definitely worth not having to sleep with her feet in my back every night. (We stayed with my godmother for two months while I was in the process of buying a new home and she and I had to share a bed during that time.) We still have nights every once in a while where it is a battle of who can be more stubborn, but you just have to be firm.
My godmothers daughter just turned 6 and she still sleeps in the bed with them and refuses to sleep in her own bed because they have allowed her to continue for so long
I like to watch Supernanny, and find my self even using some of her methods for dealing w/ kids. On one episode... these parents had the same problem. So, Supernanny had the Mom put her son to bed... and then she (the mom) sat on the floor with her back turned by the door as the baby cried. In a way it makes sense b/c it is not giving your child (nor you) the sense of abandonment since you are still in sight. Supernanny stressed to remain in the room w/ back turned until the baby is OUT... otherwise if the baby falls asleep and wakes 5 min. later and sees your gone it starts the process all over again. Allowing the baby to go to sleep thinking you'd be sitting there all along is the whole idea behind it. The first night was rough... but the nights following it only took about 10-15 min. of crying until the baby finally understood his own bed is just as safe and snuggly as Mommy and Daddy's bed.
From another point of view, our son will be 2 in less than 2 months and still sleeps with us. We have another baby coming, I'm due in 10 weeks, and to us, this time is really important for things like that. Studies that say "co-sleeping is bad" are really being squashed lately, and I'm happy with that because we're big on co sleeping. Kids grow out of it, and we haven't tried much at this point. There are times where he did sleep alone in his room, and the last time we had him in there, we did what Shannon was talking about, sitting by the door like that, and it worked! So if you really don't want to co sleep that is a good way to break it I think, but there is nothing wrong with it if you do it a little bit longer :)
My daughter has always been a great sleeper, and she "sleep trained" very easily when she was a year old (I rocked her to sleep until then) when she turned a year, I would lay her in her bed and pat her back/butt until she was 90% asleep, then stand by her bed until she was comfortable not having my hand on her, and would then ease my way out of the room. If she started crying I would wait 5 or so minutes before going back in, to make sure she wouldn't just fall asleep on her own.
Now she is 23 months, and for the last week she has been having sleep issues (No idea why) So I am trying a slightly more firm approach, very similar to what Shannon suggested. I will go through our routine, kiss her goodnight and walk out of the room. She will instantly start crying and I will give her 10-15 minutes. Sometimes she'll lay down and fall asleep, others she'll continue at a high volume so I will go in, lay her down again, pat her back until she is calm and comfortable, then ease myself out of the room. The first couple nights took 3-4 rounds of that process. The last couple nights have been easier. I also allow her to snuggle with us some mornings if she wakes up early and is still sleepy, I'll pull her into our bed and she'll fall back asleep. We also go out of town every now and then, and she'll sleep in her pack n play next to us or in the bed with us, and we make frequent trips to our hometown and don't return until evening when she falls asleep in her carseat, so we carry her up to bed. I think that is a big part of the reason she has become unsettled in her room, because her routine isn't constant.
My son will not go to sleep using the cry it out method. The last time I tried he made himself throw up all over his bed. Now, if I even take him near it he starts crying. (15mo old). I decided it isn't worth it! My first child always slept in her bed, and my second slept in ours until he was 2. Each child is different and I truly think that my 3rd is just one of those stubborn enough to never give up!
My son is 23 months and he has never slept in his own bed. His father left us when he was 3 weeks old, so from that point on he has been in my bed. I am to the point I need rest. I tried the cry it out method and like the above post he cried so hard he threw up in his bed. All that did was make him terrified of his bed and make me have to clean his bedding. Since then I have changed his crib to the toddler bed. I am lost on how to approach this. Being it's now a toddler bed he can "escape" and come to my bed at any point. Anyone have advice?
Also, I know this if off topic, but he has recently began hitting, pinching and biting. He doesn't go to day care (my mom watches him) so he's not learning this behavior from other kids. How do I get this stopped and why is he doing this?
Try using a baby gate at his door... if he can jump it, do 2 baby gates one on top of the other. I used a baby gate for my daughter until she learned to just stay in her room through the night and it did the job (I was scared b/c the stairs were right there by her door, so it was more-so a safety thing... but I realized regardless, it helps some children to actually see a barrier for some time in order to fully understand they are not to go beyond that).
Anyway, my boys are 21 months and they are hitting, pinching, biting too... it's basically like a learning process. They are learning how to socialize, which includes learning how to touch others- which can include petting, hugging, hitting, biting... etc. Until they fully grasp that some things feel nice and some things hurt, they will do things like the biting, hitting, etc. w/ out even thinking twice about it. With my boys, I say "NO!"... then get down to their level and tap (like very lightly, like how you shhhh someone) their mouth and say "No bite, ouchie" or, tap/grab their hand and say "No hit/pinch, ouchie"... and then I show them how to be nice by caressing/petting nicely. So far it's working, b/c the hitting, pinching, biting is not near as frequent.
I have also had to use the baby gates at my toddler's door every once in a while. Usually she will stand at the gate and cry for about 5 minutes or so, but when she realizes I am not going to let her leave her room, she crawls back in the bed and goes to sleep. Sometimes when I tell her if she doesn't stay in the bed I am going to put the gate up, she will just lay down and go to sleep.
Thank you for your advice. I am at the end of my rope. He is hurting my mom on a daily basis. I called to check on him yesterday while I was working and she broke down in tears. We are both so tired and frustrated that it's taking a toll on us. This is my first child and he is the first boy in the family. Needless to say it has been a learning experience.