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August 26, 2004



You cannot do that at all! Because then things like this happen. Good luck trying to get him to let you have your own space. I don't mean to be mean, but you did this to yourself. Its easier to get them to recognize that they sleep in their beds when you bring them home from the hospital. I cannot stress this enough. From day one, they should be sleeping in their own beds. Even if they cry and cry and cry, guess what? They will get over it. Its what you have to do.


I suggest you put a mattress (crib size, perhaps) on the floor, next to your bed. You perhaps could move it further away from your bed gradually. I know someone who transitioned their child to a mattress on the floor. good luck!


My son got hysterical for a while after I started putting him in his own bed. He started sleeping in his own bed at 13 months. At first, I reassured him that I was still there but he would only cry more so I had to just let him cry it out. I know it seems cruel but he realized after a while that it was time to sleep and just layed down. It also helped that he had a prayer bear in bed with him that he could play and it would "talk" to him. He would probably still be sleeping in his own bed, if his baby sitter wouldn't allow him to sleep with them at 5:00 am when I drop him off. Now, he doesn't want to sleep by himself.


Hi and welcome :) You received some good advice from different perspectives. We are using CIO with our 9-month old. I know this isn't a popular concept with some, but it has worked for our family. Liam is the happiest little guy and is sleeping wonderfully through the night. I'm very in tune with him and know when his cries mean something other than "fighting sleep."

But this method isn't for everyone, and I completely respect that. The first 6 months with him consisted of rocking, walking, lulling him to sleep, and sometimes, he did sleep with us. I didn't prefer that, though. Liam is a very active sleeper and kicked the heck out of us throughout the night. He isn't a cuddler either (yet), so now, rocking etc is nearly impossible. He either wants to be down and moving or asleep - thankfully, after a few good weeks of working on this, he is starting to comfort himself down :) I wish you lots of luck - it's the hardest part of parenting, or one of them, in my opinion --


My daughter is 4 now, but when she was 2 she had to share a room with me, because i took in a roommate that used my 2nd bedroom. Instead of sleeping in the bed that I put up in my room for her, she slept in my big bed. When I kicked out the roommate and moved Hannah back into her room, she still wanted to sleep with me. I was okay with it for a while, but then I knew if I didn't do something about it then, she'd be sleeping with me until she was a teenager! I just told her that she was a big girl and big girls didn't sleep in their mommy's beds! I made her room fun, with lots of color and things on the walls and she loved it and wanted to stay in there, and of course the most important thing is a night light and a stuffed animal to sleep with! it's going to take some time, tears and frustration but in the end, it'll be worth it, cuz you'll have your bed back!

Rachel Ann

I don't mind family bed; it is a good thing to me and the child will eventually go ahead and sleep on their own throughout the night and prior to that they will start in their bed or end in their bed.

Here are some alternatives to crying it out; have them start in their own bed and they can come to you when they wake. Cuddle with them in their bed till they fall asleep(um, crib has to go), and then they can come to you when they wake. Start them in your bed, move them when you want (private time with your dh for instance) let them come back when they want. Put a mattress on the floor of your room.

If you just want them out of your bed; cuddle with them in their bed, or take the side of the crib down and sit beside them till they sleep, and continue to come in when they wake, cuddle till they sleep.

When they are older, about three or so (if you don't terribly object to another year or so of co-sleeping) you can tell them you will cuddle with them for a few minutes, then leave and then come back after five, ten minutes, but they have to be quiet during that time. Come back and give them a hug, snuggle and kiss, leave after a few minutes.

Robin P

Welcome to DotMoms.
The toddler bed will be easy for him to hop out of so I wouldn't bother with that. A twin bed with a rail is a better option but I am sure he will still escape. When Lillianna was that age we lived in a large house and the bedrooms were upstairs. The house was alarmed so I couldn't have her wake up and go downstairs since that would trigger the alarm. We let her door stay open but we put a baby gate in her doorway so she could see out but couldn't get out. A couple of times she cried and I sat in the hallway but not in her room and I sang to her or read stories. At first she would lay by the gate on a blanket and fall asleep but she was in her room and that was the point. It didn't take too long for her to love her bed and her own room and bedtime was no longer a problem.
She is almost 7 now and the past few nights she has decided that sleeping in her huge canopy bed isn't as much fun as sleeping in her Barbie sleeping bag on the floor next to our bed. We never mind that on occasion because we love that she wants to be with us but she sleeps in her own bed without any problems.
You have to decide what is right for your family.We made this decision because Rich and I couldn't get a good night's sleep with all 3 of us in one bed!


Forget the toddler bed. Get a regular bed and get rail from Target. I didn't have this issue with Jonas (who's now 2.7 years old). He split his time between the crib and the bed and never seemed to have a problem being in his own space. He transistioned beautifully to his big boy bed when he was 22 months old. We had it in his room for three months before we moved the crib. We'd read on it, snuggle on it, lie in bed and talk on it, so that he'd get used to being on it and seeing it.

Gabo, however, at nine months is going to kick my ass. From the moment he was born he has been more mama bound. He turns one in November and my goal is to have him out of our room by then (he sleeps in a pack n play because I am too tired to cross the entire house to go to him in his crib in the middle of the night. and I do not have the stomach to sleep train).

You can read about my pity party regarding sleep on my site.


It was one of the hardest things I had to do but with daughter no.1 we decided (that after lots of cuddling and stories etc etc) to let her cry it out at bedtime. Sorry if it makes me sound cruel, but like Melissa, we had to do it.

But it only took her *three nights* of about 30 minutes of tears before she realized that she'd much rather prefer her own warm bed. I think she was around 18 months at the time.. not sure anymore.. but it was such a relief to get our evenings back. She became a GREAT sleeper, even to this day, and she's 5.5.

We never did the family bed thing, but if she woke up early in the morning she was more than welcome to come and cuddle.

You know what though? Don't take anyone's advice here. It's a touchy subject. Every kid is different. Every parent is different. Only you know what's best for your little one.


I've been writing about this same topic - although my guy is only 14 months old...

Melissa S

There are so many ways of looking at it. Having my kids in my bed with me was totally unacceptable, for my husband and I. We like the time we lay in bed reading and talking and it reconnects us at the end of a long day in our seperate worlds. (not to mention other things that typically happen in the dark...in bed....in the holy union of matrimony....)

However, I absolutely understand how people would find the family bed approach suits them. If that's you and you don't *mind* having your baby boy in bed with you then...just keep doing what you're doing. I really don't see any 'harm' in it. Unless it's making one or more of the parties involved unhappy.

I have always done 'cry it out' because I just don't have what it takes to rock a child to sleep. The patience for it. I needed my kids to learn how to self soothe. With my son, rocking to sleep would be easy. He easily shuts his brain off. My daughter would have been a nightmare. Even at 6 it takes her an hour or so to settle down and allow herself to fall asleep.

My favorite sleep book is Health Sleep Habits, Healthy Child (is that the title?...it's been so long, thankfully) by Dr Weissbluth. It helped me during the CIO times with my daughter who I was 'teaching' to sleep well. I felt assured by the theories in that book since they most closely aligned with my instincts and feelings about sleep and parenting.

You'll find the book that fits most closely for your own style and instincts about motherhood.

Good luck and welcome.


Hi Amy - I've never understood the rush to make a young child sleep by themselves. I think it's the most normal thing in the world for a young child to sleep next to their parents. In many other countries, it's the norm. There's nothing normal about a child crying themselves to sleep. So it seems we should enjoy it while we can. In another few years, they won't want to sleep by you and you'll be missing those days when you had that closeness.


I'd skip the toddler bed and just go for the big-boy twin-sized bed. It'll save you money in the long run and makes it easier for you to lay down with him if the need arises. My son was around 18 mos. when we went to the big bed (he never really used his crib very much and was already climbing out of it). We made a big deal about how cool the bed was; and, like Anne-Marie, I would lay with him until he went to sleep. I had no trouble with him. That time with your child passes very quickly, so cherish it.


Hi Amy -

I had similar issues with my oldest (also born in Sept 02). I tried a few different things and to this day, more often than not, I put her down and sit in the rocker and stay until she's almost asleep. I can't tell you what will work for you guys, but I can recommend a book - No Cry Sleep Solution. It helped me come up with a plan.Of course following said plan was all on me, but at least I knew where to start!

Good luck.


Welcome! We had a very similar problem with Nathan, and the toddler bed didn't work. He'd just get off the bed and walk into our room.

Since he has a good sized room, and we had an extra full sized bed in the basement, we put it in our room. The nice thing about that is that you can get into bed with him, unlike a single bed. I'd often fall asleep with Nathan in his bed, then wake up and go back to mine. It was what I called "musical beds."

Nathan needs an audience to go to sleep and would either fall asleep on the couch with us present or in our bed. It wasn't until this summer (Nathan's 4 1/2) that we could EXPLAIN to him about falling asleep in his bed, etc. (It also helped that his baby sis had no problems falling asleep on her own in her crib. The old "If your sister can do this, and she's only a baby, so can you."

He still fusses about it, but will do it with enough explaining (and occasional yelling). We do have to keep the light on. If it isn't on, and he wakes up in the middle of the night, all hell breaks loose.

Good luck. Try all methods and find out what works best for your family. We've always joked that we should get Nathan a dog so he has something to sleep with. Maybe that'll work, who knows???


How depressing to know that I am not the only one who is dealing with this - and my daughter is 3 & 1/2!!! There should be some sort of club for us.


Oh, this sounds all too familiar. We are dealing with this issue as well. I should say *not dealing with it.*

Welcome, and let us know if you find the easy solution that eludes so many of us!


He is not redy for a toddler bed, he will simply get up and scream at the door, or if open come to your bed.

Its a tough age, he needs to go to bed awake and go to sleep in his crib with your help...it is not easy, most kids will scream for a couple nights and then go down fine, some, will scream for weeks. Do what you can,try some bedtime music and back rubbing, try the cry for a period, then go in and rub the back and tell him he is ok.
It's not easy on the parents and it could take some time, try and be patient and know that it will save your sanity in the long run!


Unfortunately, I have no suggestion as I have the same problem! I'll definitely peek in here again to find answers! hehe

P.S. Welcome to dotMOMS

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