40 answers

12 M Old Won't Sleep on Her Own

I'm trying to wean my 12 month old off beastfeeding and co-sleeping. I want her to be able to fall asleep on her own and sleep the whole night in her crib.

I know everyone says to let her cry it out, but books and other people say she should stop crying and fall asleep on her own after 15 min.

She has never stopped crying. The longest I have been able to bear to let her go is 60 min. (of course I check to make sure she is ok, and she calms down once I'm there). Is it really this hard? Do I need to let her cry that long, or even longer?

This is really wearing on my mind and my heart. Help please!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

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hi my name is S. and i'm the mom of a 6 1/2 month old. i found that if i put my daughter in the crib and she starts crying i just lean over the crib and kinda hold her she faals asleep within a couple of minutes but to start remember to let her get good and tired, then you are there for her but she might go to sleep a little easier for you.. good luck


I am having the same problem with my 10 month old. It was much easier to continue breastfeeding with him co-sleeping with us. Especially since my son doesn't sleep through the night yet. I've tried putting him down a couple times for a nap in his crib and he lays there and cries until he throws up. There is no way that I can continue to let him do that. If he's laying there longer than 15 mins, I'll just pick him up and put him to sleep. At night I try to feed him before we get into bed and then let him roll around on the bed until he falls asleep, that way one day he'll at least be used to going to bed without having the boob. I'm probably going to wean him off of breastfeeding first, and then try to switch him to his crib. Especially when he has more of an understanding that he's a bigger boy. I hope you find a way that works for you. Just remember that the books aren't always right for everybody and to go with the feeling that's right for you.


I'm a mom of an 11 month old baby girl who is now sleeping in her own crib and mostly sleeping all night long. I had the same issue with her not wanting to fall asleep on her own, so what I did was I left the hall way light on and cracked open her door slightly so that it wasn't pitch black in her room. I don't care what doctors say about babies being too young to fear the dark. That worked miracles for me. Also, when that wasn't doing the whole trick, I'd sit by the side of her crib, not close enough for her to touch me or anything, but so that she'd know I was there. I didnt look at her or talk to her but it did comfort her and I was able to sneak out of her room after she layed down. So far this has worked for me for over 5 months. Good luck!

More Answers

My little girl was the same way. My suggestion. Make a bottle or two and walk out the door and leave her with daddy. Go have yourself a manicure pedicure or spend some much needed time out with friends. By the time you get back she should be sleeping peacefully. It sounds tough i know but you have to be gone or else she will want you to feed her yourself.

my youngest daughter did the same thing it was hard and she didn't fall asleep after 15 min either i could not bear to here her crying nor do i think it's healthy to cry a long time find something she can play with or take her mind off things she might be scared of the dark play the radio with a cd or give her a flashlight. it did take some time but once we got a routine down it worked I hope this helps.


I just wanted to respond because we did this when our daughter was 11-12 months old. It was horrible and hard, but you know what? Crying it out really really worked. I bought both Dr. Ferber's book and a friend lent me Dr. Weissbluth's book "Happy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child". Now our daughter goes to sleep on her own and most nights sleeps through the night. It helped us all, including me! I highly recommend biting the bullet, accepting that it is going to suck for a week or so, and doing it. It teaches your child to learn to sleep by themselves. But I am warning you, the one week of "sleep training" is horrible.
Good luck on whatever you do!

Just so you are aware, some kids won't cry it out and fall asleep on their own. My oldest daughter would cry for hours and not fall asleep. I would check on her but the crying would just escalate. For about a week or two--when she was about a year old, I would have to "talk" her to sleep calming her down and patting her back. It took about 45 minutes but gradually she calmed down and would go to sleep on her own.

I do believe in crying it out and it has worked on my other 2 daughters. Good luck.

Hi A.,

I had the same problem with my son, he's now 2. Actually, I am still having the same problem. When he turned 1 year old, we moved into a bigger place so he could have his own room and I hoped that he would feel like a big boy and want to sleep in there on his own. But he didn't and since I work full time during the day, it was always so much easier to just nurse him to sleep laying down. He's a very light sleeper so if I move away too soon or try to put him down in his own bed he screams to no end, like your daughter......
Since he was an infant, I tried the "cry it out" routine, but it never ended.....he would scream and vomit all over himself from crying so hard, then I'd have to clean it up which would upset him more, being cold and smelly and wet...plus he wears cloth diapers, and they pretty much need to be changed soon after he's wet or else it could cause skin problems (if it's on for a extended period of time). Then the only way to calm him down so he could stop vomiting would be to hold him and eventually nurse him, no one likes to see their baby make themselves sick like that!
My mom saw a doctor speak on Dr. Phil recently, and the doctor stated that it is not advised to let your baby "cry it out" because that can cut off the oxygen flow to the brain, causing brain cells to die off....probably not enough to make a development delay in the child's learning, but if I can keep some of those brain cells alive by holding him I'll do it!
Well my son just turned 2 Feb 1st, and I am now 6 weeks pregnant. He only nurses at night but I'm finding that I'm more and more exhausted so I have to find some way to wean him within the next couple of months. LLL suggested a book "How weaning happens" but I haven't checked it out yet...I can't seem to find time to read more than a short kids book! lol Also, some of the ladies I've talked with say that their kids still sleep with them in their beds, and the younger ones still do nurse at night (up to 3 years old, usually). I don't want to go that long, but it is reassuring to hear that other parents are doing the same thing.
Have you heard of "attachment parenting"? After I checked out their page and read some of the articles, I felt a lot better about our situation, there's so many other mothers going through the same thing with their kids....and they say it's okay, and they're all for finding more peaceful ways to respond to your child's needs and emotions; you may want to check it out too....their addy is:

Some people recommend sitting or lying in the same position you would if you were nursing, and offering something in it's place like a sippy cup with water or milk...or a snack...or just reading a book until they fall off to sleep. So far none of these have worked for me, just because I'm too tired to really try but it's worth a shot if you're consistent with it.
I hope some of this has helped, good luck!

Sometimes they cry a long time at first. Though the books and such say they usually stop after 15 minutes it doesn't always work when they think that you will come get them if they keep crying. Every time you go in to check on her the longer it will take. You may want to get a baby monitor and when you put her down go to a room on the other side of your house or even outside. Make her as comfortable as you can before you leave her. Try to make a routine around going to bed. Do certain things, like a bath or rub her with lavender lotion, put her in night clothes read her a story, lay her down, give her a kiss and leave. She may cry and she may cry a while but you have to try to resist going in. Have the baby monitor with you and if she goes quiet turn it on and listen for a moment. If she starts crying again then turn it off and wait longer. The first night is the longest. As she starts realizing that this is just the way it will be she cry for less and less time. Usually the time will shorten each night as you just don't go and pick her up. I know its hard but sometimes its the only thing you can seem to do. Remember kids are able to bounce back very easily. She might be very upset at that time but the next morning she will still love you and its not going to destroy the rest of her life.

Yes, this is a hard, hard task. I first started when my son was about 2months. And what I first did was keep him up as much as I could during the day. Then I put him on a schedule, meaning I would feed him every 4 hours a bottle. I didn't believe in every 3-4 hours because that one hour made a difference to me. Then I made sure that his last feeding corresponded with him going to sleep at night so he wouldn't wake up. And then I made sure that he would sleep in the same place and same way everytime. And finally when he was just over 5 months I started to notice that he would go to bed exactly at 8pm on his own and he wouldn't wake up till the next morning around 6 or 7am. He is now 15 months and he is exactly the same way. When he starts getting fusy and won't stop crying I just put him in his bed and he falls right to sleep. This could be during the day or night. So this is my suggestion. I know she is older. But I believe this works. But you have to keep on it and not change it at all. Once you figure out the schedule keep it. And do not let her sleep with you. And you can't sleep with her either. You can keep checking on her. It took me three months and those three months are worth it. It will get frustrating but the end result is amazing. I do not exagerate when I say all I do is put him in his bed and he falls right to sleep. Good Luck!!

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