19 answers

Baby Cries Self to Sleep Every Night

Despite having a consistent and soothing bedtime ritual every night, my almost 18-month-old baby still won't go to sleep without crying - for anything from 15 to 45 minutes. I'm sure she's tired; and I put her down awake in a quiet and darkened room, her usual lullaby CD playing softly, she's comfortably dressed and the room is a good temperature. Could this just be her temperament? I thought the crying was supposed to stop after letting baby 'cry it out' for a few days (we've been 'crying it out' for many months now). Anyone else have similar experiences?

12 moms found this helpful

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Featured Answers

Hi C.,
Well you sound like all the rest of us who have gone through it.
I have 2 sons and another on the way. My youngest is 15mos. He still cries to sleep, but think about it, they know they want to be with you and not in the bed. :) That's the way they let us know, Hey I like it better with you!
So, don't worry, I can't tell you when it will pass, but don't feel like you should do anything, unless you want to rock to sleep, but they have to get use to going to sleep on their own. I rocked my first son for 2 yrs or so. Until I was too big being pregnant and it was uncomfortable, and I am glad I did it, but I do like having a son who can go to sleep on his own. All of us have gone through and we as babies probably cried it out too. No worries.

Will she use a pacifier? My children always slept better with a pacifier. I saw some liquid baby calming herbs at the Vitamin Shoppe.

More Answers

I'm going through the same thing. I've found that a regular routine seems to make the crying bouts shorter, but it is still disheartening to hear the crying. I think my daughter might just need a good cry, because she sleeps much better after that than when I rock her to sleep, and consequently so do I. Good luck, know you are not alone!

My 2 year old never cried more than 15 minutes at a time, and I've tried a combination of techniques. What worked with my girl... I talked to her through what I was going to do (it's time for her to sleep on her own, Mommy and you are always connected even if I'm in the other room, etc.). I also tried holding her and staying by her side to help her go to sleep (maybe she just needs your comfort). Then, I slowly inched my way to the door over the next few days. Sometimes, she'll still cry out for me, but I'll only have to whisper "Go to sleep from the hallway." THe No Cry Sleep Solution is a helpful book, but I did finally let my daughter to some controlled crying after I had had it.

Good luck. There's no one right way. You just have to find out what works for you and your baby.

I have performed the same night time ritual with my now 20 month old son, since he was three months old. He still cries to sleep every night for at least 30 minutes. I have tried everything. I am resigned to the fact that this is how it is and I am praying that by the time our daughter arrives in July he will be easier to sooth to sleep! Good luck and let me know if you find anything that works.

Although "cry it out" does work for many children and families, I think that even the biggest advocates would agree that it is not right for some kids given their temperament. Could be the case for you guys. There are other ways of helping your child get to sleep, but they usually take longer. Although since you've put in 2 1/2 months on this strategy I'm guessing that you aren't looking for a totally quick fix!! We used a combination of No Cry Sleep Solutions and Sleep Lady info - www.sleeplady.com
At 18 months your child is really beginning to be old enough to understand what's going on, so you might want to consider starting over. Help her get to sleep in a really nurturing manner, and then start to slowly withdraw your assistance/presence. That's what worked for us.
You didn't mention whether your daughter wakes up at night, but in case she is and your current strategy has been to let her cry back to sleep (if she is crying for you), then I should warn you that many of the books mentioned will advocate that you go to her and comfort her in some manner. So it will take more of your energy at bedtime and during the night if she is waking up or starts waking up. Except the Healthy Sleep Habits book - good sleep research and information, but very cry it out oriented.
Good luck!

Hi C.,

Not sure yet if you have tried reading a book called babywise - it is hardwork, but it saved us.. my 16 month old has no problem going to sleep by himself...and there is no crying

Good Luck!

Yes at 12 months still have a crying baby so I just give up. I am a single mom of a 12 month old and have been doing this on my own w/no help from dad from the beginning. He left when I was 4 1/2 months pregnant so it has been rather difficult, so as a result i just gave up and rock him or while i give him a bottle he falls asleep but not sure what to do when i start weaning off the bottle in a couple of months.

If you come up w/anything please keep me posted and good Luck!

I find it easier on me to just rock the crying baby to sleep. It saves me from having to listen to the crying. I rocked my little boy until just recently. He will be three next week. He let me know when he didn't want to be rocked anymore. I know most parents hate to rock their children b/c in today's times it is considered best to let them "cry it out". But they are only babies once and you can never get those times back.
Try rocking her. I'm sure she will love it.

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