14 answers

Help My Son Will Not Fall Asleep in His Crib!

Hello again. I am still trying hard to get my son to sleep in his crib.... It's been hard. So far I find the more I make a big deal to get him to sleep in his room the harder each night is. Tonight he sleeping in his crib!!!!!!I am thinking of having my husband convert his crib into a toddler bed is this crazy at 17 months old???? I'm thinking if I can at least be in HIS room to have him fall asleep would be a good start. With the toddler bed I can be next to him and then of course if that works I would go and gate the hallway. What do you mom's think? I tell ya this is alot harder then I thought. My daughter at 1yrs went through a short period of seperation axiety at night that only lasted about a week or so. My son on the other hand this has been going on 5 months. Okay thanks in a advance for any advice.

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So What Happened?™

I have been trying tips from all you moms from my last request into mamasource so far nothing to major has happened but appriciate all your advice and support. I think too I have to make more of a effort but I find at the end of the day when I am so tired that I am not a strong as I should be. Thanks.

Featured Answers

Hi G., I know some of the other moms may not agree but if lying down with him works then do it! Some children need more comfort that others. Trust me by the time he is grown you will not have to get him to sleep this way. Thankfully you can stay at home and do not have to get up for a job each morning. I would enjoy the cuddling. That will not last forever. My best, Grandma Mary

More Answers

Why is it so wrong for you to lay down with your son? Does he stay asleep once you get him down? I get so irritated when people make others feel like they are doing something wrong by cuddling with your child. My oldest had to do the same thing. He's almost 8 now. I haven't had to cuddle with him in many years.

I will tell you the only thing I did different was I sat on the sofa with him and cuddled. When he fell asleep I'd put him in the crib. Once he got to about the age of 2, I began letting him lay on the sofa and fall asleep on his own and then I'd put him in the crib.

At 3, we put him back in his room but by then he was in a big boy bed so it was an even bigger deal for him to go to sleep there.

Unless you have a problem cuddling with him, please don't let others guilt you out of it. I wish my oldest would still sit and cuddle with me sometimes but he's "too big for that" now.


Does he have comfort object sin there with him? (Blankie, stuffed toy, binki??). That may be a problem, or maybe he just doesnt like his crib. Some kids feel trapped in there. Try a toddler bed maybe, just get one with appropriate rails so he will be safe and put a gate on his door so he cannot roam around the house. Good Luck.

And you don't need to lay with him. I know many mothers do, and many of the responses you got lean towards this. I will say that I love my daughter to death she is my world, but night time is a break for both of us. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to lay down with him every night. Just be frim so he will lay down without crying everynight. I never let my daughter cry it out either but I never laid down in her room. He needs to learn independence and also that you are just a yell away if he needs you.


I just wanted to add, how is your routine before bed? I have about an hour routine before my daughter goes to bed at night and I have found that when this routine is altered at all, she does not go down to bed as well as the nights we follow it perfectly. A few nights she was being punsihed and I did not read with her before bed and those nights it took her longer to sleep and she also awoke a few times in the middle of the night, still upset that we didn't read so we found alternative punishments. Our routine is: Bring all the toys back in her room, clean her room, lotion her up(for eczema), get a diaper and pajamas on, brush teeth, then read 3 books of her choice. After all that she is ready to lay down and falls asleep fast.

Is it possible your son is ready for a toddler bed? My oldest transitioned very early from his crib to a bed. It could also be that he has started dreaming or is afraid of the dark. Have you introduced a night light? I wish I had more advice. It will be interesting to see what other moms out there say! Best of luck.
A little about me: I will be celebrating 7 years of marriage this fall, am a stay at home mom, and have 2 amazing little boys, almost 4, and 16 months.

Dear G.,

You're not doing the wrong thing! You're being a wonderful mom.

Even Dr. Ferber, who wrote the most popular "cry it out" book, retracted some of his recommendations because he realized that for children with some temperaments, this method does not work and can actually be harmful. There's no method that works with every child; your two children are an illustration of that.

My strong recommendation is to follow your instincts and let your love for your son, not an external timetable, be your guide.



Try any change for at least a week before giving up.

Has anything changed in your home in the last few months. Have you kept his routine the same the whole time. My daughter is going through something similar right now. I won't give in though. I put her in her crib and then put my son to bed. If she is still crying at that time, I go into her room, and rock her. I do not remover her from her room, and I don't rock her until she's sleeping. I do rock her until she's calmed down. The whole time I keep her room dark and have her music playing. Both my kids have classical music playing in their rooms. They find it soothing and it sets the mood. Once she is calm, I put her back in her crib and leave the room. If she starts crying we start again, but we don't leave her room.

Hi there! There's some great advice here, but I just wanted to add a little something. My first daughter went through this phase at around 15 months. I am a stay at home mom and we figured it was her only time to go through separation anxiety. We set up a "bed" (an old comforter) in her room next to her crib and we laid with her until she fell asleep. Each night we moved it a little further away and after a couple of weeks she was over her phase (and we were in the hallway)! Good luck and do whatever feels right to you!! They are only little for a short amount of time!

Hi G.,

My advice to you is to let him sleep with you until he feels comfortable sleeping on his own. This will not "spoil" him, it will make him feel confident he is not being abandoned (the greatest terror in a baby/child's world). By nature, humans need to feel the comfort of their mother until they are ready to be independent. I recommend you read "The Continuum Concept" by Jean Liedloff. http://www.continuum-concept.org/
It will open your eyes to a whole "new" world of how we should be parenting based on millions of years of human evolution and history. Another recommended reading is "Magical Child" by Joseph Chilton Pearce.

Best of luck.

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