10 Month Old Sleep Issues

Updated on August 08, 2007
E.W. asks from Keller, TX
11 answers

I have a now 10 month old and I have some issues putting him to sleep. How do you do it? If you put him down drowsy in his crib, he just climbs up the side and cries. I really can't keep rocking him until he is deep asleep anymore, my back can't take it! (I also don't think that it is the best for him.) He sucks his thumb to comfort himself and he has a blanket, but he can't seem to just put himself to sleep anymore. He just wants to climb the side of the crib. He knows how to get down from a standing position, I am just at a loss on how to get him to sleep without rocking him for about 45 minutes. GAH! Would you rock him for a little bit and then put him in the crib to put himself down, even though he will just stand up? Or would you keep rocking him? When does it get to the point where it is wrong to rock them? I think that he should be able to soothe himself to sleep, but I can't seem to get him to even get him to lie down! We do have him on a very good schedule. He is drowsy and sleepy when we get to his bedroom, but my question really is about whether or not we should put him in his crib and work with him on staying laying down, or just leave the room and check on him every 5-10 minutes? We have just put him down drowsy, pat his bottom for a bit, and try to leave the room, but as soon as we leave, he wakes up and stands up!

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone who gave advice. My husband and I decided that we will 'wean' him to sleep on his own. We feel that putting our son down to 'cry it out cold turkey' doesn't fit our son's personality, he just gets more and more worked up. Last night, we gave him a warm bath, read him a book, gave him a warm bottle, brushed his teeth, and sang our comfort songs until he was drowsy. We loved the idea of saying our goodnights the exact same evernight, and so we are coming up with our own routine of prayers and nightnight. We put an 'ocean' cd on for him too. We put him in his crib and for right now, we will continue to sing and pat bottom until he is asleep, but here in a couple of days, we will move to just singing, and then humming, and soon hopefully we will be moved to just putting on the cd, putting him down and walking out the door. Thanks everyone, I learned from each one of you.

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M.P.

answers from Corpus Christi on

I agree that routine is the key - both of my boys had a bath at the same time, warm milk and then bed after a book. They knew what was coming. The only thing that I have done to spoil them so to speak was putting a heating pad in their bed before they got into it. If you take it out before you put them in bed, the sheets will be warm so they can snuggle down and go to sleep. I also had the philosophy that I would hold and rock as long as they would let me because they grow so fast - unfortunately, my boys did not want either.

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

I hear a lot of moms start having sleep issues at about that age! And one of the hardest things is the physical ability to resist.
Since you can't force a child to do any physical activity-can't force them to use the toilet, can't force them to eat, can't force them to go to sleep... you cna only make it desirable and comfortable to do these things.
Trying to make him lay down would be an endless battle and make him dread going to bed. Is he in danger in his crib? Since his crib is his space, it seems like he should be allowed to do what he wants to there, within reason!
You said that it takes 45 minutes to rock him to sleep-that makes it sound like perhaps he isn't sleepy enough. A lot of books and "experts" suggest that a child who is tired enough and led into drowsiness by a routine should typically be able to fall asleep in 10-15 minutes. if he likes to be rocked but it takes so long, perhaps the timing is jsut a little bit off?
I dont' think it is ever "wrong" to rock a child to sleep. I've never seen a teenager beign rocked to sleep, so obviously kids decide that they can sleep on their own.
Crying it out doesn't seem like a good alternative, also seems liek it will make a child dread bedtime. A 10 month old is kind of like a dog. Dogs know when their owners are leaving-they gather keys and grab bags and put on jackets etc. And a dog will follow an owner to the door and sometimes protest their leaving... A baby who has been trained to be abandoned at bedtime will begin to associate bedtime routines such as pajamas and teeth brushing as unhappy knowing what will soon follow.
Your idea of leaving him for a few minutes and then chckign on him seems like a good start. Choose an appropriate bedtime "toy" such as s stuffed animal, the crib music box etc. If this toy is new, it might be novel for a few days and stimulate him, but soon it will be comforting and not stimulating. It gives him a focus to detract from the desire to climb out.
I also think a child that age is capable of understanding a lot of verbal instructons. Create a predictable phrase such as "time for bed, night night. mommy will come back and check on you in a few minutes" and when you go to check on him, say the same thing again. say it each time. these words become part of the routine just like putting on pjs, reading a book, rockign... and soon, you will not have to go back to check on him after the first time because he will be asleep.
Good luck to you! let us know what develops.

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T.

answers from Dallas on

I have 3 girls. With the first one, I couldn't bear to listen to her cry either when putting her to sleep or when she woke up in the middle of the night, so I didn't. I always picked her up. She ended up going to sleep with us and staying in our bed... until she was 4! I never thought that would happen, but it did! The second child we let cry it out and all was well, though I can't remember all the details (Mommy brain). My youngest is now 11 months, and was waking in the middle of the night. My husband would get her and end up falling asleep on the couch with her is his arms. We decided that couldn't go on indefinitely, so we knew I had to lay her down while she was awake so that she could teach herself to fall asleep. The first night, I read her a couple books, gave her a kiss, told her it was time for bed, and laid her down. She cried for 45 minutes AND threw up (we didn't realize this until the next morning). I thought I couldn't do it again, but the first child did teach us some things!!! So, we tried again, the second night, she cried for only 12 minutes. The third night, it was 5 minutes. It's been just over a week now and she only cries now for 2-3 minutes and then puts herself to sleep. It's hard, but it's worth it. I just kept telling myself that I'd be confusing her if I went and picked her up, and better to do it now, when she can't get up and come beg you to lay down with her! Good luck!!!

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

I totally understand where you are! I had to rock my daughter (my first) to sleep until she was almost 3 years old! Yep, that's right, almost 3! I finally refused and she got used to it. It is sooo much easier to teach a baby to fall asleep by himself than an older child. I would get your baby drowsy and then let him fall asleep on his own. It might take him a while the first few nights, but eventually he will learn that he has to do it on his own. I promise, he WILL learn and in a few days he will lay down pretty quickly and fall asleep without much fuss. Older babies do stay up for a little bit in their crib checking things out, but fall asleep when they can't stand it any longer. 10 months old his old enough to be able to calm himself down and fall asleep on his own. He'll be ok and you will LOVE bedtime in a week or so!! Good luck!!

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F.

answers from Dallas on

I had the same problem with my first daughter. But instead of ruining our backs, we rocked her in her bouncing chair (hard on the leg and foot though!).
Just like you, we would spend an awful amount of time (45 min is about right). We would start rocking her and sing lullabies in her very silent and dark bedroom and after a while we would remain completely silent and motionless (apart from the leg and foot rocking...)until she would fall sound asleep and we would place her in her crib.
There was no way that we would let her cry it out or throw up.
Then one day, as she had reached her first birthday she just magically accepted to go to bed without being rocked to sleep!!!
To us it seemed as if it had taken for ever to reach that stage but once it happened it felt so good and we thought that we had done right to do things this way.
I always wanted our child to trust us, to feel safe and reassured by her parents and that we wouldn't let her down at the first difficulty that we would meet. It took a long time but it was worth it. And now that we have a 2 months old daughter we are prepared to do it all over again if needed!!

Don't worry, never lose the perspective: your child will eventually one day sleep on his own!!!

Good luck.

F.

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

We had a hard time gettgin my son to sleep on his own also. So what we did was started a night night routine. We give him his night night sippy cup with milk, brush his teeth, put his pj's on and rock him while reading him a story. Then we say a prayer adn lay him down. Now even still he stands right up whe we leave teh room and every once in a while he will cry but very shortly he will go to sleep when he realizes we are not coming in. Sometimes I check on him too soon and wake him up. In the begining when he would stand right up and cry every thime I would give it a few minutes and if he kept crying I would go in with out turning on a light or talking and lay him back down. I did this until he finaly gave up. I will admit it was hard at forst but in the end it worked. :) This is coming from a mom who use to always let her baby fall asleep on here.LOL

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B.D.

answers from Dallas on

I have a 10 month old, too. (She turned 10 months yesterday). Unlike her older sister, she has always been a pretty easy sleeper, and we have almost always put her down in her crib before she fell asleep, and she would usually just fall asleep without much fussing at all. However, just in the last few days, I have been having the same problem. She just learned to pull up (she's a little chunky, so I blame it on that...that it's hard to pull all that weight up). And now she stands up in her crib, and just screams at the top of her lungs. What I have been doing is at first, let her cry a little bit, to see if she will lie back down on her own (which she does know how to do, luckily). THen, if she keeps at it for a few minutes, and sounds like she is getting more worked up rather than calming herself down, I go back in there, I lie her back down, and I pat her back for a minute or two. I also give her a baby doll or stuffed animal to distract her. Then I leave. I had to do it about 2 times last night, but after that she stayed lying down, and in about 5-10 minutes she was out.

Like I said, she has usually been a pretty easy baby (especially compared to her sister), so I don't know if it will work or not. But even so, you might just try that...just going in and lying him down again and again, with a few minutes in between to see if he will just do it himself, and maybe eventually he will realize that he's got to lie down and go to sleep.

Good luck! I think sleep is by far one of the hardest issues as a mom, because you know they need it to be healthy, growing babies, but it's so hard sometimes to get them to fall asleep on their own. As someone else said, to keep in perspective, just remember that one day they will fall asleep on their own.

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

I have a 10-month old and what we have had to do is keep to a routine. My baby goes to bed at the same time every night, and we try to do the same things in order to wind down so she knows that we're close to the end of the day. We'll play with toys, read books, then we put her in her night night, then we go to her room, turn on some music, give her a few ounces of milk, say goodnight to her teddy bear and then we put her in bed.

If routines aren't really working right now, keep to it, but you may have to see if you have to put him to bed a little later or adjust his last nap in the afternoon to make it a little earlier. Of course, a little tough love helps and he will have to learn to cry it out. Originally, we started out with letting ours cry for 10, then 15, then finally 20 before she realized that she's ok and can go to sleep. We hardly have any issues now.

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M.R.

answers from Dallas on

I too had issues w/my youngest. I had to rock him from the time he was born until he was 13 months and that's when I said enough is enough.

We had gone to Sea World at the time and I saw a Shamo that winds up and that helped him drastically, He fell right to sleep and havn't had much problems since.

Good Luck and I hope this helps.
M.

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L.T.

answers from Dallas on

Read the book the baby whisperer. it really helped me. he is use to you helping him get to sleep and you will have to retrain him today it on his own.

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

I have a 14 month old that I have rocked to sleep since birth. She goes down for her naps with out a prob. I lay her in her crib, give her a passy, cover her up, turn on her Ocean wonders crib soother and tell her to have a good nap in 15 min she is out.

But to put her to bed at night...forget about it! So I rock her to sleep. I am hoping she will grow out of it as well. I used to let her play before bed but it would only hype her up and made it worse. So now I feed her at 6:30 while I cook, put her in the tub at 7 or so, give her a bottle around 8pm and then rock to sleep watching TV what ever I want (cartoons will keep her awake so I try to bore her with my TV shows.) Within about 15 - 45 min she is asleep.

Wish I could help you out...but, I can understand.

My advice is: Do what works! And buy a more comfortable rocking chair!!!!!

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