9 Months Who Does Not Want to Fall Asleep by Herself

Updated on October 22, 2008
C.B. asks from Lafayette, CO
11 answers

My little one who is 9 months is having a hard time falling asleep by herself.
Every night she cries and cries... until we come and rock her to sleep.
It's been pretty new...maybe a couple weeks. Before she was complaining and crying a little bit, but eventually falling asleep by herself.
Tonight we let her cry, and after 45 minutes.... same story, we came over and same old ritual.
Do you have any advice how we could stop this vicious circle?
Do we have to let her cry more?
thank you so much for your help

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answers from Salt Lake City on

You need to pick - are you going to let her cry it out (all the way) or are you going to go in a rock her. When you let her cry for a longer amount each time then go in, you're teaching her to cry longer. My suggestion is to just skip the crying part and have the bedtime ritual.

I really don't understand why we feel like we need to hav babies go to sleep 'on their own.' I see no problem with rocking and cuddling when they are young enough to do that, and let them go to sleep on their own when they are old enough to do that. (My 'baby' is now 5, and all 3 kids climb in bed and go to sleep by themselves. Sometimes I miss the rocking stuff).
You may need to re-evaluate the situation in about 9 months (when she's about 1 1/2). She'll try to exert independence then and may not want to go to sleep, and you'll have to deal with that issue. But I don't think it's at all connected to whether you rock her now or make her fall asleep alone. It's just another phase.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

My daughter has a son 16 months old. They chose to co-sleep with him because they found out it is better for the development of the baby, and to have security, knowing mom and dad are close by. If it is too inconvenient to have her sleep with you, you can always set up a little bed right next to yours. This will eliminate the hours of crying. It works for many parents, and it helps the baby even more. Besides its so fun to cuddle with them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

No, you do NOT need to "let" your baby cry more... no matter what anyone else tells you. Listen to your heart. It's such a myth that babies have to cry to learn to fall asleep on their own.

There are two books I've used & liked. Here are links to them on Amazon, though you might want to check your library, too.

I used the first book to improve my DS1's naps and the 2nd to help him sleep through the night. Both have such gentle, loving methods...it didn't feel at all wrong to me. The whole cry-it-out thing seems so counterintuitive when you're trying to build trust with this tiny little person & show them how much you love them!

Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

I have not read the other advice -- although I'm sure it's great. I just wanted to say if you can't find a solution just cherish the time rocking her to sleep. I know it's not ideal, but they grow so fast. And soon she won't want you to rock her or cuddle with her.
If noone has mentioned it yet -- try "The No Cry Sleep Solution" -- 45 mins of crying is too much.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Unfortunatley you have to let her cry. You don't have to ignore her though. When my son went throught this same thing I would put him down, let him cry for a couple minutes and then go in and rub/pat his back. I wouldn't say anything and I would only stay for a minute before leaving. I had to do it several times a night and then after a few days he was fine by himself. DO NOT pick her up. That will undo everything you've worked for. The thing is, they need to know that when they cry you're are still there for them. It's like they're testing you. Once they know that if they really need you and they cry out for you, that you'll always be there for them, they feel safe enough to fall asleep by themselves. It just takes patience and consistency on your part. GL!



answers from Boise on

It could be teething or something that caused her to change her routine. Try letting her cry for 5 minutes, then go in and tell her it's night-night time, hug her, and lay her back down. Then do it again after 10 minutes, and keep repeating by adding 5 more minutes each time. You shouldn't have to do it longer than 3 nights. When you lay her down, you can take a minute to stroke her and say I love you. Best wishes, D.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I'm not sure on how to stop the vicious circle except to say let her cry it out more. I have a son who is 2 now, but when he was 8 or 9 months, I had to let him cry it out. The first night he cryed for 3 long hours. It was better the next night, only 1 1/2 hrs., and it still took a bit before he didn't cry at all. He goes to sleep now without too much of a problem. Good luck!



answers from Denver on

Is she teething? That causes a lot of discomfort at night.
Give her some tylenol or motrin before bed, see if her gums are swollen and red, is she drooling a lot?
You needn't let her cry for 45 minutes but rather find a reason she is so upset. If it is her tummy try mylicon.
If it is teeth try the motrin. If it just new resistance to bedtime then try and new ritual, like a warm bath, snuggle jammies, story, full belly before bedtime.
If she is waking I am betting it is teeth if she is up after a few hours of sleep.
Make sure she doesn't have an earache or anything either.
It is hard, but if you set yourself up for rocking or not allowing her to continue to try going to sleep on her own you will have another battle on your hands.



answers from Colorado Springs on

Has something changed with her? Is she teething? If she's teething perhaps she just needs that little extra comfort to soothe her, and personally I'd consider rocking her to sleep to be a better solution than giving her baby Tylenol or baby orajel or the like in that situation. (Not that I consider either of those options to be "bad" but just would prefer the natural approach of the human comfort when that is sufficient.)

Other than trying to figure out if something is wrong, like teething seems to me to be a likely culprit at her age, perhaps she's just feeling insecure for some reason. Has something changed in her life so that you are away from her more than she was used to before?

I understand that she used to go down to sleep by herself and that the change seems negative to you because it gives you a new task when you are accustomed to having "you" time when you put her in her crib at night. But every child is different in his or her needs. My first-born, a daughter, liked to be cuddled and held. I rocked her to sleep until she was nearly 2 years old. (That probably made you cringe, but it didn't bother me.) My second, a son, was a very different personality and I quickly learned not to rock him at all, ever, because it irritated him and he'd jerk around and flail his arms and legs and scream. (Yes, scream as opposed to merely cry.) The only way to get him down to sleep was to put him in his crib and let him cry. After about five minutes, he's quiet down and go to sleep.



answers from Denver on

What we did was to rock or walk our baby until he was just about asleep, then transfer him into his crib (so that he was awake yet sleepy and therefore falling asleep on his own). We didn't leave, rather we would immediately start softly patting his bottom and/or rubbing his back to bring him closer to sleep before we left the room. Initially, we'd do this for 15 minutes or so (so get comfortable), but then the time needed kept decreasing. Eventually, we were able to leave the room with him in his almost asleep state, he'd cry for 2-5 minutes and then he'd be out.

Hope that helps.



answers from Denver on

Is she teething? My 1yr old daughter has a very hard time staying asleep during teething periods...she doesn't want to be alone and has a hard time going to bed. Tylenol and some teething gel and she sleeps through the night!


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