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What is the best way to get a 12 month old to sleep on his own?

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I am a full time mother and college student and I have completely spoiled my son Aiden. However, I love the cuddling and the quality time but it seems that as time goes on it doesn't get any better. When he was between 2 months and 6 months I would rock him to sleep and then he would sleep all night in his crib. Now I still rock him to sleep but he wakes up frequently and when I do get him back to sleep he wakes up everytime I try to lay him back down. I haven't been getting much sleep from being up with him and after a day or two of this cycle I end up either falling asleep in the recliner rocking him or sleeping on the couch with him. I don't know how to fix it and the only advice I keep getting is to let him cry it out. I have tried but he cries until he can't hardly breathe and it scares me pretty badly. Please help! All advice is appreciated.

answers (1)

I know how frustrating this can be! I don't like listening to my baby cry- but what mother does?!I would suggest putting him in his crib before he falls asleep. He has gotten used to falling asleep in your arms and isn't learning to self-soothe himself. By putting him to bed very sleepy (after feeding/rocking) but not yet asleep he will learn to fall asleep without your help. Right now you are teaching him that he needs you in order to sleep and that's no good for anyone.I've also read/heard how important it is for a baby to fall asleep and wake up in the same place. Imagine you go to sleep with a blanket and pillow only to wake up later with your husband/partner having taken them both. You would probably be mad/annoyed/frustrated. This is probably the same type of things Aiden could be feeling. He fell asleep in your arms only to wake up in a completely different place.Try putting him to bed almost asleep and playing some soft music. This might help lull him to sleep. Does he have a lovey or a special something yet? Blanket/stuffed animal/etc? Make sure he has that to comfort him.Also, crying won't kill him. My son (12 months) is beginning to show some stubborness. The other day he threw his first fit because I took his toothbrush away from him. He SOBBED for maybe a minute or two (seemed like a lifetime to me). He cried so hard he was heaving. Snot, drool, and tears were pouring. I tried to comfort but then decided to ignore his wails. Soon after he got up and walked away to play. It's hard to see but by the next morning I bet Aiden will be waiting for you with tons of smiles.

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