Baby Hints & Tips

Won’t go to sleep on own

mum and baby sleeping(Disclaimer: All information provided should be used in conjunction with safety guidelines such as those from SIDS and Kidsafe. The hints and tips listed are from website users not that of the website owner and a doctor should be consulted before relying on the information found here. Go to Sids and Kids for more information on safe sleeping. Refer to Kidsafe for information on household safety and on car restraints. Take this information into consideration in conjunction with the following practical advice from parents.)

My 2yo has got in the habit of not going off to sleep (at night only) unless myself or my partner are in his room, once hes asleep he’ll sleep all night but he just wont go off on his own. I don’t want to do controlled crying or anything similar…any ideas would be appreciated.

  • How about gradual removal from the room? Start by taking a chair in and sitting next to his bed, then when he is comfortable move it a little bit closer to the door, after a few days move closer to the door. Eventually have your chair outside the room maybe turn the pages of a book so he can hear you are there without talking. Once he is ahppy with that say I am just going to go and eg fold the washing then I will come back and check on you, always go back even if he is asleep. Alternatively we sing 2 songs in our daughters room then 1 or 2 outside her door. This worked for us so she knows you are there but can’t interact as much as if you are in the room. Now we can rush through songs and say goodnight and she chats to herself and goes to sleep. Good luck. Tanya
  • Have you tried a night light, give him one of yours or your partner t-shirt that you have been wearing to go to bed with, it has worked for my kids, they cuddle up with it, & i dont have to be in the room, try playing some soft music, go to bed same time every night, tell him he is safe & everything is alright to go to bed by himself. When my son was scared i would spray lavender oil in his room, to protect him from monsters, id call it the magic spray. Hope this helps , good luck. Mia
  • With my 3 i sat next to them then every couple of nights moved a little bit further away til i was out the door. Reassure constantly! Corrin
  • Sorry we did controlled crying works famously. Hope u find something. Erin
  • I would love to offer some suggestions too bit I’m in the same boat with my 16 month old… and like you I don’t want to do controlled crying. Makes it tough. Good luck. Amanda
  • Never done controlled crying. i breastfed my boys to sleep until they were each about 18 months and started going off on their own. every now and then they go through this time of wanting someone with them. i just spend the time with them and after a few nights (sometimes only one) they are back to falling asleep on their own. Kids will do it in their own time. If they need support from you, i think, you should give it, you never know what is going on in their heads or what damage you are doing by ignoring their need for extra comfort from you J hang in there. It is nice when kids want you and know that you are there for them. Any time of the day or night, it builds a good relationship. That is what i think anyway…..and i love having a child fall asleep in my arms. Shellie
  • Our son is a bit like that where he needs to have a book read until he goes to sleep. He also like to touch someone. We found that reading picture books could go on all night, so he might get 1 picture book and then we read a book without pictures. Atm he gets harry potter. He’s already had the hobit, hitchickers guide to the galaxy and fantastic mf fox. In waiting we have the rest of the harry potter series and chronicles of narnia. He is 3 right now. Occasionally he still won’t go to sleep, eg if he’s had a nap, but probably from around 2 ½ years, he started to understand the I’ll check on you in 5 mins rule, where you go back every few minutes, gradually making the intervals longer and longer until they are asleep. For an older child this can be a good way of learning to self settle without the tantrums, especially if the resistance to sleep stems from any separation anxiety. Rebecca
  • My 7 month old is usually brilliant at going off to sleep in his cot on his own but has been a little un settled lately. hes fine if i stand next to the cot and put my hand on his back or arm or anywhere really. i stay there for a few mins then walk out. sometimes i need to do this about 2-3 tomes before he falls to sleep. but as shellie said its nice to know they need you and it gives them great comfort in knowing that you will always be there for them. Kristy
  • Thanx for your suggestions, we are giving the Supernanny ‘sleep seperation’ method a try at the moment, sitting on the floor next to bed first night, then moving further away each night til eventually out the door etc, all ok so far. I actually have no. 2 due in 4 months hence why i want this sorted before then, it can take up to ½ hr before my little gorgeous goes off to sleep at the moment & i cant see that being feasible when theres another little person to get off to sleep as well! I would love to stay with him, cuddle hime etc til he went off to sleep every night but i know this is not realistic & dont think it would be doing him or us any favours either! Love me little guy to bits, thanks again. ually have no. 2 due in 4 months hence why i want this sorted before then, it can take up to 1/2 hr before my little gorgeous goes off to sleep at the moment & i cant see that being feasible when theres another little person to get off to sleep as well! I would love to stay with him, cuddle him etc til he went off to sleep every night but i know this is not realistic & dont think it would be doing him or us any favours either! Love my little guy to bits Rachel 
  • We had #2 earlier this year and I passed the bedtime torch over to daddy. If you can share it with someone do ’cause sometimes they just want to cuddle mum but will settle better for dad with less fuss, once a routine is in place you could slip back in and share the role. Rebecca
  • I hope all is going well with the pregnancy Rachel, good luck with number 2. I had a similar dilemma re settling my oldest when second was born. My husband started doing the settling for her and still does if she wakes up. Its a bit sad not to be going to her any more. I agree that the cuddles are nice, however not always practical. Tanya

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