Name: Maria H.
Number of kids: 1
Ages of kids: 11 months
Problem: My son is 11 months old, and still sleeps with me, in our bed, at night. I've tried to get him to sleep in his crib, but even when trying the Ferber method my son screams for an hour or more before I give up and take him back into bed with me. I really want him to sleep alone, because my sleep is not sound with him beside me. To make matters worse he still nurses and, with me right beside him at night, he uses me as a pacifier throughout the night, crying when waking without my breast in his mouth. Help!
Editor's Comment: As I understand it, the Ferber Method won't work if one gives in after an hour (or any amount of time). I believe the point with the Ferber Method is if you give in, then they learn that they can outlast you. (This is just my understanding of this method, not necessarily my belief in the best way to handle this situation.)
Solution submitted by Supermom2 from Ionia, MI: Well, first I'm not even sure of the method that you're using, but number one, you need to be consistent. If your still breastfeeding and he is using you as a security blanket in the middle of the night, you need to find another security for him. You may try a new blanket he can call his own at night, or something he likes better than you. It may be music or other things maybe even a stuffed animal. I think at this point your child is too old for a pacifier. If he uses your breast for a pacifier in the night, try a bottle of water for him. As for him not wanting to stay in bed, the child will only learn he has to, and yes, from what I hear from others is that you need to be consistent in your decision and it's not going to hurt the child if he cries for 2 hours. It just shows him you're not going to give in. It hurts parents more when there child is crying. It's a tough lesson to be learn for the parent more than the child, but when the child is tired enough and tired of not getting his way, he will soon feel that he has to sleep in is bed. Good luck and hope some of our advice works for you.
Another solution submitted by Kelsey from Front Royal, VA: Our oldest son still tries to sleep in our bed. If I read him a book or let him fall asleep in our bed and then carry him into his own bed, he will usually sleep through half the night, then comeback into our bed.
Our youngest son quit nursing on his own at 11mo. I was lucky I think. However, now I feel as if he cheated me out of some motherhood time with him. He will sleep the whole night through, so long as he falls asleep with some of my presence.
Sometimes, it's frustrating... but with a little patience and time (10 min.), it can be done. Try total darkness and dancing. Sing a lullaby, read let him fall asleep in your arms, then put him in his bed. He is able to fall asleep knowing you are there, it doesn't mean he isn't able to sleep w/out you. Try other "pacifiers" besides yourself - back rubbing, patting... the singing etc...
We learn from our experience. I tell my oldest, mommy is an expert, or a professional. He believes me. Please don't give up on yourself... Best wishes and take care of both of you!