What are opinions of letting a baby cry?

Josette - posted on 03/09/2010 ( 75 moms have responded )

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How long is too long? Is baby too young to "cry it out"



My husband and I have a difference of opinion here and I was wondering about some experiences other moms have had. Our son is 4 months old.

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Trina - posted on 03/11/2010

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There are also no validity to the claims that self soothing actually works. It is a matter of opinion and research and simply which research you side with. Richard Ferber was actually one of the leading doctors who started the sleep training method. He recanted in 2005----> http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB11... and he softened and changed his stance against his before opinions of CIO Dr. Ferber now says that letting children cry "was not meant to be the way to treat all sleep problems".


Self soothing depends on how you define it. A child who cries and falls asleep does so because he or she gets tired of waiting on an adult to come pick them up. Now if a child is sucking his or her own thumb in order to self soothe..that is a natural method. Babies simply were not created to sleep through the night. Their nutritional needs can vary so much from child to child and many infants will need feedings at night because they are growing and developing. As parents I am shocked that so many of us are so insensitive to our child's needs and we put our own need for sleep above taking care of our kids. Infancy is not a long lasting stage. There is no rush to push a child to become more independent because they have the rest of their lives for that. The baby stage really only last about 2 years so why not enjoy those two years, meet your child's needs, and love that time? Once it is gone you can never get it back.

Polina - posted on 03/11/2010

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The cry out method should be done carefully and right. And I think it's much easier on the baby when the baby is between 4 and 6 months old. I think it's the best thing we'have done for my son. He is a happy baby who has slept from 8 pm to 7-8 am since he was 4 month old, when we decided to train him to sooth himself! Now if he wakes up because of a loud noise or God know what, he soothes himself to sleep and wakes up only when he got enough sleep. He is always in a good mood. The downside is that because he gets a good quality sleep, he has SO much energy during the day, that we can barely keep up with him. But it's amazing that we are able to change him into his sleeping clothes, put into his crib, kiss him and walk out, and he would quietly fall asleep with minutes, sometimes seconds. Not a peep! And don't worry about any brain damage. That could happen only when the baby is truly neglected. And there is a huge difference in training the baby to sleep on his own when he KNOWS that he is taken care of and when he is being neglected for hours. I have posted a lot of information in a similar topic which actually proves that there is no validity to any of such claims so I am not going to re-post it here. And of course each child is different. If I felt that my approach did not work for my son, I would have tried something else or ended up being stock with rocking my big boy to sleep every time...Just use your common sense and mother's intuition.

Brandy - posted on 03/11/2010

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I disgree with letting babies "cry it out". They need you. Be there for them. Why have a child if you are going to ignore him/her when they need you? They are trying to learn about the way they are feeling and they need your help. Research shows that children who are left to cio are more likely to be unable to express or understand their feelings/emotions and have more problems because of this. Also, studies show that cio can lead to brain damage because of a chemical reaction that occurs when a baby is crying by themselves. This chemical reaction does not occur when a baby is crying in their mothers arms. Even though the brain damage might be very slight and you might never notice it, would you really want to be responsible for that? Your babies are just telling you that they need you. One day they'll be all grown up and you will be wishing that they were little and needing you again, so take advantage of it while you can ladies! Read up on Dr. Sears (from the tv show The Doctors) and enjoy cuddling your babies!

Colleen - posted on 03/11/2010

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Our son is is now one year old, and we didn't let him cry it out until he was about 10 months old. We had a long discussion about this with our pediatrician because I am a teacher who has a long commute to work, and my husband's career keeps him busy, too, we decided to try it out. But again, it was as he was reaching one year old, not as a new born!!!
We only had to let him cry one night (and yes, I don't like to hear him cry, but reality is that we need to be fully functioning in the morning, and since I have a long commute, I didn't want to die because I was getting up 50 times in the night.) After that one night, he was wonderful. He had been sleeping through the night since he was 2 and 1/2 months old, but I was also home for the first six months of his life, and I didn't have to meet any schedule.
Our pediatrician agreed that babies/children need to learn how to be self-soothing beings, and if we are constantly running into see what they are crying about, we are not allowing them to learn how to comfort themselves. We definitely know his distinctive cries, and do not neglect our son by any stretch of the means.
It honestly was the BEST thing we could have done as parents, as he is now in bed by 8:30pm every night and sleeps soundly until 8 am. It does work, and no, my son is not brain damaged. He is incredibly intelligent, he is ahead of the other children at his day care who are his age, and he is a happy, cheerful personality. He is also a very laid-back child, so that may be why it work so perfectly for us.

Trina - posted on 03/10/2010

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Your babies are only babies once. This is the only time mothers get the opportunity to love on , snuggle, and hug an infant.Why is there such a big push to have an independent baby?

Laura - posted on 03/10/2010

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i never wanted to use the cry it out methode but my son was so cranky i just had to or he wouldnt let me put him down at all my partner took him off me laid him in his cot and refused to let me in the room it was cruel and broke my heart but IT WORKED within 10 mins he was fast asllep and i didnt have to risk re waking him to get him to sleep he woke up smiley and way less cranky as hed slept better and although he didnt have me he had his teddie blanky and doddy now hell fall asleep alone nearly every night he eight month old and he knows once he had his bottle brushed his teeth mummy gives him a kiss puts him in bed and he either watches his mobile or plays with his teddie till he falls asleep he dont cry anymore at all he knows i make up for it during the day with loads of cuddles

Emily - posted on 03/10/2010

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I don't believe in cry-it-out. Especially now having a 3-year-old and looking back.. we never did CIO, and he developed good sleep habits in his own way. I'm very proud we've never forced him to cry himself to sleep, alone. I would hate to cry myself to sleep, so I would never force my children to do that. Babies are needy, that's just how they are. And they need help for awhile to go to sleep. Doesn't mean they'll need to be rocked or nursed or cuddled to sleep forever. But when they're infants, they just don't have a concept that when you leave the room, you'll be coming back. All they know is "mommy is gone." It makes me really sad to hear about infants being left crying, helpless, all alone. I think we need to adjust our sleep expectations. Babies DO learn good sleep habits when they are allowed to develop them in their OWN time, not by forcing them to sleep alone at a young age.

Sarah - posted on 03/10/2010

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My daughter hates going to bed lately. I usually put her in the crib, let her cry and fuss for about 10 or 15 mins, put the binkey back into her mouth and keep repeating. You dont want to make eye contact to talk sweetly because they will take that as play time. You probably know that but i figured i would add it in! Usually after 30 mins she is asleep! AND, my daughter is 9 months old and sleeps thru every night, rarely waking up once! Thats the best part! :)

Heather - posted on 03/10/2010

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I agree with just about everyone. we tried letting our son cry it out when he was about 18 months old. in the 20 minutes we left him alone, i started looking online about this topic, and i read on a infant/doctor website that it can cause brain damage, and it can make the child feel like he's not important enough to be around the parents, and like hes not wanted because we werent responding to him. when my husband read it, he went and got our son out of his bed, and we never did that again.
remember, they are still babies. just because they've been around for a while, doesnt mean they are experts at life, none of us are. look at it this way, your son has only been on this earth for 14 months. . . . he's still a baby!

Tracey - posted on 03/10/2010

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I'm giving you a high five on that one! There's a difference between crying and screaming. I would NEVER let my child scream.

Tracey - posted on 03/10/2010

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He is now 9 months old. We started it at around 8 months. I definately wouldn't recommend doing this until they are about 6 months.

Morgan - posted on 03/10/2010

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I dont think theres anything wrong with the CIO method as long as its done correctly.

theres a book called "how to solve your childs sleep issues" that explains very well how running to your baby every time they cry at night can be more harmfull in the future than letting them CIO. I think the brain damage thing is silly, if that were true wouldent thousands of babies who have colic and SCREAM for hours on end be brain damaged??????

Tracey - posted on 03/10/2010

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I totally disagree! My child has never been happier since we have done the CIO method. He was cranky and sleepy without it because he wasn't getting enough sleep. He now wakes up with a smile on his face.



As for him losing hope that we will come to get him and comfort him . . . I don't agree with that either. He is a very happy boy entertaining himself in his bed when I put him down and eventually goes to sleep on his own. He talks up a storm when we put him down. Now, when he cries, I know something is wrong. I always go up to get him. Usually he's dropped his boo bear or needs his butt changed.



My son has never been more rested and more happy since we have taught him to sleep on his own. The crying usually only lasts for about a day if you are firm on it. If you go in and hold him or pick him up, it will last longer. They are learning that they can cry and mom will come.

Tracey - posted on 03/10/2010

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Best thing I ever did! I think it does more psychological damage to you than your child. Hayden hadn't slept through the night yet. I tried the method a month and a half ago. He started "getting it" in about a day. I would let him cry for 3 minutes and then go in and check on him. Then 5, then 7, and then 10. Within that timeframe, he put himself to sleep. You have to put them in their cribs while they are awake, though, so that they learn to go to sleep by themselves.



I believe that they aren't sleeping because they are needing YOU to put them to sleep with whatever method you are using. However, if you teach THEM to put THEMSELVES to sleep, they can then go back to sleep if they wake up in the middle of the night.



Seriously, it only took a day and a half and Hayden was sleeping through the night. Now, I put him in his crib after rocking him for a little while I read him a book. He stays up and talks for about 10 minutes and then goes to sleep. No crying anymore. It's wonderful.

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Until just recently I never let my daughter ' cry it out ' but now, at 18 months I'm finding that on occasion it's necessary.......I still won't let her ' cry ' for longer than a few minutes without goin in to comfort her but as children get older I think it's easier to determine what the different ' cries ' mean and how to deal with them appropriately! For example.... Sometimes my daughter will be whimpering/sobbing in her crib and, to me, is seemingly awake, but if I just rub her back and cover her up with her blanket she quiets down again.........usually once my daughter sits or stands up in her crib I know she's ' done ' and definitely needs my love and attention but I do believe up until that point she deserves the chance to soothe herself back to sleep! Have you ever half woken in the middle of the night because you were uncomfortable or had to pee?.......once we're old enuff we need the opportunity to try to get back to sleep before someone else intervenes, IMO!



All that being said, ur son is still young and in my opinion there's absolutely nothing wrong with comforting him immediately! If you choose to let him cry I personally wouldn't be able to get thru more than a couple minutes ( but that's just me! )........it's a learning process that you all need to go thru together......good luck! Take care

Leigh - posted on 03/10/2010

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My son is 4months old and I am asking myself the same questions you are. I have tried the CIO for the past week and it doesn't seem to be working. He just can't settle himself on a consistent basis. I think he is too young for it. He definately knows how to self soothe b/c he sucks his thumb, but I don't think he can consistently put the crying when sleepy and soothing by sucking his thumb together. I think it works better with older (6mon+) infants. For now, I am going back to the nursing/rocking him to sleep. I think it is better for him at this time.

Caroline - posted on 03/10/2010

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i can't bear to hear my babies cry. you can't spoil a baby by picking him up when he's upset. yeah i've been told it makes their lungs stronger if you let them scream it out but i kind of think that's a myth and besides that it also makes my boobs get huge lol.

Kari - posted on 03/10/2010

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I swore I would never use the cry it out method, but when my son was 6 1/2 months and couldn't nap without being in my arms and nursing, I thought I'd give it a try. My son really only cried the first day and now he just whines or babbles himself to sleep. What I did was I would put him down and check on him every 5 minutes while he was crying and would do that for an hour or until he fell asleep. So it's not like I just left him in his crib and let him cry. By the second day he was taking naps on his own, in his crib for the first time ever! I know it's not for everyone, but it worked for me and my son. I don't really know what age you should start at either, my son was 6 1/2 months and it seemed to work well for his age. I know it is very controversial and I'm not saying you should or shouldn't do it, but I just wanted to share my experience because it really helped my son learn to nap. He was always a great sleeper, so I never had to do it at night.

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My husband feels the same way about it - although I do all the night feeds as he's at work early the next morning so it doesn't really affect him.

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I don't like the "cry it out" method and would never use it for my son who's now 14 weeks old. However, if when I put him to bed he's sniffling a bit but not properly crying I'll leave him for a maximum of 5 minutes, then go and comfort him. Most of the time it's that he's too tired and just wants to go to sleep.

Josette - posted on 03/10/2010

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I absolutely agree with you. I don't like letting him cry and it doesn't "bother" my husband as much. I know my husband knows the "I'm hungry, I'm wet" kind of cries but the "I want to be snuggled" cries are the ones he kind of passes off.

Anyone have thoughts or went through the same thing with their partner??

Nikki - posted on 03/09/2010

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I personally could never let my son cry it out, I don't feel right letting him stress when I could just comfort him and reassure him. I know people who use the CIO method, but not until after 6 months and only in specific circumstances. I do know what each of my son's cries mean, I know when he is hungry and I know when his teeth hurt and when he just wants to be held, but even still if he needs his mommy, that's my job to be there to make him happy and I enjoy being that person, I want him to know I will always be there for him no matter what, I want him to feel safe and know he can rely on me, I just don't want him to think that he needs to comfort himself at such a young and fragile age. I am his mother and I will provide him with whatever it is he needs.

Trina - posted on 03/09/2010

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This is a controversial topic. I think it is wrong. This website http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/crying-it... does an excellent job of pointing how how crying it out can cause brain damage. It also raises a babies cortisol levels (the stress hormone). I think the notion of making babies independent as soon as possible is not a good thing, because in reality that is never what happens. Babies will stop crying because they learn the parent is not coming to help or to comfort them. In an essence, they give up hope. Biologically I feel that all mothers are hard wired to nurture their infants, this includes answering their cries and night time parenting. Crying it out goes against nature, it goes against our natural instincts as mothers. Babies cry for a reason, and when they are that small a want is a need. The need to be held and comforted is very real, and it fosters a secure parent/ infant bond.



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Andria - posted on 03/09/2010

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I dont like the "cry it out" method. My first daughter is 13 months and I have never done the cry it out method, I dont feel right about it. I feel that there other ways to solve the issue that there is... good luck

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