Alternatives to cry it out at bedtime?

Jacqueline - posted on 09/07/2011 ( 21 moms have responded )

5

0

0

Anyone have any alternative suggestions to getting our 4 month babies to bed at night? My little girl does NOT like bedtime and I am running out of ideas. I got the white noise CD and she is not impressed, we rock, we sway, we sing. Only thing that puts her to sleep is TV and laying in bed with me or my husband but as soon as we put her in her crib she wakes up. Are there any ideas besides letting her cry it out or is that really the only way?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Christa - posted on 09/11/2011

22

30

2

Have you read "No Cry Sleep Solution"? I have heard wonderful things about it from parents who want their children to sleep independently without forcing them to "cry it out"
It might also be good to read some articles about the unsafe nature of crying it out.
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/fussy-b...

This first link is by Dr. Sears who is a well-known pediatrician. He is known for his balance and neutral views :)

http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/dangers-o...

This one is more about the culture of crying it out, but has some good information.

When you allow a child to cry it out they are not sleeping due to the fact they've "finally figured it out" on their own. Rather, they have become distressed, feel abandoned, and resolve themselves to the fact that, despite their caregiver should respond (and that's what they're asking for when they respond), they will receive no help.

They have given up and have finally fallen asleep from fear and loneliness and exhaustion. Letting a four month old cry it out is never safe for them! it increases the risk of SIDS and decreases parental/child attachment.

Most babies at this stage still need their mom to put them to bed. You could start laying her in a crib and patting her back or sitting next to her and singing etc (starting off in the crib rather than transferring). Honestly, though, it's not normal for a 4 month old who is appropriately attached to their parents to be able to sleep independently. They are biologically wired to need their moms and sleep better when they are close. It's a survival thing and a human thing not a "bad baby" thing.
Keep plugging along! Remember, this phase is SO short (while it may seem long now) and there is nothing wrong with letting your baby know that you are close and protective of them.
I adopted this philosophy with my first two daughters (my four month old is #3) and neither of my girls are bad sleepers. They have learned that nighttime is safe and that I will respond to their needs so they can sleep without fear in their own rooms on their own beds. Establish this security and balance now and your relationship will benefit for years to come.

Ianina - posted on 09/11/2011

812

21

93

I think we all need to remember that are babies who are good sleepers and some that aren't that good. Just as much some adults sleep very well and some not

Chelsea - posted on 09/12/2011

5

17

0

I share a bed with my daughter as well. It does get old, but like one of the moms said earlier, this phase doesn't last forever.. I co-slept with my son until he was probably 6-8months old, when he got over it. I realized he slept better on his own at that point, so I tried it and it worked. I've never been a big reader when it comes to responding to my children's needs. I just 'go with the flow' in that sense. I never put my son on a sleep, wake, eat or vice versa schedule.. I just gave him what I felt he needed at that certain time. It wasn't until 6 months that he fell into a schedule of napping and sleeping almost through the night.. but let me tell you, when the time came that he was ready to sleep on his own all night (and naps) I was one sad momma. I say, respond to the kid when she cries.. try to put her down during the day for naps, and when you think she is tired enough at bedtime.. (that is what I am working on now with my little love).. hope things get easier for you. I am no dr. or genius, every kid is different, I just do the best I can to make my babies feel loved and safe :) Good luck and God bless.

Holly - posted on 09/12/2011

10

6

0

I'm sorry Christa I can't even begin to get into how you've tried to make a new mom feel bad about trying this method. Atleast Laura was kind about it,even though we know she's against it. For you to say:
Honestly, though, it's not normal for a 4 month old who is appropriately attached to their parents to be able to sleep independently.....I do not feel that you can judge that on EVERY child. My almost 4 month old has NEVER 'cried it out' but is such a sleepy girl and let us know when she was ready for bath and then bottle and bed. I put her down with a kiss and she's asleep in 10 mins and is NOT abandoned. As I type this she fell asleep for nap on her mat ON HER OWN. So I just abandoned her? This posts are for moms to help one another and as everyone is entitled to their opinion, I feel you may have made things worse for a new moms concern.

Christa - posted on 09/11/2011

22

30

2

I was referencing the fact that you said you allowed your son, as an infant, CIO. He didn't stop crying because he felt happy and secured, he stopped crying because he knew you wouldn't respond.
Babies cry because they need something.
Yes, some kids do sleep by themselves and don't cry themselves to sleep. My second daughter didn't want me to hold her or rock her to sleep, she liked sleeping alone. That also meant that she didn't cry it out.
Obviously your four month old can't talk (I was being sarcastic!). You had said previously that you let your son CIO and that you KNEW that he was fine and that's why you did it. Obviously you don't KNOW because you weren't in the room with him while the poor guy had to scream it out...He probably wasn't led to feel safe and secure through CIO, he probably became detached and recognized you wouldn't respond to his needs.
Goodness!
The OP asked for advice AGAINST CIO, not justifications to let her poor baby CIO. I didn't post opinions, I posted links to studies done about CIO. If you feel like you did the right thing by letting your son CIO, that's your deal, but it's not what the OP was about.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

21 Comments

View replies by

Jacqueline - posted on 09/28/2011

5

0

0

Thank you all for your kind words. We are working through things. My daughter prefers to sleep in my arms and I decided that is ok. We are going to try putting her to sleep when she is groggy instead of asleep to see if that makes a difference. I keep trying to remember this phase is so short and before I know it, she won't want to cuddle mommy so much. :-)

Karen - posted on 09/13/2011

236

33

2

We used to have a pretty hard time getting our son to sleep in his crib, he would wake up the moment we put him in it and start crying. CIO did not work for us, (not saying it won't work for others). My son would cry and scream for 5, 10 minutes etc. Everyone told me, "Just wait a little longer, a little longer, a little longer." I couldn't do it. It was the hardest thing I've ever done to just stand out side (I couldn't stand to be in the house) while my son cried for comfort. The second I picked him up, he would calm right down. I just couldn't do it. We have since began putting him to bed while still awake, but very groggy (not up set and crying.) He will look at us, we give kisses and cuddles and tell him it is bed time, we wish him sweet dreams and leave the room. I go in to check on him after about 5mins and he is usually already asleep by then. If he does get up set, I go it, pat his tummy, calm him down, tell him it is bed time, I love him, sweet dreams, etc. and leave the room. When we do that, he is usually out after two or three visits. I think they call it the Ferber method or something like that. Good luck and just do what ever it is that feels best for you. Some will insist on CIO, others on my method, some one co-sleeping. The bottom line, Do what Feels Right for you.

Jennifer - posted on 09/12/2011

516

14

96

I wasn't really calling you a bitch. I meant I felt what your were saying sounded bitchy. I do apologize and appreciate the same from you. Thank you :)
Yes.. every family and every child is different.

Merry - posted on 09/12/2011

9,274

169

248

I just think every mom has a different idea of perfection, we all want perfection for our babies but we struggle to see that each mom sees perfection differently, me I think it's perfect that I hold Fierna in my arms for every nap, and then sleep with her in my arms all night! That's perfect to me. And I'd find it perfect if she continued sleeping in bed with me until she was two yearsold!
Though in a few months I will teach her to nap in her bed.
I couldn't dream of her sleeping in a crib in another room! That would be so far from eprfect to me even if it required no crying! I WANT her with me, I enjoy sleeping together!
So I strive for my perfection and you all go for yours, but remember that our babies have very important needs and they're growing brains have very demanding needs that it is our jobs to meet quickly and efficiently so they grow and develop well. But if your end goal is baby asleep in their own room then go for it, slowly and kindly and gently while paying attention to their emotions as well as their physical needs.
I think as babies their emotional needs are JUST as important as their physical needs so make sure that however you do bedtime you are meeting their emotional needs as well.
Christa, Jennifer, I'm sure you both have more in common then you know :)

Christa - posted on 09/12/2011

22

30

2

Oh, goodness! I think my first post lacked judgement, and then I got a bit defensive. I apologize. I wrote that while DH was screaming at me, and I should have thought before I typed or waited until I wasn't feeling defensive to say anything! I was totally off-base.

I know many wonderful mothers who let their babies CIO. It isn't for me, I don't believe that it's right for our family, and I believe that there is scientific evidence suggesting that it isn't good for babies, but it is a personal choice.

Like many things in life we have to do what we think is best, and I know we're doing what's right for my kids, and I am sure that is the same for most mom's who let their babies CIO. I sounded like I was suggesting abuse or mal-intent, and I did not mean that.

Each baby does sleep differently (as I stated previously, my 2nd daughter did not and does not like co-sleeping closely and never wanted me to snuggle her to sleep). What I meant was that many children DO need their parents to sleep well SO if a child seems like they can't sleep without their mom it is normal...

Once again, I apologize. I should have waited to respond until I was in a better frame of mind.



p.s., I didn't mean to call anyone names and, if I did, I apologize for that as well. That being said, calling me names is equally uncalled for...I don't appreciate being called a bitch.

Jennifer - posted on 09/12/2011

516

14

96

Christa..I find your posts to be attacking mothers who do CIO. You sound like a judgemental bitch to be honest.
I am no where near a bad mother and my son is perfectly fine. She did not ask for advice for or against it. She asked for alternatives.
Do NOT attack my son ever again. He has NEVER felt abandoned. It is OBVIOUS in the way he acts/acted that he always felt secure. No, he never said those words as a baby but it was very obvious. Besides..he was eight months old, not 4 when we did it.

Ianina - posted on 09/12/2011

812

21

93

I agree with Holly here...I have 2 babies and sometimes one of them has to CIO because I can't be paying attention to both of them at the same time 24/7. And that doesn't mean I don't love my babies and they are not attached to me. They are SO attached that I can't leave them at my parents house because Sofia will scream and cry her loungs out till I come back.
It took me a few weeks to get them to sleep on their own all night long, specially Isabella who will cry since she is a baby who needs a safety blanket to sleep with. They also woke up crying sometimes in the middle of the night so I give them the binkies and they are back to sleep...

As a mom, YOU need to do what is best for YOU and YOUR baby and on top of that, what works for YOUR baby and YOUR lifetime.
Maybe we all need to stop judging people and methods and offer a hand instead of a slap

Jennifer - posted on 09/11/2011

516

14

96

And thank you Laura. I appreciate the kind words :)
No, I was definitely not "hardcore" about it. And I would go in every 2 minutes to reassure him. I do let my kids cry occasionally but NEVER hysterically or to the point of them feeling "neglected."
@Christa..sorry you feel the need to jump over me when I don't agree with your thoughts.

Jennifer - posted on 09/11/2011

516

14

96

If you read..I said that my daughter..the May baby does NOT cry it out. She sleeps on her own and loves it. She never cries. The days ARE full of cuddling, etc. If she wakes up or fusses going to sleep, I do cuddle her. You can tell when a baby or child feels safe, secure and loved by the way they act. No my 4 month old can't say "Mommy I feel safe and loved" but I sure as hell can tell she does. Words aren't the only way feelings and such are expressed.
And yes, my SON, who is almost 3 CAN vocalize his feelings and always tells me how happy he is.
So thanks.

Merry - posted on 09/11/2011

9,274

169

248

Her son is 2, her daughter is the 'may baby'
I'm sure Tucker knows he's safe and happy, but I doubt you'd be one of the hard core CIO moms.

Christa - posted on 09/11/2011

22

30

2

@Jennifer--I'm impressed that you have an infant who is able to vocalize their feelings to you! I wish my kids talked that early...

Merry - posted on 09/11/2011

9,274

169

248

I would call CIO a 'slippery slope' meaning if someone doesn't care if their baby cries, this indicates they don't care deeply about the baby's emotions, if they feel fine with leaving a baby to scream they don't really feel bonded to the baby and they could be on the path to neglect since their heartstrings don't pull them to their baby's aid.
But this is if they use extreme CIO, meaning leave the baby to cry 5 min, then 10 min then 15 min then 20 min etc, if a mom uses less extreme CIO like 2 min, 2min 5min etc or is genuinely concerned about the baby's emotions and cares about their feelings etc but just knows their specific baby needs to vocalize before bed then there isn't going to be any damage.
If the daytime is full of hugs and cuddles and sensitivity and warmth by mom then a little crying isn't going to destroy the baby.
I still wish every mom wouldn't let their baby cry ever, but I know that some moms genuinely feel like it's ok so I'm sure there's ways it isn't harmful.
IMO I'd never let my kids cry at any age if I can help it. But I don't think that every mom whose allowed her baby to cry at one point or another is ruining her baby.
So I don't promote CIO, but I try not to judge.
My heart couldn't tolerate it though.

Jennifer - posted on 09/11/2011

516

14

96

My son CIO..and he knows 100% he is perfectly safe, he is never scared, never has a bad dream or anything. Thanks.

Ianina - posted on 09/09/2011

812

21

93

I used to co sleep with the twins when they were about 2 months since they were eating every 3 hours...but I really wanted to be back in my own bed instead of the couch so we moved the pack and play there, next to the bed.
The first few nights they got grumpy because they didn't knew the room but we started to swaddle (sp?) them again. we did that for less than a week. Now they sleep in there alone all night long :)
That is what worked for me

Merry - posted on 09/08/2011

9,274

169

248

We bed share. So Fierna sleeps next to me. I get great sleep! And it's proven to decrease risk of SIDS when you are both breastfeeding and co sleeping.

Otherwise with my first child I would nurse/rock him to sleep then put him in his crib. He slept decently there and woke to nurse about 3 times a night at this age. I'd put hum on his side, cuddled up against blankets under his sheet and he slept nicely. He's great at bedtime now at 2 years old he just walks into his room and goes to sleep alone and happily, I never let him cry.

Just do what your instincts tell you to do, with common sense of course, if you really feel like your baby is best off crying herself to sleep then give it a try, but if it feels wrong then don't do it. You're the one here to protect her and if your instincts say not to let her cry then don't.

Jennifer - posted on 09/07/2011

516

14

96

Crying it out was the only thing that worked for my son. My daughter is now 4 months old and has just fallen asleep on her own every night of her life. My son ALWAYS needed to be rocked, cuddled, and and and to finally fall asleep and after months of trying different things, crying it out ended up being the only thing that worked. Now at almost 3, he goes to bed at 8 and if he is tired earlier, he tells us and puts himself in bed. He is a very social and cuddly child still..don't let people tell you CIO is a bad thing.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms