Is it okay to let your baby cry to get to sleep? it's hard for me, since she is my first one.

Danielle - posted on 12/10/2010 ( 34 moms have responded )

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my daughter is 7 months old and there are times where she will go straight to sleep, but there are time where she will be changed, fed, buped and fine, but she will sit there and sry in her crib, and i mean cry. my friend who has three daughters of her own says it is okay to leave her in there a cry, she'll go to sleep, but it hurts to hear her cry like that. my friend says that if you get her all the time, she will want to be on yout hip 24/7. i feel bad that i'm just letting her cry, but i just wanted to know if that was okay.

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Merry - posted on 12/11/2010

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Casey Coleman, babies do die from crying, I know of two specific cases that the American academy of pediatrics have used to condemn crying it out methods.

One baby died from crying so hard he vomited and asparated the vomit and died. He was found in the morning after his mom was so proud of her sleep training working so well.

Another baby died from crying because her brain was damaged by the amounts of stress she was in, she went into shock and died.



Crying also is proven to cause brain damage, sometimes not deathly, but the damage is permanent and can cause disabilities and emotional disorders.

Babies who are left to cry develop detachment disorders like in orphanages where they have no one to comfort them.



Babies Who are only left for 10 minutes or so at a time don't have such severe complications, but can have minor disorders from it.

The effects may not be evident until adolescent ages or even adulthood!

And by then you won't even know why your child doesn't trust you, why they won't open up to you, it's too late and their instincts were changed from thinking mom is here for me to I don't need mom.

It's risky trying to make your baby forget their instincts. You can kill them, or damage them.



Is it easy? No! I comfort my son to bed and to nap every day, do I like it? Not every time.

Is it a nuissence? Smetimes yes.

Is it time consuming?

Absolutely



But do I regret it? Never

Do I wish I let him self sooth? Never

Would I do it again? Definitely

Do I recommend it? YES

Sarah - posted on 12/10/2010

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I never let my son "cry it out" and he's 2 now and goes to sleep on his own without crying and has since he was 6 months old. I don't agree with letting them cry themselves to sleep. Babies need to learn that they can trust their environment. Ignoring their needs only serves to make them feel insecure in their environment. They don't learn to not cry because their soothing themselves, they just no there's no point in it. Orphans in 3rd world countries who receive little attention don't cry because they know no one will be there for them. Is that what you want your baby to learn?

Laetitia - posted on 12/13/2010

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babies seriously die from from CIO wrong? how is that possible? i have never heard of that happening?

i wont let my daughter cry histerical as ussually then it is when she wants mummy, i only allow the sleep cry and if she gets fussier and fussier i will pick her up, i dont want her to feel abandoned, but when she is really tired she cries the same weather being cuddled or in her cot, will let her cry in her cot for a little while and then pick her up to comfort her....
but she is now learning to look at me and do the sad mouth when she wants cuddles, im just trying to get her to not be 100% dependant on me to sleep

Laetitia - posted on 12/11/2010

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if i know my daughter is tired crying i let her 'cry it out' and ill sit and have a coffee or something to eat, unless she becomes histarical or is still crying a fair afterwards i will pick her up and cuddle her it all depends, sometimes she will cry for 20mins and as soon as i go to get her to give her cuddles she is straight to sleep, she just wanted mummy.... she ussually cries for maybe 5mins and then dulls down and eventually dozes off, if she cries it out she tends to have a longer nap and is in a better mood.

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Kathy - posted on 12/14/2010

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Yes letting ur baby cry is OK. They just know u are coming in there when they make any little noise. So I would say let her cry for 7 mintues, walk in there and tell her she is ok. Then move it up to 14 mintues, then do the same. See how that works. Good luck

Angela - posted on 12/14/2010

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My doc told me it was fine, but to check on her every few minutes to make sure she was fine. I would lay her down, rub her back, talk to her to calm her down and walk out of the room. If she cried, I'd let her cry for a few minutes and repeat the process. It's as hard on you as it is on the child to calm down, but she will eventually fall asleep. You just may have to repeat the process a few times. The trick is not to take her out of the crib. :) Hope this helps.

Brandee - posted on 12/14/2010

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We did "sleep training" with our son at about this age.. I went back to work when he was 8 months old, so we wanted him to go to sleep alone and sleep all night before my job started.. The first night he probably cried for about an hour after I put him down.. I sat on his floor or stood in his door way with my back to him, so he could see me.. The second night he cried 30 mins.. and then it got less and less each time.. If he woke during the night.. I would just sit on the floor near the door until he went back to sleep.. I would not say anything to him.. I really tugs at all your heart strings, but just know that you are not the only mom out there who has those feelings.. We made it past this hurdle and so can you.. After a couple of consistent weeks he was going to bed with no problems.. Now he is 2 1/2.. We take a bath, watch Berenstain Bears, read a book, say prayers and go to bed with no issues at all everynight.. I am soooooo glad we did the "sleep training" when we did.. you will be too once you get past the first few really tough nights.. Good Luck

Merry - posted on 12/14/2010

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They only die when mom let's the cries be hysterical, so much that they either go into shock, or vomit and aspirate it.
Checking in, small time limits, and knowing their cries will keep them safe!
But my opinion still holds that babies don't need to cry at all before sleep, and if they must cry for bring overtired the best place to cry is in Mommys arms!

Amber - posted on 12/13/2010

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Babies that die from crying...were left crying WAY too long. That is unacceptable and is not proper CIO.



My son and I had a nighttime routine. It included getting him changed, turning on his music, then rocking in his room for 10-15 minutes (It now includes story time). He would usually fall asleep just from that.



But on the nights when he was overtired or fussy, I would lay him down and leave the room. If he fussed, I would let him for about 5 minutes. If it was sleepy wimpering, a few more.



If he still wasn't asleep, it was back to the rocking chair. And we'd try it again.

It only took a couple weeks for him to go to sleep himself.

I don't feel that leaving him to cry for a couple of minutes led him to believe that "mommy wasn't there for him". I gave him time to settle himself without the extra stimulation of me in the room, which kept him awake longer. If he couldn't, I was there to help him.

This method worked for us both. And now he's happy to go to bed...usually :) haha



Allowing your child to cry shouldn't mean leaving them wailing and gasping for breath. But rather calming them and letting them sleepily wimper or fuss.



If this is something that you are comfortable with, then you can try it. But if you aren't, or your child doesn't respond well, then you're going to have to continue with play time or rocking until she is ready to sleep. Or maybe consider cutting her nap time so that she'll be sleepier at night.

Krista - posted on 12/13/2010

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@Laura: It IS really kind of sweet when they develop their own little sleep habits. When Sam wriggles to be let down, I put him in his crib with a small drink of water and a couple of his favourite small stuffed toys. I leave the door somewhat ajar so that he can hear us downstairs. Some nights he goes to sleep without a peep. Other nights, he'll spend up to a half-hour awake in his crib, talking to his bears. I have no idea what he's saying to them, but he's obviously telling them all about his day, because all I can hear from upstairs is him jabbering happily, interspersed with the odd bit of laughter as he tells himself a good joke. Goofy kid. I love that he actually seems to enjoy his crib and finds comfort in his surroundings.

Kristen - posted on 12/13/2010

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My daughter is 7 months also and she did this when she was about 2 monthsor a while. She would go right to sleep alot and sometimes fight fight fight! On the night she wasn't going down easy I would take her out into the living room and place her on her tummy on her playmat with all the lights on and the Baby Mozart as background noise. I let her kick and scream as hard as she could for about 10-15 min and then I picked her up, turned of the TV and the Lights and by the time we got back to the crib she was to tired to try anymore. If she doesn't have a lot of activity right before bathtime/bedtime she fights. If she's pooped out before you do you bedtime routine then she might go right out. It still works for me on our bad nights! Good Luck

Karla - posted on 12/11/2010

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Using the Ferber method was one of the BEST PARENTING DECISIONS I HAVE MADE!!!! It wasn't easy, but I fully stand behind our family's decision to do so. You really need to be consistent once you start, but it is absolutely worth it.

Merry - posted on 12/11/2010

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Ya some nights Eric fights me to sleep, he will try to get off my lap, or even had a phase of trying to hit me! If he was trying either thing I would put him in his crib and sit back in the rocking chair until he stopped being mad and started being sad, then I pick him up, bf, and he falls asleep!
But sometimes I notice if he is wriggling around a lot and trying to get down, I let him and he goes and squatts to poop! Weird but it happens ALOT. But hey he can't say the word poop yet so how is he supposed to tell me he has to poop before he can fall asleep.
I couldn't imagine if I was to just put him in the crib and assume he would tire himself out and sleep if he really just needed a poop.
Just now I was putting Eric to sleep, I bf him, then he un latched himself and sucked his thumb, he was wriggling around a bit and wasn't settling so I put him in his crib to see if he would like that, he never moved another bit! I watched him in the crib for a few minutes and it was so sweet! I can tell he is growing up and growing into new stages of sleep needs.
He is 20 months and I'm 4 months pregnant so I'm quite relieved to see I'm shifting to a more big boy sleep pattern :)
I'm proud that I stuck it out when it was hard and am now seeing him naturally grow out of the intense need for me to bf him to sleep.
One day he will not need me to get to sleep at all and I'm sure I will be relieved, and sad, and proud :)

Krista - posted on 12/11/2010

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Really that's what matters, that baby feels safe, loved, and cared for by someone they trust while drifting off to sleep.

Good point. And once they get older, some babies don't necessarily require the actual physical presence of the person in question in order to feel that way. Others do. Neither is right or wrong. On a normal night, if I tried rocking my son to sleep, it would just keep him awake and probably make him really cranky. I rock him before bed and try to read him a story, and we don't get halfway through the story before he's squirming to get out of my arms and into the crib. If he's sick or teething, though, I'm in that rocking chair with him for hours.

It's all about doing what is right for you and for your child, and sometimes that can change from day to day.

Merry - posted on 12/11/2010

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Krista, good point! My son has been put to bed by daddy, it's slower then with me cuz daddy has no boobies! But it's ok, and Eric still falls to sleep happy, content, and secure.

Really that's what matters, that baby feels safe, loved, and cared for by someone they trust while drifting off to sleep.

Krista - posted on 12/11/2010

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And Laura, I might add that some moms who work outside the home DO occasionally have to be away overnight for work. So even if you don't think that a baby needs to fall asleep by him/herself, it's still sometimes beneficial for a baby to be able to get to sleep with Daddy (or Nanny or Grampy) as the caretaker. Not that you want them to not need Mom, but nor do you want them to be so utterly dependent on Mom that if Mom CAN'T be there, the baby is completely inconsolable. My son does take a little longer to settle if I'm not there, but he does settle at a reasonable hour and typically sleeps through the night.

Babies may not need to be independent, per se, but it does help if they can be a little bit flexible with some things.

Katherine - posted on 12/11/2010

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You can't just let them cry for an indefinite amount of time. I say 5 min tops. If they are crying for hours, then they aren't ready for bed. And you shouldn't let them cry for hours.

Parents should recognize that having their babies cry unnecessarily harms the baby permanently. It changes the nervous system so they're sensitive to future trauma.

It also raises the cortisol levels.

http://www.babycenter.com/404_are-we-dam...

A baby cries because that's their only way of communication too. So you may want to make sure she IS ready for bed.

Krista - posted on 12/11/2010

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Follow your instincts, I would say. For the most part, if she's sleeping well, then that's a good start. And then there will be nights when you'll need to rock her or rub her back until she's asleep.



I used a very gentle, modified version of CIO, called the Ferber Method, with my baby when he was about that age. I never let him cry for more than 5 minutes at a time. When I put him down to sleep, if he cried, I'd wait a couple of minutes, go in, and soothe him. Once he was calm again, I'd go. If he cried, I'd wait a few more minutes, then go in again. I never, ever let him cry for more than 5 minutes. But that's what worked for MY kid. You have to do what feels right for you and what you think will be best for your little girl.



Plus, it depends on the cry -- I still sometimes now leave my little guy to cry for a few minutes at night, but it's usually just more of that fussy, intermittent cry that lets me know that he's crying out of tiredness more than anything else. If she's wailing and really upset, then I would go to her and try to calm her down before trying again.

Merry - posted on 12/11/2010

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Why would a baby need to learn to put themslef to sleep? Are you planning on leaving the country without them? Are you dying?
Why would a baby need to learn to fall asleep alone?
And who are we to make them grow up before they are ready?
Will you make them sit with a crayon for set amounts of time before they learn to color in the lines?
Why do babies need to be self sufficient?
They need you to clean them, feed them, carry them, teach them, love them.
Why would they benefit from not needing mom at night?
Motherhood is a full time job, we don't get 12 hours off of our shift every night.

Merry - posted on 12/11/2010

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Think of it this way, when a baby is inside the mom she is warm, safe, and soothed to sleep every time she is tired, when she is born she is vulnerable, she can't get her own food, she can't control her temperature, she is helpless and would die without mom.
So when a baby cries it is their natural survival instinct.
Babies need a lot more then food, clean diapers, and a warm bed.
Babies need nurturing, safety, comfort, and soothing.
Moms in some countries think that babies need to self sooth, this is because the mom doesn't want to get tied down to her baby, she wants her own freedom. Moms can be selfish sometimes and we all miss our alone time sometimes!
So some moms will be told their baby is manipulating them, the baby is getting spoiled.
Babies, like other young creatures, can not be spoiled by love and attention. They get spoiled when mom gives into material wants.
Think of it like this, could you ever say that your daughter loves you too much?
That she trusts you too muc?
That she depends on you too much?
Is she really at risk for being spoiled by your love?
I think not. :)
When she is tired and crying it is because she is not wanting to be alone, do you like sleeping alone?
Do you like a warm cuddle?
Babies are even more vulnerable emotionally then adults so they don't understand why we could reject them.
In her mind she cries for you saying "mom I need you"
When you let her cry she learns, "I don't need mom" or even worse "mom isn't here for me when I need her"
Babies lose trust in their parents easily, they get disappointed in us when we don't come through for them. This leads us down a path with a child who doesn't trust us, and who is reserved in their openness to us.
Babies who cry to sleep often start getting nightmares, they start fighting bed time, they start hating going to sleep.
Think of how many adults these days are using medication to fall asleep, how many adults have sleep apnea and insomnia.
Maybe that's because when they were infants they were taught that sleep is a bad thing because it wasn't safe to fall asleep. It wasn't safe because an infant is not safe alone!
They don't know they are safe in their crib, they have natural instincts telling them that next to mom is the safe spot.
When we give our babies all the things they need, food, love, attention, cleanliness, warmth, safety. They grow into confident children, safe in the knowledge that mom will always be there for them if they need it.
But when we teach them they must not depend on us they learn that they don't need mom!
Moms have instincts too, our instincts tell us to care for our babies, to attend to their needs. We must trust these instincts as they are here to keep our babies safe.
Your instincts say it is wrong to leave her to cry.
You are right.
The selfish nature in us tells us we should make the baby fit our life, that the baby must conform to our styles.
But our instinct tells us to conform our lives to what our baby needs.
Society can make us doubt our instincts, can make us lose faith in our feelings, this isn't healthy for either mom or baby.
Ask yourself, what is so wrong with your daughter wanting to be on your hip 24/7? What would it mean if she did want to be with you all day?
Would it mean she is a bad child?
No! It would mean she adores you and wants to be with you.
And no, no baby will want to be on moms hip all day!
Babies want to have their comfort, then they want to explore! Then some more comfort to make sure mom is still there, then more exploring!
There is no 'too much love' for a baby.
There is no risk of a baby loving you too much.
What is a risk is a baby thinking you don't care for their emotions.
Her emotions are important, just as important as her need to eat!
We are a social creature and we don't thrive solitary.
And just remember, adults spend their lives trying to find someone to share a bed with, why should we expect our infants to sleep alone?
At very least our babies deserve to fall asleep in the arms of their moms and to awake to their moms every time they need her.

Trust your instincts, trust your daughters instincts.

She isn't here to be trained not to need you, she is here to learn you are her mom who will always be there to love her and comfort her when she needs you.
Babies don't manipulate, they simply have emotions.

Laura - posted on 12/11/2010

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Danielle, to answer your question, "yes" it is okay to use Cry It Out (CIO) with your baby--but only if that is the method that you want to use! There are many, many methods of dealing with crying babies at bedtime: Some methods are more effective than others, depending on the child. Some babies (and parents!) respond very well to CIO. Some babies (and parents) respond well to more direct interaction such as rocking, holding etc. Then there are those folks who get creative and blend different methods to suit their needs! I used a combo when my daughter was an infant: We always had rocking and reading time before bedtime. Sometimes she went right to bed, no fuss. On the occassions she didn't go to bed, I did what Lissa suggested--I quietly approched her and rubbed her tummy for a few moments, then backed off. If she continued crying, I would repeat this no more than 2 more times. Then I would leave for good and CIO would finish the job. This did not happen very often, but was effective when needed. The important part is to have a regular bedtime structure that you follow then have "Plan B & C" in place as back-ups. This gives you some flexibility in dealing with those off days. Hope this helps and good luck!

Kate CP - posted on 12/11/2010

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I agree that crying for 5 minutes won't hurt her but saying she needs to learn to put herself to sleep at 7 months sound harsh.

Lissa - posted on 12/11/2010

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I personally wouldn't because to me it makes bed time distressing when it should be comfortable. If you don't feel comfortable with it here is a suggestion for a happy bedtime.
Have a good bedtime routine so she knows what's coming next. Put her to bed, leave her for a few minutes and see if she settles herself if not go to the room but don't give her eye contact, talk or pick her up. Just rub her belly/back gently for a few minutes,she should soon settle. Once she has settled take a few steps away with your back to her. Wait there for a few minutes , if she is still quite happy take another few steps and so on until you are out of the room. Do this over a number of nights and you should find she is far more comfortable about going to bed.

Nikki - posted on 12/11/2010

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I would never leave a baby to cry for a long period of time. Personally I think 7 months is waaaay too young to consider CIO. At 7 months they are still so little, they need all the love and cuddles they can get, it's not spoiling them and it's not learning bad habits.
When my daughter was close to 12 months we had issues with self settling therefore I used a modified version of CIO. I would give her big cuddles for 5-10 minutes then lay her down. Mainly she would play or whinge, if she started crying I waited 1-2 minutes, if she didn't stop I go in pick her up and settle her again. Some days I have to pick her up and settle her 10 times, other days she goes straight to sleep. But over all it has worked well for us, listen to your gut and no matter what anyone tells you, don't do it if it doesn't feel right.

Sherri - posted on 12/10/2010

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I disagree you teach them if they cry you will rock them or hold them to sleep they learn very bad habits. I am not saying let her cry for hours but 5mins or so will not hurt her Kate!!

Kate CP - posted on 12/10/2010

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*shakes head* She's 7 months old. She needs to learn how to crawl first.

Sherri - posted on 12/10/2010

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She is definitely old enough to cry it out for a bit. She needs to learn to put herself to sleep.

Kate CP - posted on 12/10/2010

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She is old enough to do cry it out if you wanted to but it's up to you. If she actually crying and not just being fussy I would go in to her. But if she's just whining and fussing a little she'll settle herself to sleep.

Casey - posted on 12/10/2010

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She'll be fine to cry for a bit before going to sleep, I have never heard of a baby dying from crying.
If you are looking at doing the Ferber Cry It Out Method it does work really well if it's done properly.
Have a look at cryitoutmethod.com/ for information on how to use the cio method and I hope it works for you :)

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I never left my son to cry for longer than a few minutes. He's 3 now and definitely not attached to my hip in any way, never has been. I say listen to your instincts and follow your gut. If you feel like you should pick up your baby, then do it. Seven months is still not very old, she still can't communicate her needs to you and sometimes she may just need....you. You're the momma, do what YOU think is best. There are other ways to get her to sleep without so much crying though. There are "controlled crying" and "cry it out" methods that have worked for lots of people. I never used them because it didn't bug me one bit to hold my son when he cried and I have never been one for strict structure when it comes to raising him. Just please, don't let her lay in there and cry for long stretches at a time, no matter what your friend says. Babies cry for a reason, even if all the obvious ones are taken care of (diaper, fed, burped, etc). Like I said, sometimes babies just need US. Good luck Momma and remember....go with your gut and learn how to nod and smile and politely say thank you to all of the advice you're gonna get. Some of it's good advice and some of it you just have to let in one ear and out the other :)

Christy - posted on 12/10/2010

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I was the same way I hated to hear my daughter cry when I knew there was nothing wrong with her. I thought that maybe it was mean to just leave her so I asked her doctor and she told me that its better for them to cry it out then to go back in there because they will just cry harder when you try to leave them again. So I promise she will be ok I know its hard it only took a couple of days for my little girl to cry it out and now she goes right to sleep! I hope this helps and good luck!

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