To cry it out or not to cry it out... What do you think?

Michelle - posted on 02/17/2009 ( 39 moms have responded )

62

19

5

Well, I was reading a post earlier about a mommy have sleep troubles with her child and the overwhelming response was to let the baby cry it out. I wanted to see what other mothers think.

I firmly believe that using this method is cruel. There are more gentle ways to teach your baby how to sleep soundly!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

I think you should go in to him after 2 mins. Then again after 4 mins and keep doing it but make the intervals longer and longer. Don't make a fuss when you go in!! Just tuck him in and quietly say good night and walk straight back out. DO NOT LET HIM UP. He will soon learn that you have not abandoned him, but night time is bed time. I have used this method many times. By the 3rd night the problem will be resolved.

Rachel - posted on 02/17/2009

202

36

5

I would just like to say that i am a firm believer in this method and it's not cruel if it's done in the right way, however i can see were your coming from when you say that it's cruel. It has been proven that this method is successful and that it has no sycological impact on the baby as i did research this when my pediatrition told me to do this with my son as i felt it was cruel to just let them cry but i have never had a problem with him after the first few days(which were very stressful i might add) but it worked and i have done it with my 2 daughters as well and i found that it was the best method af all for my kids. But hey every child is different and what works for some may not work for othes.

Julie - posted on 02/17/2009

24

59

0

It truly depends on your child in my opinion. If I know that my daughter has had lots of cuddle time, has eaten, has been changed and isn't hurting/sick and she still won't sleep even though she is definitely tired, then I will let her cry for maybe 10 minutes and usually she falls asleep right at that mark. She is a very strong willed child. I never did it when she was smaller though. I don't let her scream it out...



The bottom line is that if you personally don't believe in it, then you should not do it but I don't think that anyone should make another person feel bad for their choices.

Marion - posted on 02/17/2009

2

0

0

I think letting them cry for an extended period of time could be cruel, but you don't want to teach them that crying for 5 or 10 minutes will somehow damage them.  Yes, there is a bond of trust betweem mom and child, but the mom is the grown up.  If you show that you know they are OK, they will learn that they indeed are OK.  Also, letting them cry for 5 or 10 minutes every night and them picking them up will just teach them to cry for 5 or 10 minutes to be picked up.  Coming back in, sitting beside the crib, rubbing baby's back or singing to her are ways of comforting.  Before too long, the baby will learn when bedtime is and go to sleep when put to bed.   Being a mom isn't easy, but it's the best job I ever had!

Bree - posted on 02/17/2009

5

11

0

I had to let both of my kids cry it out. My son is 6 and he is just fine. My daughter will be 5 months on the 25th and she is fine as well. I think all those reasons listed about why you should not let babies cry it out are crap! I have never experienced any of these issues with my 6 year old. You need to go on your own gut and what you think is best for your child. Not what someone else says is best for your child.

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

39 Comments

View replies by

Joy - posted on 02/21/2009

310

15

27

sorry forgot to mention.....this is only if you know that baby needs a sleep. she also talks about different types of cries and says to NEVER let a baby cry it out if it is an emotional cry ie they are hungry, need food or are ill....this is only if they are protesting sleep and nothing else seems the matter!!!

Joy - posted on 02/21/2009

310

15

27

Hi there is a safe guide for how long to leave babies cry for before you help them get to sleep....this is listed in the book "Save our sleep" by Tizzie Hall....This is mainly a guide for when you cannot listen to your baby cry any longer..she says to have a ten minute break then try again with your baby...



Newborn to 2 weeks     2min



2 to 8 weeks     4 min



8-12 weeks     6 min



3-4mnths     8 min



4-6mnths     12 min



6mnths till baby is standing in cot     18min



standing to 9 mnths     lay baby dwn 15 times and then walk out for minimum of 15min



9-12mnths     lay baby dwn 15 times then walk out for min of 20min



12mnths till in a bed     lay baby down 15 times and stay out till asleep

Linda - posted on 02/20/2009

34

6

1

It is not cruel to let the baby cry. Infact, i think it is healthy. As parents you have so much to deal with. Children will learn that mommy or daddy will and cannot always be there. That is true in all ages of your childs life. If you feel that you always have to cater to their needs and run into the nursery then they will always be reliant on you in that way. Some parents may not find that a problem, and others...well...otherwise. Again, this is a personal decision. No advice is right or wrong.

Julene - posted on 02/20/2009

4

22

0

I had a question for Susan Iwinski, you say that in adults it has been shown that if they cry a lot this will lead to an adult mood disorder, but wouldn't the prolonged crying in an adult be indicative of them already having an adult mood disorder and that being the reason for their prolonged crying. This thought also leads me to question your other info, is what they claim really a result of crying in adults or is it the other way around. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that '..some babies actually need to let off energy by crying in order to settle into sleep or rouse themselves out of it. As much as fifteen to twenty minutes of fussing won't do your child any harm. Just be sure she's not crying out of hunger or pain, or because her diaper is wet.' And both pediatricians that I have gone to when asked will say it is best to lay your child down while drowsy but still awake and let them fuss or cry for 10 to 20 minutes until they fall asleep. I have no problem if you don't want to let your child cry it out, it is your decision and I am not trying to win anyone over. I just don't think it is right to try to make other moms feel guilty for letting their children cry it out. It is far better to let your child cry it out and learn to sleep then to be sleep deprived as a parent and do something dangerous out of exhaustion.

Maria - posted on 02/20/2009

65

13

2

yes, I disagree with crying it out but if someone insists on implementing it, please read a book and follow a method, please don't just let them cry for ages.

Maria - posted on 02/20/2009

65

13

2

Wow, there are some very different perspectives here! I am shocked that the cry it out method is so popular and that some people still think that you can spoil a baby! Someone here mentioned doing these methods with a 7 week old!!! You CANNOT spoil a 7 week old!! They cry because they have needs! Listen to your gut, your mothering instinct, it will tell you when it is just a bit of fussing or serious crying which you need to attend to.

[deleted account]

I am a mother of two, each of whom had very different sleep patterns (the first being easier, the second teaching me a lot about the challenges of a high need child). In my profession I work with moms and babies every day. Here are some points that I have found helpful: Babies sleep differently than adults do, with more time in light sleep, during which they are more apt to awaken (this is normal). Some researchers believe that this is a protection from sleeping too soundly and not breathing as a result, when they are still so immature. Babies take in about 25% of their daily caloric intake at night (this is normal). Babies do not have the ability to understand why they are left to cry it out and we are the only mammal to consider this desirable or necessary. Babies release cortisol (a stress hormone) when they cry, with increases in their heart and respiration rates and repeated and prolonged stress has been shown, in adults, to affect structures in the brain and has been linked to adult mood disorders. Parents should not be encouraged to do something they wouldn't do to their (mature) spouse or best friend (ignore them when they are crying). I understand the problem of sleep deprivation (a form of torture in some cultures) and it is absolutely valid for a parent to want to fulfill their real need for sleep. However, I do not find it helpful to pit infant and parent needs against each other or for parents to justify what they are doing or have done by implying it's for the baby's own good or that it is the only answer. I noticed some great points and links already posted for helpful, constructive solutions (E. Pantley, Sears, J. McKenna, each of whom have books and websites). There is not only one solution for every family and I truly understand the desperation which causes people to do something that doesn't feel good to them. May you all find answers which recognize both your child's and your own needs.

[deleted account]

We all have the ability to scream and cry. Crying develops strength at all ages. Too much attention positive and negative is unhealthy. We all want our children to have healthy routines and expectations. A public health nurse should be able to help you measure and tolerate weening your child and develop a healthy lifestyle. If you can't discipline your child properly a nurse can talk to you about that hopefully. Co-dependent relationships are the first step towards unfulfilled, problematic and criminal lifestyles. Those relationship expectations begin before the child is even conceived. Good luck! Firmness sometimes does sound like an emergency, because it is. It is called discipline, not conditioning, and they are both components of healthy development.

Erica - posted on 02/18/2009

1

0

0

Personally I couldn't do it. My son sleeps fine and will be three in a couple of months. He's still napping in the afternoons and doesn't cry it out - I think he's too tired. One to three short songs whiel I hold him and he's out in the afternoons - I pop him in his crib and he's typtically out for 1 1/2 to 2 hours - every once in a while THREE!

[deleted account]

I say no. "Ferberizing" is terrible, in my opinion, regardless of those who say it 'works'. I think they just give up!

Michelle - posted on 02/18/2009

23

0

2

hi im michelle ive got 2 kids and they both go to bed at 7 and sleep right through till 7 they didnt at first the only way we got them to was to let them cry themselves to sleep it is hard and it does get easyier

Anne - posted on 02/18/2009

1

0

0

I used to think the same way you do. It is totally your call- you have to do what your are comfortable with as a mom. For me, when my DD was 7 months old, I mentally and emotionally couldn't have her continue to sleep with me every night. I bought the Ferber Method book, which I highly recommend you buy before you try the "cry it out" method. This method was developed by a pediatrician who speciality at a Boston Children's hospital is sleep disorders. Anyway- I used his method- and it took about a week, but I swear by it.

Trisha - posted on 02/18/2009

2

4

0

i have mixed feelings on this subject as i used to be a firm believer in making sure my baby never cried day or night- constantly trying to make sure she's happy. i do strongly believe what a few others on here have said about how just because someone differs their opinion on letting them cry it out doesnt make it wrong. i have a family support nurse and 5 older sisters with babies as well and everyone tell me that you just have to do what works best for you and your baby- the hell with everyone else (as long as its safe and whatnot). my baby is going on 9 months old now, she just started completely sleeping through the night. the reason for this is because i still breastfeed and she would go to bed with me and wake up with me- but would would steadily nibble all night long. i desperately needed alittle time to myself and my daughter had 2 teeth and was starting to get another and i didnt like the thought of her eating throughout the night and getting cavities. so about 3 weeks-a month ago i decided to at least give crying it out a chance. the first week went horrible and she would cry an hour at a time, even with me checking on her every 20 minutes and rockering her at the 30 minute mark. the second week (after talking to my nurse again) went alot better. the biggest problem the first week is we werent being consistent with her bed time. the2nd week she was in her crib everynight by 8:30, and still is the first 2 nights she cried for an hour-at 20 minutes i would check on her, change her, and then usually try to rock her to sleep-but she would wake everytime i put her back in the crib. but after being clean and fed and assured she would go to sleep \within 10min. now a week or so later- shes in her crib everynight by 8:45 doesnt need to be changed again, and falls asleep some night after 5 min, and the longest is about 20. if i dont do this, she will fight sleep and actually end up getting way less. and like one post said- if they dont get enough sleep- thats what could lead to serious problems. my daughter loves me and knows if she needs something, im in there within 5 minutes. but if she is fed and clean and played with me during the day and i rock her, and she still is screaming, then i truly believe shes fine. i hate listening to it, i told my nurse it made me sad and broke my heart to hear her so sad, and all she told me was- why do you think shes sad? shes not sad, she knows you love her, but if all her needs are met and shes still screaming, chances are that shes mad because that not what shes used to. i really believe that if i keep this consistency up, shell go to bed within 5 min every night. one night (i was still awake) she had woke up around 1 am and i heard her start to cry and as i was going to her room to rock her she stopped and started babbling to herself, she did this for about 15-20 min and then went right back to sleep. before when she was sleeping with me, the slightest noise would wake her up, and she WOULD NOT go back to sleep until she found my boob. so just for me to hear her wake and play and then go back to sleep by herself, really made my day. shes just as attached to me, probably even more so now, but my daughter is thriving and already almost walkking at 9 months, shes smater than alot of babies her age. i think that crying it out could definitely make her hate going to her crib or be mad at you (for a short time) but otherwise, it does teach them to be a little more independant and they dont rely on something outside to get them to go back to sleep, and i believe that is the ultimate goal, for them to get enough sleep and for them to learn to go to sleep sleep without problems.

Cathryn - posted on 02/18/2009

10

19

0

wITH BOTH MY CHILDREN I ALLOWED THEM TO CRY THEMSELVES TO SLEEP BUT WITH ME RETURNING A FREQUENT INTERVALS BUT LETTING THE INTERVAL GET LONGER AND LONGER EACH TIME. iT ONLY TOOK A FEW NIGHTS OF THIS AND THEY BEGAN TO SETTLE THEMSELVES. tHINK IT IS A PERSONAL THING, IT IS HARD TO HEAR YOUR BABY CRY BUT IT TEACHES THEM TO SETTLE THEMSELVES ALLOWING YOU A BETTER NIGHT SLEEP.

Julene - posted on 02/18/2009

4

22

0

Oops, obviously I was not referring to previous post in my response but to the post by Diane BI made yesterday that listed the reasons not to let your baby cry it out. Sorry about that, my server had trouble loading. I also wanted to add that I have many friends with children close to my kids ages that have let their children cry it out and then I have many friends that used other methods and all of these children no matter the method used are happy and healthy and their behavior is not distinguishable based on what sleep method they used. So eventhough there are a lot of strong feelings about this as long as they come from a loving home, they are going to be fine!

Julene - posted on 02/18/2009

4

22

0

In response to the previous post, I can assure you that letting your child cry it out will not cause a decrease in intellect. I used Babywise with both my children and it worked great. Of course, you don't let your child cry for long periods of time, but I found after two nights of letting them cry for about 10 minutes they would get into the routine and I could lay them down and they would fall right to sleep. My son is not yet 3 and is already spelling and reading some words and he is one of the most advanced in his preschool class while being the youngest, so letting your child cry it out does not affect intellect. Both my children are also extremely loving and affectionate, so there is also no feeling of abandonment. All the other claims about letting your child cry it out are also fallacious. I think you need to use whatever method works for you. But children need sleep, without it you can bet that they will be unhappy and have a harder time paying attention and therefore learning. But whatever method you choose to use must be done with love and common sense. The only advice I would give is if you are going to let your child cry it out make sure you have a routine so your child knows what to expect, otherwise letting your child cry it out will not work.

Jenna - posted on 02/17/2009

7

0

0

Wow. Please respect what every mother does even if you disagree with her. Every baby and mother's needs are different. My baby put himself to sleep at 7 wks old and he would originally cry himself to sleep. It took a few nights to have him to do it (he is stubborn), but he is a very happy baby. Mine and my husband's personalities allow us to let my son cry himself to sleep. It helps him to become independent and soothe himself. We would let him cry a half hour, go and put the binky in, then if he continued to cry, wait, binky, etc. We did not pick him up. He knew if we picked him up he got the attention. Sometimes they just cry at night just from habit. I have a perfect relationship with my son. We have a wonderful bedtime routine with bath, stories, cuddles, etc. He knows I love him b/c I am the only one who can make him laugh his hardest. He smiles so much to me and said "mama" first. This we felt was right for us. My son has always slept nights well and can put himself to sleep for any nap/bedtime. Around 5/6 months a baby can become attached to a teddy or comfort toy. This helps them to know that it is sleep time. The comfort toy doesn't leave the crib so they correlate it to bedtime. Pacifiers do the same thing. I hope it helps.

Khadra - posted on 02/17/2009

3

0

0

At this time in a babies life, they are really developing their sense of security. Letting them cry it out, in my opinion, makes them very insecure and makes them feel like no one is there when they need someone. With my son, when he would not go to sleep, we experimented and found things that put him right to sleep. For example, if you will kiss on his face or forehead over and over, he falls right to sleep to that. Or, if you lay him on your shoulder and rub his back, that works too. Not only may it not healthy to your baby to let him cry it out, it is not healthy to you either.

Tina - posted on 02/17/2009

2

6

0

My kids are now 23, 21, 18 amd 12. I held them and rocked them until they were close to 2 and when I had another baby I would sit in their room til they were sleeping and yes, sometimes layed with them. Regrets?? No way! Time goes too fast and I can't hold my kis and rock them anymore!

[deleted account]

If your baby is crying, something is wrong maybe he is lonely, needs a nappy change or is teething. A baby doesnt cry for "no reason" so crying it out is cruel.
I never let by son cry it out, soemtimes he gets a bit upset and fussy so I leave him and usually he drifts back off but if he starts crying where I can tell he is upset then there is something obviously wrong and usually a little rocking or a hug calms him down. I think CIO is cruel and wrong, and most mothers who do it just dont have the patience or time to sit with their little one and rock him/her.

Carolyn - posted on 02/17/2009

26

12

3

My son is a good sleeper but for a while while on vacation and several weeks after he would get up x2 a night and would not go to sleep till he was fed. He got into this habit and continued to do it he was not even  hungary.  So I would always go to him when he started crying so one night i let him cry for 5 min he went back to sleep. The same thing the following night let him cry for 5 min and back to sleep he went. Now he seeps 12 hrs straight. Of course you never let them scream but its okay to let your child cry for 5-10 min.

Jessica - posted on 02/17/2009

1

8

0

hi, my son who is now 2 slept all night when he was a baby till he was bout 15months from that day he jus wont sleep n will go to any length to stay awake i think been a single parent means it is easier to give in a lat him get up wen he cries i find it very hard to listen to my son cry an i usualy end up stayin awake till early hours in the mornin i dont think this is healthy for my son or me so if any1 has any suggestions i would appreciate them thanks x

Laura - posted on 02/17/2009

2

36

0

I think that if you have a child who will not sleep unless they are held that they need to learn in some way to settle themselves. My daughter will not sleep in a crib, as a matter of fact the only way she will fall asleep is in her swing. I listened to the dr who said to let her cry it out and she made herself miserable screaming to tht point of spitting up and gagging on it.... not a big fan of the dr.

Michelle - posted on 02/17/2009

62

19

5

Quoting Bree:

I had to let both of my kids cry it out. My son is 6 and he is just fine. My daughter will be 5 months on the 25th and she is fine as well. I think all those reasons listed about why you should not let babies cry it out are crap! I have never experienced any of these issues with my 6 year old. You need to go on your own gut and what you think is best for your child. Not what someone else says is best for your child.


Those are pretty harsh words Bree.  Most of those points have been scientifically proven.  Not just speculation.  Just curious, was it only your gut that told you to let them CIO?  You didn't have anyone influence that decision?





 

Michelle - posted on 02/17/2009

62

19

5

I agree with the crying/fussing for 5-10 minutes... I have heard stories of people letting them cry for hours and hours! I just think, "what if I were crying and needed my husband and I knew he was in the next room but he just never came". Here is a quote from the introduction of the No Cry Sleep Solution. This made me cry thinking about my baby!

"He awakes in a mindless terror of the silence, the motionlessness. He screams. He is afire from head to foot with want, with desire, with intolerable impatience. He gasps for breath and screams until his head is filled and throbbing with the sound. He screams until his chest aches, until his throat is sore. He can bear the pain no more and his sobs weaken and subside. he listens. he opens and closes his fists. he rolls his head from side to side. Nothing helps. It is unbearable. He begins to cry again, but it is too much for his strained throat; he soon stops. He waves his hands and kicks his feet. He stops, able to suffer, unable to think, unable to hope. He listens. Then he falls back asleep."

My son wakes up 1-3x a night for comforting/feeding. It's been a little more lately because he's teething pretty badly.

Michele - posted on 02/17/2009

3

22

0

Hi Michelle,

I agree with you 100% about it being cruel. In additions, from what I have read, studies show that if you don't let a baby "cry it out" they will be more self confident. It makes sense too, if a baby is crying it's because they need something. I have always put my son down for bed in a clam gentle manner and he does quite well. If he needs me to sit and hold the bottle while he falls asleep then that's what I do.

Angie - posted on 02/17/2009

2,621

0

406

I agree that we need to be moderate in allowing our children to cry. However, I sometimes think that babies just need to cry for a bit - I know I do! I don't think 5 or 10 minutes of crying is going to cause a problem. Crying for an hour is another thing.....

Louise - posted on 02/17/2009

58

7

3

i personally had to let my son cry it out after he got to 10 months and still would not settle as i was expecting again, 4 days later he was goin straight to sleep and 3 months on it is still the same. as long as your child is given affection during the day the mother-child bond will not be broken

Carrie - posted on 02/17/2009

7

7

1

i have had problems with this to. his dad thinks he should cry all the time not just when it comes to sleeping. he thinks it will spoil him if we always pick him up but i think he's much happier and pleseant and i just cant listen to him cry.

Maria - posted on 02/17/2009

65

13

2

I also think that crying it out is the wrong thing to do because it destroys the bond you have with your child and teaches them that you will not be there when you need them. However, there are different kinds of cries, letting them fuss and settle themselves is one thing, but its when you ignore the i-need-you cry that is wrong. Some babies do need to have a little cry before sleep sometimes, especially if they are overtired, but you can be there with them and soothe them through it by holding them, patting and shushing or rocking, whatever you think is best. I have never used crying it out and my 5 month old knows how to fall asleep on her own at night after a feeding.

Linda - posted on 02/17/2009

2

1

0

I think it is cruel and you should follow your instincts.  Here are some links in support of this:



http://www.naturalchild.com/guest/pinky_...



http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/t051200...



http://askdrsears.com/html/10/handout2.a...



http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/07/05...



The last link has a list of reasons not to:



1. Cry it out can cause harmful changes to babies’ brains



2. Cry it out can result in decreased intellectual, emotional and social development



3. Cry it out can result in a detached baby



4. Cry it out is harmful to the parent-child relationship



5. Cry it out can make children insecure



6. Cry it out often doesn’t work at all



7. Even if cry it out does “work”, parents often have to do it over and over again



8. Cry it out is disrespectful of my child’s needs



9. Deep sleep from cry it out is often a result of trauma



 





 



 



 

Jolene - posted on 02/17/2009

513

21

48

Everything in moderation. And to me there is a difference between fussing it out and crying it out! I believe babies do need to learn to self sooth, but to let a baby cry to the point they are very upset I don't think is right either.

Liv - posted on 02/17/2009

11

3

1

i usually let my son cry for about 5-10 min. he usually fell asleep before the 5 min was up, but if he didnt then i would go pick him up and rock him. i usually sat right outside his door to watch him, and alot of times i would cry too because i felt horrible. but this is what my mom told me she did so i listened. i

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