Cry it out at 3 months? Too young?

Sarah - posted on 07/08/2009 ( 32 moms have responded )

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I have a 2 1/2 yr old daughter and a 3 month old son. With my daughter we used the cry it out method and are firm believers in it. However, I can't remember exactly what age I did it with her. My son, 3 months old, has been a fabulous sleeper until recently, he is very clingy and wants me to either lay with him or have my hand on him before bed time, so I can tell he's begining to become dependant on it. Is 3 months too young to let him cry it out? Also, does anyone know a good bedtime routine OTHER THAN a bath that could help?

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September - posted on 07/08/2009

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The only "baby Dr." I believe in is William Sears and his view on attachment parenting. It is a Must read for all new parents. He condones parenting by instinct; letting your mothering instincts take over. The reason it is so hard to let them cry it out is because your body goes through a series of physiological changes when you hear your baby cry (Well that is if you are breast feeding, otherwise you body goes back to its pre-pregnancy state believing you "lost" the baby). By nursing you keep the natural hormonal process working and when you hear your baby cry you experience letdown of your milk and an overwhelming urge to pick your baby up. If you train yourself to ignore your baby's cries, you break that bond. The baby also stops crying because he has given up hope of anyone coming to his aid. he loses trust in his mother and suffers a tremendous loss of self esteem. He has not learned to comfort himself, he has only learned that he is not worth being responded to. I do not believe in the "crying it out" method. A good bed time routine that I use with my son is stroy time. He knows that after I'm done reading it's bed time. I put him in his crib and he falls asleep within 10 minutes. Works great for us! Good luck! PS: I've also heard that 3 months is way too young to just let your little one cry...Plus it just breaks my heart!

Sarah - posted on 07/09/2009

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I totally agree with Nicholle. Sounds like the Feber method is what I used with my daughter. I never lost the bond with my daughter and I breastfed her as well as I am my son. I have not seen any evidence of "lost self esteem" or "lost trust." If anything my daughter is more strong willed because she feels she can do anything on her own.

Nicholle - posted on 07/09/2009

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I only have 1 year old daughter. I did not want to have a toddler that i had to put to bed every night so at 4 months old I decided to go with the Ferber Method! It took 3 nights till she had no problem putting her down awake and she would fall asleep within 15min NO FUSS! I You should most definatly look this method up. It worked wonders my daughter is now turning 1 and she is the best sleeper! I just put her in the crib and shes done.

I also have a semi - strick bedtime routine. I have always read her a book while she drank her bottle. The older and more independent she became I fed her dinner, followed by bath, then some "down" play time, warm bottle and a few books then straight into bed. AWAKE and she went right to sleep. Now she LOVES books!! She would rather read a book than watch TV

Kelly - posted on 10/11/2011

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I have just recently (tonight) started the CIO method w/ my 3 mo old. I tried everything under the sun to help get her to sleep and am now on my last resort. She will only sleep in 10 to 20 minute intervals at best. I have tried a routine, no routine, a flexible routine, letting her play until she gets tired, giving her a bath, swaddling her, letting her sleep on her side, feeding her, rocking her, etc....NOTHING has worked. I decided to use a modified version of the CIO method since baby is still too young (according to documentation) I started out letting her cry for 2-3 minutes before comforting her with this cycle going 3 to 4 times then I bumped it up to 4-5 minutes for a few cycles until I reached the 10 minute intervals. I kept it at 10 minutes until she finally dozed off.

Brianna - posted on 07/09/2009

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3 months is too young to cry it out, you should wait until they are 6 months. Pediatricians say that until they are 6 months old, babies do not know how to manipulate you yet so when they are crying it's because they need something. Also a baby at 3 months could still be waking and crying because he is hungry and he could be growing. Plus they say some babies start teething as early as 3 months, and even if a tooth isn't poking through yet, they still could be teething.

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Liz - posted on 10/21/2011

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Three months is wayyyyyyyyyy to young in my opinion. At that age, babies need to know that their bed is a safe, inviting place to be. You don't like falling asleep crying your brains out, so why should your baby?

Melissa - posted on 10/11/2011

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Sarah, I personally don't believe in the CIO method but if you do use it then I think you are going about it very well. Sounds like you are easing into it by letting your baby "fuss it out" right now rather than crying it out. 3 months is a little young for crying it out. Kudos to you for doing what feels right for your child, even when it means modifying an accepted method of parenting.

To those who think crying it out is the way to raise independent kids. I tend more toward attachment parenting and both of my girls are strong willed, independent kids. My eldest slept with me until she was 6 and both still sleep with me when they don't feel well, have bad dreams or just want to be cuddled. This has not caused my kids to be weak, whiny, needy, dependent kids. Don't judge one parenting style while complaining about others judging your parenting style.

Erin - posted on 07/09/2009

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Yes, 3 months is too young to simply let him "cry it out". I believe he just likes the comfort at such a young age. The only time this would be acceptable is if you are about to have a break down, then yes then lay him down for the most a 10 minute breather.

Debby - posted on 07/09/2009

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Yes, I think 3 months old is too young to cry it out. Letting a baby fuss mildly for a few minutes in my opinion, is not cry it out. If they work up to a wail then they need to be comforted. A 3 month old cannot manipulate you, they cannot become "too clingy." They are 3 MONTHS OLD, they've only been out of the womb for 1/4 of year. They know very little about anything except their own needs, and they aren't going to understand anyone else's needs for quite a while. Tiny babies have been nurtured and had their every need met for 9 months, and I think it's wrong to just abandon them when the parent thinks they are ready.



I'm not against cry it out when the child is older and has some idea of "it's bed time and I need to go to sleep now, Mama isn't coming back until later." I think 9-12 months is about as early as I feel like it's appropriate and even then if the child gets too worked up they need to be comforted. We need to recognize it's a hard transition for them too.

Nicholle - posted on 07/09/2009

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Quoting Jamie:



Quoting September:

The only "baby Dr." I believe in is William Sears and his view on attachment parenting. It is a Must read for all new parents. He condones parenting by instinct; letting your mothering instincts take over. The reason it is so hard to let them cry it out is because your body goes through a series of physiological changes when you hear your baby cry (Well that is if you are breast feeding, otherwise you body goes back to its pre-pregnancy state believing you "lost" the baby). By nursing you keep the natural hormonal process working and when you hear your baby cry you experience letdown of your milk and an overwhelming urge to pick your baby up. If you train yourself to ignore your baby's cries, you break that bond. The baby also stops crying because he has given up hope of anyone coming to his aid. he loses trust in his mother and suffers a tremendous loss of self esteem. He has not learned to comfort himself, he has only learned that he is not worth being responded to. I do not believe in the "crying it out" method. A good bed time routine that I use with my son is stroy time. He knows that after I'm done reading it's bed time. I put him in his crib and he falls asleep within 10 minutes. Works great for us! Good luck! PS: I've also heard that 3 months is way too young to just let your little one cry...Plus it just breaks my heart!






Sorry but I disagree. I didnt breastfeed either of my kids and still felt the urge to pick them up while doing the CIO method or any time they cried. Just cause I didnt breatfeed doesnt mean my maternal insticts didnt kick in just because my body felt I lost my baby. I find what that Dr said offensive and open for debate.



 



I ALSO DISAGREE!!!! I only breast fed for a few weeks and used the ferber method



it did not break my bond with my daughter! She never once lost her trust in his me and is no where near suffering "a tremendous loss of self esteem"  THE "DOC" is a quack


 

Nicholle - posted on 07/09/2009

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Quoting Nicholle:

I only have 1 year old daughter. I did not want to have a toddler that i had to put to bed every night so at 4 months old I decided to go with the Ferber Method! It took 3 nights till she had no problem putting her down awake and she would fall asleep within 15min NO FUSS! I You should most definatly look this method up. It worked wonders my daughter is now turning 1 and she is the best sleeper! I just put her in the crib and shes done.
I also have a semi - strick bedtime routine. I have always read her a book while she drank her bottle. The older and more independent she became I fed her dinner, followed by bath, then some "down" play time, warm bottle and a few books then straight into bed. AWAKE and she went right to sleep. Now she LOVES books!! She would rather read a book than watch TV



To all those who might not know "The Ferber Method" is a 'way' of CIO. Just a more gentle way and alot more efective in alot ledd time.

Melissa - posted on 07/09/2009

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Quoting Sarah:

Thanks ladies, I wasn't asking if I should use the cry it out method. I am a firm believer that it works and its important to raise a successful independant child. I tried a very gentle approach of it last night. I let him fuss for 5 min went in and gave him his paci and in about 3 min he had stopped fussing. I think I will wait a little while longer to let him CRY it out, now i'm trying to let him FUSS it out and so far so good! Thanks for your input on using the cry it out method at 3 months! I just wish some moms weren't so judemental :(


u know sometimes i wonder in what context we are talking...do i think 3 months is too young for cry it out YES if they are hardcore crying. No if we are are talking about fussing...as long as their needs are met...diaper food ect...letting them fuss before they go to bed to teach them to self sooth....i think its necassary or your gonna be stuck with a two year old needing you to put him to sleep and freaking out.......now my point is if a 12+ month baby is crying purley cuz they dont wanna sleep.....then i think cry it out is acceptable

Jessica - posted on 07/09/2009

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I think that if he is being more clingy, that is his way of showing that he isn't getting enough attention from you and he needs to be reassured that you're there for him. He's too young to think he has you wrapped around his finger because you respond to his cries; he's crying because he needs his mother.

I'd say any younger than six months is too young to be left to cry.

Jamie - posted on 07/09/2009

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Quoting September:

The only "baby Dr." I believe in is William Sears and his view on attachment parenting. It is a Must read for all new parents. He condones parenting by instinct; letting your mothering instincts take over. The reason it is so hard to let them cry it out is because your body goes through a series of physiological changes when you hear your baby cry (Well that is if you are breast feeding, otherwise you body goes back to its pre-pregnancy state believing you "lost" the baby). By nursing you keep the natural hormonal process working and when you hear your baby cry you experience letdown of your milk and an overwhelming urge to pick your baby up. If you train yourself to ignore your baby's cries, you break that bond. The baby also stops crying because he has given up hope of anyone coming to his aid. he loses trust in his mother and suffers a tremendous loss of self esteem. He has not learned to comfort himself, he has only learned that he is not worth being responded to. I do not believe in the "crying it out" method. A good bed time routine that I use with my son is stroy time. He knows that after I'm done reading it's bed time. I put him in his crib and he falls asleep within 10 minutes. Works great for us! Good luck! PS: I've also heard that 3 months is way too young to just let your little one cry...Plus it just breaks my heart!



Sorry but I disagree. I didnt breastfeed either of my kids and still felt the urge to pick them up while doing the CIO method or any time they cried. Just cause I didnt breatfeed doesnt mean my maternal insticts didnt kick in just because my body felt I lost my baby. I find what that Dr said offensive and open for debate.

Crystal - posted on 07/09/2009

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You're doing great. I too wouldn't personally use it that young; I'd say 4-5 months. I did it with my daughter at 5 months and that was good for us!

Sarah - posted on 07/09/2009

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Thanks ladies, I wasn't asking if I should use the cry it out method. I am a firm believer that it works and its important to raise a successful independant child. I tried a very gentle approach of it last night. I let him fuss for 5 min went in and gave him his paci and in about 3 min he had stopped fussing. I think I will wait a little while longer to let him CRY it out, now i'm trying to let him FUSS it out and so far so good! Thanks for your input on using the cry it out method at 3 months! I just wish some moms weren't so judemental :(

Charlie - posted on 07/08/2009

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i know it works for some , i personally think 3 months is too young , i think a baby that young is crying for a reason and needs to be reassured it wasnt that long ago he was always with you warm inside your womb feeling protected , i just use a solid routine and it works a treat .

Melissa - posted on 07/08/2009

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i think 3 months is to young to "cry it out" my son dr said he still needs that middle of the night feeding...it is important. but i did start around 6 months with him. but this is your child SO DONT LET ANY ONE TELL YOU HOW TO RAISE HIM OR THAT YOUR A BAD PARENT FOR LETTING HIM CRY IT OUT.





i think the best option is o talk to your doctor about it if you have any question!!!!!!!

good luck

Vicki - posted on 07/08/2009

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Quoting September:

...(Well that is if you are breast feeding, otherwise you body goes back to its pre-pregnancy state believing you "lost" the baby)...


Interesting, I hadn't thought about that!!



Well maybe it is that I am breastfeeding, but I cannot imagine letting my son cry it out. He's signalling that something is wrong! He doesn't wake during the night either, I will have you know. Well, truth be told he did wake around midnight last night, because he has rolled onto his stomach and was upset about that. My boy is not fond of tummy time. He's complaining about it as I am writing this. He is a very vocal boy and lets me know how he feels. You'll not I am not swooping in to save him at this moment. While he is complaining, he's not crying. I feel there is something wrong with allowing your child to cry themselves to sleep... Who enjoys doing that?

[deleted account]

Yes, 3 months is too young. Cry it out experts (Ferber, and others) recommend not using it before 6 months.

Kierstin - posted on 07/08/2009

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i started letting my son cry it out around 5 months.....but if there's no other way and you know that nothing is wrong with him then let him go at it. I believe that the younger you start the easier it will be when they're older! :)

Nicole - posted on 07/08/2009

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i personally think that 3 months is too young...Im gonna have to agree w/ Jamie and say 6 months sounds good to me to start doing that. I do believe in the cio method, i feel like if you dont do it eventually they will think they have you wrapped around their little finger and you will eventually become exhausted and probably have them sleep in bed w/ you! which btw is something else i dont agree w/ doing.

Danielle - posted on 07/08/2009

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Hmmm I think I started the cry it out method at 3 or 4 months with my daughter... I would lay her in bed and talk softly to her and tell her that I was just out in the front room. I think that it is okay as long as you check in on them every so often just to let them know that you are still there. As for a bedtime routine a bath and a good cuddle does the trick with my daughter :)

Marabeth - posted on 07/08/2009

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i think three months is too young.. then again i dont think id let any family member of any age 'cry it out.' in my opinion, its inhumane.

Jamie - posted on 07/08/2009

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Im a firm believer in cry it out but feel 3 months is to young. I dont start til they are 6 months.

Sarah - posted on 07/08/2009

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Thanks ladies! I think I just needed that encouragment that I'm doing the right thing, you all know how heart-wrencking it can be!

Mary - posted on 07/08/2009

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Yep cry it out at 3 months... a bedtime routine my son gets is a bedtime story... he was only 3 months when we started but he seems to recognise books now at 4 months and pays attention when we start reading. But only short books with lots of oppertunity to make loud noises and funny faces to keep little babies entertained. So we do bath... wrapped... book... down...

Emma - posted on 07/08/2009

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I only have one child and I let her cry it out but only when I knew she was just playing up as she was a good sleeper from birth and still is. If she was still screaming after 10 minutes I checked on her just incase something was wrong then I cheacked on her 10minutes after that up until 30minutes then any time after that I just let her cry until she either went to sleep or until she realised I wasn't going back. The routine I usually use is bath 1 or 2hrs before bed and let them play up until bed time so that they tire themselves out, which works wonders for me. Nowadays, I still do this and if my daughter isn't tired then she will scream blue murder and I give her an extra 30minutes play time so to speak and if she screams blue murder after this extra time I still let her cry it out to show her who is boss and so I don't mess up her routine. Hope this helps with cry it out at 3 months.

Natasha - posted on 07/08/2009

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Yeah I'm a firm believer in crying it out.
I used to, check 5 mins, then 10 mins, then 15 mins. if he was crying after that then i knew something was else must be wrong, so i'd check him over again and start again.

Sabrina - posted on 07/08/2009

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I have 4 kids. Makayla is 2 mnths. old and I let her cry it out. I just check her first make sure she didn't not hot, she's not hungary, and she's doesn't have dirty pants. If she's whining to be held I let her cry until she either realizes I'm not holding her or she falls asleep. There is nothing wrong with a little lung work.lol I don't know any other routine. Bathtime usually works for me. sorry

Debby - posted on 07/09/2009

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Yes, I think 3 months old is too young to cry it out. Letting a baby fuss mildly for a few minutes in my opinion, is not cry it out. If they work up to a wail then they need to be comforted. A 3 month old cannot manipulate you, they cannot become "too clingy." They are 3 MONTHS OLD, they've only been out of the womb for 1/4 of year. They know very little about anything except their own needs, and they aren't going to understand anyone else's needs for quite a while. Tiny babies have been nurtured and had their every need met for 9 months, and I think it's wrong to just abandon them when the parent thinks they are ready.



I'm not against cry it out when the child is older and has some idea of "it's bed time and I need to go to sleep now, Mama isn't coming back until later." I think 9-12 months is about as early as I feel like it's appropriate and even then if the child gets too worked up they need to be comforted. We need to recognize it's a hard transition for them too.

Melissa - posted on 07/09/2009

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Quoting Sarah:

Thanks ladies, I wasn't asking if I should use the cry it out method. I am a firm believer that it works and its important to raise a successful independant child. I tried a very gentle approach of it last night. I let him fuss for 5 min went in and gave him his paci and in about 3 min he had stopped fussing. I think I will wait a little while longer to let him CRY it out, now i'm trying to let him FUSS it out and so far so good! Thanks for your input on using the cry it out method at 3 months! I just wish some moms weren't so judemental :(


u know sometimes i wonder in what context we are talking...do i think 3 months is too young for cry it out YES if they are hardcore crying. No if we are are talking about fussing...as long as their needs are met...diaper food ect...letting them fuss before they go to bed to teach them to self sooth....i think its necassary or your gonna be stuck with a two year old needing you to put him to sleep and freaking out.......now my point is if a 12+ month baby is crying purley cuz they dont wanna sleep.....then i think cry it out is acceptable

Sarah - posted on 07/09/2009

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Thanks ladies, I wasn't asking if I should use the cry it out method. I am a firm believer that it works and its important to raise a successful independant child. I tried a very gentle approach of it last night. I let him fuss for 5 min went in and gave him his paci and in about 3 min he had stopped fussing. I think I will wait a little while longer to let him CRY it out, now i'm trying to let him FUSS it out and so far so good! Thanks for your input on using the cry it out method at 3 months! I just wish some moms weren't so judemental :(

[deleted account]

Yes, 3 months is too young. Cry it out experts (Ferber, and others) recommend not using it before 6 months.

Kierstin - posted on 07/08/2009

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i started letting my son cry it out around 5 months.....but if there's no other way and you know that nothing is wrong with him then let him go at it. I believe that the younger you start the easier it will be when they're older! :)

Danielle - posted on 07/08/2009

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Hmmm I think I started the cry it out method at 3 or 4 months with my daughter... I would lay her in bed and talk softly to her and tell her that I was just out in the front room. I think that it is okay as long as you check in on them every so often just to let them know that you are still there. As for a bedtime routine a bath and a good cuddle does the trick with my daughter :)

Mary - posted on 07/08/2009

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Yep cry it out at 3 months... a bedtime routine my son gets is a bedtime story... he was only 3 months when we started but he seems to recognise books now at 4 months and pays attention when we start reading. But only short books with lots of oppertunity to make loud noises and funny faces to keep little babies entertained. So we do bath... wrapped... book... down...

Emma - posted on 07/08/2009

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I only have one child and I let her cry it out but only when I knew she was just playing up as she was a good sleeper from birth and still is. If she was still screaming after 10 minutes I checked on her just incase something was wrong then I cheacked on her 10minutes after that up until 30minutes then any time after that I just let her cry until she either went to sleep or until she realised I wasn't going back. The routine I usually use is bath 1 or 2hrs before bed and let them play up until bed time so that they tire themselves out, which works wonders for me. Nowadays, I still do this and if my daughter isn't tired then she will scream blue murder and I give her an extra 30minutes play time so to speak and if she screams blue murder after this extra time I still let her cry it out to show her who is boss and so I don't mess up her routine. Hope this helps with cry it out at 3 months.

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