Should I let my son cry himself to sleep?

Cheresa - posted on 04/11/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )




Ok, Eric is going to be a year old on May 2nd and yes he is still sleeping in between me and my husband. Each night I put him to sleep at the breast and then lay him in his crib. He will usually wake up crying so then I bring him into our bed to go back to sleep. Sometimes he wakes right up and other times he stays in there for a few hours. I have tried to let him cry himself to sleep but it is torture for me. It breaks my heart because when my son cries he screams like he is being tortured! Its hard for me to hear. So I always get him out after about 15 minutes. Should I let him scream for hours or is there a better way. Its time for him to sleep in his own bed.


Raina - posted on 04/14/2010




We started putting our daughter to bed on her own when she was 10 months. I would tell her it was time to go "night night" and put her in her crib, wrap her up, turn off the light, and tell her I love her and I will see her in a little bit when she wakes up. I think it's good to explain what is happening even if she doesn't understand what I am saying. I would walk out of the room and she woud start crying. I let her cry for just a few minutes then go back in the room and do it all over again. Wrap her up, give her the binky and tell her its time to go "night night". She would whine a little bit after the second go-around but then she would go to sleep. This still happens sometimes but it is getting better. "Falling asleep" is something that we learn to do and "putting ourselves back to sleep" is also a learned concept. Thats why newborns wake up 4 or 5 times during the night because they don't know how to put themselves to sleep again after waking up and things like feeling hungry they don't know how to ignore. I hope this was helpful to you. Good luck everybody. :)


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Alisha - posted on 04/16/2010




I had the same problems with my is 10month old he was sleeping with us than we got him a toddler bed and put it beside are bed the first few weeks so that win he got hunger he could crawl into are bed. we gave him his bottle and he went back to his bed and went back to sleep

Kandice - posted on 04/14/2010




Part of the problem may be that he is falling asleep at the breast & waking up alone. Instead of picking him up & bringing him to bed, try just comforting him back to sleep while still in the crib. Rub his back, use a soft voice, and leve the room if necessary. He will cry, don't expect him not to. It will be hard, but you can do it. He will not be scarred for life from a little crying, but he does need to know that you are there. However, he will eventually get to the point at whch he can put himself back to sleep.

Julie - posted on 04/14/2010




Oh my goodness I have the exact same story as you! I would love to hear what to do!

Rania - posted on 04/13/2010




well i dont like to let them cry a lot as u said its kind of torture but i had the same problem with my daughter , that i finally realized that she likes slow music , funny but its working , i put slow and low music for her at night when she wakes up , i try to calm her in her bed by passing my hand all over her face slowly and with all my love feelings , if u understand me and it takes about 10 minutes for her to go back to sleep again , then i wait for another ten minutes and then lower the music again , but i dont turn it off, good luck and i hope u really find a way to make him sleep in his own bed

Cheresa - posted on 04/12/2010




Thanks for all the help. I probably should have also mentioned that my sons crib is in our room because he doesn't have his own.

Jeramie - posted on 04/12/2010




I have had similar problems with my 10 month old. I also put her to sleep on the breast and then lay her down. I decided enough was enough and for several nights in a row I just put up with the screaming. Sometimes it took up to 45 minutes for her to give up and go to sleep. I have had some other advice on the matter though. Let them scream, and every 10 to 15 minutes, go in there to kiss them and say goodnight again. try not to pick them up or turn the light on. this way you can calm your fears, know that they are not hurt, have not dirtied their diaper, etc. To them it lets them know that you have not abandoned them, but are not giving into their demands, either. My daughter is more likely to go to sleep on her own if she can't see light behind her door or hear us up and about or the tv on, either. I think she thinks she is missing something if she is the only one asleep.

Rebekah - posted on 04/11/2010




Sounds like you have established a pretty consistent routine that will be difficult to break. You've taught him that as soon as he wakes up he'll need to cry to get back into the bed with you. Then, when you tried to let him cry-it-out you taught him that eventually you'll return him to the bed with you. They only know at this age what you teach them, so you'll need to teach him how to self-soothe. Your goal should be for your child to feel comfortable in his own bed and obviously that's not the case.

Honestly, I would not let him cry-it-out entirely. This is going to be a really traumatic transition for him. All his life he's been allowed to sleep with you and then all of a sudden you're telling him that it's not okay. So the easiest way to move him to a crib is very gradual (as Danielle suggested). Note: I did NOT do the Ferber method to get my children to sleep, b/c I taught them to self-soothe from day one, but I've read that in more difficult sleep situations it's pretty successful.

"How do you do it? (The Ferber Method)

First, wait until your baby is physically and emotionally ready to sleep through the night, usually between 4 and 6 months of age. Ferber doesn't designate a precise age at which to begin his technique, since it can vary so much depending on the child.

If you're not sure whether your baby's ready, you can always give it a try. If you encounter too much resistance, wait a few weeks and try again.

Step 1
Put your baby in his crib when he's sleepy but still awake.

Step 2
Say goodnight to your child and leave the room. If he cries when you leave, let him cry for a predetermined amount of time.

Step 3
Go back into the room for no more than a minute or two to pat and reassure your baby. Leave the light off and keep your voice quiet and soothing. Don't pick him up. Leave again while he's still awake, even if he's crying.

Step 4
Stay out of the room for a little bit longer than the first time and follow the same routine, staying out of the room for gradually longer intervals, each time returning for only a minute or two to pat and reassure him, and leaving while he's still awake.

Step 5
Follow this routine until your child falls asleep when you're out of the room.

Step 6
If your child wakes up again later, follow the same routine, beginning with the minimum waiting time for that night and gradually increasing the intervals between visits until you reach the maximum for that night.

Step 7
Increase the amount of time between visits to the nursery each night. In most cases, according to Ferber, your baby will be going to sleep on his own by the third or fourth night — a week at the most. If your child is very resistant after several nights of trying, wait a few weeks and then try again.

How long should I leave my child alone?
In his book, Ferber suggests these intervals:

* First night: Leave for three minutes the first time, five minutes the second time, and ten minutes for the third and all subsequent waiting periods.
* Second night: Leave for five minutes, then ten minutes, then 12 minutes.
* Make the intervals longer on each subsequent night.

Keep in mind that there's nothing magical about these waiting periods. You can choose any length of time you feel comfortable with." (

Danielle - posted on 04/11/2010




we recently have had to start getting our daughter to get herself to sleepin her own bed too, i didn't want to make her cry it out but she was getting harder and harder to rock/feed to sleep.

we have some good nights and bad nights but she is spending all night in her cot now.

when you decide to do it, start from the first nap of the day so he will have a few sleeps to get used to the idea before bed time, if he has a snuggle toy he likes it helps as well.

alot of it is experimenting as to what he likes when he goes to bed too, i know a little girl who has a lullaby CD going while she sleeps, others like nothing, some like fan noises.

just remember though once you commit you need to stick with it, hard as it is,

we put Niven in the cot after she has had a feed give her her toy say goodnight and walk out, if he is still crying afer a few mins go back in and try to comfort him in his cot, talk to him, rub his back, give him a drink of water but don't pick him up, only stay for a few mins then walk out again. Keep doing this until he settles down and gradually increase the time between going in, you will know when to not run in as well, our daughter tried to play on the crying thing a bit so we knew to stay away longer so she knew that crying doesn't get a reward.

all the best, it is hard work at first but it will get easier.

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