How long should I let her cry?

Lizzie - posted on 03/28/2009 ( 32 moms have responded )

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I am trying to get my 3mo old to sleep on her own...in the bassinet or crib and she won't. I lay her down throughout the day on the couch and she will wake up within 10 minutes if she isn't in my arms.
I spoiled her at first. Always holding her while she slept just because I wanted to watch her sleep. Now I have created a monster.
Now she sleeps right next to me in bed so I get little sleep waking up at random to make sure she hasn't been squished, its hard.
So how long should I let her cry after she wakes up from not feeling the comfort of my arms?

32 Comments

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Heather - posted on 12/17/2012

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I'm a single mom and sometimes I have to put her (3 months now) down and let her cry it out for a good 10-15 minutes. omg.. I can't take it any more at that point. I need a break, and she has her days where she will be fussy for hours and hours because she won't sleep unless she's in my arms during the day, or if I'm right next to her napping. I rarely let her cry it out. But, sometimes it's a must for my sanity.

Erin - posted on 04/01/2009

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When my daughter was younger she would do the same thing. We found that putting a heating pad on the mattress for 10-15 minutes before we laid her down did the trick. Right before we laid her down we would remove the heating pad. Hope this helps!

Ashley - posted on 04/01/2009

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I recommend a baby sling. I did attachment parenting. After the first 30 minute crying session i knew that letting her "cry it out" was NOT an option. I used my baby sling during the day and she slept with me at night. Then, when she was 11 months and walking really good, i let her sleep in her toddler bed. She could climb in and out by herself and we had no problems transitioning.

Kylie - posted on 03/31/2009

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I know that sometimes, my baby will let out one cry and then go back to sleep with no problems. I also know that I don't always put him to bed 'sleeping', but I know he's tired. He'll make noises, but I can tell if he's fussing as opposed to just making noises. Eventually, he'll go to sleep. I think whatever you try and whatever ends up working, just repeat it every night until it works. Babies learn so early the value of a routine and thrive on it (just like adults...lol), so whatever you find to work, keep doing it. The routine I think gives them a sense of security.



I do also agree that you haven't spoiled them, and every baby is different and you just have to do what works for you and changing will take time, but whatever you find will work will be the best for you.



 



Good luck. *hugs*

Alex - posted on 03/31/2009

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Quoting Lizzie:

How long should I let her cry?

I am trying to get my 3mo old to sleep on her own...in the bassinet or crib and she won't. I lay her down throughout the day on the couch and she will wake up within 10 minutes if she isn't in my arms.
I spoiled her at first. Always holding her while she slept just because I wanted to watch her sleep. Now I have created a monster.
Now she sleeps right next to me in bed so I get little sleep waking up at random to make sure she hasn't been squished, its hard.
So how long should I let her cry after she wakes up from not feeling the comfort of my arms?



my nurse told me that a baby under 6months shouldnt be left to cry for longer then 2 mins cause it stresses the out too much, u should put her in her bed and pat her for 2 mins then leave the room for 2 mins then come back in for 2 mins etc... till she is asleep at first it can take up tp 15-20 mins but it will slowly get less and less. dont get me wrong its hard to listen to them cry for that 2 mins ithad me in tears cause at first they will really let u know what they think. good luck

Stasia - posted on 03/31/2009

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You can not spoil a baby so young, this is what our grandparents used to believe until research was done to prove babies do not have the mental capacity to manipulate. It takes an advanced understanding of cause and effect as well as a concept of time to do this. Babies have neither. So in fact you have not created a monster, you have done a wonderful job so far.

At this age she won't understand that you arent coming because you want her to sleep. The best thing you can do is respond to her promptly so she builds confidence and will stop fearing being on her own because she knows you will come if she needs you.

If you let her cry she will associate her bed with negative things and will do neither of you ant good. I hope everything works out for you and remember everything is just a phase, it will pass eventually

[deleted account]

My son slept in in swing next to my bed for the first 3 months. I also nursed him so, I never let him cry much, b/c nursed babies eat so much. When he wasn't in his swing he was in bed with me. I think it's ok to let them cry for 10-15 mins, it's not going to hurt them.  My ped always says that once they are about 4 months they kinda have you figured out. That they need to have a good rountine. I always took her advice, but not to seriously. When my son cried, I couldn't help but think he wanted to nurse. With that all said, when he was about 10 months, I started making him get himself back to sleep w/o me. At that age he was on a good nursing schedule and I felt comfortable letting him cry. It took me 3  nights, and the first night he cried for an hour. But after 3 days he new the rountine and slept like a charm. I think every child is different, you'll figure a good schedule, it just takes time and lots of patience....lol. It's not easy I know, my first one only slept an hour at a time for the first 4 months...ahhh. Good luck, you sound like a great mom!!!!

[deleted account]

I do not think you should let her cry at all. Crying is her way of telling you she needs you, if you dont respond you are letting her know that when she needs something her needs will not be met. put her in a bed in your room and dont pick her up everytime she cries, but rub her back or pat her bottom. You have started a bad habbit and it will take a couple weeks to fix, but you just have to be persistant about keeping her out of your bed, but dont let her lay and cry.

Kelly - posted on 03/31/2009

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Hi there.  I agree with all the mums that say you can never spoil a new born baby.  White noise worked great for my baby - vaccuum, fans, white noise CDs.



A great website for help on sleep in www.sleepstore.co.nz



Lots of tips and advice.



Someone mentioned the Ask Dr Sears website.  They are brilliant.  They have written a book called "The fussy baby book" and "The baby book".  Highly recommend it.



Also, controlled crying doesn't work for some babies.  It never worked for mine - she would just work herself up and could cry for over an hour.  And all you are doing is teaching them that a) what they have to say isn't worth listening to b) when they call you, you won't come and c) that crying loudly and angrily may be the only way to get attention.



This can lead to communication problems later i.e. toddlers that don't know how to communicate so resort to biting and violence because they're so frustrated.



Crying is a babies only way of communicating and saying "I need you mum".  It shouldn't be looked at as an annoyance that you need to get rid of - it's them needing something.  And babies that respond to control crying aren't necessarily "good babies".  They may just have realised that mum won't come if I need her, and this may not be such a good thing.



Have a look at www.wearyourbaby.com for some great hands free ways of wearing your baby.



And the best thing for you to realise is the your baby won't do this for their entire life.  If they learn early that you will be there when they need you, they will learn that they don't need you all the time and will become very healthy and independant children.



Also, patting babies bums/backs and shooshing them works wonders.



Good  luck!



 

Maria - posted on 03/30/2009

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She's now used to having that warmth when she sleeps. You need to help her get used to it. Try keeping your hands on her while she sleeps and removing your hands after 20 minutes or so and slowly decreasing the amount of time you have your hand on her. I would work on daytime naps first or you could try working on it for a couple of nights when you have some help.

Jennifer - posted on 03/30/2009

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At 3 months, we started a modified ferberization with my daughter at naps and it only took about 3 days for her to get the hang of "talking" herself to sleep. We would let her cry for 5 minutes and then comfort her. Then we'd let her cry for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, but it rarely ever got to that point. A mobile is a great distraction and now that she's older (almost 7 months), a Baby Einstein cd of classical lullabies has been really great. She's good at falling asleep on her own but with this cd it's like her head hits the mattress and 5...4...3...2...out like a light!

It will be hard the first time, but a little crying will not hurt your baby and she will not be mad at you when she wakes up. You're not damaging her by wanting her to learn an important skill!

Veronica - posted on 03/30/2009

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for almost a year whenever my daughter cried, i went right away and picked her up. which at first was fine. but after 10 or so months, i was getting tired of being up all day and then only napping at night because she would wake up at night. so i started something new. i rocked her to sleep, and then put her in her crib. and in the middle of the night, like usual, she cried. but this time i let her cry. the first night i did this, she cried for a while. then the next nite she cried a little less, and in about 4 days we were both get full nights of sleep!!! once you start this process you have to stick with it, because if you end up giving in after a little while, you are going to be sending the wrong message. she'll think that her crying will get you to come to her. but the general rule on this method is about 3 days and they wont cry anymore. and its so worth it!!! and it will put them on a good and more regular schedule!!

User - posted on 03/29/2009

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I did the same thing... My daughter always hated laying on her back and that seemed to also cause part of the problem... She just now started to sleep in her crib (16 months). The thing that I loved about it was that she slept through the night and I felt less fear about SIDS (and she was my little cuddle buddy). :-)

Jessica - posted on 03/29/2009

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Oh I have the same problem - well my baby would sleep only in his swing beside my bed for the first three months of his life haha... he liked being in the swing ... he hated being flat on his back! I ended up buying a wedge for the crib...so that he wasnt completely flat and I also put really comfy warm blankets down and made it really cosy (but safe)... this seemed to work. I don't like the "cry it out" thing... so I just have to deal with getting up a little more often, they will adjust ... eventually I hope hahah.
I truly believe you can't spoil a baby that young! 



P.S>  we all know what you meant with ""little monster"" Im not sure how someone could think that you actually think that your daughter is a monster haha .. look how adorable her picture is! Very cute!



 

Kylie - posted on 03/29/2009

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You are more likely to suffocate your baby by falling asleep with her in your arms on the couch, more babies die from sids in their own cots than they do from parents suffocating them due to co-sleeping. Each to their own when it comes to this but don’t let anyone make you feel bad for bringing your daughter to your bed if it means you both get more sleep.

My mum works in a doctors surgery and knows a lady who's 3 month old baby was suffocated this year by the mum falling asleep with her on the couch.. apparently she was so exhausted she woke up after 2 hours to find her precious baby under her arm:( She is being investigated by the police now...this must be the worst thing that could ever happen to a mother I reckon. poor people.



Katie - posted on 03/29/2009

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You didn't spoil her - just being a loving mommy! Now you may have to deal with her crying it out a little bit, it is what we did with my daughter and it is hard but totally worth it. You can tell by her cries whether she is just tired but okay or whether there is something wrong so don't beat yourself up about this.With my daughter it took about a week and then she was sleeping by herself through the night. Basically we just would lay her down and then walk away, she would being crying and we would wait about 5 minutes and then go back in her room, rub her back for a second and say mommy/daddy love you and it's nite nite time, and then leave again. Try not to pick her up or it will get worse. Keep waiting longer and longer in between going in her room until she stops or you can't take it anymore in which case just start again the next night. Good luck!
Also, please don't put the baby in the bed with you! If you want her in the same room put her in a bassinet next to the bed (although she and you will sleep best if she is in her own room!). I say this because even though you wake up to make sure she isn't squished and think it will never happen - it can. My MIL just went to a funeral a couple of weeks ago for a 4 month old baby who was sleeping in the bed with his parents and died from suffocation. It is scary and just so much safer if they are in a separate bed by themselves.

Kylie - posted on 03/29/2009

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Some babies are high need children..like my first..have your tried swaddling with arms up so she can suck her fists to self soothe?



This is a great website: www.askdrsears.com it gives you lots of ideas to help kids sleep without leaving them to cry.



When she wakes in the night let her fuss for maybe 3-4 mins to see if she will settle herself but from experience if you are helping her to sleep at bedtime its much easier to get up and spend 5 mins or so rocking them back to sleep before they fully wake up. I know its tiring but whoever said parenting is a 12 hour a day job? (I co-sleep with my new baby if he wakes in the early hours of the morning beacuse I hate the getting up every few hours thing)



Cry it out is not recommended for babies under 6 months. If my 4 month old is tired and fighting me while I’m rocking him to sleep I will lay him down and let him cry for no more than 10 mins..if he is not asleep or quietly sucking on his fists after 10 mins I go back and cuddle him. I find it only take the 10 mins of crying or the 5 extra mins of rocking to get him to sleep for a good 4-6 hours at night.



I was told by a doctor if I cannot commit to letting my child cry for up to 4 hours during the night for 3 days straight  then I should not start the cry it out technique. I believe it’s only natural and normal for a baby to need contact with their mother throughout the night and these crazy sleep through the night expectations we put on babies is ridiculous.



On a side note: I had some interference on my baby monitor one night and I could hear a young baby wailing and it went for hours. After an hour or so I turned the monitor off and back on over an hour later and it was still going. I felt sick to my stomach and hot and teary ..I just don’t understand how some parents can “ferberize” their tiny helpless babies.



Amanda - posted on 03/28/2009

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Wear a shirt of yours for a whole day and use it as a sheet in her crib or bassinet. It's the scent of you that she craves. It works really well. Change it out every couple of days to keep that scent of you strong.

Lizzie - posted on 03/28/2009

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I am really liking the aquarium idea. I think she will really enjoy that. We have tried all sorts of pacifiers so she has something to occupy herself with but none have worked so far. I have also tried putting her in a swing until she falls asleep and when she does she stays asleep for 10 minutes at most and then wakes up. Sometimes I fall asleep in an upright position with my arms propped on pillows to make sure she gets enough sleep. I am sure one of these methods will work or at least get me on the right path to finding one that works best for Cailyn. :)

[deleted account]

The binky works for my daughter. She is 3 months and sleeps great, but sometimes when I lay her in her crib she notices I am not holding her and starts to wiggle around.  I give her the binky and she falls right to sleep!

User - posted on 03/28/2009

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Ok, my daughter was EXACTLY the same way at your daughter's age! She is now 6 months old and sleeping in her crib for naps as well as for 12 hrs during the night!..It only took 1 night and she was putting herself to sleep! This is what I did...

I always bathe her and feed her a bottle about 30 minutes before her bedtime! (note: I do not lay her down if she is not sleepy)...I purchased a Fisher-Price Aquarium that hangs on the side of her crib..It has lights, and sound, and the things inside the aquarium move as well. I cover her up, give her a pacifier and her lovey(a bunny/small blanket) and turn out the light. She lays on her side and watches/listens to her aquarium and falls asleep within 10 minutes..I tried this one night 3 months ago and this is our routine everynight! If she does cry, all I do is quietly go into her room, turn her aqaruim back on (if it has turned off), give her pacifier back to her and cover her up again...don't turn on the lights or talk to her, then she will expect that she will be getting up! I hope this works!

Lizzie - posted on 03/28/2009

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Emily. I wasn't refering to my daughter as a literal Monster. My views on my daughter are just fine. And I never leave her unattended and crying for long periods of time. I sit and talk to her as well as rub her legs to let her know its alright. So before you tell someone to adjust their views you should get your facts straight. You are a very rude person to say something like that to someone you know nothing about. I have nothing but love for my daughter and could never think of her as a monster, its a commonly used figure of speech.

Emily - posted on 03/28/2009

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3 minutes at the most. Letting a 3 month old cry it out for LONG periods of time is equal to abuse in my opinion. Also, I'm sure you havent spoiled her. She is a newborn baby, NOT a monster. You need to adjust your view on your own baby.

Emma - posted on 03/28/2009

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I always put my girls in their cots for their daytime naps and Im sure that helped with the nightime. I also swaddled them at that age. Someone also suggested that cuddle them with a nightie of mine or muslin, something to get my scent on and then put that in their cot with them......and it worked!!

Another technique if you cant stand them crying is to go in but NOT pick them up just soothe them by stroking and touching but not give eye contact. Ive also used this one.

Good luck!!

Emma - posted on 03/28/2009

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Hi i did exactly exactly the same, spoiled my little boy. He was sleeping in our arms for naps right up until he was 9 months! However not at night. From 12 weeks old i put him in his own room and used the controlled crying technique. I felt like an awful mother but it paid off in the end! He cried for an hour for the first three nightd that i tried it. I felt awful for leaving him crying, however if it had been longer than an hour, would have checked if he was ok. After those few nights, he got the message, babies are more clever and very manipulative than we think! I am pleased to say that he has slept through the night ever since. 8pm untill 7.30 am!! Also my mam said you really need to put him in his cot for his naps at naptime. So at 9 months i started to put him in his cot for his two naps. he cried for the first few days and then he got used to it. You just have to let them know who is boss! hope that helps

Lizzie - posted on 03/28/2009

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Thanks Everyone! I really appreciate it. I have decided that I will try 10 minutes of crying at a time then if she hasn't stopped I will try an alternative for getting her back to sleep. Its not overwhelming because I know she needs my comfort but it would be nice to have time to myself while she is sleeping :)



I also love "spoiling"; her. I'm not sure I can ever break that habit! LOL

Emelie - posted on 03/28/2009

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I slept with all my kids because for the first few months it was the only way I got any sleep. Luckily all of mine outgrew it before they were 9 months old. I know that it is hard to hear your baby cry, but it is not killing them. I have 3 kids and I would let them cry sometimes for 15-30 min because normally, if they are tired enough, they will go to sleep. They are already so dependent on you that if it is a constant dependency you feel completely overwhelmed, and that is not good for you. Crying is okay, but if you can't handle it then don't torcher yourself either.

Deidre - posted on 03/28/2009

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Also, have you tried swaddling? At about that age I was able to swaddle my daughter, with one arm out and she loved it. I would also lay her on her side and put a rolled up receiving blanket behind her back so she didn't roll onto her back, or used a sleep positioner to keep her from rolling any way.

Crystal - posted on 03/28/2009

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I also don't think you can spoil a baby soo little. I didn't let my son cry it out until 10 months, and found The No Cry Sleep Solution also helped incredibly better than CIO. I couldn't let my son cry it out at 3 months and we didnt move him to his own room until 5 months. Try a fan, or a humidifier. Good luck with the sleep.

Carolyn - posted on 03/28/2009

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Lizzie, i have a one month old with the same problem. during the day she will sleep fine in her bassinet or in her chair or carseat. but at night she doesnt want to be anywhere but in my arms. and i too am afraid me or my husband is going to squish her. i let her cry for about 30 min before i would pick her up. but like deidre said,, you really cant spoil her right now..just take it with a grain of salt and im sure it will get better soon.

Deidre - posted on 03/28/2009

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Well, I personally don't believe a baby can be spoiled at this age. She spent 9mo inside you only knowing you and your warmth it isn't hard to imagine her wanting to be next to you constantly for comfort. I say let her cry as long as you can handle (with me it's like, 30sec lol). There is a book out there called "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" that I recommend to anyone having sleep problems b/c it has a bunch of suggestions in there about what to do to help your baby sleep on their own. You may be able to find it at your local library instead of purchasing it. I'm sorry things are so hard!



One suggestion would be white noise. Put a fan in her room or some kind of noise machine that can kind of drown out any outside noise, it does wonders helping my daughter to sleep (though... if we travel somewhere I have to have a fan now lol).

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