When is a baby too young to cry it out?

The cry it out method has become very popular as a way for children to learn to soothe themselves. However, how young is too young to cry it out?

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39  Answers

21 14

Wow. To all you people judging those who use a sort of crying it out method, we could just turn around and judge YOU in ways like saying "you're spoiling your child, you're just giving in" or I don't know cuz I'm not judging. I bet this question was posted as more of a "have you used this method, and did it work for you?" type of question. It was asked "how young is too young?" not "is it right or wrong" or "are people bad parents if they use this method, or if they don't use this method". I for one use what someone previously stated as "controlled crying", which I think is a decent way to coin the term. Go ahead and judge me if I don't parent my kids the way that you would, but hey, it's my kids not yours. Have a good day =)

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21 14

I wanted to add that I have 2 kids, ages 4.5 years and almost 1 year old. Also - as parents, we have to adjust our parenting styles at times, because kids change. Sometimes some methods may work, other times they might just make the situation worse. It all depends on what works with you and your kids at any given time. I've read so many times that to let a child cry a lil bit, that we're ignoring them. Um, excuse me? Have you never heard about giving a kid some space to let their emotions out and calm down? It's not like we're saying to our children, "I don't care that you're crying, leave me alone. I don't want to hear it." We might be saying, "I understand that you don't want to go to bed right now, but you must learn that this is a rule and bedtime is [so and so time]. I'll let you get your frustrations out and I'll be back for your bedtime routine." or something like that. We're not all heartless ykno.

21 14

The other thing is, yes - It's true that young babies cannot talk and do not understand the word no... at first. Through practice and constant teaching is how they learn. Otherwise maybe they will just learn "yes" their whole lives and expect it. We're not telling you that our way of parenting is right or the only way to do things - we're saying, "here's our way, we're not enforcing it on you, it worked for us" just acknowledge our opinion and be done with it.

21 3

I completely agree with what you're saying...for some reason this issue has evolved into just as much of a controversy as the whole spanking/not spanking or breast feeding/not breast feeding, with people just determined to prove that they are right regardless of which side their on and everyone else is wrong. It boils down to what works for your kids...works for your kids. Every parent has to try their own thing.

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21 3

I really hate other people judging. When my twins were 4 months old, I would put them down, make sure they weren't hungry, wet, too hot or too cold. I'd hug them, kiss them and love them and then put them down. Then I'd let them cry for 15 minutes. If they were still awake, I'd go back in, love them more, without picking them up and then wait another 15 minutes. Maybe this isn't the "cry it out" method. I never studied it. All I know is 95% of the time, they fell asleep in 10 minutes anyways and at 21 months now, they put themselves to sleep for the most part. I give them 20 minutes of quiet play in their room (door opened but baby gate closed) and they're asleep ON THEIR toddler beds before the 20 minutes is up. They are loving and sweet and smart little girls. I don't see what I did as cruel at all.

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0 1

Even doctors will tell you 4 months old is too young for CIO. SIDS is most common between 3 and 6 months. Frequent waking is actually a defense mechanism. CIO IS cruel and simply teaches the children that no matter how long or how hard they cry, mom and dad are NOT coming/cuddling them/whatever. Why is it such a burden to rock your babies to sleep? How many nights did the parents who CIO spend out clubbing or watching TV or anything else they wanted to do even when they had to get up for school/college/work the next day? But the same parents are "too tired" to give their babies a cuddle when in a couple of years, no they AREN'T going to need/want mom and dad as much.

21 3

You're making assumptions. All I can tell you is that I had the support of my doctor. My children DIDN'T die of SIDS and they are loving children who never doubt that I'm going to be there for them. It wasn't a "burden" to rock them to sleep, despite the fact that I'm handicapped and I would GLADLY love to be able to cuddle both of my babies when reality is that I can't. As for how many nights parents spend clubbing or whatnot, I wouldn't know. I was by the door, listening, making sure they were ok. Shame on you for judging. It's not your place.

64 80

Jennifer it sounds like you and I did a very similar type style of CIO/Self soothing. I too had the support of my doctor (granted it was at 6 months, but whatever). I think you did a great job, in a controlled and loving environment, and I'm sure you are a wonderful momma with two content little toddlers. :)

0 18

I just started having my 9 month old son cio. It broke my heart at first. I cuddle with him when he falls asleep for naps during the day most of the time. Its also important to me that he knows he will get dinner, bath, story, bottle then he goes to sleep in his crib on his own. I want him to know when its dark its bed. He is doing great with it. My Son has great hands on Grandparents that ask to occasionally keep him over night and I want Bryton to know these routines so he can go to bed at their house without having to be Snuggled by Mommy.

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5 1

you know what - cry it out is cruel and wrong - how could anyone possibly leave anyone, whatever the age to cry and not offer comfort. it not right - its just a convenience - and i dont give a d***m what the childcare professionals say.

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2 19

We tried every thing with my son and finally tried the cry it out method. He now asked to go to sleep and has since he could walk over to the crib and point. He is now two and a half. I think people like you who won't do it because it is "cruel" just can not man up and do the difficult thing (hearing there baby cry is hard for all of us) and be parents so their babies have a chance for a full sleep. I understand it is not for every one or even every baby but to judge other parents for what helped their baby just because you can not be a MOM and do what may be right for your baby just because it hurts you. So when they feel you are unfair when you tell them no they can not do something when they are older you just may cave in because they are crying and their feelings are hurt. You just have to be a parent sometimes and do the hard thing for your child in the long run.

5 1

i have 2 children aged 13 and 10. they are well behaved and intelligent and attend grammar school - the comparison you make is invalid - babies cannot talk and do not understand 'no'. i am talking about babies - not older children who can articulate and be made aware of boundaries.

5 1

and why, if you don't feel guilty about the way you parent, would you asume you are being judged? what is acceptable and works for some people is simply unacceptable for others.

23 15

I agree with Bel. I am an Empathetic person and feel what others feel. I just feel that a baby who has mommy take care of them and then ignores them at night to CIO feels abandoned. Wondering why this mommy who is so caring during the day is now not answering their cries. Yes it is hard to have to get the baby to sleep I had to sacrifice time relaxing or with my husband to get the twins to sleep but I couldn't just let them feel that I abandoned them. That's what you do when you're a parent is SACRIFICE for your children. When they were about 18 months or so we started telling them that big kids go to sleep by themselves. We would leave their door opened and keep it quiet while they were lying in bed. Ashlee mentions "Man up" and let them cry, I think I "Manned up" and spent time putting the twins and my singleton to bed instead of spending the time doing something else.

10 39

James McKenna is one person who has done an incredible amount of study & research into the effects of leaving a baby to cry it out & mostly it shows that the stress hormones are - increased amoung other things, we have a wonderful woman here in Australia - Pinky McKay - who also discusses the effects, other solutions etc. She's talked about how people say there is no evidence of harm, but really what we should be looking for is evidence of no harm, and there isn't any of that, Quite simply why would you leave anyone to cry whether they're a baby or not?? But in particular why would you leave a baby to cry, it's not spoiling its simply responding to their needs. Oh and fyi there isn't such a thing as spoiling, it's called loving your child.. check out attachment parenting, obviously its not for everyone, but I thought the purpose of this was discussion and advice from all areas not judgement. We have 2 children 3 & almost 1, I am quite happy to discipline our 3 yr old and he's had his fair share of tears, but not in regards to sleeping, sleep or getting to sleep. I don't have to agree with someone who thinks its okay to let their children cry themselves to sleep, but I certainly would never do it or recommend it to someone who asked as I believe there are gentler ways to achieve the same goal!

2 19

Your entire first post was judgmental. saying that it is cruel and wrong, and saying it is only for convenience. I am sue your kids are great but when you do not teach them how to console themselves you are setting them up for future failure. It is also something that has to be a personal choice and to try to make someone feel guilty for it is not right (and yes your first comment was seeping with you own personal judgments). I am a single mother of two under three and yes sometimes they have to cry. Sometimes it is better for them to cry than for me to loose my patients with them. Though I would like to make everything perfect and right in their little world the truth of the matter is that it is not and if I can at least teach them to get a good night sleep than their world just gets that much harder for everyone involved. It is not fair to expect a child that did not sleep to not be cranky and it is not fair to ask a mom with little sleep to be patient.

23 15

So all the women who are sleep deprived because they have a baby shouldn't be expected to be patient? My twins and singleton all learned to console themselves on their own when they were old enough and ready to do it which was when they were about 20 -24 months old. I didn't know if I believed the ped when he said that they will learn to soothe themselves and put themselves back to sleep in the middle of the night, but they do in their time. I am a single mother as well and I take care of my disabled mother. I think it is fair to ask me to be patient even though I get 4-5 hours of sleep at night. I had the children, it was my choice so I have to suck it up and raise my children whether I had enough sleep or not. It's not my kids fault they did not ask to be born I can't expect them to suffer. I have to do what I can to make their life as close to perfect as I can. No matter how you try you can't, I have two hands and one twin may have to cry while I am dealing with the other. Now before anyone says that is cruel, I was had them with me and would talk to them and and try to soothe them while changing or bathing the other.

1 15

It is just not possible at every moment of every day to hold your baby. Not only that, but they need to learn that mommy has other things to do too. If you are always dropping what you are doing things will never get done. And some babies cry no matter what, if she's going to cry when I've tried feeding, changing, bathing, walking, snuggling, reading, playing, then I need to put her down and walk away so I don't go crazy! My oldest was like that, there were times she cried for 4 hours nonstop no matter what I did. One day I called my mom and begged her to come over. After and hour of them walking the baby fell asleep and was much happier after her nap, and I was ready to love on her and got things done while she was gone so I could love on her. It depends on the child and parent. As long as the baby is safe, they will know that mom and dad care because they come back eventually.

2 19

Thank you Jeani. that is what I have been trying to say. At least someone understands and not judges. As for you Kathleen, so you are super mom good for you. I on the other hand just do the best I can and get though one day at a time. good luck

51 1

Well... you did say "whatever the age"..... so... I am sure she was assuming you meant "whatever the age". And I don't see what your kids being intelligent and attending grammar school have to do with the subject.

85 16

Wow! I thought this forum was supposed to be a safe place for mums to come for advice and support, not to be judged and put down... Its fine to share ideas and even opinions but not in a mean, judgemental manner! I understand that controlled crying isn't for everyone but unless you've had a baby who is a really poor sleeper and had to deal with the overwhelming exhaustion this brings to both mum and bub (and rest of the house) then you couldnt possibly understand what its like. And yes, I agree you should try other 'gentler' methods first but they don't work on all babies (they definitely didn't with my son) and I don't think you should do it with a real young baby.... But what I think is 'cruel' is not doing anything to teach your baby how to self settle and get a good night's rest, something which is vital to their wellbeing, growth and development. Babies cry because it's the only form of communication they have...it doesnt always mean "I feel neglected, hurt" it can just mean "I'm really tired and grumpy but I don't know how to get to sleep" or "I want to keep playing"... Sometimes it is the equivalent of a three year old screaming "I want to stay up really late!" and not many people would advocate giving in and cuddling a toddler throwing a temper tantrum... Exhausted mother's do not make the best mum's and this isnt fair on the bub either. My 12 month old is so much happier now that he gets a full night sleep and I can guarantee that he is not scared to cry for me when something is wrong, he has just learnt how to go to sleep by himself and how to settle himself if he wakes in the middle of the night. He is an active, intelligent baby, who can say many words and sounds, is walking confidently and loves cuddles with his mum and dad...he has not been harmed by the process and I wouldnt have continued with it if I hadnt seen such good results within a few nights or if he had become 'emotionally detached' or any of the other such nonsense people have being saying.... Most mum's want to do the best by their kids......

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29 15

I agree that some babies are able to be rocked to sleep and sleep all night long every night, my son was not one of those babies. We tried everything we knew to try. My son would sleep very well as long as he was being held but as soon as we laid him down he was almost instantly awake. So we tired letting him cry it out. If I remember correctly he was about 6 weeks old when we tried that, at first I was a little hesitant but I talked to my doctor and she actually suggested it. My son is now 20 months old and has slept through the night since he was about 6 months old. He lays down when he is wide awake, he no longer cries he just knows that it is bedtime and that he is supposed to go to sleep. Crying it out is not an excuse for you to ignore your baby, it is a way to teach them to self soothe. I believe as long as you are checking on your baby every few minutes and making sure they are fed and changed before you lay them down that there is nothing wrong with this method, and no I don't feel guilty for my parenting choices. I have a very happy, healthy toddler who gets plenty of sleep and does not fight bedtime or nap time. We are expecting our 2nd son any day now and we will use the same method with him. At the end of the day every parent has a right to make their own decisions with their children, and what works for one child may not work for another.

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0 1

Your pediatrician said to do CIO at 6 weeks old??? That is crazy to me. Frequently waking is a defense mechanism as newborns and young infants do not have all their internal clocks working like older children/adults do. That is one of the things they have linked to SIDS...the inability to regulate their breathing. Waking reminds them to do that! I can't tell you how many times I've put my hand on my sons' backs to feel them breathe only to feel their backs barely moving. Damn right I'd nudge them a smidge to get them to move because it scared me to death!

10 39

I believe there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to leave your baby or child to cry it out! there are more gentle soothing ways to settle them to sleep. Check out Elizabeth Pantley's no cry sleep solution. As babies have no other way of communicating than crying they need to know those crys will be answered, can you imagine if your partner left you to cry and ignored those crys? It just wouldn't happen would it, so why on earth would you leave your baby to cry?
We're trying to build a foundation where our children will be able to come to us with anything and they need to know that if they're upset about something that we won't ignore them.
It's a different situation in regards to discipline, but by the time you're doing that they're probably about 12-18mths old, I don't believe you should deny anyone affection, it's the behaviour we don't like not the person, baby or child. We have established a routine at bedtime which has really helped, dinner is at about 5.15- 5.30 so they're not too tired to eat, then a lovely warm bath, cuddles on the couch with a story or 5 and then a cuddle in bed until they're so sleepy they don't notice me sneaking out. Number 1 son hasn't woken through the night since he was about 2 (now 3) unless he's sick or his nappy has leaked. Controlled crying or leaving babies to cry it out doesn't work as generally (and I have only heard this as I would never leave our kids to cry anyway) and apparently they start waking again at about age 3...

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5 1

the society for the prevention of cruelty to children used an advert once to highlight the point you make - about a child who doesnt cry anymore - because he knows no one will come - makes me so sad that any child could feel that way

1 18

If this was true then babies who had been 'controlled cried' would not cry for attention during the day either. Neglected children often respond by being very quite and compliant at all times as they don't have any expectation of their needs being met. I can very confidently say that this is not true of the children of advocates of controlled crying, who generally turn out to be perfectly normal healthy children.

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4 0

My thoughts on this topic are these. Whether CIO is cruel or not if you always pick up your child at the slightest cry they will learn very quickly that "I Cry, I get picked up". THan it becomes impossible to Put your child down cause they always want to be held. Crying never hurt any child. It is even recomended that if your baby is crying and you just can't handle it and you are alone to put them in thier crib and take a few minutes to yourself. As for crying themselves to sleep, I never let my baby cry very long. i let her let out a few cries before I go to her cause sometimes it is just a dream and she settles right back down after 1 cry.

I don't think anyone on this blog has the right to say that any parent that lets their baby CIO is a bad parent. Parents do what works for them and if a parent chooses to use the CIO method cause nothing else works than I say good for you. It is better to let them CIO than have a child get hurt cause parents are not getting any rest at all.

5
0 0

Important: To all the moms out there who hasnt tried the CIO method. More then likely your babies only take/took short naps or have sleep issues. The reason why: is that they don’t know how to self soothe. For an example in regards to napping: Once babies are two months they will start napping for only 30 to 40 minutes because they have a hard time transitioning from one sleep cycle the next. This is your chance as a mom from keeping them deprived of their nap time and allow them to fuss it out or CIO so that they can learn how to transition from light sleep cycle to deep sleep cycle (You can do research and find out about all of this). My son started doing that at 2 months and I let him fuss it out and now he naps for over 2 hours. And he sleeps during the night for over 11 hours. You are not hurting your baby (as long as you make sure theyre not hungry , wet etc. ) but just helping them from not becoming sleep deprived like most American babies. However its also time sensitive so you have to do it when their two to three months old. This CIO method was painful for me to but we did it sporadically and it only took a total of several days and he never cried again because he learned how to self soothe. And he is well loved too!

3 13

you call it "a method" i call it "a parent who doesn't want to deal with her/his child". "cry it out" is in no way a method to teach your child to soothe him/herself. parents are there to soothe them, to pick them up, to rock them, to give them pacifier, to make them happy, to make them feel secure. every parent who lets his/her child "cry it out" just doesn't want to deal with a crying baby. i have 3 kids and never once i let any of them "cry it out" . they are happy and they know that mom and dad are always there for them.

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85 16

Most 'experts' say not before 6 months. I was never a big fan of the method but I relented when my little man was 10 months and found it only took a few nights. I now have a solid sleeper! However you generally wouldn't just let them 'cry it out', you would try controlled crying, checking/settling them every 5 minutes (or shorter/longer depending on which version you follow)... Having said that, every time I 'checked' on my bub, the crying escalated big time! So I did end up leaving him to cry it out, which felt horrible! I wouldn't suggest it until you have tried other methods...There is plenty of info on 'Controlled crying' on the web that you can research before deciding which way to go and which version you like the sound of.

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26 10

Any age is too young. CIO is cruel and abusive and only teaches the child to give up and know that their parents love is conditional on time. So sad.

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2 7

CIO is not cruel or abusive, and it does not teach your child to give up and that their parents love is conditional, it just tells them, that they need to sleep and that not everytime will mommy or daddy pick them up because there crying without there being a reason, i dont agree on letting them cry for longer than 15 mins, but children all learn different, and usually when the child is tought that mommy or daddy will come running to them once they cry, makes them think their in control of there parents, and what they say goes! Also how can you say its abusive, when its no were close to being, Every parent has different methods of teaching there child, but niether way is wrong, nor right! But it doesnt mean something is cruel or abusive. Most children who are tought that their parents will come running to them, end up giving yelling and screaming once their older if they dont get what they want from their parents.

26 10

Add a I am not saying that parents don't have the right intentions but actions speak out much louder than intention. The stress that a baby goes through when being ignored when they are crying (and essentially trying to communicate a need) has been proven to raise cortisol levels and has permanent effects on the way that the brain functions and how a person will handle stress later on. The brain will always remembers. You wouldn't let an elderly or handicapped person cry just because you think their needs are not important, you wouldn't let your husband and friend cry because you believe that they shouldn't need comfort? why to people treat their children like subhumans? And no, I disagree 100% with you, children who's needs ARE met are more likely to NOT scream and yell because they know they don't have to get what they need. CIO is cruel and abusive.

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13 19

I didn't start to let my children cry it out until they were about 7 months. Even then after about 15-20 minutes I would go in and soothe them if they hadn't fallen to sleep or calmed down. It is VERY hard to just let them cry. I hope this helps.

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9 4

A child is like an empty book what ever u stsrt teaching him that is how he thinks when he grows up so the earlier you teach a child the better for you allowing a child to cry a few min is not cruel rather is love and when he begins to adjust you will be proud of him. And it gives them a sence of independence when they start school!

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21 14

Exactly! Some people think that if we use the CIO way of doing things, that automatically we're bad parents who leave our kids locked in their dark rooms crying for hours on end. So not true! I consider CIO in reasonable amounts of time. It makes me suspicious of these parents who say they have NEVER used the CIO method ever before... what did they do? Hold their kids while they took a shower, or did anything else around the house? Did they teach their kids that "connected at the hip" would be the way their life would ALWAYS be? A lil crying doesn't hurt. Heesh people.

0 1

My 4 children are well mannered, smart, happy children. I did the whole increasing minutes thing with my oldest until he began vomiting and I realized I was hurting him more than helping. With my last 3, I have nursed to sleep. My oldest sleeps the least of any of my children. He goes to bed the latest and gets up the earliest. He is also the noisiest sleeper like he can't just settle. My children are very independent, they know no means no, they have boundaries, eat what is for dinner, etc. etc. but when it is bedtime, I have no problem holding my babies close while they are still babies, watching their eyes flutter as they are falling asleep, etc. because those moments that won't last forever are more important to me than a full 8 hours of sleep. And btw, I have NEVER showered with any of my children...

8 0

What's wrong with showering with your children?

127 31

Christine, a follow-up to my previous post . . . my daughter couldn't sleep without me, but in no way was she "attached at my hip" the rest of the time. It was quite the opposite actually. During the time we attempted CIO she was more insistent to get her snuggles during the daytime - THEN I couldn't get anything done. However. . . as soon as we gave up the CIO and she got the cuddles she needed from me at night (which was awesome because it facilitated our breastfeeding relationship anyway), then during the day she was a giggling, happy, well-adjusted girl who would happily hang out with Dad or Uncle or whoever.

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2 19

We tried every thing with my son and finally tried the cry it out method. He now asked to go to sleep and has since he could walk over to the crib and point. He is now two and a half. I think people like you who won't do it because it is "cruel" just can not man up and do the difficult thing (hearing there baby cry is hard for all of us) and be parents so their babies have a chance for a full sleep. I understand it is not for every one or even every baby but to judge other parents for what helped their baby just because you can not be a MOM and do what may be right for your baby just because it hurts you. So when they feel you are unfair when you tell them no they can not do something when they are older you just may cave in because they are crying and their feelings are hurt. You just have to be a parent sometimes and do the hard thing for your child in the long run.

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13 0

No, it's because we believe that our child's ability to fully trust us is the most important thing! Trust me, I have been tempted to do it! I work 12-hour shifts and I'm a single mom of two, so getting full nights of uninterrupted sleep would be nice. But, it's just not worth doing that to my child. My first learned how to fall asleep on his own and STTN without ever crying alone, and my second one will too. They are only little once. I will have many, many years to get the sleep I need!

23 15

I do not believe in CIO I think it's cruel. This little baby cries and Mommy or Daddy takes care of them. When you CIO I picture the baby wondering "Why did they abandon me?". I just can't do it. When they are older and you can explain to them that big kids go to bed by themselves I think it's okay to let them cry a little. I would just keep explaining to them they need to go to sleep on their own. Or you could tell them you'll lay down with them in their bed for a little while then leave.

2
0 0

This is definitely what I imagine a child is thinking, along with "What is Fermat's theorem, really?" and "What is the best recipe for fettucine alfredo, and is it really a cuckold's dish like they say?". You may think a baby is super smart and fully in control of some imaginary language that only you also speak, but they are not.

0 1

I know it's very difficult to feel as if your parenting is being judged. I "pampered" my children...never let them CIO because that just didn't feel right to us. But I've babysat for families who used CIO, and frankly, sometimes I would feel a bit jealous at how "easy" it was to get their babies to sleep. I do know though, that the few times when I let a baby cry without attending to it right away (because I was following the parents wishes), it did seem to make me feel less emotionally sensitive towards the baby, in general. And I'm just saying this honestly. These were not my children, but I noticed a difference in my attitude towards them. I knew this wasn't fair or right, but it just happened. I got more annoyed by their crying in general. So that's just a personal experiment. I do think that the children, as long as they are getting enough attention and love during the day, do turn out fine, but I still know that I personally wouldn't choose that method for my own children.

Another thought I've had regarding this issue: In this culture, we tend to think of teenage rebellion as a "natural" part of adolescence...maybe even a healthy expression of independence. But I happen to come from a culture where teenage rebellion is very hard to come by. If it's so "natural," then it should be universal, right? I've thought a lot about why this is the case. I've wondered if this is just because the society just doesn't give teenagers a very long leash. But I think it's more than that. Being on a short lease wouldn't prevent rebellious thoughts. But I find that in general, in India, teenagers usually consider their parents feelings as at least equal to their own. Their first thought is that "I don't want to do anything to hurt my parents." I've come to believe that the reason for this may be because in India, attachment parenting (co-sleeping, "pampering," etc.) is the rule rather than the exception. CIO is pretty much unheard of there and would be considered shocking. Maybe teenage rebellion is so "natural" here because teenagers have a subconscious feeling that their parents don't really care about their feelings, so why should they care? Even if the parents demonstrate enough caring during the day, the night is the realm of the subconscious. This is not to judge either culture or parenting style. Just some interesting observations and thoughts about what is "natural" in terms of human development.

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1 15

This for me is a no brainer.... With my daughter who is now 5 years old going on six, was a big cry baby. She wanted to be held consitantly. Putting her down for any length of time would send her to a world of tears! It was very devasting for me being a young, first time mother having to hear her cry like this. So I did what I did and held her alot. When she started to sleep in her own bed at about 6 months old, I noticed that she didn't require my full attention as much. As for my newborn son who is 15 weeks today (whom has been sleeping in his own bed since 6 weeks old) I can lay him down anywhere, and he will be content.
I think this mainly depends on the comfortablity level of the parents, and the personality of the child. It has nothing to do with whether its good or bad for a baby. A crying baby will eventually tire and fall asleep. Whether a parent can handle listening to the baby cry is another story altogether....

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265 16

To each her own, but I never did understand the CIO method. If my kid cried, I'd pick him up and love on him. He slept on my chest from the moment he was born (literally!) until he was a year and a half. He slept in my room until he was about two and a half. Now, he's five and hasn't had any problems with sleeping in his own room, nightmares, fussiness, etc. He's very secure and loving, likes to cuddle (sometimes a bit much for his mama, lol), and has absolutely NO problem being away from me. But that's just my child.

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4 7

I do not think a child should cry it out, however depends on what the situation is. There could be times when it is emotional and that needs to be dealt with in the sense of understanding the situation and find a way to get through it. A parent needs to be emotionally available to a child and a child should always feels comfortable to discuss issues with the part.
If it is just for the fact that the child is not getting their way, that should be dealth with immediately.

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264 2

Nothing is wrong with letting your baby cry. As long as they aren't wet< hungry, too hot or too cold. Sometimes babies just need to cry. When my son was about 4 months I would rock him with a bottle to go to bed. He would always wake up when i went to put in down so Id let him cry for 5 mins. If he didn't stop I would go up and give him his binky back rub his tummy and walk out of the room telling him good night and I love you as I walked out the door. I never had to go up more then once and he was out.
My son is now 3 years old and I put him to bed. Give him and hug and kiss tell him I love him and good night. He stays in bed and is usually asleep within 20 mins.
I also never picked him up and held him as I made his bottle. I would lay him down go make the bottle and put it in the warmer. Go back to him and try to sooth him without picking him up. When the bottle was done I would get it and then pick him up.
If I had something to do and he wanted to be held and i couldn't at the time. I would make sure he wasn't wet, hungry, or anything and lay him on the floor/ in his playpen/ bouncer/ or jump-a-roo and give him toys. If that didn't work then I would just let him cry wile I was getting my stuff done. I would talk to him and interact with him without picking him up.
He turned out just fine. Sometimes babies just need to cry. As adults we do too. There is nothing wrong with it.

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A baby is never old enough to be left to cry alone. Babies cry when they need something...and sometimes what they need is you. Just hang in there and your kid will sleep when he or she is ready! http://www.peekababyny.com/peekablog/2010/04/letting-baby-cry-it-out-causes-brain-damage.html


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21 14

Well where are the studies for kids who are "cry babies" and cry over every lil thing? Do those kids who cry over "spilled milk" and are just naturally over-emotional, leaning towards brain damage too? I also would imagine there are babies out there who don't always cry when they're stressed - they might react to stress differently w/o crying yet are still stressed. Were they also tested? Sounds like biased science to me

10 39

Sorry Christine, but our son who is 3 has never been left to cry himself to sleep and certainly doesn't cry over everything. But even if he did, can you tell me what's wrong with that as a small child learning about the world? Why would you want your baby to be stressed in the first place? If there is a gentle way to approach something as natural as falling asleep then what's wrong with that. The fact is there is evidence of CIO causing harm to babies brains. There was a great example given along the lines of .. Imagine you always fall asleep in your partners arms and then in the middle of the night wake up to find yourself on the floor alone.. wouldn't that give you a shock? Well that's a good anaology for how a baby feels, having been fed and fallen asleep in Mum or Dad's arms only to wake up somewhere else without them it's a shock and the trick is to gently reassure that it's okay.. not leave them to cry, especially as there are so many other methods available like establishing a bedtime routine, bath, story cuddles bed, gently reassuring that I'm still here if you need me.

21 14

Ykno its the same thought process as CIO in a way - it's the whole "you're in bed, you're fine" you check on the kid periodically to show them you're not gone forever. Just a different way of going about things. I never said I wanted my kids to be stressed. Yes, that's what bedtime routines are for. Eventually they learn that after the routine comes a night of sleeping on their own, no matter which way they learn. You're talking about the "shock", well for a newborn it's enough shock that they're no longer in the womb so they are forced to deal with that as well. Babies are the same as adults - they need to learn that life has change and some parents teach it to them differently than others. There are prob just as many people who are fine adults who've been raised with the CIO method as those who were not. Same goes for spanking/non-spanking, or breastfed/non-breastfed.

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But they AREN'T fine...they need to be soothed by mom/dad regardless of why! Babies are NOT the same as adults. They aren't crying because they are messing with you and just want to mess with your sleep. They want to feel your embrace, know they are safe, etc. It saddens me when that seems to be asking too much of some parents.

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I've tried a couple of time to let my daughter who is turning 9 months CIO and the reults were that she gets herself so worked up that she pukes everywhere. She use to sleep perfectly fine in her crib and would stay all night. Now for the past 3 weeks she screams everytime ime or her father try and put her down for a nap or bed. She goes to daycare and has no proble sleeping there but once she comes home, she follows me everywhere and does not want to leave my side, I am thinking she is having separation issues.

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Hi I agree 100 percent I have 2 children and with my first she would cry and cry and i would of course being a mother rush to all her needs but it got to the point where it was so bad at 6 months she wouldnt try to branch out and start crawling she didnt want to do anything independently even with me right by her egging her on and sadly as a mother wanting to tend to her every need i let this go on i spoiled her to the point she would want attention she wouldnt sleep threw the night and this is at 6 months of age she would scream bloody murder inless i came in there with her everynight and i keep doing it. When she was one she still refused to crawl let alone walk and her Dr pulled me asaid kindly and said she understood that i love my daughter and want to do everything for her but that i was spoiling her and that i wasnt helping her by doing this. At first i thought she should shove it and that was hard to come to terms with but i noticed she was right it was actually starting to get in the way of her developing and i keept ignoring it thinking i was doing her best but really looking back i realize i wasnt at all i wasnt helping her cope with the reality of life which is to be a little one year old to explore crawl around even sleep one night threw the night and lets face it, i made it really hard on myself as well and it didnt have to be. With my 2nd child which came 2 years later i did everything different I obviously cared to my childs needs but realized that i cant come to every cry esp the ones that were just for attention you spend all day feeding a baby so dont ever think like i did that you arnt spending time with your baby if your ignore one cry. A baby needs to learn how to self soothe and sleep on its own and to feel comfortable not on ur hip a baby need to learn how to branch out and crawl and be independent lets face it as much as us moms want to always be there in life there is going to be plently of times we arnt going to be there. Something might happen at school or with a family member and you wont be there a baby needs to be used to a little space and his or her self because if a baby can calm him or herself down the baby will be a lot happyer in the end. My 2nd child was so much easyer she sleept threw the night at 3 months i wouldnt pick her up at night inless i had to i would place her in her crib let her cry for 5 min check on her see if she was fine than another 5 minn same thing she eventually would stop crying and fall asleep and after a few days of that wala she didnt need me anymore she fell right asleep. I also would let her stay on the floor and when she wanted to be picked up i didnt pick her up. Of course it wasnt easy at first she got upset but after a while she got used to it and there was no longer any problems unlike my first by the time i realized what i had done it was a lot harder to break the habbits than it would of been if i started to break them earlyer. Cio was amazing and i think a lot of people dont undersand it.

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Hi I agree 100 percent I have 2 children and with my first she would cry and cry and i would of course being a mother rush to all her needs but it got to the point where it was so bad at 6 months she wouldnt try to branch out and start crawling she didnt want to do anything independently even with me right by her egging her on and sadly as a mother wanting to tend to her every need i let this go on i spoiled her to the point she would want attention she wouldnt sleep threw the night and this is at 6 months of age she would scream bloody murder inless i came in there with her everynight and i keep doing it. When she was one she still refused to crawl let alone walk and her Dr pulled me asaid kindly and said she understood that i love my daughter and want to do everything for her but that i was spoiling her and that i wasnt helping her by doing this. At first i thought she should shove it and that was hard to come to terms with but i noticed she was right it was actually starting to get in the way of her developing and i keept ignoring it thinking i was doing her best but really looking back i realize i wasnt at all i wasnt helping her cope with the reality of life which is to be a little one year old to explore crawl around even sleep one night threw the night and lets face it, i made it really hard on myself as well and it didnt have to be. With my 2nd child which came 2 years later i did everything different I obviously cared to my childs needs but realized that i cant come to every cry esp the ones that were just for attention you spend all day feeding a baby so dont ever think like i did that you arnt spending time with your baby if your ignore one cry. A baby needs to learn how to self soothe and sleep on its own and to feel comfortable not on ur hip a baby need to learn how to branch out and crawl and be independent lets face it as much as us moms want to always be there in life there is going to be plently of times we arnt going to be there. Something might happen at school or with a family member and you wont be there a baby needs to be used to a little space and his or her self because if a baby can calm him or herself down the baby will be a lot happyer in the end. My 2nd child was so much easyer she sleept threw the night at 3 months i wouldnt pick her up at night inless i had to i would place her in her crib let her cry for 5 min check on her see if she was fine than another 5 minn same thing she eventually would stop crying and fall asleep and after a few days of that wala she didnt need me anymore she fell right asleep. I also would let her stay on the floor and when she wanted to be picked up i didnt pick her up. Of course it wasnt easy at first she got upset but after a while she got used to it and there was no longer any problems unlike my first by the time i realized what i had done it was a lot harder to break the habbits than it would of been if i started to break them earlyer.cio is amazing and it worked for me

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17 7

Hi, I did the controlled crying with a couple of mine, however even if we left them to cry it out they didn't end up stopping crying. Some of my kids will keep crying for hours if we let them and occasionally we have been so tired that we have fallen asleep and woken up later to find them still crying. It doesn't always work. We have 6 children now and don't let them cry for more than 15 -20 minutes without trying to soothe and settle other ways. Hope this helps :)

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My personal belief is that leaving a child to cry is hurtful, primarily from a biological stress-response perspective. We are still wired genetically as nomadic mammals, and if a baby were to be left alone in the woods, it would die - crying is a biological response for protection and safety. The fear/stress from being left alone when this is unwanted floods a person's (child, adult) with adrenaline, and taxing stressing hormones which impair brain development and increase habitual disease in a person. Even if a child learns to control and eventually give up (self-soothing), this stress response still has a negative impact. I share this as a way of answering - at what development stage would it be best to flood a baby's system with an unnatural/unneccessary level of stress hormones? Well, that later the better. In my personal case, never. We are wired the same as traditional/indiginous cultures. They never leave their babies to cry. In fact, there are a lot of studies about why the babies of these cultures don't cry much at all. What is discovered is that they have full access to comfort, and are given pre-emptive comfort. This is not judgement, just information. I really love all mamas and know we are committed to being of benefit to all, babies, selves, families, friends, everyone. We can calmly and softly remember that we are the only one in the whole word for who has been 100% responsible for another human being, our baby. This does not mean 24/7 on-body contact, but that it is our responsibility to make these choices for their well-being. Love to you, dearest mamas. ♥

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CIO certainly doesn't work for all children, but it can be so very helpful if the child responds to it well and if the method is actually used properly. CIO sounds cruel and can be misleading. Nobody is saying you should let your child cry for hours until it collapses in pure exhaustion. I do however believe that anything before 6 months is too young. They are still very much a newborn, have the need to feed more often etc. At 6 months babies can sleep through the night and don't require a feeding. I did CIO with my daughter at 6 months. She cried for a total of 10 minutes in a 2 hour span. And it wasn't screaming, it was more of a whining until she was sound asleep. The next night there was no crying at all, I put her in her crib still awake, she turned around and slept for 11 hours. This is a drastic change of me getting up a minimum of 3 times a night prior. However, at 9 months when she started cutting her first teeth it was all over. First I didn't let her CIO as I knew she was in pain so I was there for her. But after that, she was older and was not ok with CIO anymore. So CIO can work but it may not stick. At the end of the day the parents know their kids best and will do what works best for all of them. One should never judge if you don't know the situation at hand.

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Babies are ALWAYS too young for cry it out. Recent studies are showing it to be harmful to their brain development.
If you left a sick or old person to cry it out, you would be put in prison for neglect. Children only need us for a short while, they don't ask to be born. Parenting is a 24 hour a day job, so why attempt to stop when the sun goes down.

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191 0

I will let me son cry it out when I can tell that he is tired but just doesn't want to sleep. I don't know if all babies have a cry that is similar but he has one that he just sounds exhausted. The past couple days he's woken up at 5:30AM with that cry, the first day I went in gave him his pacifier and he wasn't calming down so I decided to feed him which he fell asleep while I was feeding him. The second day I was in his room for about a half hour trying to calm him down when he finally fell asleep. The third day I gave him his pacifier once and went back to sleep, at that point I was to tired and so was he. Today he woke up at his normal time of 7.

Now when it's not this particular cry I will let him go for a couple minutes before going in just to judge what cry it is and to see if he'll go back to sleep. There's been a couple times when he wants attention, as in he will be crying and as soon as my husband or I go in his room he stops and smiles at us. Most of the time I will get him soon after he starts crying. There have been a couple times where his leg has gotten stuck in between the bars on his crib and he screams in pain those times I've jumped out of bed so fast I barely remember doing it because I could tell he was in pain.

So in my opinion it depends on what cry you are hearing. I also forgot to mention my son will be 3 months old on the 28th.

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a baby is never to young to cryout..but you need to be ready to bailout( in a confined enviroment) if you cannot get the child in control..as we all know patience by other people are shorter than the hair on a gnaps butt these days..so keep you feet balance on the floor an be ready to exist the door.

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Always.
This method's popularity remains a mystery to me, since the emotional harm it causes is now well documented. I implore anyone considering this to do some reading and find out what effects it really has on babies and parents. Please read 'The Science of Parenting' by Margot Sunderland as a wonderful starting point for the effects of 'cry it out' on babies' brains and emotional developoment, and on your relationship with your child. This approach at any age fails utterly to take into account childrens' very real needs and where they are at developmentally.
Please also take a look at Professor James Mckenna's website
http://nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/
Even if you have decided to go ahead, please at least have a look at this info so you're making an informed choice.

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When my son was a few months old, it hurt me to do this but we allow my son to cry it out, and i cried along with him. It didnt last that long (and I would not stand for that if it did) but today my son is almost six months and he is an awesome napper and sleeper. once he woke up around 6am, be wide awake, looked around and realized it wasnt time to wake up yet and went back to sleep because he is an awesome sleeper. He use to nap for only 30 min, (because babies start to sleep like adults and they have trouble transitioning from one sleep cycle to the next around two months) but he learned how to self sooth so instead of only napping for 30 to 40 min. like most babies, he naps for two hours. babies who only catnap never learn how to self soothe. we dont have to let him cry it out anymore since he was two months, and he has never cried like that since. He is a happy baby and a very smart baby. so I dont believe he is traumatize from this ordeal like what some beleive. however, I know people who dont let thier babies cry it out and has to deal with babies who need help in the middle of the night and have poor sleep and nap habits or decides later to allow thier baby to cry it out when they are over a year. by then its too late. You need to sleep train them when they are a few months old only!

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I don't think judging needs to be a part of your personal choices in parenting styles. When it comes to raising children though, you should be making an informed decision. That informed decision should come from what feels intuitively right to you as a mom or dad, what works for your individual child and from research that is from valid and respected sources that have the child's well being at heart and not profits. There is quite a bit of research on the dangers of crying it out. There are chemicals released in the brain that cause the baby to be in a fight or flight state when they are left to cry it out and that is simply not heealthy. The brain of an infant is changed when the cry it out method is used as well.
Food for thought,
Sabrina

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I never let my babies cry when they were newborns. At that point I think they always cry for a reason such as hunger, diaper change ect.. After 6 months old I would let them cry but for NO longer than 10 minutes. This is what my Dr. as well as the baby books of that time recommended. They never cry for "no reason." Even if they are just bored or having trouble settling to sleep there is a need for something. Giving them 10 minute give them a chance to self soothe without getting them too overly upset. I did have one baby who had colic though and at certain periods of the day or night the crying was NON stop! I mean there was nothing you could do at all to make him stop. Believe me, we tried every recommendation/suggeston and there were those periods all he could do was cry -even while pacing/rocking with him. The Dr. finally gave me some kind of medicine for him which did do something to help most times- but then (as you prob. know!- I kept checking on him because he "wasn't" crying!!) But when he was in that colic stage I didn't let him cry it out because I felt that I should be trying "something!" but I think he cried just as much with me holding him! The other babies that did not have colic it was the 10 minute rule.

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I have never read any CIO advice that suggested leaving a child in distress for very long, usually its just a few minutes before reassuring them that you are still there (though not picking them up). I tried controlled crying with one of my 3 children (at 1 1/2 years old) and it worked within 2 days. The other 2 didn't really need it as were sleeping through by 8 weeks. I can see no difference at all in their ability to make friends or their relationship with me, they are all happy 'successful' children. I think the needs of the whole family (no one was getting any sleep in my house) need to be taken into account, and a little common sense applied to ANY theory.

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There is science, if you need it, behind CIO being harmful. Drmomma.org is a great resource. Here are a few articles you might find helpful: http://www.drmomma.org/2009/11/science-of-sharing-sleep.html http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/dangers-of-leaving-baby-to-cry-it-out.html http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/crying-it-out-causes-brain-damage.html

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I have use the "CRY IT OUT" method.TO ME IT DON'T WORK.It depends on how you are as in a parent "DO YOU GIVE IN OR STAY FIRM" I don't like hearing my kids cry because we all don't no whats that doing to their lungs i have found out as being a teen mom that SOMETIMES my kids don't cry for a reason my kids are very smart they know what to do to get mommy or you can say RIRI attention

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always. They are always to young I suggest looking at studies about cry it out because it is harmful to the child's mental well being that can manifest in physical illness and failure to thrive in some cases.

now if it is 3 am you haven't had more then 45 min in a row of sleep and you think you might harm your child please put your kid down even if they are crying. I have had two young children while my husband was deployed so i know all about feeling overwhelmed and please believe i put them down in a safe place and a few time I locked up the house and went for a quick walk people may judge me but I have happy healthy children and I'm sure if I hadn't given myself permission to take a quick break then I might have done some thing very bad. but self soothing isn't what happens what cry it out teaches the child is that the care taker can not be counted upon when you are feeling scared lonely etc and it breaks the bond between baby and mother or father. basically your child no longer trust you as much. and that will happen at any age.

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I attempted the CIO method once my daughter turned between 6-9 months old. I absolutely couldn't do it. You know how there's a difference in your child's cry - you can tell if they're just whining or wanting something v. if something's really wrong.

My little girl went into horrible crying fits. She wasn't just crying for me, she was honestly completely distressed. It was the kind of cry that if she cried when I left the room she could *not* be soothed for another 45 minutes or an hour. She'd hyperventilate herself and soon wouldn't be able to breathe.

I couldn't do it anymore. I didn't think it was healthy. We continued our co-sleeping relationship and I didn't push it any more. Fast forward several months and I'm glad I made the decision I did.

It turns out that my daughter has a Sensory Processing Disorder and she really, truly was horribly distressed without me. She literally needed me to sleep. Had I pushed the CIO method with her any more, I would have felt terrible when we learned about her SPD.

That being said, I think that CIO works fine for some children, though most advice is to wait until 6 months old. I believe that CIO is *not* right for other families.

Let's not waste our time being judgmental toward CIO or non-CIO families and just accepts that the other family does what's right for them.

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I have a friend that picked up her daughter and rocked to daughter to sleep every night and 4 years later her daughter still does not sleep through the night. She is a terror because at a very young age they taught her that if she cries she will get what she wants. With her second child she let her daughter cry it out (controlled) This daughter is very calm happy, patient and a joy to be around. And can wait if mommy has God forbid do the laundry, clean the house, or cook a meal.

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I dont like yelling -- i would always check to see what the situation is first , and if it was for attention-- let them scream they will learn it doesnt get their own way.

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When a baby screams for attention, it's because they NEED attention! So they learn that when they need you and the lights are out, you're not coming for them. What a horrible feeling that must be!

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Every child is different, but for us I didn't feel right trying it until after 6 months and until after every need of hers was met (was she too warm, hungry, wet, etc?). Speaking to our pediatrician, he agreed that around 6-8 months was a good time to allow children to CIO/self soothe as they didn't need as many calories as younger babies. We would set a timer for 15 minutes and only let her cry that long. We only had to do it a handful of times over a few months. It was hard, but she now sleeps 12 hours a night on average (with occasional hiccups in her schedule due to a new tooth coming in or being in a different bed etc.) and she is 17 months.

You know your child best. Talk to your pediatrician as well and listen to your gut. I do recommend going in and checking on them a few times while you do this to reassure them that you are still there, but keep it a controlled time that you designate (whether that is 15 minutes like us or 30 minutes, you'll know.) Good luck!

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19 5

I have postnatal depression, so I started my son with crying it out quite early on - at around 3 months - at least occasionally. We started him crying it out on a regular basis at around 6 months of age.

I am sure that I will be judged for this but I regret absolutely nothing. My son is very happy and well adjusted and I believe that we are better bonded now than we would have been had I not gotten any sleep.

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Controlled crying works. I tried it too late with my first she was 2 and I had already hallucinated from sleep deprivation. My second was into a feeding routine and returned to every 5 minutes. It took 2 nights to get her sleeping she was between 3 and 4 months and in a crib in my room for her first year. My third a little dude he loves his bed and always has.
As for too young so long as you have the feeding times sorted, all burping dealt with and a clean nappy it's not too young.

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