Please help! Crying it out...

Samantha - posted on 04/01/2009 ( 24 moms have responded )

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My daughter does not sleep...hasn't since the day she was born! I tried about a month and a half ago to let her cry it out, but after 2 hours of non-stop screaming, her dad and I decided to try again after a while. I am planning on trying again starting this weekend, but I REALLY want it to be successful this time around. Any advice that helped you??

24 Comments

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Christy - posted on 04/09/2009

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Ferber WORKS!!! :o)  We used the method at 3.5 months and he's been a sound sleeper ever since (turned 7 months on the first).  The key is CONSITENCY.  If you don't follow through, it can't work.  When we were pulling our hair out, we researched like crazy.  It came down to this- he didn't know how to sleep on his own.  He couldn't fall asleep without us, so every time he woke up in the middle of the night, we had to comfort him back to sleep.  Little did we know that we were doing him a disservice.  Check on your little one the first night and gradually increase the time for each interval (3 min, 5 min, 7, 9... all the way to 15 or 20).  It is important that you don't pick her up!!!!  Sooth her by rubbing her head and speaking softly- then walk away.  We found that the longer we stayed with him, the worse it got.  The recommended time in the room with her is like 30 seconds to a minute.  Granted, this is the hardest thing you will do (up to this point) and it sucks.  I cried so hard.  But, low and behold, 6 days later... sleep.  Sound sleep.  For everyone.  Now, if he wakes up in the middle of the night, we don't run in to check on him right away.  We wait 20 minutes, and if he's really upset, we'll go in.  Rarely do we need to go in.  Best of luck to you. 

Courtney - posted on 04/07/2009

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We started cio @ 4 months, and it was great!! You just have to be super consistant. At the beginning, I had to set a timer for myself-let her cry for 2 minutes was all I could do, and then I would go in and NOT PICK HER UP, but talk to her, or soothe her, whatever to calm her down, and then leave, and set the timer for 5 minutes, and so on.. its tough at the beginning, you will be in for a few sleepless nights, but its worth it once she learns to self-soothe. If you really feel like its not working though, have you tried swaddling? Or sleeping on a wedge? It might be reflux if she hasn't ever slept well-Good Luck!

Stella - posted on 04/07/2009

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Has anyone tried CIO for nap time?  My baby usually does fine at night, goes down relatively easily, and wakes once or twice but goes right back to sleep after nursing (again, I say usually because the past two weeks he has been super fussy).  Anyway, he won't nap much and almost never in the crib.

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Quoting Roxanne:

My daughter slept in her crib wonderfully for the first few months, but got in two teeth right at 4 months and after that had to be rocked to sleep - either by her father and me or her swing. I had a really hard time taking her out of her swing and putting her into her crib without waking her, I'd have to put her back in it and keep repeating the process. I don't have the heart to let her cry, would much rather let her know I am here for her. Though some people don't believe in it we've started co-sleeping and it comforts her so much, she goes right to sleep if I'm next to her. After about 10 minutes I slowly get up and walk out, I check on her often.. then when I go to bed she cuddles right up and sleeps great :) My husband doesn't mind and it works very well for us.



Not sure if your daughter rolls yet, but if you're not in bed with her all the time I'd recommend one of those bed rail things for toddlers.  When my 2-year-old sleeps in our bed we always put one up just in case.  It's great because it slips right between the mattress and the box spring and we have that extra assurance that if she rolls too far there's something to stop her. 

Roxanne - posted on 04/06/2009

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My daughter slept in her crib wonderfully for the first few months, but got in two teeth right at 4 months and after that had to be rocked to sleep - either by her father and me or her swing. I had a really hard time taking her out of her swing and putting her into her crib without waking her, I'd have to put her back in it and keep repeating the process. I don't have the heart to let her cry, would much rather let her know I am here for her. Though some people don't believe in it we've started co-sleeping and it comforts her so much, she goes right to sleep if I'm next to her. After about 10 minutes I slowly get up and walk out, I check on her often.. then when I go to bed she cuddles right up and sleeps great :) My husband doesn't mind and it works very well for us.

Shannon - posted on 04/06/2009

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i'm going to say it took about a week or two for us to be able to just put him down and him not fuss at all and just go to sleep. Now, in saying that every night is a little different and sometimes (very rarely) he still puts up a bit of a fight to go to bed. but then again i don't always feel like going to bed when it's my time to go to bed! lol! i just give him a little extra snuggle time and then he goes to bed (sometimes i sing to him... thank goodness nobody has to hear me sing except him and hubby...lol)

Samantha - posted on 04/05/2009

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Thank you all for all of your helpful insight and advice.  Her dad and I have been trying to let her CIO this weekend (at naps and at night) but she is very determined.  I know it takes time, and I think we are going to continue to try.  However, earlier today, after only a minute or two of crying, she began to throw up a lot (clearly she was sick from something, it wasn't due to crying), so we ditched the CIO today.  Will that make it more difficult to continue CIO tomorrow?  If so, would it be more effective to wait a few weeks and then try again?  I feel so bad about letting her CIO, but I know she will be so much better with more sleep (as will I!)  To Shannon, I like the sound of your slightly different approach.  How long did it take him to catch on?

Shannon - posted on 04/05/2009

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my little guy has been a pretty good sleeper..... but we unknowingly kind of used the ferber method to get him to go to sleep on his own.
First off every night we have the routine of a bath, give him a massage, i breast feed him, and then he gets a little snuggle time.... i usually rock him in the glider for a minute or two and then he goes down to bed.
the first time we let him cry for 5 min. and then we would go in pick him up (i guess we were not supposed to do that....) rock him for another minute or two and put him down again and then wait 10 minutes and repeat at 15 min. and then kept repeating until he fell asleep.... the first time took a little wile but it got less and less every time.... now we just put him down and he goes right to sleep.
now, if he is not tired (which sometimes he just doesn't want to go to bed) nothing seems to work so we just stay up another half an hour and try again....
every baby is different and it's just what you feel good about and what works for your baby!
good luck!

Annabelle - posted on 04/05/2009

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We were in the same boat as most parents here. So in January, after reading Dr.Ferber's book, we decided to do the "Cry it out"... If I hadn't read the book I'm sure I would have done the approach incorrectly and let her cry for the whole time..... BUT as some the previous posts have said, it is a gradual way of teaching them how to self-soothe themselves.....



You start by pushing their bedtime 1/2-1hr later than usual (only for the first week, so they are tired when you put them down)

-when they cry, wait 3 minutes, and then go in for a couple minutes, reassure them that it's ok, rub their tummy or whatver, just don't pick them up, then leave the room again

-if they are crying still, wait 5 mins, then go in...

- after, if they are crying still, wait 10 mins.... and then 10 mins each time after that for the first night



The next night it's 5 mins, 7 mins, 12mins... and then each night, you gradually increase it.



Fortunately for us, my daughter fell asleep after 30mins (only 15mins of crying)

Within the month, she only woke up maybe about 4 nights with some crying but eventually settled. Now, the only time she wakes in the night is if she's dirty, teething, or when she was sick.



It was a tough decision to make when we decided to try it out, but in the long run, she now is able to be put to bed and for naps without me rocking her or feeding her. She gets more sleep now than before we tried it.



I definitely recommend reading the book first and educating yourselves on how the approach is done properly. It's worth it. Good luck!

Ashley - posted on 04/04/2009

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I think Cry It Out works for some...and some it doesn't. Do what you feel is best for your baby. You can try CIO, and if it doesn't work, then don't feel bad. Our baby is a cuddler...she still sleeps in her bed, but she likes to have some good cuddle time with us rocking her or just reading her a book before we lay her down. Keep trying! Something is bound to work out...and EVERY baby is different. Do what is best for your family.

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I did kind of the same as Jennifer, I would just let my son cry for 5 mins went in to his room and rubbed his back or tummy (with out picking him up) and talked quietly to him reasuring him, left for a couple more mins then went back in and reasured him again, until he finally fell asleep.

This also took about three days for us



Something else we would do (sounds kind of silly but it worked) was I took his fav toy (it's a blanket teddy) and would stick in my bed during the day so it would get our sent on it, then we would put it in his crib for when he went to bed at night, he would roll onto his side and cuddle into it, then fall asleep.

Hope this helps - Good luck

Megan - posted on 04/04/2009

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I have been though that with my oldest. I dont know if anyone has said this but we have put her on a strict  schedule. I hope everything works out for you and your family.

Jennifer - posted on 04/04/2009

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I second Ferberization. It's a method of gradually increasing the time you let the baby cry. Start with five minutes, go in and soothe, then 10 minutes, soothe, 15, soothe... My daughter never went on for more than 20 minutes and it only took about 3 days for her to figure it out.

Serena - posted on 04/03/2009

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With my twin daughters I tried the CIO method and it never worked. They just could not soothe themselves. I had to rock them to sleep until they were about 10 months old. My youngest, on the other hand, HAS to cry herself to sleep for a few minutes. I think that it just depends on the child........at least that has been my experience.

Chelseaszidik - posted on 04/02/2009

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I have found that laying with my daughter in my bed is what gives us a great end to the day and she falls asleep.  I don't know if you breastfeed or not not but we do so I lay on my side and let her eat until she's drowsy and then place her next to be and put my hand on her.  She falls fast asleep and because we co-sleep I leave her there.  I slowly remove my hand by releasing a little bit of pressure at a time so that she doesn't startle and wake back up.  I also fake being asleep the entire time because I believe that infants learn best by example.  I find that I keep repeating in my head "Be Calm" if she is having a hard time falling asleep because infants pick up on how we feel quickly and they are deeply impacted by our emotions.  However, there was a time when I would move her to her crib when she was really drowsy and then put music on and she would fall asleep.  I cannot say enough about teaching your baby that sleep is a safe place to go to and crying it out only teaches an infant that you will not meet their needs and that sleep is a scary thing that they will only enter after exhausted from being terrified and alone.  infants fall asleep best with they are secure with a parent.  I would recommend reading up on what Dr. Sears has to say about this.  Please don't attempt the cry it out method again, embrace your infant for who they are and parent the child you have.  Not all babies are good sleepers and there are many things you can do to help them be soothed and fall asleep faster but your presence is what will make it a positive experience for your infant.



White noise (played loudly it triggers the calming reflex in infants)



Laying them on their side



Pacifier or breast



Motion such as a swing



 

Taryn - posted on 04/02/2009

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Try and google Ferberization. It is a method to letting a baby "cry it out" I used this with all my kids and it works great. It only took a few nights and she was sleeping through. I waited five minutes each time. Good luck.

Joy - posted on 04/01/2009

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PLease dont try it till you have done some research on the correct way of doing it. There can be some very mild techniques where it doesnt feel like you are torturing your baby and then there can be the horrific horrible techniques. Invest in a GREAT book called Save our Sleep by Tizzie HAll and have yourself and your husband read it cover to cover. We had our son sleeping thru the night at 10 weeks old and it took us 3 days to teach him with hardly any crying but more soothing.

Alisha - posted on 04/01/2009

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I was a lucky mom.Sierra throughout the night since she came home. But she had about a month and a half of her not going to bed. So, I started giving her a nice warm bath, followed by a warm bottle at bed time. Also, soft/dim lights and music helped her. This might sound a little crazy too, but I heard some people put their babies in the car seat and hold it on top of the dryer. The vibration and sound is supposed to be soothing, kind of like riding in the car. Those are just some suggestions. Hope it helps.

Mara - posted on 04/01/2009

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I would love to comment but can't say much for we are about to try this for the first time. I didn't believe in CIO for awhile, but we're getting to the point where we have to give it a try. I'm not comfortable (nor is my hubby) with the "cry alone til they fall asleep" type. We are going to try 5 minutes, then check on her/rub back/say "night night...I love you", then leave the room, back in 10 minutes, etc. until she's asleep. They say to give it at least a week. We will try it for a week and if it doesn't work then we'll know she's just an awful sleeper for now. I'm not sure which way to go with Ellia - if I should do this when we put her down and every subsequent time she wakes up or just when she wakes up...we'll see. But I'm pregnant with our second (surprise) and Ellia is 7 months...we all need more sleep. Good luck!

Rebekah - posted on 04/01/2009

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We attempted the cry it out method like this, if he started screaming we'd start to count to 30, if he took a breath we would start over.  Once we got to 30 then we'd go in pick him up to calm him down give him his paci and once he started to close his eyes we'd lay him back down.



We tried other methods of the cry it out as well, but none of them really worked for us because my son is a cuddler.  I only got successful with the version above for about 3 days, and I continued it for a month, but he wasn't gonna have it.



So I just stuck with a normal bedtime routine each night, ending his day the same way and now it only takes me 15 minutes to get him to bed and he won't even fight me or cry now.  Consistency is key.  You just have to find what works best for your baby.



Some babies do REALLY good with cry it out, mine unfortunately would cry all night long - thus getting no sleep.  So I had to alter the cry it out method to make it work for us - I would rock him to sleep and cuddle with him, but if we woke in the middle of night, I'd check to see if he needed changed or if something was wrong, otherwise just give him pacifier and walk out of the room.  He'd cry for a little bit, but because it was dark in the room and he was so tired, he'd go to sleep within 10-15 minutes.

Shelly - posted on 04/01/2009

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I was really lucky, my daughter only cried for about a half hour when we first used to cry it out method. As long as your daughter isn't hungry or have a full diaper, or have reflux, you should be able to try it again. Cry it out method doesn't mean to just leave them in there and let them cry for hours, you let them cry for 5 minutes, go in there and give them their paci, rub their tummy and say "your ok, you can go night-night." And do that every 5 minutes until she falls asleep. Thats what we did for our daughter and not she goes to sleep on her own. We also play classical mulsic for her in her room and put her to bed before she is overly tired, because if she is overly tired she is going to cry and be worked up and have a hard time falling asleep. I hope this heps. If she is in her crib, she should be comfortable, but if she is in a pack-n-play she might be uncomfortable. My daughter had to move into her crib to be more comfortable. Good luck!

Teresa - posted on 04/01/2009

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A few things we've used: bouncy vibrating seat, swing, co-sleeping, rocking,  rocking/vibrating bassinet, taking a walk with baby in buggy or carrier. In his crib, we have a winnie-the-pooh shape/light projector that plays music and a seahorse that lights up and plays music that he loves; he has put himself to sleep using both things.I do anything I can to avoid CIO, especially at such a young age.

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My oldest did not sleep well either. I used a Baby Einstine turtle that has soft lights and music. It plays for about 20 min and then shuts off automaticlly. She still has it in her bed and she's two now! Also, I had trouble putting her back to sleep after a night feeding because I was feeding her in the living room then bringing her back down the hall to her bed. She would always wake up even before I got to the hallway. We eventulally got a glider chair for her room and I could rock her to sleep then put her to bed right away.

I also bundled up my forst daughter and walked her around the block. The fresh night air seemed to help, and it helps get rid of the baby weight :)

When my oldest was teething I found that she didn't sleep well because of the pain. During the day a baby is distracted from the pain, but at night laying in bed the pain is harder to ignore. When I noticed a tooth was about to cut through, I would give Alayna a dose of Tylenol before bed. It eased the pain and made her drowsy. It's worth a try if you think that teething could be causing a sleep strike.

Don't feel bad about trying the cry it out thing, I tried it for both girls, and like yours, it didn't work! They are rather stubborn!

If all else failed, I enlisted my husband's help pacing the floor for a few hours so I could get some sleep and regain my sanity.

I hope this helps!

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