Cry it out or Attend to baby?

[deleted account] ( 150 moms have responded )

My husband and I are arguing over whether or not it is better to let your child cry themselves to sleep or if you should be consoling them and answering there cries. Just looking for some outside opinions!

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Darylann - posted on 01/26/2010

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I have noticed some moms stating that this can cause significant brain damage, and I would like to confirm that as well! According to the Dr. Sears website that I recommended reading in my previous comment, letting your baby cry it out is, in fact, damaging to the brain. In fact, chances of mental illness later in life is increased in babies who are left to cry by themselves, due to a stress hormone that is released while crying for help. This is part of an article on the Dr. Sears website (that I highly recommend reading!):

"If only my baby could talk instead of cry I would know what she wants," said Janet, a new mother of a fussy baby. "Your baby can talk," we advised. "The key is for you to learn how to listen. When you learn the special language of your baby's cry, you will be able to respond sensitively. Here are some listening tips that will help you discover what your baby is trying to say when he cries.



The cry is not just a sound; it's a signal – designed for the survival of the baby and development of the parents. By not responding to the cry, babies and parents lose. Here's why. In the early months of life, babies cannot verbalize their needs. To fill in the gap until the child is able to "speak our language," babies have a unique language called "crying." Baby senses a need, such as hunger for food or the need to be comforted when upset, and this need triggers a sound we call a cry. Baby does not ponder in his little mind, "It's 3:00 a.m. and I think I'll wake up mommy for a little snack." No! That faulty reasoning is placing an adult interpretation on a tiny infant. Also, babies do not have the mental acuity to figure out why a parent would respond to their cries at three in the afternoon, but not at three in the morning. The newborn who cries is saying: "I need something; something is not right here. Please make it right."



At the top of the list of unhelpful advice – one that every new parent is bound to hear – is "Let your baby cry-it-out." To see how unwise and unhelpful is this advice, let's analyze each word in this mother-baby connection- interfering phrase.



"Let your baby." Some third-party advisor who has no biological connection to your baby, no knowledge or investment in your baby, and isn't even there at 3:00 a.m. when your baby cries, has the nerve to pontificate to you how to respond to your baby's cries.



The cry is a marvelous design. Consider what might happen if the infant didn't cry. He's hungry, but doesn't awaken ("He sleeps through the night," brags the parent of a sleep-trained baby). He hurts, but doesn't let anyone know. The result of this lack of communication is known, ultimately, as "failure to thrive." "Thriving" means not only getting bigger, but growing to your full potential emotionally, physically, and intellectually.



"Cry…" Not only is the cry a wonderful design for babies; it is a useful divine design for parents, especially the mother. When a mother hears her baby cry, the blood flow to her breasts increases, accompanied by the biological urge to "pick up and nurse" her baby. ("Nurse" means comforting, not just breastfeeding.) As an added biological perk, the maternal hormones released when baby nurses relax the mother, so she gives a less tense and more nurturing response to her infant's needs. These biological changes – part of the design of the mother-baby communication network – explain why it's easy for someone else to advise you to let your baby cry, but difficult for you to do. That counterproductive advice is not biologically correct.



"It…" Consider what exactly is the "it" in "cry-it-out": an annoying habit? Unlikely, since babies don't enjoy crying. And, contrary to popular thought, crying is not "good for baby's lungs." That belief is not physiologically correct. The "it" is an emotional or physical need. Something is not right and the only way baby has of telling us this is to cry, pleading with us to make it right. Early on, consider baby's cry as signaling a need – communication rather than manipulation.



Parent tip: Babies cry to communicate – not manipulate

"Out" What actually goes "out" of a baby, parents, and the relationship when a baby is left to cry-it-out? Since the cry is a baby's language, a communication tool, a baby has two choices if no one listens. Either he can cry louder, harder, and produce a more disturbing signal or he can clam up and become a "good baby" (meaning "quiet"). If no one listens, he will become a very discouraged baby. He'll learn the one thing you don't want him to: that he can't communicate.



Baby loses trust in the signal value of his cry – and perhaps baby also loses trust in the responsiveness of his caregivers. Not only does something vital go "out" of baby, an important ingredient in the parent- child relationship goes "out" of parents: sensitivity. When you respond intuitively to your infant's needs, as you practice this cue- response listening skill hundreds of times in the early months, baby learns to cue better (the cries take on a less disturbing and more communicative quality as baby learns to "talk better"). On the flip side of the mother-infant communication, you learn to read your infant's cries and respond appropriately (meaning when to say "yes" and when to say "no," and how fast). In time you learn the ultimate in crying sensitivity: to read baby's body language and respond to her pre-cry signals so baby doesn't always have to cry to communicate her needs.



What happens if you "harden your heart," view the cry as a control rather than a communication tool and turn a deaf ear to baby's cries? When you go against your basic biology, you desensitize yourself to your baby's signals and your instinctive responses. Eventually, the cry doesn't bother you. You lose trust in your baby's signals, and you lose trust in your ability to understand baby's primitive language. A distance develops between you and your baby and you run the risk of becoming what pediatricians refer to as a doctor-tell-me-what-to-do. You listen to a book instead of your baby. So, not listening and responding sensitively to baby's cries is a lose-lose situation: Baby loses trust in caregivers and caregivers lose trust in their own sensitivity.



Mother loses trust in herself. To illustrate how a mother can weaken her God- given sensitivity when she lets herself be less discerning about parenting advice; a sensitive veteran mother recently shared this story with us:



"I went to visit my friend who just had a baby. While we were talking, her three-week-old started crying in another room. The baby kept crying, harder and louder. I was getting increasingly driven to go comfort the baby. Her baby's cries didn't bother her, but they bothered me. My breasts almost started to leak milk! Yet, my friend seemed oblivious to her baby's signals. Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore and I said, 'It's okay, go attend to your baby. We can talk later.' Matter-of-factly she replied, 'No, it's not time yet for his feeding.' Incredulous, I asked, 'Mary, where on earth did you get that harmful advice?' 'From a baby-training class at church,' she proudly insisted. 'I want my baby to learn I'm in control, not him.'"



This novice mother, wanting to do the best for her baby and believing she was being a good mother, had allowed herself to succumb to uncredentialed prophets of bad parenting advice and was losing her God-given sensitivity to her baby. She was starting her parenting career with a distance developing between her and her baby. The pair was becoming disconnected."



To read the whole article (do it!) go to this website: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/T051200...

Stefanie - posted on 01/26/2010

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Also I'm taking a psychology class right now and we are studying self-concept in children. It's proven that children whose mother's tend to shy away from their crying or needs (example: letting them cry for hours at bedtime) are less likely to be sociable, vibrant people later in life. As early as pre-school and daycare, they studied these children and because they gave up hope that their mother's weren't responding (this is a baby's main form of communication, "I cry, you come") they get used to doing things on their own and not needing communication or comfort to get by. This is just sad to me. And maybe it won't happen to your child, but why take the chance. The only thing you're sacrificing is a few sleepless nights.

[deleted account]

Never CIO. Ever. Babies communicate needs by crying. Even 6 months old and older. There are ways to teach a child to sleep on their own without abandoning them. It takes work, but it can be done in a gentle way. I am not talking about crying for a couple minutes, but over 5 minutes and I consider it abuse.

Kristian - posted on 01/26/2010

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I have a 9 month old son and we are working on the crying it out now. This is our fourth night. The first night he cried just under an hour. The second and third night 35 min and the fourth just 20 min. It is rough the first night but does get easier. What helped me keep going was the first night we tried it was the first time he's slept the whole night...he slept for 9 hours straight it was amazing. That was enough to get me fully on board with CIO. At 9 months I just don't think he should keep getting up in the middle of the night...I know he's eating plenty during the day that he doesn't need the midnight feeding, he just wakes b/c he's used to it. Hope whatever you choose to do works for you!

Sarah - posted on 01/20/2010

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do the 5 minute rule.. start at 5mins.. baby cries for 5.. go in settle then leave. baby cries again wait 1Omins this time.. then go in and settle, keep going till you get to 2O mins.. you get there then something is wrong.. check temp even if bub hasnt a temp give a small drink and settle again.. i raised my 6 yr old sister from birth.. she is a good sleeper now. she goes straight off to bed. no whining nothing.. she is a good girl. now my sister didnt do it with her first born and she is a sooky sleeper and wont go straight off to sleep and is very much a cheeky thing to pushes the buttons.. now her 2nd born is the same as our 6 yr old sister. and was taught the same sleeping pattern. she is good. and is teaching her big sister to go to sleep at the same time as her as she wont play with her at bed time..

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Sally - posted on 01/10/2012

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CIO is very unhealthy for babies and their moms. It does very bad things to their hormones that can have permanent consequences. Children need to have their needs met even at bed time.

Miri - posted on 01/05/2012

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I STRONGLY BELIEVE TO NOT LET THE BABY CRY IT OUT. A MOM'S INTUITION IS SAINTLY AND TIMELESS. Babies cry for a reason. Even if its just for attention, my opinon is do something to let the baby knows that someone cares (with the exemption of if you feel aggression towards the baby than walk away). Babies cry and mommy's usually intuitively want to comfort them. Sounds like the basis of all future relationships the world will or has ever known. May they be blessed and sound.

Karin - posted on 01/27/2010

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Listen to your baby. I tried crying it out with my first born, and it broke his trust in us for a long time. We realized immediately that it was wrong, researched what else to do, and decided to go with the snuggle down method. For us, that meant that our son/daughter would be held on our chest or in our arms until he/she almost fell asleep. We would then transfer them to their side-sleeper or bed. Sometimes we still do this, but I think our kids are more connected to us because of it. It's created a good starting place for them to trust us. Our kids still love to cuddle with us on occasion, and we all love it!

Ultimately, you and your husband have to agree on a method you are both comfortable with, and be consistent with it. It will become your child's routine.

Good luck!

Lexann - posted on 01/27/2010

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Men always think it's better to let them "cry it out", but that just makes them insecure. Babies cannot communicate. They can't say, "Mommy, I'm wet or hungry or bored or tired or feel sick..." They cry. If you ignore them when they cry, they just get the message that they cannot rely on you to fulfill their need. Of course, when they are 2 and throwing a tantrum because they can't get their way, that is a different story. But while they are babies, it is always better to console them. Sometimes it's harder than other times to tell what they are crying about, especially in the middle of the night, and that can be frustrating and exhausting, so you start to think "maybe Hubby is right, I should just let him cry..." But he (she) isn't doing it to keep you up or to somehow "manipulate" you (they aren't cognatively developed enough to do that anyway), he (she) has a need. When my second son was born, I couldn't figure out why he wouldn't sleep on his own. He would snooze away as long as someone was holding him, or he was in my carrier, but the instant I laid him down, he would wake up crying! It was so frustrating, and I wasn't getting any sleep! It turned out that he had acid reflux (I didn't even know newborns could have that, especially since he was breastfed, it never occurred to me), and lying him flat in any position would cause the acid to come up on him. It was very painful for him. We angled his crib mattress & gave him the medication prescribed by his pediatrician, and it worked like a charm. But I would never have known what was wrong if I'd just let him "cry it out".

Crystal - posted on 01/27/2010

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You both should read the Baby Sleep Book by Dr. Sears. It basically says if it doesn't feel right, it's not right. There are psychological as well as physical reasons not to let them cry it out. Letting them cry it out releases stress hormones (cortisol) and prolonged exposure to cortisol can impair brain function, it's been linked to ADHD, and it actually does the opposite of what you want it to do. Sleep should be a relaxed and calm time for babies. The cry it out method teaches them that it's a scary and lonely time. It discusses the cry it out method in detail.



Basically it says that it might take longer to get them in their own bed, but once you do they'll actually sleep well in there and have healthy sleep habits. A lot of kids who were put through the cry it out method wake up as toddlers and even older with nightmares and bed wetting. I read it and marked some pages for my husband to read. Our baby now sleeps happily in our bed and all three of us are happy about it.



As a side note, I'm totally not judging anyone who uses the cry it out method. The book even says you have to do what works for you. But after a week of my baby (and me)getting no sleep because we were trying to get her to sleep in her own bed, I read this book and felt better about letting her sleep with us.

Nicky - posted on 01/27/2010

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I found I was able to leave my son to cry to sleep....wouldnt leave it for more than half an hour or so.......played music to sooth. . my midwife mum advised me not to pander to every cry. Babies know that a cry will get them attention as at this stage it means so many things.....go by your instincts.

Cristal - posted on 01/26/2010

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My Husband also says we should let our baby cry it out, but i dont like it makes me think my son feels as if we dont want to deal with him so i never let him cry i always Attend to him so i say Attend babies dont cry for no reason!

Jessica - posted on 01/26/2010

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We consoled, consoled, consoled immediately until we thought our son was old enough to actually learn from crying it out. We want to send the message of "after we have a bottle and rock for 10 minutes its night-night time" so we waited until our son was about 7 months old. Its important for babies to be 'mature' enough to handle this, so talk to your ped first. For several months babies need you to respond quickly because something is wrong (hungry, wet, lonely, etc.) Once they learn they can depend on you for care when they need it, they will be ready to self- soothe a little when (nothing is wrong) and its time to go to sleep. He has had a few times where he cried for 40 minutes, but we could tell he was winding down and just let him go. Granted, it still SUCKS when he is crying, but now putting him down to sleep is SO MUCH EASIER. One thing though, if my son is crying and is getting REALLY upset like gagging/vomitting and not starting to wind down (crying softer and less forcefull) then I do go in and check him and rock/pat/hug him a bit until he calms down. I was spending anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to get him and down and now its like 0-15 minutes. When he wakes up from a nap, one of us goes in and gives him a big smile and a cuddle to reassure him that when he is done sleeping Mommy and Daddy will be there.

Stacie - posted on 01/26/2010

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NO, NO! Babies who cry it out or are "Ferberized" are taught NOT to trust their parents. The baby cries out and the parents don't respond.



My advice: Call Angel at 214-434-1871. She is a sleep specialist for babies...and she works wonders! I thought the idea was crazy, but my husband (an attorney) and myself (a college grad) had the same debate you & your husband are having now. While we debated, we became sleep deprived and our baby became a bad sleeper. Our pediatrician finally referred us to Angel...I wish we had known about her for our 1st-born son. Listen to her. Follow her plan for your family...it's different for each family. We followed her plan precisely & she guided us via phone & e-mails our first week. Just so you know...Our baby was sleeping soundly and 12 hours a night within 5 days...AMAZING! I can't say enough good things about her.



I would give you all her info (website, full name & resume) however, I'm away from home & only have the number from her last call to me in my cell phone. Use it--you won't regret it. Good luck! And God bless that beautiful baby He sent you.

Amy - posted on 01/26/2010

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Do what your gut tells you. Your child has a need for you. They will learn separation over time. Don't rush life. Try changing bed time or take 2 naps a day. If you were crying out wouldn't you want some to come to you?

[deleted account]

We did both and the comforting was less stressful for us. After having three kiddos and each one is different. What worked with one didn't with the others. I feel the same with other peoples kids. Just try to find what best fits your family and lifestyle. Good luck and good sleeping. :)

Vivian - posted on 01/26/2010

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Work out a system that works for you, your baby will adjust in time but you have to stick to your guns and carry it out.

Margaret - posted on 01/26/2010

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If anyone is interested there is a great book on how to help you baby gain healthy sleep habits. It is really well known, well researched, and well organized. Title: Healty Sleep Habits, Happy Child. By Marc Weissbluth. I read this and Dr. William Sears book "The Baby Sleep Book" which is against CIO. I found Dr. Weissbluth method made more sense for me. But check them both out they are both great books.

Julia - posted on 01/26/2010

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well i know it sounds awful and I wouldnt let my son cry himself to sleep until he was 4 months old. by that time i knew his crys very well. when he was full dry tired and in a safe place like his crib or pack a play i would let him cry it out, check on him every 5-10 minutes to let him know i was there and would leave the room. he is 8 months going on 9 and is a great sleeping wakes up at 8 or 8:30 every morning naps at 11 and 4. goes to bed at 8:30pm. He will still fuss from time to time but usually just goes right to sleep. My biggest issue is that he fought sleep SOOOOO bad I didnt have much of a choice but to let him cry once he got a bit older. I didnt want to have to rock him to sleep every time he was tired and create a monster with bad habbits. My advice if he dry full tired and does not have a fever or seem sick let him work it out he will be fine. If he is SCREAMING thats a different thing dont let that go. they say it builds confidence and trust with your baby if you dont let him have fits like that. I never let my son scream bloody murder you can tell when they are serious or just mad haha. make sure you let them know ur there that was a big thing for me

Stefanie - posted on 01/26/2010

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My husband and I are both wuss's. We can't stand hearing her cry. I'll rock her to sleep and if she wakes up in the middle of the night a little fussy I wait a few minutes to see if she'll put her self to sleep and she usually does, but if she starts seriously crying I'll get up and comfort her...In my opinion she's still a baby and I won't be able to 'baby' her forever. But do whatever works for you! You'll figure it out eventually, and when you do finally get the hang of it, it probably won't work for your next baby...Hahaha! Good luck girl!

Margaret - posted on 01/26/2010

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I think it depends on the age of the child. We tried it at 6 months and it was a nightmare. I don't think Evan was old enough to understand object permanence yet (peek-a-boo, the idea that just because he can't see us doesn't mean we are gone. Once he was about 11 months I decided to again. By that time he had no trouble falling asleep on his own, but would wake up several times a night. When he woke up I would turn on a fan in my room so I couldn't hear him cry. First night he woke twice and cried for approx 20 mins and 30 mins. Second night he woke once and cried for an hour (that SUCKED!) Third night he woke once and cried for 10 minutes. After that he slept through. Also we instituted a "wake-up time" of 6:15. If he woke up before then he eventually learned to sit and play in his crib until we went and got him.

About 2 weeks after CIO he started to revert back a bit, but I stuck to my guns and now he is a GREAT sleeper. He wakes up much happier and well rested. I found that if I spent LOTS of quality 1:1 time with him before bed I'd feel less guilty about letting him CIO and he'd be less likely to cry for longer than 10 minutes.

Hope that helps.

Brenda - posted on 01/26/2010

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I just can't stand to let my little ones cry!!! And I do pay the price. My almost 3 year old still to this day will not sleep through the nite. And I have a 7 month old that doesn't sleep through. She started out really good only waking up once during the nite, now she's at least 2 times if not 4!! That's what people tell me is to let them cry, but it breaks my heart!!! I just want to hugem up and comfort......so I guess I will pay the price. Good luck!!

Christina - posted on 01/26/2010

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When our children were infants, my husband and I would allow them to cry for up to 10 minutes, but no longer. At that point, we would check on them, talk to them for a minute, and then leave them alone again. Usually after the first (sometimes second) visit, they would quiet and go to sleep.

Chelsea - posted on 01/26/2010

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My husband will be the first one up when our son cries but I believe in letting them cry... It expands there lungs and sometimes thats exactly what they are doing when they cry for no reason! I only let my kids cry if there is no reason to cry otherwise I will be up with them in an instant!! Hope this helps!! :-)

Kalah - posted on 01/26/2010

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I personally let him cry but if it is for more than 10 min, i go check make sure he's okay and if so I'll leave again and if it happens again i just get him out and depending on if I'm tired or not play or rock him. but that's just me .

Teri - posted on 01/26/2010

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Brain research shows that CIO can be detrimental to the way a baby's brain gets wired. These mis-wiring can have long term affects that aren't always identifiable and straightforward. Essentially, babies who are left to CIO lose trust in their main care givers, they no longer believe that their needs will be met -- so they shut off certain emotions (decide NOT ot wire those synapses in the frontal lobes) where depending on others is important. unfortunately, babies must rely on others for their caregiving, so this is anethema to their natural instincts (and I thikn mom's too)



Long term, babies who are left to cry often have issues creating sustainable relationships and connecting with others they also may have strained relationships with their parents - as they have deep seeded emotions that cannot be expressed, may have issues with self-esteem.



Unfortunately, many of these repurcussions are not readily identifiable in the first year of life -- If it was me, I would definitely err on the side of making sure my kids' brains are wired correctly and put my needs aside (I am the adult in this relationship ;-)



Babies do sleep through the night -- there are many things that disrupt babies sleep - developmental milestones are a big one, protein intolerances - rarely diagnosed or misdiagnosed as reflux, babies picking up on the emotions of their parents -- a big one people don't understand.



There's a great book that details all this stuff called THe Science of Parenting. It's a great reference and really provides detail that is great for men to read as it's steeped in science references. I highly suggest you get a copy. you may actually find yourself re-reading this again and again.

Jennifer - posted on 01/26/2010

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I have two kids. who have different bed time routines. My oldest is 2 and still has to have me lay with him to fall asleep in his own bed. When he was a baby he slept in my bed, I would lay next to him and talk to him and rub his face til he fell asleep. So almost three years later I am still doing this because HE SCREAMS at bed time if he is alone. My own doing. Then my 1 year old, I lay him in his bed give him his blanket and thats it, I listened to the advice I was given about letting him learn how to put himself to sleep, Yeah he cries still sometimes to this day but most nights it for like 2 to 5 minutes and then you can hear him in their talking to himself or playing with his stuffed animal. Its never been a screa, like his brother lets out at bed time. IF he was screaming I would go to him and comfort him. Some nights he will fall asleep and wake up an hour later having to burp. I burp him hold him for a few minutes and talk to him and its all better then I put him back to his bed and he goes back to sleep well most nights. Every parent is different just like every child needs different things to make them happy learn your child do whats best for that child. But atleast give different methods a trial run just to see if it works for your child. If it dont try something else.

Mandi - posted on 01/26/2010

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children actually dont learn manipulative behavior until they are almost 2 years old, they dont understand cause and effect, trust me i know, my boyfriend is a psychology major who primarily studies children, i have no idea what you are reading, maybe it is out of date, but you can NOT spoil a child with comfort or love, and as i said before extended periods of crying on a regular basis can cause physical damage to your childs internal organs, i would never put my child at risk by just letting them cry, my brother got a hernia at 6 months old because my mom and his dad just let him cry because they were so afraid of "spoiling" him, and he cried so hard that he caused himself to get a testicular hernia which will be a point of concern for the rest of his life, he couldnt play sports in high school or anything because of possible causing his hernia to rupture again, i dont let my child cry for more then 5 minutes, most of the time i dont even let him cry for 1 minute, and yet he does not "manipulate" me, he only cries when he needs something, he doesnt cry unnecessarily

Mandi - posted on 01/26/2010

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I would never let my son just cry it out, thats horrible, your baby is telling you they need something from you and. when they stop crying it does not mean that they are feeling better and their need for you is just gone, it means that they have either worn themselves out and can no longer tell you what they need or they have have given up on you ever coming to their aide. not only that but extended periods of crying can cause brain hemorrhaging!!!! it puts so much strain on their undeveloped organs that it can cause internal bleeding, so no... i would never let my baby just cry it out

Elna - posted on 01/26/2010

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I used to attend to my son cries a lot when he was little.he is 13.5 months old now.i think the key is to make sure that your baby is comfortable i.e he's been burped,fed,changed,etc.sometimes when you've done all that, and he wont settle,a little cuddle might help.i used the "white noise' cd a lot in the first few months.and it helped me a lot.the "noise" calmed him and soothe him.even though for me,it sounded like absolute non-sense.moms always tend to break first than dads.our instinct is to soothe our baby.just follow your heart and do what you feel is right.a little cry wont hurt and yesss eventually he will fall asleep. :)

Mandy - posted on 01/26/2010

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if, by cuddling my 12mo to sleep at night i am creating "bad sleep habits", then i guess bad sleep habits we will have!
i know, myself, if i had a choice of either going to sleep cuddled in someone i loves arms, or crying alone in a crib by myself, i know what i would choose. and i am damn sure it isnt crying alone!

i dont jump at ever sound, and my son can self sooth when he is awake, but needs an extra cuddle to fall asleep. i dont think it is too much to ask that i provide him with EVERYTHING he needs at this age, he doesnt have the ability to do these things for himself. and i really hope he never finds something to replace my cuddles.

have a heart! they will not want to sit and cuddle you in a few years.

Erin - posted on 01/25/2010

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I personally say do whatever is do-able for you. My first 2 there was no way they would cry it out, but my 3rd was the complete opposite. She prefers to go to sleep on her own. If you don't mind tending to them then that is what you should do and vice versa for crying.

Monica - posted on 01/25/2010

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the two different methods are on opposite ends of the spectrum. we tried to let my daughter CIO and she was pissed for hours. she's young, 7 months, so she forgot about it quickly. my mom says kids need to learn to cry. i think she's nuts. it all depends on what works for you. if you can sleep at night letting your kid CIO then it's probably a method for you. If you would prefer to sacrifice a year or so of your sleep so that your baby isn't stressed out then consoling them is probably better. I am a fan of Dr. Sears and the book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution". Take it for what its worth. Good luck!

Jenny - posted on 01/25/2010

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I did not do CIO with any of my four kids. I could not have done it. I had many moms telling me how they would not ever learn how to console themselves and they would be clingy children with no sense of independence. All of that is wrong wrong wrong. My kids are now 13, 9, 6 and 6 and we all sleep fine in our own rooms with plenty of independence to last a lifetime! Babyhood can be very challenging but it goes by so quickly. Do what is right for your family and do not let anyone tell you any differently. If I could go back to the first baby I had, I would throw all of the parenting books away and trust my instinct.

Kelsey - posted on 01/25/2010

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Christina, you can tell when the really need you, want love, a bottle, changed, etc, and when theyre just whining a little. My daughter has reflux, so its been hell, but before it got bad, she slept 10-12 hours straight and her bedtime was 7:30. She also took 2 naps. She never had to REALLY cry it out, just a light 3 minute or so cry, which only happened when we werent having the best day. I KNEW she didnt want anything from me. Just because she cant talk doesnt mean we dont have the communication. Its totally different if your being lazy, the baby needs something, or is screaming. Im not a really laid back mom either. I used to jump at every whimper and my friend had to keep telling me to chill out. I used to be so careful about every single thing. Now, instead of paranoid, Im relaxed, and I know that what I do is right, and in no way cruel. If I never taught her to fall asleep herself, it would just make every night a marathon ofback and forth. She DOES stay up when shes tired as long as she can. She always fights her sleep. Why would I let her over exhaust herself?

Alicia - posted on 01/25/2010

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i couldn't let my baby cry like they say to because he would stop breathing...we tried it once cause he would cry all the time..but when we did he couldn't hardly breathe so do what u think is best for ur child...it wasn't best for mine....

[deleted account]

[i]"This is horribly sad to me. To let your child cry for THREE HOURS? How do you think your child felt? I can't imagine letting a small baby cry like that. I know I sure feel like garbage after I cry. And to be left alone to cry in his crib. Sad, sad, sad. Sure he gave up at the end of a few days because he knew he couldn't count on mom and dad to comfort him. I really don't get what is so wrong with comforting our children. They are babies! Our culture is just about the only one that places that puts such a ridiculous expectation that our children reach "independence", "self soothing", "sleeping through the night", etc... at such an early age. No, I'm not saying we need to coddle our children for every little thing, but we're taking about an infant crying because he wants to be near his mother. I see something really weird in this value of teaching your baby to sleep on their own. Every kid is different and that must be taken into account, but expecting this of a two month old is just nuts and letting a child cry for three friggin' hours is asinine, sorry"[/i]

I couldn't agree more! I cannot believe moms will just let their baby cry for so long. Needing comfort because of lonliness or fear or just needing to be close to mommy is a LEGITIMATE NEED.

Kelsey, it stops when they can verbally communicate their needs. I don't know any 6 month olds that can tell their mom "hey, i'm loney". The reason the CIO meathod "works well" is because babies LOSE HOPE that their mother will care for their nighttime needs.

It's not manipulating their parents when they cry to get their needs met. It's a learned behavior that they can count on mom to be there when upset occurs.

CIO is lazy parenting. So many moms say "oh, but the baby was making us exhausted!" Babies aren't convenient. We can't just "put them away" at bedtime. Parenting doesn't stop because you aren't getting enough sleep. Babies take sacrifice. Like making your back hurt so bad you want to cry, like Christine posted on page 1. But, you do it anyway because you are the mother.

Would you let your elderly grandma cry it out if you were her caregiver because she had a need at an inconvenient time for you? Of course you wouldn't. Babies are small persons. They aren't lesser people.

Allison - posted on 01/25/2010

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I am for the CIO, it is hard,but it only takes a few nights and the baby is to the point of putting them selves to sleep. It is too hard on us as moms or dads to hold or cradle a baby to sleep, cuz most times the baby will wake up as you are going to the crib or putting them in the crib, why not just start in the crib and teach them to find something that works to sooth themselves, whether it be a nuk or a thumb, then a second or third child comes along you are going to have a big mess at bed time. Get a bed time routine set early. If the child is already standing then you are posing a risk to them they will try to crawl out of the crib. much easier to do it when they are littler. It is very hard to do emotionally, but gets easier night by night. My son cried for three hours one night (off and on), the next night it was only an hour, the next was twenty minutes. Stay firm. It is a complete battle of wills.





(Previous post)



This is horribly sad to me. To let your child cry for THREE HOURS? How do you think your child felt? I can't imagine letting a small baby cry like that. I know I sure feel like garbage after I cry. And to be left alone to cry in his crib. Sad, sad, sad. Sure he gave up at the end of a few days because he knew he couldn't count on mom and dad to comfort him. I really don't get what is so wrong with comforting our children. They are babies! Our culture is just about the only one that puts such a ridiculous expectation that our children reach "independence", "self soothing", "sleeping through the night", etc... at such an early age. No, I'm not saying we need to coddle our children for every little thing, but we're talking about an infant crying because he wants to be near his mother. I see something really weird in this value of teaching your baby to sleep on their own. Every kid is different and that must be taken into account, but expecting this of a two month old is just nuts and letting a child cry for three friggin' hours is asinine, sorry.

Kris - posted on 01/25/2010

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I have 3 children. had my first at 19... I jumped at every sound... by my third i learned what was genuine need and what was just being babies... my youngest cries it out... and it is the most amazing thing. she is 2, but she has always just known... when they really need u, u can tell... and ilove all my kids, but my youngest isnt as whiny and clingy as my other 2... it is amazing! it pays in the long run! even if it is hard in the moment!

Allison - posted on 01/25/2010

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It's not appropriate to let a 2 month old cry it out. Period. Even sleep-training advocates recommend practicing CIO at 4 months at the earliest, while the general recommendation is 6 months. Your baby is crying because he needs something, even if it's just to be held. It's okay! It takes a while (many experts say 3 months) for a baby to become more comfortable with its routine and surroundings.

My rule of thumb...if it feels wrong to you...don't do it! It's important to follow your instincts as a mother. Personally, I was against it and was willing for it to take a little time. My son goes to sleep great on his own. I wasn't going to force it on him by letting him know mommy wasn't there for him when he wanted me. I know it works great for some but regardless, it's not appropriate on a baby that young. Six months is the recommended age.

Cassie - posted on 01/25/2010

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I did not CIO with either one of my two children...we did family bed and I nursed on demand my son was out of our bed @ 2 1/2 and my daughter was out at 23 months. They both go to asleep at 7:30. It was not easy and there were times I wanted to give in to the CIO method so I could get some sleep but we stuck with our belief on nighttime parenting. Me and my husband waivered more with my son and were not as consistant which caused him to be confused regarding sleeping and he has always fought sleep and spent a lot of time crying in my arms or in bed with me/husband. We were much more consistant with our daughter and my daughter always fell asleep easy but woke up 3-5 times a night. So, both different but now both fall asleep and sleep by themselves. Just wanted to share another way.

Haley - posted on 01/25/2010

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I do cry it out. Call me old fashioned but if they aren't bleeding, they have been fed and their bums are clean-crying is good for the lungs! Takes a week at most to get them sleeping through the night. Mine cry for a max of 90 minutes and it's less and less each night. I learned my lesson from the first kid of course, who didn't sleep through the night until 8 mo. due to living with grandparents. The older they are as you console them for bedtime, the more they learn to have a ring in your nose. They will catch on quick. I know some moms are softer hearted and can't stand to hear baby cry, but it's for the best interest of all in the house! I've had no problem with bedtimes once they got through the week of cry it out. And my kids have both gone to toddler beds long before their 2nd b-day. good luck on doing what you feel is right for you, this is what has worked for us.

Lauren - posted on 01/25/2010

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well i let him cry for a little while and if he's still crying for a good chunk of time then i go attend to him but don't go after ur baby right away because they'll stay crying so let your baby work it out a little bit but if you feel that u need to go to ur little one then go to him but beware because i'm learning from it already.

Donna Vargas - posted on 01/25/2010

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I think that CIO is really not good! Your child depends and trusts you to meet all his emotional and physical needs! When you allow your child to Cry it out you are only teaching them that no matter what you are not going to come in and help them! I am a firm believer in self soothing but this can be done WITHOUT allowing your child to cry uncontrollably for hours or even 20 to 30 minutes straight! I love the "Touchpoints" book by Dr. Terry Brazleton! You should look into it! It is a way to allow and teach your child to learn to put themselves to sleep without the crying part! As a mom i could never alloow my child to feel like I had abandoned her!

Dominique - posted on 01/25/2010

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In My Opinion, It depends on if u think ur child is ready to fall asleep by themself. When u feel they r ready then u should take it day by day. maybe just a few nites out of the week and then gradually pick up. What will really help is letting the child fall asleep during the day for their nap. I believe the child will then put themself 2 sleep.

Katie - posted on 01/25/2010

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I think checking in on why your child is crying, addressing what's wrong, then if he or she is still upset, then as long as you have done everything you can to make sure that the baby is taken care of, then you have done your part. Sometimes my son does that, and after I have checked all possible things that could be making him upset, I just take the time to sit down with him quietly until he has calmed down. Good luck, and I hope this helps you!

Traci - posted on 01/25/2010

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There is a difference between crying for a couple minutes, possibly in the arms of Mom, and crying for HOURS, as I've seen some people post about doing. There is a huge, huge difference.



And it's 6 mos, when they believe infants develop the ability to manipulate. Of course, we are adults and KNOW children need to sleep. My daughter has had to cry herself to sleep, but it's always while being rocked or held in my arms, and never alone in a crib in another room. That strikes me as horribly cruel thing to do to her.

Kelsey - posted on 01/25/2010

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BTW, so if you think crying is always their survival instinct or their communicating to you they need help, when would you suppose this stops? I would say 4 months or so, which is when experts agree most babies have the mental ability to learn self soothing without damaging them emotionally. They have learned how to manipulate mommy by then, be stubborn, protest naps, etc. If theyre exhaused but your too afraid to let them cry they are going to get worse and worse. It can be a nightmare for you and him/her. Sometimes mommy just knows best.

Kelsey - posted on 01/25/2010

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I completely disagree. My daughter can be completely exhausted, full, and comfy, and still cry a little going to sleep because she is so tired, not drifting off easily, etc. It lasts like 3 minutes and she falls fast asleep. This is a 6 1/2 month old though. A newborn or younger infant should NEVER be left to cry.

[deleted account]

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/t051200...
The cry is not just a sound; it's a signal – designed for the survival of the baby and development of the parents. By not responding to the cry, babies and parents lose. Here's why. In the early months of life, babies cannot verbalize their needs. To fill in the gap until the child is able to "speak our language," babies have a unique language called "crying." Baby senses a need, such as hunger for food or the need to be comforted when upset, and this need triggers a sound we call a cry. Baby does not ponder in his little mind, "It's 3:00 a.m. and I think I'll wake up mommy for a little snack." No! That faulty reasoning is placing an adult interpretation on a tiny infant. Also, babies do not have the mental acuity to figure out why a parent would respond to their cries at three in the afternoon, but not at three in the morning. The newborn who cries is saying: "I need something; something is not right here. Please make it right."

http://www.drbenkim.com/articles-attachm...
The child stops crying because she learns that she can no longer hope for the caregiver to provide comfort, not because her distress has been alleviated.

Lin - posted on 01/25/2010

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if a child has to cry themselves to sleep reguardless of their age, in my opinion they are clearly being forced to sleep and are not tired.why would anyone do that to there child. if your child was tired would you force them to do somersaults in the garden its the same diference in my opinion. if you want your child in bed by certain time without the drama then you must look at all the other aspects of the childs day for instance: how many naps are they having during the day? for how long are these naps? what time did the child wake up at this morning? did they eat well all day? are they being stimulated enough during the day? it depends on what age they are aswell my daughter went to bed no problem for months then all of a sudden she would cry when i put her to bed. i couldnt have ignored her what am i teaching her? that if you cry i dont care. if i was upset and crying and my husband and family ignored me i know how i would feel so i just couldnt do that to my child.children need routine and rules i agree but every one has feelings even my baby. i kept comforting her and let her stay up a little longer. it turned out she had been developing her back teeth and this was the reason. another spell of crying at bedtime was that she had a clock in her room and fell asleep listening to the tic toc noise. i couldnt for the life of me understand what was wrong untill i realise the batteries had gone and as soon as i relpaced them all was back to normal. silly things like that. as my child got abit older i had the bedtime problem again. i woke her up early next morning. cut her midday nap in half and by 7 she was so tired there werent any problems she went to bed with out crying. now she older again she likes me to read her a story in bed before i turn the lights out or else she gets upset. am i spoiling her?i dont think so she is growing up and so her bedtime routine is changing too.my point is so many parents are quick to think there child is being naughty or testing them or trying to get their own way or spoilt when you should look at bed time thu your childs eyes ask yourself seriously are you putting your child to bed because they are tired or because your tired? so after all that my answer to your question is i think you should see what she wants and answer to her cries. i heard and read and know so many people who do the opposite and it clearly dosnt work

Lisa - posted on 01/25/2010

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I think its okay to let them cry it out. I know its VERY hard to listen to your baby cry and you know that all you have to do is go in and pick them up and they'll be okay. But as long as they are fed, changed, and burped and they aren't sick then its okay. I have 3 kids, I've done it with all 3 of them and I have never had any problems and bed time because of it. My 1 year old since she was 3 months the second she'd lay in her crib she'd know it was bed time and go right to sleep. I'm working on my 3 month old daughter right now as well and she's getting better already. Its a very hard thing to do but if you stick to it and give it a couple weeks then everything will be easier!

Julie - posted on 01/25/2010

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As a mother with 3 children i can see both point but my sons are twin and were very prem, so i couldnt and wouldnt let them cry it out! I always went to soothe them but not always picked them up. As they have got older I carried on the same way and both my boys know that when they are upset or need me that I will always be there for them! My little girl who is 2 is a real monster at bedtime but i still refused to let her self soothe, but i did find that she would just want to get up and play if i picked her up and gave her instead, so with her I just go into the room and stroke her head and give her a kiss, then lay on my bed where she can see me and know that im there and she settles herself just knowing that I am in tne room!!!

I hope that helps

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