5 weeks old, too young to just let him cry?

Melissa - posted on 10/06/2009 ( 32 moms have responded )

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My baby is 5 weeks old, will be 6 on Friday. I am noticing that lately he has been getting fussy at certain times of the day even though he is dry and just ate and everything. I need advice on whether I should start letting him cry it out or if he is still too young. My parents (whom I'm temporarily staying with while my husband is on deployment) are saying that its beginning to be about that time where I need to let him cry as long as I know he isn't in pain or hungry and doesn't have a dirty diaper. I can do it, it just gets hard because he starts to hold his breath sometimes, and of course he eventually breathes it is just a tad but scary. I am a first time mom and am looking for any kind of advice. Thank you!! :)

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Teagan Altaira - posted on 10/07/2009

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oh for goodness sakes... why is it that we are all a big ol' bunch of pansies!?!? bet your parents and grandparents let you cry it out at that age and younger!
your child is different to everyone elses! i let my daughter cry it out from 1week old, so she got into a routine... and, wallah! she was sleeping through the entire night from 3weeks old!!! she is a happy child (nearly 2 now), very independent and intelligent! i wouldnt have it any other way!
if YOU think that YOUR child is old enough - then he/she is. if YOU think that the cry it out method is gonna help YOUR child - then give it a go. but, if you are concerned that your child may not be ready, google some other methods and try them first.

he/she is YOUR child.

[deleted account]

Something I read really helped me understand what was going on at this age. Around 5-7 weeks, babies are becoming more aware of their surroundings (they see more and they process sound more) but they don't yet have the skills to "turn off". So, they find a light fascinating or some other object and stare at it, but they can't yet realize they've had enough and their brain is full so to speak. As a result, it's easy for them to get overstimulated until they start developing the filters and the skills to tune things out. It's common for the fussy period to be in the evening when they've had a whole day of input.

We found that keeping things really low key in the evening, for a few weeks we didn't have the tv on, and making sure that we paid attention to when she was tired and helped her get the sleep she needed during the day, made the evenings a little easier. We also used things like the hairdryer and a "womb sounds" CD track to soothe her. Those worked really well during that time. Also, I discovered after the fact that my electric toothbrush was soothing for her.

Around 8 weeks things noticeably improved for us. I know it's a challenging time, but I really believe that our babies need our support more when they are fussy and out of sorts. Emotional comfort is just as important as having a dry diaper and being fed when you're hungry.

Think about it, if your best friend called you up and needed to vent after a rough day, you wouldn't hang up on her and say sorry about your luck. If we wouldn't treat an adult that way, why in the world would we treat a baby, who can't even begin to comprehend why in the world no one is providing her comfort when she is communicating her distress in the only way she knows how? A dry diaper and a full belly are not the only needs a baby has.

Chrissy - posted on 10/09/2009

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he could very likely be overstimulated by everything going on around him. i most definately wouldnt let him cry it out yet... hes just trying to tell you that he needs you! my suggestion would be to disregard what others are telling you and go on your instincts. no one knows your child better then you! i would take him into a quiet, preferably darkened room and just hold him, rock him. the less distractions the better. he may just need some quiet mommy time.

Margarita - posted on 10/07/2009

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Actually your baby is old enough from day 1. But, there really is not any reason to if you are willing to keep picking him up when he crys. Its sort of like the pick your battles idea. What i am trying to say is that if you think he is doing this because he is demanding you attention, maybe you can give him a little more cuddle time when he is not crying to see if this reduces tantrums. You want to reinforce the proper behavior not the tantrum. Also, make sure that if you decide to let him cry it out a bit that he has been fed, isn't in any pain or has a dirt diaper. There is no proof to show that its psychologically damaging if anything there is tons of research on behavior that supports the idea that reinforcing a behavior will maintain or increase it. My parents always told me that there is no such thing as spoiling your baby which is true, but, with an exception, i always made sure to to pick him up when he was alert and not crying (with the exception of if i knew there was something wrong), this actually reduced his tantrums a lot.

Rachel - posted on 10/08/2009

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look on-line for the Dunsten's Baby Language DVD. It's $40 new and only lasts15-20 min. but it does wonders in being able to identify your babies cries. My daughter went through that phase too. Every night at 8 she would start crying like crazy and nothing would calm her. Finally we figured out that she was over tired and put her down a little earlier. I also let her cry to sleep earlier, but not every time I put her down. Do what you are comfortable with.

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Nicole - posted on 10/09/2009

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If he is not crying for any of the usual reasons, (needs to be changed, needs to be fed, has gas, in pain) then he wants to be close to you. I would not let him cry it out. He is crying for Mom to come and comfort him, love him, hold him. This is a normal need and creates a very loving bond between you and the baby. This also builds trust and creates a safe and secure atmosphere for the baby to grow in. 5 Weeks is way to young to "let them cry it out". I'd suggest getting you hands on some good reading material - there is so much out there. I really love the Dr. Sears books. According to the grandparents advice, not that they are wrong, it's just that so much has been discovered since that generation on baby's and health. I would really try to educate myself with all the material available to you - it will help so much!

Good Luck!

Kay - posted on 10/08/2009

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never let him cry it out and dont be pressured by your parents, hold him cuddle him, love him, he's been with you for 9 months, he's expecting this, he needs this and its up to you to give it to him. look up The Happeist Baby on the Block, learn the swaddling technique for sure, this helps him to feel tight and secure just like he was when he was still in you. make sure you sleep when he does so you are getting rest, I always slept with my babes so they were close all the time, they still love to snuggle to this day

Stephanie - posted on 10/08/2009

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He's definately to young to cry it out..I agree with everyone else's post's, he just wants your touch & comfort. My baby is 6 months & still does the same thing, but not as often. He's learning everyday how to comfort hiself. He just can't do that all the time. He wants his mother's touch. Trust me, they grow up to fast so enjoy it!

Tania - posted on 10/08/2009

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Melissa, if you're already questioning this, then you're already not feeling comfortable about it. TRUST your instincts. CIO is emotionally damaging on an infant and can lead to other issues as they get older. A DVD that was a huge help for me was Harvey Karps "Happiest Baby on the Block" Being able to calm a baby down actually makes the baby sleep better at nap times and at night times. I have a 4 months YO that now sleeps through the night and has the best naps during the day. Someone told me once, 'you can never spoil a newborn'. Enjoy him Melissa...

LeeAnn - posted on 10/08/2009

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My understanding is they can self sooth at 3 mos, so 5 weeks is WAY too young. I found a baby sling helpful, so he can be close to you and comforted and your hands are free. I also found the Priscilla Dunstan's Baby Language DVD very helpful, to help decipher a baby's cries and understand what they need and what to do to help them. That works until they're 3 months old, and their cries change.

Fatima - posted on 10/08/2009

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hi. my name is fatima osman. i sleep train babies from newborn to 2 years. from the research and the training i have done, we do not leave babies from newborns to 3 months to cry. we see to them at all times. only once they are 3months of age that is the only time we leave them to cry. with our programme we help you to differentiate between their cries to determine what they actually need.if you want further info you can go on our website www.baby-love.co.za or contact me on fatima@baby-love.co.za.

[deleted account]

5 weeks is too young to cry it out. He cries because he is uncomfortable. Have you tried gas drops? Some babies get overstimulated easily. I turn off lights, tv, radio and am quiet. I do lay my baby down and just talk quietly to her or lay my hand on her belly. She can release gas in that position and the stillness, quiet and my face calm her. Please don't leave such a young baby to feel alone. He need to know you will care for him when he "calls" you.

[deleted account]

Let him cry, it develops his lungs. If he gets too mad and holds his breath, blow in his face and make him gasp, he will eventually take a breath.

Jeannine - posted on 10/07/2009

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Way too young to let him cry. Babies can become more fussy due to stomach pain and gas which peaks 6-8 weeks and is usually over 12-14 weeks. You need to buy your poor child some gas medicine i.e. gripe water or Mylicon. Most experts say to not let your baby cry it out until at least 4 months.

Kendall - posted on 10/07/2009

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My husband and myself are first time parents as while. Our son is now 3 1/2 months old and has been sleeping thru the night by about 5 wks were you child is at mind you I am not braging. However at about 5 wks is when we start to let him cry it out and I think that is what did the trick. Another option is to maybe try a different bed time routine. We normal give Brennan a nice warm bath with that lavander bath wash right before bed, change him diaper and night clothes and then we give him the last bottle for the night.

Oh another thing I just is a pillow we start to use about this time as while you can get it at Wal mart for about 10 I think. It has a flat back and two triangle shaped pillows on either side.

Good luck I hope one of the suggest on here helps.

Melissa - posted on 10/07/2009

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Yes, I agree with the others, he is too young. He needs you. Lots of babies have gas and they make gas drops for that. Also my two nephews have acide reflex. They would scream and scream and be totally stiff it hurt them so bad. It might just be that he needs you or it might be something more. He is not old enough to be angry about anything. I don't agree that you should never let them CIO, but I didn't do it till my boy was 9 months. Good luck!

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Too young! Babies have other needs besides the physical. He needs you! 5 weeks is really little. Philosophies on child rearing have changed some since we were all babies and sometimes our parents don't know what's best. There are ways to respectfully do what feels right in your gut. If a 5 week old is crying, he can learn security and trust from a mama that comes when he calls.

Carianne - posted on 10/07/2009

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Word of advice... take advice with a grain of salt, everyone has a different experience and will share it with you. Filter it and get rid of what you don't care for. My son is now 15 months old with another on the way. When he was that young he just wanted to be held. Other likely culprits of the crying are colic, gas, lactose intolerance to either formula or breast milk, and separation anxiety. Because you have been SO attached to the child for so long he knows when you are not in the room. Pay close attention to when he starts crying and notice if it is right before/after eating, when you have left the room, etc. write it down. Does he sleep in the same room with you or does he sleep in his crib in another room? Keep in mind babies don't know the circadian cycle (knowing night from day) just yet but they are starting to learn it at this age and til about 3 months. Maybe it's when he is in a dark room? Yes, even at this age when their eyes aren't fully focused they can tell dark from light. Hope some of this helps. When you find out what it is that makes him cry try to eliminate it. Also, dont forget that sometimes babies just cry for no reason. While the holding the breath is scary it is also normal. Crying is not a bad thing and actually helps with lung development and capacity. Good Luck!

Jeanette - posted on 10/07/2009

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I have a 6 1/2 week old and I am also a first time mom. You may want to look into
www.thehappiestbaby.com....the stuff really works...and if you don't want to buy the video or the book, you can get it from your local library. Also, my daughter loves to be held so I started using the baby carrier called the moby wrap. You can hold her skin to skin without the rest of your family getting a peek at you. lol http://www.mobywrap.com/

I hope this helps! Good luck! :)

[deleted account]

I agree with the other posters - way too young. My son also started having "fussy periods" around 6 weeks or so, and I think it is probably normal behavior since so many babies seem to do it, too. Some of the things that helped us were swaddling, carrying him in a sling, skin-to-skin contact, singing, and white noise. He always wanted to be on the move, too, during his fussy times - so I'd spend some evenings snuggling him against me and walking around the house. The good news is that it doesn't last - my son grew out of it in about a month or so.

Cathralynn - posted on 10/07/2009

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Yeah i agree, too young to cry. Babies can't manipulate at that age. My goal was to meet every cry til 6mo then make a shedule based on my girls pattern. Know what, she worked it out on her own without crying! When he cries try the top three, feed burp and change him. Try gas drops if worried, like he has a frantic cry. Then hold him. I did skin on skin for like two mo! Then I wore my baby everywhere, she just wouldn't nap well. It worked itself out by 3-6mo. You'll know more what your baby is capable of by then. Also your coming up on a growth spurt, they get crazy and want to eat and be cuddled all the time! It will pass, keep loving your lil one.

Shelagh - posted on 10/07/2009

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I've never liked the idea of just letting them cry (and that's not to say that sometimes you have to do that, just for your own sanity) - if he's crying, he needs something. If he's clean and dry and well fed, he may in fact be bored - I noticed from about 4 weeks my daughter was much happier propped up where she could see what was going on than laid on her back staring at the ceiling - and wouldn't you be?? Try laying him on your knee so he can make eye contact (head on your knees, feet against your stomach) - sing, make conversation, rub noses, anything. You'll be amazed how this will a) make him a bit less grizzly and b) tire him out so he in fact sleeps more! And this is something the doting grandparents can do too.

Tina - posted on 10/07/2009

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yep i think to young to cry it out. r u breastfeeding, might not be getting enuf. at the end of the day you are his mum do what you feel comfortable with.

Sajal - posted on 10/07/2009

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too young to cry it out. it could be colic at that age. i would comfort the baby rather than cry. I also found that 6 weeks of age is a magical number when my boys started to be a bit more settled. they say the first 6 weeks are hard and then it gets better.

Cedar - posted on 10/07/2009

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Follow your instincts but don't be motivated by fear. 5 weeks is really young in my opinion. Do you carry him a lot. Children at that age love to be held and swaddled. They want to be close to you and that is enough reason to cry. Search your soul and see what answers you find. Sounds like you are a loving mom who will reach the right conclusion.

Jane - posted on 10/06/2009

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also, a good thing to keep in mind that my mom told me is to think, "what would you want someone to do for you if you were crying"?

Sarah - posted on 10/06/2009

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Your babe is too young to be left to cry it out. You can start sleep training (with CIO) at 4 months. A lot of babes are just fussy & want to be comforted & held. Your babe could also be bothered by gas when it seems nothing should be the matter. I agree that a wrap or sling is a good idea - your babe gets comfort from your heartbeat & warmth, and your arms won't feel like they will fall off!

Jane - posted on 10/06/2009

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no "crying it out" that's for the birds (and in-laws)! if he's fed and dry, then he's crying for another reason, burping, gas or he needs to be held. they shouldn't be in such distress that they can't catch their breath.

he's been cozy and warm w/you for nine months and now he's in the real world and it's not so cozy. stay cozy! get a sling or a baby carrier.

babies who are held rather than not, for whatever reason, become more confident kids and adults. also, the better you respond to a baby's needs, the more trust you are building b/w the two of you. baby's cannot be spoiled. they are very basic and primal, they cry for a reason. crying it out is for when they are toddlers and you need to guide them in their behavior.

Minnie - posted on 10/06/2009

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CIO is physically and emotionally damaging and can even lead to death in an infant as young as yours.

Besides- it's an incredibly insensitive and cold way to parent. Not in pain, hungry, or dirty? So emotional needs, security, comfort don't matter to a creature barely out of the womb?

Cuddle your baby, nurse him, carry him in-arms, let him sleep on you, whatever don't let him cry alone.

Stacy - posted on 10/06/2009

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I agree with Abbie. Too young to cry it out. He may just need you to cuddle with him. Try swaddling him and holding him close to your heartbeat. It will remind him of the womb. Good luck!!

Abbie - posted on 10/06/2009

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I would say that yes that is too young to just cry. What are your expectations of let him cry? The CIO ( cry it out) method is designed to learn to self sooth. At this age , eh is crying because something is wrong..... My guess a tummy ache. Its possible its colic also. Babies are not capable of self soothing until they are like 9 months I want to say. He could be lonely and wants to be held. I personally would hold him and love him ( not saying you aren't) but at that age you can't spoil them too much!!

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