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Old 10-12-2007, 10:53 AM   #1
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how old is an infant before you let them cry at night?

My 3 1/2 month old wakes for a feeding in the night and won't go to sleep for up to 2 hours after. Breastfeeding during the day, bottle at night. She's sleeping half in car seat and the other in crib. My husband argues that I should just let her cry, but the crying just gets worse. Is she too young for this?

 
Old 10-12-2007, 11:11 AM   #2
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Re: how old is an infant before you let them cry at night?

DS is 3 1/2 months also and only JUST started sleeping through the night. He does wake in the early morning, around 4, and I move him up into our bed and we sleep until about 7 or 8, then he gets his morning bottle. If she's hungry when she wakes and take food, then she is still too young to let her CIO. She's not crying b/c she woke up and nobody's there, she's crying because she's hungry. If there's a need behind the crying, it can't be ignored. Good luck and I hope DH will understand your point.

 
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:32 AM   #3
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Re: how old is an infant before you let them cry at night?

You should not let your baby cry it out at this age. Not until they are at least 6 months old from what I've heard previously on this board and what I've read on the Net.
I agree with anhyre that at that age, when they wake up and cry it's because they need something... either bottle, diaper change, pacifier or to be held. But there is a need that will help soothe them. And you are not spoiling them at that age either.

 
Old 10-12-2007, 01:26 PM   #4
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Re: how old is an infant before you let them cry at night?

I agree with the other posters that 3.5 months is too young to cry it out. I'm assuming you're not so much upset about getting up to feed him but more that he won't go back to sleep right away. My son did the same thing but he was much younger. A few suggestions would be to get a bedtime routine down. From the sound of it, he doesn't understand that it's night time and that he needs to eat and go back to sleep. I would suggest bath, book, bottle then bed time and he will eventually learn that when you do those things that it's time to sleep. Even if he gets up to eat he'll learn that he needs to go right back to sleep. Another suggestion is to make sure you keep either the lights off or very dim when you go in to feed him. When you talk to him whisper so hopefully he won't wake completely. You could also try some kind of background noise (we use a box fan) at night so he learns that it's night time when he hears it and it will drown out any noise you might make while feeding him. I know it's frustrating but it will pass and you will soon get a full nights sleep. Oh and by the way, at four months our son was sleeping from 8-6 so hopefully you don't have too much longer.

 
Old 10-12-2007, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: how old is an infant before you let them cry at night?

Hi there,

I completely disagree with the other posters. When my DD was just born we would put her anywhere to sleep, her car seat, bouncy, pack n' play etc. anywhere that she would sleep we would try. The problem was that she wasn't getting a consistent routine and place where she would soon know...this is where I am suppossed to sleep. When I brought this to my pediatrician's attention she told me to start a consistent routine and put her down where I wanted her to sleep for naps and nighttime in the same place and she also told me to let her cry. She was 6 weeks old! THe crib doesn't bouncy or vibrate she told me so you need to get the baby out of that routine (which is what our dd was used to).

She told us that the first time to let her cry for 5 minutes...go check on her and make sure she wasn't hungry, wet, etc. and then put her right back down to cry, repeat until baby was asleep. She said do this everynight but to extend the crying time gradually. She said by the end of the week she would be able to soothe herself to sleep. Well, the first night she cried less than 5 minutes and she was out like a light and slept almost the whole night!!! She started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks and she now soothes herself to sleep at bedtime and naptime. What I do is when I notice she is starting to get tired I put her to bed in her crib and within 5 minutes she is out. At night if you don't already have a routine start one so your baby will start to realize that it is now time to get ready for bed. We give our baby a bath, read a story while having a bottle and then we say prayers and put her in her crib.

I would give it a try. Stop the carseat and only do the crib. Letting your baby cry is not a big deal in my opinion. I know others won't agree with me but it worked for us and our baby is a great sleeper!

good luck!

Koukla

 
Old 10-13-2007, 02:24 PM   #6
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Re: how old is an infant before you let them cry at night?

You will get different opinions from everyone on this issue. One thing you probably should consider here too is what your DD's temperament is like. And how YOU feel about letting her CIO. It's ok to not feel comfortable with that method. There are many, many methods to getting your little one to sleep through the night, and CIO is certainly one option, but it's not your only one. So even if your husband is ok with it, if you are not, it's ok. I was on the fence about it myself, but just couldn't feel good about it. I had tried just letting my DD cry for about 5-10 minutes a couple of times, and after she cried so hard she was coughing and spitting up, I decided it just isn't for us. I think it's great if it works for other people, but I just can't do it. I read SOOO many sleep books and have sort of found my own happy medium for my DD, so that she has been sleeping through the night since about 10 weeks or so (7 weeks adjusted), without doing any CIO.

Best thing you can do no matter what is get her on a consistent routine.

If you are interested in any books, one of the better ones that covers all options for going to sleep is "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". Another more middle of the road one that allows some crying, but still soothing is "The Baby Whisperer", and another one that talks about getting the baby to sleep without the CIO method is "The No Cry Sleep Solution".

Again, I don't think there's any perfect way for everyone, but you just need to find the method that works best for your family. Good luck.
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Old 10-13-2007, 05:47 PM   #7
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Re: how old is an infant before you let them cry at night?

I completely agree with heynack!!!! Great response!

Koukla

 
Old 10-13-2007, 07:32 PM   #8
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Re: how old is an infant before you let them cry at night?

My advice is a little different. Since we had two babies during the tummy sleeping era and one long after back to sleep began, we learned that there is a big difference in the sleeping habits of babies who are on their backs as opposed to babies who are on their tummies. Most tummy sleeping babies slept (sleep) the clock around for about the first three months of life and sleep problems are extremely rare. That is why so many babies lately are happier and sleep better in carseats, bouncies and swings. Flat on the back is not comfortable for most babies and very few of them go to sleep quickly, or sleep for very long periods of time. I say keep her in the carseat all night if necessary for now, unless you are comfortable with her on her tummy. Chances are she will be rolling over on her own within the next month or two anyway, and will probably sleep a lot better when she can roll over and sleep in her preferred position. And don't worry. Nothing lasts forever. I don't know any kindergartner who needs to sleep in a carseat, any middle schooler who needs to be rocked to sleep nor any high schooler who needs to sleep with mommy and daddy, so do whatever works for now. I know its so hard when you are tired too, I've been there three times, but rocking and cuddling your baby for an hour or two in the middle of the night is much more pleasant than waiting up for her at midnight when she is 17 and out with the car!

Nancy

 
Old 10-14-2007, 07:08 AM   #9
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Re: how old is an infant before you let them cry at night?

Haha, Nancy, great response! I dread when they are teenagers, lol.
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Old 10-14-2007, 04:03 PM   #10
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Re: how old is an infant before you let them cry at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppie View Post
My 3 1/2 month old wakes for a feeding in the night and won't go to sleep for up to 2 hours after. Breastfeeding during the day, bottle at night. She's sleeping half in car seat and the other in crib. My husband argues that I should just let her cry, but the crying just gets worse. Is she too young for this?
Sorry I havn't got a chance to read the other responses yet and you will probably get many differant opinions but I DO NOT believe in the "CRY IT OUT METHOD". Not in any way, shape or form. So my answer is yes, she is too young. You shouldn't do it at any age. I believe it is neglecting your child when you let them cry it out.


Letting your baby cry it out is only teaching her to not trust and to not believe in her cries or herself. Studies show that babies who are left to cry don't cry less but cry more harshly and frequently. It also makes more clingy to their parents and takes them longer to become independent. Also the more a mother lets their child cry in the first half of their first year, the more likely her baby will cry more frequently in the second half.

I go on with a long list of why you shouldn't let your baby cry, just look up "DR WILLIAM SEARS" he has some great books. He has a book on a no cry sleep solution. Check it out. Please don't ignore your babies cries, she needs you for comfort for whatever the reason. They don't cry to manipulate, they cry to communicate.

EDITED TO ADD:
Breastfed babies commonly do not sleep through the night. My daughter nurses every 2-3 hours around the clock..even through the night (especially if you co-sleep). My baby is 9 months and isn't even close to sleeping through the night...she wakes every 2-3 hours to nurse and it is normal.

Last edited by StaceyLee; 10-14-2007 at 04:07 PM.

 
Old 10-14-2007, 08:39 PM   #11
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Re: how old is an infant before you let them cry at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StaceyLee View Post
EDITED TO ADD:
Breastfed babies commonly do not sleep through the night. My daughter nurses every 2-3 hours around the clock..even through the night (especially if you co-sleep). My baby is 9 months and isn't even close to sleeping through the night...she wakes every 2-3 hours to nurse and it is normal.
I breastfed all my babies for an entire year. Neither got up to nurse in the night at 9 months, let alone 3 months..maybe. Personally, I don't think a 9 month old who is eating solids and nursing during the day should be expected to wake for nighttime feedings. That's not for nutrition, it's for comfort and habit in my opinion. I think that's more "normal" for babies who sleep in the bed with Mom. It's there, so why not? I'm not knocking co-sleeping, because I know many people who do it and it works for them. It's just is not for me. But I think the majority of older babies are sleeping through the night and have been doing so for some time.

I think there is a huge difference between full-blown CIO and letting them fuss a little bit. Jodie Mindell, who is a sleep expert, says that for the first 8 weeks you need to do everything necessary to help your child fall asleep. Respond to everything! After that, they should be laid down awake but very drowsy. If they fuss a little to let some energy out and settle down, I don't see the harm.

With our first daughter we did CIO at 6 months and it wasn't pleasant, but not that bad either. With baby #2, I did everything possible to get that baby to sleep when she was about 12 weeks old. I would nurse, rock her and she would be sound asleep on my shoulder. As soon as I put her down, boing the eyes would open and then I would start all over again. It would take me over two hours to get her down. Once she was down, she slept for like 10 hours; it was getting her there that was the nightmare. I researched it because I knew she was much younger than my oldest was. But I knew for my sanity I had to let her fuss a bit. I knew in my heart there was nothing wrong with her. She was changed, fed, burped and sleeping fine.... on me. I put her down and left. She cried for a couple minutes, I went back in, rubbed her belly, left, she cried and then went to sleep. That was it, one night for a few minutes and we never had to do it again. With my son, he was about 4 months old when he cried one night a few mintues after I laid him down drowsy but still awake. I didn't rush back in, he stopped after about two mintues and that was all we ever did with him. I lay him down very awake now at 17 months and he still cries sometimes, but is done by the time I reach his door. I think some crying is normal and will not harm them. As long as you're responding to everything else during the day, they will know you are there and will be there when needed.

I don't see any harm in fussing at bedtime. That's a huge difference between screaming and making themselves sick. I think it was so easy for babies #2 and 3 because it was done earlier. With our first, we waited and it took a couple nights. The older they get, the smarter they get and the worse it is and longer it takes, in my opinion.

 
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