41 answers

Do I Let My 10 Week Old CRY?

My daughter doesn't fall asleep on her own. I nurse her & since birth she has used me as a pacifier. Now that she is a bit older, I am wondering if I should let her cry a bit. I didn't let her cry before since she was so young. Right now her father and I disagree about letting her cry. He wants to let he for short intervals at a time to try & break her habit but I still think she is too young. When I have allowed him to let her cry for a bit, she is INSTANTLY hysterical. I don't know if she knows yet that if she cries we will come etc. She falls asleep on my boob & once she is asleep, she will only stay asleep for 5-10 min before she wakes again. This is during the day for naps. Night time she sleeps through the night for the most part (apprx 6-8hrs). She will sleep in her crib & wake to nurse usually just once through the night. There are some days where I can put her down in her swing for naps & she will stay asleep for a few hours & other days where she won't sleep unless she is being held, usually by me.I am having problems with her napping through the day. When she is held, we have to be standing which kills my feet & back. I also have a 3 y/o so I need to have my hands through the morning before she heads off to school. Currently I am the only one who can put baby to sleep. I don't want her to become "spoiled". I am trying to share the duty with her father but that's been very tough. Can anyone help me with this? We have tried swaddling, rocking, singing, bouncing, car rides etc. I really don't know what to do at this point with her. I don't want her to rely on me to sleep & to fall asleep. She REFUSES to take the bottle (breast milk) from her father even when she's starving. She will just take about 2oz & whine about it for HOURS after. We think she doesn't like it when it becomes a bit cold during the feeding since we start off with it luke warm & she is kind of a slow eater. Please HELP!!!

PS: We have tried EVERY pacifier available & she will not take any of them. We still try to introduce it to her but she completely refuses. Is there a way we can teach her without shoving it into her mouth? She just cries or whines when we put it into her mouth. :( Also, many of you are suggesting a carrier. I have one & have tried to put her in it & she HATES it. I have looked into the moby wrap & will purchase that one to try.

Oh, also, sometimes when she is nursing, she will latch on & pull right off... she will do this until I completely pull her off. When she does this, I pull her off to burp her, thinking that maybe that's why she is doing that but I am really unsure. She does this mainly on the breast she does NOT like to nurse on. She prefers one side over the other but I continually try to keep her on the one she does not like so I don't lose milk supply. When I do this, she gets really mad & starts to fuss so I just switch her. Sometimes when she is "playing" she will look at me & smile & laugh & continue to latch on & pull off. I believe the side she prefers, my nipple is a tiny bit larger & the milk lets down ALOT faster. :( Does anyone know what that means by chance? Why she does this?

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It is way too early to let her cry. Right now, she needs to know that she is safe and that you will meet her needs. She doesn't understand anything yet. If she is crying, it is not because she is using you as a pacifier or for any other reason, it is because she has a need that is not being met. I would never let a baby cry, especially one that tiny.

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I did modified CIO with my boys at this age. I never let them cry for more then 5 minutes at a time. At 5 minutes go calm her down with out feeding, or even picking her up if you can. I would just rub their tummies and sing or talk softly. Once she is calm, leave. If she cries, wait another 5 minutes and repeat. I never had to go in more than once. Once she learns how to self sooth she will also do so at night, just wait 5 minutes before you go in. My boys have been sleeping through the night, or at least self soothing if they woke a little, since about 8 weeks. My Doctor told me night feedings were not needed after 10 days, and that they are continued just for comfort.

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Baby whisperer has a website that is really helpful. IT has no-cry options that involve crying but it is not alone so it is different that CIO. I am still having sleep issues because we did not deal with it early on as my daughter would only sleep latched and only for max 20 mins. Sorry I cannot be more helpful!

THe latch smile game is still my 11 month olds favorite to play. It can be annoying but so darn cute. You can choose to stop it or not. I let it continue and she slowly has been doing it less.

My daughter perfers the left but I always start her on the right and after she fusses switch. She will eat on the left and when she is done I will try again on the right. It is all about being persistant.

Good luck!

More Answers

Do not allow your child to cry! New studies show that infants are actually in pain when they're left to cry. Their cortisol levels sky rocket and brain scans show that the pain center of the brain is active while crying alone.


People grossly underestimate the importance of touch. Without it human babies die! It causes brain damage to be left alone to cry, literally. Neurological development happens only while being touched. If you deprive a baby of this, you hurt their brain development.

Even Dr. Ferber says that you shouldn't allow a baby to cry before 10 MONTHS. The article below is very informative about touch and brain development.


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Please, please, please do not let your baby cry. It was a theory of the 1940's and 50's that babies needed to cry. Naturally no tribal or native mother would have done so but our culture is run by doctors and psychologists with theories to sell about childbirth, rearing babies etc.
As a result of the excessive crying babies did we see people in that age bracket with more diseases, especially respiratory ones that they developed from overusing their lungs.
Your baby is trying to get a better grip on the gland that produces the milk so she can drink faster. She is very likely hungry all the time.
You are doing the best you can to keep her fed. Theoretically a nursing mother should not give her baby any food until she has teeth but is one or two tiny spoons of rice cream would make her feel fuller in her stomach and help with sleep you could try it.
You cannot spoil her at this point she is too young. If she still cannot sleep without you at age two you can become concerned.
Do you have the book "Bestmilk" it is a great help to the nursing mother. You are doing something very special for your daughter. Be easy on yourself.

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I wouldn't let her cry. She is very very young. You might read a book by Lise Elliot about brain development (can't remember the name of it) but basically the connections the brain is making right now is incredible and I wouldn't want my kid's brain to be stuck in the crying place - more for your husband's logical side than you since you don't really want to let her cry anyway. I'm sorry I'm not articulating this well.

You might check out this site on bf questions: http://kellymom.com I haven't used it but friends of mine love it.

Best of luck.

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In my opinion, I wouldn't let her cry. She has no idea yet that you will come back for her and care for her. She is still learning and she can't become spoiled at this age. If you think she doesn't like the bottle cold could you buy a bottle warmer? Avent does one where you can set the temperature you want and it heats it evenly in up to 3 minutes (depending on the size). I think it is normal at this age for her to rely on you to help her get to sleep, she is still learning how to do it herself. Try to get into a routine so that she knows what to expect. For us, it is a bottle in my sons room, in his nursing chair, with radio static on as background noise, blinds closed, and mobile playing. Hope this helps a little, good luck!

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Please do not let her cry. She is 10 WEEKS old, not 10 years. She needs you and your husband near her and comforting her when she's upset. Even your 3 year old can help try to soothe her by singing to her, stroking her cheek, rocking her in the swing (as long as she's buckled), etc.

Please read this with your husband: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/T130500.asp (particularly #5). It's not just my opinion that letting her cry is detrimental, it's been studied and proven.

I know you've gotten recommendations to use a baby carrier and I echo those. If you're hooked up with any mom groups, check and see if someone has one you can borrow before you commit to buying one since they're expensive. If you're also new to babywearing, the moby can be a little tricky to master. A simple pouch sling is easier, but neither of my kinds liked it as much. There's really a lot of questions in your post! :)

The other thing I've recently found that calms my 9 week old really quick is sympony music. I happened on it by accident, but xm864 works beautifully at my house! I'm not a huge believer in classical music making kids smarter or anything like that, I just needed to find music that wouldn't wind up my two year old when she was asking for music just before nap.

As for the fussing while nursing, it probably is that she needs to burp. That's exactly what my 9 week old does when she needs to burp. It could also be that she's unhappy about your milk flow. A La Leche League leader can offer more suggestions than I can. :) Don't give up though!

If I can help with any more resources, please let me know. I'm local and am pretty well connected to the "no-cry" communities in our area.

3 moms found this helpful

It is way too early to let her cry. Right now, she needs to know that she is safe and that you will meet her needs. She doesn't understand anything yet. If she is crying, it is not because she is using you as a pacifier or for any other reason, it is because she has a need that is not being met. I would never let a baby cry, especially one that tiny.

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I wouldn't consider a 10-week old "a little older." :) She's still in the phase where she should be treated almost like a fetus.

There is brain research now that demonstrates that leaving babies to cry actually does have harmful potential consequences later on. It can have the effect of hard-wiring their brains to have quick triggers to anger and emotional difficulties. For more on how babies' brains work, there's a great book called "The Science of Parenting." When babies learn not to cry by being left at that age, they are responding with a reptilian fight or flight part of their brain (other parts aren't developed yet). They are not "learning" to be comfortable on their own. Anyway, check it out - it will answer a lot of your questions about how to handle this phase. Leaving them to cry it out can work, to be sure, but at what cost?

If you want to have your hands free more (I did. I couldn't do attachment parenting for my own sanity, but didn't want to leave baby crying) check out The Baby Whisperer. She has a great approach - the only one I've seen (and I've read just about everything out there on this) that advocates teaching babies a routine and some independence without advocating leaving them to cry on their own. Very helpful.

Good luck!

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I agree with all that said you should NOT let your baby cry! It is just not healthy! Babies don't get spoiled. Of courseshe wants you! She relies on you 100% since she litereally can't do anything for herself! Her instincts tell her that she needs you and she won't feel safe when she is away from you! Think about when you have ever felt real fear..imagine that's how she feels when you try and let her cry it out!

My kids never took bottles either. You have to try a bottle that is as close to the breast shape as possible and that has a slow flow so she still has to work for it. Make sure you warm it up enough. A lot of babies won't do just luke warm or room temp. Breastmilk comes out a little warmer than body temp since it is inside your body. Try to have whomever feeds her the bottle, simulate the way you hold her when you nurse as much as possible.
Expect her to know the difference. A bottle and your boob taste differently..

My kids have never used a paci..they don't need one. Don't force it on her. If she needs a comfort suck item, she will create one. One of mine sucks their thumb and one sucks her arm..

It is possible that she has reflux. Does she spit up a lot? Is it often clear?

I swear by the moby wrap! It's a little hard at first to get it down, but once you do it is wonderful for mommy and baby! Very comfy! You can get new ones on ebay for like $39!

The pulling off and relatching could be many things. Does it sound like she chokes a little? I have a strong flow so I have to grab a pad when I let down and let a little go in there before relatching baby. It can be gas, so good for you there! It can also just be a curious nurser. It happens with all babies that they want to look at stuff and get distracted so they unlatch to look around.
Either way it can hurt!

It is so hard in the beginning and you are doing great! Your instincts are awesome and you just need to trust yourself! Your hubby means well, but he doesn't have the mommy instincts that you do. Believe me, I know how hard it is! Our third baby is 5 months now. When I had our 2nd, our first was 2.5 our 2nd cried all the time day and night for the first 3 months! We literally had to hold her and walk and bounce her 24 hrs a day for 3 months AND take care of our toddler! It was incredibly hard and no one could figure out why she did this. We got through it and suddenly at 3 months it stopped and she has been great ever since! Sometimes you do just have to put down baby and let them cry so you can get something done. It's hard to hear them cry but just do what you need to do quickly and get back to your baby.

This too shall pass..very very quickly! Trust me..it goes way faster with the 2nd than it did with the 1st!

Good luck Mama!

ETA: I read again what you wrote about the pulling off. Sounds like she has figured out which side she has to work less on! Smart girl! Maybe try letting her nurse on the easier side first through one letdown so she isn't starving. Then switch her to the other side. Also try different positions to get all the milk out of the other side so it'll make more milk. It's totally normal for one side to make more than the other.
Awesome breastfeeding support site is kellymom.com

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