48 answers

When Do You Let a Baby Cry Themselves to Sleep?

Hi-
I have a six week old who at nite will only sleep for about an hour at a time... if I am lucky. (in his bassinet) If I am holding him, he will fall asleep until I put him in his bed. When is it too early for me to put him in his bed and let him self cry a little? I have head it is bad to do it if they are really little, but also bad if they will only sleep on you. At this rate, no one is sleeping. any advice?? I have tried giving him a bath before bed, but it hasn't helped. Thanks!!

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Thanks for all the advice! :) I wasn't letting him cry himself to sleep, but was wondering when you should and how long for, as I have heard different things. I have tried co sleeping a few times a week, but found best to put him in the crib instead of the bassinet. He isn't sleeping through the nite yet.... but he is still little, so hopefully soon :) Thanks mama's!

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I know lots of people are saying not to let him cry, but my baby just wouldn't sleep unless I put him in his crib and let him fuss for about 5 minutes. The first 8 weeks were so hard on us, because I didn't let him fuss at all, and we both became really sleep deprived. Once I started letting him fuss a little in his crib (and I really mean no longer than 5 minutes, maybe 7 on a really bad day), he suddenly started getting regular sleep and was a much much happier, more alert baby.

As someone else said, you may also want to look into the possibility that he has reflux. My son had a mild case, but it really helped his sleep when I inclined his mattress. You could try putting him to sleep in an infant seat (which are usually inclined) and see if that helps.

Good luck ... it does get better!

3 moms found this helpful

I remember my pediatrician telling me not to let a baby cry for long (no CIO) until at least 6 mos. My gut told me longer. Babies cry because they need something - maybe just some attention at times, but remember it's their own means of communication. Could he be getting enough food? My daughter got an ear infection at 6 weeks... and wouldn't lie down without crying... is this a new behavior? I also don't belive it does any damage to sleep with you (safely) - you may both get more sleep. Good luck

3 moms found this helpful

It's really up to you. For me personally I like a schedule and a routine, and I let my babies cry themselves to sleep starting at about 3-4 weeks. I reccommend On Becoming Babywise if you are interested in having a super sleeper! I also just read the Baby Whisperer book, which I wish I would've read with my first.

2 moms found this helpful

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Sleep with your baby so both of you can get some sleep. It's also really a great way to cuddle with your baby, and the best way for both of you to get some sleep. I did it with both my babies, and I loved it! And they are 8 and 6 and sleep on their on just fine. Just a thought. :-) Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful

You cannot spoil an infant. Google "4th trimester."

4 moms found this helpful

Never, I dont even agree with letting a toddler, or child do that. Ive cried myself to sleep before, after my mom died and there was no one left to comfort me, my tear soaked pillow and red eyes were the loneliest i have ever felt, I will never make my children feel that way, no matter what the reason for the tears are.

Try co sleeping......save your sanity.

4 moms found this helpful

I know lots of people are saying not to let him cry, but my baby just wouldn't sleep unless I put him in his crib and let him fuss for about 5 minutes. The first 8 weeks were so hard on us, because I didn't let him fuss at all, and we both became really sleep deprived. Once I started letting him fuss a little in his crib (and I really mean no longer than 5 minutes, maybe 7 on a really bad day), he suddenly started getting regular sleep and was a much much happier, more alert baby.

As someone else said, you may also want to look into the possibility that he has reflux. My son had a mild case, but it really helped his sleep when I inclined his mattress. You could try putting him to sleep in an infant seat (which are usually inclined) and see if that helps.

Good luck ... it does get better!

3 moms found this helpful

The short answer is you should NEVER let a baby cry themselves to sleep.

Read Elizabeth Pantley's "The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night" for tips.

Six weeks is WAAAAYYYY too early to even attempt this!!!! He is crying because he NEEDS something from you...he could be wet/dirty, hungry, or just needs mama's gentle touch, familiar smell, soothing voice, and tender love! Sing quietly to him, keep the bedroom dark or very dimly lit (as in nightlight only), swaddle him, pat him....find what works for your baby, but please don't let him cry. He needs to know he can count on you, and knows you will be there for him. This trust starts now.

Hang in there! It gets better.....then goes by so fast!!

3 moms found this helpful

I remember my pediatrician telling me not to let a baby cry for long (no CIO) until at least 6 mos. My gut told me longer. Babies cry because they need something - maybe just some attention at times, but remember it's their own means of communication. Could he be getting enough food? My daughter got an ear infection at 6 weeks... and wouldn't lie down without crying... is this a new behavior? I also don't belive it does any damage to sleep with you (safely) - you may both get more sleep. Good luck

3 moms found this helpful

I held my babies as long as they would let me. I slept just fine holding them or co-sleeping. Never, ever had an issue getting them in their own bed by 2ish. Usually for naps they were fine in their bed also. I just held them to sleep then laid them in their bed. There were also plenty of nights they slept in their own beds, but if they cried, I always had them come to our bed. That way I wasn't missing sleep and neither were they.

3 moms found this helpful

A baby is in a new place still at 6 weeks. I suggest he is still not adjusted to being outside your body. He needs the closeness and warmth. His stomach is still very small. About the size of his little fist. He may be hungry.

Does he nurse well before going to sleep? Have you tried swaddling him? Is he too warm or too cool? Is the room a comfortable temperature? Is it quiet? What sort of schedule for nursing is he on during the day? He'll need to nurse that often at night too. He has to nurse often at that age.

Have you tried "white" noise during the night? Perhaps having the bassinet near you or in another room? Keep trying different things until you find the right balance for him.

Definitely do not let him cry it out at this age. He's learning whether or not he can trust you to take care of his needs. At 6 weeks he's all about needs. Wants have not entered the picture yet. His brain is very immature and deals only with life sustaining issues. I suggest letting him sleep with you for now. It is the best thing you can do for both of you if it allows you to get more sleep.

You can use a co-sleeper which puts him in a small bed attached to your bed. If you're not a rock sound sleeper you'll continue to be aware on a subconscious level that he's next to you and you won't roll over on him. Try it and see if it helps.

Co-sleeping now doesn't mean he'll always need to co-sleep. You can transition him to a crib when he's older and less needy because he has that secure foundation in the beginning.

3 moms found this helpful

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