Cry It Out? - Lynchburg,VA

Updated on February 08, 2013
H.P. asks from Lynchburg, VA
37 answers

I have a 6.5 week old. I also EBF (not sure if this makes a difference).

I get mixed views on whether to let LO cry it out at night when putting him to sleep, or to keep going to him every time he cries until he finally goes to sleep.

Before bed he has been changed, swaddled, fed and burped. And most of the time he has fallen asleep during the feeding or is at least drowsy.

Is he too young to let him cry until he falls asleep?

ADD: I should say that I was asking this b/c my MIL and husband believe that CIO is the way to go. My MIL says, "he won't starve" if he is crying before the 2-3hr mark. My husband thinks the new generation is just making kids spoiled, although I told him you can't spoil an infant. I am all for going to him when he cries, and I do feed him when he wakes in the middle of the night. It's just I don't know what else to do for him after feeding, burping, swaddling, changing, etc. And a lot of the times I feel that he is just fighting sleep...but I still hate to let him CIO...and I've only done it once, and that was for 15min and then he did stop and slept for a good while. Anyway, I agree with all of you, but it is hard to deal with the MIL and older generation, and my husband (who apparently is old-school, lol).

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So What Happened?

Ok, I guess I should have made it more clear earlier on that when I asked about CIO, I just meant when I lay him down to sleep...and he's not screaming out. If he does cry, like a real cry, I always go check on him/comfort him. But, there are times when he just fusses a little, so I wait a few min and then go check on him if he doesn't calm down. If he continues, I keep going back every few minutes and hold him/ pat him/ feed him, whatever he needs, and eventually i don't have to go back in b/c he falls asleep. That being said, my MIL was truly wanting to do CIO, as in letting him really cry for 15-20 min. But it's her generation I guess.

And I must say that if he were to cry suddenly in the MOTN, I would always check on him! I of course get up to feed him if he wakes, and I wouldn't just let him cry if he had been asleep and woke up crying...I'm not cruel, lol

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answers from Boise on

You want to let a SIX WEEK OLD CIO? Really?

If someone is suggesting that to you, don't ever take advice from them again!

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answers from Beaumont on

You know, one of my kids was extremely fussy, still is. One of my biggest regrets is letting him "cry it out". He's 11 now and I still think that was the worst piece of advice I ever got.

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9 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Please respond to his every need. That is his only means of communication. That is way too young to let him cry it out. He needs to know you will be there when he needs you. Not that it matters, but I hate the cry it out method. I would rather my child go to bed happy than thinking mom won't be there when I need her.

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answers from Dallas on

Even the people behind the CIO method, say that anything before 6 months is FAR too young. Your child has been on earth less then 2 months. Respond to his cries and don't expect him to sleep through the night. For goodness sakes!!

NO, do not let him cry himself to sleep. He is an INFANT.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

You will find people in favor of CIO. You will find people who say never CIO. But you will not find ANYONE who says that CIO is appropriate for a 7 week old.

And anyone who tell you this doesn't know much about babies, and you should be VERY VERY cautious about taking advice from that person on any baby-related topic.

When you have a question (or if your husband won't believe Mamapedia), get it straight from your pediatrician. Then you can say "The Pediatrician said it is too soon to do CIO." End of discussion.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

He is definitely too young for CIO. He still needs to be fed every 3 or so hours. His nervous system is still developing. He needs you when he cries. He is learning that you will be there when he needs you. This is a time for developing trust.

Just think about how he was cuddled secure and warm for 9 months. He's only been in the real world for 6.5 weeks. Along with that is the fact that a baby is still developing in many ways. He's unable to control anything about his daily life. His body is still developing. He's not able to postpone such things as eating or any of his needs. When he cries, he's letting you know he needs something.

Here is a web site that talks about sleep training, including cry it out which is actually not what most people consider cry it out. One does not just let the baby cry until they go to sleep. There is a process involved that teaches the baby how to self soothe.

Here is their comment about the first 3 months of a baby's life during which it's not appropriate for any sort of sleep training. The first three newborn months are basically going to be a free-for-all when it comes to napping, sleeping and eating.

"Most experts agree that in these formative months, it’s important to follow your baby’s needs as you settle into this new lifestyle change, so don’t even stress about issues like sleep training or feeding schedules."

After your addition. Letting him cry himself to sleep, taking 15 minutes is not CIO. It's cruel. Read up on how to do CIO. As Dawn suggested, you may not have to always pick him up if you get to him before he's screaming. Quietly pat him without picking him up and see if that works when he's just fussing.

My brothers and I were raised old school and our parents did not let us cry it out until were were closer to 1. Unfortunately they used the old school CIO which did let the baby cry until they fell asleep. Fortunately for the babies but not for me who shared a room with them, I brought them to bed with me so they didn't have to cry for long.

Also, since the old days, we know much more about a baby's development and what they need. Does your husband do old school for everything else? Perhaps he refuses to use a computer and still has his TV with tubes? He can learn. Take him with you to the pediatrician. Google baby development. Give him the book, Happiest Baby On The Block, to read. Go to the library or the bookstore with him and help him pick out a book. I doubt that he'll find any book that says to use CIO at 6.5 weeks. And........Letting him cry until he falls asleep is not the correct way to use CIO. Educate both of you.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I wouldn't. Not at all.

He is so young.
Needs to be nursed on-demand
6 weeks old is a growth spurt period in an infant
is he getting enough intake?
Even if he is burped, he can still have gas and gas pains. In infants, their internal organs & digestive systems are immature and not even fully developed yet. My daughter, as an infant, had BAD gas pains. It caused much pain in her. I used Mylicon Infant gas drops.
Babies, wake a ton, and cry, and wake all the time.
That is how it is.
I exclusively breastfed both my kids as babies.
Is your baby latching on properly and getting adequate intake?
If not, a baby will be hungry all the time.
What are you eating? What you eat, can affect your breastmilk and/or cause gas pains in a baby.

Being changed/fed/swaddled/burped, does not mean a baby will sleep all night. They are changing so fast and developmentally, that it is hard... for them.
And as an infant especially, they need to "bond" with their Mom, as this affects their development as well.

A baby needs to nurse on demand, 24/7, day and night.
AND also, infants often "cluster feed" which means-- that they need to nurse even every single hour and this is, normal, and appropriate developmentally.
My kids as babies, had HUGE HUGE appetites, and though I had ample milk and they nursed from both boobs each session, they drank me dry and nursed... OFTEN. Day and night. Waking every 2 hours or sometimes less, at night. I woke and nursed them.
They got the intake they... needed. And grew like weeds and appropriately and were healthy.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Oh my goodness, he needs you right now. Hold him, love him, rub his back.... etc. He is way too young to be alone and cry. Months from now, if you are having problems, you could consider it. I never could with my babies, no matter what their age. It always seemed cruel to me.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Yes, IMO he is too young, for sure. He's just trying to figure this here world out. Snuggle him and feed him and swaddle him and love him.

Congrats on your baby boy!!!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Mobile on

I never could do the cio. Seems a little crazy. Why would you put your child in distress, get their heart rate up, and make them feel panic? My son, now 3, and my daughter who has just turned 1, sleep through the night. I went in whenever I heard them. They didn't get all clingy. Plus, you never know when something is wrong. In fact, last night my 1 year woke up crying about 2am. I went in there to find her leg caught between crib rails. I'm glad I went in there because she was jammed in there. What if I would have let her cio? Go with your gut mommy. You know what is best.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

If your baby is crying it is because he needs something even if it is only a hug. Babies need to feel loved and secure so keep attending to him when he cries. And... You are so can not spoil an infant.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Don't let the baby cry it out.
It's his only way of telling you he need something.
When he cries, go to him.
My son got up every 3 hrs to eat and I fed him!
He did this forever!
It finally got to a 5 hr stretch but not until a very long time (I won't tell you
how long b/c I don't want you to stress....time passes quickly).
Also, all my friends w/girls started sleeping through the night sooner. My
son and all of my friends w/boys didn't sleep through the night until they
were much older. My son slept through the whole night at 18 months.
He'd go for 5 or 6 hr stretches but I think it's because they are more
active during the day. So they burn off a lot more calories. My friend's
with girls, just played quietly w/their dolls (all kids are diff but.....) so they
didn't expend as much engergy in playing. So they'd go to bed at 8pm
and sleep through the night.
Go to your baby, feed him, change his diaper, burp him and hold him.
When he falls asleep in your arms, try to put him back down to bed w/in
10-15 mins of him falling asleep so he won't awaken. No sooner, no
Also, when you go to put him back down to sleep, hold him tight to you &
lean way over into the bassinet or crib or else they wake from the sensation of falling.

Again, don't listen to your hubby or MIL. YOU'RE THE MOM. NOT HER. And, sorry but your hubby did not carry him for 9 months, he does
not have that maternal instinct. You do, though.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Before he reaches a certain weight (based on height, ask the pedi) you should feed on demand. A baby's stomach is too small to hold more than 2-3 hours worth of milk. He needs the calories. You can try cio after that.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm sorry, H., your son is WWWWAAAAAAYYYYY too young to let him CIO! That method is used for kids who are at least 9 months old.

Right now he is developing TRUST with you and your husband. He NEEDS to know that when he CRIES (That is his ONLY way to communicate with you) You NEED to go attend to him.

He is NOT fighting sleeping. He is TRYING to understand his new world. For the last nine months he has been in a VERY comfortable (and tight) space. Never wanted for anything. Now? he FEELS things. SEES things. Have you read the book "what to expect the first year"? If not. You should.

Tell your Mother in Law that you respect her opinion but this is YOUR son and you will handle him the way you see fit.

Tell your husband that this is parenthood. The first year is the hardest year. Your son will grow more in his first year than he will the rest of his of life.

My daughter slept the night through at 9 weeks.
My oldest son slept the night through at 6 weeks.
My youngest son slept the night through at ONE YEAR.
EVERY child is different.

DO NOT let him Cry It Out. When he is 9 or 10 months? Sure. But 6 WEEKS NO FREAKING WAY!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

What is their problem?? Why are they being mean to a baby??? Sorry you have to go through this. Only someone very uneducated on babies or a sadist would suggest this.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Please don't let him cry it out at 6.5 weeks old. This is older thinking / advice. He needs this time to bond with you and crying is the ONLY way he has to communicate his needs. When he starts, just scoop him up and love on him. When he's older (5-6 months maybe, but we waited longer), then you can do some sort of letting him cry a little to learn some self soothing skills. Do you remember "Mad About You"? They shot an episode about this where they work at Ferberizing baby Mabel. The episode was excruciating to watch and I didn't have any children at the time. Here's a YouTube video of 10 minutes of it ... not pretty ...

ETA -- Tell the people offering their helpful advice about this that you appreciate their thoughts, but you feel like holding him and helping him through these times is really what's best for your kiddo.

My mom tried to tell me I was holding our little guy too much. He was foster-to-adopt and hadn't had any bonding time with his bio mom when he came to us. I figured he needed all the love and bonding he could get and just ignored her. IMO ... you cannot hold or spoil a little one this age. Nap time on the Momma is the greatest thing ever and now our little boy is 2 years old ... and he's really ours!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Seriously? Don't listen to your husband or MIL. If they think holding your brand new baby when they cry is spoiling him, they need help.

You don't let any baby at 6.5 weeks old cry it out. I couldn't listen to it for more time than it took me to get from my bed to where they were (basinett, crib, in my husband's arms, whatever) before they stopped. They need to know they are loved and this is when you build their confidence and trust in you as parents.

Please continue what you are doing and getting your son when he cries at's part of being the parent of a newborn. There is no sleeping through the night at this age if the baby doesn't do it on his own. PLEASE do not let him cry it out anymore...not this young.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

There is no harm in letting him be for a few minutes if he is just fussing or lightly crying. I used to wait 5 minutes to go in and comfort, and then I would try to do so without picking the baby up, just rubbing his back/tummy and singing. Once calm I would leave again and if the baby fussed I would wait another 5 minutes. I never had to go in more then once. I started this around 2 months or so when I moved them to their own crib. I would also wait 5 minute at night if they woke (again, for fussing or light crying only). They almost always went back to sleep on their own within 3 minuets, and stopped night feeding by 2 months. but they both got formula and I hear that sometimes formula babies tend to sleep through the night earlier, I don't know if that is true or not.

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answers from Los Angeles on

NO. Never ever ever let a month old baby CIO. EVER.

I can't stand this method of child-rearing. Sorry if I offend some, but it goes against every bone in my body.

If you do your research on this method, they don't even recommend you attempt anything like it until AFTER 6 months.

Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Hold that baby, cuddle and nurse him all he wants. Right now he needs you. You cannot spoil a baby. I would put my babies to sleep in cradle swing that young and they would sleep longer stretches. I nursed and held them all the time and they eventually transitioned to sleeping well.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Too young.
I absolutely suggest Ferber's method to every mother who asks for sleep advice. BUT, you don't start it at 6 1/2 weeks old. NO way.

At a MINIMUM, you need to wait until 3 months. We did Ferber around 5 1/2 months with our daughter.. and it worked beautifully. :)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

H. good for you for following your gut. Listen to those mommy instincts, they'll keep you on track just fine. The reason that we have a visceral reaction to an infant's cry is that newborns cry because they need something. After being fed, changed, etc. just being held and cuddled is as valid a need as being fed and dry. I know it sounds crazy now but enjoy this time - your baby will only be this tiny and need you this much for a short while. Don't let anyone stand between you and what you know if right for your baby. Perhaps your husband could benefit from reading a parenting book?

ETA and yes, breastfeeding makes a difference in that a BF baby will require night feedings longer than a FF baby because breastmilk is digested more quickly and easily, but even a FF baby shouldn't be expected to sleep long stretches or be subjected to CIO at this age. If you are planning on BFing for a long time (and congrats on doing it so far, you're past the hardest part!) be prepared to ignore your husband and MIL for a long time because your baby will not sleep through the night on breastmilk until much older. If your MIL didn't breastfeed then she might not understand the difference and will be all over you to have the baby sleep through the night at 4-6 months, which isn't realistic when breastfeeding.

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answers from New London on

I agree with the responses so far. Your little one is far too little to cry it out. The first 4 -5 months in my house were rough as I did not get too much sleep. But, that is what a baby usually does. A couple of my friends had babies that slept through the night after 2 months. That was not the case in my house.

One of my kids had colic and cried alot ! She needed to be held more.

Another thing, try not to be tense. Keep as calm as possible and the baby will sense that.

Ask the pediatrician what s/he rec. Then, let your MIL know what the dr said. If you do not have an appt right away, most offices have a nurse's in-office line you can call. The nurse will let you know what the drs in that office rec for a baby that age.

The first couple of months, the baby usually wakes to eat at night !

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I'm all for the Ferber Method, but not until baby is about six months old. What you can do now is wait for a couple of minutes when baby starts to fuss because sometimes babies will wake up and fuss for a couple of minutes before they settle back to sleep. You can also let baby fuss for a few minutes when you put him to bed to see if he will go to sleep on his own. If fussing turn to crying you will need to try again. He still needs to nurse on demand at this point and might need help getting to sleep.

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answers from Dallas on

No way. Ask yor pediatrician who will say not until 6 months at least. Then you have professional advice to get them off your back. Try swaddling if you havent already. target carries swaddlers that have velcro wraps that make it easy. Also, check out happiest baby on the block. It's a book and can also be found in DVD form. Your library might have it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My suggestion is that you learn how to do the CIO method PROPERLY.

I could not stand it personally and do not reccomend it in general. I think the mentality you are dealing with is the one that put an infant in a crib at 7pm and came back at 7am - you know the same mentality that had doctors giving women giving birth cigarettes to smoke - now that's OLD SCHOOL.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

You probably already know that there are two camps on the cry it out topic. I am actually on the "Don't CIO" side and am not responding to preach because plenty will and this is not my child...but just wanted to point out that MOST of the CIO supporters will still tell you that a six week old infant is far too young to subject to this sleep training method. Please don't consider it for a few months if ever. Also, your EBF is going to be hungry at night for quite a while longer. Breastmilk is so easily digestible that it does not hold the newborns over as long as formula. Please seriously look into this method before making a decision.

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answers from Boston on

No CIO til 5-6 months old...

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answers from San Francisco on

Go to your baby, hold him, sing softly, shush him and get the book: The happiest baby on the block by Dr. Harvey Karp. Excellent book and if you do the 5 S's as mentioned in the book, you will have a very well-rested, happy baby.

No. CIO. Go to Dr. for info on CIO. Don't do it mama, go to your baby....hold, comfort, cuddle, swaddle, love, sing etc. to your baby. He needs you to comfort him and isn't even close to being physically, emotionally, developmentally ready to be left to cry it out.

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answers from Washington DC on

No your baby is still to little to understand the CIO concept. CIO doesn't take place until the babies are between 4-6 months, and even then some babies don't respond right away, if this happens and he/she is between 4-6 months then wait a couple of more weeks and try it again, at a later time.

right now the bonding process between you and your little one is still taking place and you not coming to him/her when they cry, it teaches them "mommy can't/won't meet my needs" he is probably crying because you have left the room and he/she can't smell you anymore. Babies are able to smell a mother's scent for up to 50 feet and if they can't smell you anymore, then they feel abandoned. I say this because not only I'm I the mother of 3 but a child psychologist as well.

Good luck! don't use the CIO until he/she is at least 4 months old, for right now enjoy your baby and bond with him/her as much as possible. reassure him/her that he is safe in your arms and warmth.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

As the others have said, too young now. We rocked my daughter to sleep until she was a year old and the did the method where we would wait 5 mins before going in, then 10 min, then 15, etc. The first night it only took one check-in. The 2nd night took about 20 min to go to sleep, with two check-ins. The 3rd night she went to sleep quickly. Naps were a little harder but that's also bc she wasn't as tired as she would be at night. But I wish we had started younger than a yr bc babies really do need to learn how to soothe themselves to sleep. It's a skill they learn just like rolling over, etc. Have patience for now. And continue to just love and soothe your baby til you're ready to try CIO so that your baby knows you will always be there for him.

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answers from Charleston on

Wait until 3 -5 months old. He's too young right now. I did the CIO at 3 and 6 months. It was easier with the 3 month old. Good luck and congratulations.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Part of having a baby is getting up during the night.

It believe that a baby doesn't cry unless they have a need. They cry because they are hungry, they cry because they need to bond to a parent, they need something or they would go back to sleep.

Letting they cry until they wear themselves out is the most inhumane thing I can think of.

I think if your baby cries, truly is crying, then they need their mom or dad to hear them and come.

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answers from El Paso on

The CIO method is generally not even SUGGESTED until after the baby is at LEAST 3 months old.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Your baby is WAY too young for CIO!

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answers from Norfolk on

Hi, H.:

I took a class once about understanding the cries of a baby.
It sounds like you haven't learned what the different cries of your baby mean. Keep working with your baby to determine what the baby needs.

It must be frustrating to have people tell you how to nurture your baby.
Tell them: As soon as I learn to decipher the needs of our baby, I'll be able to adjust, so bear with me as I learn.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

Don't do that until he is around six months old-he needs nourishment-but mostly, he needs to be loved and made to feel safe and secure. I don't want to say anything else, because I feel my blood starting to boil.

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