Cry It Out... - Cleveland,TN

Updated on November 15, 2010
R.. asks from Cleveland, TN
29 answers

Do I have this right? Let her cry 5 minutes, go to her, let her cry 10 minutes, go to her, then let her cry 15 minutes and go to her every 15 from there? If not, please let me know how it's supposed to go... Also, when I go to her, am I supposed to pick her up and comfort her, or just let her know I am there and leave while she is still crying? Just comfort her the best I can while she is still lying in her crib? Any other tips are helpful! Please don't tell me why cry-it-out is bad or why I shouldn't do it... cuz I'm gonna... I just need to know the method. :)

EDIT TO ADD~ Sorry... She is just over 6 months old... Her bedtime routine is usually to feed her a "solid", playtime, bath, massage, then nurse her until she's done, then bed. She will usually sleep until 1-2, then start waking up a lot... like every hour... She sleeps in our room, and that is our only option ATM...

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answers from Anchorage on

I used 5 minutes every time, never increased to 10 or 15 because I did not want them to get too worked up and there for be hard to calm, also I wanted them to understand it was bed time while still knowing I was there for them. When I would calm them I would try to do it with out taking them out of the crib so they understood it was bed time. I would rub their tummy or back and sing or talk softly until they were calm, and than leave and if they started to fuss, I would wait another 5 minutes. When they would wake at night I would also wait 5 minutes before going in, and most of the time they self soothed and were back to sleep before the time was up. I started this almost from birth, and both of my boys were sleeping through the night by around 2 months old because they never learned bad sleep habits.

Best of luck and Blessed Be

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

I did 5 min then 10 min with my daughter, we never had to go past 10. They say not to pick them up, just comfort, but my daughter was not comforted unless I picked her up. I would rock her until she was calm, then put her back in her crib awake. Good luck.


answers from Houston on

crying it out works best when they are a little over 8 months.

you have the pattern down pretty good, but don't pick her up. gently rub her tummy or legs or hair... something soothing.

dr sears has expert advice on this:

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answers from Chicago on

First of all, avoid anything Dr. Sears if you're planning on doing CIO. He thinks you should be attached to your baby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until they go off to college (it's a joke - the college part, AP-ers...). You'd be hard-pressed to find anything supportive from him since he is a strong advocate of the family bed, nighttime parenting and whatnot.

A much better reference for implementing CIO would be Dr. Marc Weissbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

We used CIO with both children and had great success. And, we followed the extinction method meaning we put them down and that was it. Both our boys were sleeping through the night at 6 months and going down for 2 daily naps no problem. My older son is almost 4 and I can assure you that he is certainly not an insecure child! My younger son is 10 months and after I give him his last bottle at night and cuddle him for a few songs, I gently place him in his crib awake yet he rarely, if ever protests. He may nest around like a puppy before settling down but he's not crying or upset.

Good luck and check out the Weissbluth book. He's a pediatrician who has specialized in infant/child sleep issues with over 3 decades of research and tens of thousands of study participants. His work is based on quantitative data and not just 'feelings'.

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answers from Kansas City on

She NEEDS you, so she cries. This is the only way she can communicate.

PLEASE read:
"The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night" (
The name says it all.

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answers from Hickory on

I am working on this myself right now, my little man is 10 mo. old. It is hard to not go in the room and let him nurse for a few to kick him back into sleep mode.....but, I do believe it is instilling independance to let him work things out on his own.
Honestly though, I don't really get the whole 5-10-15 thing...seems as though that may just prolong the whole ordeal.....but, that could just be my experience with my son? Going into the room makes it better, walking out is where the drama ensues.
My pediatrician said to allow 1 feeding mid-night and no more, otherwise he will continue to use me as his human paci........and night wakings will continue a lot longer....and I agree, thier little tummies are so small, I personally think they may need a little midnight snack. But, as for other wakings, I am going to let him work things out on his own, without entering, unless he gets overly upset.
I agree with other Jane though, I think the idea is to figure out what is best for you and your baby. Maybe from there you can custom tailor a CIO method of your own :-)

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answers from Columbus on

If you're doing the Ferber method, you can set the increments at whatever you feel comfortable with. I believe the Ferber starts at 5 min, 7 min, 10 min (then every 10 thereafter) for the first couple of nights, then goes to 7, 10, 12, then after a couple more nights 10,12, 15, then 15, 18, 25. But if you wanted, you could set the first increments at 3, 5, 7 (that'll be a lot of trips to the room, though and not much time for the baby to calm herself before you are timed to go back in, imo).

When you go in, don't pick her up and hold her, just let her know she's okay, you still love her, maybe pat her back a little (but this starts down the slippery slope to picking her up.... be warned) and then leave the room. Don't stay and talk, thinking it will calm her--you just want her to know you haven't forgot her, but then you need to leave. (this was the very hardest part, that and not picking the baby up, imo. We did it when my son was 7.5 months old because I couldn't take sleeping on teh couch with him and he needed me to get back to sleep any time he came awake--I had become a human security blanket).

The other key to this is: If the baby is starting to cry less loudly or sounds like she is starting to cry less, don't go in. If you go in at that point, you're undoing what you're working toward--her figuring out how to comfort herself.

Usually 6 months to 9 months old is an okay time to do this as they can't fight against it as much as, say, a 2yo could.

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answers from Raleigh on

Do it! Best decision you'll ever make!

We do,
bath/walk (alternate nights)
diaper/jammies/brush teeth
3 short books
bed at 8:30

My son is 2.5 (3-5PM nap) & daughter is 10 mo (11-1 nap, 3-4:30/5 nap).
We've had a schedule since my son was 9 mo. Wish I would have known before that...

The first week or two I would go in and check at 5 mins, say it's sleepy time, go to sleep I love you, then leave. Each time double the time. so next time 10 minutes later, then the next is 20 after than, they'll usually be asleep by now or fall asleep shortly after. If she's not asleep 30 minutes later (just after an hour) nap time is over. If it's bed time, then I set the timer for 40 mins and she's never still awake.

My son plays in his bed for about an hour each night.

Good luck & let me know if you'd like more info on a daily schedule. It keeps you sane & you & your kids healthy!


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answers from Washington DC on

That is a cry it out method , but the length between intervals get longer over a few days , not in the same night I think? It would help to know how hold your daughter is , if she is very young then CIO is not a good option , I think it is aimed for babies at least 6 months old or maybe older.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Your goal is to get her to sleep. If you can find a way to do it without tears, why not? I second Rachel's book recommendation. It's still fast, effective and much less stressful.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

I think part of it depends on how old your baby is and what method you use for feeding her. I never could do CIO with my children. I just wanted them to know I was always available to them. I hope it works quickly for you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

I let both of my kids CIO, but I had to tailor-fit it to both of them (it didn't work as well for my dd as it did for my son. Man, that girl could cry FOREVER! lol). My son took a paci and would cry if it fell out of his mouth, so at the beginning of the night I put one in his mouth and another in his hand, so if the first one fell out he could just pop the 2nd one in and go back to sleep. He also liked to hold my finger, so I found a teething toy that kind of felt like my finger and he'd hold that and think I was there even after I left the room. The rest of the time I'd go in every so often, pat his back and make shhhh noises until he stopped fussing... He caught on pretty quickly.

My dd wouldn't take a paci, but she eventually learned to suck her thumb. She also slept better swaddled even until she was 7-8 mos old (with her thumb-sucking hand left out, of course). I'd wait a while (5-10 mins) after she started crying before going in, just to make sure she was really going to cry... but her problem was that crying gave her tummy bubbles and I had to burp her before she'd stop. As SOON as she calmed down at all, I'd put her back in her crib and try to walk away... which usually resulted in her crying. I'd pick her up, she'd stop crying, I'd put her down, she'd start crying, I'd pick her up... It was a nightmare, but she did eventually learn. I think it took 2-3 weeks of doing that before she'd self-soothe and sleep through the night.

Whatever you do, you HAVE to be consistent. If you can avoid it at all, DON'T pick her up!!! Also, if you usually hum or shhhh or something when you comfort her, and she's sleeping in the same room, you may eventually be able to do that without actually going over to her... Just make sure whatever noise you're making is loud enough for her to hear over her own. Good luck!

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answers from Boston on

The only way we could get our then 16 month old daughter to sleep through the night and not wake up at between 3.30-4.30 for the day was to CIO. I didn't love it, but I sure as heck didn't love the endless, needless, night wakings. If CIO works for you, then do it. You aren't "abandoning your daughter" any more than you are "force feeding" your daughter by making her eat vegetables before dessert.

Anyway, the Ferber method says to go in in increasingly longer intervals. That's what we did and it worked pretty well. 5 minutes, then 10, then 15, etc, all in the same night. While that worked for our kid, it doesn't work for every. I know some moms who just stayed next to the crib the whole time, just not picking up. That worked for slightly older kids. I know others whose children just got more upset when they went in, so they just went "cold turkey" and others who only stayed out for 3-5 minutes. You have to do what suits both your and your daughter's temperament best.

Good luck.

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Kansas City on

not sure how someone who is so dead set against letting their child cry would know the baby will wake up pissed off and insecure. false! but hey, she must be the expert since she's so dead set against doing about some actual real life, been there done that advice? (i can't help but wonder what these poor attention starved children would do if mom had to *gasp* use the bathroom!)

R., the best advice i can give is to use your COMMON SENSE. NO babies do not need you to rush in there every time they fuss a little. it is one of the first things you will teach her, and it is an invaluable lesson. mommy IS there for her when she actually needs her. but she also needs to learn that she's just fine if she is by herself for a few minutes, as long as you know she is fed, dry, and safe. bedtime is for going to sleep. not playing or anything else. if you do it with love and COMMON SENSE, there's no trauma or hard feelings involved. and YOU and your entire family will sleep better. i would advise not to pick her up unless she gets super riled up and can't calm herself down (amazingly, babies DO quiet down if you give them a chance - no, they don't have to be attached to mom and mom doesn't have to be at their beck and call every S., to be happy healthy babies.) it will take some time - there's no reason to be harsh and just ignore her completely. but yes, baby steps at leaving her in there for a little longer each time. she will be fine i promise :) you can do this.

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answers from Washington DC on

Check out "" and the "Sleepeasy solution" book...they saved my life! (And made my son much happier!) It does involve crying, but they have all different situations, sleep options, feeding options, etc. and it's written very compassionately. Worked in 2 days for us with NO trauma and very few tears! Now he actually smiles and reaches for his crib, wide awake and ready to sleep. It's amazing. He's so much happier and rested and no...he's not traumatized (I was very ANTI-CIO for the longest time but we got to the point where I needed sleep, DH was deployed...I was desperate. I could now be an infomercial for Sleepeasy Solution). I never thought this little guy would WANT to go to his crib, by himself, no fussing, and SO happy for a nice, full night sleep. HEAVEN for all of us!

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answers from Los Angeles on

i let my daughter cio. i also stuck to a strict bedtime routine. when she ate her solids for dinner i would then get her ready for bed and rock her as she drank a bottle then i would place her in her bed and walk away. if she cried for 15 mins plus then i would go in and recomfort her and put her back in bed. it took me approx. a month to do it and i believe it was because her room is the first one and my inlaws are too loud.



answers from Muncie on

I did the 5,10,15mins route along with picking her up at 5mins., rubbing her back and patting her at 10mins, then the first 15mins just standing by her crib talking to her then standing father away every 15mins after until I was on the outside of her closed door talking to her softly and shushing. It maybe took a week then I would go in the first time and just pat her and rub her, then the next week I just stood the first time. She got the idea by the second week, I could just go in and pat her lightly and I wouldn't have to go back that night.

It sounds like your girl is old enough for a paci, if you use one, after the routine worked I learned that sometimes just popping my DD's paci back in would be all she needed. This might be what you need, since your DD's slept for a while then waking every other hour or so.

Good luck.



answers from Wilmington on

There is no particular way it's "supposed" to go. Don't worry about what others say you "should" do. Follow your own instincts.



answers from Harrisburg on

I'm not sure about the method, lol.
But, I just went through this about 50 mintues ago with my 20 month old. I think the whole fighting sleep is a phase.

I've noticed with my daughter at least, that walking in and out of the room makes it so much more worse. But, I like being able to check in on her so she knows I'm there.

Good luck getting her to sleep!



answers from Philadelphia on

We have twin boys and just were not able to hold/rock them to sleep. We would just put them in the crib and let them cry it out. If it goes on more than half an hour, we picked them up. They began sleeping through the night at 2 months. Once in a while, one might wake up crying. I learned quickly that if I went to pick them up right away, he picked up on it right away and would continue to pull the same stunt night after night until I stopped picking him up.



answers from New York on

Check out "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Ferber.



answers from Boston on

Do feed her at all when she starts waking every hour? It is considered sleeping through the night when they do a 6 hr stretch It is normal for a breastfed baby not to sleep all night (10-12 hrs) until closer to a year sometimes over a year.

If you are going to do cry it out you aren't supposed to pick her up. You could put the crib near your bed this is what we did and I was able to reach my hand in and rub my son's back or hold his hand instead of continuously getting up.


answers from Williamsport on

CIO works best when you do a nice bed time routine and then WALK AWAY. For good. I think you're thinking of Ferber or something-though I never tried that.

The key is that your baby is FULL of food from eating to absolute capacity all day. You think she's full, but believe me, if she's not sleeping, she could eat more. Add feedings. Add snacks. It will take about 3 days to register the extra calories and sleep longer. Do a good bed time routine. Put her down. Walk away. With enough calories, babies can sleep thru from around 3 months old.

You don't say how old she is or how attached she is to having you at night, but no matter what, going in while she's crying makes the whole process longer because she's engaging you. Let her learn bed time is sleep time.

You're doing a great thing by teaching her to fall asleep securely on her own. All my kids flourished with CIO. Night time is peaceful and everyone loves going to bed. Hang in there!



answers from Nashville on

It is more like 5 mins, then 9 mins, then 15 mins, then 20, etc Not so far in between. You do NOT pick her up when you go in or she will expect for you to pick her up. You pat her bottom, rub her back, shhhh her, etc Not talking, maybe singing, but not talking. She has to know it is time for sleep and needs to know how to fall asleep on her own. You are teaching her to fall asleep on her own. I did it with both of my children and it really worked! It was hard, very sad, but necessary. There will always be both sides of the story when people think it is good or they think it is bad. The baby will not suffer long term and that is what is important. It does not hurt them and does not hurt their self esteem. You are going in to let them know you are there so their esteem will be fine. My children are completely healthy and mentally and emotionally healthy, they do not remember me letting them cry as babies. :o) You do have to make SURE that they are ok though, no dirty diaper, not hungry, etc Personally I would think 6 mos is too young to do the complete crying it out. It really does take awhile, mine took 1 1/2 hours for them to finally fall asleep and I think a itty bitty baby might get too overheated or just really cry too hard. Mine were 11 mos old. The flip side is that by them being 11 mos old, they were old enough to stand and that was REALLY hard b/c once they can stand they have a harder time crying themselves to sleep. So, with that being said, I would do a 1/2 way. I would pat her bottom and leave and do it for maybe 30 mins total but if she really starts to panic and cry hard, maybe you could pick her up. Maybe you can start at nap time too so it is not so hard at night time. Also, if you are nursing, it would be easier if your husband does it b/c having you around will make it even harder. Good luck, I would love to hear back and let us know how it worked out. ps/ we have a white noise machine in each child's room including our own room. Much easier to sleep with and no outside noises.


answers from Stationed Overseas on

my son is now 7 months old. I've let him cry it out since he was about 4 1/2 months old. He did wonderful. I formula feed since my son wouldn't latch or take breast milk from a bottle. But since he was 4 months I always put a little cereal in it. Other mom's protest to this because it can hurt their digestive track but only if you put way to much. He only got a little until he was 6 months. My son sleeps from 7:30 p.m. to about 8 or 9 a.m. sometimes 10 or 11 if he is cutting teeth or having a growth spurt. He's been doing that since he was about 4 months too and it's been wonderful. I am not sure what to tell you because you breast feed, my guess is she's still hungry, maybe she's to hot or cold. I just wish you luck.,


answers from Oklahoma City on

i wouldn't say go in there and let her know you're there, with my daughter and neice, i found the more you ignore them, the sooner the problem will stop....but that's my experience



answers from Dallas on

If she's younger than 6 months old, you need to wait. I've never done it, so I can't comment on the how.



answers from Los Angeles on

I don't know how old your daughter is but I think you are just supposed to go by the door and calm her down or say something reassuring. Picking her up and putting her back down will only make it harder for her. Maybe try some soft music or a nightlight also. And yes leave while she's still crying or you'll have to wait there the whole night! Good luck:) I also wanted to add that I'm assuming your daughter is over a year old. When younger I don't think I'd feel comfortable letting her cry it out.

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