How Many Times or How Long Should I Let My 14Month Old Cry Before I Give In

Updated on May 25, 2007
A.B. asks from Flower Mound, TX
5 answers

All this week my 14month old wakes up crying and wants mom or dad to sleep with him in the spare bedroom. last night i tried to let him cry himself back to sleep and he woke up three times in a row crying. After the third time I just felt awful so i gave in and went and slept with him. He has a night light and a ceiling fan on low along with lots of fun pillows and teddy bears in his bed. But enough room to move around. Help i don't want this to be a habit!

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answers from Dallas on

I am not a fan or "crying it out", either. Your child probably feels like you are leaving him at night, so the goal is to make him feel secure and to have a positive attitude about sleep.

A consistant routine is the key. For example, our routine is dinner, bath, teeth, books, stories, & pray.
After we talk about our day, we pray. After prayer, I say, "Good night, Daniel. I love you. Whould you like pancakes or cereal in the morning?" He makes his choice. Then, I DO NOT TALK TO HIM. I have a little chair by his bed in which I sit and hold his hand. I take this time to pray for my children and for my family and to thank God for all my blessings. It is a precious time and I would not trade it for anything.

My son just turned 4 now and it is during this peaceful time before bed that he shares the most with me. He is a VERY active boy and if it wasn't for this peaceful quite story/prayer time I would think the kid had no sensitive, compassionate thoughts.

Just the other night he started telling me after we prayed, "Mommy, you can go to your bed now." I respected his privacy and left the room. I went to my room and cried, cried, cried. Why? becasue my little boy was growing up!! Your 14 month old is the perfect age to start something like this. He may not share much for a while, but you can tell him sories about his day until he is old enought to do it himself.

All the best! Liz



answers from Dallas on

I have to say that I think it's terrible to let children "cry it out." I'm no child development expert, but I can't see that it's anything other than cruel to let your baby cry for you. If she's crying, she needs something; that something may only be comfort and mommy's reassuring presence, but isn't that as important as a dry diaper and full tummy? A night light and a stuffed toy are not very good stand-ins for mommy, in my opinion.

Both of my children have been co-sleepers. Our eldest went to her own bed about age three and has great sleep habits. She's nearly six now and from the time she went to her big girl bed we've not had any problems. She has a few stories, a prayer and some kisses then goes right to sleep on her own and stays down through the night. So her sleeping with us has not in any been an impediment to developing proper sleep habits.

Our fifteen month old sleeps with us and has since she outgrew her Co-Sleeper which attached to our bed. She does sleep in her crib when my husband and I need some "alone time" but always ends up back with uss. And we love waking up with her in the morning, with her squishy face and sweet morning noises. Her cutest time are those first few waking moments and we wouldn't miss them for the world.

Both of our children are well adjusted and have developed only positive sleeping habits. They are secure and as babies/toddlers have never had to wake up frightened and alone, crying out for comfort that may or may not come because mommy thinks she should let them "cry it out."

Here are some interesting links, although I'm sure you'll find even more saying that crying it out is a-okay.

Best of luck to you and I hope you both get some good, comfortable sleep!



answers from Dallas on

If you give in after crying 3 times he will learn that you WILL give in.
I know it is hard, but if you need to help him get past this!




answers from Denver on

You gave in once, he will test you even longer and harder knowing you will give in. Each time will be worse. If you don't plan on letting him cry, you might want to consider co-sleeping. But if you really want him to sleep through the night by himself, you need to let him cry as long as it will take. The first night or two will be a nightmare because he expects you to give in. But, he will go back to sleep once he will be very tired of crying. But, already the third night, he might test you, but it won't last as long.

You don't have to let him cry and never go back to see him. You wait 5 min then you go see him. You tuck him back in bed but you don't say a word or only say goodnight again or something like that. Nothing fun. He needs to understand you mean business, it's night time and he needs to sleep. You then wait 10 min and you do the same thing. 15 min, 20 min ... etc.

And again, if you don't feel comfortable letting him cry, it's not wrong to co-sleep. As long as you and your partner are comfortable with it. As someone else said, you either do it or you don't.

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Let him continue to do this, and each night, the time span will get shorter. But, DON'T try it...then give in. That will just make it worse. Either, do it...or don't! Advice from my pediatrician that proved to be great!

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