What child age should I start the "Cry it out" at night?

Updated on March 18, 2008
J.A. asks from North Wales, PA
13 answers

At what age did any of you allow your children to "Cry it Out" at night? I have a 3 month old that wakes at 11 pm and doesnt fall back asleep until 3 am. I think I am gonna lose my mind if this doesnt change! I read you shouldn't keep a 3 month old awake during the day so they sleep at night. Warm baths don't work, walking doesn't work...What can I do? Should I put her to bed and let her cry? Please help!

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Try to be realistic and just know that all babies are different and all family structures are different and what works for one won’t work for everyone. The decision about whether to let her cry it out is a personal decision. But make sure your child is not going to bed hungry or sick when using the "Cry it out" method.

So What Happened?

***My daughter is now 18 months old. This is an old post.*** Thanks to everyone for the great advice. I think I posted this request on Tuesday or Wednesday. Well, Thursday night she woke from 10 pm to 4 am. I kept it nice and boring, but that little lady did NOT want to sleep without being held. So, I held her and finally at 4 am she was okay to be in her own bed (which is next to ours). Then, last night, she slept like a typical little baby: waking every 4 hours for food and nothing more. Sheesh - just when I think I have her figured out. Anyway - thanks again!

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answers from Topeka on

Not that I'm an expert on the subject, but do you swaddle? My daughter would not sleep through the night without being swaddled. She also slept better in her own room. We took her out of the portable crib at 2 months because none of us were sleeping well. Every kids different, but I am a strong believer in swaddling. Good Luck!

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answers from Abilene on

i don't understand why anyone would think it's reasonable to let a baby cry themselves to sleep. babies cry to let us know something is wrong, it's a signal that shouldn't be purposefully ignored. babies who are constantly left to "cry it out" don't learn to "self-soothe", they learn that their mama doesn't seem to care that something is bothering them. you are teaching them that their needs are unimportant and that it's useless to cry because nobody answers them.

if you're still breastfeeding, I'd recommend co-sleeping as a great way for both of you to get more sleep. if baby's right next to you when she wakes, you can respond sooner and get her right back to sleep without even having to get out of bed. or if you're bottlefeeding, have the bottles pre-made on the nightstand, in a cooler or whatever--it's still quicker to take the baby in your arms and feed her while both of you are warm in bed. Trust me, everyone will be happier and get a lot more sleep if you don't try to keep her in a seperate room.

check out this article on co-sleeping and nighttime parenting:
and PLEASE don't leave your sweet baby to cry all alone! good luck, mama ;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

if you have a dryer here is a suggestion....take a pair of tennies, put them in the dryer. turn dryer on. put baby in car seat, on top of dryer... the vibrations generally will put baby to sleep... worked with my son.... don't know what we will do when this one gets here, we now live in an appartment and don't have a dryer



answers from San Angelo on

I know you got lots of advice, but here's something that worked for my little girl and me. She would wake up and scream from 10pm-4am. I remember sitting on the bed holding her just and me bawling from frustration and lack of sleep. Three months is just about when colic kicks in...on those sleepless nights, try little tummy's brand or Mylecon brand gas drops. Each of my kids responded to one brand better than the other. Then get a vibrating bouncer seat and put her in. As long as she can't sit up or roll over, she will be safe sleeping in the chair. The other thing that helped my kids sleep-in in the morning is that I bought blackout shades from JC Penneys for the windows. That way in the morning, my kids woke up on their own and not because of the light coming in. I actually got 1-2 more hours of sleep out of them that way...even at toddler age when they are typically up between 6-7. Good luck and this too shall pass!



answers from Waco on


I hope you get some sleep soon! If you are skipping her afternoon naps and she is still staying up at night then I would go back to the afternoon naps, it can't hurt!

Our daughter was colicky and would stay up all hours -- something that worked for us was turning on the faucet in the kitchen and walking back and forth with her. The water seems to calm her and the walking lulled her to sleep -- once she was asleep I usually layed with her in the rocking chair till I knew she was good and asleep -- you should try it!

Good luck!



answers from San Antonio on


I know it is hard not getting enough sleep, but your baby girl will get better. Just stay strong and do what it takes to get her back to sleep. Before you know it she will be sleeping on her own through the night.

Steps that I took was when she woke up I would feed her, but less and less until she no longer woke up for feeding. If you need to put her down later, that can help also. As time passes she will fall asleep earlier for longer periods of time. It'll get better, just try to get naps elsewhere so you won't be so tired from waking up in the night time.

Best of luck



answers from Austin on

I don't know your personal situation, but have you considered letting her in the bed? You willn't squish her, and you can both sleep.



answers from College Station on

So you have a night owl, God Bless. We had a couple of night owls too and wow, hope I can help.

First, at night when she wakes up, try changing her and feeding her in a dimmly lit room. Strong light tells most bodies, even ours, that it is time to get up and do something.

Second, dont let her cry it out, not for another three months or so. They cant sooth themselves until that age and stage of 6-8 months or so.

Then, try to stay calm, if you get overly excited or agitated, that could feed her energy.

And last, if she wakes easily during the day for some play, then wake her and play. A few naps are good, but they are disturbing the night. She might be a little irritated, at first, but she will come around and realize you are a better play mate during natural day light hours.

If you are at home with her, hope you are napping with her. But not too long, cause then both of you will be in that habit and maybe you arent the night owl type.

I am and it was still hard because my second child was the night owl and I was exhausted from all day with son one. It felt like they tag teamed me, but I loved it and wouldnt wish for any other way.

Hope I helped,



answers from Killeen on

Hallo Jen,
Maiby you just have to adjust the day naps alittle, and put her to bed later at night. since she is already used to these sleeptimes now, it will take a while for the baby to adjust, but be consistant.Some Babys don't sleep thru the night, cause their hungry, i dont know, if you bottlefeed, but if you do ,make her last bottle a little thicker.



answers from San Antonio on

Hi J.. I'm sorry that you are having these issues. I know how hard the sleep issues can be - we had lots of them with our daughter. It's so tough when you are not getting enough sleep.
I think the decision about whether to let her cry it out is a personal decision. We decided not to let our daughter cry it out. It took a while and a lot of patience, but she is a very good sleeper now and has been for a while - she's 2.
A book that we had that helped us a lot if called "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley.
I hope that you get this figured out soon, so you can all get some sleep.
Good luck!
- P.



answers from Lubbock on

I am VERY against CIO, so I definitely do not 'condone' that for any infant.

Things will get better. They always do. You've gotten some good advice, so hang in there Mama!



answers from San Antonio on

Hi J.,

I never tried the "cry it out method", I could stand to watch my babies cry for so long. My 2 boys starting sleeping through the night when they were 2 and a half and 3 months old. When I say sleeping through the night I mean the night started at 12 a.m. then they would wake up at aroung 7 a.m. They started going to sleep for the night earlier as they got older. I have an 8 month old whos' bedtime is 10:30 and they has been pretty consistant for about 3 months now. I fed my babies every 3 hours and they had 6 bottles a day. If you are nursing that might make a difference I heard from my sister-in-law that none of her chlidren slept through the night until she stopped nursing. Every baby is different but mine did pretty well with the feeding schedule and the napping schedule. You should try to keep her up a little longer throughout the day. My 8 month old refused to sleep at night also and I thought I was going to go crazy if I didn't get any sleep, but then I remebered that my older son really liked to take naps in his vibrating/bouncing chair. So after my newborn's last bottle; I burped him, changed him, and put him in the bouncing chair with the vibration on. I didn't talk to him anymore for the night. If he cried I would just "shh, shh, shh" and rock him in the chair he would fall asleep in the chair and I would move him to his crib. Hope that my advice makes sense and is helpful to you.



answers from Waco on

Dear J.,
First, just check to see if she needs changed, fed, or burped. She might have colic! It wouldn't hurt to check with your doctor!
I had 2 0f my children going through that at the same time. I felt like I was going crazy too! You might get some soothing lullaby CD's or play other soothing sounds like the sound of rain, the ocean, or a train going down the track. Do you have a mobile on your baby bed? Sometimes, having some thing that moves keeps the baby quiet and they learn to entertain themselves till they go to sleep. I have used a baby swing to get a few winks in too! You just need to try different things to find out what works for your child!
I'll be praying for you J.!

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