How Long Do You Let A Baby Cry It Out
Listening to a baby cry it out is stressful even when its an intentional and planned part of sleep training. So how long do you need to let a baby cry it out? And what other considerations should be factored in before letting a baby cry it out?
There is no rule on how long you should or shouldnt let your baby cry it out. How long you let them cry should depend on the babys age, sleep training plan, and parenting style. Surveyed parents report that cry it out takes between 30-120 minutes each night over the course of a week.
Every baby and parent will react to cry it out differently, but 30-120 minutes each night is about how long it takes for this particular sleep training method to work. Below, lets talk about 25 things you need to know before you pick cry it out as your go-to sleep training method.
What Are The Sleep Patterns Of A Newborn
The average newborn sleeps much of the day and night, waking only for feedings every few hours. It is often hard for new parents to know how long and how often a newborn should sleep. Unfortunately, there is no set schedule at first, and many newborns have their days and nights confused. They think they are supposed to be awake at night and sleep during the day.
Generally, newborns sleep a total of about 8 to 9 hours in the daytime and a total of about 8 hours at night. But because they have a small stomach, they must wake every few hours to eat. Most babies dont begin sleeping through the night until at least 3 months of age. But this can vary a lot. Some babies dont sleep through the night until closer to 1 year. In most cases, your baby will wake up and be ready to eat at least every 3 hours. How often your baby will eat depends on what he or she is being fed and his or her age. Make sure you talk with your healthcare provider to figure out if you need to wake your baby for feedings.
Watch for changes in your baby’s sleep pattern. If your baby has been sleeping consistently, and suddenly is waking more often, there may be a problem such as an ear infection. Or your baby may be going through a growth spurt and need to eat more often. Some sleep disturbances are simply due to changes in development or because of overstimulation.
Myth: Babies Are Scared Of The Dark
FACT: Babies are not scared of the dark. They have nothing to base that fear on. In the womb it is dark and so, like other mammals, babies find the dark comforting, safe and calming. If you have a young baby who is overstimulated or overtired, putting them in a pitch black room will be very calming for them. Babies do not need night-lights any light will be stimulating and can prevent them from falling asleep or staying asleep.
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How To Get Your Newborn To Sleep At Night
All babies cry, and all parents experience a crying baby at night from time to time. There are many reasons your newborn may cry at night, rather than falling or staying asleep. For example, she may be uncomfortable or overstimulated, or may need a diaper change.Here are some of the things you can try to help your baby settle and fall asleep:
Above all, try not to become stressed if your little one can’t seem to sleep never act on any frustration you may be feeling by shaking or hitting your baby. Instead, leave your baby safely in his crib for a few minutes while you regroup in another room, and go back in when you feel calm and ready.
Quitting The Cry It Out Method Is An Option If It Takes Too Long
Look, its okay to quit crying it out of its taking too long. Quitting can be a temporary thing and you try it again later. Or it can be a more permanent thing where you change to a different, tears-free sleep training method.
And as far as what it is thats taking too long? I mean crying. Because, that first little bit, the crying seems like it will never end.
So if you need to quit, thats okay. Read my full article on when you should quit sleep training right here.
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Letting Older Children Cry It Out Isnt As Effective
Once your toddler is out of a crib and has begun communicating their opinions, cry it out becomes a less appealing option.
Why is that? Well, a toddler who isnt in a crib has more say in where they sleep. They dont always stay put.
Some of them will throw a pretty epic tantrum if allowed to cry themselves to sleep. In many cases, these kids will totally trash their bedroom as a way of expressing their outrage.
Plus, its a lot harder to hear a child crying it out when they can talk.
So letting an older child cry it out as a sleep training method isnt going to be as effective or as easy for anyone involved.
If youd like to know more about how to sleep train older kids, Ive got a whole guide for working with toddlers up through teenagers right here. There are actionable steps you can use today to make progress immediately.
Case : When The Baby Is 0
Since its likely for the newborns to lose their weight right after birth and within two to three weeks after birth, babies are likely to start gaining weight.
So until they start to regain their weight, you need to feed your baby on frequent basis even if they are sleeping and it is meal time.
At this age, babies can sleep for 4 straight hours.
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How Sleepy Is Too Sleepy For A Newborn
If baby will not wake up for feeds throughout the day or night and is extremely lethargic, of course contact your pediatrician.
If your baby is simply wanting to rest and nap during the day and still be out like a light at night this is totally normal. If youre nursing then baby is getting all those sleepy happy hormones from you.
Babies will wake up hungry, feed for a while, then try and fall asleep before the feed is over. Some babies, many actually, will still nap for 2 hours after that and only wake up to get more milk. And then theyll repeat it all over again .
Only to wake up for slightly more time around the witching hours and then go right back to bed at night. If baby is having enough wet diapers, dirty diapers, and is otherwise healthy, then consider yourself a lucky, mama.
Get all the info you need for your newborn on my wildly popular post: ultimate newborn sleep schedule: week by week
Preventing Green Poop In Babies
Prevention boils down to the cause. If its a benign cause and no other problems are showing up, you probably dont have to worry about it. For example, you wouldnt want to stop feeding your baby those healthy green veggies just to change the color of their poop.
But if your baby is experiencing green poops as the result of an illness like a stomach bug, it might be time to take preventive action.
Of course, you cant prevent every illness, but you can take care to wash your hands thoroughly before and after changing your babys diaper and when preparing food, so youre less likely to pass along any viruses that could upset their stomach.
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How Long Do Newborns Sleep
Congratulations! Youve brought your new little one home! You might have already noticed that your newborn sleeps most of the time: usually around 14 to 17 hours in a 24-hour period.
But even though babies sleep a lot, parents and caregivers are still exhausted.
Your baby will probably interrupt your sleep every hour or so for a meal or a diaper change. Some babies also prefer being more active and playful at night than during the day.
Babies normally wake up ravenous for a feed every few hours. Even if they dont wake up on their own, youll have to wake them up to eat every 23 hours until theyre above their birth weight.
New little ones have stomachs the size of an acorn. This means they get full quickly, but must feed every 1 to 3 hours even if this means summoning you from sleep in the middle of the night!
Letting Baby Cry It Out: Scientific Studies Need More Research
While there are some studies that show that full extinction does result in higher cortisol levels, theres one important fact to remember. Having some studies doesnt equate to having enough studies to prove anything.
In this 2012 study , researchers found that letting 25 babies cry it out caused a significant increase in their stress hormone levels.
However, there are a few issues with the study that warrant further research. First, they used a sample size of 25 babies. Thats nowhere near large enough of a population for a research study! Furthermore, they didnt have a control population. So when they say that the hormones were elevated, they dont have a baseline number for comparison.
Now, lets compare that to the results of another 2012 study, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics . This study concludes that behavioral sleep training has no higher risks for behavioral, emotional, or psychological issues for the children as they reach their sixth birthday.
If youd like to read more about behavioral sleep training without having to read a scientific journal, Ive got a whole guide on behavioral-based sleep training for you right here. I recommend you check it out next.
In other words, we need more research and studies done on crying it out.
Will Letting My Baby Cry it Out Cause Emotional Distress? Crying releases the stress hormone, cortisol. However, studies show conflicting evidence that crying it out causes any lasting emotional or psychological impacts.
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How Long Should Newborns Nap For
Because newborns have tiny tummies and need to feed frequently they will feed every 2 to 3 hours around the clock for a while. So if your baby is wanting to nap for 4 or 5 hours, theyre essentially taking that longest gap during the day.
Instead, you want to make sure you are feeding your baby every 2 to 3 hours during the DAY, and then allowing them to sleep however long they want at NIGHT.
If a newborn has gone longer than 3 hours since the last feed, wake them up and feed them.
How Can I Tell If A Newborn Is Sleeping Too Much
A baby occasionally sleeping for longer than usual is not a cause for concern unless there are other symptoms.
In general, it is uncommon for a newborn to consistently sleep through feedings or to sleep for longer than 19 hours per day unless they are ill or are having feeding difficulties.
Some of the most common reasons that healthy babies sleep for longer than usual include the following:
- They may experience a growth spurt or developmental leap.
- They may have a minor illness, such as a cold.
- They may have a serious infection. This is rare, but it can happen. A newborn might not have a fever or other symptoms of illness like an older baby might.
- In very rare instances, a baby may have another medical condition that causes them to sleep too much. Breathing and heart disorders may affect sleep, and premature babies often have different sleep patterns from full-term infants.
- Some babies sleep too much because they have jaundice. A newborn who has jaundice will have a yellow color to their skin and a yellow cast to the whites of their eyes. Other symptoms of more severe jaundice include being lethargic, having difficulty eating, and being fussy or irritable.
- Sometimes, babies may sleep too much because they are not getting enough to eat. They may get dehydrated, lose too much weight, and even experience a failure to thrive.
However, in the early stages especially for first-time parents the signs of a potential problem may be easy to miss.
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Why Does My Poop Smell Like My Babys
If you are expecting a baby, or have just had one, you may be wondering why your poop smells like your babys poop. What does baby poop smell like?
The smell of your babys poop is a result of the same things that make his or her pee smell like urine. It comes from what he or she eats, how much water they drink and how long it has been since they last visited the toilet.
The smell of your babys poop will change over time, and you shouldnt be alarmed if there is a sudden change in its smell.
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What If You See Mucus In Stool
The presence of mucus in the stool is standard in newborns as they pass meconium. Its also seen in babies who swallow their drool. However, mucus can also be caused by a bacterial infection or other trouble in your babys intestines.
As a rule of thumb, you should call your pediatrician if your baby is older than a few days, is not drooling, and has persistent mucus in their stool.
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Dont Assume The Mellow Sleepy Newborn Phase Will Last Forever
We hate to break it to you, but your dozy, peaceful infant who simply falls asleep, milk-drunk, after a feeding may not always be this way. The first few weeks are not always indicative of the kind of sleeper you happened to score in the newborn sleep lottery. Some babies randomly sleep through the night early on but it doesnt mean this will continue indefinitely. Have you weathered the four-month sleep regression yet? Yeah, you might want to read up on that. And even though nursing to sleep or rocking to sleep before naps and bedtime might be working for you now, know that sometimes IT JUST STOPS WORKING. If youre one of the lucky parents with a unicorn baby , try not to gloat. It doesnt necessarily mean that youre doing it right, while that other mom with the colicky, sleepless baby hasnt figured it out. Believe us, shes trying.
Can A Baby Sleep Too Much
Yes, a baby can sleep too much, whether she’s a newborn or an older baby. But in general, a newborn who sleeps all day is more of a potential concern than an older baby who’s sleeping too much, which typically only happens when she’s sick or has had an extra busy day.
Because of their tiny tummy size, newborns need to eat frequently to get the nourishment they need. Even though it can be tempting to let an extra sleepy newborn keep snoozing, if your baby isnt waking on her own to eat often enough, you’ll need to rouse her.
For the first two to three weeks, keep a close eye on the clock and wake your baby when it’s time for her to eat. Breastfed babies shouldnt go longer than two to four hours without eating, while formula-fed babies shouldnt go longer than three to four hours.
In the case of breastfeeding, letting your newborn sleep for more than two to four hours at a time doesnt just put her at risk for not getting enough to eat. It can also cause your supply to dip.
You won’t have to worry about waking your baby to eat for long though. Once a newborns weight gain pattern is established, your pediatrician should give you the green light to wait for overnight feedings until your baby wakes up .
Can older babies oversleep during the day? Sometimes. Letting your baby snooze for more than four hours during the day might mean she’s less tired at night. That could make it harder to get her to settle down for bed or cause her to wake up extra early in the morning.
Also Check: How To Create A Sleep Schedule For Newborn
When To Contact A Doctor
When in doubt, contact a doctor. Only a doctor can accurately determine the reason that a newborn is sleeping too much. In many cases, a pediatrician may be able to assess the problem over the phone.
Excess sleep in a newborn is not typically an emergency unless they also show signs of respiratory problems. or go to the emergency room if the following apply:
- The baby is gasping for air or wheezing.
- The babys breathing is very loud.
- The babys nostrils flare when they breathe.
- The skin around the babys ribs sinks in when they breathe.
- The baby has a fever.
- The baby may have inhaled, touched, or eaten something toxic.
Sign #: Lots Of Crying Leads To Increased Straining And A Full Diaper
- Why its an issue: More changes to your babys physical status quo mean things need immediate attention.
- What to do next: Go change that diaper and hug your baby. The odds of another full diaper are low, so resuming or delaying letting the baby cry more is up to you.
Example: My boys were amazing at finding ways to get their arms and legs stuck in their crib during crying it out. When they got stuck, their cry changed and wed check on them. We quickly discovered that preventing more stuck limbs was crucial to their safety and ability to cry it out.
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