Examples Of When You Can Let Your Baby Cry It Out And For How Long
Examples are always helpful, right? So let me share a few with you.
Example 1: with our oldest boy, other sleep training methods didnt work. So we used a cry it out method and it was rough. Checking on him in person made the crying worse. So we checked in via a monitor and he cried for almost 2 hours the first night. Within about 5 days, he was sleeping so much better and so were we.
Example 2: with our daughter, we tried a controlled cry it out as we moved her to her crib. She needed regular check-ins and comforting to ease the transition. It took about a week.
Example 3: our second boy also ended up not sleep training well except with a variation on cry it out. He only cried for 30-40 minutes that first night. Then, he settled right down. Which was good, because his older brother and he share a room.
Figuring out how long you can let your child cry it out takes practice and experimentation. Just keep trying to find ways to make it better and youll find it.
Figure Out Why Your Newborn Is Crying
“If a newborn is crying, it is always important to try to find the reason why,” says , PhD, APN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Usually, they want one of their basic needs met:
- They are hungry and need to be fed.
- They need a diaper change.
- They are tired and need sleep.
- They are lonely and want to be held.
- They have gas and burping may help.
Other reasons could be that they have acid reflux or food allergies or sensitivities. And as you get to know your baby better, you’ll start to notice that they’ll have different cries for different needs. For example, when they’re hungry their cry might sound more low-pitched compared to if they’re tired.
However, “if you cannot find out the reason and it continues, they may need to be seen by a healthcare provider to make sure they are not ill or it is not anything serious.”
When To Stop Letting Baby Cry It Out
As long as you know your baby is in a safe sleep environment and isnt hungry, wet or sick, it’s okay to leave her alone to settle down on her own.
If youre concerned about her safety, peep in but keep any interaction brief. A video baby monitor can be reassuring.
Try to give the CIO method enough time to see if it makes a difference. Stick to a consistent routine for a full two weeks before giving up on it altogether.
Also keep in mind that a big change or stress in your babys life, like a move, new sibling, new babysitter, ear infection, etc., can render sleep training futile. Wait a few weeks until things have gone back to normal before attempting sleep training.
Cry it out isn’t for everyone, and it doesnt work for every baby. And that’s perfectly okay.
If CIO makes you extremely uncomfortable, remember that it isnt the only option. You may want to start with another form of sleep training, like the Ferber method of graduated extinction, to see if it works better for you.
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How To Calm A Crying Baby
The best way to soothe a crying baby is to first have an idea of why is baby crying, so you can quickly address their needs. Without knowing whats causing those tears, parents often try a bunch of different calming techniques, but in doing so they often miss the window of opportunity to solve the real problem, and the baby crying escalates. If you still have a crying baby on your hands after checking for all the common culprits mentioned above, try the Five Ssgeneral soothing techniques pediatrician Harvey Karp, MD, outlines in his book Happiest Baby on the Block. Heres a breakdown of how to make baby stop crying using these helpful tips and tricks:
Swaddle. Babies love to be swaddled. It provides them with a sense of security and reminds them of their days in the womb. The first step to soothing your crying baby is to wrap them in a snug swaddle with babys arms at their side.
Side or stomach position. Hold baby on their side or on their tummy over your arm. Both positions are comforting for baby and can help resolve gas and other tummy issues.
Shush. Make a gentle shushing sound directly into babys ear, which is similar to the noises they heard in the womb. Dont be afraid to amp up the volume a bit for a crying baby.
Swing. Try swinging or gently jiggling baby to get them to calm down . Babies are used to these types of motions from their time in utero and can be startled by stillness shortly after birth.
Crying In Newborns And Young Babies
Generally, babies cry from the moment they are born. It is normal and a part of their development. Newborns and young babies tend to cry more in the late afternoon or evening. The crying usually peaks at 6 to 8 weeks and lessens by 3 to 4 months of age. By 4 to 5 months, most babies become more settled although some may continue to cry for longer.
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Evaluate Your Own Emotional State
When your baby cries for hours on end, it is natural to feel responsible. Often, though, blaming yourself can get in the way of your ability to be calm, present, and responsive to your baby. The relationship with your baby is a partnership, so your emotions will make a difference to how your baby reacts. If you are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, angry, anxious, or detached, your baby may have trouble calming down.
How Long Can You Let Baby Cry As Part Of Crying It Out Sleep Training
Now, not every baby was able to complete cry it out in 1-2 hours. There were some babies who took longer, although they were in the minority.
There have been a few babies that did cry for longer the longest one reported was just shy of 3 hours. However, that particular parent reported that they did do timed checks on their baby. And then they decided that doing timed checks was a horrible idea that prolonged the crying.
They reported things went much better the next nights without the in-person checks on their baby. Instead, they kept track via a video monitor.
So theres no official upper limit on how long you have to let the baby cry it out. It just depends on what you choose to do.
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Is Your Baby Unresponsive Or Indifferent
Most babies use crying to communicate and they will continue to cry or show that they are upset until a parent or caregiver responds to their needs. Other babies, instead of crying, become upset and then tune out and fail to show any emotion. If you think about it, you probably know more than one adult who acts this way when faced with difficulty. An unresponsive baby might seem like an easy baby, because they may be quiet and agreeable. But a baby that doesnt respond to you, the environment, and sensory influences needs help. Call your pediatrician right away.
NEVER NEVER shake a baby
Shaken Baby Syndrome occurs when a baby is shaken. The blood vessels in a babys head cannot tolerate the impact of shaking and can break.
- The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome estimates that there are about 1,300 reported cases each year in the U.S.
- Shaking is the leading cause of child abuse deaths and can also result in brain damage, mental retardation, seizures, or blindness.
- Shaking usually happens when parents or caregivers become frustrated or angry when they are not able to stop the baby from crying.
- Shaken baby syndrome is 100% preventable.
Hogg And Blaus Method
Baby whisperer Tracy Hogg and Melinda Blau say that by the time a baby weighs 10 pounds, theyre ready to sleep through the night. That said, they recommend cluster feeding in the evenings and doing a dream feed.
With regard to CIO, the authors say that babies will do three crescendos of crying before sleep. Parents tend to give in during that second peak. In this method, parents are permitted to respond but encouraged to leave again immediately after baby settles.
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Baby Nap Chart: Naps By Age
|Watch your toddlers awake time between the end of the afternoon nap and bedtime as your toddler grows, hell need longer and longer afternoon wake time, which means youll need to time the nap carefully to be sure it doesnt push bedtime too late. Additionally, some children will drop the afternoon nap entirely before age 3.
Type Of Cry It Out #: Faded Extinction
- Description: After putting your baby to bed, you let them cry for a few minutes before checking in on them a few times before fading out the check-in process for the night.
- How long to let your baby cry: Check-ins can be timed however you want them. You might check every 10 minutes for 3-4 times, then call it good for that night. The full process can still take as little as 1-2 hours or longer.
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Watch For Attachment Milestones
If your baby has challenges that get in the way of emotional connection, bonding and attachment may suffer. The following attachment milestones can help you recognize your babys attachment progress.
If the milestones are not happening in the right time frame, you should seek help. Fear or stress might make you feel reluctant to evaluate your baby this way, but attachment problems identified early are usually easier to fix.
How To Handle A Crying Baby
The babys cry can be frustrating, upsetting, and overwhelming. After some investigation and common sense, you may be able to figure out how to handle your crying baby. No one knows the baby better than the parents. It may take some time to calm down the baby. Place your baby in a safe place or hold your baby for a while. The following tips might help:
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Knowing When To Seek Help
How are you feeling right now? Coping with crying can be very challenging. What do you need to feel supported? How can you get this kind of support? Are there friends or family who can help out? Is there a community resource for new parents where you can go for support?
Although crying is they primary way babies communicate, and they are not doing it to make you feel badly, it can be very difficult to take over long periods of time. When babies cry a lot, it can feel like nothing positive is happening between the two of you. Watch your baby carefully. How do you see your baby responding to you in positive ways? For example, does he follow you with his eyes, or prefer to be held by you? Does he turn toward you when he hears your voice, or calm when he sees you coming? Soon, if not already, you will even be getting some smiles!
When to Seek Help
There are times when it is important to seek out the guidance of a trusted health care provider or child development professional to be sure your childs development is on track. You and your baby need support during what can be a difficult time. Moments in which you and/or your child might need some extra help include:
If your childs crying began after she experienced a life change or following a frightening or traumatic experience.
This resource was made possible by generous funding from the Carl and Roberta Deutsch Foundation.
Best Time Of Day For A Bath
Similar to the question of how often to bathe your baby, what time of day to bathe your baby is really up to you!
Many families adopt the bath before bed routine, as baths can help your child relax before bedtime, and can become part of a routine that signals to them that sleep is coming.
Evening is also when parents usually have the time to dedicate to bathing their baby. However, if you prefer bathing your baby in the morning or during the day, thats perfectly OK.
When considering what time of day to bathe your baby, also consider when you are going to be most alert. Bathing babies, and especially newborns, takes good hand-eye coordination, patience, and must involve vigilance on the part of the parent.
If you think you will be distracted with other responsibilities, or with your other children, choose another time to bathe your baby.
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How Much Crying Is Normal For My Newborn
Newborns crybut the intensity and frequency can be shocking. How much crying is normal? If your newborn is having sudden, long-lasting bouts of crying and cant seem to be soothed, it may be PURPLE crying. Pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner explains this specific period of intense crying, how much is normal, and when you can expect it to stop.
Dr. Gellner: All new parents expect their new baby to cry, but sometimes it’s shocking how much. There’s something called the Period of PURPLE Crying, and I’ll tell you about it on today’s Scope.
Announcer: Keep your kids healthy and happy. You are now entering “The Healthy Kid Zone” with Dr. Cindy Gellner on The Scope.
Dr. Gellner: Babies can’t talk, so they communicate through cooing and crying. Happy babies coo and smile. Hungry babies have a “neh” cry, and cranky babies have a “waa” cry. I learned to distinguish these two, thanks to one of my lactation consultants I worked with in residency. But there’s an increasing intensity to crying that starts about two weeks old. That’s when the period of PURPLE Crying begins, and it doesn’t end until about three to six months old.
P stands for peak of crying. It starts shortly after birth, peaks around two months, and then gets better between three to five months old. U stands for unexpected. Babies can start crying at any time for any reason, and crying will come and go and you’ll have no clue why. My husband says I’m sort of the same way.