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Crying it Out -- Method to Getting a Kid to Fall Asleep

  1. short and sweet profile image75
    short and sweetposted 5 years ago

    I have heard and read about the method of letting childen cry themselves to sleep. I understand that it's not going to hurt the child and there's a process by which you gradually let them go longer in between visits to their room, and eventually they fall asleep on their own. Yet I can't bring myself to do it. I find, for me, I'd just rather rock my baby to sleep and let him go down happy. It hasn't been too problematic because he still self soothes in the middle of the night.

    When he became about 10 months old, I noticed he would wiggle so much I couldn't rock him anymore. He was ready to fall asleep on his own. Sometimes it would take him 30-45 minutes of rolling around in his crib, but I was happy he finally conquered this phase.

    Yet now, at 14 months, the pain of teething has brought us back to rocking him to sleep. I am curious as to your experience with either style of getting your kid to sleep. I think either one is valid and either one can work. So if there is anyone with tips and experience with getting a child to sleep on his own, it would make for good discussion.

    1. Lisa HW profile image82
      Lisa HWposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      It was never an issue for me, with any one of my three babies.  I'd just put them in their crib around the same time, and they'd either fall asleep right away or soon enough.  If I try to think why all went so well at bedtime, I guess one thing is the I made sure there was no chance they would be at all hungry.  Also, I kind of paid attention to when they napped and aimed to keep naps x amount of hours before bedtime.  One thing I was careful about was making sure that the couple of hours before bed were a calm, "winding down", time by avoiding too much active play and "wild" laughing (stuff like that).  I made sure they were plenty warm, because one thing that keeps anyone awake is feeling even just a hint of chill.

      One thing that I think helped create a positive attitude toward their crib was that from the time they were small infants I made sure there was something in the crib (something good and safe and hazard-free) that might keep them entertained if they were laying there wide awake for awhile.  There was a certain kind of baby book I'd put in the crib from the time they were - like - four months old.  Contrary to what the books say about babies and pages, a four-month old can find a way to turn some pages in a book designed for infant and look at the simple pictures.  My husband and I would laugh because one of our sons just made it a habit to lay on his back, holding the book up with two hands, and study the pictures (at four/five months old).  Or, he'd lay on his belly and turn the pages with his whole hand.  Anyway, the book was there to entertain them if they were awake (before or after sleeping), so they didn't have to be in the crib, wide awake and with nothing to .  There were a couple of toys that were equally safe and engrossing, but the books kept them busiest.  (No squeakers in the books, by the way.)  Until they got to be close to two, bath time was in the morning (so they didn't get that  great, "zippy", feeling you get when you're all clean and fresh and just out of a bath or shower).  smile

      So, I'd just put them into the crib after an uneventful couple of hours before bed, and they'd either fall asleep right away or else look at the pictures in the book for a little while before "passing out".

      None of them ever cried or acted fussy when getting their teeth.  The only way I knew teeth were coming in was increased drool within a couple of days of the teeth coming in.  I've wondered why so many other mothers talk about babies crying when they're getting teeth, and the only thing I can think of is that I really think my babies were so generally happy and "non-frustrated"  so much of the time, they were, maybe, a little better able to deal with the discomfort of teething.  They didn't cry with ear infections either.  They just got fevers (and sometimes acted sick).

      With one of the three adopted, I've ruled out that all three of them may have inherited some "special kind" (or even flawed kind) of soft gums that made teething less painful.

      My thinking is that if someone does the kind of stuff I mentioned above, and if the baby still won't go to sleep on his own - he might be being expected to sleep too early, maybe something's bothering him (it's probably not reasonable to think all babies should be "cool" with things like teething and ear infections), etc.  I just think if a baby won't sleep on his own, doing what other have said here (rocking, walking gently, letting him for all asleep on a blanket on the floor, whatever) is fine.  Whatever stage they're in always passes.  I think when mothers adjust to their child's stage, rather than trying to figure out ways to overcome it and make him change his ways; the stage eventually passes on its own, and it's on to the next stage.  People too often worry that if their two-year-old doesn't sleep when they think he should, he'll turn out to be ten-year-old, or thirty-year-old, who can't fall asleep without being rocked. 

      As for the "crying it out method", long before science knew what crying it out can do to a baby's brain, I didn't call crying it out "a method".  I called it "a last resort for some people" or else "not knowing any better" for others.  I even called it "trying to make money by writing books about 'methods' that aren't valid 'methods'".  Now that, as rebekahELLE has mentioned, science knows that making a habit of leaving babies to cry is bad for brain development; I don't understand why anyone would even question that latest scientific understanding.

  2. WryLilt profile image86
    WryLiltposted 5 years ago

    I didn't go with either style. I just put my baby girl (18 months) down in her cot and then sit beside her. If she starts to play games I'll leave for a few minutes but then come back and sit beside her.

    This way she knows I'm still there so neither of us stresses. Plus she is going to sleep in her own cot. And most nights she's asleep within 5-10 minutes sometimes faster.

  3. lorlie6 profile image85
    lorlie6posted 5 years ago

    I'm a grandma who babysits my only grandson daily.  At 8 months, the sounds he makes are becoming distinct.  Cries are individual and mean different things.  Anyone who lives with an infant understands-I think! smile
    Thankfully, we bought a 'baby monitor' and are able to listen for clues-what he needs.  No infant of this age is capable of manipulation-which some parents believe.
    Rather than letting him cry himself to sleep, I gauge the quality of his cries, and I most often, rock him to sleep or bring him out to the living room to be with me.
    Usually it's the attention and company that he needs-I'm happy to oblige!

  4. @neesh profile image60
    @neeshposted 5 years ago

    Make sure you don't make your child scared by rocking your son.Otherwise your doing the right job.

    1. WryLilt profile image86
      WryLiltposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      How can rocking a child scare them?

      1. @neesh profile image60
        @neeshposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I thought rocking means shouting at the child ,sry.

        1. WryLilt profile image86
          WryLiltposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          No it means holding them in your arms and swaying back and forth. smile

          1. @neesh profile image60
            @neeshposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Thanks for the info....
            when i'll have children's i'll ROCK my child.....

          2. lorlie6 profile image85
            lorlie6posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, rocking is by definition a is soothing and gentle-a quiet time for both caregiver and infant: actually it can be timeless.  I know  very few people who do not like the sense of touch, smile

  5. rebekahELLE profile image92
    rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago

    A baby needs safety and loving experiences. Rocking is soothing and helps the baby bond emotionally. Responding to a baby's need helps them to develop trust. I've read that when babies are upset, the brain makes the chemical cortisol, and too much of this chemical can slow down brain growth.

  6. sunforged profile image69
    sunforgedposted 5 years ago

    Ive yet to be able to handle "crying out" myself. I dont know how one can methodically ignore their baby's cries!

    Guess, We have been lucky, as for the most part, we put her down when she shows signs of being tired, and she goes to sleep!

    There are nights of course where things dont go as smoothly, then a little rocking or feeding comes into play.

    Baby screams are bad for my stress level, I could never do "cry it out" it seems like it has some fundamental flaws to me anyway!

  7. Monisajda profile image83
    Monisajdaposted 5 years ago

    The ones who advise to "cry it out" and say that it doesn't affect a baby long term are usually the ones who claim they were cried out and turned out just fine. I have, however, never ever met a person who would not think of himself to be "fine". According to newest research letting babies cry it out makes them stressed and raises their cortisone levels and also leads to lack of trust and feeling abandoned. The early years are so difficult for mothers because they are sleep deprived and wish to train their babies to sleep through the night early on. But these years go by so fast. Create a bond of trust and it will serve you better in a long run. Children who trust their parents on many levels (on the unconscious level, too) will be more likely to follow their parents advice when they are teens rather than go with the peer pressure. The right parenting pays off later, you really need to invest some time in your baby up front.

    It seems like more work but I always stayed in my children's room and came back if they woke up at night to calm them down. Today they are very independent kids.

  8. rebekahELLE profile image92
    rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago

    yes, that line is used for many issues, including spanking. I often wonder who and what defines, "fine".   smile

    I think 'fine' means that as human beings, we don't hesitate to help nurture and provide loving care for the children we are responsible for giving life.