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Is it okay to let your baby cry herself to sleep?

My baby's not the kind to be rocked to sleep--she just gets restless when I try; but she is the kind to get really cranky when she's sleepy. She always sleeps at least 8 hours no matter what time she goes to bed, but I'm trying to teach her to sleep at a decent hour. If I let her have her way just to avoid hearing her cry, she'd be up until 3 a.m. On the othe hand, if I lay her in her crib and close the door behind me, leaving her well-fed and with a fresh diaper, she'll cry for a while but eventually fall asleep. Is that the wrong thing to do, though?
When I went home for the holidays and stayed with my parents, my mom was horrified by the way I put her to sleep. She was prepared to break her back carrying my daughter just so that she'd fall asleep quietly.


Asked by luv_malt_shakes at 4:45 PM on Jan. 13, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (15)
  • It really depends on the baby. My baby was like yours - she would not sweetly fall asleep outside her crib and she fought it in her crib.
    I tried all the "loving" and "gentle" things. The either didn't work or made it worse. The book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" was a nightmare. It took 2 weeks to undo the damage it did and get her to go back to her better, but still very poor, sleep habits from before.
    I can't stress this enough: EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT!
    If your baby needs to fuss and cry to unwind, then let her. Trying to sway, sing or rock her to sleep will only stimulate her and make her more tired.
    Once I finally let my baby lead the way and go to sleep how she wanted instead of the gentle way I envisioned she became a different baby. Gone were the bags under her eyes. And what a SMILE! She went from being a crabby, fussy baby 24 hours a day to being a sweet, playful little girl almost overnight.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 5:37 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • Yep

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:46 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • And if you have an answer, could you also try to provide an explanation and/or suggestion? Thanks a bunch ;)

    Answer by luv_malt_shakes at 4:49 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • yip it is,my family gp said it is good for the babies lungs as it shows that the lung development is great.dont let your baby cry to much or else welfare will be on your case.haha. have you checked tosee if your baby is not colic.

    Answer by mamablingbling at 4:49 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • As long as it's only for a little bit and she's not crying hysterically. It sounds as though she fusses for a bit and puts herself to sleep. I think that's okay. In my oppinion if she's crying for more than 5 or 6 min and it's screaming, you might want to find another way to do things.

    Answer by happyathomemum at 4:50 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • "my family gp said it is good for the babies lungs as it shows that the lung development "

    Your family GP needs to read a few more scholarly journals and stop spreading misinformation.

    Crying it out is cruel to the baby. Crying indicates a PROBLEM, it indicates a need not being met.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:00 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • im a single mom that works 2 jobs so its very important that she sleeps through the night so that i am able to also. When she was a newborn, id tend to her every little noise. my mom told me that once your baby is warm, fed, and clean diapered, and you know they are ready for sleep, there is nothing else you need to do. put them in their cradle or crib and they will cry most certainly, but if you really want sleep you will let them fuss. my daughter cried at the most 15 min and was out like a light after that. she would sleep for 3 hours straight before needing a bottle. then i started giving her cereal. man that was a savior for sure. she would sleep for 6-7 hours at a time because she would stay full, longer. it got to the point where my daughter knew when she was put to bed, that was it, it was bed time. and she still (16mths later) sleeps for 12 hours straight. honestly, a little fussing, goes a long way! hope this helps

    Answer by abigailsmom922 at 5:02 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • No, it is not ok. It is harmful to your baby. Please read this article (which is backed up with studies and references).

    Answer by PhilsBabyMama at 5:02 PM on Jan. 13, 2009


    Answer by Anonymous at 5:04 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • Girl do not listen to these people who think they are gods gift to children. Sometimes all you can do is let your baby cry. My DD at 21 months will have a clean bed, be full and nothing is wrong with her. She crys because she wants to sleep with me but thats just not happening. My daughter crys for about 10 minutes and then goes to bed. If she crys longer than that I come in and check up on her and lay her back down. She eventually goes to sleep. My DD ped said that to go up and get your baby from the bed at night and take her out shows that she will get her way. He told me to let her cry for a few minutes and keep checking up on her.

    Answer by Morgan. at 5:14 PM on Jan. 13, 2009