Is it cruel to let my 5-month-old baby cry it out at night?

My baby is 5 months old and he wakes up 3 or 4 times in the middle of night - which would be fine if he was hungry. When I give him the bottle, he doesn't want it. I pick him up and he goes right back to sleep in my arms but when I try and put him in the crib, he starts crying again. This process sometimes goes on for 30 minutes. He really just wants to be with me and despises sleeping in his crib. Is he too little for tough love??


Asked by 00MissJade at 7:51 PM on Dec. 16, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (121)
  • no he isnt too little.. if you keep doing what you are doing now (getting him out of the bed ect.) then you will never get some sleep.. he is probably already used to be taken out of the bed.

    let him cry for a few minutes. it wont harm a baby when they cry for a few minutes.

    Answer by m.robertson811 at 7:54 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

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  • I agree with the first response. Try doing it in time periods. At first try not to let him cry it out for more then 15-20 minutes then go in there but dont pick him up. simply rub his back and sing to him to try and calm him down, do that for about 5 minutes then leave the room. the time he cries will get shorter and shorter. i did that with my daughter when she was 3 months old and after three days she slept for 12 hours every night without a peep from her! so dont worry, your not doing harm, your teaching independence! good luck!

    Answer by Amanduhpanda at 7:56 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

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  • With respect to the mom above, yes, he *is* too little. Even the proponents of CIO say not to do it before six months. And frankly it doesn't teach them to sleep. Nothing does...they do it when they're developmentally ready to do so.

    Some info that may help:

    Answer by gdiamante at 7:58 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

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  • My daughter did the same thing, infact she is almost 2 and alot of times I have to try 3 times to get her in her crib ebcause she wakes up crying everytime I lay her down. i personally would never let her cry it out, but there are hundreds of parents that do it and it seems to be affective for them.

    Answer by asholan_07 at 7:59 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

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  • I use the CIO son fights going to sleep..most of the time after about 10-15 minutes of him crying i will go over and rub his back and try to soothe him. He's not hungry or anything else..i always make sure..and I NEVER take him out of his crib if he isn't either. He will learn that its bedtime and he needs to go to sleep. My son is now easier to get to sleep..of course he fusses and stuff but after about 15 minutes he drifts to sleep. its os much easier than rockin him all night! not a cruel mother, i love my son and i know this is what is best for him and me

    Answer by SweetPoison at 7:59 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

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  • Babies don't learn cause and effect until about 6 months so it's a little early for CIO. Also, if you are a supporter of CIO that is fine, but please be sure that you are doing it appropriately. CIO does not mean just leave your baby to cry. THere is a strict method to this process and actually there are also some softer methods of CIO as well. Make sure you read up on it before you try to put it into practice. has a great article on how to sleep train using CIO and other methods along with the names of the doctors and nurses that support each method and the names of their books. Check it out if you are thinking of sleep training soon.

    Answer by beckcorc at 8:04 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

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  • Yeah, I am confused! It's really hard to let him cry it out because he acts like the world is coming to an end - but my fiance swears up and down that if we let him cry it out, he will sleep through the night within a week.

    Answer by 00MissJade at 8:04 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

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  • Yes, I'd certainly call it cruel.

    Answer by Pauline3283 at 8:05 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

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  • i actually just asked my pediatrician this yesterday. she said that at six months old the average time for a typical child is 45-60 minutes and only gets longer with time. she said if thats the route you choose to go don't go in there and hold or pat hteir butt or nothing. just let htem cry make sure they have comfort "blankey" or something that comforts them and just let them cry.
    Im the same way when my son cries i pick him up unlessi know he's just being a whiner... but i can't let him cry. thats justme though and alot of people tell me i am spoiling him but you can't spoil a child with too much love<3 :)
    My pediatrician didn't say it but i could tell though she didn't like that method she just kept saying if thats what you choose to do...... and had a weird look on her face....
    but of course it won't harm her if that is what you want to do!!! :) Good Luckk

    Answer by krazyash023 at 8:06 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

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  • and she did say within a week the child will go to sleep on his own within five to ten minutes

    Answer by krazyash023 at 8:06 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

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