Do you let your baby cry herself to sleep?

Jen_CJanuary 12, 2002

And for how long? I am obviously a very new mom. DD is only 8 days old. She seems to have her days and nights mixed up though and will sleep all day, but then is up from about 11am to 3am. She's fine (and will sometimes sleep) as long as I am holding her and walking or rocking, but the minute you try to put her down, she starts kicking those little legs, flailing those adorable little fists, and grunting until she wakes herself back up and starts to cry. Because I didn't want to keep DH up all night since he didn't take any time off of work, I have been picking her up just before she starts crying. But my neighbor told me the only way to fix this was to put her down still awake and let her cry herself to sleep. As long as she was fed, burped, and diapered, the crying would do her good. But how do you bare to hear her cry? And how long do you let it go before giving in and picking her up?

Also, do I wake her regularly during the day to feed her? Sometimes, if I don't wake her, she'll sleep 5-6 hours during the day between feedings. Right now, my breasts can't take that though so I have been trying to wake her at least every 3-4 hours. I also thought that might help with the night wakefullness, but it's still early.

Any advice you experienced moms can give me will be greatly appreciated. Until then, I am trying to sleep when she sleeps, but I never seem to be tired at the same time as her during the day. LOL! Well, time to go feed my little angel. Thanks in advance,


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I wouldn't recommend letting your baby cry herself to sleep, particularly at such a young age. She's only been in this world for 8 days, she doesn't know what day or night is. I would try to make nights very quiet, no stimulation, etc. When she gets up to eat, don't turn on any lights or the tv. When she's done eating just hold her or rock her until she goes to sleep. I know it's hard. I remember nights with my DS where I just could not get him to go back to sleep. I would walk around his crib with him in my arms for hours. Eventually their bodies adjust and they start sleeping more at night.

I also wouldn't recommend waking her up during the day to eat. Her body knows what she needs. If she's tired, she'll sleep and if she's hungry, she'll eat. Let your DD guide you.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2002 at 9:24PM
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First of all your baby's cry is the only way to tell you what she wants, needs, desires...she has been with you for a whole 9 months and now she out of your body and needs to be held, rocked, talked to, loved, and supported. she doesn't need to cry herself into anything and it won't do her any good. statistics show that mothers who let their baby's cry have children with lower self esteem and emotional problems. imagine yourself not being able to see very good, not being able to control your arms and legs, only being able to lie on your back, hearing things louder than ever and then not hearing the constant thump you used to hear all the time and also not being able to communicate at all. this is how she feels and more. if you gave birth to her vaginally it was tough for her too. she may still be in a birth "hangover". I don't know of any baby that just magically knows her days and nites as soon as they pop out. also, some baby's (like my DD was) had not yet established her hunger cues yet. she would sleep forever and these baby's (sounds like yours is one of them) are called happy to starve babies because they don't know when to eat yet. please do not let her sleep that long and i would recommend that you check her for dehydration also (chapped lips, not enough wet diapers, 8-12 very wet ones). since you are breastfeeding she should eat every 2 hrs. around the clock. This may sound drastic to you but it is what she needs. it takes 90 min. for the breastmilk to completely go through her and she needs to be fed. my baby is almost 10 wks. old and i still feed her every 2 hrs. during the day and every 3 at nite. it takes a lot of determination to do this but you get used to it and it gets easier.
i would also recommend that you see a local lactation consultant in your area. the health department has these and they are free. i would not recommend the consultants at your Hospital.
please do not let your baby "cry it out". once again it is not good for her AT ALL:) and please wake her up to feed. they don't know what to do yet. you've been doing it all for her for the last 9 months.
if you have any questions please e-mail me at

    Bookmark   January 12, 2002 at 9:49PM
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I agree with BensMom about not letting her cry herself to sleep yet, and about the no stimulation rule at night, but I WOULD wake her up during the day to feed. My DS was very colicky for his first few weeks, so whenever he would sleep I was SO happy, that I would let him sleep as long as he would! But my pediatrician said that babies need to eat every 1 1/2 to 3 hours(max) and to wake them up if necessary to feed, at least for the first month. After that, it's okay(she said) to let them sleep as long as they like. Also, if you wake her up during the day every 1 1/2 hours to eat, she will be more tired at night.

As for how to get her to sleep somewhere other than your arms, are you swaddling her? My DS would thrash about so much that he would wake himself up almost immediately, but swaddling him helped because he couldn't move much. Or try putting her to sleep in her car seat. The crib is so big at that age, and the narrow car seat will make her feel safe and cozy. One other suggestion that worked for us, was white noise. My DS would cry like crazy at night, but if we put him to sleep in his car seat in the bathroom with the exhaust fan on, he would go right to sleep. I guess the noise of the fan reminds him of the womb. My pediatrician said that it's common for infants to like the white noise, and if it helps, then great!

Good luck, and know that it really does get easier!! My DS is just shy of 3 months and started sleeping through the night last Saturday!! WOO HOO!!


    Bookmark   January 12, 2002 at 9:55PM
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P.S. A GREAT book to help you learn more about breastfeeding is "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" by the La Leche League. -----One of the things this book says is that if you are consitantly waiting 5 or 6 hours between feedings, don't be supprised if your milk supply diminishes.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2002 at 10:01PM
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While we did do the cry it out method with our DD, I would wait a bit before trying it. We introduced it a bit at around 3 weeks of age. If we knew she had a full belly, clean diaper, was not too hot or cold, and was not sick, etc. we would put her to bed and if she started crying we would give her ten mintues. After 10 minutes if she was still crying we would tend to her and then leave the room again. In about 3 nights of doing this, we then hardly had any problems of her going to sleep at night at staying asleep. Babies will jerk in their sleep and wake themselfs up and it is just as important for them to be able to fall back asleep when this happens. We as parents are the only ones who can teach them this very important skill of going to sleep. Most parents that are against crying it out end up rocking their kids to sleep for the first year or two. Hey, if that works for you and you like it - great.

I disagree with the first poster about not waking her up during the day. That really helped our DD, as she had her days and nights mixed up too. I would not let her sleep longer than 2 1/2 - 3 hours at a time during the day. This helped her be more ready to sleep at night. Keep your house as noisy and bright as you need/like during the day, even when she is napping. At night, the opposite. Keep her room dark and keep the talking to a minimum. The second poster who talks about kids who have cried will have emotional problems and low self esteem is full of baloney. We used the method with our DD and she is just fine. No emotional problems or self esteem issues here!

Also, you do NOT need to feed your baby every two hours, if your baby does not want to eat. Unless you follow the attachment parenting philosophy of feeding for every sound or movement, it is not needed. Feed your baby when she is hungry. A baby will not starve her/himself. They eat when they are hungry and will let you know when they are hungry with their cues. Initially your baby probably will want to nurse every 2 - 3 hours during the day and probably at night. But, if your baby starts sleeping longer at night, let her sleep for G@ds sake! (LOL) The only time I would ever worry about waking her at night to sleep is in the first two - three weeks, if she slept longer than 5 hours. Odds are she won't sleep that long for a while anyway. ;-) Our DD started sleeping through the night at exactly 11 weeks. I nursed her for a year, but after the 11 weeks, we no longer nursed at night because she was obviously sleeping. Our DD is 13 mo. now, and guess what, she is doing great!

Hang in there Jen. It will get better. Whether or not you choose to let her cry, you have to do what is right for you. Just don't let anyone tell you that you are wrong for your choices.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2002 at 10:10PM
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I almost forgot. One thing that may help your DD sleep is to be swaddled at night, or put a heating pad in her crib about 5-10 mintues before your lay her down. Obviously take it out before you lay her down, but it will make the crib warm, and not such a shock of temperature change from snuggling with you to the crib mattress. Feel with your hand before you lay her down to make sure it is not too warm. We also put an infant cap on our DD at night for the first few weeks.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2002 at 10:13PM
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This is such a hot subject..

I read the "On Becoming Babywise" book and found it to be very informational.
It explained how babies NEED to eat at least every three hours. And, if you can get the baby to eat every three hours during the day, eventually, the baby will start sleeping through the night cause he will have had his "food" for the day.
I did the 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm & 10pm schedule. DS would still wake about 2 am for another bottle, but after about 2 nights, he fell right back to sleep after that one. Then, a few nights later, the same for his 10pm feedings, so I knew, after that feeding, it would be easier at night. He would just go back to sleep. Withing 6 weeks, the middle of the night feeding could be gone, and soon after the 10 pm feeding. Babies thrive on "schedules" and so do we. It is sooo much easier to plan a day when you know when you should feed the babie, when naps are..

We are getting to that point now, and DS is 9 weeks.

I would highly recommend that book.
And for crying, there are times when I have let DS cry. It was also after he had been awake for 2 hours, fed, burped, dry diaper and a ton of "I love you"s and kisses. I knew he was tired and was getting cranky. He fussed for about 5 minutes and then was out. Babies need to exercise their lungs a little....don't feel bad if you let him cry it out once in a while. (I am not talking for a LONG time now, don't anyone jump on me)..

I wish you the best of luck!!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2002 at 10:15PM
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i thought this info might help considering this is coming from a psychologist and not from my lips...The first year of life according to the noted psychologist Erik Erikson, is the "Stage of Trust." The degree to which the child comes to trust the world, other people and
him/herself depends on the quality of care received.

If the child has had good and positive experiences during the first year, he/she will emerge feeling that the world is a good and safe place and that people are
dependable. If the care which the child has received during the first year has been inadequate, inconsistent and rejecting, the child will develop an attitude of mistrust and
become fearful and suspicious of the world in general.

How can the care giver help the infant develop this sense of trust or feeling good about the world? Respond to the baby with smiles, loving and tender handling and
language (talk to the baby). Respond to the infant's cries of distress promptly and effectively. An infant cries because he/she needs something.

See that the infant's needs for food, diaper changes and affection are met quickly. Letting the infant "cry it out" only tells the child that no one is there to meet his/her
needs. A distressed infant who is picked up quickly will quiet faster than an infant who is left to "cry for a while": before being picked up. (When trying to quiet a
distressed infant, hold him/her up to your should so that he/she can look around easily.)

Hold, cuddle and play with the infant. Change his/her position often in the crib. Place the infant in an infant seat and move him/her around through the house with you.
This will provide stimulation as the child sees an hears new sights and sounds. Maintain eye contact when feeding the infant.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2002 at 10:55PM
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If you're still unsure about what to do about feeding your little one, I would talk to a lactation consultant ASAP. My DS is 3 months now, but we had a huge scare when he was 4 days old. My prenatal instructor told me to let him sleep until he woke up hungry (I am also a first-time mom, and unfortunately I took her advice), as by then he would feed well. Well, I tried it, all right, and 5 and a half hours later I was trying desperately to wake him, feed him, anything. He was listless and lethargic and didn't even have the energy to eat. To make a long story short, we went to the hospital and I was in tears watching them try to get him back to his "old self". The problem was that he was too young to wait that long for feedings. My lactation consultant (whom I've seen many times since that evening) has been wonderful - she said to wake the baby up during the day and through the night if sleeping. I believe it was at about a month she said not to set the alarm during the night. Another thing that confused me in the beginning is that a newborn should be fed at least every 3-4 hours, but that time starts from the beginning of the last feeding, not from when your baby finished the last feeding.

Quickly, as far as the rest is concerned, my DS had his days and nights mixed up also, but he just turned himself around on his own at around 5 weeks, I think. I don't let him cry it out, either. I may try to provide some distraction, as in his mobile above the crib, or some white noise, and I'll give it 5 minutes at most... and that's if it's a fussy cry. If it's one of those heart-wrenching ones, I pick him up immediately. I don't know what it will do to us in the end, but right now I want my DS to feel secure, not alone in a crib crying with no-one coming.

In any case, you're little one is still so new, and she has a new environment and people to get used to...I never thought I would see the light of day, but one day soon she will surprise you and it will get easier...just hang in there!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2002 at 10:59PM
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This is crazy! We didn't hold DS all the time and he did cry himself to sleep when he was a baby. The kid is VERY happy and knows we're here for him and love him! He's 3 and has not psychological disorders or problems, functions just fine and is happy and healthy. Again, I'm wondering how most of us made it through being kids! Too many people are going against EVERYTHING parents were taught and did for how many years and gee, didn't we all live and turn out okay? We all have our problems and I don't think allowing a baby to cry themselves to sleep ruins them for life! Will the ones who go runnging at every fuss and whimper now be the ones begging for help because they're 1 year old still needs rocked to sleep and won't sleep in they're own room? I guess I'll do what I feel is best and you know, I don't listen to those books. Think of this, how many studies are done each year that they end up saying actually wasn't correct a year later? Think of the debate over whether eggs are good for you or not or if it's butter or margarine that's best . . .

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 12:28AM
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You've gotten some good advice here, but I'll put in my new experience too. My son just turned two months on Thursday and just started sleeping through the night starting about a week ago (10pm to 4 or 5am). Anyway, we had the same problem in the first few days like you have. Liam was not that interested in eating and would sleep up to six hours at a time during the day when we first came home. I didn't know to wake him up to feed him and he became very listless and lost almost a pound in the first three days. Once my milk really came in a few days later, it was easier for him to eat and he got better. The lactation consultant at the hospital helped tremendously. But as for letting them cry, don't do it this early. I know it's exhausting and your emotions are still very delicate at this stage, but try and comfort your baby as much as you can and just keep feeding her. Breastfed babies have to eat more often then formula fed babies because breastmilk digests more quickly and easily in their stomachs. Sometimes my little guy would want to eat a little bit every hour. It's normal. He would also kick and throw fits at night in his sleep. I would listen to him thrash and as he started t osound more desperate, then I would pick him up and feed him again. I read in my breastfeeding book that babies will feel hungary long before they actually start crying for it. By the time they start crying they are really starving. It's best to catch them before they get to that point.

You'll find that alot of "older" friends and family members will give you interesting advice on raising your child. Take it all with a grain of salt. Theories and practices on raising infants change all the time, but I would follow what's most recent and what your doctor prescribes. My dear mother-in-law wanted to know when I would start feeding him water with karo syrup in a bottle for extra iron. I had to carefully and politely tell her that they don't recommend doing that anymore. Breastfed babies don't need extra water, they get enough from you. And no babies need sugar water! Your asking for a cranky baby later if you give them that.

Well, there is light at the end of the tunnel. By the time she is two months, you will see big changes, and it will be much easier for you. It goes by quickly.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 12:28AM
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Jen, you asked "how do you bear to hear her cry?". I think your instincts are telling you not to let her cy, and you should always listen to your instincts. What your baby is doing isn't unusual. Lots of newborns start off like this. It's tough in the beginning, isn't it! Sore breasts, hormones, sleep deprivation etc. But things will get better, including your babies sleep pattern. Just hang in there a little longer. But I do think you are right to wake her up for feeds, as 5-6 hours is way too long for her to go between feeds, at this stage. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 6:19AM
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I just had to be the fly in the ointment!!!! Some of the people who answered "it's okay for them to cry", I think and hope they missed the fact that the infant is a NEWBORN!!! not an infant. Newborns generally all have their days and nights mixed up (because we are up and running all day and the motion lulls them to sleep, thats why they become football players and rugby players at night when we try to sleep - the movement stops!!!). The ideas about keeping the room quiet, low voices, soft lights, etc... at night are all good ideas, just don't expect it to work overnight. The ideas to let a newborn sleep till he/she is hungry is RIDICULOUS!!!!! They need to eat every 2-3 hours if BF or 4hrs if using formula. Especially during the day when they are use to sleeping and not waking up to eat i.e. the last 9 months in utero.

It does get better and the only other advice is to sleep when the baby sleeps and forget the housework for a while!!! I know the urge to finish that book/magazine, extra load of laundry, dirty dishes, etc.... But the most important people to take care of is you and the baby. If the baby's been fed, changed, burped, etc... I'd highly recommend the "bouncy seat" , the one that vibrates I think by fisher price.

A good way to wake an infant up for feeding is to undress them and nurse themin a onesie or diaper. If she is flailing around when she sleeps and waking herself up, make sure she is swaddled.

Good Luck!!! :) Laya

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 12:33PM
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I wouldn't let your baby cry it out when they are this young. My DD is almost 3 months and now when she cries when we are putting her to bed, we rub her back and leg so she knows we are there. If she is really crying hard we pick her up. Anytime she cried when she was younger we picked her up. The lactation consultant said to feed her every two hours but she was a big baby and didn't want to eat that often, so my milk supply went down really bad and then when she was hungry she wasn't getting enough. We figured out that I needed to pump in between feedings. As for mixing up day and night, I used to have her in her car seat in the living room and watch tv but that was too much stimulation for her (I really didn't realize this) but when she was about 2 months, we put her in her crib (she was in bassinet until then) and after her late night feeding in her own room, all the lights would go off except a nitelight and she would fall asleep in my arms and then we would transfer her to the crib, if she woke up we would rub her leg or back and she would go back to sleep. Sometimes she can see the Pooh characters on her crib bumper and she will "talk" to them and fall asleep on her own. I also make sure that when it's dim in the room I don't talk much and when I do I whisper. We are going on a sleep time of 9:30p/10p thru to 9:30a with 2-3 feedings during the night. She goes to sleep right away after eating. We change the diaper during the late night feedings unless it's poopy. When she was under two months she would cry at night to eat and when she didn't I would wake her to feed, I knew when my breasts were too full it was time for her to eat. I also didn't let her sleep more than 3 hours during the day when she got older, but when younger we did the every 2 hours for her to eat. Good luck, sometimes it seems like you are going to go crazy (especially in the begining) but then your little one smiles at you and you know it's worth it:) If you are breastfeeding remember to not have caffeine. It made my DD stay and and crank.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 1:06PM
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Isn't this a challenge! I actually have the opposite situation that you are going through, but I wanted to post and say I know how you feel about not being sure what to do.
Jackson wants to eat ALL THE TIME. From 1-10 am this morning I fed him every 30-45 min. He would only eat for 5 min then fall asleep. Then a little while later, he made the signals he wanted to eat so I fed him again. Well, a home nurse came today and told me NO NO NO. She said to wait at least 2 preferably 3 hours to feed him. So now he just cries and cries and tries to eat DH's arm. It is just so hard to know what to do.

Other than these challenges, are the little ones just the greatest? I can't believe how much I love being a mom.
I still need to post my birth story....

Mom to Jackson, born 1/9

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 3:54PM
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Thank you all so much. I feel like the world's worst mom today and all I've done is cry all day because I tried to let her cry it out last night. I don't think I could do that again if I tried. And Leah, she actually has both problems, during the day, I have to wake her to feed her, but at night, she wants to eat like every hour or so. I was better last night, I think because I made sure I woke her every 3 hours yesterday. But I'm so happy to hear most everyone tell me that I can hold her at night and not let her cry for hours. Last night it was from about 12-2, and I would pick her up every 10-15 minutes to reassure her, but then when I laid her back down, it would start again. Well, it's time to feed her so I'd better go. I'll check back in and let everyone know how it's going.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 4:23PM
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You know, I really wasn't thinking about how the baby was 8 days old! See DS was 8 weeks premature and spent the first month of his life in the hospital. When he came home, he was really a good baby and slept whenever we laid him down. It was probably about 2-3 months of age that he started being a pain about going to sleep.

Give your daughter a few days to get used to things. It's only been a week and imagine how different her "room" was from where she lives now! It's hard to get used to having a newborn because you're life changes so much and you don't really always know what to do. There isn't always one single answer either because all kids are different.

Oh, and you're allowed to get frustrated and stressed just a little about all this. You're going to be tired and worn out! All of us here and at the other parenting forums can relate because we were all there at some point. My MIL always told me about how there are days that you're just so worked up that the baby will be bawling and you'll be bawling right along with them! She's right, isn't she :-) She was great help with DS and told me just how things were going to be~the good and the bad.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 4:32PM
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Leah, please don't let your baby cry. Feed him! If he is only feeding for 5 minutes at a time, that is not enough to sustain him for 2-3 hours. He is in danger of becoming dehydrated. Ignore that stupid home nurse and feed your baby. When babies are that age, you do spend most of your time feeding them. Listen to your instincts, and don't listen to anyone who tells you to go against them.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 4:38PM
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Don' worry. You will find what works for you and your little one. It is very stressful the first few weeks. Just don't let anyone tell you that you are a bad mom for the choices you make.


Sounds like you have a snacker. Have you tried a pacifier? If he starts to nurse every 2 hours instead of every 30 - 45 min, he will start to eat more each time too. It sounds like he is using the nursing to fall back asleep. A pacifier might really help. I was against using one with our DD, until I found that it helped her. You may have already tried it, but it is an idea.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 5:08PM
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OK, this is what concerns me. If Leah's baby takes a 5 minute snack and then cries for the next 2-3 hours, when he takes his next feed, he may be exhausted from all the crying and fall asleep before he can get a proper feed and there is a danger of him becoming dehydrated. I would recommend trying to keep him awake so he will feed for longer, although this is hard. But I don't think it's a good idea to let him cry until his next feed.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 5:31PM
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Could Leah's baby not be getting enough milk? He's only 4 days old and possibly the milk supply hasn't gotten very good yet? Or maybe she just won't produce enough milk?

I didn't breastfeed DS, so I don't know all the answers but when you are planning to breast feed, do you still make sure you have formula and bottles in the house? You know, just in case? Or do you just keep trying and hoping they're getting what they need?


    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 9:20PM
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I agree with kiwimum... if your baby is signaling to you or DH's arm that he is hungry, he needs to be fed. Newborns, as far as I was always told, should be fed on demand, and not on a schedule. Tell the nurse to go fly a kite - I mean, if your little one is hungry, it just does not make sense to make him wait. You didn't say if you were breastfeeding...if you are, a 5 minute feeding will not enable your hindmilk to come in either and will also not sustain your baby for a decent length of time.

If you have any other questions, please ask. There are so many good people here with good advice.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 10:44PM
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I think that touch and interaction are **needs** for all of us, and especially for our babies. Even if your baby is fed, diapered, and burped, she's crying to tell you that she needs you.

All in all, not a bad thing : )

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 10:55PM
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hello leah!
i agree with the other girls saying that your baby could be dehydrated since the baby is not eating but just 5 min.
try, try, try to keep the baby awake while he's eating. cold wash cloth, tickling the feet, taking him off the breast and trying to burp him, bicycling his little legs, etc...may help. you will not get in a good milk supply if he only nurses 5 min.
a lactation consultant would help you tremendously and i think you would really like one:)
if you have more questions i would love to try to help in anyway possible way just e-mail me at

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 11:10PM
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Five hours between feedings is not a good idea for a newborn.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 11:49PM
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I seriously question that home nurse's suggestion - 3 hours between feedings for a breastfed newborn - NO WAY!! Those first few days are so crucial for establishing your milk supply and allowing baby to get the hang of eating. When they're a little older you probably want to avoid "snacking" nursing, but newborns want to and NEED to eat frequently. That nurse needs to go back to nursing school. How DO they let people like that give advice to new moms, I'll never know.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2002 at 12:51AM
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When my son was a few days old he would latch on and nurse on each side forever, and then still act hungry, this lasted and lasted all night in the hospital...I was frantic thinking he wasn't getting anything (I had colostrum leaking but no milk yet) I freaked. The next morning his ped came in and aplogized for not warning me of this Cluster Feeding. Babies do it to bring more milk in and you must let them suck for it to come in. Sure enough by the next morning my milk was dripping out! My baby was no longer starving! He is almost ten weeks and has done this Cluster Feeding a couple times since then when he has gone through growth spurts to bring in milk.

I hate to get involved in these heated conversations, but my personal parenting style is very similar to Jayme's. I want my son to be held and picked up when he is crying. I want his needs to be met right away. My ped supports this. He says that in the long run babies who are held more cry less. MOST BABIES I am sure there are exceptions. My son does cry though, my doc said 2 hours a day is considered the "norm" for babies under 1 month. My son is a little colicky in the evenings but we soothe him through that rough time instead of letting him cry it out. However, there are times when I put him in the bouncy seat in the bathroom when I shower and he starts crying. I DO finish up what I am doing and let him cry for 4-5 minutes when I know that he is okay. I dont think it hurts him to cry for a short amount of time. It's good for his heart and lungs, but other than that, I go to him when he needs me. This is just my opinion, and what works for each of us will be different, just as each baby is different.

Aspen (and Logan 10 weeks)

    Bookmark   January 14, 2002 at 9:55AM
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Please please hold the baby if she needs you. She is a tiny newborn who needs to be held. There will be times when she goes into what I call "nuisance" crying (my 2 yo is great at that), but she is to young for that now. A newborn is not capable of manipulating you by crying just to get you to jump. A toddler yes, a newborn, no. She is just getting to know the world and you and daddy are the center of her universe. She should be the queen of the world for the first few months.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2002 at 11:45AM
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It's a little late to respond to your message and you've probably got everything figured out, but I had to tell you that I had the exact same problem. Tanner is 9 days old today. The night we brought him home from the hospital, he was awake all night. Seriously, all night. I was absolutely burned out the next day, especially considering I hadn't slept well in the hospital.

I hoped it was a fluke, but the next night the same thing happened. He slept great during the day (nearly five hours at one point) but stayed up all night churning his arms and legs and fussing and acting hungry.

At 6 a.m., I hysterically woke my husband and told him I was going to feed Tanner formula. I was sure he wasn't getting enough to eat (although he really acted satisfied during the day). Common sense prevailed, and instead we visited our pediatrician's lactation consultant that morning. She said to wake the baby during the day to feed - to not let him sleep for more than 3 hours at a time, and after about two weeks he would switch his days and nights.

That one thing worked wonders. It's hard waking a sleeping baby, but I would do it very gently, and he always seemed very happy to eat! And I am incredibly happy to say that he switched his days and nights after about two days of waking him during the day! I'm sure that doesn't work all the time, but I'm so happy to report that it did for Tanner. We used the other suggestions as well - plenty of stimulus, noise, etc. during the day, but a very dim, quiet room at night. He wakes about every three-four hours during the night to eat and promptly goes back to sleep.

Good luck with your little one! That sleep deprivation is absolutely debilitating, isn't it?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2002 at 7:06PM
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My daughter's baby girl is just 5 days old. She cried practically the whole night the first night home. She wouldn't sleep in the crib and wanted to be held all the time. After that first night, she was given the following advice by 2 persons, one a nurse and the other a girl who takes care of infants at a daycare: let the baby sleep, still swaddled, in her car seat. Anna slept wonderfully last night this way. My dd had to wake her up after 4 hours for her feeding. Hopefully, this will continue to work. She seemed to feel more closed in and comforted in her car seat. You might consider trying this. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2002 at 10:17PM
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Jayme24 wrote: "since you are breastfeeding she should
eat every 2 hrs. around the clock."

And Lisa wrote: "The
ideas to let a newborn sleep till he/she is hungry is RIDICULOUS!!!!! They need to eat every 2-3
hours if BF or 4hrs if using formula. "

Sorry, ladies, but that's an exaggeration.

In the first place, you can't force a baby to eat if she's not hungry. Especially not if you're nursing. I dare to to try it. I have, and it's not possible. At all.

You can wake her (hopefully, but sometimes you can't), and hope that you can coax her to eat, or that now she's been awakened she'll realize she's hungry. You can suggest eating. But you can't force her to eat.

She should eat WHEN SHE IS HUNGRY! As long as it's clear that your baby is capable of TELLING you she's hungry (believe it or not, there are some babies who aren't very good at this), then let her sleep when she's sleeping. For what it's worth, my baby slept 8 hours at a time at 6 days old. She ate like clockwork every 4 hours at all other times. I couldn't wake her up in the middle of a 3.5-hour nap to get her to eat every 2 hours.

I made myself NUTS trying to follow orders like jayme24's--I got hysterical trying to wake her up to eat at 2-hour intervals. It wasn't until my mom and MIL, who had both breastfed, ganged up on me and pointed out the evidence that my baby was actually eating (diapers, softer breasts after nursing, hearing her swallow, milk dribbling out of her mouth afterward, contentment, ability to express hunger when it was there, etc.) that I was able to relax into what was, I later realized, an idyllic BF situation. Talk about useless anxiety!

And even my preemie ate every 3 hours, not every 2. And he had no body fat.

I'm not saying every baby should eat every 4 hours; just that normal babies are all different (even abnormal ones are all difference; look at my preemie)

I think it's really unfair to insist on some arbitrary number like that. Warn moms, yes, that every 2 hours is normal and lots of babies do it, and to be prepared for it. But that 2-hour interval is NOT all babies. It shouldn't be artificially forced on a baby who's only hungry every 3 or 4 hours.

It's a good thing for babies to have one longer interval of sleep a day. It's the beginning of nighttime sleep (even if it isn't AT night), and if they've got all the other signs of an adequate food supply, it can be a good sign--it means they're getting enough to tide them over during that longer sleep; it means they're strong enough physically to go that long without food. Don't mess with it! Talk about torturing a baby! (though I could be influence by my own desire for MORE SLEEP, LOL!)

On those times when your baby is taking her long sleep and your breasts can't stand it, consider pumping -- start just a little under halfway into the time period. You'll build up a backup supply, and it'll be a good way to get introduced to pumping, when you're pretty full (it'll be easier). And you'll have enough when she wakes. of course, you have to know that this will be her longer period. (with 8-hour intervals daily even during engorgement, I had a stash before I went back to work)

I agree you should try to introduce her to the idea of nighttime for sleeping and day for eating. Even w/ my oldest, I did gradually have to shift her nighttime sleep into a better position on the clock. I didn't bother doing this w/ my littlest one until he'd been home awhile, and besides, he at every 3 hours day and night, so there was no difference but eventually. I'm not sure I'd worry too much at 8 days. Personally I might wait until 3 weeks before I'd start; then I'd feel settled in the nursing relationships, etc. And I'd nap a lot.

As for when she wakes, and crying, and picking her up, etc., perhaps at night you needn't pick her up the moment she stirs, because perhaps she'll go back to sleep soon (sometimes babies don't like mid-night-time wakings; they wanted to be asleep!), but as soon as it becomes clear she's not happy and is awake, pick her up.

Your neighbor has a small point, but she pushed it too far. If your baby stirs and you pick her up right away, you're teaching her to wake up. And depriving her of the opportunity to learn how to whimper herself back to sleep. But crying at 8 days is something that needs a response.

"Crying it out" as a "go to sleep" technique doesn't begin until 6 months or something.

I agree w/ MarionR, have had similar things happen (that's why bassinets are often used for little babies--they're used to things being tight around them, all that open space unnerves them.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2002 at 1:16PM
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Do you have it all figured out? I have 3 little ones, ages 10 months to 4 yrs. Breastfed them all. Found each one of them to be very different as far as their eating patterns and routines. I totally agree with Talley Sue. Bottom line, do what works best for you and your baby. I do feel that letting your newborn cry itself to sleep just yet is too soon but I highly recommend it in a few more months. Increase your daytime feeding frequencies if you can wake the baby but don't drive yourself crazy and into an emotional meltdown over it. Your baby will not starve. As long as the baby is having adequate wet diapers, the anterior fontanel is not sunken in (like could hold water) nurses well, and seems content after her feeding whether awake or asleep should be your signal that your baby is full and to go 3-4hours in the day is fine, and 4-5 hours at night is fine. Also every baby doesn't have to nurse 20 minutes on each breast to be receiving adequate nutrition. I personally was a milk cow and my babies nursed about 4 minutes on each breast and were full for 3-4 hours. They all gained around a pound over their birth weight by their 2week visit. Listen to everyones advice and apply that to which works for you. Most of all, enjoy every moment, it passes so quickly.

You might try pumping instead of nursing one time to see how much milk you are actually letting down. I would also suggest nurse your baby and if he still seems hungry supplement with formula. Formula is not poison like these la leche people will make you feel. Most of us were formual fed. Having your baby suck non stop at your breast is only going to wear you out, your baby will never feel full and I don't think it will allow your breasts to replenish their supply. I think your breast do need to be stimulated about every 2 hours to help pick up your supply. If your baby is too sleepy to eat at 2 hours then pump that time. Remember too, that not everyone makes a ton of milk and that you are not a failure if you need to supplement. Best wishes.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2002 at 11:54PM
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To all you mothers..I am the youngest of 7 children and just had my first baby boy. My mother has done a wonderful job raising all of us and none of us have any developmental problems from our mother letting us cry. Ask yourself "do I remember crying when I was a baby?" the answer is no, of course you don't and neither will your baby. For the first 3-4 weeks you should offer all the comforts in the world to your baby to allow it to get adjusted to the new world. But after a while you need your sanity.

I had to literally hold my wife down to restrain her from running to the baby at night when we put him down for the night. I asked my wife to do what my mother did with all of us and that is to wait 15 minutes no more no less (as long as your baby is fed, burped and has a dry diaper). "Magically" at around 13-15 minutes the baby stopped crying and was asleep peacefully and slepped longer and better than when we would rock him to sleep and hold him for hours. We did this for a week and now he never and I mean never cries anymore and he sleeps straight through the night and doesn't ever ever ever cry until we come get him in the morning. He is now 7 months old and is a bundle of joy, he is crawling, smiling and saying da da da.

My wife and I would hold him for hours trying to get him to sleep until we figured it out that it only takes less than 15 min to tire him out and let him sleep peacefully. I know some mothers are saying that is not right, I beg you to try before you critize it becasue I know dozens of couples who swear by it and now thank me. Of course though when they are younger you still have to do the 2-3 hr thing when they wake up and are hungry.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 2:11PM
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I, for one, agree with you Sleeping Baby. We did the same thing with our DD, and we never have sleep issues with her like many of our friends still do with their little ones.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 2:53PM
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Thank you Karla....

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 3:26PM
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Sleeping baby,
I don't agree with you, but I'm not getting into this argument. I just wanted to say that my mom responded to all of my cries as well as all of my siblings and WE all turned out just fine too. She never had problems getting us to sleep. I have TONS of friends with grown children who have coslept and not allowed their babies to "cry it out". NONE of them had sleep problems and they have very happy, healthy, independent children today.

We cosleep with our baby, he sleeps through the night and wakes up happy. I did not let him cry it out and attended to his needs when he was smaller. I'm not here to tell you "my way or the high way", what works for us may not work for others. My question to you is, why do you trumpet your parenting values as the best way to go? If my husband ever held me down and did not let me listen to my instincts to attend to my baby I would have serious issues with him.

I admit I don't know it all, so who died and made you king of the all knowing parent planet?


    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 7:52PM
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of course your not going to remember crying when your 3-4 wks. old, you wouldn't remember being put in a hole and left there either. yet it would have an effect.
when you let your baby "cry it out" you are doing it for YOURSELF not your baby. you'll have "your" sanity and care nothing of the babies.
Sleeping baby, would you let your wife cry for 15 min? what is the difference?
i will say again that i'm so in awe of everyone that just says that as long as your baby is fed, diapered, burped that obviously nothing else is wrong. please inform me how to tell when my baby is uncomfortable, has a belly ache, is restless, has a headache, etc...

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 7:54PM
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I think our marriage would be in serious trouble, if my husband ever physically stopped me from attending to my babies needs. Fortunately, my husband treats me with respect, and is a compassionate father, so that wouldn't happen.

So your mother did a wonderful job of raising you, did she? I guess that's a matter of opinion. After reading your post, I think I would disagree...

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 10:18PM
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Sleeping Baby was not rude at all in his post, and some of you just can't stop your claws from coming out because someone disagrees with you. What is the B!ble verse about not judging others? I would think some of you would be very familar with that...

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 10:53PM
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You tell 'em Karla!

Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. As for my stance on this subject, I don't usually let my son cry for more than a minute or two before I run in to comfort him, but Sleeping_Baby was simply expressing his opinion and we are not here to tell him he is right or wrong. As for his relationship with his wife, I'm sure he was just exaggerating a bit to drive home his point. As for criticizing his skill as a husband or judging his MOTHER, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Let's not make this personal ladies!



    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 11:07PM
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"what is the bible verse about not judging others? I would think some of you would be very familiar with that..."

Karla, most people here won't know who that comment was directed at, but I do. You've got no reason to feel self-righteous. When you disagree with someone you don't attack them on this forum, you just do it through e-mails.

Sleeping Baby, I apologise. Jacksmom is right. No matter how strongly I disagree with you, I shouldn't have made it personal.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 12:12AM
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I take my apology back. I just read the co-sleeping post. Only paranoid parents co-sleep? You're just a trouble-maker, aren't you?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 12:27AM
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I have no idea what you are talking about. I meant my comment for anyone and everyone attacking Sleeping Baby just because they disagreed with him. I did not "attack" anyone. I used tact and reminded people that they should not judge others simply because they feel they know best and are so self righteous.

Furthermore, you are being a hypocrite with your own words. If you think people should not attack others on the forum - only through Email as you say - you should not have posted your nasty comments to Sleeping Baby on the forum. Think before you speak.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 8:51AM
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I did not say that people should attack others through e-mail, I said it's what YOU do. However, I'm not going to bother arguing with you. The subject is closed, as far as I'm concerned.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 2:44PM
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If you are referring to a disagreement between me and your little buddy, she Emailed me FIRST to rant to me. I only responded to the endless Emails. I have NEVER sought out anyone on this forum and sent them an attacking Email. However, if someone chooses to start a fight with me by seeking me out and Emailing me, I am not going to just sit back. Again, get it straight before you post please.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 3:21PM
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karla, you get it straight first! i did not call to rant at you but to tell you that i thought it was rude of you to say that my ideas were basically crap. i did that in private because i thought it was in bad form what you did and i was not going to tell you that you were rude for everyone to see. well, you blew that one out of the water... then YOU sent me an attacking, offending e-mail and by the end of it offended me as a mother...i closed the matter because i felt very sorry for you.
you can't ever drop it can you? you have to have the last bite. and as i've said before you continue to accuse people of being hypocrites and for attacking people who they disagree with when you do the same thing.
oh and by the way i am VERY familiar with Bible verses and their meanings. I am NOT judging anyone yet merely stating FACTS and MY OPINIONS.
the matter is closed with you karla yet i await your comment because i know you can't go without.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2002 at 1:25AM
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I think you need a serious reality check. YOU did rant to me in an Email because I disagreed with you on a posting and said that your "facts" were baloney. You know they are because you have shown absolutely NOTHING FACTUAL to back it up. You post and send me OPINIONS and seem to think those are facts. You then did not like my reply to you, so you kept sending me more Emails. Furthermore, you are lying about not wanting to post here to make me look bad. After you continued to get responses from me to Emails YOU initiated to me, you decided to post another rant here that got deleted by Spike. Now, who doesn't have it straight?

YOU, my dear, threw the first stone. (That is another B!blical reference for you.) You also insulted me as a mother and as a person, BEFORE I ever threw an insult your way. I still have the Emails you sent me, if you are in need of a refresher. You can say you closed the matter because you felt sorry for me. If you choose to believe that, fine. The truth is you could not back up your "facts" and still have not. You have a very difficult time distinguishing between opinion and facts.

I did not even mention your name in my last posting to Kiwimum94. She brought up the disagreement you and I had and accused me of doing something I did not, so I defended myself. YOU chose to reveal you were the other party in the disagreement and YOU chose to not let it drop by contributing your posting. Once again, I am only defending myself my replying to another one of your rants.

I have not attacked anyone on this forum for disagreeing with me. That is YOUR style. I ONLY attacked you in a reply Email to you when you sent me an attacking Email to my home. You were not a welcome visitor. I am glad you are "very familiar" with the B!ble. Then you obviously understand you are going against the B!ble verses you so claim to know. You continue to throw out insults to anyone on this forum that does follow your way of parenting. Did you not tell Sleeping Baby in this post that he was essentially selfish and cared nothing for his baby? Yes, my dear, you did. That is called being judgmental.

I don't have to get the last word when I disagree with someone, however, if that person chooses to continue to throw out mindless insults towards me, I will not back down. Get your emotions in check and get your facts straight before you keep ranting.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2002 at 3:06PM
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I received the following at my home Email and he asked me to post it here for all of you.

I am trying to get this post out but it won't let me. Please feel free to check out my profile. Karla could you please post the following apology to the site. Thank You.

I am no longer sleeping baby I am now Crying Baby. I am admitting this openly hoping that all the mothers will accept my apolgy for any comments that might have upset anyone. I was in no way trying to cause trouble like some may have thought. I simply am just providing another insight into what worked for my family.

Also to all those mothers who think I restrained my wife in a physical hard manner, I am sorry, I should have been more clear. I was in just as much pain as she was (we only laid there and held each other), I mean who likes to hear their baby cry? And trust me when I tell you this, there is no way in Heck I could ever hold my wife down if she wanted to get up, but after she saw that it worked she was fine with it (but never longer than 10-15 minutes) and now he sleeps through the night since his 2nd month. Her entire family can't believe how easy our baby Tyler is and they love to have him over night but the other children in the family drive them nuts all night, just an observation and fun conversation in our family get togethers.

BIG APOLOGY goes out to Karla. I am so sorry that you took so much grief for sleeping baby comments if you check out my profile you can see my link to my web site and if you like we can chat on the phone. It is very very unfortunate that in this country of Free speech that my screen name of sleeping baby would be taken away and my access denied. I hope that who ever did this would understand and help to re-activate my screen name so I can contribute to this site.

I mis-spoke on co-sleeping (about wheening) I understood wheening to be sleeping not breast feeding (remember I am a man) however my point still stands that kids should not sleep with their parents in the same bed, (remember this is my personal opinion and I am not pushing it on anyone) maybe the same room is OK but not in the same bed.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2002 at 8:42PM
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I wonder if it would be possible to return to Jen_C's original question, you guys? Seems to me that's what these forums are for anything else, guys can start your OWN forum and duke it out amongst yourselves over THERE.

As to the original question(s), seems to me you're asking the following:

1) Is it normal for a baby to have their days and nights mixed up, as far as sleeping? The short answer is yes, lol. If you think back to when your baby was still inside you...try to remember what time of day or night the baby was most active. For my DS, he was most active inside me from about 11 pm to about 4 when he was born, he was most active during those hours. Seems like it took me forever to get him onto a somewhat "normal" schedule.

2) Is it ok to let your newborn baby cry herself to sleep?
For me, personally....when DS was newborn, my DH and I rocked him to sleep, or cuddled with him on our bed until he did. We didn't let him cry himself to sleep when he was newborn.

3) How long do you allow the baby to cry before you pick him/her up for a cuddle? Again, for me the beginning, when DS was newborn, I picked him up immediately. As time has passed, however, I'm letting the amount of time he cries to be a little longer. He's 6 months old now, and I let him cry maybe 10 mins before I go back in to reassure him. I don't necessarily pick him up, though. Standing over or near the crib reassures DS just fine, most of the time. Sometimes, though....even after giving him 10 mins to get to sleep on his own, and then reassuring him from above or near the crib...he still needs a cuddle. So, I cuddle! Just for a few mins, then it's back in the bed. Sometimes this gets repeated about 3-4 times before he actually goes to sleep. He's falling asleep a lot more on his own now. For me, gradually increasing the time I allow him to cry has worked, and it's teaching him to be a little more self-reliant, while he still knows that we're there.

4) How long in between feedings? My DS woke up about every 2 hours anyway, so I NEVER had to worry about him going too long without food. Of course, at night...this meant I didn't get much sleep, either! :)

5) and finally, WHEN CAN YOU CATCH UP ON SLEEP? LOLOL...this is the question for the ages. I don't think I'll EVER catch up. Now, mind you, there are babies that sleep much longer (envious sigh). A friend of mine had twin boys, who slept 7-8 hours STRAIGHT, right from birth!! She had to wake them to feed, but holy cow, they were NEVER in any danger of starving, lol. They're 8 months old now and they weigh upwards of 27 lbs each. (when they were born, one weighed just under 8 lbs, and one was just over 8 lbs. At 38 weeks, no less! Can you imagine if she'd gone the full 40 weeks??)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2002 at 11:17PM
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I admit, I don't have an infant yet, but want a baby soon! So I've been cruising these forums for info....

Anyway, I see nothing really wrong with letting a baby cry herself to sleep...maybe not an 8-day-old newborn, though. I'll agree to that. But if this becomes a pattern where the baby just does not want put down, maybe the cry it out thing wouldn't be so bad after a while. My nephew was very clingy as a child, and if you are constantly picking them up it gets to the point where you can't get anything done! (like sleep, for instance!) As far as the psychologist who thinks babies are psychologically scarred for life because they weren't picked up right away, I think that's a load....I'm sorry, but I agree with Sleeping/Crying Baby whoever that a baby is not going to remember being left to cry for 10 minutes. Maybe over 10-15 minutes is not a good thing, but that time period certainly isn't neglect. Two hours, yes, then there may be something wrong. I also agree with Leslie, that in a year or two something else is going to come out to contradict that new information. Boy, I can't wait to face the confusing task of being a new mother!!

But, I wonder if that psychologist has children of his own. Ha. Or maybe his wife was the sole caregiver. LOL When I worked in the mental health field, I knew one high falutent (sp?) psychologist who was all "diagnose this, this kid has this problem," etc. and yet his own two young children were TERRIBLY behaved. Quite ironic, isn't it?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2002 at 9:37AM
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American Mom,
You answered those questions the way I would.

I guess what we really need to tell the mothers who think we're bad for letting our babies cry, is that we don't do it all the time. I remember somedays when DS was particularly not having a good day or whatever that I would run right to him. Other days I didn't and let him calm down a little on his own. I guess we generally do allow them to cry but there are exceptions in there. It's not like parents love to hear they're children bawl. It does bother us and that's why I believe Sleeping Baby said he had to stop his wife from running to the baby. I understand what he was talking about because I remember many times my fiance' having to tell me to stop and let DS cry. I wanted to run to him but the mother can't always decide on how to raise the child. You are in this together and if you would have a horrible relationship with your husband just because he wanted some say, too, in how you raised your child, I would question who "runs" your household and relationship. You can't always be right in every situation, your husband has to win some too or why would he stay with you? Imagine always losing and your ideas being put down and then think about how long you would put up with that situation.

I hope OP got some answers and I wonder how her baby is. It's been about a month now and I'm sure things have changed and she's getting more used to all the stuff we have to deal with when we have newborns. Hope you're doing better, Jen.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2002 at 10:32AM
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Yes it is healthy to let them cry it out as long as they are fed, changed, burped and make sure other things not wrong! Nfor about 20 mins, if they don't stop, go pick them up, calm them and try again!! No one has to deal with stress! Just take some time for you. A baby has to cry for they may be overwhelmed or over tired!

Make sure most of all baby is happy.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 3:59PM
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Oh my!!!! After reading these posts I am ashamed to see everyone attacking each other. I am a registered nurse with 2 boys and I can tell you there is no right or wrong answer. I demand fed both my boys and they were never starving however some babies have latching problems, or mothers won't get their milk for days after birth. Everyone's situation will be different. I had a premie and my youngest was overdue. They progressed both very differently. Best advice trust your own instincts. As for crying .. My son needed to cry himself to sleep but he was older 9 months.. It was his way of unwinding. He is 6 and is the best sleeper. My youngest is the opposite he falls asleep no problem. So relax and breathe and enjoy them because they don't stay small forever.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 1:03AM
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