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"Cry-it-out" is making ME cry!

4 answers
My 7-month old daughter, Claire will start out in her crib at night but end up in bed with us. Her babysitter during the day says that she sleeps by herself just fine for her. She says when Claire starts rubbing her eyes she lays her down and Claire falls asleep on her own with no tears. I have tried that with her at our house and lately as soon as I lay her down her little eyes pop open, she looks at me and then starts to fuss. We do a bottle, a bath with bedtime bath, a massage, a book, and a little snuggle time and then I'll say goodnight and close the door, but she just cries. I have tried doing the 5-10-20 minute method where you go in and check on them, sometimes I'll let her hold my hand for a minute. But she never goes to sleep this way. I end up having to rock her and let her sleep on me for about an hour, and sometimes even then she won't sleep in her crib. We don't really mind having a family bed, as I am a light sleeper, but we miss our couple-time. Everyone says that letting her cry herself to sleep is A-ok, but I am having a VERY hard time letting her cry. Is there something else i should try?

answers (4)

I know its hard but just put her in her bed and then if she gets out put her back and do that. Soon she will not cry its hard but it is better then having a night screamer.
I couldn't do cry-it-out either, so I'm totally with you there.  I also did the 5-10-15 routine, slightly modified.  I'd pick up my son (which I know is a big no-no, but there was no other way to stop him from crying!) and either read him one book or sing him one lullaby.  That would calm him down again, and I'd put him back down.  After the 20 minute rotation, I'd give him another bottle, and that would knock him out.  I think it took about 2 weeks of this routine before he'd put himself to sleep with little to no fuss.  He's now 21 months, and he does regress sometimes (actually, we just finished a three-week spat of screaming-fits-at-bedtime), but I've found that the single story/lullaby knocks him back into shape.  Er, sleep. I do think it's significant that your daytime sitter says she's putting herself to sleep at naptime.  Because of this, I'm kind of inclined to say that your daughter is putting you on.  She knows that if she screams loud/long enough, you'll bring her to bed with you.  She also knows this trick doesn't work on the sitter.  Which means: if you want her to stop sleeping in your bed (which you say you don't mind, but then you say you do, and have you seen the number of posts lately about parents wanting their 2-year-olds out of their bed?  TAKE NOTE), you need to STOP LETTING HER SLEEP THERE.  Period.  No backsliding.  Yes, it's going to suck.  No, you're not going to sleep real well for a few nights.  Yes, your daughter is going to think you are the worst parent ever.  (My son tells me this often.)  Yes, it will work.  Yes, I swear, I promise, I really mean it, it's worth it.  I think your basic routine sounds fine, if a little long (it shouldn't take more than 20 minutes).  I think you need to add in a few modifications until you find what works for you.  Maybe cut out the bath every night (unless she's got skin issues, every other is fine).  Maybe the massage isn't working for her.  Maybe she'd like some white noise in the background - or no noise at all.  Maybe she needs more light, or less.  Maybe she really does want that bottle after the 15/20 minute cry.  Better yet - what does the babysitter do for naps?  What do you KNOW works?  Modify that for bedtime, and see how it goes.  Good luck! 
You absolutely do not have to make your daughter cry it out. It doesn't work for all children and if it's not working there's no reason to do it if it upsets you. I never really did it with my kids and I got them out of my bed and into their own fairly easily.My son, like your daughter, is perfect at naptime. He loves naps and I can put him in his crib fully awake and he'll play for a little while and then fall asleep on his own. He's better about bedtime now, but at 16 months there are still nights that he will cry and cry about being on is own. My daughter has always been the exact opposite, terrible at naptime and great a bedtime.But with both it was hard to get them to fall asleep on their own. I held and rocked my daughter for a full year and loved it. But, once she was in her toddler bed it was more difficult. My son was 10 months old before he even started sleeping through the night and I just couldn't take it anymore.With both the thing that worked was sitting next to their bed/crib while they fell asleep. My son would fuss and cry about being in his crib but I would comfort him while making him lay down. While he was laying down I would rub his back, hold his hand, or touch whatever I could through the crib. Once he was settled down he would fall asleep pretty easily. After about a week of sitting with him I was able to leave a little bit earlier each night, so that finally I was leaving while he was still awake.
I guess I need to make some ground rules and stick to them! Thanks for the suggestions guys.

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