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Should I Let My Baby Cry it Out?

baby cry it out

As a new parent, you will do anything to shush your baby’s tears. You feed and rock and bounce and pat and change your baby, in an effort to comfort and ensure that all of their precious little needs are met. But sometimes, in your rush to instantly stop the crying, you might miss the opportunity to learn your baby’s cries, understand their different tones, and respond accordingly. Around sleep, there’s a lot of controversy about whether or not you should let your baby “cry it out” and help them learn to fall asleep independently, or cuddle, nurse and soothe your baby at every opportunity, round the clock. There’s a lot of judgment about this, so as best as you can, try to ignore all the theories and opinions that don’t work for you and your family. If you want to co-sleep and you’re all sleeping well, who cares what your mother-in-law says?!? Alternately, if your 6 month-old baby is waking every hour, and you’re becoming suicidal, you shouldn’t rule out some form of sleep training because your best friend thinks it’s bad. Now I’m not saying that you should ignore your baby’s cries. I’m just saying that crying is a normal and healthy behavior, and though it’s excruciating to hear your baby cry, it’s really nothing to panic about. I cried like a baby the other day because I was tired and hormonal and frankly, I just needed to get it out! Our cultural-adult tendencies are to squelch tears, but sometimes we just need to cry, and so do our kids, despite our attempts to stop them. My kids (4 and 6) still cry when they’re hungry or tired, or need to pee but don’t want to stop playing, or simply because I won’t let them have candy for dinner. Eventually, as our babies grow into kids, we become accustomed to crying and realize that it’s just part of parenting, and sometimes, our kids just need to get it out, just like we do!


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3 Responses

  1. Hello
    My 5 weeks son does not sleep more than 6 hours per day including naps (since his birth). He s growing well (I am breastfeeding). Shall I be worried? He never sleeps more than 2 hours in a row and usually never after 4am. I am afraid that his brain will not develop properly. Any advice?

    1. Hi Max,

      Every baby is different, but generally babies between 4-8 weeks sleep about 12-14 hours in a 24 hour period. If he is getting 6 hours of day sleep plus interrupted night sleep, then I wouldn’t worry at all. If he’s only getting a total of 6 hours sleep within 24 hours, then you should definitely discuss with your pediatrician. Either way, I wouldn’t worry. I’m sure your son will develop normally, he may just be a very sociable little human who doesn’t want to miss a party! If this is the case and he’s otherwise healthy, you might want to consider sleep training between 8-10 weeks, or whenever YOU are ready to teach him how to sleep independently.

      I hope this helps!


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