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To leave my 4 month old ds to cry?

(98 Posts)
YorkshireDeb Fri 01-Feb-13 13:12:51

Night times are pretty hard work at the moment. My ds tends to wake up 5-6 times a night. He usually just needs a cuddle & his dummy to settle back down, sometimes he takes a teeny amount of milk (1-2 oz). I can deal with the lack of sleep at the moment but will be back at work in about 6 weeks & don't know how I'll cope if he's still doing it then. So - is now the time to start letting him cry it out? Or using the pick up put down method? My heart tells me it's so wrong to sit there listening to him cry & do nothing. But my head tells me if I don't tackle it soon he'll turn into a little sod who cries if he doesn't get his own way. X

peacefuleasyfeeling Fri 01-Feb-13 19:28:41

I didn't go back to work until DD was 11 months old, and she was still waking to bf several times a night, sometimes every hour. She has always been a terrible sporadic sleeper, so I'd had 11 months of properly broken sleep at that point. (She is now 2.7 and slept for 7 unbroken hours for the first time ever last night!)
I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to cope at work (primary school teacher, so physically very dynamic, no chance of a quiet moment, long hours etc). I was astounded to find that, actually, I was OK. I may not have been safe to do air-traffic control or open heart surgery (let's hope neither of these is your job), but I could operate effectively and perform as well as I had previously.
I suppose what I am saying is that it might not be as bad as you think. You might be pleasantly surprised and find that the stimulation of being back at work sort of buoys and energises you in a way you may not expect.
I'm sure it's clear from my first paragraph that I never left DD to cry, and I really hope you find the oomph to follow your instinct which seems to tell you not to go down this route. There is so much research which suggests that leaving babies to cry is very damaging on many levels.
Good luck and enjoy your return to work!

peacefuleasyfeeling Fri 01-Feb-13 19:36:26

Ha ha, Zappo, that made me laugh! (I was still typing when you posted.) Seems teaching is right up there with the best of them!
And actually, co-sleeeping has been a life-saver. I really recommend it, makes it much, much easier for everone.

Zappo Fri 01-Feb-13 19:40:24

Sorry I just know a few teachers who say they can't teach after a bad night's sleep. They get such a bashing on MN generally, I thought I'd put in a good word for them!

SirBoobAlot Fri 01-Feb-13 19:40:36

Quoteunquote completely agree with you sad

nothingbyhalves Fri 01-Feb-13 19:55:10

DS used to go through phases of crying for hours on end without stopping. DH and I tried everything, driving him up and down motorway, co sleeping, cuddles, extra feeds, you name it. One night we were literally outside his door debating what to try as we were shattered and out of nowhere he settled himself and went back to sleep. We discovered by accident controlled crying as it were. The next time he cried a few days later we didn't rush into him (we gave it about 5 minutes) and he settled himself. Not sure how old he was (he is now 3) may have been around the 5 month mark. Sometimes by stimulating a little one are we are actually keeping them awake? I would not have been comfortable leaving him cry for more than 5 minutes, but from that moment on we didn't rush into him. He has been since a fab sleeper. Please don't slate me!

Also I'm a teacher (again please don't slate me!) Unsettled sleep is something you do get used to. A collegue of mine has not had a full nights sleep since the birth of her DD. She manages fine and has just adjusted to less sleep. The body is amazing at adatpting. x

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Fri 01-Feb-13 20:18:24

I'm another agreeing with unquote.

ScillyCow Fri 01-Feb-13 20:21:40

I have twins. I never ever left either one to cry. DT2 slept through (10 - 6) at 3 months - I had to wake him to feed him! DT1 didn't sleep through until 8 months.

You won't turn him into a non-sleeping sod!!

Fairylea Fri 01-Feb-13 20:26:44

Another one agreeing with quote.

You can't just leave a young baby to cry. They cry for a reason.

I'm not completely opposed to cc in older children done over very short time frames (ie leaving for a few mins at a time, patting and resettling etc) to encourage them to learn to sleep. But young babies have no concept of time or even night and day at such a small age.

I have two dc who are thankfully very good sleepers but I have never left either to cry, even in the baby stages where they were up every few hours... ds still wakes up for the day at 5am. I have also worked full time whilst going through it with dd. It's not easy and I do sympathise. But crying it out was never an option for me and I really don't agree with it at all.

For me it goes against the very nature of what it is to be a parent.

Iggly Fri 01-Feb-13 20:30:03


PleasePudding Fri 01-Feb-13 21:44:54

I agree with NothingByHalveswe were once so completely knackered we hadn't worked out which one was going to haul ourselves out of bed when DC1 settled himself and it did get better. I think some babies do grump a bit when settling themselves whereas maybe others cry only when distressed. I also think there are different cries, like the sort of grumbling, grumping cry when they settle themselves to sleep in the evening might be repeated later in the night but is different from the scared or sad or ill cry.

I can't remember how old DC1 was - maybe about 8 months.

NumericalMum Fri 01-Feb-13 21:53:39

You cannot possibly go back to work having been woken up 5-6 times a night.
Yes you can. Many people do. It isn't easy and it isn't enjoyable but somehow millions of people cope.
I am sure he will sleep eventually. My DC was the anti-sleep but at nearly 5 sleeps through often.

Goldenbear Fri 01-Feb-13 21:57:11

You can't or definitely shouldn't just leave a 4 month old to CIO- it is cruel. This is part if the deal I'm afraid- you have the baby you live with the consequences!

I refused to see one of DP's friends as he would boast about this. They left their 2 week old baby dc1 to CIO. We went around for a dinner and at 7 the mum took dc 2 up to bed at 7 as it was bed time for the 5 week old. Her DH told her to close the nursery door so we couldn't hear this newborn crying. I said what I thought and we've never been invited since- thank goodness!

YorkshireDeb Fri 01-Feb-13 21:58:26

Ok, you've persuaded me it's best to go to him whenever he cries - and I'm grateful for that because as I said in my op my heart tells me that's what I should be doing. I am a teacher & it seems debate able whether that will cause me more of a problem or not - but definitely easier than brain surgery or air traffic control. The comments about co sleeping interested me. I might give it a go & see if he seems to sleep better that way. Oh, and sorry for using the word sod - I love him to bits & other than the sleeping bit he is wonderful & smiley & not a sod at all. I guess it was my tiredness speaking when I wrote it. Thanks ladies. smile x

YorkshireDeb Fri 01-Feb-13 22:01:12

Ps just for the record, I haven't actually left him to cry yet & always go to him straight away if he is upset. Usually when he wakes up he just makes little grumbly noises & that's when I go to settle him. X

Karoleann Fri 01-Feb-13 22:01:46

Posters - I did have a bad sleeper d1 was horrendous and still wasn't sleeping through when ds2 was born. It affected me, him, and my relationship with dh and I wasn't go to let it happen again. I think a strong family unit is absolutely vital to bring up a child well.

I'm not sure why allowing my child and myself to have a decent amount of sleep at night makes me ignorant about child development.

You do not need your body to adapt, you just need your baby to sleep.

I have two prefectly normal children who learnt to sleep through early on. That is good it's is not chilling (you nutter), my children are very happy.

When you have children you expect them to change your life and they do, my children mean the world to be and I am a happy, parent, they are happy sweet children.
They should not take over your life, that isn't good for anyone.

All the evidence points to co-sleeping being dangerous so why do it?

Lambethlil Fri 01-Feb-13 22:06:22

That's bollocks Karolann. You are very misinformed.

apostropheuse Fri 01-Feb-13 22:07:18

You shouldn't leave a young baby to cry. They cry because they have a need that needs to be met. It's how they communicate at that age.

I think it's cruel to ignore a crying baby.

Bottleoffish Fri 01-Feb-13 22:08:08

karolean your children learnt early on that you weren't going to come when they cried. Even advocates of CIO or CC suggest it isn't done until 6 months old, doesn't that tell you something?

All the evidence does not point to co sleeping being dangerous either. Many infant sleep experts and anthropologists strongly recommend it, the benefits are great and extend far beyond a decent night's sleep.

Iggly Fri 01-Feb-13 22:09:54

All the evidence points to co-sleeping being dangerous so why do it?

You're wrong.

EricNorthmanIsMyMaker Fri 01-Feb-13 22:10:16

I agree with everyone else that said don't do it!
If you do decide to co- sleep please look up the guidelines for safe co-sleeping.
Karoleann - co-sleeping is only dangerous if not done correctly.
OP - if its the dummy falling out that is the problem then try a snuggly bunny. Its a cuddly rabbit with Velcro paws that you attach the dummy to so if it falls out they can find it more easily. Worked wonders with my eldest who woke me constantly looking for his dummy.

SneakyNuts Fri 01-Feb-13 22:11:18

I suggest you do your research on co-sleeping, Karoleann

Iggly Fri 01-Feb-13 22:11:56

I have two prefectly normal children who learnt to sleep through early on of course you'd say that! Who ever admits or thinks that leaving their child to scream alone in the dark might not have been a good idea?

My two - could never have left them to scream as they woke in pain with reflux. Imagine leaving them to scream??? <shudder>

Karoleann Fri 01-Feb-13 22:14:52

Okay give me a link on co-sleeping, I'll do a couple too.

How can I be misinformed? I tried not letting ds1 cry and it didn't work.
Then I tried letting ds2 and dd cry and it did work.

If you're going to say something is bollacks you need to say why.

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 22:15:31

Your baby is far too young to leave to cry! I voulkd never do it and as far as I am aware its not recommended for babies under one year now.

Your instinct is telling you to go to him for a reason.

If you follow the guidelines then co-sleeping can be done safely, the WHO have safe co-sleeping guidelines you can download smile

Bottleoffish Fri 01-Feb-13 22:16:06

I have to say, a relative of mine almost proudly declares how she left her second son to CIO in his pram at the bottom of the garden, that's what they did in those days she says and apparently it has done him no harm.... he has a history of drug abuse, assault, has been in prison and has multiple children with different Mothers, one of whom he is not allowed contact with.

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