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Would you let a 3 month cry at all when settling?

(15 Posts)
expuffinbookclub Tue 13-Sep-11 10:22:12

My son is 11 weeks and falls asleep at the breast both at night and for naps. I wait until he is in a deep sleep before moving him from my bed, as I feed him lying down, to his basket. He has a bedtime routine with bath etc and then sleeps 3-6 hours before waking for a night feed. However I find it difficult to put him back down in the night and often end up with him in bed or re-feeding him to comfort him which can lead to fussing. My dilemma is should I put him down drowsy but awake to encourage self soothing? I tried yesterday with an afternoon nap but it took an hour of patting and soothing while he cried on and off. I felt uncomfortable as while the book I read by Penelope Leach said this is not the same as controlled crying, I worry that letting him cry at all is psychologically damaging. Equally I don't want to store up problems for the future by not encouraging him to fall asleep by himself in his own bed. Any advice welcome x

An0therName Tue 13-Sep-11 10:56:14

have you had a look at no cry sleep solution -- prob get in the libary - its had a really good technique for getting a baby to stop falling asleep on the boob - but at that age at night I wouldn't worrry too much - normally for them to want to feed alot or be in bed with you -

Zimbah Tue 13-Sep-11 20:45:45

I would let a 3 month old grizzle for a little bit, but not cry for an hour even if I was there. Although it depends on how much they are crying - if they are just grumbling and I was there patting/shushing whatever, then I don't think that's unkind. If they get distressed then I would pick up, feed etc. I agree with previous poster the No Cry Sleep Solution has some good ideas. You could try more of a 'pick up, put down' technique a la Baby Whisperer, e.g. put him down drowsy, if he gets upset pick up and re-feed/rock etc to settle, once he's calm and drowsy put him down again, if he gets upset pick up again and repeat. I am sure this works for some babies. For other babies, such as my first, that will only serve to enrage them!

There are various methods you can try that don't involve your baby crying desolately, but ultimately some babies (like my DD2 thank goodness) can easily learn to self-settle, whereas others like my DD1 just can't do it and need to be fed/rocked/swayed to sleep for months and months. If that's the case, it doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong.

culturemulcher Tue 13-Sep-11 20:49:33

I think letting a 3 month old cry, is cruel. Sorry.
Maybe at 6 months.

thisisyesterday Tue 13-Sep-11 20:50:30

i wouldn't. no.

StickThemWithThePointyEnd Tue 13-Sep-11 20:52:43

crying? no. Grizzling? yes.

RitaMorgan Tue 13-Sep-11 20:55:54

11 weeks is very young to expect any kind of self-settling. I wouldn't let a baby of that age cry.

I have done some letting ds cry while rocking/patting/pick-up put-downing when I stopped feeding to sleep, but that was more like 5/6 months.

expuffinbookclub Tue 13-Sep-11 21:15:58

Thanks for your replies. It confirmed my feeling that he is too little to self settle and I will not be repeating yesterday. I think I will let things evolve at their own pace and not worry! If I see him drifting off, I might give him chance to fall asleep by himself but otherwise will parent-soothe. I just want him to feel safe and loved and hope the rest will follow...

culturemulcher Wed 14-Sep-11 22:09:28

Sounds like a very good plan. Good luck!

Momo36 Thu 15-Sep-11 13:18:35

It also depends on a baby I think. My DD was breast fed till 7 months and was in my room till 5 and a half months. I always made sure that she slept in her basket and not on me and she was generally fine with that. I do agree with pps I would not leave her to cry, this stage is difficult enough for you and the baby so just do whatever works.

PipPipPip Mon 19-Sep-11 15:23:55

When my baby was around three months, I could sometimes sense when she was overtired/cranky during the day and needed some quiet time in order to get to sleep.

So I would place her in her cot, look at the clock and think 'okay, I'll give her five minutes before going in'.

She would often get to sleep within five minutes. Sometimes she'd grizzle/cry for five minutes and then I'd pick her up. And sometimes she'd really scream and I'd pick her up within a minute.

But the good thing is that, yes, sometimes she would grizzle for a while then fall asleep. Which felt AMAZING after months of rocking and swaying!

I'm a pretty huggy Mum (co-sleeping, bf-ing on demand) and I've never left her longer than I've been comfortable with. But I do think it is important to allow babies to have quiet moments and, yes, learn to self-soothe.

Now at five months, she sucks her thumb and is sometimes (but not always) capable of soothing herself to sleep during the day or in the evening.

PipPipPip Mon 19-Sep-11 15:31:06

PS. I don't think it is psychologically damaging for a child to cry for a few minutes provided the child is loved/safe/warm/well-fed etc etc.

Please don't get me wrong - I'm not some harsh Gina Ford nutter - but I just genuinely think that a few minutes of crying is normal, and possibly even important when it comes to development.

LittleMilla Mon 19-Sep-11 21:26:14

What PipPipPip says.

plus my DS (same age) can sometimes get more p*ssed off if I go in too early...as the grizzly/demi-crying are often part of his falling to sleep process.

Key is to differentiate between a grumble/shout and a real cry. Rushing in at every peep (in my experience) can prolong things. Just give them a chance to do it on their own, within reason!

Good luck! x

HandMini Tue 20-Sep-11 21:35:48

Yes to PipPipPip and LittleMilla.

I have been really surprised when settling DD (15 weeks) that allowing 3-4 minutes of shouts/grizzles/crows can actually get her off to sleep really quickly, without me hovering/swaying/rocking/feeding/patting.

It seems to go one of two ways - either she'll grizzle herself to sleep in pretty short order (ie 3-4 minutes), or it will escalate quite quickly to proper crying, in which case I would always, immediately, pick up, cuddle, perhaps feed and then try to settle again.

Time it with a phone/watch, as you will be convinced you have left her for hours and it will only be 2 minutes! You will know if it's really distressed crying, in which case, don't hesitate to pick up.

I'm a bit unsure about pick up / put down (No Cry Sleep Solution). I suspect it works by exhausting babies with the up and down.

BertieBotts Tue 20-Sep-11 21:48:24

It has to be whatever you are comfortable with - you know your baby better than anyone else, and you can tell whether they are getting distressed and how much "grizzling" "stirring" "murmuring" (insert other word for not-quite-crying) you are happy to put up with.

If you are happy to keep settling her yourself, then do it. It won't be forever, and if it does become a problem at some point in the future, she will have a strong base of knowing you were always there for her to build on. I found that DS was over one before I was happy to ignore the initial grizzles and wait to see if he went back to sleep, though there were quite significant problems at home towards the end of his first year (I split up from his dad when he was 13 months) and it may have been earlier than this had there not been. Either way, it was when we were both ready, and as long as you are happy with the situation, don't worry about it.

NCSS isn't the same as PUPD, BTW. It's more about reassessing whether you really want to encourage the self-settling/discourage the night waking, or whether you just feel you should, whether there are other options like focusing on daytime naps or better routine generally, or by making the night wakings less disturbing to your sleep, and then whichever way you decide to go, various things to try to make the transition smoother. And lots of reassurance that you can leave it until later and your baby will be fine and not doomed to a life of breastfeeding to sleep and being in the parental bed at 25.

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