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How long would you leave an overtired 8 week old crying ?

(91 Posts)
Looby34 Thu 17-Jul-08 18:51:13

Despite watching my ds (8 weeks) for cues he is tired, he is quite hard to read and sometimes gets overtired and then impossible to settle.

Sometimes I sit next to his cot and try shushing him, sometimes I sit with him on my knee (in desperation), shushing him with his dummy in his mouth. You can see he is knackered but won't give in to it.

Tonight after trying to get him off to sleep several times (unsuccessfully) I left him crying in his room for 10 minutes or so. His cries became less frequent and eventually he fell asleep.

I am wondering whether I should just leave him to when it happens again - and how long it is OK to leave him for.

Any thoughts would be appreciated - plsu tips on how to settle an overtired lo.


HumphreyCushioni Thu 17-Jul-08 18:55:10

Sounds like you're doing a great job, looby. smile
He's learning to settle himself, which is great.
If you put him down and his cries become less frequent (as you described), then it's fine to leave him for a while.
His cues will get easier to read as he gets older too.

ProfessorGrammaticus Thu 17-Jul-08 18:56:59

If his cries are going down in volume and frequency then it's probably ok to leave him. Mine often whinged themselves to sleep. Full on yelling for too long is different though (but then mine did once or twice fall asleep mid-yell!) Aleways remember - you know your baby best!

nobodysfool Thu 17-Jul-08 18:57:44

Blimey Looby34 you are doing great.I wish i had it as sussed as you by 8 weeks.It took me months and months to get to the stage you are at.Well done.

flubdub Thu 17-Jul-08 18:59:53

HI! My ds2 is 12 weeks. smile
I think they usually say about 5 mins. but that may also be complete SHIT!!
If you know he will go to sleep after 10 mins of whinging, LEAVE HIM! It wont do him any harm at all.
Mothers under-estimate their insticnt when it comes to babies and children. We were born with a subtle knowledge of what to do with babies, and most of us do it bloody well!
Dont worry, you're doing fine, and your dc will be fine. If hes tired, he will sleep eventually! A little bit of crying before hand wont hurt at all smile

LynetteScavo Thu 17-Jul-08 19:04:09

Swaddle, dummy, dark, leave.

If he's still crying after 10 mins (aprox'), he needs you.

Looby34 Thu 17-Jul-08 19:07:29

Thanks for your messages ! I don't feel like I'm doing great or that I've got it sussed - I use the Baby Whisperer book by Tracy Hogg as my guide. Thing is my dd 2.5 was it seems exceptionally easy and ds is probably more 'normal' so has come as a bit of a shock to us grin

meglet Thu 17-Jul-08 19:11:10

Don't worry I'd do the same at 8 weeks. I left mine for a few moments more as the days went by. If he is obviously getting tired then 10 minutes should do the trick.

violetsmile Thu 17-Jul-08 19:17:39

Does he settle if you stand by the cot while he cries or does it make him worse?If it makes him worse as he can see you then I'd leave him but not for more than 10 mins.

If he also cries the same for 10 mins with you at his side then I'd stay with him til he falls asleep. Just so he knows that you are there but that he needs to go to sleep without your help.

Sounds like you are doing great though. I really struggled with the whole leaving ds to cry thing.

I have only just recently started doing the gradual retreat method, where you hold their hand while they go to sleep for a week, then just stand by the cot without touching them for a week or so, then move gradually further and further away from the cot.

I've only just got him so I can pop him in his cot in a darkened room and stand in the doorway for a few mins til he falls asleep and he's 11 months old now!

The earlier you do it the better, as long as he's not wailing for hours all alone feeling abandoned. I say do whatever helps you both be reseted and happy. x

Onestonetogo Thu 17-Jul-08 19:20:19

Message withdrawn

violetsmile Thu 17-Jul-08 19:24:02

I agree with onestonetogo if you were leaving him for extended periods over and over again. However, sometimes it is kinder to leave them for short periods rather than get yourself and the baby ditressed by holding and rocking. Some babies just don't like fuss and need to cry a little to wind down.

My ds needed me at his side so that's where I was but if he'd have settled after 10 mins then i would have left him.

luvaduck Thu 17-Jul-08 19:30:00

there is a big difference between crying in distress, and just a gentle whinge. all out crying - i wouldn't leave for any length of time, but that kind of whinging - almost like talking " i don't want to go to sleep but i'm not too asleep" is different IMO, so yes would leave that for a few mins

luvaduck Thu 17-Jul-08 19:31:41

but i'm not tired i mean
'scuse the typos

lucyellensmum Thu 17-Jul-08 20:18:07

i really don't like this parenting trend of leaving little ones to cry - i just don't get it. Im not judging at all, i just think there seems to be an inordinate amount of pressure on parents to have "good sleepers" and that leaving them to cry is the way to do it. Its like living in the dark ages again, give me the hippy babywearing fad anytime.

Tapster Thu 17-Jul-08 22:18:53

Lots of physchological evidence that the less that a baby is left to cry on his/her own the first six months the less they cry for the following six months. Worked for my DD and will do the same when the second arrives. I'm sorry I don't believe a baby of 8 months can "settle" themselves.

castlesintheair Thu 17-Jul-08 22:23:47

I agree with the last 2 posters. IMHO I don't think you should leave an 8 week old to cry at all. Yes they are tired but they also just want to be held.

cafebistro Thu 17-Jul-08 22:26:10

8 weeks is quite young to leave them to cry, I would be inclined to settle them myself at that age BUT you have to trust your instincts and if you feel that your baby is starting to settle itself after a while then do what works for you.

IAteRosemaryConleyForBreakfast Thu 17-Jul-08 22:26:20

I'm not a fan of the leaving to cry school, but then I too had a DS who just didn't know how to sleep with or without my help for months and months and it was hellish. I do think when they're overtired they will cry regardless of what you do. With DS I often found myself standing in a dark room holding him while he sweated and screamed and sobbed until he passed out with exhaustion. I would have taken the ten minutes in a cot in preference to that anytime, had it worked.

I wouldn't leave him alone though - if he'll tolerate you sitting with a hand on him so he has some reassurance then try that. Otherwise I would choose to rock or feed them to sleep to avoid the crying.

thisisyesterday Thu 17-Jul-08 22:27:55

I wouldn't leave an 8 week old to cry at all.

crying is his only way of communicating with you right now. when he does it he is telling you that he wants something. food, warmth, comfort, just to be with you and be held.

please don't ignore him

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 17-Jul-08 22:32:36

I wouldnt leave an 8 week old to cry. I say that as someone whose DS cried pretty much non-stop for the first 5 months, and who only learned to 'nap' when he was about 18 months old.

May2December Thu 17-Jul-08 22:34:08

Hi Looby, disagree with thisisyesterday, if it is a moany tired cry I would leave for 15 minutes to self settle and recheck every 15 minutes - if genuinely tired a baby will be asleep long before half an hour. I think picking up an overtired baby and rocking, nursing handling will probably make things worse. (Obviously as long as baby is well fed, winded, not ill, clean nappy and not slept for a while)

MsDemeanor Thu 17-Jul-08 22:35:53

I personally think that 'they learn nobody will come' theory is often a crap guilt-trip peddled by people with an agenda (ie a lot of slings/books to sell)
I am a person who breastfed (two years) slept with my babies etc etc, BUT I still believe that plenty of babies cry because they are tired NOT because you are leaving them alone in their cot for a few minutes. They may well cry MUCH harder if you try to comfort them, which seems to indicate that it is crueller to 'comfort' them than to leave them to sleep. My own ds always cried himself to sleep as a baby - not at eight weeks, admittedly, but as I say, I found it very hard to leave a baby at all and I have spent many, many miserable hours holding and juggling wailing babies in my life. But certainly later on he cried because he was tired, and he seemed to need to grumble himself to sleep in order to get himself off to sleep successfully. I would say to myself, 'he's going for his nap and I am going downstairs and if by the time I've boiled the kettle and made a cup of tea he hasn't stopped crying or nearly stopped, I will go up again." If I interfered with this process the result was an awful lot more crying and a lot less sleep and a far, far less happy baby. I think if shhing, patting, breastfeeding and cuddling make for less crying and more sleep, then absolutely do that. If leaving for five-ten minutes means less crying and more sleep, do that.
For some babies I think that whingey, grumbly cry that gets less and less over a short period is the equivalent of us going, 'Oh, I'm so tired, so incredibly bloody tired, I'm shattered..."

May2December Thu 17-Jul-08 22:36:10

Onestonetogo 'A crying baby needs comfort always' - wrong! A crying baby needs sleep - often, fact!

TotalChaos Thu 17-Jul-08 22:38:39

I agree with MsDemeanour. I think it's OK to leave a baby for 5-10 minutes if they just need to get to sleep.

May2December Thu 17-Jul-08 22:38:47

Excellent post MsDemeanor!

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