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Baby crying: can I check with you what I'm doing is okay?

(20 Posts)
shortfatsally Mon 12-Jan-15 18:20:02

First time mother to 7 wk old. She has quite established feeding times now, like clockwork she will cry for a feed 6 times a day and once through the night, which is great, although I know this will probably change at some point.

She used to be a mixture of active with me and sleeping between these feed times. The past 4 days she has been crying non stop between feeds unless I hold and walk around with her.

If I put her down to sleep at the times she used to sleep, she will cry for 5 minutes and then she will sleep a long time. I stand in the room where she can see me as she's crying, but I don't touch her. I feel terrible, 5 minutes feels like such a long time and I stare at my watch, but she actually goes off to sleep and she is tired. She doesn't go to sleep if I hold her.

A couple of times, it has passed 5 minutes and she still has not settled, in which case I have picked her up again and taken her for a walk around the house (counting to 500) then put her back in the cot and waited another 5 minutes.

Is what I'm doing okay?

148Anna Mon 12-Jan-15 21:40:26

I think it's fine, a lot of babies get very whingy and grumpy when they need to sleep and won't let themselves go. You shouldn't feel you're doing something wrong if she cries for a few minutes. It's never nice listening to your baby cry but it's going to happen a lot and you can't let yourself get really stressed when she does. You've also got to bear in mind at 7 weeks her routine is going to change a lot in the next few weeks and months, so don't get too hung up on thinking she must have a nap now. If she's settled when you're holding her it's always good sign but if you're worried phone your health visitor it's what they are there for, just for some reassurance if nothing else.

findingherfeet Mon 12-Jan-15 21:50:52

If it makes you feel terrible, I'd say don't! You can't spoil a tiny baby...enjoy all the cuddles and don't panic it won't make her a bad sleeper (saying that I have one great sleeper and one awful one!..)

ch1134 Mon 12-Jan-15 22:34:16

I'm sure it's ok and she'll be fine, but it's not my way. I agree that 'you can't spoil a newborn, and never left mine to cry. Trust your instincts as there are many ways of getting it right.

TittingAbout Mon 12-Jan-15 22:38:40

I agree with ch1134 that if it doesn't feel right, then don't do it!
I never left mine to cry as it didn't feel right to me. That's not to say that no-one should, it's just that you know your baby and what is right for her.

TittingAbout Mon 12-Jan-15 22:40:03

Oops, quoted wrong poster - I meant findingherfeet

clairewitchproject Mon 12-Jan-15 22:45:25

Are you breastfeeding? Breastfed babies have growth spurts where they need increased feeds or cluster feeds (to increase your supply). Personally based on the principle that you cannot overfeed a breastfed baby I always offered the breast to my crying newborn (and at not quite 2 months she is really newborn) and my personal preference would have been that I would not have left such a small baby crying, albeit she can see you (is she focusing yet?) for 1000s of years being left alone would have meant certain death to a baby so they tend not to like it much, it's in the survival blueprint!

Fairylea Mon 12-Jan-15 22:50:19

I agree with clairewitch and applied the same strategy to both my dc and they were both formula fed. They have a lot of growth spurts and changes in those early weeks and their routines / feeding demands will go completely out of the window from one day to the next more or less. I would always offer a feed if they seemed unsettled even if it wasn't long since the last one. Even a formula fed baby will refuse a feed if they don't want it but at least you know!

Fairylea Mon 12-Jan-15 22:51:47

Just worked out that if you're giving 6 feeds a day that's every 4 hours. .. both mine were feeding every 2 hours at that age. I think the whole schedule / routine thing is a bit of a myth to be honest! smile

AnnaD25 Wed 14-Jan-15 13:54:02

As long as your baby is fed, changed, and not needing anything its fine to let him\her to self sooth, your there in the room. but I suggest try going out of sight and see what happened, my son would cry if he saw me but once I went out of sight and peaked through the door he would stop, grin grin

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Wed 14-Jan-15 14:08:21

I wouldn't leave such a young baby to cry herself to sleep. Why can't you hold her or rock her until she goes off?

TiedUpWithString Thu 15-Jan-15 15:29:41

Everytime my DD cried at that age I fed her (Breastfed). Probably did not help myself as she had many an afternoon nap attached to me. If your baby falls asleep after 5 mins then I doubt its hunger. Could you maybe pat her or stroke her tummy while she's crying?

Stubbed Thu 15-Jan-15 15:38:50

I'm agreeing with the other posters to feed when she cries. 4 hours between feeds is too much for a young baby. Mine only went to three hours between feeds when they were 4 or 5 months old! Poor thing is probably hungry.

BotBotticelli Thu 15-Jan-15 19:38:42

Are you ff OP? If so, there's a good chance she IS happy to go 4 hours between feeds.

From around that age, if DS was tired I found that the best way to get home to sleep was to swaddle him, reassure cuddle, and then put in cot to grizzle for 3-5 mins before he conked out.

It's not going to be a popular view on here but I never felt like I was doing something dreadfully emotive like 'leaving my baby to cry'...I don't think drawing analogies with prehistoric man is helpful! My baby was tired and grumpy. I knew he needed to sleep. My faffing with him just prolonged the agony (he stopped wanting to sleep on me after about 6).

He was not screaming hysterically like he did when he was due a feed. It was a lower level mithering which meant he was exhausted.

He slept through from 5-6 months ish and I think having the mindset where it's ok to leave your baby for 5 mins and see if they fall asleep really helped with this.

Just an alternative viewpoint. Won't be popular on here.

stressbucket1 Thu 15-Jan-15 20:16:50

BotBotticelli that's exactly what I did with both my DD's when they stopped just dropping off to sleep on their own. About 8 weeks ish.
both ff though so fed changed then down for nap both good sleepers bar the usual hiccups like teething etc.
I don't think there is anything wrong with letting them cry for 5 mins when you have 2 DC's you can't always pick them up straight away.
Both slept through 5 months ish too

Zebrasinpyjamas Thu 15-Jan-15 20:24:55

I think it depends on what sort of crying it is. My DS does a grumbly Whitney cry for a couple of minutes before sleep and actually I found out from my hv that there are several stages of baby's sleep and this is a sign of one stage. However if it is full on crying I would pick him up for a bit.

As other pp have said, growth spurts etc will change what feeds they need. When a growth spurt happened it always took me by surprise if it happened after a Period of very predictable feeding intervals!

However you know your baby best so if you feel comfortable doing what you are doing then go with it. Trust your instincts.

Bellyrub1980 Thu 15-Jan-15 20:48:47

I think your gut feeling is the right one to follow here. All babies are different and the only way we know how to deal with our own individual babies is through gut instinct and trial and error. The fact that you posted shows you're doubting the 'cry it out' method. It sounds like you want to pick your baby up but feel like you shouldn't... Why?

My baby is 9 weeks so I am by no means an expert but one thing I know is that her routine changes week by week. I follow the same basic strategy, if she cries feed her. If that doesn't work, change her. If that doesn't work rock her to sleep. But my baby has NEVER self-settled. I've never even attempted it! But that's my baby and I'm just choosing to take the easiest option as I can't bear to hear her cry, even if it does make a rod for my own back, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it!!!

attheendoftheday Sun 18-Jan-15 11:21:31

It doesn't sound awful but I think 5 minutes is quite a long time to leave a baby to cry, and I wouldn't have left mine that long. If she's crying for that long I'd thing she's exhausting herself rather than being ready to self settle.

Personally I'd cuddle her to sleep (I didn't find it hard for my dc to self settle when they were ready), or maybe try the pick up put down technique if you really don't want that.

Imeg Sun 18-Jan-15 13:23:08

If I thought mine was crying from tiredness rather than hunger I used to stick him in the pram and take him for a walk. I didn't time him so I don't know how long it used to take before he went to sleep but there was usually some crying, probably at least 5 minutes sometimes. But he was always happier when he woke up because he'd had some sleep.
Mine has never gone to sleep with cuddling/rocking etc (unless while feeding).

cowbiscuits Mon 19-Jan-15 15:18:35

Regardless off how you feed them I'd cuddle them. If breastfed I'd offer them a boob at the slightest cry. It's nice that your baby has fallen into a routine but you cant expect it to last with a new baby. It will change as they go through growth spurts etc.

As for letting them cry, if it upsets you don't do it. A 7 week old is so tiny, you cant spoil them or teach them anything. They need to be held, they still haven't got used to the idea that they are not part of you.

Try googling the "fourth trimester" which is a good idea about why human babies need that extra closeness.

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