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Is it Ok to leave 4 month old to cry to sleep?

(79 Posts)
Cinnamon84 Wed 14-Dec-16 15:16:44

I've been struggling for ages to get my 4 month ds to nap in the day. (Have written loads of other posts about this)
At night he is rocked to sleep, put in bednest then after breastfeeding he lies down next to me. He sleeps from about 7.30 pm - 7.30am, feeds every 3-5 hours but goes straight back down. This is fine and there doesn't appear to be problems here.

In the day I've tried feeding him, going out in pram, bouncy chair, swaddling, white noise, sitting still, dummy... I just can't get him to nap so I normally resort to holding him and bouncing on yoga ball (normally figits and cries but eventually sleeps) and then lay him down on the bed til he wakes (normally after 45 mins) or I take him out in the sling (yesterday I walked for over 2.5 hours and he slept for 1).

Today he woke at 7.55 and between then and 3 I managed to get him to sleep twice and both times woke after 10 mins. A community nurse came over to try and help and while she was here he constantly tried to fight sleep. She instructed me to put him in his gro bag and leave him in his cot- his shouts and cries eventually turned into full blown screaming, bright red face and sounded like he was choking.

She said babies need to learn to self soothe, which I agree with and that I need to leave him to cry. This doesn't seem right to me but I don't know if I'm being too soft? I know I need to break the cycle of soothing him to sleep but I don't want him to feel like he's ignored when he cries.

I've just started feeding him and he has finally dropped off!

Cinnamon84 Wed 14-Dec-16 15:17:22

Not sure if that post even makes sense I'm so exhausted!

QuilliamCakespeare Wed 14-Dec-16 15:20:58

I honestly don't think you need to 'break the cycle' at 4 months old. I know it's exhausting but he's tiny and he needs you. Even people who do CIO/CC (which I disagree with anyway but that's just personal opinion - I'm not saying I'm right) say don't try it before 6 months. I'd just do whatever you need to at the moment - cuddles, sling, car seat, whatever. I did the lot with DS and he self settles like a dream now. He just got the hang of it as he got older. Good luck - sleep deprivation is truly torture (I'm about to have DS2 and shitting it!) but it will pass eventually. flowers

QuilliamCakespeare Wed 14-Dec-16 15:22:27

Just re-read your OP and he's sleeping 12 hours at night? Think yourself extremely lucky - that's really good at 4 months!

gluteustothemaximus Wed 14-Dec-16 15:22:57

Personally I wouldn't let him cry it out at 4 months or ever but that's me.

He's a teeny weeny little baby who needs his mummy for comfort. I don't think there's anything wrong with that smile

Congratulations flowers

QuilliamCakespeare Wed 14-Dec-16 15:23:13

Oh FFS. I skipped the bit about the feeds. I'm taking my baby brain outta here now! blush

gluteustothemaximus Wed 14-Dec-16 15:23:21

Yes, I agree, 12 hours is amazing smile

nuttyknitter Wed 14-Dec-16 15:24:21

It's never ok.

gluteustothemaximus Wed 14-Dec-16 15:24:27

Even with feeds, he goes straight back down over 12 hours; that's good.

mimiholls Wed 14-Dec-16 15:24:56

If he can't self settle at night I wouldn't try it during the day when he is impossible to get to sleep to start with?! It really depends what you feel comfortable with but if you want to try self settling I'd start with the evening as you already have a good foundation for that, and that will then have a knock on affect in the day. You don't have to leave him to cry, you could try sitting with him and patting/shushing. 4 months is still quite young to be self settling.
Is he crying during the day because he's tired? It sounds like you've had some success with the sling- I would do whatever it takes for the moment to make life easiest.

OohNoDooEy Wed 14-Dec-16 15:28:23

I would leave to cry but not for that long as I wouldn't be comfortable. I'd do very gentle controlled crying/ferber at 4 months but I think the NHS says 6 months?

I'd do intervals of 1,2 then 3 minutes and when I went back in simply reassure (not settle) for 30 seconds or so. Keeping him in the cot. Or just sitting there whilst they cry.

So many of my friends babies don't nap at all and I don't know how you do anything all day. Naps are important!

BeaveredBadgered Wed 14-Dec-16 15:30:23

My daughter was terrible at napping at that stage. She would only nap in her bouncer and took a good hour to drop off. Something clicked and now she's great at sleeping. I probably wouldn't leave to scream at 4 months since many babies take longer to learn to self settle.

Cinnamon84 Wed 14-Dec-16 15:31:53

I know I thought it seemed young, I asked her if being left to cry was bad and that i thought it was distressing for babies, and said that I want him to trust me and she just told me not to read too many things on the internet!

I'd love him to self settle though, I reallly don't understand how to do it. He was tired when I put him down but 2 of the times I picked him up when he was screaming he immediately smiled and look WIDE awake!! The third time I put him down he screamed so much it took me ages to get him to stop

SpotTheDuck Wed 14-Dec-16 15:33:41

4 months is too early to let him cry to sleep. It's also a bad time as a 4 months sleep/nap regression is so common.

At that age do whatever it takes to get them to nap, and don't worry about setting up bad habits etc, you can sort all that out later.

gluteustothemaximus Wed 14-Dec-16 15:35:19

she just told me not to read too many things on the internet!

Looking at lots of opinions and research on the internet is better than listening to one woman's opinion grin

Cinnamon84 Wed 14-Dec-16 15:36:01

I know I'm so grateful for our nights being ok. She said co sleeping is a really bad habit and he needs to back into his cot. I know she's right but if he doesn't sleep at night then we're screwed!

Wolfiefan Wed 14-Dec-16 15:38:50

OFGS. Co sleeping isn't a bad habit if it's what you need to do to survive! (And follow guidelines like don't drink alcohol or smoke.)
My DS was a bit like this. He just grew out of it. At that age they just need you unfortunately and being close to you is reassuring for them.

Rustler74 Wed 14-Dec-16 15:39:10

Please follow your maternal instincts rather than allowing your 4 months old to go into full blown screaming. Sitting with him and putting your hand on the bed or even on his leg might be the right step down if you feel comfortable with him. I was always told that you need to be in the same room as him when he's sleeping for the whole 6 months. I just wouldn't have the heart to let him cry on and on until so upset he's not consoleable. That could not be beneficial for his confidence. At this age he really needs you and your presence and food.
Wondering if babywearing is an option for you? He could fall asleep when close to you and you can still do stuff
Good luck and hope it settles soon x

SausageD0g Wed 14-Dec-16 15:39:27

I'm so impressed with his night sleeping!

If you're getting him to sleep 45 mins on the bed or an hour in the buggy that's OK isn't it?

Mine never slept longer than an hour and I wouldn't make them nap, just let them sleep in the sling/buggy/ sofa next to me etc at home. Or in the car after lunch and I'd take a good book and!

Hellmouth Wed 14-Dec-16 15:42:36

I once wondered how my mum coped with twins. Turns out that, from the beginning, she left us to cry. i think we turned out alright.

The recommendations change all the time. In 30 years, they'll probably says its ok to leave babies to cry.

A 4 month old typically needs 16 hours sleep, but this can vary for babies. If he's sleeping 12 hours in the night, even with waking up for feeds, are you sure he's that tired during the day?

I don't really have any advise aside from what I've posted before. Sorry!

Cinnamon84 Wed 14-Dec-16 15:43:47

Yes I agree, I don't feel comfortable letting him scream, maybe if I can try and pat him it might be less upsetting for him.

He cries when I take him out in the pram and car seat (not sure if it's because he wants to be picked up?)

I do have a sling and he will sleep in it- if I use it around the house he won't sleep and will just cry but if I take him out he'll sleep with no complaining (as I mentioned above I walked for over 2 and a half hours yesterday to get him to sleep though so not ideal!)

gluteustothemaximus Wed 14-Dec-16 15:44:32

Co sleeping is not bad at all. Am doing it again with my 3rd. He's 9 months and loving cuddles with mum every night. Very happy baby.

Other 2 sleep brilliantly. No bad habits at all smile

Cinnamon84 Wed 14-Dec-16 15:46:35

Yes no problems at the mo with his night sleeping thank god. I think when I'm feeding him at night he's half asleep (he's sucking and swallowing but his eyes are closed) - if I'm a bit clumsy putting him down I'll disturb him and he'll be wide awake and it will take ages to get him back to sleep though.

FATEdestiny Wed 14-Dec-16 17:08:14

The only thing that needs to change Cinnamon84, are your expectations.

The way to get baby to sleep easily is to make sleep as easy as possible for baby. At 4 months that probably involves all three of these:

- movement
- something to suck as he goes to sleep
- you being close by, in terms of eye contact and physical touch.

5minutestobed Wed 14-Dec-16 17:08:56

That's totally normal op. Cam u not feed him in bed during the day too? And nap with him? If I only had one child that's what I'd do!

After the four month sleep regression it all changes so don't worry to much about bad habits just now, these thing naturally evolve anyway.
If he is doing 12 hours at night he probably only needs 3/4 hours sleep during the day. They should only be awake for 1.5/2 hours max at that age. Less if they had a short nap before hand. This stage is a lot of hard work with timing for naps etc but it doesn't last forever. I walked miles with DS1 to get him to sleep, helped me lose weight though at the same time haha.
Please don't leave him to cry. He's only tiny.

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