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Is it okay to let baby cry to sleep? Nothing else seems to help!

(20 Posts)
pikapoo Mon 06-Feb-17 23:14:39

Until recently DS (9 months) was using a dummy to settle for naps, but recently it just hasn't worked (he spits it out, plays with it, does not settle).

A few days ago I stopped offering the dummy. Since then, for nap times I try to put him down awake (after mucho cuddles) and provide reassurance by patting and shushing next to his cot. But this seems to antagonise him (and picking him up again does not seem to calm him down much) - In the end I leave him a few minutes (no more than five) crying on and off in his cot, and he ends up falling asleep by himself. It is never wailing/stressed crying, more like on-off whinging crying usually with seconds of pauses in between.

However I'm worried that he will continue to cry to sleep. Is this normal? Is it okay to let him fall asleep like this? Or should I persevere with the dummy again?

Crumbs1 Mon 06-Feb-17 23:19:24

Yes. It's fine. In a few days he'll probably not cry at all.

Gunpowder Mon 06-Feb-17 23:21:13

I think it sounds fine too.

IrregularCommentary Mon 06-Feb-17 23:23:38

I was expecting to say no, don't do it! But actually that sounds ok.

MotherofA Mon 06-Feb-17 23:29:52

Yes I did it he will stop soon smile

pikapoo Mon 06-Feb-17 23:40:46

Thank you all. I guess I'm just paranoid that he'll always cry to sleep!

PleasantPhesant Mon 06-Feb-17 23:47:17

A couple of minutes is fine. If it was twenty minutes plus I'd say pick baby up and cuddle abut less than five minutes is fine at his age imo

JohnLapsleyParlabane Mon 06-Feb-17 23:51:25

The type of crying is the important thing I think. Regular whinging, almost mantra-like crying is very normal as a way of self settling. If it escalates or goes on for very long I'd check on baby.

Tumtitum Tue 07-Feb-17 07:03:28

My DD does/did this (currently not setting very well at 1 year! confused) so I'd say it's normal, but I would say he may or may not stop... when DD does settle herself she's still a bjt of a whinged...!

MotherofA Thu 09-Feb-17 23:05:24

OP would love to hear if little one gets any better at self settling smile

pikapoo Thu 09-Feb-17 23:29:29

MotherofA, it's been 5 days without the dummy and I can safely say that he is settling himself better and better at naptimes. Yes he still has a whinge/ cry when we put him down, but gets shorter each day (like today it was about 30 seconds). As pp said, maybe it's normal for him to cry a little to settle. I find it helps if I leave the room.

LittleLionMansMummy Fri 10-Feb-17 09:25:42

Agree that the type of cry is the important thing. A distressed full on scream wouldn't be ok but a whingey on and off complaining grumble is different. I tend to let dd grumble for a few minutes and if she's still doing it I'll go in a stroke her head, shhh her and leave again. I repeat this till she goes off.

pikapoo Fri 10-Feb-17 11:20:47

It's as if my LO can read my mind confused... This morning, for the first time since we cut the dummy, he refused to nap and the cries escalated. An hour(!!) into the struggle, I gave up and took him out in the buggy. It took another 25 minutes for him to knock himself out. Yikes. I actually feel bad for having let him cry in 2-5 minute intervals when he was refusing to nap.

kel1234 Fri 10-Feb-17 11:29:03

We've always put lo down, and left him for 10 minutes. Within this time he would settle himself to sleep usually. He may moan or have a little cry for a few minutes, but unless there was something else wrong (teething for example), he always settled himself. We did that from the start and he's fine. (Also he's never had any comforter at all, and I don't like dummy's so would never give him one).

pikapoo Fri 10-Feb-17 14:26:01

kel1234 - how old is your LO? And does he still moan/cry when put down to sleep?

bookworm14 Fri 10-Feb-17 14:29:02

Sounds fine to me.

museumum Fri 10-Feb-17 14:30:15

My ds cried to sleep about that age and NOTHING else helped. Cuddling, rocking, shushing, coslerping, offering bf - all just made it worse as he fought to stay awake!
We left him crying and it never took more than 6 mins (compared with 45 mins of him crying in my arms when I tried cuddling/rocking).
It lasted a few weeks, he grew out of it.

pikapoo Thu 16-Feb-17 23:04:33

update - it's been 2 weeks without the dummy. Over the last few days, naps have been particularly difficult (he has started wailing/screaming in response to being put down for naps). After about an hour of trying today (he wouldn't let me carry him, wouldn't let me put him down, was struggling in the baby carrier etc.) I had to just leave him in the cot and take a shower to drown out his crying. He fell asleep after about 10 minutes of crying.

The crazy thing is he's been knackered at bedtimes and fallen asleep without issue, slept through last night in fact (very rare).

But naptimes remain traumatic (for me at least!) and I hate seeing him upset. I do hope that it's just to do with sleep regression or development (he started crawling on knees and pulling himself up to standing properly a couple of days ago). Please tell me that it can only get better!? Really worried that he will continue like this at nap times when he goes to nursery later this month.

FATEdestiny Fri 17-Feb-17 12:17:41

It's not a regression. He needs comfort to get to sleep. He will need comfort to get to sleep until about school age.

His comfort was his dummy.

You have taken that comfort away. And replaced it with.... what exactly? When he's knackered he goes to sleep after some crying, basically because he is exhausted. When he's over tired and needs extra comfort, movement appears to be his emergence source of comfort.

I can bet you good money that when he's just tired (the ideal time to put a baby to sleep, before showing tired signs when just beginning to feel ready for a sleep) he will refuse to sleep. And it's very easy at that point to assume because he isn't going to sleep easily, that he isn't tired. But that would be wrong. It's just he lacks a sleep-trigger comforter.

I'd give the dummy back.

I'd attach it too the sleeping bag (by sewing a ribbon on) so it cant be lost. Then teach child to find and reinsert own dummy whenever he wants comfort.

Making sleep hard for a baby very rarely works. And must surely be distressing for everyone?

Tumtitum Sun 19-Feb-17 18:20:03

My DD wouldn't take a dummy and her naps were also a nightmare when she was learning to crawl but a friend of mine gave her son his previously ditched dummy back just for naps and it seems to be working! Apparently there are different parts of the brain that control day time and night time sleep so introducing a dummy for naps shouldn't affect his night time settling, in theory anyway! Disclaimer: I am not an expert and feed 12 month DD to sleep for naps! confused

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