Accidental "crying down" worked!!.... Try again?(27 Posts)
Hi! DS2 now 6 weeks and has been a really unsettled baby - very hard to get to sleep for both naps and night time. Usually in the evening DH and I are both around and one of us puts DD1 to bed whilst the other walks rocks or feeds DD2 to sleep. Today DH had to go out so our usual evening routine was impossible and I just had to leave DD2 (fed, clean and swaddled) in her moses basket whilst I bathed DD1. I could hear her yelling her head off for at least ten minutes whilst I was doing the bath (and it nearly broke my heart!) but by the time I went back into her she was sound asleep and has been much more settled all evening!! So - has anyone tried repeatedly crying down to sleep? Should I do it again? For naps? Might it be the best way to teach her better sleep habits? How long should I allow? It feels awful to hear her crying but perhaps it will quickly get better? Advice please!!
I wouldn't do it at six weeks, far too early imo. Babies at this age cry for a reason, and I would hate to think of a baby with wind pain for example being left to cry all alone. I understand though how it happens accidently though when you are busy with an older child.
Couldn't you just have scrapped the bath? I mean, how vital was that?
Sorry, but six weeks is way too young. In fact, any age is way too young.
My friend's daughter was like this and after 8 weeks of no sleep, they decided to allow her 5-10 mins 'crying down' time at night.
It was a revelation for them both, and her sleeping improved immediately.
Their theory in hindsight was that she was a sensitive, easily over-stimulated baby, who found endless handling / rocking / stroking just too much, and she needed a bit of down time on her own.
This method won't suit everyone, and you'll get lots of people telling you not to, but only you'll know whether you're comfortable with allowing her to cry.
I think I'd give it a try, but stick to a very short time limit though, and never go beyond that. If it doesn't hep within a few days, don't bother.
IMVHO, 5 - 10 mins crying for a few days at 6 weeks old is not going to scar her for life. But be quick to recognise if it's not working, and try something else if that's not the case.
I think 6 weeks is too young. At that age she will just be learning the lesson that no one comes if she cries. 10 minutes is a very long time - it must have been distressing for both of you. Could you adjust your family life for a bit so that you are not trying to bath a toddler at the same time as needing your DD to be by herself?
It is imo too young to leave for any length of time but maybe I think that because my ds was so highly strung and used to get hysterical after 2 mins, look like he was going to burst and then throw up! I have heard that some babies just need to have a little yell before settling down. As long as she's not crying inconsolably for hours I'm sure a few mins if fine. At the end of the day, if she was really 'damaged' or upset by being left for those 10 mins then in my experience her sleep would be worse and she wouldn't be more settled. She'd keep waking up being upset and clingy as after only once she won't have learned that you won't come back so there's no point iyswm? Do what ever works for you and keeps both your children happy.
at least ten minutes sounds awful to me
if it was really breaking your heart you would have just not done it
you didn't need to do the bath
you have a six week old, you can't alwasy do what you did before or want to
dont leave her to cry for that long
when I used to bath dd when ds was a baby I would bring him into the bathroom with us and he would lie on the floor or in a bouncy chair and see what was going on - could that be an option rather than leaving him to cry alone?
You have to remmeber why they are crying - its cause they want to go to sleep. Having lots of sleep will make them better sleepers. It does depend on what sort of cry you mean.
DD has full on paddies, holding breath, kicking legs when she's REALLY tired and nothing helps.
If your lo was not at this point then can understand but personally I couldn't have left her.
Even at 6 weeks it is a possible she's the sort of person who gets wound up by "fussing".
When a 6 week old cries it is prob always for a reason - but this could be "put me down"; "leave me alone" or "I'm knackered".
I wouldn't do it all day everyday but whne you know she is genuinely tired it is (IMO) perfectly reasonable to puther down, leave the room for 5-10 mins and see what happens.
THis is not to be confused with "controlled crying" which IMO should not be done until much later.
IMO - i don't think it is wise to do it on such a tiny baby. I am with Seona, you could bring her in and place her on the bouncy chair in the same bedroom.
I would check all her obvious bits (nappy,food,wind) then leave her for a bit - I know this will be unpopular but my DS used to howl at bedtime out of sheer tiredness even from an early age.
I think this depends massively on the type of baby. If she is an easily overstimulated, alert baby, and it was a whingey tired cry and it was definitely winding down quickly then I think leaving her for a few minutes (not as much as 10) may be OK if it is the only way to settle her down.
However, you describe her as "yelling her head off for at least ten minutes", which to me sounds unacceptable.
I do sympathise - I had an easily overstimulated alert baby who went mental if I put him down, giving me a lovely rock-and-a-hard-place scenario for months. If she truly does prefer to be left then put her down and sit with her, but I don't think a baby who is crying hard or who cries for more than a couple of minutes is expressing a preference for being alone. I think that's probably a baby who's saying "I'm knackered and I don't have the skills to get myself off to sleep yet and I don't know where you are and I have no concept of how dirty a toddler can get and I'm lonely and scared and please will you get me the hell out of this cot and give me a cuddle" or something.
I wouldnt do it as a routine going forward no.
I do disagree with all you posters who say you shouldnt have left her to bath your DD1 though.
My DS2 hated being put down from a young age and yes, I did have to put DS1 to bed which involved leaving DS2 to cry!
Perhaps I just havent mastered it yet, but even without the bath there is no way I have found to hold the baby and manage to get DS1's pj's on, take him to the toilet, get his milk, brush his teeth etc and then put him in bed and read his stories (picked up the baby for stories but the rest of it took at least 10 mins and most times involved a bit of crying)
Its not nice, but when you are on your own in the evenings theres not much alternative.
I wouldnt do it out of choice.
I read once that babies that young will fall asleep after crying so much out of exhaustion, rather than being 'settled' - they kind of give up
I wouldn't do it that young for that length of time either .... either leave the bathtime or bring the baby into the bath with you. In fact, can you not bath them together?
I remember DH going to work when DD was about 5 weeks old and I just used to put them in the bath together ...
How old is your DD1?
I've just had a thought - have you thought about a sling? Frees up your hands for any tasks and settles your baby really well too. A wrap sling is light and comfy and babies love them
As long as you've checked there is no genuine reason then it's fine. 10 minutes really isn't that long and once they realise that once they have been put to bed it means sleep and they won't get any extra attention then they won't even bother crying. Didn't follow this with my DS2 (really should have done) and had loads of problems getting him to sleep. He's now 4 and still doesn't settle easily. For some reason with DS1 I did let him cry and it sorted his sleeping out really quickly. I think the reason i didn't with DS2 was I was concerned about it disturbing his brother but I feel I'm now paying the price.
I have 3 DSs, and have always done bath, milk and stories for the 3 of them together. I've then put the youngest to bed while the older ones clean their teeth and have one last story, all of which I guess takes 10-15 minites. I did this with DS1 & 2 where the age gap was 2 years, and again when DS3 arrived 2 1/2 years later.
When we put DS2(and later DS3) to bed, sometimes they did cry, sometimes for a moment or to, sometimes for the full 15 minutes, but as long as I was confident that it was just tiredness, I left them to it. I would then always go back and check on them (and settle them if necessary) when the big brothes were in bed. Very quickly they learnt to settle themselves almost immediately they went to bed, and both have been really good sleepers.
Given the comments you've had so far, I'm sure I will get a lot of "I couldn't leave them like that", "how could you" comments - but I'm not cold hearted, I just believe that sometimes the older ones need that time with you more than a little one "needs" your help dropping off to sleep. If it feels right for you, give it a try. You will know if your little one is something other than tired so needs your attention. HTH.
Just read previous post. Slings really bad ideaif used too much. Again used a sling with DS2 and probably used it too much. He just really couldn't cope for even a second with being put down or left. Definitely made a rod for my own back!!
AllbuggiedOut. Completely agree with you!! I'm not cold hearted but as you say the older DS needs attention too. I think it could cause problems between siblings if older children are consistently left as soon as the new arrival cries.
Roboshua I would argue the opposite - the baby needs to be held, hence the sling, not the other way round!
Do you think maybe your DS2 is just different? I really disagree that all babies will behave the same way if we treat them the same way.
I carried DS non-stop for his first 5-6 months, and he would only ever nap on me and with me. He still isn't a great sleeper but I can now put him down in his cot for a sleep no problems and generally he hates to be held now and would far rather be on the ground investigating his surroundings. By your definition he should be unputdownable!
I tried to do crying down with DD a few weeks ago (now 11 wks) and she just made herself hysterical so I couldnt do it and I got hysterical too! I don't in any way blame you for leaving her to cry as I can't imagine having 2 to deal with! I also think that if they are winded, fed, clean nappy, then it is ok to leave them to cry for a few minutes-providing you CAN do it. I don't think it causes harm to the baby but to the mother!
We sorted out DD's sleeping by giving her a dummy and have never now had to leave her to cry - pop in dummy and she goes off to sleep - but I have to keep a very close eye on her sleep signals to put her to bed at the right time.
If you don't want to have to do this again, then you could consider trying a dummy or do what someone else suggested, putting her in a bouncy chair in the bathroom with you-or bathing them both together.
But don't beat yourself up about it. Lots of people I know leave their children for a few mins to cry and they have all grown up healthy, happy and well adjusted!
I don't know whether a sling would help because I never tried that route at bedtime. But for me, those 10-15 minutes uninterrupted time with the big boy(s) were very important.
I didn't do it for naps, though, when I was less confident about the reason for the crying being tiredness.
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