HELP! Baby Crying.

I am the proud parent of a beautiful nine month old baby boy. He is the picture of health. He has never been sick and is extremely good natured. His mother and I have been opposed to the “cry it out” method but this has resulted in her not getting much sleep. I offer to get up to comfort him but she feels it is her duty. She has gone away on a business trip for three days and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to try to get him to sleep through the night. I fed him, bathed him and rocked him to sleep. But when I put him in his crib he started crying. I am determined to let him try to get to sleep on his own. But jesus, it is hard. Please tell me I am doing the right thing.

As a book I read on raising children put it, babies are manipulators. They will twist you around their little fingers if you let them.
If you rush in to comfort them every time they cry, then they learn real quick the way to get the big people in with them is to cry.
You rush in and play with them.
You put them down
they cry
You rush in
lather rinse repeat.
with both of my kids we made sure they were ready for bed, put them down and let them cry.
The first night was torture. 20 minutes of a child that sounded like we had abandoned it. finally the kid wore themselves out and fell asleep.
Second night maybe 5 minutes of crying, not quite so gut wrenching.
Third night waaa snore. :slight_smile:

Of course these were newborns, yours has had nine months to train you. It might well be a lot tougher.

I’d suggest you try some systems. Pick up Ferber’s book; maybe his methods will work. We ended up using a method whereby the baby went to sleep with us and then was dispatched to the crib, and had to cry it out there if need be later on.

But, take heart; one way or another your baby will learn to fall asleep. It will happen sooner if you stick to a method that’s right for you guys, but it’ll happen.

You’ve reached the point of parenting where the principles you developed when child free are facing the reality of rearing children.

I think you are doing the right thing (others will disagree) but it will likely take longer than three nights, and therefore is likely to be useless when your wife goes home and goes back to the comfort pattern.

The baby is asleep! Thanks to all who replied. Since I will most likely be up for awhile how 'bout we change the thread to a general new parent advice thread or new parent experience thread? I have survived the" blow out" phase and the “I want to paint with it, not eat it” phase. What do I have to look forward to?

If you are real unlucky, stage 2 of “I want to paint with it” is “not put it in the potty chair.”

But the most immediate one is that the go from crawling to pulling themselves up to “oh my god, you pushed the chair over there and scaled to the top of the refrigerator!” really really fast. Climbing comes (often) very very close to walking - so don’t think you are safe.

Congrats on a sleeping baby, by the way.

Nine months is a very difficult age for implementing your plan. Good luck, though!

Yay the sleeping baby! If I may inject a little downer here - the most important bit of advice I wish I’d taken about “controlled crying” (I think this is the same as “ferber” mentioned above) is - if it’s not working after a week, stop and try something else. I say this because we had many many weeks of LOTS of crying (I think it was about 6 weeks from memory) with Tiny Girl #1 - it did work ultimately but I suspect there was a better way.

Also - you’re prepared that he’s probably going to wake up again in 2 or 3 hours and you’re going to have to do this again, right?

Stay strong…

Now we know the answer!

How to get a baby to sleep? Talk about it on the Dope :slight_smile:

Is this the “cry themselves to sleep” phase? if so, a good set of over-the-ear “earmuff” style hearing protectors are a big help, depending on the lungpower of the infant, you may need to “dpuble up” with foam hearing plugs as well as the “earmuff” style protectors

If they can bring the sounds of diesel power equipment, chainsaws, and firearms down to a safe level, they should be able to muffle the 130+ decibels that babies are capable of emitting

then again, I’m biased, I do whatever it takes to avoid having to listen to crying, thank Og I don’t have kids…

Keep up with it. It’s extraordinarily difficult, I know, but it’s beyond worth it in the end. The Littlest Briston knows that bedtime is for sleeping, and once she’s out, she’s out – never a peep from her room. Meanwhile, we have acquaintances with four-year-olds who can’t make it more than two or three hours of sleep at a time before they’re screaming for Mommy to come lay in bed with them. No thank you…I’ll choose a couple weeks of guilt.

There is an advantage to doing this before they are mobile. A toddler (or four year old) will get out of bed and, if rewarded, will keep getting out of bed. You loose a lot of control over the situation once they get mobile. The ‘reasonable’ thing to do is to lead them back to bed, tuck them back in, and leave, but a four year old with a set of lungs that has learned Mommy will lie down next to them to get them to go to sleep - it won’t be that easy - its no longer ‘cry it out.’

I’ve come to think that some kids are Good Sleepers, and others are not. Parents of Good Sleepers wonder why everybody else seems to be having so much trouble, because getting a kid to sleep isn’t hard. Parents of Bad Sleepers want to strangle parents of Good Sleepers…

Our nine-month-old is a Good Sleeper - for which I believe we can take no credit; we got lucky. We have a bedtime routine, and then one of us rocks her for a short while to calm things down - our goal is to put her into bed “drowsy but not asleep.” (Sometimes she passes out so quickly we miss that target.)

Often there’s one whine, followed by silence. Usually it’s like last night, and she sleeps for 11-12 hours without a whimper; if she does wake up crying, giving her a pacifier is like flipping the power switch on C-3PO’s back. Very rarely she’ll wake up so hysterical that some rocking is required; on these occasions it seems to me that she’s woken up scared and I’m not inclined to just let her holler.

We tried “cry it out” many months ago, and eventually abandoned it - it just wasn’t working. She wasn’t good at putting herself to sleep at that age, but did learn. I still think it was the right decision.

If we have another, I’m predicting a whole new set of strategies based on that kid’s temperament.

Read, yes, but not Ferber. He is the Spanish Inquisition of parenting.

Children have different sleep patterns, and interpreting their attempts to get their needs met as “manipulation” is a sure path to mutual torture. Kids are capable of manipulation at about age 3, but even then are unlikely to use it unless it has been modeled for them, or their needs are routinely left unmet.

My daughter inherited my insomnia, she is almost two now, and generally sleeps eight hours straight, wakes up for a drink and a diaper change, then sleeps two more hours. But it took 16 months for her to regularly sleep more than four hours straight. Being a single Mom, that was hell. (Well, actually her Dad was with us for the first 14 months, but whenever I mentioned that it might be his turn to get up with her, he turned into a Ferberite.)

She can go to sleep on her own, but I generally stay in the room with her until she does, because I want her to feel happy, safe and beloved. I only leave if she seems to be fighting it - and then for five minutes or so, until she lays down.

I received the “let them cry it out” advice from a great many people. I have to tell you though, they all had poorly adjusted and insecure children. I also read a study that said when babies were left to cry on their own the blood flow to their brains decreased after 10 minutes. This did NOT happen when the parents stayed close by, and spoke gently every few minutes.

Read the “Baby Whisperer” books for healthy, sane advice on how to teach your baby to sleep on his/her own.

Don’t be surprised if your wife is extremely upset by your taking it upon yourself to leave the baby crying alone and frightened while she was out of town. She may actually have expected you to step up to the plate and provide the level of care your baby is accustomed to for the short time period during which she needed back-up.

She may also have expected to be included in any big parenting decisions.

We had difficulties around 9 months too. My daughter is now 2.5 years old.

I wish I could tell you exactly what we did, but the massive sleep deprivation caused me to forget it. I do remember it being a series of steps dealing with how far away from the crib we’d get each night when we put her down, and how long we’d wait before rushing in to soothe her when she woke up in the middle of the night.

Everything else is a blur. Write it down though, because in 10 months I’m going to be asking you what worked.

I think that’s pretty unfair and judgmental - it’s not like this isn’t a well-known area of disagreement among baby experts.

You might want to re-read that third paragraph for context. . . I was sort of assuming our folks are smart enough to apply a grain of salt where needed.

But i do think it was out of line to make that decision without talking to her about it. She’s given up a lot to make sure this baby gets a response when requested. What she will think I’m sure OP knows better than I; and that he doesn’t need my permission to wear only those shoes that fit.

Well, I would have put it differently perhaps. But I have to agree with TruCelt that you might have discussed this matter with your wife first, particularly as you already know that she is willing to not have your child cry it out at some cost to herself. Furthermore, unless she is willing to change horses at this juncture, it seems to me at best not productive to continue beyond giving it a shot one time. You may be determined to get him to sleep on his own but if your wife is not and she bears the burden of this child care with respect to sleeping, then…what are you doing this for again?

As a long term matter, taking the opportunity of her absence to try out new parenting approaches to which you already know she is opposed seems to me not likely to lead to anything good, either for your relationship with your wife or for your relationship with your child. Or for that matter for your child’s relationship with his mother.

As an aside, is this the first time his mother is away from him? This seems like not a great time to implement any parenting strategy involving, er, parental absence.

Ferber is the Spanish Inquistion? :dubious: He worked like a charm for my middle child–who was about 14 months or so when I finally decided I needed more sleep than he was allowing me.

Good luck–whatever you choose, be consistent. IME (since it took exactly 2 nights to cure #1 son of this problem–the first night was sheer hell, though), it won’t take all 3 nights. YM, like your children, MV. :slight_smile:

For the parents who did the cry it out method, how were the kids afterwards? Sears claims in his book that it leads to sleep problems later.

For now (at 5 months) we’re all sleeping together, and Beta-chan will wake up several times a night, want to be breast feed, but will quickly fall asleep again. I

sleep through it, my wife is able to do this without fully waking up, so we’re not losing a lot of sleep, but we’re looking ahead to putting her in her own room.