Hot Topic: Letting Baby Cry

Welcome to another round of Hot Topic Tuesday! Again, he’s my little disclaimer- if you have no interest in babies, please feel free to pass over this post…tomorrow will be back to normal workout/ cooking/ Gabriella posts! 🙂

Now for the most part Gabriella is a very happy baby. I constantly get smiles from her, just even a glance at Mommy & she will smile. It completely melts my heart. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

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I mean she even lets me dress her up in all of these silly outfits.

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But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get fussy sometimes…and it definitely doesn’t mean she doesn’t cry. She has her fussy periods every day, and we know they are coming. Usually it’s right before nap time, we always can tell when she is tired. And she ALWAYS gets cranky around 5pm every afternoon. Since she usually goes to bed around 6/ 6:30pm, this is just her pre bedtime fuss.

The thing is that once you have a child, you QUICKLY learn their many cries. There is the ‘I’m hungry cry, the ‘I’m tired cry’, the ‘Leave me alone cry’ <—we NEVER hear that one! haha, the ‘fuss to fuss cry.’ The one we get the most is the ‘fuss to fuss’ cry. It’s when Gabriella doesn’t want to do whatever it is we are doing. A lot of our runs start this way. She doesn’t want to be in the stroller, so she fusses. But then we get going, and about a mile in, she the smiling, happy girl we know.

But before 8 weeks I absolutely refused to let her cry. Any kind of cry. Craig was ok with letting her cry for like 5 minutes, but I wasn’t ok with any of it. I immediately would pick her up & comfort her. I just believe that under 8 weeks is too little to let a baby cry. They may be perfectly fine, fed, changed, and burped…but they may just want some comfort.

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I told Craig that after 8 weeks I would try to let her cry a little. And by a little, I mean about 2 minutes. Well, I wasn’t very good at that either. I grabbed her pretty much the second she starting crying. He told me to ask the doctor about the crying situation at her 2 month appointment, so that’s exactly what I did.

I will never forget what he told me at her appointment. “In 20+ years of being a pediatrician, I’ve never heard of a baby expiring from crying.” It was kind of funny, and I definitely understood what he was saying. He said there is NOTHING wrong with letting baby cry a bit, especially since she was now 8 weeks old.

I asked him how he did with his daughter, and he said that he would let her cry. He said he knew nothing was wrong with her, and he had no problem letting her cry. His wife on the other hand was like me. She did not want her daughter crying. But he also said that it’s part of being a Mom, the whole ‘maternal instinct’ part of being a Mom kicks in.

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After that appointment and hearing it from a doctor, I figured I could at least try 5 minutes. The only time she really cries is when it’s time for a nap or bed. She doesn’t really cry other times, I mean she will fuss if she wants to move around or do something different than what she is currently doing…but she doesn’t cry much other than when it’s time for sleep.

That night, once I put her to bed, she woke up about 15 minutes later crying. It started out as a little fuss & then it lead to a full on cry. I turned the timer on for 5 minutes. If she didn’t stop within that amount of time, I was going to go get her & rock her back to sleep.

Well, she didn’t stop…and I ended up going to get her. Craig told me that night he was proud of me though, because at least I TRIED & got 5 minutes.

It was NOT easy. I was like this close to crying myself, because I HATE hearing her cry. (even though I know it’s the ‘fuss to fuss’/ ‘I don’t want to sleep even though I’m tired’ cry)

One thing that helped me was thinking of what parents with multiple children or single Moms/ Dads do. I mean if you have more than one child, and you know that baby is just crying to cry & the other child needs you, you are going to attend to the other child & let baby cry for a bit. And then single moms & dads…oh how I give you all SO.MUCH.CREDIT. (it’s amazing how MUCH more you appreciate them when you have a child of your own) I mean if you are in a bind & NEED to get something done, like I don’t know..umm…go to the bathroom for example, and baby is crying the fuss cry. Well, you really have no choice, you have to let baby just cry. These are just examples that I would think about when she was doing her fuss cry…and it helped a lot.

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^love that picture, because the onesie COMPLETELY describes her ‘small & sassy.’ 😉

Once I got past letting her crying tear me up inside, things got easier. Not just for me, but for G too. She knew when it was time to nap or go to bed that I wasn’t going to go & rush to grab her…and that she better at least try to sleep. She’s sleeping better, and her little routine seems to be working a lot better too.

Sometimes when I am having a hard day, and I hear her cry, I don’t care I will still go & get her the second I hear it. I don’t think that will ever change though. I absolutely LOVE holding her every second of the day, but there is nothing like holding a baby after a rough day. It is just heaven on earth. Just sitting there staring at her. I love it.

I know this is a HUGE hot topic in the parenting world. Some people are COMPLETELY against letting babies/ children cry at any age. And there are others that have no problem letting baby cry from day one. I honestly just think it depends on the person and the family. Whatever works for YOU & YOUR FAMILY is what is right. No sense listening to people that want to tell you what you are doing is the ‘wrong way.’ You know your family, and you know your baby!

If you have children, what is your opinion on crying? How did you approach the situation?

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7 thoughts on “Hot Topic: Letting Baby Cry

  1. Very interesting. I have no opinions yet, since I still have a few more weeks before our little one comes. 😉 I’ve heard that for the first 3 months, you really can’t “spoil” a child by holding them too much or responding to their cries. But that’s just from the books I’ve read. Who knows what’s “right” or “wrong!”

    • That’s what I always heard too, so that’s why I asked G’s dr. I was quite surprised by his response, as I thought 3 months was the ‘key time.’ But he said it’s never too early to start a good habit (by letting her cry a bit to soothe herself). And I ADORE her doctor- he is AMAZING…and honestly if we ever move, I will DEFINITELY be driving from wherever to keep going to him! That’s how much I like him 🙂 But, not going to lie, it was HARD to hear her cry….even for 5 minutes! 🙂

  2. I was a nanny for a little boy who was about a year old. The dad worked from home and was upstairs, while I was taking care of the baby downstairs. It was an awkward situation to begin with (I quit after 3 days :)), but he WOULD NOT let the baby (who was basically a toddler) cry. Sometimes I just wanted to leave him in his crib so I could go to the bathroom, but the dad would rush in there and bring the baby back to me if he was crying. It drove me crazy! I could tell it was an “I want attention” cry, and I quickly realized why their child would never nap — they would never let him cry a little to calm himself down! With an infant, especially your own, I can understand why you’d want to soothe them (I’m sure I’ll be the same way), but when they get older and the parents work, it makes it so much more difficult for a nanny/babysitter!

    • Oh that does sound very awkward :/ I don’t blame you for quitting so soon, I would too…especially with a Dad like that.
      SO annoying!
      I’m definitely trying- I totally agree with you!!! She does need to learn to self soothe, and she’s doing really well with it since we started. Even last night, she woke up around 3am to eat, so I fed her & she did NOT want to go back to bed- very alert…and thought it was play time. I was dead tired, so I told her “Mommy is tired, and it’s still bed time.” I put her in her bassinet, and closed the door. I went back to bed and she cried/ fussed for about 10 minutes, then she was asleep 🙂

  3. This is something I struggle with every single day with my almost 4 month year old. He still cries A LOT! When I asked me pediatrician about it she said letting a baby cry works for a lot of people, but she thought we would not be one of them because of the way our little guy cries. I think she was right. I’ve tried doing a timer with him, but the day that timer hit 15 minutes and I went into his room to get him and he was so red and sweaty from crying so hard I just couldn’t handle it and gave into him. During the night has gotten better as he’s usually pretty good about fussing for a minute and then going back to sleep, but daytime is a whole other ball game! I know taking him out for a walk would help, but our weather in CT has been pretty horrible for walking lately. Hoping we can come to a happy median soon!!

  4. I am saving this in my mind for this summer when I’m trying to get a baby to sleep! I have a feeling it will be much harder on me to let him cry instead of Nick. But that’s such practical advice from your doctor, so I’m going to try and keep that in mind! Did she sleep in your room at first? Other moms seem to tell me they moved them to their cribs around 8 weeks. I’m just wondering about how to make sure he doesn’t wake Nick up all the time since he has to work…but no way can I put a newborn in another room! Any advice would be appreciated. 🙂 Keep these posts coming!

  5. Great post! I think everyone just has to do what works best for them and their baby. Lots of people have their own opinions but all that truly matters is that YOUR ok with what you & your hubby decide. The beauty of parenting is that it’s challenging and all based upon trial and error but in the end, we find what WORKS for us and life is good! 🙂

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