Letting a Newborn Cry to Sleep

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According to pediatrician and author Richard Ferber, allowing a baby to cry to sleep can help her learn that it is not rewarding to cry hard. His book, Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, advocates letting a newborn cry for short periods before parents offer comfort. This tactic used for sleep training does not mean letting the baby cry indefinitely as some parents might think, but only for a short, specified period until he learns to fall asleep on his own.

Is It OK to Let a Newborn Cry to Sleep?
Child experts agree that newborn babies are too young to train to sleep on their own. Although many pediatricians and other experts have their own opinions on how to sleep-train a baby, everyone agrees that this process should start when the baby is a little older. Sleep-training is a process where the parent or care giver either allows a baby to cry it out or a parent to sit it out until the baby is asleep. The baby is being trained in these methods to put herself to sleep and to sleep longer at night. However, babies who are below three months old are not able to stop crying or soothe themselves to sleep unless their needs are met. These include the need for feeding and frequent change of diapers, which occur more often compared to older babies.
When Can You Let a Newborn Cry to Sleep?
Starting Signs
Between the ages of four to seven months, babies may show starting signs that they are ready for sleep-training. Parents who want to use the cry it out method of sleep training can teach their babies to soothe themselves to sleep at this age as long as they exhibit some signs that they are sleepy, such as yawning, eye rubbing, slowing of movements, or staring. They must show some pattern or schedule of sleeping and waking during daytime...

... middle of paper ... on her own in no time.
Watch your baby’s response time:
It is quite natural for babies to whimper once in a while in their sleep. Babies sometimes make noises while sleeping, especially during the light stages of sleep. Sometimes they do cry, but do not rush to her side immediately. They may just be whimpering regularly to comfort themselves. If you rush by her side, you may wake her up just before she falls asleep. So just listen and wait until she is really crying longer than allowed before you go to her. Otherwise, let her go to sleep by herself as planned.
Child experts do not advocate letting a newborn cry to sleep as a method of sleep training. Instead, they urge parents to comfort their newborns when they cry at night, until they are ready to sleep train at an older age.

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