Baby Sleep: When to Let Your Baby Cry It Out

Listening to your baby cry it out can be heartbreaking. Here are some tips to make sleep training easier on both you and your baby.


As you've been getting to know your baby's cries in the first months, you may have noticed the different reactions you have ranging from crying yourself in empathy, to worry, irritation, helplessness and even anger. All of these reactions are common and normal. In the first months, you are expected to do whatever you can to console this crying baby- rocking, feeding, strolling, using a pacifier, anything to get them to calm down. As you move in to helping your baby sleep through the night, you will need to do something new and very difficult in reaction to some of your baby's cries. That is to hold yourself back and let the baby be upset and learn some soothing on his own. Listening to your baby cry if only for 10 minutes out of stretch can be gut-wrenching, but unfortunately it is almost always necessary to endure some crying in order to help your baby learn to soothe himself, fall asleep on his own and sleep through the night. It is important to untangle your emotions from your baby's needs during his critical time. The sound of your baby crying can evoke powerful raw emotions. Listening to your baby cry can stir feelings from childhood. You may remember being afraid of monsters or of the dark or feeling like you needed a parent to care for you. But there is a big difference in the memories or fright of older children and what is going on in an infant's mind. When your baby cries, he's not scared. He is most probably frustrated, upset and angry. Your baby was dependent on your help to get to sleep. He was accustomed to being fed, rocked and sung to at any hour of the night. And now you're setting his very first and earliest limit. He's just plain angry.

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