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Ms Chase
Ms Chase, #1 Just Answer Parenting Expert
Category: Parenting
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my baby is now 4 months old & we need to establish ...

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my baby is now 4 months old & we need to establish a night time routine. when i put her to bed after her last feeding, should i let her ''cry it out''? and if i do, is it bad to let her cry for an hour or more straight?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 8 years ago.

Hello Granny,

It's sort of trial and error at this age because you can't talk or reason with them, they're just little bundles (smile). You want to do what is best for her, and helping her form good sleep habits is a start. She doesn't yet understand what's best for her, and will cry if she doesn't get what she wants. Your goal is to help her learn to sleep and fall asleep alone. There are a few different things you can try, make sure the one you choose is something you're comfortable with, and make sure that once you start an approach, that you stick to it.

For starters, don't let her sleep too much during the day, and hour or so twice a day right now is good, but if you let her get all of her sleep during the day, she's going to be a little night owl. Help her learn to settle down and comfort herself. I don't like to let them "cry it out" per say, but don't jump at her first whimper either.

Wait a few minutes to see if she's really upset and awake, and then go in and reassure and comfort her without removing him from the crib. Instead, soothe and pat her with your hand and talk quietly to her. Do not turn on the lights or make excessive noise. At first, go every few minutes, but eventually call to her from outside of the room.

It's a good idea to create a calm, supportive bedtime ritual and environment, including a bedtime story, a special night light or lamp, princess sheets, a bath, a favorite teddy or bunny, prayers, songs and so on.

If you stick to it, and be patient, eventually she will fall into the routine and start sleeping longer.

Other options may include talking to the pediatrician about teething. Making sure she isn't waking up because she's hungry, she may need more food. If she's not eating cereal yet, talk to your pedi to see when they think it's a good time.

There's a great book you may want to look into called On Becoming Babywise.


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Is it ok to let her cry, while comforting her without taking her out of the crib, for long periods of time? I'm afraid her crying for an hour or so continuously is bad.
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 8 years ago.

I personally wouldn't let her cry for more than 30 min. Others might think that's too short, others might think it's too long. Does she continue to cry if you comfort her? If so there may be other things you want to look into. Colic, teething, needing more feeding time. Try playing music, they have tapes specifically for infants. You could also try a warm hot water bottle rapped in a towel, putting a ticking clock net to the crib, and sleeping with her sheets before putting them on her bed so that they have your smell on them.


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