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will i hurt my baby if i let him cry himself to sleep?

4 doctor answers
Dr. Melissa Arca
Specializes in Pediatrics
No: Most babies will fuss or cry a little when trying to fall asleep. With that being said, it's important to understand baby sleep. They sleep lighter and their cycles only last 2-3 hours within the first few months. I generally do not reccommend letting a baby "cry it out" before 4 months old. Listen to your baby's cues and follow your instincts. His sleep cycles will increase right around 6 months.
Answered on Mar 11, 2014
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Dr. Marcus Degraw
21 years experience Pediatrics
No: No. However, there is no reason to do this in a baby under 4 months of age. Below that point, babies are not able to follow patterns or be aware of what is going on. After 4 months of age, babies can learn to follow patterns and falling asleep alone can establish a good sleep pattern. The "cry it out" sleep training pattern should be used only after 4 months of age.
Answered on Apr 16, 2012
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Dr. Craig Canapari
19 years experience Pediatrics
No: I agree that you should wait until the baby is between 4-6 months of age. You may know it is time to start when you baby starts to wake up more frequently at night and is not hungry. I usually recommend that you revise the bedtime routine at this point so that feeding prior to stories, etc. If the baby is breastfed it may go better if the dad (or non nursing partner) puts the baby down.
Answered on Dec 18, 2019
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Dr. James Ferguson
45 years experience Pediatrics
No: I have seen no data that would support the idea that letting a newborn or young infant cry impacts anyone other than those observing it. Tired babies often cry to indicate they don't like how they feel & want you to fix it.They are not aware of sleep but do so naturally. Behaviorists have documented a 4x higher rate of prolonged sleep disturbinces in babies rocked to sleep.
Answered on Mar 26, 2013

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