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10 month old not sleeping

10 month old not sleeping

This is a picture of my ten month old son. Ever since the day he was born he hated to be laid down to sleep. The only way he would sleep is if we held him all night. He initially had his days and nights mixed up and was colicky. By the time he was three months old we were able to get him to nap during the day by wearing him in sling and to sleep in his crib but only for a couple hours at a time. He would wake constantly through the night. He then got sick at four months with flu and the only way he would sleep was next to us so he started co sleeping. He is now ten months old and we have decided he needs back in his crib and needs to learn how to self soothe and sleep. We are going on our sixth night of cry it out and I don't think it's working. He screams for an hour initially then in middle of night he Cries for up to two hours. He has been waking at four or five am for the day. He cries through the entire allotted time for naps as well. My question is should I continue to cry it out ? Will he eventually get it or am I wasting my time and his voice? If it doesn't work for some kids what do I do now? I'm so lost and tired. I haven't slept right since he has been born. Thank you for your time. The picture shows how he passes out from sheer exhaustion from this cry it out stuff.

I do believe there is a place for old fashion “crying it out”. It sounds like your son’s poor sleep habits were created by months of health issues. This is common. If your son is finally healthy, than I would recommend “crying it out”.

A few notes on “crying it out”

1.) “Crying it out” is a method to teach children to fall asleep on their own. When first getting started, I recommend families “cry it out” at the beginning of the night only. During this initial time period, fight the battle at the beginning of the night when you are awake and should be able to make good, logical decisions. When he wakes in the middle of the night, you may go to him and soothe him by your previous methods (ie. holding, feeding and if you must co-sleeping). Once your son has learned to put himself to sleep on his own at the beginning of the night he should then begin to put himself back to sleep in the middle of the night.

2.) I’m not surprised it is getting worse. Both the intensity and duration of crying typically worsens before improving. Usually the first night is bad, but the 5th night is horrific.

3.) The “cry it out method” typically works after two weeks of a consistent message. Don’t change the rules and don’t change your new routine. Consistency is the key.

4.) Ideally “crying it out” begins only after a bedtime routine has been established. Through a regular bedtime routine, children learns to expect and anticipate bedtime.

5.) You can’t stop now! The worst thing to do is send mixed messages. When families “try to cry it out” and fail they create extremely difficult children. These children have been trained to cry. They have learned that if they just keep crying they will get what they want. Sure this applies to sleep issues but it also applies to lollipops and new bikes as well.

It is common to have doubts when in the thick of “crying it out”. “Crying it out” goes against your maternal instincts. It is fun to talk to families after the child has learned to fall asleep on their own. The parents are happy and well rested and seem to always say “we should have cried it out sooner”. Please let me know how your son does.

see Crying in out


Written February 2013 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician






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