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Crying it Out Not Working

Our almost 8-month-old daughter wants me to hold her all the time and cannot self soothe - I can't walk out of the room for one minute even when I'm in eyesite; she wants me within arm's reach constantly. I've tried the cry-it-out method during playtimes throughout the day and at night in her crib, but she cries for 3-4 hours straight and I feel like it's not working for her. Are there some babies that CIO just doesn't work for? Do you have any advice? We are desperate! She's always been this way and I'm afraid I've created a spoiled baby who can't self soothe (according to family members).

It sounds like time to hold and love your daughter. We have tried unsuccessfully at our home to use a playpen. Frankly, our kids cried every time we walked by. The crying made us (the parents), our baby, and their siblings miserable.

We have found “crying it out” successful for sleep issues, but I do not recommend it for other applications. Crying it out is emotionally exhausting for parents. I fear that by fighting the battle during the day and night you are losing the war. Hold and love her during the day and save your energy for improving her night time issues.

For her daytime anxiety, purchase a baby bjorn or maya wrap and strap her onto you. Give her the security she is currently needs. It will be difficult for you to get your chores done, but it is more important that your daughter feel secure. This is a phase and it will pass.

The nighttime is the bigger issue. It is essential that you teach her to sleep on her own at night. If you are trying to let her cry it out and then giving in to her you are training her to cry. Read my cry it out article and send me a follow up email if you have further questions.



Follow up one month later

She is doing much better...she's now sleeping through the night - she sleeps a good 10-12 hours every night with only a couple nights of crying for about 20-30 minutes after I emailed you and got your feedback on crying it out. as far as the daytime crying when I'm not holding's going better as well! I do think it was a phase like you said, and now that she's crawling and mobile, it's helped a lot! she still cries and fusses when I'm out of eyesight for a few seconds, but it's much, much better. after I got your response and I held her and responded to her cries during the day, I feel like she didn't cry as much at night when we then did CIO to conquer sleeping through the night.
THANK YOU again for your advise and input! =)

Written August 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician


Cry it out at nap time

I have mastered bedtime with my son and now trying to master nap time.  He is 16 months old and we use to co-sleep only at nap time.  For the past 3 days I have tried to rock him; sing him a few songs; put him in crib; put sound machine on; close the door and for the past few days has been crying for (... more on Cry it out at nap time)



 is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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