Is it ever OK to let a baby cry? - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 10 Old 08-02-2013, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
mamazee's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: US midwest
Posts: 7,246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
This is a complicated question so consider these before answering:

One part is CIO (crying it out), which is crying out of arms when a parent could intervene and pick the baby up. Is that ever OK?

But what about crying in arms? Is it OK to let a baby cry when the baby is held by one parent but you know the baby really wants the other parent? Or if the baby wants something in particular but the baby shouldn't have it?

What if the baby is having trouble sleeping and is just crying? Is it OK to relax and understand that sometimes babies cry when they're tired and not drive yourself crazy over it? Is it only OK in arms, or is it OK out of arms?

What about in the car seat when you're driving?

To me, I wouldn't leave a baby crying out of arms when I could intervene for any reason. I had a baby with colic and she very frequently cried in arms though, and I didn't drive myself crazy over that. I just tried to comfort her while she cried.

I don't like a baby crying in the carseat but it feels like you can't always avoid it and you should just try to keep it from happening any more than necessary.

If my baby wanted me and she were crying in her dad's arms, I would let her cry while being held and loved by her dad if I really needed to do something else, like take a shower, but I would get her if I reasonably could.

So my knee-jerk answer would be "NO no baby should ever cry" but like I said I think the question is more complicated. What are your feelings about crying and babies?
mamazee is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 10 Old 08-02-2013, 09:30 AM
mamalisa's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Germantown WI
Posts: 8,323
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

I had one baby who loved to be snuggled, nursed or rocked to sleep, just generally a lover.  Then came dd.  She never nursed to sleep once she was no longer a newborn.  Trying to get her to sleep was a nightmare until I realized that "hey, if I put her down and she screams for 10 minutes she goes right to sleep, but if I try to get her to sleep it takes hours and leaves both of us crying".  


She cried in the car for almost 2 years.  Literally the day we left the hospital a fire door alarm went off when we were waiting for the car to be pulled up.  From that moment on, she cried in the car.  A trip to visit my dad would take 4 hours instead of 2 because we had to pull over and try to calm her down every 30 minutes or so.  She wouldn't sleep.  


If I left her home with dh, she cried.  She would sit at the door and cry "mamamamama" over and over until I came home.  Sure, I could have dragged her with me, but sometimes it's too much to be a child's everything and they just have to deal with someone else caring for them.  That lasted 3 years.  So sometimes, she just had to cry that I was gone because I needed to be gone, for myself.  


Basically, you should do what you can to keep them happy and content and sometimes that means they have a need to cry and sometimes that means they have to cry because you have to accomplish something that makes them cry.  

mamalisa is offline  
#3 of 10 Old 08-02-2013, 09:33 AM
squiggles's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NJ
Posts: 69
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
My little girl is almost 7 weeks old and she is definitely a crier. Im actually holding her right now while she naps cuz if i put her down she will cry lol. So my one-handed short answer is this: after weeks of crying myself because of her crying, ive accepted that sometimes she might have to cry, like when i put her down so i can use the bathroom. She HATES the carseat but when i have to go somewhere there is nothing i can do about it, so before car rides i make sure she is changed and fed that way i know her basic needs are met. I even caved and bought a pacifier hoping that will help with the car. A few times i pulled over and took her out to console her but then i had to strap her back in and it would start all over again, so now i just grit my teeth and try to get from point a to point b asap. But if it can be avoided, i dont let her cry. If she wants to be held, walked, and bounced all day, that is what i do. I think she is too little to let her cry if it can be avoided. Not sure if my feelings will change as she gets older...
squiggles is offline  
#4 of 10 Old 08-02-2013, 01:31 PM
flowerchildmama's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 My 16 month old son just has to cry sometimes. He's the abnormal child that loves bed and sleep and naps and will ask for them and lunge for his bed when we reach it. Sometimes he gets overtired and cries for a few minutes before falling asleep (not screaming, not frantic). He made it very clear before he even turned one that he did NOT want me in there when that happened - he would push me away and go back into his crib so he could lay down while he cried. He just WANTED to be asleep. I had to let go of the "bad parent" feeling when I heard him cry, because it was how he functions sometimes...

flowerchildmama is offline  
#5 of 10 Old 08-02-2013, 01:45 PM
granolamommie's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 238
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

My second dd was a crier- heck she is six and still cries about EVERYTHING!! LOL.  She had to be held all the time- If I even tried to CIO she cried harder.  But in the car, she cried all the time.  I always laughed at the commercials or suggestions of taking her for a ride in the car so she would fall asleep (she rarely slept and cried all the time).  It was frustrating but later I found she had GERD and really had to be comforted. As she grew I was able to find ways other than holding her to comfort her, but it was a lot of work.  It was so worth it because she is so much more adjusted and she trusts me.  Her heart is very soft.  


She also cried if her dad held her.  At first I would always take her.  But eventually I would leave her with them.  She needed to learn to trust him and love him.  He needed to learn confidence in taking care of her.  It helped and they are VERY close now.

Loving wife 
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
 and Mama to 
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Bella (11), 
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Arydona (6), 
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Kai (5) and Trin 
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
 born sleeping on 12/21/13 Blysse
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
And baby 6 due in September
granolamommie is offline  
#6 of 10 Old 08-02-2013, 01:49 PM
letitiah81's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My oldest cried anytime he was not in arms and often when he was.  When I went to visit my parents any time that first year, he cried the whole 3 hour drive.  I could pull over and get him out and he stopped crying.  Put him back in and he would be crying before we pulled out of the parking lot.  He was incredibly high maintainence (and still is).  However, when he was three we started chiropractic care and I realized that he had been hurting since birth.  After his first adjustment he slept through the night.  He had never done this before.  He also stopped having night terrors after his second adjustment and breath holding spells after his first.  I now wish I had done this a lot earlier.  That being said, my youngest is left to cry in a safe environemnt more often then either of the ones before her simply due to the fact that I have to take care of my five year old and my three year old which sometimes requires both hands and she has to be put down.  Even though I do baby wear, there are sometimes when I HAVE to put her down to get something done and she does sometimes cry.  I have to just try to breath through it and remind myself that she is fine and I will be holding her agian in just a minute.  Often I think about how unfair this is because her brothers were not left to cry out of arms hardly ever, but then I remeber that she also has the joy of two older brothers who think she is the best baby in the world.  Life is full of gives and takes and sometimes for me to keep her brothers healthy and safe means she is crying for a few minutes and that is ok.

letitiah81 is offline  
#7 of 10 Old 08-02-2013, 02:07 PM
gwynthfair's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Of course it is ok for a baby to cry in arms. Don't you ever just need to cry? We release stress and actual stress hormones in our tears. Crying is not a bad. It is NECESSARY.

Gaiatree likes this.
gwynthfair is offline  
#8 of 10 Old 08-02-2013, 08:20 PM
colsxjack's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 640
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Our DD was/is a crier. Sometimes she still cries and we hold or cuddle her but don't try to get her to stop crying. She has just turned 4 and we tell her it is ok to cry. That we are there for her, but it is ok. She also used to scream in the car. We would sometimes pull over. Or I would sit beside her and shake my keys for her which would somewhat comfort her. We didn;t drive a lot.

Hopefully we will also be as good with allowing our boys to cry and feel ok about crying.


Now with the boys, who are 8 month old twins, they do cry a bit. Usually if they are in arms we are able to sooth them and they stop crying.

But one cries a lot right now because he wants to be in arms all the time. Except her cant be, because a) we sometimes need our arms for other things, b) he has a twin brother, c) he has an older sister, d) he is OK and we talk with him in a soothing voice and let him know we are there for him in other ways other than picking him up. His cries are not distraught cries, more whiney cries. But if we can, we do pick him up or at least reach over and rub his back.


Both boys will cry in the car. Not all the time. They will actually fall asleep in the car. But they cry if we are in trafic, stop for a red light, they are bored or lonely, etc.

Now my wife sits/squeezes in the back between them and they are usually ok as long as they can see her or hold her hand.


We have never left any of our babies/children to cry themselves to sleep alone.

However, my DD used to sometimes need a good 2-3 minute cry to relax enough to go to sleep.

She was never alone while she did it. Heck, I still lay in bed with her until she falls asleep. But she would wiggle around so much, and I would tell her to lay still or close her eyes or something. She would get upset and cry and then doze right off.

Me 40 eat.gif. Partner to mamacolleen 33 superhero.gif. DD born July 2009 blahblah.gif. Twin boys born Nov 2012.

We are a family that loves cold.giftreehugger.giffamilybed1.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

colsxjack is offline  
#9 of 10 Old 08-02-2013, 10:23 PM
Tori Maurer's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

This could have been written by me!  Just be patient- it gets easier.  :)  Once my DD turned around to face forward she did much better in the car, but before that it was SO hard.  She is now an amazing 7 year old with a super compassionate heart.  She still requires a great deal of snuggles and mommy kisses, but I that's just who she is.  We always attachment parented her because she seemed to be asking for it.  She had to live in the NICU for a week after birth and I always felt like we needed to make it up.  She would never sleep without serious help/intervention/nursing and gave up napping very early (2 years old) but still has special quiet time every afternoon.  She is learning coping skills and so am I.  She still cries sometimes when I go to the gym or to work (I only work very part time) and she is with her Daddy who is amazing.  All that to say- my 2nd DD is completely different.  She prefers to sleep alone.  She nursed until almost 3 y.o. like the first, but doesn't seem to require the same "fill up" on snuggles.  Each child is different- try to embrace what makes them special and parent to that rather than trying to fit a mold.  Some babies need to cry to release (my 1st does lots of this) and some just use crying to communicate their needs (more like my 2nd).  Be wise and lead with your heart!

Tori Maurer is offline  
#10 of 10 Old 08-04-2013, 09:58 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I think sometimes babies just need to cry, and us rocking/shushing may not be what they need. I'm all for offering comfort, but sometimes we confuse "respect the child" with "stop the child from crying, no matter what". 

erigeron is offline  

Baby , Crying It Out

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 19,404

32 members and 19,372 guests
awill , bananabee , BarefootBrooke , cagnew , Deborah , Dovenoir , etsdtm99 , girlspn , greenemami , happy-mama , jamesmorrow , katelove , Katherine73 , Michele123 , Mirzam , mommyandhoney , mumofacub , NaturallyKait , NCIS4Ever2001 , omarinbox1888 , profe , samaxtics , seap3 , shantimama , Shmootzi , Skippy918 , sniffmommy , Thatmom , TheChainedAngel , transpecos , worthy , zebra15
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.