How long should I let my baby cry before picking him up?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

As an expert, I understand that it can be difficult for parents to hear their baby cry and not immediately rush to comfort them. However, it is important to establish healthy sleep habits and teach your baby how to self-soothe. This can be done by gradually increasing the amount of time you wait before going to comfort your baby.

Experts generally suggest starting with a short interval of around two minutes and gradually increasing it to around 10 minutes. This allows your baby the opportunity to learn how to calm themselves down and fall back to sleep without relying on you to do so.

When your baby cries, you can try gently patting and reassuring them while they are still in their cot. This can provide a sense of comfort and may help them settle down. However, if your baby continues to cry, you can pick them up briefly and then put them back down again. This reassures them that you are there for them, but also encourages them to learn to fall asleep on their own.

It’s important to note that every baby is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Some babies may need more or less time before they are able to self-soothe. It’s important to be responsive to your baby’s needs and adjust your approach accordingly.

While it can be challenging to listen to your baby cry, it’s important to remember that this process is temporary and can lead to better sleep habits in the long run. It’s also important to provide a safe and comfortable sleep environment for your baby, ensuring that their needs are met before bedtime, such as feeding and diaper changes.

Personal experiences and situations can vary greatly, and what works for one family may not work for another. It’s important to find a sleep training method that aligns with your parenting style and feels comfortable for you and your baby. Consulting with a pediatrician or a sleep consultant can also provide additional guidance and support in establishing healthy sleep habits for your baby.

Experts suggest letting your baby cry for short intervals, gradually increasing the time before going to comfort them. This can help teach them to self-soothe and establish healthy sleep habits. However, it’s important to be responsive to your baby’s needs and adjust your approach accordingly. Personal experiences and consulting with professionals can provide additional guidance and support in this process.