Should I let my child cry it out?

Crying is a baby's way of communicating. Responding to your baby's cries builds trust and a sense of cause and effect. Responding to a baby's nighttime cries is an important part of parenting, but so is sleep. Parents should also keep in mind that "sleeping through the night" for an infant means a five-hour block of sleep, not the eight hours most adults need and want. If your older infant still wakes more than one or two times a night, speak with your pediatrician to rule out medical causes. If there are no medical issues, try gradually reducing the amount of interaction during night wakings. For example, go from holding and rocking to patting baby in the crib and eventually to just shushing while standing next to the crib. If possible, try to get another trusted adult, like your spouse or parent, involved so you can get some more rest.

Candace Lindemann

Children's Author & Education Consultant

Candace Lindemann is a published children’s writer and educational consultant. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. You can also find Candace blogging at While Candace’s degrees prepared her for a career in education, she’s found that the best preparation for parenting is on-the-job training.