Although crying is a normal part of caring for a baby, it can be difficult as a parent to listen to crying. You may especially notice your baby cries before going to sleep or when sleepy. When you are trying to teach your baby to sleep through the night, and trying to sleep through the night yourself, it's important to take precautions that teach your baby more quiet ways to sleep soundly.
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Why Babies Cry
Because your baby cannot yet communicate with you verbally, crying is how your baby lets you know he needs something, according to HealthyChildren.org. However, crying is not a perfect communication tool because your baby may be letting you know he is either tired, ill, frustrated, hungry or full. Babies cry before sleeping for the very same reason -- to signal to you a change in behavior.
Crying Before Sleep
In addition to being a coping mechanism, babies sometimes cry before sleeping due to actual physical discomfort, according to AskDrSears.com. Babies may cry due to difficulty in clearing their nasal passage, especially if their room is dusty or dry. Your baby also may be experiencing teething pain, which can begin as early as 3 months of age. Your baby also may be wearing sleepwear that is itchy or uncomfortable, which may result in a rash. Your baby might also cry to signal a wet or soiled diaper.
How to Cope
One method of dealing with your baby's crying before sleeping is to utilize the "cry it out" method, according to BabyCenter.com. Although it can be difficult to listen to your child cry for a long period of time, this actually is a sleep training method that can help your baby learn to sleep on his own.
To begin, place your baby down to sleep while he is sleepy, yet awake. Say goodnight and then leave your baby. Set an amount of time that you will allow your baby to cry and wait until this time period has elapsed. If your baby cries beyond it, you can come back in to your baby's room and -- while refraining from picking him up -- pat and soothe him using a low voice. Leave again, and wait a longer interval. When you return the next time, perform the same actions and wait even longer, until your baby eventually goes to sleep.
Crying by Age
When babies are newborns to 3 months of age, their bladders, stomachs and bodies in general are ill-equipped to sleep through an entire night. Although babies may begin to sleep through the night from 3 to 6 months of age, your child may still cry before going to sleep. You should not try to teach your baby to sleep without crying until he has slept through a full night on her own.
When to Worry
In order to see a reduction in a baby's cries before bedtime, it's important to create a comforting atmosphere when your baby goes to sleep, according to AskDrSears.com. Sleep is an uncertain occurrence for babies. By making sleep a comforting experience, your infant will begin to cry less because the feelings of sleepiness will be less disturbing to your baby.