How long is ok to let the baby cry when you put her down to bed?

How long is ok to let the baby cry when you put her down to bed? 


  • What we do is about 20 mins and then by that time they will normally get tired and stop crying and go to sleep.however the key is to keep the little one on a consistent sleep schedule.

  • Natalie_Barnett_PhD
    Natalie_Barnett_PhD Member, Nanit Team, Expert

    @Abby This really depends. If your baby is under three months, I dont ever recommend leaving a baby to cry for more than 5 minutes. She might not be a ble to self-soothe and you need to be the one soothing her at this age.

    However, if your baby is over 4 months, is healthy, is fed, dry and has been awake for at least two hours before bed (longer if your baby is older) and you put them down in the crib, it usually takes around 20-40 minutes for a baby to fall asleep on that first night if you are doing the extinction method. That can feel like an eternity, I know! But its fine for a baby to be left to have the opportunity to fall asleep by themselves at this age, assuming they were born on time and your pediatrician has given the all clear.

    All of the research shows us that there are no negative effects of sleep training, in fact, we see the opposite - the only long term effects are positive. One of our academic researcher collaborators, Prof Michal Gradisar, has written a great blog post on this if you want to read more!