Amy Dalley Says New Baby 'Never Sleeps'

03/04/2009 at 06:00 AM ET
Courtesy Amy Dalley

Update: Amy has responded to your thoughts – see the comment section for her note.

Originally posted March 1st: It’s a battle of wills for songstress Amy Dalley and her 8-month-old son Jackson. In a new interview with Country Weekly, she reveals that baby boy is not much of a sleeper. “He woke up every two hours last night,” Amy admits. “So that is the biggest challenge, that I’m not very rested.” The situation is at such an impasse Amy and her husband Jack Sizemore are “trying to let [Jackson] just cry it out.”

“It’s pitiful, ‘cause he stands up and just swings his head around in the baby bed [laughs]. We probably should have a helmet for him! But we have this little TV monitor so we can make sure he’s all right. The other night he screamed for about 2 ½ hours.”

Amy realizes that she could “go in there and resolve the whole issue within 15 minutes,” and admits that she wonders whether one approach is more beneficial than the other. “Who knows what’s gonna be better?” she asks. “It really is an act of wills…Am I stronger or is he stronger? So, I’m gonna beat him. I won’t be defeated! [laughs].” Perhaps Jackson won’t settle because he can’t stand to be away from his big sister, 10-year-old Madeline. The two are already exceptionally close, despite their sizable age difference. “Jackson laughs at everything Madeline does,” Amy shares. “He loves to look at her…She’s everything to him; When he sees her his whole face lights up, and that is so sweet.” Not to mention infectious!

“She’ll just move her head funny or somethin’ and he’ll start dyin’ laughin’. And to hear him laugh… then she cracks up. Then we’re all laughin’…and it’s like, well, there’s nothin’ better than that. It’s really sweet how he just loves her. So I’m glad that she has the opportunity to be a big sister and have a sibling. For a long time I thought it’d just be me and her.”

Click below to read about Jackson’s newest milestone.

As she marks the release of her new album It’s Time, Amy has more than enough to keep her busy — at work, and at home! “Just yesterday, [Jackson] started to crawl, and he can crawl so fast,” she says. His new-found mobility was both overdue and — at the same time — unexpected, for Amy says her son previously showed no motivation to crawl. “He rolled everywhere.”

“Then he went after the Play Station. It was just funny, ’cause I’m like, ‘Wow! He’s really fast, too!’ I’ll never sit down again.”

Welcoming a new baby so many years after Madeline was “a little bit more of a challenge” for Amy, who admits that the rigors of caring for a newborn caught her off guard. “Having a brand new baby is harder than I remembered,” she says. “I mean, 10 years go past and you don’t remember anything.”

It’s Time is available now.

Source: Country Weekly

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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millefleur on

Wow that makes me so sad to hear that someone would just let their baby scream for 2 1/2 hours. He must feel so abandoned. How does that not break her heart? He will only be a baby for such a short time. There are other ways besides crying it out. I think Salma Hayek could teach her a thing or two.

shannon on

😦 I dont understand how you could let your 8mo cry alone in his room for 2.5 hours? Disturbing.

Jenise on

Letting a baby cry for 2 1/2 hours seems a bit excessive to me. But then again I have never let my child “cry it out.”

Julie on

Wow. She let an 8 1/2 month old cry it out for 2 1/2 hours? Sad. I also don’t think it has anything to do with being a “battle of the wills” at that age.

As a mom of 3 little ones, I have my own opinion of that method (and obviously I’m not a fan), but even proponents of “crying it out” have to admit that that’s harsh.

Tara on

How incredibly sad that she thinks that the needs of an infant are a part of a battle of wills.

Patience on

I think people are being too quick to judge this exhausted mother. Poor Amy definitely sounds like she has tried everything else already and crying it out is the last resort. Lack of sleep can cause so many health problems in babies (and mommies!) that sometimes in really difficult cases babies have to learn the hard way, for their own health. While is it temporarily hard for the baby to have to cry it out, it usually only takes them a few days to learn to go to sleep. I hope that is the case with Jackson. Good luck Amy!

Michelle on

You know, I don’t like “crying it out” either, especially with really young babies, but ended up doing it with both my boys when they were a little older, and I KNEW they could sleep longer. (As in, there were periods that they had slept fairly well, and then they regressed into frequent waking, and we ruled out teething, illness, growth spurts, etc. as much as you can do that.) It never went on for 2.5 hours, we did go in and check on them every 15 minutes or so, and after that first night it was much shorter, and then hardly any problems after that. I doubt they just ignored him that whole time, either. So, I agree, it does seem harsh, and it is pitiful, but, in my opinion, for some babies, it seems to be the only way to get them to learn to sleep so you all can get some rest. And, you know what, they’re still happy to see you in the morning and know that you still love them. just my 2 cents . . . .

Cindy on

Poor baby! That is so sad that he cries alone for that long. So much emphasis on programming your baby to meet the needs of the parents schedule is horrible! Parents sometimes mistake cribs for cages! They grow up so fast enjoy them!!

Angel on

I knew when I read that comment about crying it out that it was going to get a lot of flack, as well it should. How can someone let a little baby “cry it out” for 2 1/2 hours? I think this woman should try a parenting class or two. This is a small baby, not a defiant teenager or a toddler who is testing the boundaries. She’s not teaching him anything except that his mommy is not there when he needs her. That would make me cry, too.

Jessica L on

Wow. I’m sorry but I’m going to say it: That’s lazy parenting. Both my husband and I used the “cry it out” method for our two children (now 19 months and 4 years) but we’re talking, like, MAXIMUM 30 minutes. Sometimes not even past 15 because I couldn’t justify leaving them to scream. And we never tried using that method until they were each around 15 months old or so. At 8 months old it’s not a battle of the wills honey, if you can’t bring yourself to pick up you EIGHT month old after he’s been screaming for 2 AND A HALF HOURS, you just don’t want to deal with your baby.

And that is sad.

Lily on

I fully accept a person’s right to parent his or her child however they see fit, but I will say, 2 1/2 hours of consecutive crying is more than a little excessive. He’s only 8 months old. For him to be crying that long, something obviously is bothering him and instead of being concerned about not spoiling him, Amy and her husband should’ve been worried about what was causing him such discomfort.

eva on

My husband and I tried the cry out method with positive results,I recomend it to anyone who asks but 2 hours and 30 minutes? man, that’s harsh for an 8 month old child.If the baby is crying for this long without giving a sign of calming himself down there must be a good reason to be upset.She must be very stressed out and tired which is understandable but this is not how I think the cry out method works.

GSV on

If you do 20/30 minutes every time, all the child learns is if I cry for 30 minutes, then they come, all I got to do is cry long enough, they will cave, it does not solve the problem. If you know your child is fed, changed, not sick, etc., then you just have to let them cry to learn. You are not making them cry, you are allowing them to cry. She is doing extinction. In a few weeks,the problem will be solved or the crying will have decreased greatly. Read Happy Child, Healthy Sleep Habits. It’s all in there, and respected doctor.

Vivi on

If they’re fed, changed, and safe, I think this method is the only way to establish good sleeping habits. 2 1/2 hours seem to be really long to me but I think mother knows best.

jessica on

Every child is different. Don’t be so quick to judge her. She does sound exhausted, and at the end of her rope. If she thinks it’s best for her son then everyone else should support it and understand that. I had to let my daughter cry it out, and I was never a fan of it before that, I tried everything else I could think of first, and I was about to have a nervous breakdown from not sleeping more than an hour and a half at a time for 8 months. I understand her pain and I’d do the same thing. She didn’t say he was hysterically crying for 2 1/2 hours, just screaming, in my opinion there’s a difference, and they have a monitor to watch him. She doesn’t sound lazy at all to me and she actually sounds like she’s struggling with letting him cry it out. I’m sure her son will remember the hundreds of times she comforts him when he cries instead of the few nights she let him cry it out for his and her own good. The information on crying it out says every baby is different, some cry for minutes, others for hours. I was lucky enough that my daughter only cried softly for 45 mintues for 3 nights and then slept through the night, but believe me I would’ve let her go for hours. I find it disturbing that you guys are so harsh to this woman when she’s obviously going through such a hard time and was honest about it and shared it with us. Be a little more supportive, you never know what each child brings and what another mother is going through, just because your experience was different and something else worked for you doesn’t mean it works for everyone. Good luck Amy!

Momof2 on

Wow. Her seemingly nonchalant attitude about letting her child cry for THAT long makes her seem very detached as a mother. I really think there is something to be said about meeting the child’s needs as they arise rather than ignoring them or letting them cry because of some predetermined idea of what they should be doing at a certain age. I’m sure she is very tired, but taking the time to figure out how to best meet her child’s needs will go much further in the long run, IMO.

Angelika on

We don’t know all the details and who knows – maybe they did go in on check him. We did use cry it out and we started when our son was 7 months old…and you know what? More parents need to use it. My kid sleeps through the night, takes naps like a champ and is very independent.

Eight months is young for 2 1/2 hours of crying, but I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt that she was checking on him…and yes, an 8 month old can engage in a battle of the wills…if you don’t think that is possible maybe you need a class on 8 month olds!

megan on

2 1/2 hours is a long time, however the extinction method which it sounds like she’s using works best and has the quickest results. I bet the next night he did not cry for nearly as long. Let’s not judge her.

Gabi on

Wow, a lot of negative comments! I’m not sure what is the best solution here. I’ve 4 boys and 2 of them were not good sleepers. With one I tried letting him cry, but I didn’t have the heart to leave him like that for long. Also, I was worried that his crying would wake up his older brothers and then we’d have had a midnight party! So I was known for waking up in the morning on the floor of the bedroom and later on sleeping on the bottom bunk beside him. With my youngest the story was a bit different: I nursed him for over 2yrs and he ended up sleeping mostly in my bedroom and usually in my bed after 2 AM. He’s a cuddler and needs to be touching someone while he sleeps. Since then we got a big bear to sleep beside him in his bed – LOL. It’s a not easy when you have a baby that has trouble sleeping and I sympathize with Amy and her baby.

gina on

Vivi, letting an 8 month old baby cry it out is not the only way to learn healthy sleep habits. I have co slept with all 4 of my kids till the age of 2 or 3, breast fed all of them on demand, and never once left them to cry it out. Personally I feel is a baby or toddler is crying, they need you for a reason. When my kids moved to their own beds, I never had a problem with them going to sleep…after a story or two, a kiss and hug good night, they went to sleep no problem at all.

All that baby is learing is that mama won’t come to him when he needs her. And that is sad. I agree with everything Jessica L. said.

leela on

My son thought he should get up every night for a few hours and play and I just wanted to enjoy him like so many posters stated and so I got up every night for a few hours and let him play. He wasn’t hungry. His diapers were dry. He wasn’t sick. He just wanted to be up and so he cried and I got up with him. Putting him in my bed or keeping it dark or rocking him didn’t help because he was up and up meant playing. I suffered from depression and needed extra meds to deal with the sleep deprivation but thought it was worth it to make my baby happy. Problem was he didn’t just magically sleep through the night at a year old or two years old or even at three. If it’s mean to let them cry at 8 months then isn’t it mean at 18 months or 28 months?

I finally realized I was the problem. I let him tell me what his schedule was and so he liked having a few hours from one to four in the morning to play. I finally realized he wasn’t going to change since as a child they like the path of least resistance. I let him cry it out and now wish I’d done so earlier so I could have actually enjoyed him instead of just trying to stay awake every day. Oh, and I was a stay at home mom. I can’t imagine women who stay up all night THEN go to work the next morning. If we don’t train our children and give them boundaries, who will? They won’t do it themselves but a lot of parents (me included in the past) think they will which is loony. So give Amy a break.

Kushla on

Sometimes mothers don’t know best- especially exhausted ones. Babies are programmed to wake up! A baby waking every 2 hours for a feed is normal and would not cause any issues due to lack of sleep – unless you leave them to scream for 2.5 hours! 2 and a 1/2 hours of crying is too much, just too much. I feel sad thinking about leaving either of my children that long while crying. Just too much. Have to agree with PP – how can you be locked in battle with an infant?

allison on

I agree with some of the above comments. I remember my mom telling me after weeks of sleep deprivation, to let my son “cry it out”. I lasted about 15 min. I remember sitting in the bathroom with the water running, crying myself, as I felt totally helpless. I could not take it anymore. I never did it again. I believe that they are babies, and when they cry, they need or WANT something and it is our duties, as their parents, to give it to them when they are that young. Just my take on it…

Christa on

I agree that 2 1/2 hours is a bit excessive. However, she also stated that she had a video monitor so she was able to check on him during that time. If she has ruled out needing to be fed or changed or illness, there really isn’t any other way to have them learn to get themselves to sleep. It may have been too, that he would cry off and on without crying the whole time.

JM on

I think 2 1/2 hours is def. excessive. I think if a baby is cryin longer then 20-30 min then it’s time to intervene. However I nanny for a child whose pediatrician said that after 6 months of age children who wake up in the middle of the night (who are not sick and/or teething) begin to do it out of habit. When a parent goes into the room the child registers that crying = attention. She also said a bottle after age 6 months in the middle of the night is a HUGE no-no! The parents ended up finally using the cry it out method when they were not getting much sleep. It only took 15 min the first night and 10 the next night before the baby fell back asleep and has been sleeping sound (for the most part) ever since.
A parent sometimes has to do what needs to be done to assure some sleep. What good are you to that child if you are functioning on little sleep. However, I also believe that nobody could sleep soundly through the crying esp. after 2 hours! I’m not judging this woman but I think if he’s crying that much for that long something may be wrong (i.e. teething). Cause most babies will tired after a few mins. of crying.

Silentgirly on

I tried it with my child many times, I did exactly what the doctor said and he once cried for 3 hours and we watched on the video monitor. It is not going to work for some children. It did not work for mine. He didn’t sleep one night through until he was 24 months. I hope she stops that crying it out nonsense. Why would anyone want a baby to get so tired and ultimately realize “well I guess no one comes when I cry” and just stop. It’s criminal.

Sarah on

One thing I think of when she says that he screamed for 2 1/2 hours, is that when they have been crying for even as “short” as 30 minutes it can seem like they have been crying for hours. So, even though she says it was “about” 2 1/2 hours, it may have been a much shorter time and seemed longer. None of us were there so we don’t know the entire circumstances!

Sally on

Christa, they do have a video monitor so they can watch the baby scream and thrash about. Perhaps, they should reverse this and have the monitor so the baby can watch them instead. That is what he needs – his PARENTS! How sad that this little baby is crying for 2 1/2 hours. Parents don’t want to be inconvenienced by having a child these days. It is all about forcing independence at such a young age. Funny, we talk about independence, independence, independence with infants, yet as adults all we talk about is team work and accomplishing goals together. Why is so hard to believe that a child under the age of one would not want to be separated from his caregivers for hours and hours in the dark. We as mothers are biologically programmed to want to respond to our infant’s cries. To supress this urge is not natural.

lele on

gina i co sleep with my children too and like yours my older daughter transitioned perfectly to her big girl bed and sleeps so well. i have friends with kids that are almost afraid of bedtime. when you stick them in their crib and leave them to cry or never answer their cries in the middle of the night – that’s a sure way to create a fearful attitude toward sleep and their beds – and you lose their trust.

LP on

Wow. 2 and 1/2 hours, that is very sad. With CIO, the baby eventually stops crying because they’ve given up on any hope that their mother is going to comfort them. Sounds like she’s extremely lazy and must not possess any motherly instincts. Sad.

Julie on

Jessica, I’m sorry I don’t have to “support” letting an 8 month child cry it out for 2 1/2 hours. My daughter NEVER slept through the night until she was 2 years old. I was a working mom. I didn’t once let her cry it out. Was I exhausted? Yea, but the last time I checked, babies don’t sleep when you want them to and I sucked it up and rocked her and yea, I was exhausted, but guess what – we both got through it just fine.

Also, even if I wanted to let my child(ren) cry it out I would NEVER let them cry for 2 1/2 hours. That is just flat out cruel.

I think it’s amazing that a lot of parents think a less than one year old child should sleep through the night with no problem. It boggles my mind.

N.S on

Poor Jackson.

She says she wants to “beat him” (In the sense of winning) – but what a distorted way of parenting that is, what a sad way of perceiving his need for her affection.

I hope she comes to understand this is not okay, before this does any lasting damage to little Jackson. 😦

Sarah on

i have not read comments on this site in months because so many were ridiculously negative. unfortunately, i chose this post to read again. no one knows the whole situation or what exactly went on. she said he was screaming. he could have just been yelling and making noise for that long. we don’t know. she said they have a monitor and can see him. as long as the knew he was ok, its up to her. also, this is from an interview, things are taken out of context a lot and put into print. who knows what she said exactly. unless you were there with her, don’t be so quick to judge.

shannon on

Since when is needing to be fed or changed all a baby needs? We are talking emotional needs at 8 months old. They are lonely and if they are alone in the dark screaming, they are probably scared out of their minds. I understand exhaustion, I have 3 kids and my 19mo doesnt sleep through the night. I can completely understand wanting them to self soothe and some point, but at 8 months old you are just training them like an animal to do what you want, when you should be taking care of their emotional needs.

Sarah on

I know i’m probably going to get a lot of opposition for it, but I am pro “cry it out” although i’d never call it that. Yes, it’s heartbreaking to hear your little love in distress (although more often than not it boils down to a battle of wills), but if you never let them cry, they’ll never learn to self-soothe, a skill that they are going to need in their arsenal. It may make for a stressful week, but ultimately, when I tuck my little men into bed and they are able to fall asleep on their own, I feel like I did them a real favor by not fueling my own sense of self importance and by instead helping them to become more self-sufficient.

Colleen on

2.5 hours of crying is not how typical CIO is supposed to work. People like her give CIO a bad name. This is not how it’s supposed to go, and obviously her version is not working.

mari on

a lot of negativity towards the “crying it out” method. we took my son to a infant sleep specialist when he was four months. she taught us a variation of this method with fantasitic results. it was a pretty complex, individualized plan but he was never left to cry for more than 20 minutes and all visits to the crib to comfort were limited to 3 minutes. it’s really more complicated than this but as i said it was very sucessful and he was a good sleeper and napper within 2 weeks and no crying. i highly recommend anyone dealing with a poor sleeper to at least consult a specialist and not just go it alone based on a theory.

everyone should be careful “throwing stones” based on these articles. i’m sure the translation to print is different than what the interviewee meant to express.

Mrs. R. on

This is a horrible example of CIO.
There is a much more reasonable version which involves 2-5 minutes of crying and then comforting and reassurance to calm the baby down, but not staying until the baby falls asleep again.
We did that version with my daughter and in 2 nights she went from waking up every 25 minutes all night to sleeping regularly (which at the time still involved night nursing twice as she was about 7 months old).
I can’t imagine what crying for a solid 2.5 hours could accomplish but physically and emotionally wear out a baby. I would worry about the child becoming dehydrated too!
I think with all sleep methods, there is a common sense approach, and then there is an absolute approach.

Jocelyn on

How sad. At 81/2 months, crying for 2 1/2 hours is an indication of something other than “will!” Has it occurred to her that perhaps he is cutting teeth and in pain? At that age, the baby is still establishing the relationship with mom and dad. What Amy is communicating to that child is that she cannot be trusted or relied upon. She is not safe. I am sad for the child. What is worse is that Amy will wonder why her child is distrustful and insecure when he grows up. How sad. Why have children?

Lauren on

Everyone on here calling her horrible is just fake…unless you have the “perfect baby” you can’t tell me you don’t get frustrated and try everything including let them cry. We need more real people like her that don’t pretend to have perfect babies or perfect lives. She said she had a monitor, I seriously doubt she let the baby cry uninterrupted for that long…I’m sure it just went on that long and she made visits during that time. RELAX. The baby will be fine, do you remember when you were 8 months old? I sure the heck don’t….as long as she gives him affection and love as he grows he is not going to be “SCARRED” from the crying it out method.

Loralie on

I didn’t know Amy had a baby– congrats to she and Jack and Madeline.

brannon on

many speak of a babies needs but are neglecting the fact that many “needs” arrive out of habit – same with sleeping. if you pick them up every time they cry, they learn to cry quickly. many people on here apply this to toddlers and their tantrums yet seem to go the other way with sleeping? i also agree that 2 1/2 hours was probably more like half an hour – minutes seem like hours! every parent knows whats best for themselves and their child. don’t be so quick to judge. i’m sure there are a million things you’re all doing “wrong” in someone else’s eyes 🙂

Nicole R. on

I never wanted to use cry-it-out because I think it is a threat to the parent-child attachment, but besides that, I’m too lazy.

Here’s the choice: I can be back asleep in 15 minutes if I pick my kid up and nurse him, or I can stay awake for hours listening to him sob. That’s an easy one!

sara on

Jocelyn, I agree with you on every single word!

Vivi on

I feel sad that there’s that perfect mothers front. Mothers that think they’re doing everything right and anything else is maybe not wrong, but worse, than their way. I think it’s choice for every mother to raise her child the way she thinks it’s the best for both mum/parents and baby/babies. In my world, formula, non-attachment parenting, or selective c-section are not bad words. Same with extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping. For each their own. Yes, 2 1/2 seem to be long but why to call her a bad mother immediately? You don’t know the whole story. I feel sad about this topic just because I don’t like prejudices and hypocrisy.

Erica on


I’ve read through all the comments and haven’t seen anyone claim to have a “perfect” baby or a “perfect” method; likewise, who is calling Amy Dalley a horrible mother? Questioning her reasoning (which, IMO, is a flawed distortion of the cry it out method–20 to 30 minutes is one thing but allowing an 8 month old to cry for almost three hours straight is another) is not a personal judgment against her. I totally feel for any parent suffering from lack of sleep. But I think we need to remember that we ASKED for our children and not the other way around, along with all the trials which come with them. I’m positive it’s not her intention but leaving an infant to cry for that long is borderline cruel.

Anna on

Who knows what actually happened? Maybe 2.5 hours was an exageration from her part! Maybe it felt like that long but wasn’t.

I’m not againts the cry it out method. People saying that he hurts the attachment doesn’t know what they are talking about. In the past crying it out was very normal and all those children turned out ok, without attachment issues.

jessica on

“Be a little more supportive, you never know what each child brings and what another mother is going through, just because your experience was different and something else worked for you doesn’t mean it works for everyone.” Just to repeat what I said, every woman is different, every baby is different. Some women can handle not sleeping for 2 years, some can’t. I was one of those, I was not the best mother I could be when I wasn’t sleeping. It got to the point of being dangerous for me and my daughter so I chose to let her cry it out to benefit BOTH of us. Everyone is happier since then.

What pains me when reading these comments is the negativity and harsh judgements some of you make. There is a nicer way to say things, a respectful way. Instead of saying she’s lazy, a horrible example, neglecting her child etc just say maybe that’s too long to let a child cry and she should do more research about the risks. She’s obviously not a bad parent. I think it’s so disrespectful to say such awful things about someone in her situation, I know what it feels like to be so exhausted you can’t function, as I’m sure many of you do too. Women today can be so mean, we should listen to each other and give helpful advice instead of bashing each other’s parenting ideas. I completely agree with what Vivi said, I feel sad that we do this to each other.

victoriajh on

WOW there are ways to get a baby to sleep that are not CIO
I co sleep and my baby and I have gotten plenty of sleep- while co sleeping is not for everyone i much preffer it to listening to my baby cry
2.5 hours is excessive and borderline abusive in my opionion- no way would that be ok for us-
i worry about babies who do not get needs met- it is such a short time in your life- you can sleep anytime!!

kirsty on

We did the CIO method not when my daughter was waking up in the middle of the night, only when she went to bed. It only took maybe two nights and she cried for about 15-30 minutes. She stopped waking up at night around 8 months old unless she is sick, but that is normal for any child. She is wonderful to put to bed, she never complains and about half the time she is pointing to her crib wanting to go to sleep. Our dr told us to never let her cry for more than an hour, but to build up to that, so the first time you let them go for 10 minutes and then you check, then 20, then 30 until you eventually wait 1 hour. I feel bad for this mother she probably doesn’t know what else to do. I have to say having a video monitor is great because it was difficult for me to hear you cry, but I could also see her so that made things a little easier.

Deb on

2 1/2 hours, and then he stands up and is rolling his head around, and he is screaming? Something doesnt sound right here. If he is fed, and changed, and not sick, and keeps doing this, he needs to be checked out more. 8 months old shouldnt be crying it out for 2 hours if he is fed and changed.

Leigh on

This is beyond sad. It makes me sick. I think this kind of “parenting” behavior equals abuse and neglect. If she won’t attend to her infant who screams and swings his head for 2.5 hours, and not only that but she calls it a “battle of the wills” that she is determined to win, AND she has the gall to laugh about it, she should not be a mother.

lele on

my girls fall asleep on their own and have never cried for hours in bed. since when are babies or toddlers supposed to be SELF SUFFICIENT?

Lila on

That is crazy… The longest I have ever let my son cry in his crib was 15 minutes, and that is because he started crying when I was in the shower and my husband was at work. At 8 months old, he is still learning trust. He needs to know that mommy and daddy will be there for him. And what is the difference between “crying hysterically” and “screaming?” I think there is a huge difference between crying and screaming. When my son cries, I pick him up and comfort him. When he screams, I know something is really wrong.

The battle of will’s starts when you’re parenting a defiant toddler, moody pre-teen, or rebellious teenager, not when you have an infant who just wants to be loved on. Sad.

Lila on

What’s more.. I work at an assisted living facility, and some of the residents under my care have the mental and physical capacities of an 8 month old. Leaving them awake, scared, crying, etc. for 2.5 hours in the middle of the night would be considered abuse and would result in firing… Why is it so different with a baby? Babies cry to communicate, so why ignore them when they’re obviously communicating something?

Tracy on

“She didn’t say he was hysterically crying for 2 1/2 hours, just screaming, in my opinion there’s a difference…”

Jessica – So what’s the difference?

Lauren on

I personally to subscribe to the cry-it-out method, and even I think there is something very disturbing about the situation described. I agree with Deb-if he has been fed, changed, isn’t sick, and is screaming and thrashing his head for 2 and a half hours, something is off. The most I’ve let children in my care cry it out for was 30 minutes, and even that was probably a little too long in retrospect considering all he needed was a back rub and a little TLC to stop crying immediately and go right back to sleep. I also totally agree with whomever said there is a difference between crying and screaming. I can’t imagine any situation where I let my baby scream and thrash for two and a half hours without responding. To be honest, it reminds me of children in orphanages who don’t cry period because they learned that when they did, no one responses to them.

I’m sure she’s exhausted beyond belief and is trying to make this work. But in my opinion, this is definitely not the right way to do it. To be honest, I’m concerned with how them letting Jackson “cry it out” is affecting Madeline-I can’t imagine that listening to a baby scream for two and a half hours does anything to calm her nerves, and it probably really rattles her on some level. As far as I know, the cry-it-out method was never meant to be used this way, and a situation like this is saddening to me.

HeatherR on

Oh goodness….some of these debates on parenting styles are just exhausting. I trust that the parent “knows” their child and what is safe for them. Each child is different and parenting, unfortunately, is not a “one size fits all” type of thing.

Momta2 on

Although not a fan of CIO method, what really disturbed me was the idea of viewing yourself in a battle of wills with a baby…I mean, I have 2 sons and believe me I go through it w/ my 2 year old. There are even times when I do feel like I will not LET my 6 year-old “win”. Maybe she was being a little toungue and cheek but ummmm ur baby is 8 months old, cried for 2.5 hours while you watched so yay, I guess you won.

Anna on

This lady should try the Ferber method. If you must let your baby CIO, the Ferber method at least teaches the baby that you’re still there and you haven’t abandoned them.

I’m sure Amy Dalley was exaggerating. No mom would let her kid CIO for 2.5 hours and then go around talking about it.

Sarah on

None of us were there! This is from an interview. Many times, things that are said in interviews are exaggerated or mis-printed. Unless you were in the room for the interview or there that night, none of us know the whole situation. When you listen to a baby cry for even 30 minutes it can sometimes feel/seem like they have been crying for MUCH longer.

I don’t really understand why everything has to turn into a debate. Can’t people just agree to disagree and move on!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jana on

Lauren said: “Everyone on here calling her horrible is just fake…unless you have the “perfect baby” you can’t tell me you don’t get frustrated and try everything including let them cry. We need more real people like her that don’t pretend to have perfect babies or perfect lives.”
Wow I find this comment really interesting. I NEVER let my son now 2.6 years cry it out, it was hard and a lot of work but in our situation was the best thing I could have done for him. I didn’t see anyone saying they were perfect parents, as there are NO perfect parents or children. Get over yourself!
As for Amy’s comments, I found them sad and disturbing. Poor baby!

Sarah on

Omg what is wrong with everyone on here an 8 month old baby should NOT be waking up every 2 hours I agree with what she did 100% I wouldv’e done it ALOT sooner my daughter is not even a month and wake up once a night so an 8 month old should definately not be waking up that much if hes waking up that much its because he knows if he cry long enough someone will get up with him eventually he will give up but if you give in he knows if i cry long enough they will give in. NEGLECT give me a break babies need to learn to self soothe and the earlier the better

Nina on

To Sarah ” babies actually need to learn to self soothe and the earlier the better.” no, actually current research does NOT support your comment at all espeially the earlier the better…studies show it can cause a great deal of stress in babies. Not a good idea, especially in babies under 1.

Fevvers on

I think sometimes because we care so much about doing a good job as mothers, we find people choosing to parent differently as personally threatening. The reality is that LOTS of people use CIO and LOTS of people co-sleep and so on. They all have their reasons, and I choose not to criticise because parenting is a relationship and unless you are in it you often don’t know what is going on.

gina on

Sarah, can I ask why you think babies need to learn to self soothe, the earlier the better?

And yes, at 8 months waking every 2 hours is quite normal, especially if he is breasfed.

I think it’s great for you that your month old baby only wakes up once a night, and I hope it stays that way for you. But reality is that for the first 1-3 months, babies can sleep through the night, but around the 3 month mark will start to wake up at night with more frequency. Growth spurts, early teething, etc. will cause that.

An 8 month old do not have the cogenative skills to “manipulate” (god I loathe that term when applied to babies/toddlers) a parent into doing what they want. Their only way of letting you know that there is something wrong or that they need someone or something is by crying. Why oh why, after being in mommys belly all safe and warm listening to mamas voice and heartbeat 24/7 for 9 months, do we feel that they belong in a crib, in a dark room all alone? It is just not natural, at all.

I feel like now days some parents (not saying anyone here, just in general) put more effort into looking for the best style for the nursery, the cutest stroller or diaper bag, instead of the care of the baby that is coming.

Becks on

Just to share, I have a 13 month old son who has never slept through the night, and that’s okay. He’s only little for a short time, I didn’t mind waking every 1-2 hours when he was 8 months old because he was just in bed with us. It was no big deal. I certainly didn’t get to the point where I “had” to stick him in his crib to cry for hours… I enjoyed the smiles and snuggles we shared. I think too many parents see their kids as something to dominate and rule over, when really your kids could teach you alot about love and compassion if you listen (and don’t ignore their little cries)… It’s not like they’re going to be 16 years old and crying for you at night, so relax and love them!

Becky on

Wow, way to attack this poor mom. Everyone parents different and this child in not in danger so let her parent the way she is and not attack her. If she tried the cry it out method earlier, he probably would have only cried for minutes and would have been sleeping through the night a lot earlier. 8 months old and still waking up every 2 hours? Remember how exhausted we were the first few weeks with them waking up every 2 hours? Now imagine that for 8 monhts! My sister was desperate with a 15 months old who still woke up every 2 hours because he knew when he woke up and cried, mom would rock him back to sleep and he expected that and couldn’t go to sleep without that. She finally tried the cry it out method and he would cry for hours, and she would sit outside his door crying right along with him because it broke her heart not to get him, but she had to. She had tried everything and he needed to learn to go to sleep on his own and after a few days he was sleeping through the night. If you let them cry it out (and yes, it is very hard but it only takes a few days) they learn to self soothe and go to sleep on their own and from then on, if they wake up in the night they know how to fall back asleep, so in the long run it’s good for them because they’re not awake for a long period, they are sleeping through the night or if they do wake up, they go right back to sleep. It never took hours for my daughter, 30 mins at the most, but I also did this when she was weeks old, not months. It’s easier then, and I agree with her statement…it is a battle of wills. He knows if he keeps crying mom will get him. I am sure it was very hard for her. No mom can listen to their baby cry for them and it not break their heart, but she feels that is what she needs to do. I know if I did that for 2 1/2 hours that would be so hard and it would be a battle of wills because it would be sooo hard not to cave, but if you cave, then they learn, OK, I cry for that long and then she comes so I need to do it again and she will come then. I feel bad for her. She is clearly exhausted and sharing her story and getting reemed for it. She is not harming her baby. Just because she doesn’t parent the way others do, doesn’t mean she is a lazy parent, a bad parent, etc. Imagine if she read these comments, as exhausted as she is and how bad they would hurt her when she is trying her best to be a good mom and obviously not harming her baby.

Sanja on

Gina: ”Why oh why, after being in mommys belly all safe and warm listening to mamas voice and heartbeat 24/7 for 9 months, do we feel that they belong in a crib, in a dark room all alone? It is just not natural, at all.”

Hear, hear!!

When I was a teenager (about 16) I had horrible nightmares and would go and sleep on the sofa in my parent’s room. They never said I had to go to my own bed and cry myself to sleep, so WHY would you do it to an 8 month old BABY!?

Joy on

You know, the comments on this page might explain why the divorce rate in this country is 50%.

ladyelms on

what a shame. someone ought to recommend her a good parenting book. i can understand the exhaustion (i too have an 8 mos old who also doesn’t sleep much, what a coincidence) but when she says she won’t be beat? a battle of wills? wow. so sad.

Angelique on

Please cut Amy some slack. She’s human and doing the best that she can.

JJ on

No legitimate CIO method recommends allowing a child to cry for hours on end. That’s horrible. She should try a few books like the “No Cry Sleep Solution” and, when in doubt, listen to her instincts.

An 8 mo isn’t engaged in a battle of wills; he simply needs human touch and comfort to sleep. That’s something I wouldn’t deny to a child of any age.

SH on

Gina hit the nail on the head. Babies might sleep through the night one week and wake every 2 hours another week. So many things – teething, sickness, growth spurts, learning a new skill, etc. can cause different sleep patterns. 8 months old and she has to “beat him”? That’s really sad. They grow up so fast and the little phases they go through come to an end eventually. I’ve learned that after 4 kids.

Blythe on

That was so hard to read. I hope it was an exaggeration. I wonder if she’d be surprised to read these comments and see that a lot of people aren’t on the same page and that there are many other methods. I think sometimes people think that’s just what you’re supposed to do, and if you don’t do it, you’re doing the child a disservice somehow, but there are a lot of ways to get through rough sleep patches.

Sleep in the first year is not perfect linear process, and tiring and frustrating as it may be, I think we need to recognize that there are times when our kids will need us. Funny she mentioned in the same interview that he just started crawling: ding, ding! There are well-known developmental spurts in the first year that often coincide with sleep regressions. 8-9 months is one of the prime times, if not the worst one in the first year. New gross motor skills often go hand in hand with night wakings. My daughter used to wake herself by crawling or sitting up or even standing up, and she’d be half awake and not sure how she got there, totally terrified. It will pass. We never did CIO, and my daughter sleeps through the night. I didn’t “teach her” to self-soothe. We provided a secure environment and she grew into her ability to manage her sleep cycles. It was challenging at times, but it felt like the right thing to do for us.

Have any of you ever sat and cried, full on wailing, for 20-30 minutes at a time, much less 2.5 hours? It gives you a horrible headache and dehydrates you and raises cortisol levels sky-high, which is not good for anyone. There’s a lot of research on this, including a Harvard study from a few years ago. While CIO may be effective for some children, parents might want to learn all the possible ramifications and alternative methods.

Finally, a kid shaking his head and apparently inconsolable probably should get checked for an ear infection ASAP! If you do CIO, how do you tell when your child is in pain or sick or not? Do you go in and check on them or only listen through a monitor? If you have a kid who is not used to crying at night, believe me, you can tell quickly when something is wrong.

mp on

I’m kind of amused reading all these anti-crying comments, because when my daughter was born 28 years ago, my OB/GYN read me the riot act for attending to her cries when she was a few months old. He absolutely forced it down my throat that she had to lie down to sleep and cry it out. I never subscribed, however.

I do remember one afternoon, though, when she just wouldn’t stop crying. I checked her diaper, tried bottles of milk & juice, rocked her, drove her around the block, undressed her, rubbed her belly & back — everything you can think of, and she still wouldn’t stop crying. When my hubby got home two and a half hours later, she was in her crib wailing, and I was on the sofa crying. He picked her up, rubbed her back a little, and she was out like a light.

LindaLou on

omg, i can’t believe how many people let their babies cry it out. i wouldn’t let an infant cry for 10 minutes let alone over two hours. crying is the only way babies have to communicate! letting them cry unconsoled for any period of time is just plain cruel and selfish. they are only babies for a short time. i’ve guided three past infancy.

CelebBabyLover on

Did anyone stop to think that Amy might have been exagerating? I mean, like some other posters said, maybe it just SEEMED like 2 1/2 hours but wasn’t really. Or maybe he wasn’t literally screaming, or wasn’t screaming the whole time.

KB on

Unless you have lived through it, you can’t judge. It is nearly impossible for your body and mind to function if you don’t get sleep for so long. I used to be against crying it out but then I was dying without sleep and it was so clear to me that my attempts to get my baby to sleep without crying were just waking him up more and what he and everyone needed was sleep. After he learned to sleep it was so obvious he was rested AND happier. Not to mention that I could stop crying everyday trying to make it through. Every baby, every person is different.

amy dalley on

wow! I stumbled across this article and almost fell out of my chair!!! I was exaggerating people …DANG!!! but I am happy to report after letting him cry for only a couple of nights ( and never without checking on him…duh!) he sleeps like a baby! lol He is a lot more rested now. He eats better. He naps better. He seriously for the first 9 months woke every hour, so after consulting with my ped we started letting him cry for a few min…now we put him down awake and he snuggles in and goes to sleep. It is a relief to know he is getting well needed rest!
He is absolutely the love of our lives. I dont think we are lazy parents…or any of the other mean things you called us. we are a blessed and happy, thankful family. Jackson is a prayer answered for all three of us. If you have any other impression, well that is prob my fault for trying to be funny while not being too personal during an interview. I was mostly trying to stress the fullness of my plate while making my album. If you’d like to keep track of me and all things baby/music/life check out next, on to weaning…I’m sure you have somethin to say about that too…..:)
love, amyd

Nika on

Well done Amy!!!!

I’m actually in the exact same situation right now with my one year old daughter and I think I’m going to try the same way you did. Months of sleepless nights must come to an end, I always check on her and I know there’s nothing wrong and still she gets me to take her out of bed. Now it’s time I’m stronger!

Don’t let them get to you Amy, I know exactly what you went through and how you ment the things you said!

SouthernBelle on

Poor Amy, to read some of the things said about her on here! But, I can see she has a sense of humor and lets your comments roll like water off a duck’s back. Would you have reacted with that much dignity and grace if you read such things about yourself? I won’t comment on that. After reading the litany of borderline abusive comments, I’m reminded why I seldom come to this site anymore. One reader hit the nail on the head…and I’m paraphrasing here: mothers are so afraid that they are not being “perfect” that they find it easier to point the finger of blame at other mothers, especially mothers who aren’t there to defend themselves or elaborate on their previous comments (which may or may not have been taken out of context, or misread.) And another reader stated the comments may reflect why the divorce rate it so high. I giggled when I read that, but only because what she said rang so close to the truth.

Abby on

So ridiculous. How dare someone judge someone’s parenting skills for something that has actually been done for centuries, and successfully for many parents.

what a parent does for their child, especially on the advice of their pediatrician, is not worth judging. it does not breed bad children. if anything, it has the potential to begin to groom a self-sufficient child, which is a very, very good thing!

Sarah on

Amy, I’ve always loved you and you have shown to me in your response why! To everyone who bashed her, look at yourselves in the mirror AND THEN get back on here and comment about how awful other mothers are. I bet none of you can. We are all humans, thereby we are all imperfect!!!

jessica on

Tracy, sorry for the late response and I have no idea if you’re still checking this for a reply. I can’t even really explain it haha. Hysterical being like a squeal from the belly, barely able to breathe because they’re crying so hard, like a painful cry, or there’s crying more like whining, softer I guess. I don’t know if you have kids, but it might make more sense to you if so. When my daughter cried it out I also said she screamed, being dramatic, but she really just kind of whined and softly cried for a bit, not hysterical like she was hungry, in pain, or had to burp or be changed etc. It was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it worked pefectly for us.

anna on

No matter what anyone says… I don’t believe in letting babies “cry it out”… And I believe Amy did it more than just a “couple of nights”. The reasons why are too many to list here. But many people would know exactly what I’m talking about…. I personally could never hear my baby cry for any extended period of time, to me it would be nothing but torture. I love to comfort her when she needs it. She will grow up and no longer be a baby before I know it.

Sarah on

Anna, were you in her home for ANY length of time while she was letting Jackson cry it out? I HIGHLY doubt it. So, then, how would you know if it was more than “a couple of nights” or not? (An HONEST answer would be great on this one!!)

Sarah Rice on

Where are your all’s babies and what are they doing while you are criticizing other people on this celebrity blog site? Do you think she was sleeping during that time? Can you sleep with a baby crying right next to you? Most Dr’s. do advise this at 6 months. What would you do if your baby slept in hour increments? Chill. This is just stupid.

CelebBabyLover on

ITA with Sarah! At the same time, however, I DO understand where some commentors are coming from. If I had kids, I don’t think I’d be able to stand letting them cry it out. I would have to exhaust all other possible options first. If those options didn’t work, however, then I probably would try CIO.

Terri on

Wow. Suffice it to say that everyone has a different opinion on what is acceptable with the CIO method. Don’t assume that this woman loves her child any less because she has a difference of opinion on parenting.

Ebonee on

I dont think anyone on here should judge. People and parents handle situations differently! Lack of sleep is something very annoying, and I completely understand where she is coming from. My son is 10 1/2 months old and STILL wakes up multiple times a night. He has only slept through the night probably 2 times in his life. It is highly fustrating. I personally have never let him CIO for more than 30 minutes, but there are times I feel like just putting a pillow over my head and letting him cry all night! Maybe she doesnt know any other way. Instead of condeming, offer some ideas or something!

Ebonee on

OK I just read Amy’s response, and yay for her! I’ll never understand why some moms have to be so catty!

And Amy, I’m with you on the weaning! I’ll have to keep track of your progress to see if it can help me in any way! LOL

Alisa Terry on

There are many reasons a child may be waking frequently at that age. Mine did the same thing, and yes it was exhausting, but just leaving the child to cry doesn’t address the issues. The child could be teething, going through a growth spurt, experiencing change in the home environment, battling an illness and in need of more fluids –

Many doctors, including Dr. Sears, Dr. Greene, and Dr. Mercola warn that actual research – not just opinion – shows that crying-it-out can be very damaging. Harvard did on a study on this recently and came to the same conclusions. (Read the study at

You are a mom now. It’s exhausting, it’s frustrating, and exhilerating, it’s a blessing, it’s hard, it’s fun. This isn’t a battle to manage a problem. It’s an opportunity to raise a human being. Hold your baby and plan on sleeping later down the road.

This isn’t just a matter of parenting styles and preferences. It’s a matter of an infant’s emotional health and well-being.

Alisa Terry on

PS – those of you who are proud of your babies sleeping through the night after a few nights of crying it out should take a look at Dr. Sears research on Shut-Down Syndrome.

Michelle on

You all need to get over yourselves! Who the hell are you to criticize how that woman raises her son?

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