Did I hurt my child by letting her cry too long?

In the middle of the night, my three-month-old daughter cried for an hour and a half in her crib before I was awake enough to realize how much time had passed. When I got up to get her, I felt so guilty about letting her cry for such a long time. Can bad-mom episodes like this one hurt my child?


Babies are remarkably resilient. What matters most is your pattern of caring for your daughter.

I'd consider the situation you described an "exhausted mom" episode, not a "bad mom" episode. We know that babies need to be heard and that they stop crying more easily when you respond to them quickly. It might help to get a baby monitor or to move your baby's crib into your bedroom.

Another option is to let her sleep with you. Moms who sleep with their babies often get more sleep than moms whose babies sleep in a separate room. Safety precautions are important, though. Babies should not sleep on a waterbed or in a bed with big, downy blankets and comforters. And, needless to say, it's never safe for babies to be in bed with parents who abuse alcohol or use drugs.

Like This? Read These!
- Back to Sleep
- How to Comfort a Crying Baby
- Lessons for New Parents: Sleep Deprivation Is a Very Big Deal
-  VIDEO: Infant Sleep Cycles

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