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Did You Let Your Babies 'Cry It Out'?

Study Shows 'Crying It Out' Is Best for Babies

Posted by Mary Fischer

crying babyAny new parent will tell you that one of the hardest things to adjust to with a baby is the whole not getting a remotely decent amount of sleep thing. Unless you are one of those one in a million people who wound up with a gem of a baby who slept through the night on day one, I'm sure you've struggled with what you should or should not do when your little one wakes up crying in the middle of the night.

Well, a new study conducted at Temple University in Philadelphia has concluded that letting your baby cry it out is the best plan to ensure that he or she learns how to self-soothe.

Um, that's all well and good -- but listening to your baby cry, moan, and wail for you in the middle of the night and not doing a darn thing about it is way, way easier said than done.

I can't help but wonder if any of the researchers involved are moms, because if they are, they should really know better than to tell us to just let our babies cry and go back to sleep and forget about it.

When my son was a baby, he was not a good sleeper. At all. Granted, he went to bed and fell asleep very easily each night, but he woke up crying at least once or twice until he was around 8 or 9 months old.

And after a few people urged me to let him cry it out with the promise of his waking up in the middle of the night being corrected in a day or two -- I finally did it. And it nearly broke my heart. I listened to him cry incessantly for a good 45 minutes before he finally gave up and fell asleep -- and I'm pretty sure I cried right along with him.

I felt like I'd abandoned him in some way, like he couldn't understand why I wasn't coming for him. And I just couldn't bear the thought of him feeling like I'd forgotten about him or didn't care, which is why the next night, I promptly went into his room when he woke up crying.

Instead of picking him up out of his crib, however, I simply went over and assured him that I was there, rubbed his head a little, gave him his pacifier, and not too long after that, he drifted back off to sleep. The process only took about five or ten minutes, and it was much less stressful than laying in my bed tossing and turning and listening to him cry, that's for sure.

To each his own, but for me, there's no way I'd do the crying it out thing if I had another baby. News flash -- babies cry in the middle of the night, because they're babies and that's what babies do. It's part of the deal, and instead of trying to find a magical one-size-fits-all solution, parents really just need to do whatever works best for them. Seriously, don't these researchers have anything better to analyze?

Have you ever let your baby cry it out?

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Replies (31-40):
by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 6:26 PM
1 mom liked this

My son will be 1 next week and has been in our bed up until 2 weeks go because of severe reflux. He was up 4-10 times a night. Now that his reflux is under control it is time for him to finally be in his crib. We are using Ferber method which is the whole increased waiting on the crying plan.  You don't just have endless crying, you can/do go in and comfort. But last night he went down and only cried for less then 5 minutes and slept until 2 am before waking. 

I don't believe in it under 6 months.  But a child does need to be able to self soothe.

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 6:34 PM
1 mom liked this
CIO in reputable studies has been shown to lower oxygen levels, raise blood pressure and elevate the level of the stress hormone cortisol. CIO has been linked in other studies to failure to thrive, more clingy children, lowered IQ, ADHD, SIDS and brain damage. No thanks. We'll stick to safer, more biologically sound practices. : )
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by Ape on Jan. 5, 2013 at 7:17 PM


by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 7:21 PM

not at ALL

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 8:22 PM
2 moms liked this

How can you compare an infant who can't talk and who often does not even understand it's own needs to a relationship between a grown husband and wife? Seriously. I understand that it is not the strategy for you, but many use Ferber which includes comforting and helping the child help himself get to sleep. It is not for newer infants, but for older babies.

Quoting Randi02:

Are those your needs, too? How would you feel if your husband ignored your cries, or attempts to communicate because you were fed, clean and safe?
I'm responsive, regardless of the time of day/night.
I don't ignore any of my baby's cries.

Quoting mandapanda82:

CIO is not Ignoring your baby.. You make sure they're fed, dry and safe before you let them cio. And I understand the security thing but my baby knows ill be back when she wakes up!

Quoting Randi02:

Ignoring your baby doesn't teach them to soothe themselves. It teaches them that you're inconsistent and its not worth the tears.

Responding to them builds security, and they learn they don't need you as much.

Quoting mandapanda82:

? Sorry that last part I don't get.

Quoting Randi02:

Hell no.

I'm a mother, it's my job to answer the cries of my baby. The reason it's so 'hard' to hear them cry is because it should be one of the most basic maternal instincts - and it's not meant to be ignored.

Babies don't learn to 'self soothe' by being ignored, they learn that by being soothed.

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 8:23 PM

No, it goes against every instinct that i have. I dont schedule feedings either

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 8:27 PM
Hell no.... this post makes me sad
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by Member on Jan. 5, 2013 at 8:28 PM
Every once in awhile I have to but it's usually if I'm driving and unable to get to him right away or if I'm in the bathroom.

I tried letting him do that at first because I let my friends and family pressure me into trying it. After the second, maybe third night, I just said screw it and brought him to bed with me to snuggle and relax. I made sure he knew I was there and usually he goes back to sleep that way. Luckily as he got older, he sleeps through the night.

I don't like the idea of CIO simply because some babies will just scream louder and louder and sometimes can't breathe. I also can't stand hearing a baby cry so I know with my next children, we won't be listening to advice from others. We'll go with our gut instincts.
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by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 8:29 PM
1 mom liked this
Yup, sure did
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by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 8:34 PM
1 mom liked this

Well in a way I guess I have. I use the compassionate CIO method. When DD is up in the middle of the night I check her diaper, make sure shes fed and once she's calm I put her back in the crib. After that if she cries again I let it go for about 5 minutes (about all I can take before I go rushing in there) and will rub her back and sing to her till she goes back to sleep. I refuse to pick her up and play with her cause if I do it turns into an all night ordeal. 

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