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Toddlers & Preschoolers Toddlers & Preschoolers

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 (11-20):
.Angelica.
by Angie on Jan. 5, 2013 at 2:45 PM
Sometimes when dd wakes up in the middle of the Night i let her fuss for a minute or two to see if she will go back to sleep cause otherwise She will be awake for at least an hour.
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PAmommy32
by Bronze Member on Jan. 5, 2013 at 2:48 PM

When my son was 10 or 11 months old I did a modified version where he cried for 5 minutes then I went in and checked on him, patted him and let him know I was still there.  Waited 10 minutes and went back in.  I would have gone back in at 15 minutes but he was asleep by then.  I only had to do that two nights and he slept soooo much better after that.  I my situation at the time this was the right thing to do for my son and our family.

MamaScho88
by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 3:06 PM

 I never did, I don't believe in the CIO method...whenever my babies cried it was always because they needed something, whether it be they were hungry, had a wet or dirty diaper, had gas, were sick, teething, or just plain overtired and needed a cuddle to fall asleep. My babies were all really happy babies, and I feel that it was because I always met their needs and it strengthened the bond I have with my children. Too much crying isn't good for a baby's body and can make them feel insecure, and make them cry even more IMO. There have been times where I could not do anything for them to make them happy and I let them cry, but never more than 5 minutes and I would go get them.

Mrs.Velasquez
by Bronze Member on Jan. 5, 2013 at 3:08 PM


Quoting doulala:


No way, that is terrible.

:-(

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shadow_lark
by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 3:11 PM

 No, I tried briefly with ds, but after an hour of me going and soothing every few minutes i gave it up.  I can not be healthy for a child in that stage of lfe to be left to fend for them selves.  Natre hasnt designed babies to be able to fend for themselves, they need our help and leaving them to "learn" it it on their own is just cruel.  It find it interesting that we have moved out of so many old timed parenting practices because we think that they are ineffective and barbaric, but we cling staunchly to this which has been proven over and over again to have negative effects on babies.

KRIZZ25
by Bronze Member on Jan. 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM
wen my babies were older like 9 10 months i would.. or i would go in Thar and say its ok here,s ur binkey and pat them back to sleep .
zinniadaisy
by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

With my older babies as they were learning how to fall asleep without the pacifier at 12 mo+.....it was simple and worked well - an occasional reassurance check was needed initially but they've been fine

evamarie12984
by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 3:51 PM
1 mom liked this

 I did let my twin boys cio when they were about 6 months old. I totally understand what your saying about it being excruciating and I (by NO means) went back to sleep and forgot about them. Instead I sat up fretting in my own bed, totally on edge. I litterally counted the seconds until they were quiet and every time they cried was probably as painful for me as it was for them. I hated it, BUT it worked. For my kids, out of sight means out of mind. I tried sitting in the room with them but not picking them up which only made them cry harder. So the cio worked for us but I set a time limit and stuck to it. If they cried after that time limit I went in to get them and just tried again later or the next night. I think you are absolutely right, though, that parenting is not one-size-fits-all. Parents need to get to know their kids and figure out what works best for the family as a whole. Thats why it makes me so angry when I see moms on here bashing other moms for their parenting techniques. If you do not know someone's situation and have never walked in their shoes - how can you possibly judge them?

LittleGhee
by Member on Jan. 5, 2013 at 4:17 PM

I tried the CIO method, but modified it to going first making sure they were fully awake, then that they weren't wet, dirty or hungry, and then I would go back in the room every 5, then 10, then 15, etc. minutes to reassure.  My dd was a horrible sleeper and didn't sleep nearly as much as most newborns, but I did let her fuss occasionally and didn't really try the CIO stuff until a year old.  Prior to that if I could feed her, rock her for five minutes and get back to sleep it was much easier than laying there listening to her cry. 

kailu1835
by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 4:27 PM

The study in the OP is junk science.  It has been proven thousands of times in thousands of studies that routinely crying it out, as in screaming for long periods of time, is detrimental to your child's health, physiologically and emotionally, both in the short term and in the long term.  It is only idiots that suggest to parents that the "right thing to do" is to completely ignore all your instincts when it comes to your baby.  A little crying never hurt anyone, but "crying it out" in the truest sense of the term is absolutely harmful.  My daughter used to cry in her crib all the time, a very quiet whine cry, and if I or my husband tried to comfort her, she would get mad.  She had to have that 2-5 minutes of light crying to put herself to sleep.  However, if she did more than just light crying, or it lasted longer than 5 minutes, then something was wrong and i took care of it.  I never let any of my babies scream.  Very loud crying is a sign that something is wrong.

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