We've done "cry it out" at my house on many occasions. I try everything I can think of… fed, change, rocked, no obvious signs of pain I can fix, if they are still crying... I just hug them and we "cry it out" together.
We let both girls "cry it out." Within three nights, they learned to put themselves to sleep and sleep through the night with no problems at all. I feel like some people think that crying it out means you just leave them in their cribs and let them cry for hours without going in there. We used the Ferber method...we moved the time in between comforting up by a couple minutes each time until we reached 15 minutes and by then, they were calm or already asleep. Worked like a charm. So really, the first 10-15 minutes of the first night were the hardest. Now, both girls (4-years and 22-months) hop into bed and sleep for 11 to 12 hours straight. Two happy, well-rested little ladies. –Anne
I was very much against it. Then when my daughter was around 9 months she was at the point where she would wake up at night and was not able to put herself back to sleep. I would be standing next to her crib rubbing her back for HOURS. I would be standing there at 4 AM crying. I was grumpy and more importantly my daughter was grumpy because of the lack of sleep. I begrudgingly tried the "cry it out" method. It was hard. I bawled my eyes out the first night. I felt like the worst mother in the world. Since that night she sleeps perfectly. For us I think it was best. Would I recommend it for everyone? No. I am no longer as judgmental about it as I was though because I felt like teaching my daughter to be able to fall asleep on her own was in her best interest. –Brittany
My daughter slept an accumulated total of 3 hours out of every 24, and all of it in the car. At 4 months we used cry it out and I'm pretty sure it saved my sanity. It only took 2 nights and a few glasses of wine for me and then she slept 8 hours at a stretch. I don't think it's a perfect solution for every child and every family....it did nothing for my third and he still isn't a sleeper at age 5, he's just better at entertaining himself. -Erin from The Usual Mayhem
I think it depends on the situation and the child. In general I would say that it's better to attend to your child's needs. However when I went back to work when Goblin was 8 months old we dropped his 2am feed. We knew he could self settle because he did it during the rest of the night. We tried going in and cuddling him and that seemed to make things worse and prolong the crying. So after three nights of walking around for two hours with a screaming baby we tried leaving him to cry. We had a video monitor so we could see what was going on and we lay there feeling terrible listening to him. He cried for quite a while (but much less time than when we had gone in to hold him) and then he stopped and went back to sleep (in total he probably cried for half an hour. which when I write it down feels horrendous and I don't know how we did it to him or us). The next night he woke, cried for about 15 minutes and fell asleep again. The final night he didn't wake up. I don't think I could have continued with what felt like a cruel process if it had taken any longer than it did. But I should point out that goblin was a really good sleeper and this feed was the only time he properly woke in the night and didn't settle himself. I think if he'd been an anxious baby or a bad sleeper this technique would have made it worse. Now he is three and if he wakes in the night it is because of nightmares and we will always go in to him to reassure him. I think having the support of Hublet was the only way I could do it –The Monko from Taming the Goblin
We did "crying out" with both our kids. It worked wonderfully with my son. And was much harder with my daughter. I felt the nighttime sleep was very important for her to be happy and balanced the next day. So though she also cried an hour at night (the first time), it quickly settled and she slept through. I am very pro crying out, but I do think you need to watch your child and see how they respond. Only do it if you think you can handle it. Many find it very distressing! –Maggy at Red Ted Art
moms who haven't done CIO
I am very con cry it out. It never felt right to be responsive all day and then willfully ignore the child at night. My son was a terrible sleeper and we tried one night of cry it out at 8 months and it was enough for me to know it wasn't for me. He didn't sleep through the night until he was night weaned at 2. With my daughter she co-slept from 6 months until 2, when we moved her to her own bed she would wake once a night (still does) . Now at 6 my son goes to bed with no bedtime struggles other than sneaking in for cuddles a few times a month. I would never judge another parent for how they choose to parent but it wasn't right for me. Bedtime is no different than any time of day, when my kids need me I attend to their needs. I think the middle of the night cuddles are a need - both kids are incredibly secure and confident (well except with mascots and clowns :)). –Allison from No Time for Flashcards
It is not something that would have worked at all with our first daughter. We were both comfortable as parents cosleeping to help our baby to sleep. She was often up as many as 5 times a night the first year of her life but would settle quickly with a cuddle or nursing. I think this helped her immensely in the long run. At 5, she settles herself to sleep and is a very deep sleeper.
I am a big advocate of "do whatever works for you". We never let our boys cry it out and they are all fantastic sleepers now. Our oldest slept through the night at 16 weeks, our second oldest was 3 months, and our youngest was 14 months. All kids are different, and moms are in the best position to decide what is best for their child.
We followed the no cry books. It didn't solve all our problems but I believe human babies are designed to wake up during the night and they need the assurance. We coslept with both kids. Our 3 year old son still cosleeps with us. And he just started to sleep through.
We did the no cry books. It’s definitely not a quick fix, but as a long term philosophy it works wonderfully. I think its very important to find the cause of the sleep problem, which is more often than not, over tiredness. We coslept with Jake until he was 2, and he made the transition to sleeping by himself happily and quite independently and now sleeps for 11 hours at night, no bedtime issues... We are currently co sleeping with Poppy and will continue to do so until we feel she is ready to move on. Love sleepy cuddles. Xx
We do not cry it out. I'm not one to tell others what to do or not to do, but cry it out seems so wrong to me. I've nursed/cuddled/rocked all of my kids to sleep, and while it takes longer in the beginning, they are wonderful sleepers now. We had some of our best moments together reading and cuddling and drifting off to sleep. My kids were never alone in their cribs crying and wondering why their mother, the one person in the world that they can trust more than anyone, was not coming to them. They knew then, and they know now, that if they cry, I will be there. If they need me, I will come. I won't judge a parent that chooses to cry-it-out. But I will always be against the practice. -Erin from Royal Baloo
When they are less than one, I don't let them cry to sleep-but we cosleep/bed share throughout the first year. After that they have typically been great at going to bed on their own. BUT there have been times where I've tucked them in, comforted them, explained it is time to go to sleep and walked away. They might whine and cry mildly for a few minutes and then calm down and sleep. If it is expressing their displeasure of the situation and it decreases in intensity fairly quickly then I let it happen. But if it is wailing or increasing in intensity then we'll go cuddle and see what is bothering them. -Alicia
I follow the No Cry Solution. I can't cry it out. I know it works for some, but not for me. I am more attachment parenting. If laying with my boys for a couple minutes gets them to calm down and go to sleep so be it. I coslept with both of them and extended nursed, which lends itself to not letting them cry it out. I respect everyone's opinion though, it worked for many friends. –Evelyn
When my youngest (born at 28 wks) was home, all in-laws said it was a MUST to cio, otherwise just spoiling him. It didn't feel right to me, and I'm so glad I didn't do it. We found at 6 months he had severe anemia. Things were so bad that his heart and liver were enlarged, and the stress from regular crying could be too much for his heart and kill him. It's better to respond to your baby so that they know they can trust you now, and have it continue later into life. But I suppose each family does what they think is right for their own situation and every parent tries to do what they think is best for their child, which is what we all want.
We had a totally different experience with each of our daughters. Our first child wanted to hold our hand to fall asleep. We tried to let her cry it out. But, I didn't have it in me. She would eventually fall asleep (holding our hand) and we would sneak out of her room. She would wake up in the middle of the night and we would bring her into our bed. My second child slept like an angel...never a peep. This issue is so individual, it's amazing. My mom's approach was to take a deep breath and know that those sleepless nights would pass. -Jennifer
I'm con Cry it out and Controlled Crying. I firmly believe that if I am there for my kids during the day, the same applies at night. I have 2 children that don't sleep well, J at 3 and a half has just started to sleep through the night again. T has never slept longer than 3 hours in a row. What we didn't know but now do is that she has sleep apnoea and by waking herself up, she is keeping herself alive. I dread to think what could/would have happened if we had used CIO. Would she have been trained not to wake up, the results could have been drastic for her. For me it was never an option but so many people have suggested it as what I must do. –Cerys from Rainy Day Mum
It may work for some (I wouldn't do that with mine) but if you do try it and its not working after a week....give it up! –Selina
the in betweens
First, the term "crying it out" means different things to different people. Obviously, safety should be the #1 priority. If the child is very young, crying for long periods of time is not good for the child and something could be wrong. For older children it is all about your parenting style and family atmosphere. I think my style is right in the middle. I will let them cry a little bit, and if they aren't going to sleep, I go in and hold them, comfort them. -Janine
I have never been comfortable with traditional CIO. Even though my daughter was a terrible sleeper, I couldn't do it. After her second birthday, she was diagnosed with a chronic illness, resulting in pain and inflammation. I was so thankful that I never let her cry alone for very long. If I honestly don't know why they are crying, I want to hold them close and help them fall asleep. My daughter also suffered from night terrors for TWO YEARS. Two.Long.Years. On top of pain. On top of side effects of meds. My husband and I haven't slept in 4 years. ;) As parents, we all do the best we can...so I don't judge how others choose to deal with things like sleep. As long as they don't judge me –Katie from Playing with Words 365
We tried it and our son would just cry until we got him. –Deirdre
It depends on the cry with my daughter. I will evaluate why she might be crying in my head - could she be hungry, need to be changed or have a real reason for crying. If I know she doesn't need anything, I will leave her for awhile. I do have a time limit I will let her cry, about 10 minutes before I will try to soothe her. If what she needs is a little snuggle before she settles down I will give her a few extra minutes. –Jessi
Tried CIO with my son (Ferber) and he wailed more than ever before and did NOT get better but worse after days of trying and two attempts. Was done after that and used Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution with gradual success and my sanity back. -Jennifer
I think it comes down to knowing your kid. I know my daughter's cries and how the hurt cry is different from the scared cry is different from the attention/tantrum cry. I am not even sure if what I did was CIO because I would never let her wail for over a few minutes and she was closer to a year old and on. It is a hot button issue and people all parent differently. I was one who believed you can't spoil a baby under 6 months, you can't hold them too much, respond too much or anything. –Michelle from Delicate Construction
There is a fine line. Hold your baby if he/she needs you, they are only babies for a short period. We can never go back. Do what you think you should. –Trudy
I finally learned that if the person asking wasn't willing to come to my home in the middle of the night to deal with my amazing awake child, then how I chose to deal with it wasn't their concern. I will say this: each child is different, and they all need unique approaches to help grow and nurture them. -Ann
Trusting Our Parental Insticts from Play Dr. Hutch
Trusting Our Parental Insticts from Play Dr. Hutch