Should I Let my Baby Cry it Out?

There is nothing worse than sleep deprivation. The complete and utter exhaustion of new parenthood is unlike anything else. You’re so tired your hair hurts, your teeth ache and you can’t remember the last time you had a decent conversation. Your most searched for term on Google is ‘when will my baby sleep through the night?’ You fantasize about getting to enjoy eight hours of uninterrupted blissful slumber. Put simply, you’re desperate for sleep. So desperate, in fact, you’d do anything. So, should you leave your baby to cry it out?

The cry it out method

The cry it out method does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Instead of going in to soothe your baby, you simply leave her to cry it out. When following the method, parents are advised to leave their baby to cry for slowly increasing periods of time before going into the room. It’s not for everybody, but some parents swear by it as a way of getting a decent night’s sleep. Cry it out is not advised for babies aged under six months.

There are different versions of the cry it out sleep method. While some may be quite harsh and advise parents not to comfort their crying infants, other take a gentler approach to sleep training. The idea behind the cry it out method is that it will teach your baby how to soothe himself to sleep, thus saving you a job in the middle of the night and, hopefully, allowing you to get a better night’s sleep.

Why wouldn’t I do it?

If it works, why would a parent choose not utilize cry it out to grab a few extra hours sleep each night? Well, your baby’s cries are her early attempt at communication. Some parents simply don’t feel comfortable ignoring their baby’s cries and prefer instead to respond quickly to their baby’s needs. The argument behind cry it out is that it teaches babies to self-soothe, but some experts feel that babies are too young to learn how to self-soothe. Some parents fear that, far from teaching your child to self-soothe, you are instead teaching her that nobody will come when she cries.

How you raise your child is a deeply personal decision and one that only you and your partner can make together.

Do you feel comfortable with the idea of the cry it out method and are you planning to try it when your baby is six months old?

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.