Letting Baby Cry It Out: Good Or Bad?
There might be instances when your child keeps crying all the time, with or without reason. You might have tried every trick in the book, but nothing seems to be working. Every baby cries, and they cannot help it because it is their only source of communication. Letting your kid cry it out feels so wrong because it goes against every right mothering instinct you have. But sometimes it works. Before establishing whether this approach is right or wrong let us try to delve deeper into the approach first.
Understanding Cry it Out
There are many assumptions around the concept of cry it out method, but most people don't understand it well enough. Before adopting the method or rejecting it, it is important to understand what cry it out method is and what it includes and excludes in it.
Cry It Out is a sleep training method to break through a baby’s poor sleep associations. Some people think it as a way of letting baby cry before he falls asleep. But It is rather a process of setting limits on what is acceptable and what is not around bedtime and being consistent with it. It is an approach that assumes that falling asleep is a skill that can be mastered by self if provided an opportunity to do so. The idea behind it is that the baby slowly and gradually learns to sleep without associations and by himself and can also learn to soothe himself back to sleep if he/ she wakes up in the middle of the night. It is a step by step process of slowly letting your baby cry out for a specific length of time before you comfort him/ her.Cry It Out by no means is a replacement for parenting when baby needs it and is not meant to be used when the baby is hungry, wet, very sick, in pain, etc. But hearing your baby cry can be excruciating for every parent thus it is essential to understand if it can work with your baby’s temperament and more importantly for you as a parent.Even though Cry-it-out method can be hard for both babies and parents, a new study in Australia supports to the idea that the method is effective and does not cause stress or lasting emotional problems for babies.
How to do it?
When the bedtime arrives, put your baby in her bed or crib, do your usual bedtime routine like reading a book or singing a song. After that, kiss them goodnight, tuck them in, give them a gentle pat and tell them you love them and say goodnight and walk out of the room. You can expect crying, pleading you to come back, etc. However, stay strong and do not return until five minutes have passed. After five minutes, check on your child again. If the child is still awake, repeat the process of patting them and saying goodnight. Repeat this process for as long as baby cries, extending the time of separation each time by about five minutes, until the child finally falls asleep. Repeat this process the next day too, extending the time, and soon you will see your baby adapt to the new routine. If the time span of crying. The best thing to do as a parent at this time is to just stand and wait outside baby’s room and stay strong.
Cry it out method should be implemented at the right time. Leaving a newborn child or a 2-month-old baby ‘cry it out’ is not logical and can be dangerous for the kid too.The ideal age for sleep training is generally before your baby can sit up and stand up and cry it out method can work with babies and toddlers of ages up to 3-4 years old.
Babies with certain temperaments react better to cry it out than others. Slow to adapt and intense babies take longer to embrace the method, however; adaptable, easy-going babies will cry a lot less and accept the method easily.
Tips for proper implementation of Cry-It-Out Method
- Establish a strong foundation.
- Be prepared to follow through.
- Find a support system.
- Don't send mixed messages or be inconsistent.
- Don’t night-wean and sleep train at the same time.
There is no right or wrong way of parenting, and whatever you are doing is good enough. If you reach the crossroad which pushes you towards taking an important parenting decision, trust your instinct, and if the decision sits well in your conscience and is for the betterment of the child, you are on the right path. There is no easy answer to whether or not you should let your child cry it out. However, it is important to consider the age, the reason for crying and the general temperament of the child.