Updated: Sep 22, 2021
I often get asked this question a lot from my clients. The answer is yes, for most babies crying it out does work Short Term between 2-7 days but at what cost?
There are so many different proven methods available to help babies receive adequate healthy sleep and to help parents struggling with sleep deprivation so why is leaving a baby to cry alone even an option?
Within my profession, it is generally up to the sleep consultant to choose if they condone this method or not. I am fully against allowing any baby to cry & cry until the baby eventually learns no one is coming to help.
First and foremost I am a Mother, when I sleep trained my own Son I did so by introducing a gentle routine, seeing to his needs, allowing him to go through the motions and progressing at his own pace. I did not rush to cause him any distress nor did I let him cry alone or become detached.
A parents duty is to respond to our children's needs - for me crying it out does the opposite.
The approach can be traced back to the book "The Care and Feeding of Children" written by Dr. Emmett Holt in 1894. The name of the method is self explanatory; you allow the child to cry until they fall asleep without providing any comfort or reassurance.
The logic behind this method is that a baby will learn (and learn fast) that crying at bedtime is not rewarded therefore the child will self settle.
My main issue with this method is that children cry to communicate and if a child learns that crying does not equal help from their main caregiver this can cause problems long term for the child.
In addition, this method also doesn't deal with the issue at hand to answer why a child is experiencing sleep problems in the first place. Is the child at the right age developmentally to sleep through the night without needing a feed? Is there another reason why your child is distressed at night?
For example, maybe she is hungry, maybe she isn't getting enough sleep during the day which is why her nights are restless or maybe experiencing separation anxiety which is resulting in broken sleep.
The crying it out method solely focuses on getting your child to sleep at night in a very stressful way. Remember Mama's, sleep training does not have to be hard and exhausting for your baby or yourself.
If you're looking for a gentle sleep training method and want to help your baby receive good quality healthy sleep without leaving your baby alone in a room to cry check out my sleep affordable sleep guides here or my one to one packages here.