What I learned from using the cry it out method.
I want to mention the positive results I’ve experienced from using the cry it out method. If you’re against cry it out, please don’t judge until you’ve read everything I have to say. I do want to mention that my babies were around 9 months when we used the cry it out method. I am in no way saying that you should let a newborn baby cry it out.
When I wanted to get my baby to sleep in the crib I tried everything. It wasn’t until I had seemingly ran out of options that I resorted to using the cry it out method. I am hoping my perspective can help parents that are desperate or unsure if cry it out is the route they want to take.
If your baby is fed, bathed, dry and happy before you put them down, when they cry, you’ll know it’s not because they physically NEED anything. At first, your baby may cry because they’re used to you being there or you helping them fall asleep. This may make you feel bad but once they do start sleeping, there are other positive benefits for both of you.
For one, the more they sleep, the more they sleep! Once they start sleeping good at night, their naps get better, longer and more regular! Once their naps get better, their night sleep gets better! It’s a WIN-WIN! There are also ways to smooth this transition so it doesn’t seem so harsh.
Here are a few articles that go into more detail explaining sleep associations and transitioning baby to crib. Read more about sleep associations, here. Read more about transitioning baby to crib, here.
Cry it out made me feel better as a parent, not worse
Using cry it out made me realize that my babies could and were able to sleep through the night. I learned that it’s okay for them to cry sometimes, as long as their actual needs aren’t being neglected. I learned when I needed to go to them and when they would be okay without my intervention. In fact, after awhile it became so rare that they would cry at night at all and the few times they did it was usually because they were restless.
Some things that make babies restless or overtired and more likely to cry at night are:
- a missed or shorter nap(s) than their normal routine during the day
- more stimulation than normal
- meeting or trying to meet a new milestone
- new routine
Those won’t always be the case when your kids cry, but definitely more often than not. When your baby wakes up at night try to think of what things might be causing it. Did they/ are they experiencing one of the things I mentioned above? If so they probably don’t need anything except a little time.
Cry it out actually made it easier to know my babies’ needs in the long run.
Positive Cry it Out Results
After each of my kids cried for the first couple of nights, they would generally sleep all night after that. THEN, if they DID happen to cry in the night, I knew that SOMETHING else must be bothering them. This gives you an idea of when your baby ACTUALLY needs something.
Most of us just assume our baby is in need when they wake up and cry, but we don’t really know for sure. What most of us fail to realize is that babies don’t always need something when they cry.
After using the cry it out method, when one of my babies cried at night, I would watch them on my baby monitor and wait for a second. They would usually just cry or whine for a couple of minutes and then settle themselves and go back to sleep. In these cases, they didn’t need anything except a little time. If they cried harder or longer than 5 minutes or so (which was very rare), then I would go check on them.
Cry it out also helped my kids become more content putting themselves to sleep without me. After our normal bedtime routine of brushing their teeth, singing to them and rocking them, I’d put them down. If one of them DID have a harder time sleeping, they’d usually stay awake and play in their crib for awhile. They were perfectly content being by themselves until they were ready to sleep. Most of the time they’d go to sleep without ever crying. Cry it out actually made it easier to know my babies’ needs in the long run.
How cry it out affected my babies
As a result of the cry it out method, my babies were totally fine and still exhibit no negative side effects from it. They are well rested and happier because of it. Sleep is one of the MOST important things for babies and children. Mine (two of which are toddlers now) still have great sleep habits to this day. They are also still happy and silly as can be!
Plus, when you feel like you can read your child and understand their needs it will make you feel so much better!
For information on how/why I started the cry it out process, view this article here.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, I’m always glad to lend some advice or help in any way I can!