“Cry it out” is one of the controversial baby sleep training methods. There are numerous thinking about this method.
- Is it safe for baby?
- Does it cause long-lasting harms or benefits to the child?
- Does it actually mentally damage babies?
And much more.
The CIO debate is an extremely emotional topic. In fact, the CIO method is often demonized and misunderstood. Extensive researches have been done on this sleeping strategy. Researchers try to find out if it’s okay to let a baby cry himself/ herself to sleep.
Some studies support the idea that this strategy is effective and doesn’t cause long-lasting mental damage to babies. Whereas, some studies show that during this training babies are mentally affected due to abuse or exposure to violence.
To give you the full scientific picture, we’re here to demonstrate the “Cry It Out” philosophy.
The Controversial “Cry It Out” Baby Sleep Training Method- What’s The Thinking of Parents?
Now, What Do The Researchers Say About “Cry It Out” Baby Sleep Training?
Some parents personally don’t choose this method. A mother literally can’t stand to hear her baby crying. It doesn’t feel right to parents.
They think that babies cry differently for different needs. The reason maybe they want to be picked and cuddles, need to change diapers, hungry, etc. Or, there is something physically wrong. He/ she may have an illness, teething, etc. Hence, a baby’s cry is not just a sound; it’s a signal – structured for the survival of the child and development of the parents.
When a baby cry and parents pick her up and nurse her, comfort her, it’s actual parents are telling her non-verbally that if she needs, they’re here for her. The baby also responds by quieting rapidly. And most of the cases, he/ she rarely wakes up to a violent cry. If he/ she does, there must be something seriously wrong, not just a need to be met.
Ignoring his cry may lead him to a more aggressive cry. Ignoring his/ her crying is ignoring his/ her basic form of communication. Learning baby’s cry and responding properly is a parent’s first exchange of communication. Actually, ignoring a baby’s cry at night is ignoring his/ her request.
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What Do The Researchers Say About “Cry It Out” Baby Sleep Training?
Penelope Leach, British parenting expert, claims that “cry it out” mentally harm babies. According to Leach, intense crying raise cortisol (stress hormones) to the level where it becomes toxic to the baby’s developing brain.
Some studies show that ignoring baby’s cries for sleep training is linked to numerous problems later in life, such as ADHD, lower IQ, and anti-social behavior. But what is the scientific evidence of these effects?
A list of studies concluded that “crying it out” is dangerous. They mention that excessive crying of a baby has a higher incidence of antisocial behavior, poor school performance, and makes a child fussy and emotionally unbalanced.
Dr. Allan Schore, the UCLA researcher, shows that cortisol (stress hormone) released during intense crying harm nerve cells in the brain. This leads to psychological disorders and unhealthy attachments. It also disrupts a baby’s stress-regulating system and changes the way his limbic structures process emotion. As a matter of fact, this is the case, why a lot of sources oppose the “cry it out” sleeping strategy.
The actual study has nothing to do with sleep training. In fact, this researches were focused on how chronic neglect, trauma or abuse affects a baby at his/her developmental stage.
If “Cry It Out” is your everyday parenting philosophy, it’ll definitely negatively affect your baby. But “cry it out” is a well-thought-out sleep training strategy where parent let their baby cry for an isolated timeframe refers to responsive parenting.
CIO, when applying for sleep training, isn’t yet proven to cause long-term harm. But unfortunately, many parents think this method a work of the devil. Hence, it’s worth considering how and why some parents seem CIO is the best way to get their babies to sleep and some parents think it’s dangerous.
Medical sleep science shows that “cry it out” is an effective method that dramatically improves the sleep outcomes of your baby. If the strategy is applied appropriately, it’s not harmful at all.
What Is The Fact About “Cry It Out” Baby Sleep Training Method?
The most influential personality, Richard Ferber suggests a sleep training program known as “Extinction”. In his book “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems” he represented this method of getting baby to sleep that has synonymous as “cry it out” as “Ferberizing”.
But people misunderstood that this method of sleeping involves leaving your baby all alone to cry for as long as it takes before he/ she fall asleep.
Richard Ferber himself never term his sleeping method “CRY IT OUT”. And he is the one among a lot of baby sleep experts who states that crying isn’t the goal this method, but for some babies, it’s an inevitable part of sleep training.
Most sleep experts and pediatricians agree that it’s okay to let a baby cry for a specified period of time and it works effectively for many families. The theory behind ‘crying it out’ is falling asleep on his/her own is a skill that your baby can master if you give him/ her opportunity.
This assumes that if you nurse or rock your baby to sleep, he/ she won’t be able to learn to fall asleep on his own. As part of the natural sleep cycle, if your baby wakes up mid- midnight, he’ll cry for you instead of going back to sleep on his own.
Obviously, crying a specific period of time of “cry it out” method has an inevitable effect on the baby’s sleeping cycle so that your baby can adjust to falling asleep on his own.
Undoubtedly, “Cry it out” method is the quickest baby sleep training program. For some parents, this method work just the way they’re supposed to. If you have been suffering sleepless night for months or even years, the CIO method seems like a miracle cure for happy and healthy sleeping babies.
But for some parents, if the baby continuously cries and the expected sleep doesn’t come, it’s better to try some other methods.
The most significant point is that every child is different and no single method is effective for everyone. Try to understand your baby’s needs and try helping your baby accordingly to learn to sleep through the night.