Cry It Out:
When Is It A No-No And When Can It Work?
When is Cry It Out not safe at all? At what age
can you start?
does it actually make sense?
It Out methods, sometimes called ferberizing
are not safe for newborn, young or sick babies and
successful at that age. On the other hand, there are some situations
where you could
Having looked at the pro's
and con's of crying it out
, you may decide
to give baby sleep training a try. To make the most
of it, check the two
: when is crying it out a clear no-no and
it actually work.
When is Cry It Out a no-no
Sleep training your baby with a Cry
It Out method will not work and may even be harmful
your baby when:
- Your baby is a newborn (!!)
- Your baby is under 6 to 12 months, depending on
maturity (see below)
- Your baby is ill, whether seriously or just
having a cold or teething - read the infant
sleep problems pages for help
- You know your baby is in pain, is afraid or
- Your doctor has disadvised crying it our for
- You, as a parent, feel lightly or seriously
depressed (post natal depression/baby blues)
- You do not believe the crying will
help your baby sleep better
The reason for not
trying letting young babies cry to sleep
- apart from they
not strong enough mentally and physically - is that before six months
their sleep patterns are just not mature enough to be messed about
Erratic as they may seem, the development
of baby sleep patterns
is crucial for your baby to reach good
sleep habits. In this case it is not the
sooner the better
Allowing the natural sleep patterns to develop, with guidance but
without forcing, is most effective.
When could cry it out work?
"At 18 months old, I
realised that my daughter was playing with me. She was totally fine,
did not need night feedings anymore and had learnt to soothe herself to
sleep quite well since she was eight months old.
suddenly refused to go to bed and we spent hours before she would
settle down for the night. It was so clear to me that it was all
acting. I was so certain of that, that I did let her cry at bedtime
(something I always said I found a cruel thing to do).
I made clear rules about bedtime and routine, gave her all the hugs and
attention in the world. But I was firm: time for bed meant quiet time
in her bed.
I think my determination must have been clear: she only fussed a bit
the first night and then went to bed with a smile every night after
This is a situation when
crying it out could work
- When your baby is old enough and
are convinced that she is not crying because she is afraid, in pain or
It can be a very thin line between just being cranky and
really having a problem. But as a parent, follow your instincts to
decide when and if crying it out is right for
Also, before cry it out
, you will want to have the
rules about when and where baby is sleeping.
Without these, you cannot expect your baby to sleep well.
Start at the sleeping
through the night
pages for practical tips on these
basics and download your free e-copy of Baby Sleep
for the 9 keys to good sleep.
In any case, remember that there are
always alternatives (with more reliable and lasting results) and you
never have to let your baby cry if it does not feel right to you!