Important: the goal of this page is to offer general information on alternative approaches. Heidi's approach differs from this one, and she does not support any form of crying it out.
Crying it out (CIO) is loaded with extreme
the only way
to help baby sleep well
. With all babies and parents
different, there is no unique answer. What counts is that
you take YOUR
decision for YOUR baby after considering all your options
parents find it very hard to hear their baby cry.
Our instincts tell us we should comfort a crying baby.
crying it out
is the single most common advice I see on parenting
online. Not to mention some pediatricians and sleep
it is so easy
: you can advise to have baby cry it
any baby in any situation, without any effort.
At least, it's easy if you don't care about the possibly negative
impact on baby and parents, or don't worry about the short term effects
of the method.
Also more elaborate methods (
, baby wise,
controlled crying, sleep clinics ...) suggest sleep training through
cry it out. These are often supported by pediatricians and many parents
report success with them. They differ in how long they let baby cry,
and whether baby is left alone to cry or not.
Pros and cons of crying it out
Apart from the possibly harmful effects on baby's physical and mental
health as well as her parent's - traumatizing makes many babies sleep worse during and after a crying it out phase -
an important practical problem with most cry it out methods is that it is
mostly a short
- even a simple cold, a surge of baby separation anxiety, teething or a
nightmare - is enough to stop her sleeping and can force you to
go through the whole crying it
This can become a very serious sleep issue that may continue through childhood and even later on
as an adult.
I personally do not advise crying it out as I strongly believe it is not
right for the majority of families and
I experience daily that it is not necessary.
There are always other ways to
help a child sleep
. The succesful techniques in
prove this nicely.
These may require a bit more patience
but are definitely worth it: being able to sleep well and have
positive attitude towards sleep
is a valuable lesson your
child will benefit from throughout life.
About Baby Crying
There are so much
advantages of not
letting your baby cry
. To name
just two: we know from research that a baby who is quickly soothed from
crying in her first year, will
less in her second year
comforted and feeling secure helps with
important development for baby to go through.
Both the less crying and the bonding are protecting mom and dad too.
Young moms are at risk of
deprivation is one risk factor, but a crying baby also influences mom's
mood a lot. Being able to comfort her baby (without being made to feel guilty!),
makes a mom feel
Bonding with baby
has a positive effect on mom as much as it
has on her baby.
Of course, no need to
who takes the well-considered
decision to use a
method. Sleep deprivation, health concerns, family,
work and social life are all factors of life that influence how you
guide your child.
You know your baby, family and yourself and that makes you the person
who can decide what is best for your baby. As long as you
have considered the safety guidelines, having your baby cry to
make her sleep can be
And in some situations, especially in older babies,
it can be a shortcut to more sleep
Even if it may only be temporary, it can bring some very
welcome relief to sleep deprived parents.
Heidi Holvoet, PhD, is the founder of the Baby Sleep Advice website and movement, an award-winning author, baby & toddler sleep consultant with 14+ years experience as well as a certified lactation counselor.
Over the years, Heidi has received several awards inluding a Mom's Choice Award (MCA) and National Parenting Awards (NAPPA) for her Baby Sleep Advice website, programs and books.
She is also a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants of which she was one of the earliest contributors. She obtained her PhD degree in physics at the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Heidi is passionate about helping babies and their parents sleep more and better, with her trademark approach that has been proven and praised time and again by parents worldwide to be effective and truly no-tears. Respect for you as a parent and your baby, is at the heart of Heidi's warm and kind support. Her approach always keeps in mind a baby's needs and abilities at any given age, is based on pediatric science and the most up to date knowledge in infant care and sleep science.