The Cry-It-Out Controversy and One Family’s Sleep Story

The first luxury to go in a new parent’s life is sleep! Not only do children require diaper changes and feedings throughout the night, but it can be a struggle to get them to sleep to begin with. Numerous articles and papers have been written on the subject, all with different suggestions. One of the most controversial methods is called “crying it out.” The idea is that parents allow the child to cry for short periods after bedtime before sleep, with minimal interaction. Some parents find this approach effective, while others suggest it can cause irreparable damage.

In this post, Science of Mom author Alice Callahan describes her experiences with the crying-it-out approach. She defines her take on the method as one that allows the child to fuss, but with reassurance visits occasionally. She expresses the fear brought on by papers written on the matter, and the difficulties she had with leaving her child in another bedroom. The results, and emotions that accompanied them, may surprise you!

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