Why it`s not bad to let your baby cry it out

July 7, 2016
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There are many parenting topics which cause quite a bit of debate, like co-sleeping vs crib; breastfeeding vs bottle and when to introduce solids. Possibly one the most controversial topic though, is whether or not it’s ok to let your baby cry it out. Often referred to as “self-soothing” or “controlled crying”, some consider it cruel while others don’t see any other way.

According to a new study by Flinders University in Australia, the practice of letting a baby cry until the child drifts off to sleep does not cause any long-term emotional or behavioural harm.

A study of 43 babies – all of whom had trouble falling asleep, aged between 6 and 16 months, were divided into 3 groups on which 2 different techniques were tested.

The first group in the study used ‘controlled crying’ – the sleep training technique where the child is left to cry for gradually increasing periods of time before being consoled.

The second group tested something called bedtime fading, the method where parents set the bedtime at the time their child usually falls asleep and then gradually makes that time earlier or the technique of moving bedtime later in hope that the child will fall asleep more quickly.

The last group only received advice on fostering healthy sleep habits.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • The Researchers discovered that babies, whose parents allowed their child to cry for increasingly long periods of time, were no more stressed than babies whose parents used the technique of moving the babies bedtime later.
  • Babies in the first two groups were said to be falling asleep between 10 and 13 minutes faster.
  • Researchers also found that babies in the controlled crying group were also having less interrupted sleep during the night, waking just once or twice, and subsequently stress levels had dropped for mothers and their babies.

Regardless of the findings, as a new parent it’s sometimes best to just go with the flow and do what works for your family!

26 Comments

  1. Aye Arya

    July 7, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    That’s wrong!!!!!!

  2. Mary Ellen Foust

    July 7, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    My study says let the parent do what they want to do

    • Christine Black

      July 8, 2016 at 12:25 am

      What about what the baby wants or what is developmentally appropriate and safe.

  3. Donovan Hixson

    July 7, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Wendy Pillows Hixson

  4. Christina Stricklin

    July 8, 2016 at 12:04 am

    I disagree, crying is a baby’s only way of communicating and Im a mom of 4 none of my babies cried for nothing, they cried when they needed something, I attended to them the crying stopped when their needs were met. Crying it out makes them feel abandoned and can harm your bond. If you need a break ask someone dont let your baby cry alone

  5. Christine Black

    July 8, 2016 at 12:24 am

    Groan

    • Christine Black

      July 8, 2016 at 12:27 am

      Yes unfortunately. Gotta check out how they did the study.

  6. Ann Wood

    July 8, 2016 at 1:11 am

    And I’ll grab the popcorn because every mom thinks they’re way is the only way in 3,2,1……..

  7. Sanja Braovac

    July 8, 2016 at 1:59 am

    This is untrue. You can see what profession of research in neuropsychiatry says.

  8. Sanja Braovac

    July 8, 2016 at 1:59 am

    This belongs to an early trauma in neuropsychiatry.

  9. Brittany Cabral

    July 8, 2016 at 2:14 am

    Melissa Gomez

  10. Lauren Peters

    July 8, 2016 at 2:33 am

    I’m good. Almost 7 children now and I’ve always believed that answering your baby’s cry is 100% always necessary. I’m not going to let my baby lay in bed and cry themselves to sleep because I decided my parenting ended at 8 pm.

  11. Brandy Walford

    July 8, 2016 at 2:44 am

    Or how bout we stop judging everyone’s parenting style and worry bout our own kids. What I do with my kids may not be the same as what you do with yours but that doesn’t mean either of us is wrong. If you start to concern your self about different views in parenting then you really aren’t making your priority your child now are you??

  12. Emily Mcleod

    July 8, 2016 at 2:51 am

    Just no. Babies cry for a reason, that’s their means of communication.

  13. Sonia Camarda

    July 8, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Lind Say Cathy Tremblay

    • Lind Say

      July 8, 2016 at 3:12 am

      Dr Dina at Sick Kids recommends cry it out at 4 months
      It gives me anxiety hearing babies cry though !

  14. Tara Howes

    July 8, 2016 at 4:38 am

    OMG! Just stop trying to tell us what to do with our babies! I personally haven’t reached the point where I could let my boy ‘cry it out’ but I can understand why some people do. We have to do what is right all round

  15. Mara Jelena Ilicic

    July 8, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Eh this debate is getting tiresome

  16. Karine Rachelle

    July 8, 2016 at 11:03 am

    This actually isn’t a good study and is hugely flawed.

    • Chantal Desormeaux-Francis

      July 8, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Yep! With a sample group of only 43 babies. Not to mention that the long term affects weren’t studied.
      I wouldn’t even call this a study.

  17. Bernice Hepworth-Lloyd

    July 8, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    I agree (as a mum of 6). Sometimes babies do just cry for the sake of it.
    One of my daughters was born screaming and didn’t stop for nearly 3 years!
    She had every test known to man kind and guess what was wrong with her?
    Absolutely nothing.
    Obviously you have to use your common sense; you can’t leave a baby screaming non stop for hours but there is absolutely nothing wrong with controlled crying.
    Contrary to popular belief it does NOT make babies feel abandoned: they don’t know what “abandoned” is.
    The worst they feel is insecure.
    Bottom line: if your baby is clean, dry, fed, winded and comfortable and is STILL crying then they are clearly just feeling cranky and like me, you can’t hold your baby 24 x 7 just because they have a cranky disposition.
    Also; mind your own buisness and stop judging how others raise their children, it’s not your place; know that.

  18. Lindsay Ransom

    July 8, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    This “study” was done on babies at least six months of age, that needs to be pointed out. You shouldn’t be letting a newborn cry themselves to sleep.

  19. Rachel Wolfe

    July 8, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Jen Ryder lol

  20. Erika Bocker

    July 9, 2016 at 1:10 am

    Babies do not “cry just to cry” there is always a reason a baby is crying and just because you can’t figure out or want them to learn to self sooth so you don’t have to anymore doesn’t or whatever else excuse you can come up with doesn’t justify letting hour baby “cry it out”. You are their only mother, the person they should be able to count on and the one person they know will always be there for them and you want to teach them from birth that they’re on their own? That, “sorry kid, I know you’re crying but I don’t know what you need so you can just take time alone in your crib to cry until you fall asleep or get over it”.

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