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Why It's Ok To Let Your Baby Cry It Out

Theresa Priebe

It’s no surprise that babies rarely sleep when you want them to. They come into the world confused and forced to get used to a world that isn’t snuggly and warm. Their circadian rhythm in utero is regulated by maternal hormones and they’re usually most active at night. Then, they’re born, and they’re expected to rely on their own biological clock, and their circadian rhythm does not regulate for many months.

cry it outSleep Trained Baby


Parents can try and develop good sleep habits for their baby while they wait for their natural clock to shift into gear, such as developing a bedtime routine, exposing them to natural light during daytime and lowering light during the evening, and developing a predictable routine during the day. Routines are important because they help babies, and children, understand what comes next. They find comfort in routine and knowing when it’s time to get ready for bed will help them relax and wind down.

 

Despite all of your best efforts, your baby may still be waking up at 1am, 2am, 3am, and 4am, only to be up for the day at 5am. Only a small percentage of newborns start to sleep through the night during the early months of life. Obviously, this is tough on parents.

 

sleep trainChild Who Was Sleep Trained


You may be a person who had no problem with the Cry It Out methods from Day 1 of parenting, or maybe you were vehemently against them. Regardless, months of lack of sleep can make you change your mind. Perhaps you’ve tried the No Cry Sleep Solution and it didn’t work (it didn’t for us, with both of our children), or maybe it did work and your baby regressed and you need a new solution. If you come to the conclusion that you need to let your little one cry it out, it doesn’t always sit well and you may be met with some scrutiny. Other parents, and especially parents hanging out in online forums, can be brutal.


But you know your baby better than anyone else, and you’re the one not sleeping, so you don’t have to trust anyone but yourself when it comes to this decision. If you’re second guessing yourself, know this:

  • Studies have shown that letting your baby cry it out does not stress them out or leave them with lasting emotional problems.
  • Sleep deprivation in mothers has been linked to depression.
  • It works for the majority of babies.
  • It helps sleep deprived parents rest, so they can be effective parents the next day.
  • It nips unhealthy sleep habits in the bud.
  • It can help bad sleepers become good sleepers.
  • Babies will learn to self soothe quicker.

As with all things, take your baby to the doctor, explain your sleep issues and get the go ahead from a pediatrician before trying a Cry It Out method. Once you’ve gotten the OK, know that you’re not a bad parent for trying the Cry It Out method. You are helping your baby sleep better, which will benefit them both in the short term and long run. And if your little one sleeps more, than means a happier, healthier you.


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