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Cry It Out Method

A Sleep Doctor's War of Words

Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite. If only those phrases were all it took to put baby down. Getting a newborn to sleep through the night is one of the most talked about issues in infant care. Parents become fiercely supportive of their chosen sleep training method and its guru. Marc Weissbluth, one of the nation's most popular pediatricians and author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child that advocates a modified "cry-it-out" philosophy, is using his blog to take on Dr. William Sears, author of The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby, which calls for soothing baby until it falls asleep.

On his blog, Dr. Weissbluth discredits several studies Dr. Sears uses to prove that "crying-it-out" actually harms a child. According to Dr. Weissbluth, the studies show that allowing a tot to "cry-it-out" does not affect self-esteem, relationships with parents or the bond between parent and child. What's your opinion on cry it out?

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Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
ElleJay, the American Association of Pediatrics has sent out warnings about some of the methods in Babywise. Gary Ezzo, the author, has absolutely NO medical or child development credentials AND his own children are estranged from him. He also recommends hitting small children with objects in the toddler follow-up to Babywise. I normally don't comment on which "baby books" are best because I do believe in different strokes for different folks, but Babywise is downright dangerous and harmful.
domino2728 domino2728 8 years
Sleep train? What a joke. I go with my instinct. I cannot sleep if my children are crying and uncomfortable. I guess if you can and you feel it's ok in your gut, then it is fine. I soothe my children when they cry and I get plenty of sleep. My son was sleeping through the night at 4 months, he slept in his crib and I slept with my daughter until she was 7 months old, she was my first born and she slept best with me. It just goes to show that each child is different.
ElleJay ElleJay 8 years
I'm not sure yet. I'm reading Babywise right now because my friend recommended it and swears by it, but seeing as how I haven't experienced this yet *Not until November when baby is due* I guess I'll just have to try different things to see what works!
Abilew Abilew 8 years
My son is a patient at Dr. Weissbluth's practice here in Chicago, so we've been coached since he was very little on the "proper" way to sleep train. I certainly appreciate having this sort of expertise on staff at our doc's office, but I never followed their directive word for word--and admittedly, we've had a very hard time with our son. We adjusted to his different phases and incoming teeth and colds, etc. with cuddling and rocking to sleep at night. It worked for a while...until it didn't. We spoke to our doctors about it, and they suggested solutions more than they mandated them. I think this is an important partnership between doctor and parent that isn't really communicated properly in the book. Of course do what's best for your child--but, here's what we think you should do to get your kid to sleep. I rarely felt pressured to let my baby cry it out, and I never really did let him CIO. He is 14 months old now and we only recently let him have at it for a minute or two before naps and bedtime. I'm happy to say that the longest he's cried is 5 minutes and he can now put himself to sleep with no trouble. Do I think he could have done that at six months? NO WAY! This is a new development and I'm really relieved that this sleeping-through-the-night thing is finally a reality at our house. Phew....
Moms Moms 8 years
I didn't use cry it out with my children. I figured they were only young once so I had no problem holding or soothing them if it seemed like that's what they wanted or needed. My husband and I probably lost a lot of extra sleep because of it, but I don't have any regrets.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
I agree, #9. Ezzo is such a quack.
meandtheo meandtheo 8 years
i did the cry it out method and the "parent directed feeding" method starting at about 7 9 weeks my daughter was sleeping through the night. she is now almost two and still sleeps 7pm-7am with one nap. it was a really hard two weeks of crying it out (i did a lot of crying myself) but worth it in the end. my second is due in 5 weeks and i am planning to do the same thing.
cheersdarlin916 cheersdarlin916 8 years
With my first son I tried the cry it out method and that did not work. He would cry so hard that he would throw up all over his crib and then I would take him to bed with me. I was single at the time and it was just easier for both of us to have him sleep with me since I still had to get up for work the next morning. I am pregnant now and I have a husband and I am not sure what we will do with this one. It will be all new for the both of us. I would like to get the baby to go to sleep on their own. It seems like it would be easier and offer some alone time in the evening for my husband and I.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
Since I am not a mom, I got this story from my mom. When I was a baby, I was smart. I always wanted my parents around, and one night I was particularly clingy. I was maybe 6 months old at the time. My parents got into the habit of putting me in the crib by their bed, and then laying down, so I would know they were there...and when I would fall asleep, they would leave. Well, I started to realize that my parents left after they thought I was alseep -- so I was quiet when they were in bed, and would take a holy fit when they got up to leave. They tried to please me, make me happy, make me stop crying, and eventually my mom called her mom and she said to let me cry. And she did. Until I fell asleep. And, what happened? I never once did it again. No more fits for going to sleep, even as I got older. My opinion? I think it's good if you can stand the wailing. Sometimes you just want kids to shut up, and will do whatever is in your power to make it happen. But, they need to learn -- so I am all for this method to use on my kids.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
I feel it depends on the child. My daughter liked to be soothed to sleep and so did my sister's first child. Her other two could cry themselves to sleep no problem.
bsobos1123 bsobos1123 8 years
I used the cry it out method and it worked wonders. It was very hard that first night when she cried for an hour (she was eight months old) but after a week she feel asleep by herself at 8 everynight not to be heard from until morning. She is now a happy well adjusted almost 5 year old.
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