To Cry, or Not to Cry (-it out); That Is The Question!

The controversial “cry it out” is in the forefront of the news, again. This isn’t good or bad, but I feel it is my responsibility to share it with you. Three (of many, I’m sure) articles about the latest findings in a cry-it-out study.  See below for the articles.

Honestly, I don’t love the term “cry it out”. It’s so misleading and very contradicting. I find it automatically puts parents on the defense and bit judgmental. And in this world of parenting wars, we don’t need that.

Here is my stance on the whole deal:

Understanding WHY your child cries.
Unfortunately, when you want to change your child’s sleeping habits, you cannot guarantee ZERO crying during sleep training. We are changing a child’s expectations and understanding of their current sleep. Of course they would be preferred to be rocked to sleep or nursed into deep zzz’s! But you, the parent, have decided that that is no longer working and healthy sleep is not happening, so you want change. This change usually brings on tears because crying is your child’s way of communicating. They are not happy with the change, they want the old ways because that is what they know, and they will let you know that.  Let’s be honest, no one *loves* change, including your child, so they will protest it a bit. But being the adult, you know this change is better for their health and development.

It’s so much more than “Cry it Out”.
I tell every single person who contacts me these words, “it is so much more than cry it out.” When working with families, we address the foundation of sleep. We address the correct biological sleep times. We address so many areas before we even discuss a sleep method. Why? Because I know THIS foundation will highly dictate how quickly your child adjusts to their new healthy sleep habits. To me, the foundation is so much more important than any sleep method.

This is also why parents who say “I tried cry it out and it didn’t work” are truthful….it didn’t work. But it didn’t work because you were unaware of the importance of a good sleep foundation and how that actually determines if a sleep method will work.  No good foundation, then any sleep method you use will either take foreeevvveeeerrr to be successful or just won’t work, plain and simple.

To cry-it-out, or not.
Personally, it’s your decision.  I trust you know your child best, better than I ever will.  Each family is different, every child is unique.  I will guide, support and educate you on whatever method you choose.  And in the end, I will offer zero judgement.  If a family prefers a more direct method, then I will support that!  If a family wants a more gentler method (remember, this does not guarantee no tears), I support that! It doesn’t matter to me as I know it’s so much more than the method. Parenting is hard, and taking the judgment out of what method a family chooses is the least I can do. As these study’s state, and I fully believe, crying has no long-term negative affects on your child. 

What I want most for your child is that they receive the appropriate sleep their body needs. Sleep is a biological need and if our children aren’t getting good, quality, consolidated sleep then they will pay for it. And there are a multiple studies I stand by that discuss the negative effects of a poor sleeper!

In the end, the decision is yours!


Valerie Birch

Certified Infant & Child Sleep Consultant at Amazing Little Sleeper
Valerie Birch is a Pediatric Sleep Expert for exhausted families who have tried evvvvverything to get their child to sleep.

Through her informative and supportive blog posts and one-on-one help, she’s here to guide your child into restorative naps and peaceful nights - while making you wonder why you didn’t contact her sooner.

When she’s not consulting?You’ll find her hanging with her 2 children, getting her sweat on at the gym or baking and indulging in warm ooey-googey chocolate-chip cookies….hobbies that balance each other out!

Meet Valerie + prepare yourself for Amazing Sleep ahead…
Valerie Birch

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