Today I saw in one of the mom groups I’m part of a discussion on sleep training. I usually try to stay out of those conversations because they get pretty heated but there are times I want to say something…
I can state hundreds of sources that explain why letting a baby is cry is not good but I could also find sources that support this practice, which is why today I won’t be sharing any of them. I’m just sharing my perspective, as a mom of two kids that have never been left crying.
If you strongly believe in letting your baby cry as part of sleep training, then you should stop reading this post now.
One comment I see a lot is that any form of sleep training is fine, even if it means your baby cries all night. The reasoning behind this is that sleep deprived parents can’t do a good job at parenting so it’s better to let your baby cry so you can get a good sleep and be a good parent.
While I agree that sleep for parents is important I do not agree that any sleep training practice is fine just for the sake of the parent. Just no.
We’re talking about a baby, a small human being that can’t speak nor do things by themselves.
A tiny human being who you took great care of inside your belly.
A tiny human being who can only cry to communicate.
A tiny human being who believes, at least for a while, that their cry is enough to get mom or dad to come in and swoop them when they’re feeling helpless and vulnerable.
I know many people believe in letting their babies cry it out and although I respect anyone’s parenting decision I will never understand how can anyone let their baby cry. I just can’t.
If I hear my baby crying my natural reaction is to make her feel better. If I see someone crying in the street, I usually stop and ask if they’re ok. Crying is a disturbing sound, one that triggers something in me, it makes me want to help that person.
So how can anyone let their baby cry for hours is beyond my comprehension.
Related: Don’t Leave Me Crying, Mama – a letter from a baby who’s being sleep trained.
Now if this is how you choose to parent, it’s your decision and I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m just here to express my emotions. I know some of my friends practice this method and we’re still friends. I still like them as people. We just don’t talk about this subject.
If you practice cry it out and it feels like it is not right for you, for your baby, but you’re doing it because that’s what you were told to do, then maybe it’s because your instincts are trying to tell you something.
Maybe you shouldn’t let your baby cry because he needs you, because he might be scared, because you’re all he knows and you’re the source of comfort, because he’s hungry or thirsty, because he got lonely, because he missed you. There are very few times in life where you’ll be able to comfort a human being with just a cuddle, why deprive him from it?
I honestly don’t believe there’s one right way to parent but I do believe in listening to that inner voice. If crying it out sounds like a bad idea to you, then don’t do it. Who cares what others think? Who cares what your doctor says? You are this baby’s parent, you are the one that will be his parent the rest of his life. Is this really how you want to start your journey together?
So next time someone suggests your baby should cry to learn how to sleep on their own just ignore them. If there’s one thing that I’ve come to learn is that all kids eventually learn to sleep on their own and so will yours.
- If you loved this post, you’re going to love these too: Don’t Hold My Baby and Babies Communicate by Crying, Are You Listening?
- Need some encouragement? Listen to this episode of The Mama Instincts Podcast on How to be a Confident Parent When Others Around You Aren’t Supportive.
Thank you for this! I never let my son CIO (toddler now). I was with my in laws this weekend and they talked about how you “have” to with babies. I said I could never live with myself if I did that ?. Sleep deprivation is part of parenting an infant, it is difficult but that’s what you sign up for with kids!
Yes! I couldn’t agree more. It’s sad to think this is usually the norm…
Your kiddo is lucky to have you as a mom. ?
What a beautiful post! I echo your sentiments! I have never let my baby cry it out to sleep. It really hurts me to even think how could you make peace within yourself and walk away from a tiny human who can only communicate through crying if they need . My baby sleeps in few minutes just coz I am close by, when she sleeps. I am not afraid to lose my sleep, work or anything to ensure my baby is happy and at peace. Nothing is worth that. “
I agree with you 100%. I’m with you!
That’s awesome! 🙂
Sarah Clark says
I tottal agree with you. I will never let my baby cry it out. Because when your baby cries, that mean he needs you.
It makes me so happy to see other moms feel the same way I do. 🙂
Your baby is so lucky to have you.
Sure! I total agree :). Love this!
I totally agree with u as well…and I’m EVER sorry that I listened to others & books instead of my God-given instinct to nurture!!
I did this with my 1st & 2nd son & had to deal & still now am dealing with the consequences thereof. Although, healing & restoration in our relationship is taking place…i wish I could go back to those baby days & nurture them with all the love that i was supposed to have shown them.
I’ve just realised even more so that hurting people hurt people & unfortunately that’s what I did to my precious sons.
On another note…I’ve grown and matured, and have and am doing things VERY differently with our daughter…she is overloaded with Love and attention that I can see the she is so secure & confident!
Thanks for your boldness to confront this topic…wish I could’ve read it 7.5yrs ago.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, you did the best you could back then. Now you know better (or other ways) and you can do things differently with your kids. What’s most important is that your kids feel loved and sounds like you’re doing a great job with that!
I’m just curious if your children sleep through the night? I have an almost 2yr old who still does not and everyone says its because I’m not allowing him to learn to put himself back to sleep by always getting him.
Hello Karina, I have 2 kids, a one year and a four year old. The one year old still nurses at night about 3 times but she does it in her sleep. My 4 year old started sleeping through the night once she night weaned, at around 2 years of age.
Keep in mind that a lot of kids end up in their parents bed, even if they were sleep trained. I would just ignore those comments, your kid will learn to sleep by himself when he’s ready and it will be an easy transition for him.
I don’t want to sleep train, cio breaks my heart. My struggle is once my little one is asleep I can’t sneak away, so I am in bed 15-16 hours a day. We are almost at 6 months and it is getting really hard on my body, and it is a struggle to cook food so I can eat well. Her sleep is getting more fractured as well. She is echusted, but is not really taking naps, we lay down and she might close her eyes for 30 minutes and then they pop open and she is ready to play, still exhausted and at night she is now waking every 1 to 2 hours and not sleeping for as long of a time SAN from going to bed and getting up as she was. People tell me sleep training will help, sleep deprivation is not going to be good for her. I feel at a loss.
Has your little one been doing this for a while? Or is it fairly new? I asked because something babies go through teething and growth spurs that affect their sleep. They usually get over it within a few weeks.
What I did with mine was lay in bed with them and once they were asleep I would sneak away and if that wasn’t working I would baby wear while I got stuff done. Have you tried that?
She has always been like this. I have tried to sneak away off and on since about 6 weeks, there was a span for a short bit where I could for about 1/2 hour at night, but that is not working now. She stopped being okay with baby wearing in the house at about 8 weeks. She has had gas pains since 6 weeks, gas drops only sort of help, she is now also taking antacid in case that is the issue, I think both things result in a lack of deep sleep. I am hoping she will develop beyond discomfort and sleep will be easier. I just started her on oatmeal, the doctor mentioned that solid food might help with discomfort, no change yet. She was taking good naps for a long time as long as we were together, now that is not happening, she is super sleep deprived during the day, it is really hard to see.
Mama I’m so sorry for the late response, somehow your message went to my spam. ?
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Sounds like it might be related to digestion issues if she’s having gas pains. I’ve had some friends deal with that and they said it was around 6-8 months that things got better with baby…so many you just have to hang on a few more months?
Is your baby breastfed or formula fed? Could it be that she’s sensitive to something in her milk?
I am so happy I’m reading this! I can’t let my little cry it out it honestly makes me want to vomit. I have a 9 month old who only gets up once a night (unless there is something wrong) or she will sleep through. (Usually she sleeps through once a week) so I know I’m lucky.
Who ever says they let their child cry out so they get a better sleep are of a different breed than I lol. I’ve tried the cry it out thing and its just not for me, I actually sleep less because it takes me hours to fall back asleep on the count of me nerves.
I’m all about moms doing what they think is right for their children but letting my child cry it out is not whats best for my baby.
Exactly! I feel like it goes against our maternal instincts. Our gut reaction is to find out what’s wrong with baby and take care of them when we hear them crying so letting them cry when it feels wrong is telling your own instincts they’re wrong, when they’re not.
Plus there have been so many studies showing how harmful CIO to the baby’s brain development.
I’m glad you don’t let your little one cry it out! 🙂
My LO is 7 months tomorrow. Ever since her period of separation anxiety (according to Wonder Weeks), she’s been very needy and waking up four or more times per night. Nothing will calm her but me soothe-nursing her.
I heard the same thing over and over again: “is she sleeping through the night yet?” Or, “she needs to learn to put herself to sleep.” And, “just let her cry it out.”
So tonight, as I type this, I tried it. I looked into how to do Ferber and “check” on her progressively…letting her cry longer each time.
It was absolutely awful. I couldn’t even make it through the first “check.” I nursed her after shushing/patting within 5 minutes (though it felt like an hour) before leaving the room with her fast asleep.
My husband asked how it went with a look of sympathy on his face. Crying myself, I told him I gave up. I felt so guilty for putting her through that, yet also felt guilty for not doing what everyone says I should.
I know you wrote this over a year ago now, but a google search brought me to it and I’m so relieved. I’m so glad there are other moms out there like me who feel as strongly against CIO as I do.
I completely understand your perspective. Believe me… completely. I felt so strongly against CIO and said I would never do it. I only offer my story to say that every family and baby is different, and there are some legitimate situations where a CIO method may be helpful and needed, for all parties. My baby slept horribly. She could not put herself to sleep, and wouldn’t stay asleep once we got her down. For 6 months I bounced and walked and danced and wore and drove. And she cried herself to sleep every time, she fought me, she was so difficult. So much crying. It broke my heart. We tried the no-cry sleep solution, the 90 minute sleep method, pick up put down, white noise, room darkening shades, everything. She was so sleep deprived, she was miserable. Finally it seemed possibly more humane to resort to a graduated CIO method. And do you know… it worked like magic. After 2 days she stopped crying and had learned to put herself to sleep beautifully. She became happier and well rested. I got more sleep and we could function as a healthy family. So for us, it actually reduced crying. From then on, I was so much more open minded. It was really easy for me to say I would never do it before I had a child who needed it.