It's a universally accepted fact that every baby is different. One parent's experience can drastically differ from another's. So, when it comes to sleep training, my little one might sleep through the night almost immediately, while yours might wake up multiple times a night night until they start preschool. Varying success rates is just one of the many things people don't tell you about crying it out, but I will. I mean, who else is going to prepare you for the sometimes-bumpy, usually exhausting, but in-the-end-worth-it road ahead?
While crying it out is usually a different experience for every parent who decides to use it, across the board all parents can agree that sleep deprivation sucks. I mean, there's a very good reason why withholding sleep is used as a form of torture. If I was forced awake 13 times between midnight and sunrise, I would happily reveal every state secret I knew (and just make up the ones I didn't) if it meant I would be granted the blessed relief of sweet, sweet sleep.
There are so my different parenting philosophies and, quite frankly, it's unlikely anyone has the "right" answer. We are all just trying to do our best, so if you decide to try sleep training, you'll need to know the cry it out method basics. Of course, and contrary to popular and misguided belief, crying it out doesn't mean you plop your baby in their crib and leave to catch a Netflix marathon. In fact, there are alternative names for the practice, like "controlled crying" and "interval sleep training." The idea is to put your baby down in their crib when they are sleepy but awake, then leave the room for short periods of time, always returning to sooth them. You repeat the process, building up slowly until you are allowing your baby to cry for up to 10 minutes at a time.
My husband and I used the cry it out method with our son and, good news, after one week he was going to sleep by himself in his own room, sleeping through the night like a champ. The bad news? Well, the process was the most stressful, tear filled week of my life. So, with that in mind and because someone has to break it to you, here are a few things people don't tell you about crying it out, but I will: