When you have a baby, waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of cries can become challenging over time. As much as you love your little one, anything that interrupts your own precious sleep can leave you in a less than good mood. This is why, for some families, the cry it out method can be a lifesaver when it comes to helping everyone in the house get a good night's sleep. That being said, there are some cry it out red flags that means it's OK to quit the technique.
According to Baby Center, the cry it out (CIO) method involves allowing your baby to cry for a specified period of time before responding. The theory is that this approach will help your baby learn to soothe himself to sleep without needing to be rocked or fed by a parent. Though the training period can feel like an eternity for some, Care.com noted that parents who use the CIO method often see results within four nights.
Although those opposed to cry it out believe that allowing your baby's cries to go unanswered for any period of time is cruel, Baby Center noted that proponents of this method suggest that the crying is simply part of the process as baby gets used to her new sleep schedule.
If you decide to give cry it out a try, it's important that you and your partner are all in. Things like a lack of support and even your own mom guilt can make things more challenging and lead to setbacks in your efforts to help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own. But don't worry. Whether it is a temporary speed bump or a larger issue, with help from your doctor or a sleep coach, you and your baby can begin to enjoy a good night's sleep — until the next sleep regression.
1. You Feel Guilty
Sleep training can be harder on you than your baby. but once you make the decision to give it a try, you need to commit 100 percent. As What To Expect mentioned, it’s important that you stay consistent with your sleep training. Rushing into the nursery for every cry may actually be keeping your baby from getting to sleep. If you can't resist the urge to comfort them, then it may be time to try something else.
2. You Don't Have Support
If you are going to get through this cry it out thing, you're going to need to have as much support as possible. As The Baby Sleep Site mentioned, you and your partner should be on the same page and commit to respond to your baby in the same way. You may also need to have a close friend or family member to vent to when sleep training setbacks are getting the best of you.
3. Your Baby Isn't The Right Age
It's a good idea to wait to introduce the cry it out technique until your baby is developmentally ready to sleep through the night. According to Baby Center, parents should wait to try sleep training until their baby is 4 to 6 months of age . Your efforts to sleep train too early could be undermined by a need for a late night snack.
4. You Don't Like Schedules
In order to ensure sleep training success, you need to have a consistent routine in place. As The National Sleep Foundation mentioned, parents should make sure bedtime happens at the same time every night to help their baby get used to the schedule. If you aren't willing or able to implement a sleep routine, the cry it out method may not be the best for your family.
5. Your Baby Has An Ailment
If your sleep training efforts are coming up short, it may not necessarily be the result of anything you're doing wrong. If your baby wakes up several times during the night or appears overtired the next day, there may be something else going on. As The Sleep Lady mentioned, teething, colic or illness can be the real reason why your baby is crying in the wee hours of the night. Consult with your doctor and try again in a month or so.