The cry it out sleep training method, also called controlled crying, has been known to divide moms the world over. Rarely can you bring up "crying it out" without hearing a slew of, well, feelings. Those feelings, for better or worse, can sometimes muddy the sleep training waters and make it difficult to understand why someone would choose to cry it out. So I asked moms to reveal the real reason they chose to cry it out, and their reasons are as unique as their sweet babies.
I, personally, don't blame people for cringing when they hear the words "cry it out." The first time I listened to my baby cry out for me I felt terrible. Sleep training isn't an easy process, especially when you're sleep deprived. But, before I knew it, my son was sleeping by himself and everyone in my family, my son included, benefited. It is, however, important to wait until your baby is old enough to sleep in another room before you try cry it out techniques. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), that's around six months of age. Then, according to the AAP, if you make sure your baby isn't sick and/or crying for extended periods of time, using this particular sleep training method has been proven effective and safe.
But whether or not sleep training is effective for your baby and your family is, of course, entirely dependent on a few factors that are unique to your situation. So, in the end, whether or not you decide to sleep train your child is entirely up to you. You shouldn't be shamed for the choices you make, provided your child is safe and loved, and you shouldn't have to spend your time explaining your choices with others. But if you're feeling curious as to why sleep training was the way to go for some families, let the following moms offer up some explanations out of the kindness of their hearts:
"I had tried everything else and was at my wit's end. I actually didn't want to do cry it out, but after two nights he was sleeping through the night."
"My mother-in-law suggested it after I had been co-sleeping miserably for a year and a half. It didn't work for us, though. My little one just cried and cried without end, so we gave up and went back to sharing a bed."
"I really didn't see what the controversy was. Babies cry all the time, so some crying with a purpose isn't going to harm them. My daughter was never hysterical, it was just whining."
"I decided to try the cry it out method after one night when it took three hours to get my son to go to sleep. I was exhausted and couldn't do it anymore. It took about a week but now he goes to sleep within minutes."
"One of my friends, who is a nurse, suggested I give it a try and she actually came over and showed me how to do it. I don't think I would have followed through without her support, but it worked well for us."
"It was actually my last resort. I tried every other technique and as I was going back to work I knew I needed a good nights sleep to tackle the days in the office. It's hit and miss with us, so sometimes [my daughter] ends up back in my bed."
"I chose it because 13 years ago it worked with my older daughter, and now, with the baby again, it worked like a charm. It can be emotional, but it's worth it."
"My online mommy group was really divided on this topic. I actually didn't enter the conversation at all because it was very heated. But just by reading the responses and the good results people were having made me intrigued to try it out myself."
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