I was opposed to the concept of "crying it out" (also known as controlled crying) at first. To me, it seemed counter-intuitive to a mother's natural instincts to leave her baby alone to cry. However, after enduring more sleepless nights than I was prepared for, I was ready to try anything to get my baby to sleep. So, after discussing it with my husband, friends, and my mom, we decided to give it a go. Looking back, however, there are a whole lot of things I'm glad no one told me about cry it out.
The cry it out method aims to teach babies to self-soothe by leaving them alone, in their crib, to cry for short periods of time, building up slowly in an attempt to allow them to fall asleep without having to be rocked or nursed to sleep. The version we followed allowed us to hold and snuggle our baby until he was calm, then place him in his crib and leave his room. If he cried we didn't go into the room immediately, but waited first one minute, then two, then five, before going in to comfort him, building to 10 minutes at a time.
The end result (for us) was a well-rested baby and parents who could keep their eyes open without a gallon of coffee each morning. Still, the road to finish line was one of the hardest things I have gone through as a new mom (and was certainly a very long week). Sometimes ignorance really is bliss, and I am really glad I didn't know the following things: