Cry It Out vs. The No-Cry Sleep Solution

Among the topics baby and parenting experts can't seem to agree on, the best way to get your baby to sleep is always hovering at the top of the list. With strong opinions and research for both cry it out and the no-cry sleep solution, it's easy for parents to become overloaded with information and wonder how do cry it out and the no-cry sleep solution differ. Choosing a method or plan for you baby's sleep doesn't need to be a decision that keeps you up at night (you're already exhausted as it is), so looking at the philosophy of each, can help you decide what feels best for your family.

Although sleeping is a natural occurring function that requires no teaching, there is a learning curve to the way each baby approaches sleep. But babies and their personalities aren't the only factor which determines a sleep training method. The attitudes and beliefs parents hold about babies crying, along with other factors like older siblings in the house (who also need quality sleep) influence the decision to allow — or not feel comfortable with — their baby to cry at bedtime and naps. To help decide which one is right for you, use this comparison of the two methods.

Cry It Out (CIO)

Cry it out can conjure up some strong emotions for parents. It's difficult to listen as your baby cries, however, this method is very customizable. As the website for Baby Center explained, the theory for CIO is that babies learn how to soothe themselves to sleep, instead of relying on a parent to lull them until their snoozing. However, cry it out can be modified to suit the comfort level of parents, meaning some may be OK letting their baby cry for five minutes, while others feel confident it allowing their baby to cry to extinction (which means until they fall asleep).

This approach has come under criticism as being a harsh way for babies to learn good sleeping habits. But as many parents have learned over the years, after about three or four nights, babies learn that a parent isn't going to soothe to sleep and the crying usually stops, as What To Expect's website explained. Keeping this information in mind when considering this approach can release you from any guilt you may be feeling about cry it out.

No-Cry Sleep Solution

As an answer for parents questioning CIO, parent educator and mother of four, Elizabeth Pantley, developed the No-Cry Solution for putting babies to bed. On her website, Pantley explains that by providing your child with sufficient naps, a consistent sleep schedule, and a relaxing and predictable bedtime routine, you can teach you baby to go to sleep on their own with not a tear shed. Parents who tried the no-cry sleep solution for themselves, told Today's Parents that the results they were after showed up within days. Establishing a routine and using verbal reminders helped one mom break the stalling tactics and nightly crying from her 2-year-old daughter.

As you can see, parents see results from both cry it out and non-crying methods of sleep training. The bottom line is: what feels like the right fit for your family? Being honest with yourself about that question will lead you in the right direction.