Sleep training isn't easy. If it were, there wouldn't be controversy akin to political debate surrounding crying it out versus gentle sleep training. The reality is, getting your baby to sleep through the night looks differently for every family. Very rarely does the term "cry it out" actually mean letting your baby scream themselves to sleep (it should never mean that, actually.) However, knowing how to survive your first night crying it out is key to surviving the rest and, ultimately, establishing a healthy sleep pattern for your little one.
According to Baby Center, sleep experts use the term "cry it out" to refer to any method of sleep training where tears are involved. You could let your baby cry for five minutes or an hour (not recommended), and it would still be considered CIO. So before you turn your back to the method altogether, know that it isn't as heartless as it always sounds, and that, when used appropriately and on the right children, it can really work.
The Baby Sleep Site noted that the effectiveness of CIO methods is entirely dependent on your child's temperament and why they aren't sleeping through the night in the first place. But if you determine that CIO is the best way to solve your baby's sleep issues, here are a few ways to make it as smooth as possible.