I let both my babies cry it out at bedtime and I don't regret it

A new study has found what I've known all along: letting babies cry it out so they can learn to go to sleep on their own is not as bad as it seems. Published in Pediatrics, the study found that children whose parents let them cry it out for limited periods of time when they were babies, were no different than other kids in terms of emotional health, behavior or sleep problems. 

Although sleep-training my children using this method was one of the hardest things I've had to do as a mom, I have absolutely no regrets and if I were to have more kids, I would do exactly the same. 


Read more in ¿Qué más?: I've finally made peace with my baby's sleep habits

My story goes something like this: a few months before I gave birth to my first child, a really good mom friend of mine gave me the same advice most soon-to-be moms usually receive: "Get as much sleep as possible whenever you can because you don't know the definition of tired until you become a mom." I clearly remember telling her that after having worked several all-nighters as a journalist covering breaking news, I'd surely be able to handle a few sleepless nights as a new mom. She just laughed. 

And then, my daughter was born, and after barely getting a few hours of sleep the first weeks after her birth, I remember feeling so tired that I thought I would die. I know that sounds extreme, but after four months of sleepless nights, I actully told my husband that he was going to find me dead of exhaustion if we didn't do something about our daughter's sleep patterns... or lack thereof. As difficult as it was, we decided to sleep-train her by letting her cry it out. 

I wasn't really sure what I was supposed to do, but I started by taking my daughter out of our room. I then just went with my instincts and made sure all of my daughter's needs were met while we trained her to sleep by letting her cry it out. I checked-in on her constantly, but with time, each period became longer and longer. It might be hard to believe, but she was trained in about four days.

I've been criticized plenty for using this method to get my daughter to sleep through the night, but I was reaching the point of no return and I knew I had to do something about it. I mean, nobody was getting much sleep at home and if you've ever been sleep-deprieved you know it can affect pretty much every area of your life. 

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While this worked for my kids and I, it's probably not the thing for every family. All I know is that both my kids were sleeping through the night by the time they were six months old and we haven't looked back since!

What do you think about letting babies cry it out so they can learn to go to sleep on their own? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us a comment below.

Image via tamakisono/flickr

Topics: baby  on parenting  sleep


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on Sep 13, 2012 at 1:34 AM
In my humble opinion I have to disagree. My daughter is 19 months old and I never let her "cry it out." when my daughter was born I made the choice to put her needs first. The reason being is because she could not do for herself. If I didn't care, nurture, feed, bathe her, am I to expect for her to do that on her own? No so as tired, exhausted and sleep deprived as I was a stuck through it and was attentive to her needs. By seven months she slept through the night. I still wake up to this day and check on her because I want to. Every mother is different and I am not one to judge but I love my daughter so much that her needs far outweighed my needs. My daughter is an intelligent, caring, confident little girl and I feel it's due to the fact that I was there when she needed me the most.
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on Sep 13, 2012 at 5:19 PM
I hope this is not to be confused with the parents that leave there wet hungry cold babies cry because they want to get there full 8 hours. I did let my oldest cry it out a few times and it does not mean putting your needs first. All of the needs of the child can be met and they may still cry. Children need to cry sometimes. As long as they have a fresh diaper and the right amount of clothing and a full tummy I think it is a must with some children. Although my second child slept through the night at 3 months and barely cried for anything and enjoyed laying in his crib to go to sleep on his own. All babies are different.
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