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Benefits & Negatives of the Cry It Out Method (CIO) for Babies

cry it out method (CIO)

Cry It Out Method (CIO) Pros & Cons

What is the Cry It Out Method (CIO) for Babies and Toddlers?

Before we dive into this highly controversial baby topic, let's quickly get the run down on what exactly the Cry It Out Method (CIO) actually is. 

CIO can be any range of sleep-training methods that provide your baby a platform to cry it out for a certain period of time before you jump in to give your motherly or fatherly love. "Ferberization" is one of those methods.

The Cry It Out (CIO) Method was developed and penned by Dr. Richard Ferber to solve infant sleep problems. Richard Ferber does not support or encourage simply leaving a baby to cry (just wanna make that clear).

The "Cry It Out" (CIO) Method can be linked all the way back to the novel "The Care and Feeding of Children" penned by Dr. Emmett Holt in 1895. More hard core approaches, like Dr. Marc Weissbluth's extinction method, are frequently mistaken as "Ferberization", yet often fall beyond the requirements Ferber suggests. Certain pediatricians, however, view that any sort of CIO is potentially harmful to a baby or toddler.

What are the benefits of the Cry It Out Method (CIO)?

Leaving your baby to cry itself to sleep may seem like a wicked act to most parents, but how about we consider the benefits it could have on your baby first. The Cry It Out Method (CIO) is simply a sleep training technique that helps your baby to fall asleep by itself. Many parents will argue that it is perfectly okay to leave your baby to cry itself to sleep.

The idea behind the Cry It Out Method is to help your baby master the act of falling asleep fast. Most babies would want their mother to nurse them before they can sleep. Your baby could be an exception if you give the Cry It Out Method a try. The goal isn't to make your child suffer, but to help him or her fall asleep faster without stress. 

It Can Help Your Baby Fall Asleep Faster

Proponents will say that cry it out training helps your baby to learn that Mom has some cooking to do in the kitchen, and Dad has to be out to fix one thing or the other. Instead of your baby waiting for you to rock and comfort him to sleep, he understands the need to go to bed without waiting for you. The cry it out method promises to help your baby to sleep faster after one week of training.

Can Lead to Less Bedtime Battles

It's only natural for babies to wake up during the night. This is a ritual that occurs in the sleep cycle for adults and children. Those for this method argue that the cry it out method trains your baby to learn to soothe itself back to sleep. It could help to reduce bedtime battles. Proponents will claim that after training your child with this method for one week, they'll be able to fall asleep without help in less than 15 minutes.

It Can Help Your Baby To Manage Stress

When you put your baby on this training, in can help in some cases help them to learn how to manage stress. Studies have shown that the cry it out method helps to reduce the level of cortisol, the stress hormone in your baby's system. This training helps your baby to build a sort of resistance to stress. Less cortisol, less stress on the body system. 

What are the negative effects of the Cry It Out Method (CIO)?

The idea of letting babies cry it out has been around for a while. It is a sleep training intended to help babies to sleep faster. The crying it out method has however been discovered to pose harm to the health of babies subjected to the training.

The cry it out method is a well-intended system, but like all systems, there are some dark sides. The damaging effects of the cry-it-out method can be summed up below. 

Possible Prolonged Stress on the Brain

The cry it out method has been argued the it creates a sort of imbalance in the release of cortisol which can lead to a disorder in the stress reactivity of the baby throughout life. This training may have negative effects on the waking hours of the baby. Excessive crying leads to cortisol independence in the long run which may lead to prolonged stress on the brain of the baby.

It May Affect Trust and Maternal Love

Nursing your baby to sleep allows for great a level of bonding between mother and child. It makes your baby feel loved. The cry it out method may deteriorate the faith and love between mother and child. The baby may no longer see the mother as his protector or caregiver.

It Can Damage the Neuronal Connection in the Brain

When a child gets used to wailing, it can make him or her hypersensitive to future trauma. It can create damage to the synapse and neuronal connection.

It Can Affect Breastfeeding

Lactation occurs as a positive feedback mechanism. Breastfeeding can be impaired since the baby is trained to sleep fast. The more the baby is being fed, the more the breast milk is produced. Typically, there is a shorter supply of breast milk by using the crying-it-out method on your baby. Learning more about breastfeeding vs formula feeding will help you decide whether the Cry It Out Method might be right for you as well. 

Possibly Elevated Blood Pressure

This sleep training method can result in infant elevated blood pressure. When your baby wails for long, there is an increased blood pressure in which blood forces against the arteries.

It May Damage the Relationship Between Mother and Child

The first few years of your baby's life is when you need to show love and care the most. Parents who are often opposed to the Cry It Out Method would say it creates an independence with your baby that he or she no longer sees you as important.

You may also want to consider investing in a baby swing. These can help minic the womb as well, inducing a calming effect for babies that tend to cry a lot. You can learn about how a baby swing might work for you today by reading our newest blog post on this topic.


Do you have a Cry It Out story you'd like to share or feedback you'd like to leave about this post? Comment below! Your experience is very valuable to our readership! 

Grace Johnson

Grace Johnson, author

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