It's 3 a.m. Baby is wailing in the next room. What do you do?
Getting your baby to sleep through the night should be a professional sport. It's exhausting, time-consuming, but it's got to be done. So when baby wakes up in the middle of the night crying, do you cuddle them back to sleep or let them cry it out? The mom population is split when it comes to sleep training, some swearing by the "cry it out" method, while others refuse to do it period, leaving us wondering which way is the right way.
Lucky for us, there's new research in the Pediatrics journal in support of the "cry it out" method. In the study, 43 infants were randomized to receive different methods of bedtime ritual. According to researchers, babies who received the "cry it out" method fell asleep 15 minutes faster on average than the baby that was rocked to sleep, and with no negative side effects. Yep, crying until exhausted (or self-soothing) showed no long-term effects of distress or distrust towards the parents.
This can be difficult for Mom. Hearing baby cry without doing anything to help can be tough, so researchers recommend that if baby has been crying for 15 minutes without ceasing, go in to check if they need a diaper change or fed. Don't pick them up or hold them, and keep things businesslike to encourage baby to learn how to self-soothe.
"Although it takes the least parental involvement, it’s not for the faint of heart, as the prolonged crying is hard for many new moms," writes Dr. Rebecca Kempton for Baby Sleep Pro. "The benefit is results happen fast, usually within days. For many moms, the benefits of having a well rested baby and family outweigh the challenge of the tough love technique."
>> Read more: My Must-Try Method To Get Baby To Sleep