Do you let your baby cry or do you comfort them?December 10, 2015
By Jessica Vician
Before you became a parent, you probably talked to your partner and friends and researched what to do when your baby cries. Should you rush to the baby’s side and comfort him or her, or should you let the baby cry it out?
Everyone has an opinion, and many insist theirs is the right one. But what’s best for you? We want to hear which approach—or combination of approaches—you take.
Cry It Out
Some research suggests that letting a baby cry for a short period of time won’t cause any harm and may actually help the baby and the parents sleep longer in the end.
You can try “controlled crying,” during which you wait a certain amount of time before comforting your child. With this method, you first wait two minutes, then the next time three, and gradually extend the amount of time you wait to comfort your child. The intention is that your child will learn to soothe him or herself back to sleep.
Soothe the Baby
Others are strongly against the cry it out or controlled crying approach, stating that a baby’s cry is the only way he or she can communicate. If ignored, the parent isn’t giving the baby what he or she needs.
For example, Ask Dr. Sears, a website with advice from several pediatricians, says,
The cry is a marvelous design. Consider what might happen if the infant didn’t cry. He’s hungry, but doesn’t awaken...He hurts, but doesn’t let anyone know. The result of this lack of communication is known, ultimately, as ‘failure to thrive.’ ‘Thriving’ means not only getting bigger, but growing to your full potential emotionally, physically, and intellectually.
So what are your thoughts on this topic? Do you let your baby cry it out, do you soothe him or her immediately, do you practice controlled crying, or do you just do what you can in the moment?
Tell us in the comments below and share why you do what you do. We can all learn from each other. And remember, if someone does it differently than you, that’s okay. We’re all doing the best we can.