What is the Cry It Out Method Middle Of The Night?
It is not unusual for babies to wake up in the middle of the night and cry their little hearts out. As a parent, it hurts! In fact, almost all parents probably have wondered at one point or another how to soothe their children back to sleep in the middle of the night.
I think we can all agree that we want our babies to be happy and to sleep deeply at night. We do our best to find a sleep training method that will fit our
parenting style. However, there have been mixed opinions about certain sleep coaching techniques. For example, with the Ferber method and the cry it out method middle of the night, some families have had great results while others dread letting their child cry for a long period of time. I believe that using a gentle method to teach babies to sleep through the night is an effective sleep training method.
The cry it out method middle of the night (CIO) has been recognized by a large majority of physicians to be an effective method in teaching babies to fall asleep. However, it does not mean that you should let your baby cry while you sleep. The CIO method works for some families but not for all! It can be challenging for parents and from my experience working with families, most people have a hard time following through with it.
Is your child too young to use the CIO method?
According to most pediatricians, the CIO method is not appropriate for babies younger than 3 months. Most babies of that age need to feed at night and crave their parents’ comfort. Who doesn’t like cuddling with their child?!! For that reason, if you are convinced and ready to try the cry it out method middle of the night, I recommend you wait that your baby has been weaned off of night feedings or need only one or two night feedings. It doesn’t make sense to let your baby cry for a long period of time if he is crying out of hunger. Make sure he gets enough calories during the day as this will help shift his feeding schedule. By eating more during the day, he will eventually no longer need to feed at night!
CIO is a hot topic
There is a lot of controversy around the cry it out method middle of the night method. Everything about parenting revolves around different opinions. While I advocate for using a gentle approach to help babies sleep through the night, I firmly believe that the method you chose to soothe your child is yours. You know what is best for your child and her development. If, for you, the CIO method is an option and something you can handle, great! But I doubt you would be reading this article (or my blog or seeking sleep coaching tips!) if that’s the case. On the other hand, if you have chosen to sleep train your little one in another manner, using a gentle sleep coach may be a more suitable option for you.
Sleep coaching teaches your child to self-soothe and to “break” sleep associations, allowing him to develop the skills to fall asleep on his own. . By doing so he will develop the skill to fall asleep on his own. Easier said than done, I know, but I’d like to encourage you to give my gentle sleep training method a try. I coach families and their children in a caring and respectful way. Whatever your sleeping goal is for your child, I make sure both are being taking care of.
Coping with cries at night
Some people with great intentions may tell you to let your baby cry it out method middle of the night (2), but when she is crying, she is trying to communicate something to you. The tricky part is figuring out what she is trying to tell you! Before choosing the CIO method to sleep coach her, ask yourself these important questions:
As mentioned earlier, your baby may be hungry. If you think he is waking up at night because he is hungry, feed him. To help adjust his feeding schedule, and to hopefully deter him from waking up at night due to hunger, try giving him the majority of his calories during the day. If your baby is younger than 6 months, night time feeding may need to continue for a little bit longer (generally children 6 months and older should be ok without feeding at night).
Is he wet? hot? cold? uncomfortable? Check his diaper to see if he needs a change. For temperature, aim to keep his room at a consistent temperature, between 68-72 degree Fahrenheit. Also, dress your child according to the local weather (but I think that goes without saying!).
Is he in pain? Is the diaper too tight? Is he stuck in the rail of the crib? Check on him and address his needs.
If using a pacifier is part of your parenting choices, use it when he cries. Using a pacifier is also a controversial topic. It can be a great soothing tool but can also create a sleep association.
If baby is fed, clean, comfortable, without a fever, and you have addressed all his needs, try soothing him. Every baby has his favorite soothing technique, so use it! What does your baby like to be comforted with? Does he like to be swaddled, walked, rocked? You can also use a calming sound like a white noise machine.
That being said, try not to create new sleep associations with these soothing techniques. YES, absolutely comfort your child if the crying becomes too much for your liking. ABSOLUTELY!