It’s no secret that bed time can be quite a disaster for most homes. Especially if you’re just starting to sleep train your toddler, tantrums will definitely be thrown and tears will be shed.
Now, some parents see this as an opportunity to make their kids fall asleep. After a lot of crying, kids are bound to get tired, which can lead them to fall asleep. It’s an easy solution for some parents, especially if they can stand the loud cries of their little ones. It’s a pretty common practice and was even made into an official method by Richard Ferber, a pediatrician who legitimized the technique, saying that letting children cry it out will teach them how to self-soothe, which can lead to sleep training and independence.
The cry it out method works by letting the child cry for a specific period of time, followed by the parent’s comforting. This soothing doesn’t involve picking the child up, but will require the parents to return to their little one’s room repeatedly at longer intervals every time. This means, if you’re going to try the cry it out method, also known as the Ferber method, you’ll need to follow your regular bedtime rituals by letting the child cry and then checking up on them first after three minutes, then after five minutes, and then after ten minutes until they fall asleep. This should also apply to instances when the baby wakes up in the middle of the night. The parent’s presence during the times when they check up on the child can provide the toddler some comfort, but it should be noted that parents shouldn’t pick the child up to console them and make the crying stop.
As mentioned above, the Ferber method aims to teach little kids to self soothe. By learning how to comfort themselves and resolve to sleep instead of continue to cry, the child can be trained to sleep. However, there are lots of criticisms about the Ferber method and has even been proven to have many negative effects on a child including higher cortisol levels, possible behavioral problems, lower IQ, and higher chances of becoming more dependent later on.
So, if you’re considering to let your child just cry it out every night to fall asleep, please think twice. Not only is it not good for your child in so many ways, but it may also affect your temperament and your neighbors’ as well. There are tons of other sleep training techniques that can help your little one doze off easier than the Ferber method that are safer and more effective, so make sure to be on the look out for those as well.