It is a pretty hot topic if you have a young baby. Whether or not you allow your baby to “cry it out.” Some new research is suggesting that allowing your baby to cry could cause self esteem issues later in life. Others suggest that it could hamper their ability to bond with their parents. I am no expert, so I cannot tell you what your child will turn out like. What I can tell you is that my parents allowed me to cry it out, and I have no self esteem issues that I am aware of and I think I have a pretty good relationship with them as well.

That being said, my parents also put me to sleep on my stomach, and took me out of my child safety seat before I was two. Those are two things we know today to be bad ideas. So just because I turned out fine doesn’t mean my kids were right. Most everyone agrees that one should never allow a baby younger than four months old cry it out. Babies that young generally cry for a reason. However, there is some point when a baby realizes that if they cry mommy or daddy comes running.

So what do you do when you simply know that your child is exhausted? All of their needs have have been met but they bust into tears every time you think about putting them down? Well, that basically comes down to your personal beliefs. No one knows your child better than you do, so no one can decide what your child needs best. For my family, I was mostly lucky. All three of my kids gradually eased themselves to sleeping all through the night. We did have some nights though when we had to decide if crying it out was for us. For my daughter, it was. She never cried more than ten minutes, so it was fairly easy to do. My middle son on the other hand was more needy than his sister. Crying it out just didn’t work for him, he would cry until he vomited if I allowed it.

If you are having struggles getting your baby to sleep through the night, and your baby is older than six months old ask your pediatrician for some advice. They may have some insight into what’s going on. And remember, don’t do anything that you aren’t comfortable with.

-Stephanie Wright

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