When using the ‘Cry it out method’ how long is too long

When using the ‘Cry it out’ method how long is too long?

The “Cry it out” method of soothing babies is also called the “Ferber method” or “graduated extinction.” It is an approach to sleep training for infants and young children. It involves allowing the child to cry continuously for extended periods before providing comfort and reassurance. When using the cry-it-out method, how long is too long? The appropriate duration for allowing a child to cry during sleep training is a matter of personal choice. However, it is essential to consider your child’s well-being and emotional needs before and while implementing any sleep training method. This blog post will examine the cry-it-out method, how long is too long, and reveal some effects of this soothing method.

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What happens when babies are left to cry it out?

Some parents believe that allowing their babies to cry it out helps them to self-soothe and learn to fall asleep without external assistance. They think it helps babies develop better sleep habits in the long run. Others believe the cry-it-out method adversely affects a baby’s well-being. These include:

  1. Increased stress: Allowing a baby to cry without immediate comfort can increase stress levels. Babies rely on caregivers for emotional support, and prolonged crying without response may cause distress.
  • Trust and insecurity issues: Babies who are subjected to prolonged crying without responsive caregiving may develop trust issues and a sense of security. That can affect the development of a secure bonding relationship between the baby and the caregiver.
  • Sleep difficulties: Even though the cry-it-out method aims to improve sleep patterns, some babies may experience problems falling or staying asleep due to the increased stress caused by crying without comfort.

Does crying it out change a baby’s personality?  

Allowing babies to cry it out can affect their personalities in different ways. Babies love to be comforted by their moms and caregivers. If they do not get the comfort they desire and are left to cry for extended periods, they may have problems trusting people. Allowing babies to cry for long without attending to their needs can also affect them emotionally and psychologically. That could lead to issues with their temperament. Babies stressed from too long periods of crying will not be happy. They will instead become sad and moody when other babies are cheerful. They can also become hostile to others rather than being friendly and receptive.

When should I let my newborn cry it out?

Parents can decide when it is best to leave their babies to cry it out. However, this self-soothing method is not recommended for newborns because they have various needs that must be promptly attended to. These include feeding, comfort, and the need for closeness and reassurance. As your baby ages, usually around 4-6 months, you may gradually introduce strategies to encourage better sleep patterns. Sleep training methods like “cry it out” or other variations can be considered at this stage, but it’s essential to approach them with sensitivity and follow expert guidelines. You can also visit your pediatrician for professional advice.


“Cry it out” involves allowing your baby to cry for a specified period before offering comfort or attending to them. When using the cry-it-out method, how long is too long? You must not allow your baby to cry to the point that it affects their personality or emotional well-being. Your baby should be able to trust and bond freely with you. They should also be cheerful and excited about happenings around them and not be moody.

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