Why the Cry It Out (CIO) Method Is Harmful

Posted on: 30th October 2013

The cry-it-out method is also known as controlled crying, sleep training, or ferberizing. It is a technique used to coax a baby to sleep but there are many scientific evidences and emotional reasons why mothers should not be resorting to it as an option for infant sleep. Here are some of them:

1. Brain development is affected in a negative way.
When babies cry, it is a way of communicating what they want or need. It is a signal to tell you that something is wrong with them. If we don’t respond appropriately to those cries, they would feel a certain level of stress which can be bad for them – the same way it affects adults. But since brain development is essential in infants, excessive crying would only lead to elevated stress hormones. This in turn can decrease blood pressure in the brain, prevent oxygen from reaching the brain, or obstruct blood from draining out of the brain.Cry It Out

2. Development in the intellectual, emotional and social aspects is minimized.
The mother must be actively aware of her infant’s needs. Responding as quickly and as appropriately as possible for the baby’s crying is a major determining factor in its proper intellectual, emotional, and social development. Babies who are always left to cry it out tend to have poor fine motor development. They might also experience difficulty in dealing with their emotions in a positive manner and it might also take longer form them to achieve independence and self-confidence.

3. Babies who cry-it-out lack a sense of attachment to the caregiver.
Sometimes it is just best to allow a baby to cry until it feels like stopping. But this is usually not the case because there is really something wrong in the first place. If the primary caregiver resists attending to its needs, the baby will eventually stop crying because it has given up hope from getting any concern from the one who is supposed to be taking care of it. As time passes by, it can result to an attitude of less responsiveness, depression, and a lack of empathy.

4. Cry-it-out method does not nurture relationship between parent and child.
An infant who is always left to cry-it-out tends to be less needy of its parents. If during infancy until toddlerhood, a baby experienced not receiving attention during bouts of crying sessions, it will also do the same for the parents later in life.

5. Insecurity builds up because of too much crying it out.
Inconsistent patterns of responsiveness and sensitivity can make cry-it-out babies to be more insecure than its peers who are well taken care of. They find it hard to develop close attachments to others. They manifest signs of mistrust, anxiety, and avoidance. That is why it is important that parents have prompt response to cry-it-out babies.

6. Cry it out only worsens the situation.
Because some babies do not give in until somebody gives them the attention or care they deserve. While some parents would hope that they would eventually get tired of crying, whimper a bit, and drift off to a goodnight’s sleep, it is actually the opposite of it. Others would even sob for hours, vomit, and shake so hard, they lose breath. Cry-it-out babies might even be too distressed to sleep or unable to be calmed down by a loving caregiver.

7. The same pattern of behaviour is repeated and not resolved.
Leaving babies to cry it out until they are exhausted is a very taxing and energy-dissipating situation because it would only repeat itself until the babies get what they want or worse, end up not wanting any more form of love at all. And what parent would endure inconsolable crying night after night, with the belief that it is normal for the little one?

8. Cry-it-out method is not respectful of the baby’s needs.
Simply because they are infants does not mean the primary caregivers can dismiss it lightly because in due time, they will just stop crying. Since the parents are supposed to be the more mature individuals in the situation, it is more logical to accept that they should respond as quickly and as appropriately as possible to their infant’s demands – which is signalled by crying. Babies are too fragile and valuable to be ignored of their needs simply because of an irrational advice.

9. Deep sleep because of excessive crying is a traumatic experience for the baby.
For some primary caregivers whose babies eventually slept through the night after hours of crying it out might mistake it as a success. But infants who eventually stopped crying and slumbered away have to do so because they have experienced such a traumatic experience.

10. Crying it out is not the perfect solution in this chaotic and depressing world.
Suicide rates, shooting rampages, and senseless crimes are on the rise. It is the parents’ responsibility that they are not just bringing out a child in this world but are ensuring that this child would grow up to be a compassionate, nurturing, and caring individual – for his/her loved ones, neighbour, and the entire human race. Crying it out is not the only option to teach discipline to your infant. Love them and be sensitive to them for as much as you can because this is just the first step to honing their personality and hopefully, they would be in the right direction.

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