3 Reasons Cry It Out Doesn’t Work! And, 1 Thing That Does!

– Written by JoAnna Inks 

baby boy in a crib - JoAnna Inks Sleep Solutions

3 Reasons Cry It Out Doesn’t Work! And, 1 Thing That Does!

Today, we’re going to talk about 3 reasons why “Cry It Out” doesn’t work and 1 thing that does! I can’t tell you how many parents come to us each year and tell us that they’ve tried EVERYTHING to try to help their baby become a great sleeper!

Even “Cry It Out” and absolutely NOTHING has worked.

Crying Baby
Cry It Out Is No Fun!

I’m happy to report that these parents have tried EVERYTHING except working with me!  But, I feel like I’m getting ahead of myself.  More on that later…

When parents tell me they’ve tried “Cry It Out” for 3 weeks and it hasn’t worked, it makes me really sad.  That’s a lot of upset for both baby and parents with no results.  

It’s hard to convince a family that’s been through this that there’s another way – one that will 100% work for their baby and that their baby can learn to sleep through the night and become a great napper.  I’ve had parents share with me that they’ve been really traumatized by their previous attempts to get their baby to sleep.  

When a family puts their trust in me, it’s not something we take for granted.  And, it gets me thinking about why these families have had such poor results in the past.

Here’s why…

Reason 1: You’re still “helping” your baby to sleep

The decision to try cry it out is not an easy one.  Most families decide in desperation that this is the only way for their family to get any rest.

Tired parents

They decide that starting tonight, baby will be put into the crib and allowed to cry themselves to sleep.

And, this is a huge problem because NO other changes have been made to baby’s feed schedule, sleep schedule, or routine.

So, parents go through their regular routine which almost always includes “helping” baby to really drowsy or even to sleep.  Then, sleep pressure has been removed and the crying starts and it goes on and on and on and on and if the parents are lucky enough baby finally falls asleep.

There’s always a waking because these babies haven’t learned to sleep through the night and then parents offer a feed – almost always to sleep again or very close to it and then the often crying starts again.

This kind of scenario in the night can go on and on for days because baby isn’t learning any sort of skill.

Babies need to learn the entire journey from awake to asleep on their own in order to become great sleepers and put all of their sleep cycles together in the night.  Any “help” from you inhibits this learning and causes SO much more protest than is necessary. 

If you’re not letting baby do this journey, I can guarantee when you try cry it out, it’ll go on for weeks!

Reason 2: You’re Not Being Consistent

Consistency is key to teaching a baby independent sleep skills.

Consistent at being inconsistent
Funny meme about being consistent!

If you let baby cry it out at bedtime in their crib and then bring them to your bed when they wake in the night – that’s not being consistent.  Think about where you want your baby to sleep and then be consistent about it, for the entire night and every nap possible.  

Babies crave a schedule and consistency.  With the right schedule and consistency about where they sleep, every baby can learn to sleep well.

Reason 3: It’s Not The Right Approach For Your Baby

If you’ve been doing any sort of “sleep training” for weeks and it hasn’t worked, STOP.

You don’t have the right approach for your baby and it’s clearly not working.

It’s time to try a different approach.  One that’s suited to your baby’s needs.

What’s The 1 Thing That Does Work?

Great question!  

Cry it out does work.  I write a few cry it out plans each year for families that request them, so I KNOW it works.  But, you need to take a good look at the entire 24-hour feed/sleep schedule. And make A LOT of changes for it to work.  

Now, most families don’t want to do cry it out and I don’t blame them.  I don’t teach a cry it out method because it’s not necessary.

There’s always going to be a certain level of upset when you make changes to baby’s sleep. Humans are VERY protective of their sleep environment and change is hard!

Sleep is a skill.  Just like swimming.  So, some good old fashioned “sleep lessons” are in order!  

What does that look like?

A clear, consistent plan. One that takes into consideration your baby’s age, temperament, and your parenting style is nothing short of miraculous!

There’s not just one way to teach a baby to become a great sleeper.  There’s a way that’s going to work for YOUR baby! It’s my job to figure out what approach will be most effective.

My goal is always to have the best results with the least amount of protest possible.

Now that you know “3 Reasons Why Cry It Out Doesn’t Work And 1 Thing That Does”,

I’d love to show you how we can get amazing results with your baby’s sleep in a few short days!

Schedule your complimentary sleep evaluation today!

Here’s to a well-rested family,