What Sleep Training Method to Use – Cry It Out vs. No Cry

Infant and toddler sleep expert, Liane Mamo, has some tips for choosing a sleep training method that works for you

There may come a time when your baby’s current sleep habits have you thinking about doing some sleep training to get everyone onto a more consistent sleep path. When you’re ready to improve your baby’s sleep and guide them towards a healthy sleep foundation, there’s often debate and discussion around “should I use the cry it out method or is there a no-cry solution?” It’s a hot topic in the world of parenting and there are numerous articles, blogs, and opinions out there that can lead to confusion and doubt in your decisions. There’s no expert (including myself) who will tell you “yes you should let your baby cry”, or “no you shouldn’t”. You know your child best and what works for your family. Whether you choose cry-it-out or not here are a few things to consider…

It’s not just about the method.
While choosing a method is a big piece of the sleep puzzle, there’s several other tools you can use to help manage sleep associations and set up solid sleep habits. Introducing things like a calming nap and bedtime routine, an age appropriate nap schedule and creating a conducive sleep environment can all help in your efforts and aid whatever method you’re using.

What are you comfortable doing?
Choosing to let your baby cry or not cry comes down to your comfort level as well. There are different methods out there, some a little more direct than others, all with their own levels of crying. Any method, any approach will always produce a little crying. It’s how we choose to consistently manage their cries when creating positive sleep habits that will be key no matter which direction you opt for. Ultimately, what you are more comfortable with doing, is what you’ll most likely be the most consistent and successful with.

What do think your child will best respond to?
Things like age, personality, and temperament are all important factors in choosing a method that’s right for you and your child. Sometimes it matches what your attitudes are as a parent, sometimes it may not. Overall, I also recommend going with what your child will best respond to.

What worked for others may not work for you.
And that’s ok! Don’t’ base your decision on what a friend or relative did with their baby or what their experience was with a certain method. Your child is your child and what worked for others, may not work for you. While most sleep training methods you find in books or online are all cookie-cutter solutions, it doesn’t mean your baby will respond effortlessly to it.

Overall when deciding to introduce independent sleeping skills and deciding between methodstears or no tearsyou want to have support around you and be ready to commit to the changes. Consistency and persistence are what’s easiest for your baby no matter what direction you choose. Be confident in your decision towards better sleep!


Liane Mamo is certified infant and toddler sleep consultant with Good Night Sleep Site Ottawa and mom to a superhero-obsessed 4-year-old. Liane is committed to providing families with emotional and educational support to help their baby or child with their sleep needs. Find Liane at her website or on Facebook and Twitter for sleep tips, articles and more.

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