Ever since the early 1980s, when a pediatrician named Richard Ferber released a book that encouraged parents to let their babies cry at night, parents have been pondering the effects of letting children cry themselves to sleep. While letting your little one cry is torture to you, what exactly does it do to your child? There have been studies on the “cry it out,” or CIO, method, and you might be relieved by the results.
The Beginnings of the CIO Method
In his book, “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems,” Ferber came out with what many thought was a revolutionary idea: let your child cry himself to sleep. This method became so well known that many refer to it as “Ferberizing,” after the author of the book. The idea behind the method is that letting your baby cry it out at bedtime will teach him to self-sooth. According to the book, this is a skill that must be taught. If the parent constantly soothes the child to sleep, he won’t learn this important skill and will have sleep problems as he gets older.
How CIO Works
The idea of the CIO method has been adopted and adapted by many experts, such as pediatrician Marc Weissbluth and sleep expert Jodi Mindell. Most methods advise the parent to put their sleepy child to bed, reassure the child and then leave the room. Then the parent is to let the child cry for a predetermined amount of time and then the parent returns to reassure the child. The time period that the child is left to cry becomes longer each time. Eventually, days or weeks later, the parent doesn’t come back at all and the child will go to sleep without a fuss.
Those Against CIO
Though the topic is controversial, there are no recent studies on the effects of CIO that prove this type of sleep training is harmful. One popular reason why many are against CIO is a 2011 “Psychology Today” article. Darcia Narvaez, an associate professor of psychology at Notre Dame, claimed that letting a baby cry it out caused brain cells to die. To back up her claim, she cited a book called “Affective Neuroscience” by Jaak Panksepp that was published in 1998. While this book does talk about emotions, it does not specifically deal with CIO sleep training.
Regardless, you will find dozens of articles on the Internet making this claim and citing Narvaez’s article as proof. A study published in a 2004 issue of “Biological Psychiatry” did find that anxious children exhibited significantly lower nighttime cortisol levels, though this was not directly related to CIO.
Research Directly Related to CIO
The opinions of experts are all well and good, but the actual research on how the CIO method affects children is important. According to a 2012 study published in the journal “Pediatrics,” children that were raised using sleep training methods like CIO behaved no differently than children whose parents didn’t use sleep training techniques. The researchers found that there seemed to be no lasting mental or heath effects from letting the children cry.
This research seems to reveal that parents have the option of using the CIO method if it suits their parenting style.
As the pressure to pass standardized tests increases, even preschools are spending more time on strictly academic subjects. Instead of a general introduction to the alphabet, many preschools include a ...Read More
Just because your little learner's lead teacher makes it look easy, doesn't mean that acting as an early childhood educator is simple. Teaching preschool age children requires highly specialized training ...Read More
The best time to send your child off to school depends largely on whom you ask. Proponents of starting kindergarten as early as possible believe it gives a child a ...Read More
Your little one may face a culture shock in daycare if your Christian values prevent him from doing things that are common in many daycare centers. That does not mean ...Read More
In the world of foster care and adoption, when it comes to siblings, keeping them together is always the first choice. Even though in your mind, you see yourselves all ...Read More
Most parents adore that toothless gummy grin, but whether you like it or not, teeth begin to surface as your baby turns around 6 months old and his first milk ...Read More
You can use the camera on your iPod Touch to take VGA-quality photos and store them on the device, but you can also transfer high-quality photos from your computer to ...Read More
Because it's not enough that your preschooler or kindergartner can build an amazing sand castle and (almost) tie her own shoes -- now you have to worry about her math ...Read More
While an early educational program might not ensure that your preschooler is Harvard bound, it can help her to learn better. Whether you are looking to build on a specific ...Read More
In the beginning of the PC revolution, when monitors where often 12 to 14 inches in size, using your keyboard directly in front of the screen was not an option; ...Read More
Instilling self-control by establishing and sticking with rules is the name of the game when it comes to reigning in misbehaving toddlers and preschoolers. Self-control -- something many adults could ...Read More
As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you are probably well acquainted with the magic of dipping. There's just something about dunking her meal that can get even the ...Read More
Potty training is a normal part of every child's physical and emotional development, but not every child develops at the same pace. If your child is resistant to potty training ...Read More
The grief that accompanies parental death can trigger psychological side effects for your child. If these psychological effects are long term or if they interfere with your child’s emotional or ...Read More
According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, 80 percent of children living in the United States have at least one sibling. Many children have more than one sibling, and ...Read More
There are a number of psychological tests used to measure intellectual ability in children, but there are a limited number that are available for preschool-aged children. Although measurement of skills ...Read More
Toddlers are curious by nature. Young children in the toddler stage are discovering their independence and are interested in exploring the world around them. However, their exploration can lead to ...Read More
You don't have to break the bank to throw your little one a top-notch bash. Free or low-cost places such as public parks are creative alternatives to the more pricey ...Read More
If you're looking for a fun activity for you and your preschooler, (and an unforgettable party treat) these puppy cupcakes are sure to please. If you want to get creative ...Read More
Sensory play activities are enjoyable and educational for your toddler or preschooler. You're encouraged to join in the fun but expect to get your hands messy! Any pastime that stimulates ...Read More