Is it okay to let your baby cry it out?
Is it really harmful to let your baby cry it out sometimes? Everyone has mixed feelings about this. But, we cut through all the red tape and make sense of a few things. Read more to get expert answers on this dilemma and how to overcome it!
Crying is a primary method of communication a baby uses to convey messages when they are newborns. But that does not mean you should underestimate how intelligent a baby really is in having things go their way. Babies realize very fast that crying at night (or any other time) gets them what they want, so there may be times when you should let your baby cry it out a little. But, how do you know when is the right time to let your baby weep a little during the night? We tell you how to overcome the toughest battle of all — figuring out when to let your baby cry.
When you first bring your baby home, right away you will be able to notice the different types of cries they have. A baby’s cry for a wet diaper will be completely different from a cry that expresses how hungry they are. Take the time to listen to each one of your baby’s cries, then find out what is wrong with them. Once you have let your baby cry a few times, you will recognize what message they are trying to convey.
Knowing when to let your baby cry
Always check your baby when they start crying to see if anything is wrong with them. If you find that nothing is wrong and that they have recently been fed, it will not hurt to let your baby cry just a little. Many babies will cry just to get your attention. The challenge is to figure out when they really need something and when they just want attention.
Again, in no way does this mean that you should let them scream their head off for hours, but they need to be disciplined so that they know you won’t jump and run as soon as they cry, if there is nothing wrong.
What the experts say
Although there is nothing set in stone on this debate, there are some strong cases that support both sides. There have been a significant amount of studies done that show letting your baby cry can cause emotional damage. Please keep in mind that these are theories, but all experts agree that you should not let your baby cry for long periods of time. These blood-curdling cries have been known to lead to throat problems for many babies.
Whether to let your baby cry it out or not is really a parents’ choice, within reason. Letting a baby cry sometimes can also be good for them physically. It allows them to exercise their lungs and clear things out. But you should always make sure that your baby does not need anything before doing this. Check them when they start to cry to make sure they are not wet, hungry, too hot or too cold, if all of these are taken care of, then your baby will be fine for a short ‘cry’ period for discipline purposes.
Do you have any tips on how to distinguish a baby’s cry? Share your tips and personal stories about your experience with a newborn!
Watch this video to get more on what age to let your baby cry it out:
Republished with permission from theAsianParent Singapore