Cry-it-out parenting could backfire

CIO is used to teach the baby to self-soothe and reduce co-dependence

Parents have been using various sleep methods to create a sleep pattern for their babies and cry-it-out (CIO) technique is one of the popular ones. The concept involves creating a bedtime routine, putting the baby to sleep in her room and checking with increasing intervals if the baby cries. CIO is used to teach the baby to self-soothe and reduce co-dependence. Here are a couple ways in which CIO could backfire:

Stressed out

Crying is the only way babies can communicate their needs. Studies show that when a baby cries for too long, the stress cortisol level elevates and would persist even when the child stops crying afterwards. The absence of crying might indicate that they have given up on trying to communicate. This can result in temper tantrums, trust issues and aggressive behaviour.


The lack of parental sensitivity towards the baby’s laughs or cries could result in a poor self-image, attention problems, relationship issues and even anxiety. Here is a list of the common causes of crying:

  • Hunger: When babies smack their lips, put their hands in their mouth or look at what’s in your hands expectantly, it is a sign of hunger.
  • Gas: If your baby cries after a feeding, chances are they’re suffering from a gas blockage, at which point you have to burp them.
  • Physical intimacy: A post-womb journey can be confusing for infants. As a result, they may cry to demand physical intimacy. Just the smell of the parent, being held so they can hear your heartbeat can calm them.

By reading these behavioural patterns, you can make a difference in your child’s emotional growth.

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Cry-it-out parenting could backfire


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