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Controlled crying - is this really the most effective way to sleep training?

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Exploring the Pros, Cons, and Alternatives to Controlled Crying as a Sleep Training Technique.

Sleep training is a topic that can polarize even the most laid-back of parent groups. One method often discussed is controlled crying. But is this method truly effective, or could it be causing more harm than good? In this blog post, we'll explore the pros and cons of controlled crying as a sleep training technique.

What is Controlled Crying?

Controlled crying, also known as the "Ferber Method," involves letting your baby cry for short, predetermined periods before comforting them. The aim is to help your child learn to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own.

The Pros: Quick results

Many parents swear by this method, claiming it yields quick results, sometimes within just a few nights.

Establishes Routine

Controlled crying can help enforce a sleeping schedule, which can be beneficial for both the child and the parents.

The Cons: Emotional Stress

Critics argue that letting a baby cry can cause emotional stress and may hinder the parent-child bonding experience.

Not One-Size-Fits-All

This method doesn't account for the unique needs of each baby, including potential underlying issues like reflux or sleep apnea.

Alternatives to Controlled Crying:

Gradual Retreat

This involves slowly distancing yourself from your baby each night, allowing them to become accustomed to falling asleep without you there.


While somewhat controversial, co-sleeping enables you to be immediately available for your child, which can reduce stress and make nighttime feeding easier.

Pick Up/Put Down Method

This approach involves comforting your child when they cry but placing them back in the crib before they fully fall asleep.

Final Thoughts:

While controlled crying might offer quick results, it's essential to consider the emotional toll it could take on both you and your baby. Always consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable sleep training method for your family.#SleepTraining #ControlledCrying #ParentingChoices #BabySleep #NewMomLife #FamilyWellness #LosAngelesDoula

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