Is the Cry it Out Method Harmful to Children?

Critics of the cry it out method argue that they don’t have the correct measures to determine if the practice is harmful to children. Critics say that the method interferes with children’s natural instincts and can cause long-term psychological harm. Critics also say there are unintended consequences of the method. Let’s look at the most common concerns of critics of the method. Listed below are three of the most common concerns:

Critics of cry-it-out method argue they don’t have the right measures of harm

Despite the controversy surrounding this parenting technique, many experts and parents have endorsed it. According to Douglas Teti, a professor at Penn State, this method can be harmful for a baby because it disrupts secure attachment. Other critics say the method can cause digestive problems and damaged brain synapses. Parents who have trouble putting their babies to sleep may be more open to this method.

Some opponents of cry-it-out methods argue that babies will be abandoned and struggle to develop attachments. They point to Romanian orphanages from the 1980s, where visitors reported a strangely quiet atmosphere. They argue that the method creates the same problem. However, they can’t be sure of this. Some critics point out that it’s hard to determine whether crying out is harmful to infants.

Studies show no long-term effects on children

While leaving a crying baby to cry may provide a short-term relief for both the baby and the parent, it may not be the most effective way to calm a distressed child. In fact, numerous studies contradict this claim, and some even suggest that crying out may cause long-term harm. For example, in the 1999 Ontario Early Years Study, researchers showed that the brain patterns formed during early development continue throughout an infant’s life. These patterns can even affect adult brain reactions to stress. As a result, children exposed to crying as babies may have abnormal stress reactions and may be more susceptible to social attachment disorders.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) showed that crying may lead to negative long-term effects. But that study only looked at a small sample of infants aged four to 10 months old. In addition, the researchers did not define “high” and did not use longer intervals to soothe the infants. They also did not compare the method with other sleep training methods.

Psychological damage

The “cry it out” method has long been criticized for causing lasting damage to babies. Studies have shown that crying out causes extensive damage to the brain and can cause longer term problems. The method can affect the development of the child’s brain, particularly the prefrontal cortex, which controls basic survival systems. During the first years of life, the brain develops rapidly and extensive distress can lead to disruption of this development.

The crying it out method causes distress and damages the relational capacities of a baby. Cortisol is a hormone released in an infant’s body during times of stress. This hormone causes brain cells to die. A baby’s brain is only 25 percent developed when born, so any stress can have a detrimental effect. If a baby continues to cry through a stressful situation, their brain will continue to grow and develop in the wrong ways.

Unintended consequences

The cry it out method has numerous unintended consequences. Infant brains are vulnerable to stress, and early uncomfortably stressful experiences can interfere with cell migration. In addition, the first year of life can see changes in key emotion chemical systems that govern emotional well-being and the ability to cope with stress later in life. If the cry it out method is used to settle an infant, the adverse effects of stress on the child’s brain can continue for up to 10 years.