How to: Crying It Out

Crying It Out, also known as The Ferber Method, really does work. It’s a good thing, too, because you’ll be re-Crying-It-Out every month or so. Blame teething, colds, growth spurts, etc.

I know I’ve been absent lately, but when it comes to Crying It Out, just because I haven’t been blogging doesn’t mean I haven’t been sharing my experiences with the Internet. Here’s an Insta-gem from April, when Suzianne could stand up, but could not figure out how to lay back down:

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Here’s June, when she was positive there was a party in the next room she should have been invited to:

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Most of the time, the Crying It Out training we first initiated back in November 2012 really works. We started it when Suzianne was about seven months old. Thanks to a few nights of wine and standing our ground, we now are able to lay her down in her crib and she’ll fall asleep on her own without incident within 10-15 minutes:  IMG_7510

When that happens, this happens:


Not pictured: the glasses of craft beer we were enjoying.

Many folks have asked about our Crying It Out formula. Here’s what I did for my baby, who was seven months old at the time.

How to Cry It Out

Take the No-Cave Pledge: You and your partner must be on the same page before you attempt Crying It Out. This process is no fun; it is easy to give in. You’ve gotta be committed to this BEFORE you attempt it, otherwise one of you will cave and a lot of time and tears will be wasted. Sure you’re ready? Okay!

Step One: Make sure your wine glass is full and your video baby monitor is completely charged — you may be here for a while.

Step Two: On a night when baby is in a good mood and not teething, sick or Boneless, go about your nightly routine, tuck your sweet angel into bed and close the door.

Step Three: Start the Intervals. Here is how we did it for about three nights in a row until she finally went the freak to sleep fell asleep. Each night, we increased the intervals by about 5 minutes.

Baby cries for 5 minutes, go in & console baby, leave the room.

Baby cries for 10 more minutes, go in & console baby, leave the room. Check to see if neighbors have called the cops because your baby has been crying for 10 minutes.

Baby cries for 20 more minutes, CHUG YOUR WINE, go in & console baby, sit next to the crib and console baby until she’s calm and sleepy, leave the room.

Baby cries for 30 minutes, give each other the look like “I don’t think I can do this.” Realize your baby is asleep in the other room.

Baby wakes up and starts crying, start the whole freakin process over, swear you’ll never procreate again.

Here’s the secret to your success: DO NOT PICK THE BABY UP. (Thank you, Facebook friends!) Console, sing, pat, rock the crib, etc. But do not remove that child from the crib. If you pick her up, she wins.

By the third night, Suzianne only cried a few minutes and then put herself to sleep. The fourth night, she didn’t cry at all.

Now, lest you get too excited about the thought of your child putting herself down every single night while you binge on back episodes of The Mindy Project, keep in mind:

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Crying It Out is not a one-time event. You’ll have to re-train that tiny version of your spouse quite a bit (at least, we do). But there’s nothing better than being able to say “Are you ready to go to bed?” and having your child causally stroll over to her crib because bedtime is not a big ordeal, it’s just something she does.

Give it a try! Let me know how it goes! You’ll hate me while you’re doing it; you’ll thank me later.


Don’t Sue Me Disclaimer: Remember, most of you don’t know me from Adam, so you really shouldn’t be taking my sleep training advice without talking to your pediatrician first. But don’t consult your momma or momma-in-law. Grandmas don’t believe in Crying It Out. Exhibit A from yesterday’s comments: 

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2 thoughts on “How to: Crying It Out

    • I do a shorter form of it. For her to wake up crying at night is rare these days. If it happens it’s usually teething or a bad dream. So go in and see what’s up after about five minutes of her crying. I do what I can (like give her teething tablets or soothe her) but I do not pick her up.Then, I increase the intervals until she puts herself back to sleep. A few nights, I had to sleep next to the crib for a few hours.

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