The Debate Over Rearing Children: The Pros and Cons of the Cry It Out Method - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  710 Words
Date:  2023-01-11


Behavioral scientists have clashed over the years on the best way to rear children. While some argue that too much affection and kindness may result in dependent babies, others argue on the contrary (Narvaez, 2011). Resultantly, concepts such as the Cry It Out (CIO) method have been debated on for years. Under this concept, parents are directed to, let their babies cry for some time before offering any kind of contact. It is said to help bring up independent children. However, I strongly disagree with this belief. This paper will present scholarly research on both sides of the debate. The quality and credibility of the sources used will also be discussed.

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Presentation of the Argument that CIO Does Not Lead to Independence

A 6-week study carried out on 235 infants of an average age of 7 months showed that sleep training, where parents respond to their children's cry lead to more independent settling. Similar studies recommend sleep training as a way of improving sleep in children and also improving parental depression symptoms (Korownyk & Lindblad, 2018). This shows that CIO is not the only way of improving independence among babies. Moreover, the method has been associated with various dangers (Narvaez, 2011). The primary argument given can be presented as follows:

  • Premise 1: CIO leads to greater dependence.
  • Premise 2: Since babies indicate their needs through crying, ignoring the cries may distress the baby and may damage neuronal interconnections.
  • Premise 3: CIO may lead to caregiver insensitivity, and hence they are more likely to ignore more subtle signals leading to distress.

Conclusion: The CIO method is a short-term solution that could lead to long-term effects. Therefore, babies should be given what they want when they cry to facilitate proper mental, emotional, and physical development (Narvaez, 2011).

Presentation of an Argument that CIO is Good for Babies

Though the above discussion shows that CIO is harmful to babies, they are studies that advance that CIO is the best way to solve sleeping problems in children. Richard Ferber argues that that the best way to teach children to sleep through the night is letting them cry till they sleep. Being a pediatrician, Ferber has great authority in the field. It is, therefore, no surprise that his book, Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, has extensively been used in the field (Ferber, 2006). However, the book has been a cause of controversy since its publication. His argument can be broken down into three premises:

  • Premise 1: The baby will eventually fall asleep on their own without the intervention of the parent.
  • Premise 2: Babies who are sleep trained using the CIO method fall asleep faster
  • Premise 3: CIO leads to less stress in babies.

Conclusion: The CIO method is not harmful and hence can be used to enhance the independence of the children and improve their sleeping patterns.

Evaluation of the Arguments

The argument against the use of CIO represents the cons of the method better. Since the findings were arrived at following a scientific study, the results are credible. CIO method, therefore, is harmful to babies and alternative sleep training methods should be utilized. On the other hand, Ferber's book has been controversial, and questions have been raised over its credibility. Determining the effectiveness of the CIO method is difficult since the interventions cannot be uniformly followed by all patients. Moreover, the author's bias towards the method might have influenced the conclusions of the book. Therefore, there is no concrete evidence supporting the use of the CIO method.


Presenting arguments on both sides of the issue has been greatly insightful. It has enabled me to understand the CIO method as well as its pros and cons better. Though the topic is still a topic of debate, the discussion has offered the existing facts on both sides of the debate. The contradicting arguments are also important in enhancing tolerance to opinions that differ from ours. However, it is apparent that the scholarly article more credible facts as compared to the other sources.


Ferber, R. (2006). Solve your child's sleep problems: new, revised. . Simon and Schuster.

Korownyk, C., & Lindblad, A. J. (2018). Infant sleep training: rest easy? Canadian Family Physician, 64(1), 41.

Narvaez, D. F. (2011, December 11). Dangers of "Crying It Out". Retrieved from

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The Debate Over Rearing Children: The Pros and Cons of the Cry It Out Method - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 11). Retrieved from

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