Skip to Content

How Long To Let Baby Cry it Out For Naps?

Being a new parent comes with its fair share of challenges no one is ever prepared for.

95% of that struggle will involve having to deal with a little human whose only mode of communication is screaming your eardrums numb.

Most parents, especially the new ones, panic whenever their baby cries, which is a perfectly normal indicator that your maternal/paternal instincts are working.

However, it is essential to note that you can use the crying to your advantage.

What is the cry it out method?

The cry it out method, or CIO Method as the clinicians love to call it, is a behavioral science whose foundations are based on how long to let baby cry it out for naps.

According to research, leaving your baby to cry for a certain amount of time before coming to their rescue will increase the likelihood of them falling asleep on their own.

The method is quite simple;

you let it cry for a short period before you swoop in to save the day by offering the very comfort the baby is yearning for.

When can you let a baby cry it out, it will eventually learn to sooth itself.

Those first few minutes you aren’t around when your baby needs you will trigger a response likely to make it independent over time.

Babies, especially in their early stages of life, are known to operate on pure genius.

Therefore, they possess the ability to adapt to situations and do so pretty quickly.

The same is said to have an impact on the baby’s sleeping pattern.

Most child experts strongly believe that when a baby learns how to sooth itself to sleep, they will always have lengthy naps.

The latter will have a positive impact on the child’s overall development in time.

As we all know, being a new parent is an experience that exhausts everyone.

There are times you’ll be so tired to the point taking a nap within a nap, you know, like in the Inception Movie.

If this ever happens to you, and it will come at some point, you can count on your baby to soothe itself to sleep without your having to get up

then get up again from your sleep that’s within a sleep.

Moreover, you know what they say about parents who have a good night sleep?

Well, they haven’t said a thing yet.

However, when they finally come up with a proper dictum for this situation, I’m confident it’s going to be something spectacular.

So hang in there, new moms and dads!

When is the best time to let the baby cry it out?

Perhaps the hardest thing about CIO can be summarized in this one simple question:

When can you let a baby cry it out?

First, you’ll have to ensure the baby isn’t crying because of any other variables besides sleep.

As you already know, there are quite many things that can make a baby cry.

These triggers include impending sleep, fear, general discomfort, unfavorable weather conditions, or even a fever.

Therefore, you might want to start by checking for all these triggers.

Feel free to start by making sure the baby isn’t either hungry or has soiled the diapers.

Check for fever and finish off by ensuring the crib is comfortable.

Once you’ve done all the above preparations, put the baby to sleep in the crib once it starts showing signs of sleep.

Naturally, the act of leaving will frighten the baby, which will automatically trigger crying.

That’ll be the right time to let it cry it out for a few minutes before swooping in for the rescue.

Am sure the question you have in mind is for how long should you leave your baby to cry it out?

How long to let baby cry it out for naps?

To answer this question correctly, it is essential to, first of all, acknowledge that there are two types of CIO Methods.

The first one is the extinct method

where the baby is ultimately ignored until it stops crying on its own.

The second method is the graduated extinction method

where some controlled comforting is involved.

What does it mean by the term “controlled”?

What controlled comforting means is that you’ll alternate from attending to the kid when it cries with ignoring it altogether.

Some experts refer to the latter as sleep training.

The parents would be expected to start with attending to the baby when it cries.

Then when the time goes, they’ll start ignoring the baby for a short while and keep on increasing the intervals at a gradual pace.

For example, for the first nap, you’ll start by leaving the baby to cry for about three minutes before swooping in for the rescue.

The latter should be for the first nap.

As for the second nap, you’ll start with five minutes, then ten minutes then twelve minutes.

The intervals are supposed to increase with each rest, which will, in turn, allow the baby to learn self-soothing in a rather smooth and gradual manner.

The stage also has to be set for success or else your likelihood to fail is guaranteed.

Be keen on adopting the same routine for each nap over an elongated period if you are to start seeing progress.

You can do so by always bathing the baby, sing a lullaby, or read it a story before putting it to bed.

The plan may be hectic at times, but once you start it, make sure you are going through with it, especially if you are to experience success in the long run.

The don’ts of CIO Method

Just like it’s the case with everything else in this world, the CIO Method comes with its fair share of disadvantages.

That said, you might want to learn a thing or two about the don’ts so that you can effectively protect your kid from endangerment should you choose to give it a try.

You might also want to keep the Cry It Out Method for naps and not nights.

The whole point of sticking to naps is so that you can have full control of the conditioning since chance are you’ll be fully awake at the time.

As for the nights, you can’t be too sure about waking up on time since, well, being a parent is hard, especially if its still a brand new concept.

Last but not least, don’t have high expectations since there are no guarantees that the method will work.

Babies are born different.

So due to that fact, they react differently to different approaches as well as stimuli.

If anything, being patient is the only way forward since the CIO method has never been successful in just a week.

If anything, you’ll have to work for weeks, and sometimes months, before you start noticing results.

What clinicians are saying about cry it out Method

Naturally, the cry it out method has attracted a mix of feelings among the specialists in the field.

A majority of these health practitioners are against the practice, and it is so with good reason.

One such expert is none other than Dr. Howard Chilton.

The reasoning behind his argument is that the CIO Method makes any biological sense at all.

Dr. Chilton, just like most infant specialists, believes that contact with its caregiver is arguably an essential part of a child’s overall development.

Meaning depriving the child of such a fundamental right is more than likely to cause trauma.

The doctor, who has titles such as MBBS, MRCP (UK), and DCH to his name, is also the bona fide author of many titles, the most popular of them being Baby On Board.

Another doctor who isn’t too pleased with parents who still practice the method is Dr. Margot Sunderland.

Dr. Sunderland strongly links the Cry It Out Method with harming the child’s brain development.

Just like Dr. Chilton, she believes that a parent who responds as soon as the child cries are doing for the baby’s good.


Many parents who’ve tried the CIO method have experienced tremendous success, especially if they are patient enough.

You can replicate the same results, especially if you’re willing to give it a try and go the extra mile.

However, there has been several parents and health experts who aren’t sure about using the CIO method on babies.

That said, if you don’t have it in you to sit there watching helplessly, then don’t do it.

I’m here to tell you that’s it’s ok. You are not a bad parent for not attempting the CIO Method!

Besides, there are many other methods you can capitalize and still put that baby to sleep.

And, no, I ‘don’t mean you put your kid on chock holds when I say “put it to sleep”!

For instance, if you don’t feel like mastering how long to let baby cry it out for naps, then you can choose to cuddle your baby to sleep instead.

Cuddling might take a bit longer to put the baby to sleep but its worked since Eve in the garden of Eden so it shouldn’t be an issue.

Additional information:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.