Why Is It Wrong to Let Your Baby Cry All Night?

Why Is It Wrong to Let Your Baby Cry All Night?

Last update: 02 June, 2018

You’ve certainly wondered on many occasions if it’s wrong to let your baby cry, especially when there are different specialists’ opinions on the matter.

Many will recommend letting a baby cry for him to learn how to calm down on his own.

But in this article, we’ll see the important reasons why it’s wrong to let your baby cry all night. As parents, obviously you’re the one making the decision.

Whether or not to let your baby cry

Weeping is the language of our little ones in their early stages of life. The baby cries to express his fears, his need for affection and attention. Crying indicates if he’s sleepy or hungry, and any feeling of discomfort or needing attention.

“Crying is sometimes the way to express things that cannot be said in words”
– Concepción Arenal –

We need to understand that when our baby cries, he’s trying to tell us something, so we should give him attention.

Of course, some babies cry more often than others. Therefore, parents are the ones who can best respond to this type of communication.

Why Is It Wrong to Let Your Baby Cry All Night?

What are the consequences of letting your baby cry?

As crying is the method of communication for babies, when the parents don’t attend promptly, the infant will feel insecure and fearful. Therefore, this can greatly harm a child and cause anxiety. It can even impair their ability to relate to others in the long term.

When a baby cries at night, he is unprotected and all he is claiming is his mother’s breast or his father’s cuddles. When his needs are met, he’ll feel happy and this will help him grow with confidence and trust others, especially his family.

It has also been discovered that when you let your baby cry, he’ll go through a lot of stress. This stress can damage the synapses between neurons, as it generates a hormone called cortisol. When it’s released in excess, it could damage newly formed neurons.

When there is a high level of this hormone in the body, even vomiting may occur. The body counter balances by releasing other hormones such as endorphins, lowering the baby’s stress level, so he’ll normally become quiet and fall asleep.

When tantrums are triggered from being used to crying

Tantrums can occur when your child gets used to crying to get everything he wants. That’s why it’s important to help show your child that there are other ways to communicate and express himself.

“Who often cries profusely, is also able to laugh with intensity the next instant”
– Oscar Wilde-

There will be times when the baby is crying and that you won’t be able to respond immediately. It’s best to use common sense, for example, if you’re driving or attending other important issues, you’ll have to let your baby cry.

As he grows, the child will have to learn that not everything comes right away. He’ll gradually develop patience and other qualities necessary for adulthood.

Clearly, it’s a compelling need for a baby to soothe his crying and feel safe and to be cared for by his parents. When the child is satisfied with this basic need, he’ll be given the confidence and support he needs to grow in a healthy, safe, and happy way.




All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Cassidy, S. Babies left to cry can suffer brain damage, warns parenting Guru. 2010. The Independent. [Online].
  • M R Rao, et al. Long Term Cognitive Development in Children with Prolonged Crying. National Institutes of Health. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2004; 89: 989-992.
  • Stifter and Spinrad. The Effect of Excessive Crying on the Development of Emotion Regulation. Infancy, 2002; 3(2), 133-152.
  • Teicher MH et al. The Neurobiological Consequences of Early Stress and Childhood Maltreatment. Neuroscience Biobehavior Review 2003, Jan-Mar; 27(1-2):33-44.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.