Definition of controlled crying in US English:

controlled crying

noun

  • A technique for training young children to fall asleep on their own, in which the child is left to cry for gradually increasing periods of time before being comforted.

    ‘Dr. Green advocates a program of controlled crying’
    • ‘I cannot do controlled crying: I am emotionally incapable of not responding to a crying baby, so it would have been pointless anyone suggesting I should.’
    • ‘The authors conclude that controlled crying reduced infant sleep disorders and benefited depressed mothers.’
    • ‘In the unlikely event of a contented baby resisting sleep in favour of a screaming session, Ford prescribes "controlled crying".’
    • ‘We then did the dreaded controlled crying, ending with a kid who did sleep on his own and only woke four or five times a night instead of nine or ten.’
    • ‘He has been sleeping fine for about a week now (thanks to evil mummy and daddy using a mixture of controlled crying and locking him in his room - just add your hate mail to the comments section - but it worked and he's a happy sleepy camper now!).’
    • ‘They don't feel comfortable with it, and I would say you shouldn't do controlled crying in a child younger than six months.’
    • ‘Commonly used behavioural interventions such as controlled crying and systematic ignoring have been shown to decrease infant sleep problems in randomised controlled trials and to decrease maternal report of symptoms of depression in uncontrolled trials.’
    • ‘This is something that gets debated a lot; you've got controlled crying; you've got people who say 'Just shut the door and walk away' and you've got three nights of hell and you get better.’
    • ‘You should only try 'controlled crying' with the advice of your health visitor or other expert in children's sleep.’