I'm not a fan of scheduling or cry it out, myself. But then, I've always had creative jobs with unpredictable schedules and been more of the impulsive type myself. In fact, before I had a child, I can honestly say that no two of my days ever looked the same - and I *liked* that about my life.
On the other hand, I know plenty of people who thrive on routines. They need to eat at 12:30; they get itchy if their last meeting of the day runs late; they always take the same bus home and sit in the same seat. Their library books are never overdue; they never open the fridge and realize they're out of milk.
We need those people - and hey, they need us. But little wonder we take *very* different approaches to child-rearing.
At the time my son was born, the parent I most admired was a clocks-run-on-time kind of couple. I picked up a few books they recommended and tried, faithfully, to implement a schedule for about three weeks. Three weeks that felt like three YEARS of misery.
And that's when it clicked for me - we parent out of strengths and inclinations. People who have a natural tendency for order will gravitate towards schedules and cry-it-out. But then, it's reasonably likely that they've passed on some of their traits to their kids, and their kids will respond.
It wouldn't work for me - and I seem to have produced a child who can thrive with naptimes, mealtimes and bedtimes that change a bit based on our days. We have more of a routine than we did pre-baby, of course. One, because I'm too tired and too busy to be so flexible; two, because my son really does need certain things to happen in a certain order every day, even if they don't happen at the exact same times.
It's a different approach, and one that probably works well for some families.
Just not for mine.
As for long-term effects? I suspect kids who grow up with order and routine grow up to be accountants and kids who grow up with more flexibility grow up to be writers. The world needs both, so that's okay.