Letting him cry it out is heartbreaking for me!

Eileen - posted on 06/15/2010 ( 88 moms have responded )

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Please share if you did this, when you started, if it worked, what you did, and how long it took?? It's gonna be a long week!

Thanks everyone!

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Renae - posted on 06/15/2010

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Firstly I wanted you to know that CIO is one of many sleep training methods. Some involve crying and some do not. Most babies respond well to no-cry methods. I just wanted to make sure you are aware that you have several options for a peaceful nights sleep and do not necessarily have to do CIO.

OK with that said. If you are doing straight CIO - which means you put baby to bed and do not go in again at all until the next morning - this is the most effective sleep method there is. 99% of the time baby will cry for 45 min at the start of the night. When they wake during the night they will cry for half the time they did at the start of the night. The crying decreases over the next 3 nights and 90% of babies sleep through 11 hours on the 4th night. The other 9% sleep through on the 6th night.

If you are doing graduated CIO -where you go in at timed intervals and check on them- then you can expect the crying at the start of the night to last between 45min and 2 hours, however anything from 20 minutes to 4 hours is within "normal range". The crying will decrease every couple of nights and baby will normally sleep through between the 6th and 10th night. This method has a 65% success rate.

If you do choose to continue with a CIO method, I would like to explain cry interpretation to you. In a nutshell, when you are listening to a baby's cries, crying that has distinct pauses is considered ok, and crying without pauses is a distress cry. Obviously there are different types of cries, but all distress cries are constant without pausing.

During CIO most non-distressed babies will start with an angry cry - listen for a gurgling sound in the throat. This usually lasts for the first 15 to 20 min. Then they switch to a confused cry. This comes in waves. Each wave starts low and increases in volume and intensity to a peak, then decreases again. Each wave lasts 30 to 60 seconds and there is a distinct pause of 3 to 5 seconds between each wave. If you are not hearing the distinct pause, then your baby is distressed (it can be physical or emotional - dirty nappy, hungry, overly stressed etc).

Just one more thing on the different CIO methods. Most people assume that checking on your baby is better than leaving them alone to cry until they fall asleep - however most of the time this is actually not the case.

The most distressing part of CIO for the baby (the time when stress indicators such as heart rate and specific brain activity are at their highest) is when the parent leaves the room. When you are continually checking on the baby, you keep leaving the room and every time you leave your baby will become more distressed. However when they are left alone to cry to sleep, the distress decreases after the first time you leave and then plateaus. Control crying (where you check on baby at timed intervals) was invented in the 70s because of parental resistence to straight CIO - it makes parents feel better if they can check on their baby - but it was invented to make parents feel better, not because it is better for the baby.

I am happy to give you some alternative options if you would prefer not to use a crying method. I will need to know how old your baby is and how many times at night they currently wake.

Katrina - posted on 06/16/2010

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I tried CIO with my DD on 3 separate occasions, 6mths, 9mths &12mths & to be honest each time was a complete failure. I was on a knife edge as listening to my DD cry her heart out just didn't sit right with me & she just became more & more upset & mega clingy afterwards. I know this works for some children, my friend's DD being a prime example, but for me it just seem to make things worse. Call me sentimental but when my DD cries I comfort her, simple as. I didn't want her to associate bedtime with upset so persevered with non CIO methods. Yes it took a while, yes it was tiring, yes it was frustrating & yes it was downright boring at times but now my DD who is 19mths can be put in her crib awake & takes only 5-10mins to settle before she's asleep & sleeps through for approx 11hrs. Plus, if she does wake in the night, I'm able to simple re-assure her mummy is here & back off she goes.

For what it's worth, this is what I did. Firstly, establish a strict bedtime routine & DO NOT deviate from it. DD learns fast through association & if she kows what's coming knows how to react. Bedtime routine needs to be planned around naptimes to ensure your child is sleepy but not overtired for bed...........if DD is overtired she gets a 2nd wind & can take an age to settle. She's 19mths, has 1 1hr nap between 9-10am & bedtime is between 7-7.30pm. Mind you, some nights when she's had a very busy day & obvious she's knackered she has been known to go to bed at 6.30pm, you kow you're child, read the signals. 5.30pm is bathtime, good old splash about, songtime etc & into pjs. 6 to 6.30pm is dinner then quite time with daddy, bottle of milk if asked for then kisses & upstairs to brush teeth & bed by 7.30pm.

As I said stick to the routine so your child knows what to expect. Now the hard part, getting them to settle lol! This is what I did, it's hard work but less upsetting for mummy & baby. Lay your child in the crib & say something like 'Night night, sleepy sleepy time' then step back. They ca still see you but DO NOT make eye contact. As soon as they pop up, gentle but firmly say 'NO, night night, sleepy sleepy time' Do't fuss, don't engage in conversation, don't make eye contact. Then step back from the crib. Just keep on doing this, it's boring & tiresome I know but would you rather be sat downstairs nerves in tatters listening to them cry their lungs out? Eventually, the time between each pop up will lengthen & as long as you're consistent, like with the bedtime routine, your child will learn mummy is there but she is not going to play & they will just get bored & stay lay down. I just stayed there until I could see DD was asleep then crept out. If they wake, do exactly the same, lay down, 'No, night night, sleepy sleepy time'. It took 2hrs the first night before she finally gave up & slept, 1&half the second night, hr the next but by the end of a week she was settling in about 10 to 15mins. Granted we had relapses but you just stick to the routine & they learn through association.

I know this sounds really tiresome & back breaking & I admit, some nights I felt like screaming 'cause DD just kept popping up & giggling.......during those times shut your eyes & repeat a few times 'it'll pass, it'll pass' then deal with it. Who said you get to stop being a parent at night time? It took about 2wks in all to get DD to settle on her own. She now sleeps from 7-7.30 to 6.30-7am. Daddy & I have our evenings back, if she stirs at night 9 times out of 10 it only takes minutes to get her back off. She's happier as getting better quality sleep as are we & she trusts us as we didn't leave her alone to cry, she knows bedtime means sleep but if she needs mummy or daddy she only has to ask & we will be there.

I hope this helps some. Sorry for the mega message lol. Good luck with it all & perseverance is the key 'cause when you crack it it's a godsend! x

PATRICIA - posted on 06/15/2010

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I definitely would not recommend this method, although it has been popular in recent years, there are lots of studies that DO NOT recommend it, Imagine you were upset/scared, alone and someone locked you in a room, I think it causes emotional damage.
http://www.drbenkim.com/articles-attachm...
***
The child stops crying because she learns that she can no longer hope for the caregiver to provide comfort, not because her distress has been alleviated.
According to attachment theory, many babies are born without the ability to self-regulate emotions. That is, they find the world to be confusing and disorganized, but do not have the coping abilities required to soothe themselves. Thus, during times of distress, they seek out their caregivers because the physical closeness of the caregiver helps to soothe the infant and to re-establish equilibrium. When the caregiver is consistently responsive and sensitive, the child gradually learns and believes that she is worthy of love, and that other people can be trusted to provide it. She learns that the caregiver is a secure base from which she can explore the world, and if she encounters adversity she can return to her base for support and comfort. This trust in the caregiver results in what is known as a secure individual.

Michelle - posted on 06/18/2010

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why can't your baby sleep with you....sorry but i think that its pretty sad if the cio method works...means your baby has given up on thinking that you are there to meet their needs...i agree with cassie....if its not sitting right with you then there is a reason for that...its not the right thing for you and your bub....

Nikki - posted on 06/15/2010

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Then dont do it, babies who are not left to CIO actually are the ones who are more independant later on because they feel safe and secure and know they can fall back and have someone to catch them.

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Olivia - posted on 06/28/2010

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Crying is their only means of communication. They have not yet developed a way to sooth them self to sleep. Now given that when it comes to sleeping and babies they're all different.



Some babies cant go to sleep in bed with mommy and daddy some cant sleep in their own room. But they know what they need. It isn't spoiling it is attachment parenting. And studies haves shown that this method created independent kids not dependent as most people think.



So if you feel you can't do it and it isn't working for you or your child then it isn't right for either of you.



Personally I find it cruel. but some kids eventually they learn to cry them self to sleep as their soother, that their parents are not reliable nurturers. But some kids wont even cry them self to sleep they will just keep crying no matter what no matter how tired they are. I say nurture is always better and always works.

Samantha - posted on 06/28/2010

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i tried this as my mil said, i did it with my boys and they are all great sleepers. that may be true but a bigger bunch of whiners i have never met (they are between 45-31yrs old) my sis and I and all my uncles and aunts (on mums side) were all soothed and put back in bed. and im not gloating but we are all calmer, peaceful people and not irritating toddlers in adult bodies! its like they didnt get the attention they needed then so now their making up for it.
i did try with my dd but couldnt do it. so now her routine from 6 months was blankie, dummie, and the tomy starlight show (projection light with classic music, godsend and to buy for 10pounds on ebay). she is now 3 years and wakes up sometimes but all i do is give her her blankie and she goes right back over (already weaned her off the dummie and projection thing). my ds is now 9 months and from day 1 we did the same as dd routine, he slept through the night from 4 weeks old!!! till now he sleeps, 7 till 6.30, bottle, sleeps till 9, then sleeps again from 11 till 1, then again from 3-4.30 ish and sometimes again from 6 til 7! those nights he stays awake till 8 and then goes back to bed! people say im blessed and i am but i think the routine and projection thing helped. the projecter gives the feeling of not being on their own

Karin - posted on 06/28/2010

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I do it. and it works wonders! It IS COMPLETELY heartbreaking to hear your baby crying and crying. But, once they realize you are not gonna give in and hold them till they are asleep.....every day after that is a breeze!! :o) Babies are much smarter than you would think. The younger the baby is, I think the better it works. Good luck to you!! ;o)

Tracey - posted on 06/27/2010

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I started doing this after i went back to work. i would let him cry for 5 to 10 minutes and no more. I would lay him in his crib and back and check on him after the time period and often times he would be asleep.

Bernadette - posted on 06/27/2010

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I would let my daughter cry, but not for too long. I'd wait about 15 min, and if the crying didn't at least start to subside then I'd get her up and try again later. If she was still hysterical after 15 min I would find that there was no point letting her continue as she would just get so worked up there would never be any hope of her falling asleep. After a while, you can leave him for a little longer each time. It is hard - it's just instinct to want to pick up your baby and comfort him when he is upset, but unless you want to have to rock him to sleep for years to come, then he is best getting used to self-settling sooner rather than later. Just do it gradually.

Anna - posted on 06/26/2010

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I see you got many different answers...and I hear of more and more people who are opposed to this method;but I did it with all 3 of my kids and would recommend it.I look at it as training a child that night time is time to sleep.I hear of so many moms that don't want to do this and they are still fighting with their child at 2,3,4,maybe even 5 years old,to try and get them to sleep all night.I call that nonsense;a mom needs her sleep to be able to function properly.Some people may call it being selfish,because I wanna get my sleep;I don't think it's selfish;it's simply doing what is practical.My children all were sleeping the entire night through and going to sleep on their own (with a little blanky and a nuk) by the time they were 4 or 5 month old.Same for a nap,I'd put them to bed and they'd settle down on their own:I didn't have to spend alot of time trying to get them settled for a nap;which some days I wouldn't have minded rocking them to sleep,but when you are busy,it sure comes in handy. I don't remember what the longest would have been that they cried,but I do know that if you are consistent and don't give in,it only takes a couple nights.And oh the joy,when you wake up in the morning and realize that your child slept the night through and you feel so refreshed and ready to go.A child certianly doesn't need to eat in the middle of the night anymore by the time they're 5-6 mo. old.Some mothers simply think it's easier to fix a quick bottle and give it to their child,so they go back to sleep and you can go back to sleep quickly;but simply put,if you are willing to sacrifice maybe a half hour or so of sleep and let them cry it out for a couple nights it certianly pays off and you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.Anyway,good luck;and don't let people tell you that it makes your child insecure;that's a bunch of bologna.It's never too early to teach your child that he/she will not always get her way;and I think it's all a part of training your child.

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Hi. I did sleep train my daughter at seven months. Two books helped me the most. 1. Bedtiming: The "When-To" Guide to Sleep training by Marc Lewis and Isabela Granic. The author break down when they feel as psychologists and parents is the easiest and worst times for sleep training. Once I knew this (btw 5.5 months and 7.5 months) I went to work. I followed the Sleep Sense method by Dana Obleman (www.sleepsense.net). She has a self-published book available for purchase at her website plus other goodies. I followed her Stay in the Room method over 10 or so days. Essentially, on the first three days, I sat in a chair by the crib staying in the room. Next three days, I moved the chair to the middle of the room, and the last 3 days, I had the chair in the doorway. By night 10 you are supposed to be able to leave. I took a little longer maybe because my dd was getting to the end of the ideal window. Obleman lays her methods out very clearly (She also has a leave and check method, too--my daughter worked better with the Stay in the room method.) I think both methods take the same amount of time nightly (varies per child--some night, my dd went to sleep easily, others, it took over an hour. She didn't cry much because I was there comforting her with words and the occasional pat/touch. I highly recommend both books, best of luck to you.

Tia - posted on 06/26/2010

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it took a while.. but i let my son cry for a 15 minutes before i come in each time.. after a week and a half.. he does'nt cry when it's bedtime.. however lol he cries when he' being put to bed

Viola - posted on 06/26/2010

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I would never let my daughter cry it out because they feel unsecure with this... my husband wanted me to try it but i refuse, because i feel that if they are cryng there is a reason and i should be able to fix it.

Ashley - posted on 06/26/2010

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I started this with my daughter when she was 2 months old. And it's worked like a charm. I've even had family comment on how well she goes to sleep when she spends the night with them.
And for those who say it will make them less independent, I don't believe that is true at all. My daughter is only 8 months old, but is extremely independent. She's a very happy baby, has reached every milestone early or right on time. I can't think of a single negative affect it has had on her... other than the heart-breaking first couple of days. ;)

Nina - posted on 06/26/2010

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My daughter is almost 6 months and I would never let her cry it out... If she cries, I pick her up - that's how she learns how to trust. I have a few times sat by her bed until she's fallen asleep (then she doesn't cry cause I'm there to sing and she can feel my hand by her face), but usually she falls asleep in my arms when she gets the evening-bottle. I'd suggest you try another method than CIO..... Good luck! ♥

Lana - posted on 06/26/2010

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A lot of people have already provided some good input. I would add: Don't go against your natural instincts. There will always be various styles, theories, methods, etc. but we are wired a certain way for a reason. Mother Nature knew what she was doing!

Molissa - posted on 06/26/2010

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I had to do it because we also needed to ween him from the bottle. He was constantly overfilling his diaper since he was sleeping all the way through the night. He is 15 months old and we have been without the bottle and having to rock him to sleep for about 2 months now.

We basically let him cry for about 10 minutes. Went to soothe him and then put him back down. Then let him cry for about 20 minutes. Then went in and soothed him. Then we just had to let him cry it out because it just didn't seem to help him to be soothed. It seemed to make him worse. He really went for it for about an hour tops. Then he just fell asleep. The next night he cried for about 20 mins total and then fell asleep. Every night it got less and less. He was already off the bottle during the day, but was still using it at night and we didn't want him to keep peeing all over himself because he stayed asleep all night. So we were able to get him to soothe himself to sleep after the 4th night. It makes nap time easier too. He goes to sleep on his own. We don't put him in the crib asleep. He goes in sleepy but awake. Occasionally he wakes up with a nightmare while we're still awake and we calm him down and then put him back in bed and he goes right back off.

It's very hard. I cried for the first two nights. It hurts to hear it. It's supposed to. It's because of the bond you share. It hurt my husband just as much, but he was strong for both of us and kept me from going in and rescuing him a couple of times. Be consistent and it will be fine. If it doesn't work, try another method. CIO is not the only one. Whatever you do, do it together and be strong. Good luck.

Amanda - posted on 06/26/2010

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i used this method with my toddler. she was over a year when i started. i was still getting up 2-3 times a night to soothe her, and having to get up early for work. it was exhausting. she shares a room with her big sister however (who is 11) so if they crying went on long enough that it woke her sister up then she'd be picked up and they'd spend the rest of the night cuddling in bed together. now she has her crib converted to a toddler bed. she usually begins the night with her sister and i move her once she's out and she stays asleep in her own bed all night. if she hadn't had her big sis there to help then i probably would have caved and stopped the cio method.

Tara - posted on 06/26/2010

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i cuddle with my daughter for 5 minutes then lay her in her crib where i sit next to her crib and hold her hand..she may cry for a minute but it doesnt last long and usually is asleep within 10 minutes..i could let her just cry it out so i found middle ground..im happy and so is she so find whatever way will make the two of you happy

Crystal - posted on 06/26/2010

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Don't do it then.. yes it does apparently work, but at the detriment of mum and bub.. it's not worth it.. there are other ways to do it, which may take longer but the bond you have with bub is worth more than leaving them to cry and fall asleep from exhaustion!! There are different types of crying too, it doesn't mean bub can't cry at all.. the Save our Sleep book explains it all.. but don't feel like you have to stick to the routines to the minute!!! I have used the SOS routines but I let bub use a dummy.. just do what is best for you and bub.. use your instincts coz you are the mummy and you know what is best!

Denise - posted on 06/26/2010

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WOW a lot of posts about not letting your baby cry it out PLEASE READ SAVE OUR SLEEP by tizze hall google her she also has a website
after 5 months of getting up to baby every 1.5 to 2 hours i decided that there had to be a answer as baby was cranky all day and all night

after reading this book it shows you the diffrence between stressed out cry and im tired cry if you put your child on a daily rountine having meet your child every need before putting her down to sleep. your baby will sleep

please read this book it saved me

Magaly - posted on 06/25/2010

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We just listened to what our baby wanted. The first few months he'd fall asleep in our arms. When we moved him to his room at 6 months he wanted to be rocked to sleep. Then all of a sudden he decided he didn't need to be rocked so we just laid him down and he's go to sleep on his own. He does seem to need a pacifier to sleep but he does good on his own. I thought about trying the CIO but I didn't have the stomach for it. and if my baby woke up at night to play, we just left him alone to play and go back to sleep on his own. But I'd really suggest trying several options to find what your baby responds to best.

Krystal - posted on 06/25/2010

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wow, I'm surprised at how many parents are opposed to the CIO method... Everyone that I had ever talked to told me to do it, and now the majority of the parents responding on here are against it. I had to do it, it did break my heart, yes. But the lack of sleep was affecting me way to much. My son had started sleeping through the night at only a few weeks old. and had been for a couple months, until one night he decided he no longer wanted to. He decided it was play time, at 12, 1, 2, 3, etc. it was RIDICULOUS! I just couldn't handle it anymore. But I didn't want him to sleep in bed with us because it had seriously started to affect my husbands and my relationship. Constantly arguing about stuff because we were both exhausted. I had so many people tell me to let my son cry it out. So I finally did. The first night was absolutely horrible. cried most of the night. I went in and checked on him, laid him back down and covered him with the blanket everytime. Maybe rubbed his back or something for a little bit, but flat out refused to pick him up, because then I knew he would never fall back asleep. If he wouldn't calm down enough then I would walk away and come back later. It took less than a week and he was sleeping better. Still wakes up on occasion but always falls back asleep after a few minutes.
I give credit to those who think that sitting up with the baby, or constantly rocking them, or feeding them or whatever you do to get your child to sleep. I just couldn't do it anymore. I wanted him to learn to fall asleep on his own.
And to those who said that you couldn't give up being a parent at night, you are right. But I'm not giving up being a parent at night, and it doesn't make me a bad mother for letting him cry himself to sleep. It is unfortunately a part of life. and if you want me to be the happy, energetic, fun-loving mom everyone expects me to be, then I need my sleep to. After a 10 hour night and only sleeping for maybe 2 hours of that, does not make me a very happy camper, and that is when (any mom) starts to get a little more than just frusterated with a child during the day and they don't want to cooperate.
As for you Eileen, good luck with any decision you decide to make on how to get your child to sleep at night. You can't let anyone decide it for you, it is, like everyone else has said, yours and your babies decision on how they want to be put to bed. Good luck, good night. and Sleep tight :D

Leah - posted on 06/25/2010

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Go with your gut feeling Mom... I had many tell me what I 'should" be doing for my baby girl... but I went with my instinct. She is now almost 2 and going to bed with no fuss or problems... but I let her do it at her own pace.. not the pace others tried to push on us. It made for a less stressful baby and a less stressful Mom!

Laurena - posted on 06/25/2010

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I think that the longest i ever let my son cry in bed was for 5 minutes and then i couldnt take it anymore. i would rock him to sleep some nights when i was feeling weak, but other nights i would sit with him and talk to him calmly in our rocking chair or play calmly for a while or read a book... most nights i did this and when i put him down to bed he would fuss for just a moment until i shut the door, i didnt hear a peep until morning... he usually sleeps close to 12 hours a night.

Bylynn - posted on 06/25/2010

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5mins, isn't very long,sounds like your is working out, but your not letting the baby cry for 45 min-an hour, b/c if so that would be to long for a baby to lay in it's crib and cry. I'm happy you have found a routin that you do.

Stacey - posted on 06/25/2010

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My baby cried a lot when I laid him down. At first I quickly grabbed him and rocked him to sleep. My friend told me to not do that because they become very dependent. I then made up a "5 minute rule". At 5 months I put him in bed and give him 5 minutes to cry it out. Usually he cries and then falls asleep before the 5 minute mark.Yes it was HARD at first hearing my baby cry, but I figured after 5 minutes if he wasn't tired then he was crying for another reason. Hope this helps Eileen!

Bylynn - posted on 06/25/2010

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There is never no easy road raisen a child we have to learn by our mistakes , but we all get there , and they finely grow up and realize mom & dad was right about a lot of things. But it's up to us to keep strong in God so that he can guild us thrugh it all. Without him I would be lost, like I said there is no easy way about it, and no book can tell you haw to raise each child , they are all different from each other. Good luck, and God bless you.

Bylynn - posted on 06/25/2010

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A baby that knows your there, is a safe baby, when a baby is left along for hr's at a time not seeing their parents ,can later have a attactment disorder. This is where they feel like they have been deprived of the mothers love.
Think about it for a moment, your all alone in a room with no one around, not a sound to be heard beside your on crying. It could be scary for a baby who has been inside their mothers womb for more than 9months,and feel warm and safe in there. Then after your born, everything changes, your in that big room looking around, no one to be seen nor heard. You feel like you have been abanden left alone. You grow up FEELING detacted from everyone, not caring about yourself nor letting someone love you, all b/c your scared you might be left alone again.
I have worked with a lot of foster children and I have had serveral of them with this type of diorder, are you willing to chance your child growing up feeling this way. I hope you will pray for God to help you with your child , believe me he will. I have 4 of my own. Good luck.

Ashley - posted on 06/25/2010

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I did not do that with my first child. my husband was in the mil and we lived 1800 miles away from all of our family, so i would check on her constantly and let her sleep with us all the time, pretty much what she wanted she got any time didnt matter, and at 4 we still have a horrible time getting her to bed, it is getting better in the last month or so but it is still a battle. With my second i was determined not to make the same mistake, so at a very young age, a few months old, i would put her down for bed and when she would cry i would go in and lay her back down, each time i did that so that she would know im still there and to teach her that it was time to lay down and go to sleep. it didnt take long at all, we moved her to a toddler bed at 18 months and she slept all through the night from day one in it, we now leave the door cracked so at 21 months when she wakes in the morning she is able to come wake us up, it is wonderful, so much better than being up all hours of the night!

Nicole - posted on 06/25/2010

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I must say I'm a little taken back by all the people that are discouraging you from this. It is hard to let them CIO, very hard. But welcome to parenthood. If you take the easy road for everything you are going to have on heck of a child on your hands in a few years. I did the CIO method with my son and it worked wonderfully. It only took a few days. Now he sleeps 12 hours nightly with no fuss at all.

Rachelle - posted on 06/25/2010

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well in all honesty i say we let her cry it out but lol i think she just wanted some alone time in my case..

my daughter was three months old and would only sleep in her car seat and the only way to get her to sleep was to keep rocking it for 30minutes at least if we didn't get her in the seat fast enough we were stuck with a screaming baby ...
one night she was crying so hard no matter what we did i changed her feed her tried to rock her it just seemed the more we tryed to help her the worse she cried and screamed! so my husband took over put her in her crib and said good night aloura... not even two minutes later she had stoped crying and way fast asleep! now every time we put her to bed or down for a nap she falls asleep on her own right away (unless she's not tired then she plays with her tigger and ducky untill she falls asleep) so for us CIO did work... but i'm really not sure if thats what it should be considered when i look back now i think she just wanted alone time lol

Mandy - posted on 06/25/2010

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I did it with both of my kiddos. Each took less than 5 days. I went in every 15 minutes (I went outside with a timer so it was harder to hear them cry). DO NOT ROCK TO SLEEP. Just go in say a few words such as "It's sleepy time. Mommy loves you." then walk back out for 15 more minutes. The first night is horrible, but my kids literally climb into bed themselves when I say it's time for sleep.

April - posted on 06/25/2010

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We started around 7 months or so. Broke our hearts everytime - so after letting her go for almost 45 minutes a few times with no end in sight, we decided it wasn't for us and would just go in when we felt she was getting worked up and needed comforting, get her settled, and then try again. Then I mostly started nursing her to sleep and putting her down already asleep which was a lot easier and she'd stay down for 2 to 4 hours that way. When she wakes up I usually just rub her back patiently to get her back down - sometimes pick her up and cuddle her. After she wakes up a second or third time, its usually in the middle of the night and I just bring her to bed with me. But we prefer to go with the flow then force a rigid schedule - maybe its not for everyone but it works for us for the most part. Would be nice if she'd stay down longer, but I'd rather that then her having to cry for long periods of time all the time. Just doesn't feel worth it for us or her.

Veronique - posted on 06/25/2010

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With my first i did it when she was about 7 months.......The first night i cried with her. My husband was holding me down because i wanted to go and get her but after an hour she stoped. And that gradualy work and it took about a week and then everything was fix. With my second i didn't have to do this because as soon a i put her to bed she stays quiet and goes to sleep. But on the rare occassion where she cries i let her cry it out.

Tanya - posted on 06/25/2010

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20 minutes of crying??? After the previous 5, and 10? I'd never do that to my child. Ever.

There are other very successful more HUMANE methods.

I would read up on baby whispering. Pat-pat-ssssshhhhh. But never CIO. I'm not a big fan of the method. I see it as cruel. Very cruel.

Nichole - posted on 06/24/2010

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With my daughter, I had a rocking chair in her room and would read by the nightlight while she settled down.
After about a week, she could go to bed by herself.
She cried for just a few mins when I stopped sitting in the chair. I think letting her get used to the change from her bassinet to the crib without being totally alone helped. As long as she could see me, she was fine and once she was used to the bed it wasn't an issue at all. She goes to bed now without a fuss.

Tiffany - posted on 06/24/2010

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I did this.
We started between 5-6 months old
We basically started with 3 mins each night.. moving up to 5 minsm 10 mins... it usually wasnt more than 20 mins of crying.. tho we had the odd night of 45 mins.... took about 5 or 6 nights before she was good to go ithout much moire than 1 oe 2 mins of whining.

It was a long few nights, but really it wont last long, and he or she wont cry long.
If it goes on a while, go in and rub back, but dont pick your baby up

good luck. its SOO great once you get through it.

Billie Jo - posted on 06/24/2010

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If it is that difficult for you then stop! I am not being mean but that heartbreak you are feeling is your Mommy instinct telling you that this isn't working for you.

I never let my oldest daughter cry it out and she sleeps like a rock now. She is almost 7yrs old.

My middle daughter we did CIO it out with her (I was very overwhelmed) and she is an EXTREMELY light sleeper now. We live on the 9th floor of an apartment type building and ANY time the wind starts blowing she wakes up and starts crying. She almost 5yrs old.

My youngest I do not let her cry it out either and she sleeps great. She is a little over year old.

Jennifer - posted on 06/24/2010

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We tried this a couple of times and it just wasnt for us either. We rock our little girl to sleep and she sleeps through the night - 11-13 hours. She is asleep when we put her down but if she wakes up she goes back to sleep on her own. People have said we shouldn't rock her to sleep but I don't care. We have a good routine established - dinner, play a bit, bath, books, lullaby, rocking to sleep. The whole thing takes about an hour. And this is a very special time for us since I work. I will rock her to sleep until she won't let me anymore! Everyone is different and you have to go with your instincts.

Celeste - posted on 06/24/2010

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We did let our son cry it out when we transitioned him to his crib at 4 months old. But we only let him do it for a couple mins at the most first. It did not take long for it to be ok for him(I believe around a week or so). But hes almost 2 now and there are times he cries when its time to go to bed or for naps. I let him cry it out for no more than 5 minutes before i go check on him. I just lay him back down and pat his head and tell him hes ok. But for the most part he just plays in his crib and falls asleep.

Serena - posted on 06/24/2010

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Check out the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". It talks about the need for sleep, different ways to put your child to sleep, and how to address different sleep issues. My son is 10 weeks, and was very colicky and crabby until my husband and I read this book and put it to the test. Now he sleeps for about 12 hours per night and takes an AM and PM nap that each last about 2 to 3 hours. Now he wakes up al smiles and ready to play. It saved my family!!!

Frederique - posted on 06/23/2010

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Wow, I am amazed that there actually is a "technique" called CIO!

I am absolutely persuaded this is unnatural and agree with the comments that, when baby finally goes to sleep, it's because of pure exhaustion.

After 9 months of constant snuggling and rocking, how would you like to be left alone in a crib, crying for minutes or hours? I don't think babies truly understand at just a few months that parents are separate human beings...

I put my daughter to bed after her last feeding, talk gently to her or most often sing her a couple lullabies. Of course, I am lucky that all this puts her to sleep in usually 15 to 30 min but, honestly, it could take 2 hours I would still not try "CIO"; that would just break my heart.

Is CIO just a faster way to sever baby's attachment to his parents? Then I guess I can wait and enjoy the -sometimes bumpy- ride.

Peace to all.

Anita - posted on 06/23/2010

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Probably not what you want to hear but I tried the controlled crying method for both my children and it just didn't work. I tried for 1 week with my son and it was horrible, he just screamed and screamed. In the end we decided to just go with the flow and let our baby tell us what he wanted, eg if he wanted a bottle then he got a bottle etc.
We also tried the controlled crying with our daughter but she just worked herself up so much that she use to vomit.
We co-sleep with out children, they are now 12 months and 22 months and very healthy and contented babies.

Analea - posted on 06/23/2010

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I did it with both of mine. Yes, it is heartbreaking when you are doing it (i cried into my pillow), but it worked for us with first born after 3 nights, did the 2, 4, 6, 8 10 mins method, went for 1hr 1st night, about 50 mins 2nd night & 40mins 3rd night & she has slept through from 11 months & still does today. 2nd one did the same at 10 months & it took 1 night for about 50 mins & she now sleeps through from 6.30pm to 6.30pm. Must stress that having a strict routine every night has definitely aided in the continued sleeping through. And with 2nd one (now 21mnths) she sleeps through even when teething, got 7 teeth at once & still slept through. Not saying it is for everyone, however it helped us, in the long term, short term it was tough . . . . . good luck :o)

Jennifer - posted on 06/22/2010

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I don't do CIO as don't like my babies to have to cry. Someimes u have to let them cry if colicy or something. But they r babies - love them as much as u can/want cause soon they will grow up!!!

Tina - posted on 06/22/2010

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what i did with my Gracie is i would make sure she was dry fed and sleepy but not asleep when i laid her in her bed. make sure she has her singing seahorse, blankie and sippy of water but only water. make sure baby is 6 mos before you give water. then i would let her cry for 5 minutes. (longest 5 minutes of my life.) then i would go in her room and rub her back/talk to her without picking her up. i did this for about a week and then she went to bed like a champ. its been about 4 months since i started that. even after she gets siick it is real easy to get her back on track. make sure the bedtime routine is consistent. Gracies is story, song rock drink cup, put in bed.

Amy - posted on 06/22/2010

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It was very hard for me too but so worth it when my kids started sleeping through the night. It is best if you start by the time your baby is between seven to nine months old. This is when they begin to associate that "my actions cause other actions" - like, "if I cry someone will come and get me". The more they have that reinforced, the harder it will be to get them to change their mind.
When I had my first baby I had just finished graduate school in social work and was very fearful of the whole attachement problem and causing my baby to think no one carred because they weren't picking her up. I rushed to her with every serious cry and rocked or nursed her back to sleep till she was 18 months old. That resulted in a child who did not sleep through the night till she was almost 4!
With my second and third child, I let them cry it out (with checking on them every 10 or 20 minutes but never picking them up) by the time they were 7 to 9 months old and within a week I had two sleeping babies! They are now 41/2 and 21 months and they a perfectly happy well adjusted children. But they know bedtime is bedtime and they go to sleep. I have to admit that now if they ever do cry more than 30 minutes I usually go get them out of bed because I figure they are not feeling good or just not tired at all. I just can't take listening to them upset that long without doing something. But don't do that the first few weeks until it is more like 45 min to an hour and only do the first few weeks if they are healthy.
Very important - have a consistant bedtime routine to prepare them for sleep, like Pavlov's dog. That helps a lot. Good luck and sweet dreams.

Susan - posted on 06/21/2010

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Do what you want, but as for my baby, I'd rather hold my baby as long as I can vs. letting her crying. My mom did that with me (35 years ago) and my brothers. We all grew to be healthy, happy independant adults with great credit. My brothers and SIL's all believe the CIO is horrid. Also, we all have had problems with conception and carrying to term so that might be partly why we feel this way. Besides our children are only little once. Hold them close and keep them happy as long as you can - they become tweeners sooner than you think.

Marybeth - posted on 06/21/2010

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I dont know what I did, but my DD has been sleeping through the night since 2 months.

Jennefer - posted on 06/21/2010

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I can attest to the CIO method working and I have been sticking to the straignt CIO method. I tried to go in an comfort him at intervals intially, but decided based upon advice from other experienced mother's, that if this was going to be effective, I better stick to the "straight method". It was exactly like you said, his crying and level of frustration would be intensified as soon as I walked in the room. It's horrible to hear them cry, especially when you have a child that has not been one that cries for much at all. However, I can say that after about a week, his crying has decreased to about 15-20min. after practicing for approximately 2 weeks.
Your information is very thorough and extremely comforting. May I ask where you acquired your information on this topic?

Rosa - posted on 06/21/2010

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DO NOT use the cry it out method....it is proven to not be as good method for your child to cry themselves to sleep......he will sleep thru the night only when HE is ready.....

Andrea - posted on 06/20/2010

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Listen, the reason why it breaks your heart is because you are biologically wired to respond to your baby's cries. The cry it out method was popular before because we didn't know what we know now about infant brain development and attachment. Study after study after study has indicated that it is not in the best interest for an infant to cry themselves to sleep. I know it sucks not having a full night's sleep, but there are other ways to help your baby get a better night's sleep than letting him/her cry and cry and wonder where their mom is. I don't want to seem preachy, but I just feel very strongly that babies need to know that their caregiver is there for them, even at three in the morning. It's what we sign up for when we choose to have babies. The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley is an awesome book. Check it out!

Amy - posted on 06/20/2010

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I dont beleve in the let them cry it out they fall asleep i could never do it at the start id sit with her till she calm down coz i felt so bad to hear her cry so bad, you can try the best one i hurd witch was, put ur baby down walk out, wait a min and go back in let them no ur then and are coming back coz they dont understand, yeh and keep dong it go in show them ur there and walk in and out and keep doing it just so ur bub no's you are coming back,sart of going in every 10 seconds then wait a minute just spread it out so ur not going in every second i no itll be a bit of a pain and its hard but its worth it once they understand your right there, itll take a bit but people did find it calm there baby coz they were waiting for mum to come back in. and then they would fall asleep doing so.

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