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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Martine - posted on 06/20/2010

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this is my first night putting hin to sleep in his crib. it is hard because I am not sure if I am doing it right.

Amber - posted on 06/19/2010

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I have a 7 month old daughter and I am also apart of a MCH Program within our community. MCH stands for Maternal Child Health. I have learned that infants shouldnt be left for more than 10 minutes crying. This is because one of the first things in life that an infant is learning is trust and secure. My Home Visitor stated that yah you can allow your child to cry up to 10 minutes but after that the child will just feel as if they are being neglected, that they cant trust that person to be there when needed, and also they will not feel secure and they may also develop seperation anxiety.

My daughter is actually teething right now so she is up at all hours of the night but I find that if I just cuddle her and rock her she falls alseep. Whatever you do dont allow your baby to sleep with you. Yah sure it alows for bonding and cuddling time but afterwars you may not be able to put her to sleep in her crib, we had a hard time getting her back nto the crib


.....I dont know if this helped :/, as I had jabbered on about other things but I hope everything works out for you for whatever choice you choose

Nikki - posted on 06/19/2010

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I know I tried this a little while back after my HV suggested we try, and I couldn't do it its just too distressing for my daughter and myself. It doesn't help that I am still breastfeeding my daughter and it just seems easier for me to feed her until she falls asleep, then I can transfer her to her cot.

I would like to try and get her into a better bedtime routine but so far it hasn't worked.

I think you have to trust your instincts with these things and I personally don't feel its right for us.

Jamey - posted on 06/19/2010

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might i also say that if this goes on for over an hour, then just let it go and try again another night.

Jamey - posted on 06/19/2010

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okie dokie, i can't listen to my baby cry either. but i have been letting him cry himself to sleep for 2 1/2 weeks, he's still putting up a litte fight, he whines for maybe 5 minutes or less before he falls asleep, which is better than the 45-60 minute screaming he did in the first week. so i just have to go outside or go inot a room where i cant hear him, and just check on him every once in a while, dont let him see you or you'll have to start all over. it's not going to hurt him any, just you. good luck

[deleted account]

I started when my daughter was about 6 mothes, she is in a routine to go to sleep by herself now (8 monthes), during the day she goes to sleep without a bottle and with a bottle at night time.
I dont let her cry til she is in a real screamy stage i will go cuddle her try put her back down if she is still upset i will take her out for a while and try again. Dont make it an upsetting time for him/her. Try reading a book or singing songs, or even playing music when bub is trying to go to sleep. Playing a cd is a really good routine for baby as he/she will know that it is time to go to sleep when the music is on. Good luck!

Shandi - posted on 06/18/2010

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my son is 11 months old and is not sleeping through the night and needs to eat twice during the nigh t because he isn't eating solid foods yet. I tried the cry it out method and after one night of trying it he is scared to be put in his crib. he wont sleep now, unless in bed with us and if he does fall asleep and let me put him in the crib he wakes up shaking and crying and scared. People keep telling me i need to let him keep crying for more days but im getting frusterated because it obiously doesn't work for us and i think it's terribly cruel. Maybe it works for the babies that whine for 20 minutes and then go to sleep but not for a baby that almost hyperventilates!

Lyndsay - posted on 06/18/2010

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I did it and it absolutely broke my heart too. I never let her cry for more than 20 minutes, but it still worked! It only took about 4 times before she learned to soothe herself. I had always said I could never do the CIO method, but eventually, my lack of sleep overwhelmed my high-and-mightiness! Its tough, but, this too shall pass! Best of luck!

Chivana - posted on 06/18/2010

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I agree as well! hear my babies cry breaks my heart and i always to calm down and comfort them...

Momof1 - posted on 06/18/2010

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I will occasionally let my son CIO when I know he is tired, but I never let him go more then 10 minutes. If he isn't asleep by then, then I go get him. Over night, (he usually wakes up 1 or 2 times) I may let him go for 5 minutes, but then I will go in and feed him. His ped. says that I should just let him go, so he learns how to fall asleep on his own, but my son does fall asleep on his own.

[deleted account]

I dont think u should let them cry it out if u feel this way cause it will put stress on u n your baby. This may work for some parents but I personally couldn't do it either especially when they were real young n under 8 months old. I did let them put themsleves to sleep when I saw they were ready n more understandong and it worked like a charm. With my youngest who is now 18 months old, he was ready at the age of 10 months. I would take him to his cot let him know it was his bed time, followed by a kiss goodnight. Then I would place him in his cot give him his favourited teddy to hug ( Winnie the pooh), stick his dummy in his mouth then walked out his room. It worked wonderfully without him feeling any anxiety or crying, I did try when he was younger but he wasn't ready, so i waited till he was more understanding. He has put himself to bed ever since with this same routine:)
Good luck

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....

Cassie - posted on 06/18/2010

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If you dont like It then dont do It! My little girl Is 7 weeks an Im BFing and she only wakes twice threw the night and I have her sleep in my bed. do what you think Is right Its your baby and there Is NO wrong way! Hope this helps.

Kristina - posted on 06/17/2010

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I felt the same way you did about just laying my baby girl in bed and letting her cry it out. Her Dr. said to do it, put her in the bed and let her just cry. She told me that normally it only takes them 3 days to get used to it and it bother you more than it does them. I tried it... it worked!! She cried and cried the first night and then the second night she cried for a while and then finally went to sleep, the third night she cried for like 30 mins and then went to sleep. The thing about it is this... when they start crying, don't go in the room, it's like teasing them. I really worked for me.She sleeps in her bed every night and during the day for her naps. Sometimes she still crys, but eventually they get the idea of this is where I have to sleep. Trust me.. I didn't want to do it either, but it will work and its better for them and you.



It IS going to be hard to lay there and listen to them cry.. but it doesn't last long and it's worth it. I let my son sleep in the bed with my ever since he was a baby and didn't get him out until he was 7! So now is the time to start. Good luck!

Stephanie - posted on 06/17/2010

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The first night I let my son CIO he cried for 30min and I did, too. Now, he goes to sleep with little to no fight and sometimes puts himself to sleep!! It's hard, but for me, it was soooo worth it.

Renae - posted on 06/17/2010

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Hi Eileen, I posted earlier and have checked back on this conversation and I notice you haven't commented on how many times your baby wakes at night. So I just wanted to add that if your baby is not waking abnormally frequently, you should know that 75% of babies sleep through the night by 6 months old regardless of anything the parents do or do not do or how the baby is put to sleep - its nature. It's only the other 25% that sometimes need a little help to learn to sleep.

Julia - posted on 06/17/2010

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I tried this with my daughter, but only lasted for 2 min. Just could not sit and listen to her cry. She is 6 months old now. We are co-sleeping. I am making a point to take her to bed at the same time every night and give her a bottle. She usually falls asleep in 5 to 10 min. If after finishing her bottle she is still awake I sing to her and rock her. Again only a few min and she doses off. I think you need to do what works for you and your baby.

Sarah - posted on 06/17/2010

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I tried a few nights just to see how long he would cry for, I could only last 10 minutes. (he's 9 months old now, I think i tried that around 7 months) I dont recommend it, its just too much on them

Elizabeth - posted on 06/17/2010

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Agree with all the above. What works for someone else may not work for you anyway, so try to keep an open mind instead of having your heart set on one idea. Each baby is an individual...good luck getting your little one to sleep.

[deleted account]

There are other ways to get him to sleep so you don't have to let him cry it out. We let my son cry it out at 6months to get him on a set bedtime and also for him to not play in the middle of the night. We also ocassionally use it if he is really tired but refusing to take a nap

Amanda - posted on 06/17/2010

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I did this with both my children. My first at 7 months and my second at 5 months. My first child took 3 days and my second only took two days. They are now 4 and 2. I am very happy that I did do this because I have LOTS of parents tell me that that they still have their 3 or their 2 year old get up at night. Or that their child doesn't go to bed until they parent is going to bed. I have never had an issue with my children getting up in the middle of the night unless there was something wrong like if they were sick. I recommend this method it worked for me and my children are very happy toddlers:)

Tiffany - posted on 06/16/2010

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i personally will never do the cio method it just doesnt sit right with me also i co-sleep i take a more natural appoarch to the sleeping thing and its working so far for me

Emily - posted on 06/16/2010

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You don't *have* to do CIO. Especially if it's heartbreaking for you (which is natural!). Listen to your gut. All babies will eventually fall into more stable sleep patterns when THEY are ready, without having to do cry-it-out.

Monica - posted on 06/16/2010

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We finally did CIO with my son at about 9.5-10 months. From about 4 months, we had tried every single no-cry method out there. Nothing worked with our overly-social, high-energy little boy. He was still waking up at least 4 times per night at the time, and would occassionally stay awake for 2 hours while I was pulling my hair out from frustration!! Our whole family was incredibly sleep-deprived.

Finally, I gave in to DH's pleas for trying CIO. I felt like a horrible mother the whole time, and a total failure at caring for my baby. For the first few nights, he woke up and cried for about an hour. After an hour, I went in and held him, and he was so exhausted from all the crying that he fell right asleep and stayed asleep until morning. After a few nights, he would fall asleep on his own after crying for an hour (and I would cry with him and fall asleep after he was finally quiet). After a few nights of that, he finally started crying less and less. I want to say the whole process took about 7-10 days.

Now, at almost 12 months, my son falls asleep almost instantly and sleeps 10-12 hours straight! He's been teething a lot lately, and on those nights I respond immediately and do whatever I can to help him sleep. If his gums aren't bothering him, he falls right back into his routine of sleeping all night.

Good luck! It's heart-wrenching, I know. Try to focus on how much happier your whole family will be next week, when everyone is getting enough sleep.

Marissa - posted on 06/16/2010

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Please don't use this method if your baby is under 6 months, but some don't even recommend it until 9 months and up. It breaks my heart to hear when parents leave their child to cry for hours on end, especially at a young age. Our babies are brand new into this world and are just establishing the ability to trust. Studies have also shown that prolonged periods of crying in an infant can lead to extreme psychological damage. Sure after 2 hours of crying the baby will eventually go to sleep, but that's probably because either it's given up hope that you are ever going to come in and comfort them or it's passed out from pure exhaustion.
I was never an advocate of the extreme CIO method. I however got to the point where I felt I had no other choice but to let my son cry it out a bit. I felt I had exhausted every other option. From rocking, to nursing, to staying by the crib until he fell asleep, to bedtime routines, and more. He refused to go to sleep on his own and I was tired of spending 2 hours of my night trying to put him to sleep. So one day I fed him, cuddled him a bit, put him in his crib and said I love you and left the room. He cried for maybe 5 minutes then I went back in and laid him back down, gave him his soother and left and he cried for maybe a couple minutes and then was asleep. Now unless he's teething he always goes down without a peep. Not everyone is that lucky. But in my opinion, if your baby is crying for longer than 10-15 minutes they aren't ready. Do what you have to do to get them to sleep and try it again another time.
Good luck!

[deleted account]

Hi I started using a strict bed time routine at 6 weeks, this involved having a bath, a baby massage, then bedtime bottle followed by lullaby and a story, then place baby in cot (we tried to put him down awake but sometimes he fell asleep on the bottle).

We started CIO about 3 weeks later as he had settled into his bedtime routine but we were having difficulty getting him to sleep - he didn't want to be fussed but also cried when in his moses basket. At first we gave him 5 mins crying and then went back in and soothed him when he stopped crying we placed him back into his moses basket and started the process again. On the first 2 days it took 45 mins for him to go to sleep, on day 3 it took 30 mins, day 4 20, day 5 5 mins, then for about a month after he cried for 5 mins before going to sleep. After 1 month of CIO we increased the time limit to 10 mins and then when he was 4 1/2 months we set the time to 30 mins.

Our son is now 8 months and goes to sleep pretty much straight away - as he has done since he was 4 months old - it's very rare we have to go to him now (and he has been sleeping through the night since he was 3 months). It was really horrible at some points listening to his cries but we can tell the difference in his cries and when he is in pain or scared (or distressed) we go to him straight away.

We swear by this method and for all those people who claim it damages your child they are wrong - leaving a child crying for a few minutes is not the same as leaving a child crying for hours and hours (which is abuse in my mind). My son is very advanced and forward in everything he does, he is happy and contented and spends loads of time with mummy and daddy but also has the independance to go off and explore new environments and loves meeting new people.

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

Jennifer - posted on 06/15/2010

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we started when my son was 4 months.

i think the most important part was that we already had a bedtime ritual in place and i would never suggest CIO without having a bedtime ritual firmly established.

also, never use the CIO if there is any possiblity that baby is hungry, wet, teething, sick, or otherwise uncomfortable.

the first night he cried for 30 minutes, the second night he cried for 20, the third night he cried for about 5 minutes. he is 7months old now and 90% of the time (when he is not actively teething or sick) he falls asleep with any fussing at all. the other 10 % of the time he will cry or fuss for usually no more than 5 minutes. when he is teething i rock him to sleep because he's uncomfortable and needs the extra TLC. i also still rock him to sleep for him naps because it works for us, and we love that time together.

CIO worked well for us, thankfully, because at the time i didn't know about other methods. i didn't have a computer or access to many resources, as i don't drive, and my aunt who has a million kids lead me to believe that CIO was the only way to go. what works for one will not work for all so definitely look into your other options.

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.

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.

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.

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