Sleeping

Dana - posted on 11/24/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )

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HELP!!!
My son is 13 months old and freaks out on me when I pick him up to rock him to sleep. I havent tryed to just let him cry it out, im afraid to do that. :(
AND he doesnt sleep through the night either...
Any suggestions on either of these?

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Aimee - posted on 11/29/2010

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well I think it is absolutely rude to suggest that I "stop being a mum" because I occasionally let my son cry for a few minutes! Goodness me, I have heard it all now! Never for one minute do I ever stop attending to his needs, what a ridiculous and martyr-ish thing to say lol.
I did ask about feeding through the night etc...
Its simple--- By this age most mums know the different crying thier child makes. You know within a minute or so of listening to your child cry what it is that they are crying for!! Often people do not tune in to this and do not give them-selves a chance to learn the cries and respond accordingly. If they are crying for a feed, then absolutely by all means feed the child! Gosh, youve made it sound like any person who can allow thier child to put themselves back to sleep must just shut off and deny thier child anything between the hours of 7pm-7am! "stop being a mum" or something like that?
By listening to my son I know exactly what it is that he is crying for, yes perhaps once or twice week it may be an extra feed, sometimes it has been teething, or somethimes its just that he has got himself up the wrong way and needs tucking in or something. It is obvious by this age that there really are some times also they are waking up and calling/crying out because they don't know what else to do and don't know how to settle themselves back to sleep! By responding accordingly you help your shild learn how to do this.By going in and rocking them or bouncing them or whatever, you just teach them that when they wake up that thats what they need in order to get back to sleep. They are actually intelligent enough now (and should be self-secure enough too) to learn how to go back to sleep. You should know the difference if your child is crying out for any other reason. And using any type of this method should never last more than about 2weeks at the longest.
My son has slept through the night pretty much from around 6 months, he wakes occasionally for feeds and will drink and go peacefully back to sleep all within 10mins max. Most the time, esp with the talking now, he will wake and call out to us, we don't go get him, we know he is safe and fine, he may get annoyed after 2 mins or so then call out louder, he doesnt get a response and he goes back to sleep. Its never longer than 5 mins these days. We all get amazing beautiful decent quality sleep, my son most importantly. He is hitting all his milestones perfectly, is such a beautiful happy funny little clown of a boy that very rarely cries when going to bed or when in bed. I have taught him that it is a great place to be and there is no reason to be afraid of waking up or being on his own when snuggled up tight in bed. He loves his sleep and cot and we love it too haha
Having a wee one that sleeps well and through the night is AWESOME, I certainly know what works for us and what we would prefer thats for sure!!
People still think that these "crying it out" methods or whatever you wanna call them are the crazy things people used to do back in the dark ages, or even just the 1950's perhaps. It's not like that at all, the modern take is more like an ever adjusting scale haha. People adjust to suit thier families and children. It's more about tuning in to your child but also not hovering over them and becoming a "helicopter mum" already. It's conducive to sowing the seeds of self-security, confidence, independance and self-esteem.
But again, its just what I believe and I wouldnt wanna start a debate or anything......hahahahahahahahaaha
I say whatever works and different strokes for different folks! If some one said they still had to drive thier baby round the block to get them to sleep and they didn't mind then cool, sometimes you just gotta do what ya gotta do! But not this mum :P

Eva-Lotta - posted on 12/04/2010

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Wow what a discussion that caused amongst a few of you. :)
In the very early days when we had our daughter (she is now 13 months) we got in a routine of giving her a feed, change nappy, put pyjamas on, sleeping bag on have a cuddle with both mum and dad, say night night to her paintings of Pooh bear & tigger hanging on her wall and put her down. Initially we had walked around with her trying to settle her but she just cried and one day we thought that we couldn't keep this up she simply did not want to settle so we put her to bed and left the room and she went straight to sleep.
We tried this a few times and it worked - she simply just wanted to be put down so she could go to sleep instead of all our cuddling.
On some occassions she cried when we put her to bed and we learnt to differentiate between her various cries and she learnt to self settle. Everything I have ever been told is that it is healthy to some degree for them to cry (obviously you attend to them if they are distressed etc but that's where it comes down to recognising the varous cries).
Part of our routine was also having the same bedtime every night. By doing this wew had a child who started sleeping from 7.30pm to 7:30am at around 3/4 months of age. The only time that she wakes up during the night is when there has been something wrong (mainly sick or teething).
Since she started sleeping through the night, she was much happier and more active during the day (and so are we because we get a good sleep too)! :)

Dana: Take it in small steps and get him in a good routine that you are both comfortable with.

[deleted account]

He is probably at that stage of experiencing separation anxiety! My son went thru it too and I think is going thru it again. BabyCenter says that the crisis age is 12 to 18 months old. My son was waking up every single night and then would wake up in the morning super grumpy. We did the cry it out method. He woke up crying, I went into his room, talked softly to him and let him know that everything was ok, that I was still there. (I DID NOT pick him up) I laid him back down (he was standing up) and walked out of the room. Of course he was screaming! I let him cry for 10 minutes before I went back in there to let him know that I was still there. I never picked him up I just talked gently to him. Then I walked out again after telling him that I was still there and that everything was ok. He cried for another 15 minutes before falling asleep. The next night he woke up crying again. I went in there and told him he was ok and that I was still there. He only cried for a total of 10 minutes and after that he slept thru the night. It was so hard hearing him scream and cry that first and second night but it was so worth it! He slept all night long for almost 3 months... but like i said I think he is back at the separation anxiety phase. It all depends on what you want to do. It is very hard hearing them scream and cry but after we were all getting sleep, especially my son, it was worth it. He would actually wake up in the mornings and play in the crib instead of waking up crying for me!! If you don't want to do the cry it out method you can establish a routine. With my son, we go upstairs and he gets his bath around 8. Around 8:30 he gets his milk. at 9 pm we brush his teeth. He plays till 930 pm in his playroom and then we put away his toys. We then go into his bedroom where I hold him and read a book. I then lay him in his crib with his bear and I sing a song to him while he is laying in his crib. Then I turn off the lights and say my loves and leave the room. We do it in this order every single night so he knows exactly what is going to happen. Don't give yourself a hard time!! Everyone goes thru this and everyone does it differently. However you do it will be the right way b/c he is your son! =) You will get thru this stage just like we all did. Good Luck and I hope I helped somewhat!!

Lise - posted on 11/28/2010

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I disagree with Aimee... Maybe he doesn't want to get rocked to sleep, or how you hold him is now uncomfortable. Try putting him to sleep in another manner - bounce him on a ball, walk and pat, etc.

As for sleeping through the night, does he wake to eat? play? cuddle? Each would have a different result (in my opinion).

I, personally, do not believe in the CIO method at all. If my daughter is crying, it's for a reason - she's uncomfortable, in pain, hungry, lonely, etc. While Aimee mentioned, "How has a few minutes crying EVER hurt a child in the history of mankind?" I don't understand why being a mommy is supposed to stop when I deem it bedtime. I respond to her needs during the day; why would I stop caring, loving, or responding to her needs at night? (I am not trying to start a debate - this is my opinion only; not saying my way/opinion is correct.) If my daughter wakes to eat, I feed her. If she wakes to play, she's out of luck. I'll let her sit on her floor or in her crib with the lights out and without talking to her. If she cries, I'll comfort her - nurse, rock, bounce, pat - but I won't play with her.

Waking at night could be due to growth spurts, or developmental growth. I liken it to my pregnancy - I could not sttn while pregnant, which was a growth spurt on a much smaller scale than what babies go through.

My daughter started sleeping through the night around 11 months, stopped at 12 months (when she started talking), and then went back to it around 12.5 months. I have found the most luck by going with the flow and realizing that she will sleep through when SHE is ready (not me).

Aimee - posted on 11/25/2010

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he is freaking out because he has learnt to anticipate what is going to happen next! That is......he loooooooves the rocking and closeness of you but has learnt that it is followed by being put to bed alone. You can kinda understand that feeling huh? Imagine being him.....one minute you are all cosy and snuggly and being rocked and held......all the while knowing that it is going to end any second now......then it does end and you are put to bed alone. So what do you do? You cry and scream and then get picked up and held and rocked and on and on it goes!

"Crying it out" is so controversial to so many people, but I just don't get why. Some people rave about the damage it can do to children but really? How has a few minutes crying EVER hurt a child in the history of mankind? hahahaha

Because you have left it for so long i imagine the habits both you and your son have will be very strong by this stage. Strong but NOT irreversible! There is always hope and where there is a will there is a way! You CAN do this, it will take some time and some extreme strength and consistency but the rewards will be amazing, trust me!

You need to start teaching him how to settle himself to sleep and also how to self soothe if he wakes up during the night. Because he is over a year already you will need to start this very very slowly! On the first night you will reduce the time you are rocking him, try putting him to bed when he is drowsy but catch him before he is actually asleep. Do all of your rocking and holding etc with no conversation above saying whatever it is you say for bed time (ours is "na-nyes time" lol). Place him down to sleep and remember to try your very best to be ultra calm and very quiet, move slowly and gently to re-assure him. He will cry of course but this is only night one! Leave the room and time keep for perhaps 1-2 mins. Longer is better if you are comfortable with that but just start slowly so you don't stress your self out too much also. Re-enter the room quietly and slowly, lie him back down, tuck him back in and say your goodnight phrase with a few settling pats on the back or strokes of his head. Exit the room and time keep again but adding 1-2 mins on to the time, then re-enter and go through the same above motions. When you have done this no more than 2-3 times then when you re-enter you just lie him back down, tuck him in and leave the room. No talking or patting, stroking etc. Every time you re-enter after this, make sure you are refraining from talking and touching (apart from lying him down and tucking him in). You can increase this time up to 20mins if you have the strength to do so. In saying this though I have never let my son cry longer than around ten mins and that has not been that often. I got results quickly by just being super super consistent, very calm (sooo hard at times!) and never giving in! As the nights go on, try increasing the time a little more before re-entering, give him a chance to calm himself down and start learning that yes, this is bed time and it's not so bad after all.

This will possibly feel like the longest night of your life but you really have to start somewhere and once you start you CANNOT stop otherwise it will become even harder to break this habit all over again.He will cry and scream and you will probably cry too, but its okay! Don't lose heart, stick to your guns. Eventually he will fall asleep (if you are lucky) and you have won the first battle. Then it will be the waking during the night to deal with!

When he wakes during the night, let him cry/call out for 1-2 mins then do the E.L.T.E (enter, lie, tuck, exit), at any time during the night it is important to try your hardest to not pick him up and certainly no talking!!

This may take up to 2 weeks or so for him (and you) to get the hang of this but he will get it and become a happier and more secure child when it comes to bed time. And it is something you can always go back to doing to re-establish at anytime things have got hard again, like after illness or teething etc. I have a friend that has a 5 year old who still does what your son is doing and neither of them have slept through the night in 5 years! And they both dread bed time so much that it effects thier whole household! I'm sure you don't want that for your family!

Does your son still feed at all during the night? If he does, this will make it a wee bit harder, but NOT impossible at all. You'll just need to adjust a few things, thats all. What is your pre-bed routine? You might be able to adjust a few things there too to help things go a little smoother. If you have any questions or anything please do ask, some people may not aggree with this approach but it realllllllllly does work. It just takes consistency and tip-top strength!! You owe it to him to teach him some independance and self-security.

I really wish you the best and hope you will get through this and enjoy having some quality sleep again. Keep in touch :)

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26 Comments

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Gretchen - posted on 12/08/2010

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wow. Looks like there are lots of lengthy responses so I will try to keep mine short. My son doesn't like to be rocked but danced in my arms. He also likes to be laid down and patted or rubbed on the back. I just hang out until I see he is calming down to sleep and then I go on out of the room. It hasn't always been this way so, just adapt to their needs, my son's are ever changing.

Chelsey - posted on 12/07/2010

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Hi Dana!

My son is 14 months old, and has been sleeping through the night since about 8 and a half months. I think it first started when we moved his crib from our room to his own room. We keep a routine for him, and have supper, play, bath, bedtime snack (oatmeal or something), then a bottle, and story sometimes, and bed. I always make sure I snuggle with him before I put him to bed, and then I find he is quite groggy when he goes to bed and just falls asleep after a little bit of talking or fussing. Lately though, my husband will try and put him to bed, and as soon as he picks him up he screams and cries too. (because, like someone said, he knows what is coming next). SO, I started taking him, his bottle and a book in his room, changing his diaper, then reading, rocking and feeding him, and then putting him to bed. I always have anoise maker in his room, as well as a CD of lullaby songs which he loves. I believe that routine, and consistency will help you a lot. If he is waking in the night... is he wanting to eat? if so, try a bed time snack and then just go into his room, pick him up, sing to him, or pat his back. If he is just getting up to socialize, do the same as above, but like another lady said, don't play with him, and don't turn on lights at all in his room when you go in. Try to keep eeverything as neutral as possible. Sometimes, Gavin will wake in the night, and its just because he has moved to the top or bottom of his crib and his head is rubbing against it.. or sometimes, he just wants tofall asleep in Mommy's arms again, and the other night, I believe he had a nightmare (SO sad). Regardless... do what works for YOU, and maybe even take bits and pieces of everyone's advice and try it!
As for the bottle thing at bed.. Personally (not saying its wrong), but FOR ME, again, I didnt ever want to get into that because I didnt want to have to wean him of that eventually and then start from scratch potentially. Its the same reason I never gave him a soother, and thankfully, he's never needed one.

Anyays, hope it helps! Good luck and keep us posted! :)

Amanda - posted on 12/06/2010

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Dana, after reading some of the responses...im sure it hasnt been much help.... My son started doing this around 9 months....he is 13.5 mos now... i had been in the habbit of rocking him everytime he woke up...( two or three times a night...and before bedtime...even if he didnt want the bottle...)...and he wasnt sleeping hardly at all, so i talked to his Pediatrician, and she told me to ( at the time) give him a bottle and lay him down....he screamed for a couple hours for the first two times...and gradually he stopped crying all together. I do agree with not giving the bottle in the crib.....knowing from experience...yes....it is horrible for thier teeth & gums....and once you start it...it is REALLY hard to break the habbit....i have found it immpossible to break him from the bottle and transition to a cup...although he only takes the bottle at night or naptime. The best advice i could give you is.....give him a full bottle before you lay him down...( my doc also suggested that), make sure he has a clean diaper...and make it a routine. My little one knows his routine....bathtime....storytime....bedtime. Music also helps, my son went from waking up every two hours to sleeping from 730p to 730a.....and he takes two naps still. Ive noticed if he gets overtired...he hAS a hard time sleeping. Also i give my son a snack before bed....hope this helps.....good luck!

Nicky - posted on 12/06/2010

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Don't use associations like rocking, because he won't learn how to get back to sleep on his own if he wakes up in the night and therefor cries and has to wake you up.
You need a firm routine before bed, and keep to it. You may need to use the controlled crying technique but it should just take aprox a week before he sleeps without the crying. Just going on experience with 2.

Erin - posted on 12/05/2010

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I am so sorry Dana for responding to the other person... I just don't like people saying that My advice was wrong... because my advice came from a friend of mine who has 3 children and she has found what works for her children and I try and apply it to my son... Because i to am a first time mum and everyday is learning time for us new mums... She told me to put baby to bed awake with bottle of milk.. Even though milk has sugar.. we can brush there teeth in morning and after dinner...I have found that if you put baby down after you rock him to sleep and wake up... it dose frighten them.. Your son my cry at first.. but keep trying...Once again I did not mean to upset you... I hope all will be forgiven...

[deleted account]

THE NEGATIVITY IS OUT OF CONTROL!!! SHUT YOUR YAPS! Poor Dana just wanted a little advice, not to join your cult!

Erin - posted on 12/05/2010

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I know what I am doing... Will brush his teeth In morning and after his bath... I am his mother... and its not as bad as you say... I didn't not ask for advice from you... Ok... My friend who has 4 children all got good teeth and all had milk when they go to bed.. She told me its ok.... Now having coke or other drinks like that is not good...

[deleted account]

Just another word of caution regarding bottles of milk in the crib. It has been associated with ear problems and anemia as well.



1. If milk drips into the ears it can cause ear infections. This happened to a friend's baby and he needed to get tubes in his ears.



2. Also OLDER babies who drink milk from a bottle at naptime and bedtime often (not always of course!) get too much milk which has been associated with anemia (Iron deficiency). For this reason my doctor told me not to give milk in bottles anymore. He said we can give milk at bedtime but suggested a sippy cup instead.



See quote below:



"One of the major causes of iron deficiency anemia in older babies is drinking too much milk. Make sure that your baby is not drinking more than 24 ounces of milk a day. Milk in large quantities can block the absorption of iron and also cause bleeding in the stomach lining, leading to iron loss. Milk is a healthy and important part of your older baby’s diet, but it is possible to drink too much and do damage to your baby’s body, so keep on eye on baby’s intake."



Quote from http://www.babyfoodchart.com/tag/iron-de...

Lise - posted on 12/05/2010

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The most important time to brush their teeth, though, is before bed. Otherwise the milk sits in their mouth all night damaging the teeth. My neighbor growing up had metal teeth due to bottle rot.

"Baby bottle tooth decay, or baby dental caries, is a result of mothers putting babies to bed with a bottle (or no-spill cup) full of sugary milk, juices or sodas. The prolonged contact of milk or juice leaves a sticky film on the baby’s teeth all night long."

http://sandrarose.com/2010/04/medical-mi...

Erin - posted on 12/04/2010

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Yes I know... thats why you brush there teeth... My Plunket nurse said its ok.. and if its the only way to get them to sleep then why not... I only give it to him when he goes to bed.. he drinks water during the day...Its what ever works.. its just like us we have to take care of our oral hygiene so to with our children... Brush them regularly will help.

[deleted account]

Erin, I just want to let you know that milk has a lot of sugar in it and it can be bad for their teeth if they go to bed with a bottle. =) Dentists bills are so expensive so just be aware of this.

Erin - posted on 12/04/2010

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Put him to bed with a milk in bottle and let him fall asleep on his own... My 13 month old dose that and he is fine... He dose like to protest sometimes... especially when he is tired... So I let him just cry himself to sleep...

Sally - posted on 12/03/2010

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Maybe he's not tired?
Maybe he'd prefer a different bedtime routine?
Maybe he'd rather not stop what he's doing and do what you want?
Maybe he's figured out that life goes on after he goes to bed and doesn't want to miss anything?
It's hard to fix a tantrum if you don't know what's causing it. :)
If a certain bed time is important to you, try warning him that things will change a few minutes before you scoop him up. If you were doing your thing and someone grabbed you up and said 'time for bed' with no warning, you'd be pretty pissed too. Maybe even have a getting ready for getting ready for bed routine. Pick up the toys, pick out a story, choose a lullabye; whatever works for you. If you don't need a set bed time, try waiting until he acts tired to start.
Just for fun the AAP defines 'sleeping through the night' as midnight to 5 am so it's possible that he is doing it and you just didn't realize it. :)
Do you know why he's waking up? You can't fix that problem either until you know what it is.
I wouldn't do CIO either. The reason a baby's cry makes a mommy twitch is because babies only cry when they need something. No matter how many times we're told that babies don't really need us--our homones can't be lied to. Us not understanding their needs don't magically make the need not real. Also, studies have shown that letting babies cry themselves to sleep trains there brains to believe that levels of stress homones that are dangerous for adults are perfectly normal for them. Considering those hormones are currently being blamed for all sorts of health problems when adults have them, why give your baby that boost.
Every person needs a different amount of sleep on a different schedule. Our society likes to see a majority of people sleeping the same way at the same time, but if you can make it fit your life, he'll sleep better and healthier on his time than on yours.
Good luck

Ally - posted on 12/01/2010

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Hi Dana

Just some advice from me! My son is 14 months old today and he has only just started sleeping through - by that I mean 730 - 5am. I can't put him down without some form of patting or rocking - ended up getting a rocking chair as he was getting too heavy! I tried all different forms of the CIO and none worked for him - he ended up physically sick so I gave up on that. Every child ( and parent) are individuals and it is your own choice how and what to do and no judgement on anyone else's opinions as they are doing what works for them in their home. I found as my little man loves movement to go to sleep that works for me however that being said I found having a structured bedtime routine worked best. Cooper has his dinner, then a bath and story. After that he has his milk feed. After this I sing him 2 songs whilst rocking him on my lap in the rocking chair and then lie him in his bed and pat him till he has eyes closed and is nicelynrelaxed (usually about 10 pats) but sometimes a little longer. This does not change no matter where we are or what time it is. I found after doing this for just over a week he was happy to lie in his bed and go to sleep and started sleeping through. Whatever the routine you want to do, if you make it identical every night you can teach him how lovely bedtime can be and you will enjoy it more too :) hope this helps a little :)

[deleted account]

That is too bad your friend, acquaintance, whatever let their child cry in the morning like that. I think we clearly have different VERY different ideas of what CIO is all about. If you read Dr. Marc Weissbluth's book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" it states VERY clearly that if a child wakes 5:00 AM and is well rested (there is a quote with that exact time of day!!!!) that you should get the baby. He also states that if a baby wakes in the middle of the night and is hungry, teething, or sick you should not let the baby cry. Perhaps I have taken for granted that no mother I know would let their baby cry through any of those circumstances. For the record I used CIO to help my babies fall asleep on their own only, and honestly have never actually let them cry in the middle of night (but they wake up so rarely that it isn't a big deal to get up with them).



Oh and Dana if you are following this side conversation I hope everything works out for you!!

Lise - posted on 11/30/2010

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I never used the term selfish b/c it is judgmental - I said they did solely for themselves, as in they told me, "He can cry; I'm just sick of having to get up at 5." That is for them, not him, no judgment placed.

My degree is in psychology with grad school being in Applied Behavior Analysis.

[deleted account]

Lise,



Sorry if I sounded a bit reactionary. I guess I felted like I was being unfairly judged. I love my children more than anything and everything I do is for them.



I am glad to hear your baby sleeps well without needing any type of intervention, but not all babies can. And for the record no one said you need to do the CIO method in order to have your baby sleep properly. I am not sure where that came from. In fact my advice is always to not even attempt this method unless you truly understand its benefits and can stick with it.



You are certainly correct that some parents probably do resort to CIO methods for what you would call "selfish" reasons (a bit judgemental don't you think?) however these moms are likely better moms for it. With only one child it is easy to respond to every peep they make but throw 2, 3, 4 or more into the mix and it is exhausting. So even if the decision to try CIO is made out of sheer desperation due to lack of sleep I don't think it is right to judge. Of course if someone's baby sleeps well naturally, there is only has one child involved, and her husband or mom is involved and helpful, I would not expect that person to understand... but sheer exhaustion effects every aspect of ones life including the type of parent you can be. I think a couple nights of crying compared to potentially years of exhaustion and not being the best mom you can be is worth the trade-off.



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Never judge unless you have walked in someone else's shoes.

Lise - posted on 11/30/2010

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Everyone took my post as a personal attack on their own parenting, which I stated was not the case. For ME, CIO would mean stop being a parent at night. For ME, my daughter cries for a reason. Crying is a method of communication, and for the smallest babies, it's their ONLY method of communication. At night (or during the day), I hear my daughter's lonely/scared/bad dream cry, hunger cries, and uncomfortable cries. Those are it. I hear her growl out of frustration when she doesn't get her way during the day, but never hear that at night. Maybe because I respond within a few minutes?

If you do the CIO method and it works for YOU, GREAT. I am not, nor was I ever, trying to say that it makes you a bad parent. It would not work for ME.

BUT, that being said, you don't NEED to do the CIO method in order to have your baby sleep. My daughter has napped well since three months and has not awakened at night (more than stirring to nurse, without waking) since she was 4 months old. She sleeps 10-13 hours and has for a very long time. Teething threw it off, of course, as did being sick. But she will do just as well in school as any CIO baby, and I think it's a disservice to moms to insinuate that the only way to have your baby sleep well is CIO.

I work as a behaviorist, and that colors my opinion on the subject for sure. Babies are verbal from birth - that's what crying is, it's what screaming is, etc. Because I work with kids who lack communication skills or the interest in interacting with others, I'm a little more nervous about ignoring my daughter's attempts to communicate. That being said, for US (again, not for everyone, but in my family), she does not cry unless she has a purpose. I also look at it emotionally - if my husband stopped helping me with the baby because it was night and he needed his sleep, that would break my heart.

Some of the parents I know who did CIO honestly did it solely for themselves - not because their children couldn't sleep, but because THEY were tired and sick of getting up so they literally ignored their children for hours while they screamed. That is heartbreaking to me. I don't understand that. I realize that the people posting here were not coming from that perspective, but I always at least want to offer the other side of the story.

http://womanuncensored.blogspot.com/2009...

[deleted account]

Helping my children learn how to sleep on their own has made me a BETTER mom. Clinical research conducted by the founder of the original "Sleep Disorders Centre at the Children's Memorial Hospital" has found DIRECT connections with sleep habits and how children do in school. The sleeping brain is not a resting brain. The growing brain NEEDS adequate sleep for developing the ability to concentrate and produces an easier temperament. In other words sleep keeps the brain alert and calm.This research also shows that children do not simply outgrow these problems on their own. Interventions are often necessary. Furthermore if your toddler is not sleeping though the night by 18 months there is a significant chance sleep problems will follow the child into their school years.



When I used the CIO method I did NOT "quit being a mom from 7:00 PM- 7:00 AM as a previous post suggested. The method of CIO I used was not simply about putting my babies to bed and letting them cry. Perhaps the most important part of CIO is getting to know your baby's evolving natural sleep rhythms and to synchronize their soothing-to-sleep behaviour at the right time. If this is done there is minimal crying and in many cases no crying! This includes proper naps during the day (length and timing of are both important) and an early bedtime. This also includes knowing the optimum period of wakefulness (preventing snoozing- if they nap properly they should not need to have little snoozes) and being able to predict when your baby's natural need for daytime naps will change. Knowing when my babies natural need for three naps a day changed to two a has made bedtime run more smoothly. Those who don't adhere a reasonable daytime schedule for their kids will of course have problems at bedtime because they will be overtired. These babies should not be left to CIO.



I think it is very unfortunate that mom's who help their children learn to sleep on their own are criticized. Especially when we all want the same thing... what is best for our children. I don't judge parents who respond to every noise their baby makes day and night. I do however feel sorry for them because they don't know how happy their baby could be if they took the time to teach him/her to sleep on their own.



Before I even considered CIO I became educated. I read books by supporters and non-supporters of CIO methods. In the end CIO was what was best for my family. It was not a selfish act. It was an act of love.

[deleted account]

I don't agree that a toddler only cries when they are in pain or need something. My girls are 13 months and often scream when they simply can't get their own way (i.e. fighting over a toy). Toddlers are at the age where they understand a lot more than we will ever know or understand. I have 13 month twins and I used a version of the CIO method with them when they were younger. It was the hardest but also the best thing I could have ever done for myself and my babies. For one daughter it took only three days the other it was just over 1 week. They learned to self sooth and can now fall asleep on their own without me rocking them to sleep (although I do rock each of them nearly every night... but its on my own terms and I can leave guilt free if need be). They are now both excellent sleepers (except when teething) and are better off for it. There are MANY days when I am awake before both of my girls!!



Of course you will have to decide whether it is really worth it to even try CIO. If you won't be able to stick with it I wouldn't even try and it sounds like you think you might have a hard time with it. I certainly did. For me it was the pay off that helped me stick with it. Plus with twins I really needed them to sleep through the night for my own sanity.



Sorry I have no other advice to offer. Just want you to know you are not a bad mom for letting your toddler cry. Most of my friends let their babies CIO and they are all happy well adjusted children.



Just a final word of caution... if he isn't sleeping through the night yet you just might be in for another year of sleepless nights. And once he is in a bed and can get out it in his own it could get worse. My sister-in-law ended up sleeping with her kids until they were 5 years old. You will have to decide what is best for you and your family though. I know a lot of moms who never used the CIO technique until their second child then regretted not doing it with their first. But that is your call.



Good luck.

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