Cry it out

Kat - posted on 05/04/2010 ( 64 moms have responded )

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EDIT: Please note, since originally posting, a few mum's have educated us about the mechanics of the proper method of "cry-it-out". I am grateful to them,and I am all too willing to admit that I had the wrong idea about the proper method.



Let me just say, that method is not what I intended to discuss. I am talking about leaving babies at literally weeks old to sceam and cry for hours on end, in the hope that the baby will learn to "self-soothe".



Sooo... back to posting....



at the risk of being flamed, why do people assume that there is only one way of getting your baby to sleep? There a WAAAYYYY better and gentler ways of teching your baby to sleep through the night than just leaving them to cry.



this video explains the effects of leaving your baby to cry by themselves.



http://www.wycombecounselling.com/sites/...



As someone else suggested, maybe try lessening the formula and upping the solids?



When your baby wakes up, just offer water and a cuddle, then they may get the idea that its not time to eat. Yes, babies should be able to go for 10-12 hours without eating, but that doesn't mean they need to go 10-12 hours without human contact.



If you leave your baby to cry, yes they will get the idea to not get up, yes they may learn to not cry, maybe even sleep through, but at what cost? They will learn through abandonment. Are your children high enough on your priority list that you would ensure their mental and emotional health is not harmed? Of course they are.

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Elizabeth - posted on 05/05/2010

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I think the biggest problem with the "healthy debate" is defining "cry it out." I would be labeled as a cry it out parent because we listen to HOW she is crying to determine if she needs us. When I lay my daughter down to sleep she always immediately whimpers a protest. Usually, before I even get to the bottom of the stairs, she is quiet. If we hear her crying, we give her a minute or two to see if she is just fussing. My daughter ofcourse wants us all the time, she cries if we leave the room. My husband and I do not ascribe to the give her everything she wants when she wants it. She may want to be rocked to sleep every night, but I am not okay with that because she does need to learn to fall asleep on her own. In my experience, it is easier to start good sleeping habits now rather than waiting until she's older and more likely to impose her own will. I will not have a 2 year old that takes 4 hours to put to bed.

Both my husband and I can immediately tell when she is screaming, not crying, she will not settle herself, and then we go up and calm her and rock her a bit. We also can tell when we put her down, if she immediately stands right backup, she isn't ready for bed, so we increase the cues that it's sleepy time (lower the lights in the living room, put away all of her toys) and usually within 15 minutes she IS ready for bed. Then, when we put her down, she grabs her blanket and snuggles right to sleep.

But we are the adults, and we are aware of what's going on. There are nights when my daughter has been rocked, fed, diapered, and we also troubleshooted for teething pain and she still doesn't want to go to bed. That's when it's tough luck and she gets to cry for 5-10 minutes before we will try rocking again. She KNOWS she is loved, being loved has nothing to do with it. But she has a personality, and wants things HER way. Sorry, but bedtime is bedtime, if it's 30 minutes past her regular bedtime we aren't entertaining her whims to come downstairs and keep playing. Yes, she is mad, yes she is crying, but it's not because there is anything wrong. And I can't give into her anyway, by allowing her to stay up longer, she just wakes up more during the night, she doesn't get a restful sleep, I don't get a restful sleep, and our next day together is terrible!

So I think this attitude of letting your child cry for any prolonged period is criminal or bad parenting is silly. Our kids are going to have times when they don't like our rules, when they don't want to do what it is needed. It is our job as parents to provide consistency, and structure so they can flourish.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/05/2010

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Kris- I don't think of my daughter as an object put away, when she wakes up in the middle of the night, I go to her. She gets a bottle and a diaper change (she has to be changed in the middle of the night or by morning her pajamas are soaked). She still gets a feeding because she isn't ready to give it up yet (I've tried bringing it down, she's just not ready). Parents who let their child cry are not ogres. As far as sleeping with someone, that's not logical. Not every parent has someone to sleep with, although I do have a spouse, he is military and when he is gone I do sleep on my own. And the 4 years before I was married and on my own, I slept alone.

There is a big difference between meeting your child's NEEDS and their WANTS. My 10 month old has wants, she wants to play with the fireplace, she wants to play with my phone and computer, but I don't let her. When she wants to stray from bedtime, we don't let her. Her bedtime is 8-8:30 PM, with our first attempt at 8 PM. Sometimes she's ready to go to bed at 8, sometimes it's closer to 8:30PM. On nights when she didn't nap well, or it was an exciting day, she doesn't want to go to bed. I can't do anything for her, even rocking doesn't help. I can't bring her downstairs and let her play either, we've tried that too, it's disastrous.

I am an old-fashioned type of "new parent," I ascribe more to how I was nurtured as a baby and how things have been done for generations rather than recent research. I'm sorry, since this latest craze of trying to meet every single thing our children communicate they want (through a cry or speech) there is an entire generation now out there completely incapable of handling the real world. I have never heard of a child harmed by crying. Also as far as sleeping with another, my daughter will not sleep with anyone, she used to sometimes sleep in bed with us when she was younger

Alison - posted on 05/06/2010

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Hi. I'm not sure about getting involved with this one. It seems to be a hot topic! I will just tell you my experience - I have a 3 year old son and twin 11 month old girls.
Please don't beat me up over this, I give myself enough mother guilt without anyone adding to it..
My son did not sleep through the night for the first 18 months of his life. I just want to say, that the pressure this puts on you as mother and wife and I was working from home also, is absolutely extraordinary. It's like you are going through relentless torture (actual torture) from the lack of sleep. My son was up every 2 hours and as I was breastfeeding for the first 12 months, and my husband was a heavy sleeper, I would always go to him. I was so tired I collapsed with him in my arms one day. He was fine, but I want people to realize, this lack of sleep can really be a serious problem to the health of the caregiver. We took our son to the Doctor SO MANY times to discuss his inability to sleep. We went and saw a baby sleep specialist in Washington and also San Francisco. All of the advice, from specialists, friends and doctors, was the same. Let him cry it out. Start at 5 minutes, go in and check on him, talk softly try to avoid picking him up. Stay for 1 minute, then leave and let him cry again. Gradually extending the time he cries to as long as you can take. They said you can leave your baby to cry for up to ONE HOUR. Any longer and you need to be concerned that your baby has something else wrong like they are sick or something.
As a new mother, I didn't believe in crying it out. When my son cried I went to him. Every time. Eventually, after seeing so many Doctors about our concerns, we tried the cry it out method. It was pure HELL for me. I hated every moment of it. I would literally sit in our room and cry while my baby was in his room crying. My baby took between 45 minutes and an hour of crying before he would finally fall asleep from exhaustion. The thing about this method is, it doesn't work for ALL babies. Around 2% of babies still will not sleep throught the night. My son slept for around 4 to 5 hours after this method. We went through this for several weeks before he fell asleep without much fuss. Though he would still get up in the night at least 2 times and I would go to him immediately. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do and I never want to have to experience the cry it out method again. I had big concerns about this causing long term harm to him - despite what the Doctor's tell you, my instincts told me otherwise.
I firmly believe that if a baby is crying, it's because they have a need. Some babies require a lot more cuddles and closeness than others. Having 3 now, I can really see the difference. I don't agree that babies manipulate you to get what they want. They are babies, they are meant to be nurtured and cared for. Sure when they are older they may manipulate, but not in the first 12 month's. Babies have much greater needs than anyone else in the family, for a period of time. As a mother, I feel it's my responsibility to care for and nurture my babies. Of course I give as much as I can to all of my family, but the fact is, for at least the first year of babies life, they do need to be the priority, since they have the greatest needs.I agree that affection and comfort to your child now, will build a more independent and well adjusted child in the older years. The personal connection and trust you build now with your baby is crucial to their long term mental health (in my opinion).
Now we have twins, and a 3 year old, life is more hectic than ever. Given our personal dislike for the cry it out method and the limited success we had with it, we went for a different system this time around. Bed time is 8pm for all the kids. One parent reads and spends time with our 3 year old while the other takes care of bedtime for the twins. This includes their bathtime, final feed for the night, rocking and soothing before bed. My husband and I have set up a second bed in the twins room. We have 'shift work' (that's the name we call it!). We each take a shift. I take care of the kids, all of them, between 10pm and 2am. My husband takes care of the kids between 2am and 6am. Then everyone is up. We spend (mostly completely uninterrupted time) together between 8pm and 10pm. The person on shift can sleep wherever they like, with the main rule being that they are on shift and sleep is fortunate, not expected. If you get to have a good night and sleep through, that's great, but otherwise you have the expectation that you are on shift and there to meet the needs/ care for the children. That means mostly resettling the twins. My husband and I have never in our lives, been a stronger team. We don't get quantity of time, but we do get quality time. We really make the most of the 2 hours we have together and we also recognise this is such a temporary arrangement, until our babies feel more secure and comfortable, just as our son did. It just took him 18 months, so we have a much more realistic view of what to expect this time around. I know our system isn't right for everyone, but for us it simply works. We have to work together to keep a happy household. This way I know for sure,that I will at least have 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. I can continue to breastfeed this way too.
Anyway, that's it from me. The way I see it. Every mother just wants to do what they feel is right and best for their baby. What works for some won't work for others. There's really not much point in judging each other for it. We truly give ourselves enough of a hard time without having others have a go too. For first time Mom's, just know that it DOES get easier. Your sweet beautiful baby will eventually sleep through the night and you can go back to your old routine. Life will never be the same once you've had a baby though. SO go with the flow. Know that, if you aren't getting much sleep, it most likely won't kill you. And it IS temporary. A year (or so) of your life is so little time when you put it in perspective. I know at the time it feels not so great though.Good luck!

Kristin - posted on 05/08/2010

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My husband and I have a 10 month old daughter....since she was 9 weeks old she has been sleeping at least 10 hours straight at night...she now goes from 8pm to 7am, and we are still breast feeding. My heart is literally breaking as I read the above responses and some of you mommas that are so sleep deprived. We follow a method called On Becoming Babywise. I agree that every baby is different, but I really have to give credit to that method...we have rarely needed to use "cry it out". But, we have used it...and have used common sense. What I like about the Babywise method is that it focuses on a schedule as soon as possible...and focuses on baby getting full feedings at each meal. We feed her after each sleeping period.....that was especially important during those first several weeks when newborns are so sleepy....it made sure she was more awake at each feeding. I do believe in "cry it out"...but also agree with previous posts, that you need to critically think and assess what your child needs and if the cry is a distress cry or a bored/tired cry.

Tracey - posted on 05/07/2010

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Another comment. The CIO method is not used willy nilly. There are very specific procedures to follow when doing it.

For example, its not for babies under 6 months old.

Secondly, you don't just go throw your child in his crib and let him scream for an hour. You go in at 3 minutes and then 5 minutes, and then 7 minutes and then 10 minutes. The next day, you increase the time between visits. I always gave a hug (because he was usually standing up), but didn't talk to him. I just hugged him, laid him back down, and walked out of the room.

Third, if your child is screaming, you don't do this to them. However, most of us who have used this method will attest that our child only cries; not screams. There is nothing wrong with a little crying.

Having a child who is so exhausted because he is not sleeping is more unhealthy for him than letting him cry for 20 minutes. Having good sleep habits makes for a more alert and happy baby. There are many studies on this too.

I'm sorry that I get so fired up about this subject. I just feel like we have been attacked and told that we are terrible parents because we neglect our children and that they are being harmed emotionally because of this method. This is brought on by parents who have never tried the method and are listening to studies that have been conducted. Or its from parents who have children who sleep through the night.

Ask anyone who knows my child and they will tell you that my child is more alert than any 11 month old they have seen, and that he is a very happy baby; always similing and being silly. These studies couldn't be more wrong!

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Holli - posted on 04/16/2012

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I have 2 special needs children and don't use the cry it out method. That being said, there is a misconception that letting a baby/child have a "good cry" and "cry it out" are the same.



At times, when my girls (5 mo and 4.5 yrs) are over whelmed or sick, they will not settle down until they have a "good cry", but I am there to support them the entire time. After letting out all their frustrations/anger/etc, they are able to settle down for the night.



I have frequently heard other mothers call this "cry it out" without knowing there is an actual difference. So before judging, you may want to ask mothers for a clarification on what they mean.

Anna - posted on 04/14/2012

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Wow! Ok, after reading each and every post I have to respond. Let me start by saying I have a 6 yr old little girl who I did not let CIO and it has been pure HELL getting her to sleep. We are just now having some luck. When my daughter was born I of course tried breastfeeding, but she was not getting enough to eat, losing weight and so on, so I switched to formula which might have contributed to her full nights sleep b/c at 3 weeks she was sleeping almost 7 hours a night in a bassinette and then after 3 mos her nursery, gaining weight and thriving so her pediatrician ageed with me to let her sleep and not wake her for a feeding. So, it was perfect! I had a beautiful baby girl who was happy and healthy and so was I! We were both getting full nights sleep and everything was going very well.

Then at 10 mos. of age my father was in a horrible car accident in SC, we were living in VA at the time, so since I was a stay at home mom we packed up the car, kissed daddy good-bye, and rushed home to be with my mother and pray my father would wake from his coma. During this time Haleigh slept with me. We were staying at my mother's house with no nursery and Haleigh just simply would not sleep in her pack and play. Looking back now I don't know if it was manipulation, I just don't see babies that young being able to have such complex thoughts, but maybe it was a little. She knew that if she cried I would get her b/c I did in every other area of her life. So that's exactly what I did. I picked her up immediately and put her in my bed. With all the other stress going on I didn't have the energy for a screaming baby, plus I was a new mother at 25 and although I had been a nanny for 10 previous years, letting my own child cry was new for me and since she didn't just cry for a few minutes and I didn't do any research on the CIO method, I didn't know how it was done. So I didn't let her cry at all, and I really didn't think too much of it, after all we weren't at home, weren't in her usual surroundings and I thought everything would be fine when we got home. I couldn't have been more wrong! My father did end up waking up and had a long struggle, but is alive and well today. So we went home back to VA. That's when everything we had so great got turned on it's head. Haleigh would not sleep in her room at all. I think I tried for maybe one night to let her cry for a bit, but she was obviously not going to stop, but like I said, I hadn't done my research and didn't like the idea of my baby being made to cry herself to sleep. After my daughter turned about 18 mos her father and I decided to split up so Haleigh and I moved back home with my mother with my ex-husband following right behind. We have always remained friends and the split was amicable, but everywhere Haleigh went, his house, his parents, and my house, she had either mommy, daddy, or grandma sleep with her. It got so bad that I couldn't even put her to bed and then get back up. The child would sense that I wasn't there or something and wake up screaming. While at my moms house I found it was just easier to sleep with her. Being a single mom is hard and although I had some help from my family and her father, its still tough. I never had anytime for myself at night and at 6 yrs old am still working on it!

After 2 years at my parents house, I met the man of my dreams and shortly after meeting and acclamating my daughter to him and all, we all moved in together and were married shortly there after and I didn't think it was appropriate for my daughter to share our bed, neither did he. So, we started the long process of getting her into her own room. And let me tell you, it ain't pretty! First we started by putting a mattress in our room and letting her sleep on the floor. We couldn't move her into her room right away b/c we both have very demanding jobs now and honestly we need the sleep and moving her into her room right away was anything but possible, if we wanted sleep that is. So what we've done is after she got used to sleeping on the floor of our room, we moved into the master bedroom, leaving her bed where it's always been, just not on the floor. This was a long process, but we stretched it out this long so we could all get sleep b/c without it we all find ourselves a little crazy and its just not a peaceful enviroment. Haleigh now sleep walks and still comes into my room to get me maybe 4 times a week , which is 10 times better than it was at first, so I have to get up simply to put her back to bed. She falls asleep in 3 mins and sometimes I'm left with being awake much longer, but she's not in my bed or room anymore. Im exhausted even talking about everything we've had to do.

Now we have a beautiful 4 month old girl and I am bound and determined to NOT let this happen again. My husband got to see partially what I've had to go through over the years, and I'll admit, it only took so long partially b/c I am a softy and don't like my baby upset, but she does manipulate now and I'm well aware of it, so its gotten a lot easier to let her cry, A LOT EASIER :). But my 4 month old sleeps a full 12 hrs sometimes in her crib, every now and then she'll wake up to feed, but we eat and both go right back to bed. My husband has started letting her take naps with him on the weekends in our bed and I keep telling him that this will just lead to more crying when we do the CIO method. Which, BTW, I have definitely decided we are going to do. I admit, with my first child I did think it was sort of neglectful, but after going through what I've gone through, I don't think that anymore. And I've done my research. It's not neglectful as long as you follow certain guidlines. I just refuse to let my 2nd child run my bedtime routine like I've let my 1st. I still can't go to bed until I've gotten her to sleep and I can't wait for the day when I can look at both my girls and say "bedtime" and be able to tuck them in, read a story and turn off the lights. Its definitely not neglect and anyone who says it is, is doing it wrong.

Of course my situation is just one example and not letting your child CIO might not lead to what I've got going on, but it also might. I just wanted to share my fiasco in hopes that other parents dont go through what I've had to. Everyone knows whats right for their little ones and family so of course do what you will. Like I said, just one mother's experience with a very persistent and mommy attached little girl!

Tracey - posted on 04/11/2012

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I'm sorry for that last post! I am just sick of hearing mom's criticize others on subjects they know nothing about. These people don't know how it feels to have a 1 year old never sleep through the night. Or how, after we did the CIO method, my child never wakes up during the night and is able to get much better sleep and have more energy during the day. I didn't do this method at 3 months old; I did it at a year.

Hayden is a very happy, well-adjusted child who loves his mom and dad more than anything! We look back now and say, "Thank God we did that. It was the best thing we have ever done!"

So, I say to all the judgmental mom's out there, actually read the posts on here from mom's who have done the method so that you can actually see how the process works.

Tracey - posted on 04/11/2012

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And I am not a fan of having a child that can't sleep in his/her own bed, which is what you are creating. I'm not talking about young, young children - I'm talking toddlers who can't sleep in their own beds because they have never slept alone. That's even more unhealthy!

Monique - posted on 03/09/2012

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i think it depends on the baby how they go to sleep. My oldest would cry anytime i walked out of the room, bedtime was no diffrent. She would fuss for few minutes then calm down and fall asleep. I don't think it's ok to let them cry for hous, but it won't hurt if they fuss for a minute or two.

Tracey - posted on 03/07/2012

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You couldn't be more wrong! I did the cry-it-out method when my son was 1 year old after he didn't sleep the entire first year of his life. It took him about a night and a half to get it, and he has slept soooooooo well since then. He is such a good sleeper now that I can go in and change his diaper and he doesn't wake up. He sleeps about 9 1/2 hours a night. Best thing I ever did.



What people don't understand is that you are not letting your child scream for hours on end. You go in after 3 minutes and kiss him, then after 5 minutes, then after 7 minutes. Usually after doing this for 10 minutes, they are asleep. It teaches them to put themselves to sleep.



Don't judge until you fully understand what something means.

Lise - posted on 12/27/2011

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seeing as how systematically increasing the amount of time you let your child cry is teaching them you won't respond (not to sleep), I won't be doing that method. letting my child cry until they pass out from the exhaustion? nope. I may look into the pick up/put down method (baby cries, you pick up and soothe, then put down when baby is calm again), but am currently fine with following dd's needs.

OhJessie - posted on 04/29/2011

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We just brought the baby to bed; I didn't have to wake up to nurse, and we all got our sleep. And yes,he grew out of it just fine.

Rachael - posted on 06/04/2010

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Kimberley- I think what you're talking about is letting your baby scream, not CIO. There is a distinction. Studies have shown over and over again that CIO, when done properly, helps stabilize the parent(s)'s mental state, ergo, promoting better mental health for the child. If done correctly, it is hardly neglect.

Also, I would have to agree with Tracey that there are occassions when medical professionals are not helpful, and you have to use your own judgment as a parent. I had the same issue with my son choking on his spitup from sleeping on his back when we were still at the hospital. Thankfully, at my hospital, unless the baby has serious medical issues, he/she sleeps in the mother's room, so I was able to respond quickly. They also tried telling me that he needed to be swaddled, yet he broke free from it when he was only a couple of hours old. I asked the nurses to stop doing it, but they wouldn't. The doctors told me not to put him on his stomach, but he was so determined, that he started rolling over at a week old! I used my judgment and let him sleep on his stomach. He was much happier and got the much-needed sleep that aided in his overall development. My son has never been sick a day in his life. Am I a bad parent for disregarding the crappy advise I received from doctors who base their advise on what's "normal", even though my son was clearly not the majority? My best advise would be to do your research and stop lumping all babies into a "norm category" before you bash mothers who do what's best for their own children.

Tracey - posted on 06/04/2010

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Are we still debating this? My what a hot topic! I will stress again that us parents who use the CIO method are not abusing their children. We don't let them scream for half an hour. It is a very structured plan that leads to our children (and us) getting more sleep and able to function during the day. If you'd actually read the posts on here, you would realize that we are not abusing our children. It is the only way that we can get our children to sleep during the night and to wake up refreshed. They are crying; not screaming. And the crying only usually lasts for a day or so then they learn to talk in their cribs and fall asleep on their own.

Also, as for the comment about listening to medical and hospital advice . . . they aren't always right. For example, they wanted to put my child on his stomach to sleep. He almost died because they put him that way in his basinette in the hospital at the same time that they told me that he spit up during the night. Lo an behold, he spit up one time and almost died because he was on his back and couldn't breath. I put him on his side from that time on. AND they wanted to give him a Hep B shot the very first day that he was born. I don't have Hep B and he didn't get a blood transfusion, so we told them no. Doctors are not always right.

You need to do what is best for your baby. If you don't want to use CIO, FINE! But don't criticize us who do because you really have no idea what you are talking about.

Kimberley - posted on 06/04/2010

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not having ago just debating but when is abuse decided? when you go against medical and advice from hospitals / experts etc? who is to say its not abuse when there is many links to mental illnesses in later life I know you can look up anything and find the answer you want these days but letting babys CIO can lead to bonding / attachment issues and now even depression in teens I am not at all saying this is FACT for everyone and there are many other elements to each child but who is to say when abuse is or is not abuse?

Kimberley - posted on 06/04/2010

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I only tried leaving bodhi once I always hug him untill he falls asleep with one child I can do that but with a baby and a new born which I will have soon sometimes you need to let them cry for a while I mean there is sooking and then screaming i would never let my child be distressed there are big numbers that say it has been linked to depression and attachment issues in teen years and has almost been out lawed in SA

Rachael - posted on 05/18/2010

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I have to let my guy cry for a few minutes (of course, it's never more than 5 or 10), because he refuses to let me put him to sleep. Just like he won't let me hold his bottle, this is something he prefers to do on his own. He started refusing to sleep with me when he was only 5 months old. If he wants to cuddle during the day, he will, but only on his terms. Sometimes, he cries for a few minutes before he goes to sleep, especially if he's overly tired. He is also one of the happiest babies you would ever meet, even though he used to have colic. CIO has worked for him, and he has a wonderful, blossoming personality, so clearly, CIO has not destroyed his world. He is a prime example of how different things work for different people.

[deleted account]

I think there are people that use the cry it out method wisely and those that are downright almost neglectful in letting a hysterical child cry itself to sleep. Personally, my son usually is fine on his own but there are days he won't sleep unless he is next to me. Those days he has usually been very active with lots of interaction or doesn't feel well so I'm fine with comforting him. I also can understand being so tired that you are exhausted and end up being careless. I couldn't get him to go to sleep one night and late in the morning finally we both fell asleep on the couch. He rolled right out of my arms onto the floor. No injury, but once I'm out I'm a sound sleeper. I didn't even know I'd let it happen until he started tugging on me!

Renee - posted on 05/17/2010

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My my! How nasty some people can get when put up to a good debate! Each to their own, I personally tried many different things. Both have come and gone in this household but overall, I found that it wasnt worth my tiredness to let our girl cosleep. I was so tired and therefore had no energy to be fun and playful for her in the day. And wow, does having a baby in your bed kill your lovelife with your husband! If you can do that, more strength to ya! Putting our girl in another room in her own cot wasnt to do with making her learn anything, although it did help. It was to do with our sanity. I was either going to get a good night sleep at night, or during the day with her playing by herself. My decision was easy.

Sarah - posted on 05/16/2010

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I agree. There is a difference between certain crys. I understand that fully. I am not one of those mom's (which I know a few) that pick up my son anytime he winces. I don't think there is a right way or a wrong way every baby and mom is different. 15 min of crying isn't all that bad, but I disagree with hours of crying it out. I think that is very stressful on the baby and the mother as well.

Meagan - posted on 05/15/2010

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Here's the thing ladies...every child and every mom is different. I don't think there is anything wrong with the CIO method. Babies cry. It's what they do. If they are SCREAMING, that's another story. It bothers me when people say one way or another that a mom is a bad parent for something that she does. Unless what she is doing is ABUSE, then she probably knows what's best for her baby. Personally, I've done both the CIO AND attending to my babies every cry. I have a happy healthy child whose Dr. praises my husband and I for the job we are doing. I also had my mother-in-law tell me she has never seen a child go to bed so easy. And she has 3 kids and takes care of her other grandchild. There is a line of course, like there is with everything. There are nights where I let my kiddo cry it out for awhile, then there are nights where if he cries, I'm there. It all depends on the cry. Regardless of all the "scientific" proof out there, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT! Don't judge just because you are not comfortable doing CIO. That's OK TOO! The same goes for those who do use CIO. Just because someone does not feel comfortable using CIO, there's nothing wrong with that. My son does not ALWAYS sleep through the night, but he goes to sleep with out crying and will sleep anywhere from 8-13hrs a night, depending on the night. Lighten up the judgement.

Faith - posted on 05/15/2010

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I did the cry it out method when my son was 8 months old, before that we had to lay one the sofa with him and pat his back until he decided it was ok to fall asleep, sometimes for a hour or more. Now after his bath and a story he get put in his crib and after about 10 minutes of whimpering he is out. There are a few nights when he won't go to sleep and we give him 10 minutes go down and rock him then leave again for 10 minutes and so forth until he finally settles down and sleeps. This is what works for us. I have always said you should do what works for you and your family, not every way works and no one should be criticized for how they raised their children.

Megan - posted on 05/14/2010

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Sarah- I do let my son cry it out sometimes. That is what my mom gut tells me to do when I change him, feed him, make sure he's not hurt, cuddle him, sing to him, walk with him, and he is still crying- there are times I need to set him down and walk away for a couple minutes. When I come back to him he tends to be more willing to let me help him, and other times he's perfectly quiet and content before I even get back to him. I don't agree with IGNORING you children, but there are definitely timeswhen it benefits everyone to let your child cry. For instance, when it is bedtime and my son does not want to go to bed because he is either over tired or just having too much fun playing, I am not going to give in and let him stay up until midnight. All that does is make him crabby and overtired the next day. If I have to walk away and let him cry for 15 minutes (Obviously listening to the type of cry to be sure he is not in pain) before he is willing to let me comfort him, I am going to do it. I would rather him cry for 15 minutes and then be able to sleep rather than give into him and let him stay up and play, and then still go through a couple hours of trying to get him to sleep.

Sarah - posted on 05/14/2010

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I soo agree I have never let my son cry it out. And it wasn't harder to do. I have heard mothers' do this and I don't agree. Just because our parents or others have done it for years does not make it right. There's now are scientific proof what crying it out can cause. So many people have gave me advice to do so, and I am sooo happy I never did. Follow your mom gut!

Tracey - posted on 05/14/2010

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Let's look at this another way. If it's so bad for the baby to cry it out for a little while (and I stress the word "little"), colicy babies would all end up having emotional issues and detachment disorders and everything else you guys are suggesting, which isn't the case. There are times, and I know you all have been there, when there is nothing that you as a parent can do - the babies have been fed and changed and they still cry. When this happens, and there's nothing you can do, does that make you a terrible mother because you can't soothe them? Not at all. Happens to all of us. Are they going to have brain damage (in some shape or form), that's just ridiculous!

Megan - posted on 05/14/2010

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Your opinion on this definitely depends on what you consider "cry it out". I will admit that there are times when I do let my son cry. No, I do not let him cry for hours on end, but there are times when I simply need to cry- and I believe the same is true for him.

No, I would never let a newborn cry for any length of time, because I do believe a newborn is crying because of a need. A baby that is almost a year old can cry for a number of reasons. My boyfriend and I handle bedtime differently. I am at home all day with my son, so by his bedtime (usually anywhere from 7-8) I am ready to be done for a while. My boyfriend works from 7AM to anywhere from 5-7PM, and then has a ton of yard work to do on weekends, so he does not mind if Charlie stays up past his bedtime. This poses a problem at times, because he thinks if he cries he will get his way. I know the difference between a painful I need you cry, a mad cry, and a sleepy cry.

He always gets a bottle and rocked before bedtime. Sometimes he is awake when I lay him done, and sometimes he is passed out before his bottle is gone. Then there are times when he simply is overtired and ticked off. Those moments are times when I HAVE to let him cry. I refuse to bring him back to the living room to play when he is screaming at bed time. He needs to learn that bedtime is bedtime. If he is screaming at me because he is overtired and mad, the best thing I can do for him is to walk away. Now, don't take that the wrong way, I don't make him scream himself to sleep. I walk away and set a timer for 10 minutes. Sometimes he falls asleep in those 10 minutes, but usually, he is still screaming. I then go back in with a bottle (It's the only thing that calms him down- he does not take a pacifier) and try to feed him. Sometimes all he needed was that 10 minutes to realize that mom is trying to help, and he needs to let me help him. If he is still fighting the bottle and sleep after I try calming him down with more rocking and the bottle, I put him back in his crib and wait another 5-10 minutes. I will keep this up until he lets me help him calm down. I know he is not in any physical pain, and he just is not quite ready to let me help him. Usually after letting him cry for 10 minutes, he is ready to let me give him a bottle and cuddle time. I will gladly sing to him and walk around his room, but I refuse to bring him out to play at 8:30 when he typically is ready for bed by 7:30.

No, you should not let your kids cry for hours on end without trying to calm them down, but I do believe that sometimes they do need to cry, and sometimes a parent does need a break. I know on the days when Charlie is being especially difficult, and fusses all day long, sometimes the best thing I can do is put him in his crib because that's where he is safest, and step outside and take a few deep breaths. I do not beleive crying will damage your child unless you let them cry all day and night without even trying to figure it out. When a child is just mad that they are not getting their way, I believe it benefits them in the long run to cry rather than give into their every whim.

Look at the young generation right now. This country is filled with lazy teenagers that believe their parents or the government should give them everything they need and want. They don't think they should have to pay for education, or any other thing they want. This generation still has the mentality that money grows on trees, and it will jut appear when they need/want it. They are not responsible, because they have never had to be. Their parents gave them everything they wanted, and they never had to hold a job as a teenager. My boyfriend has been working since he has been 13 years old. His parents never bought him his first car, cell phone, or paid for his car insurance. Because of this he has an excellent work ethic and knows how to manage his money. He always has money for bills, and does not have to go running to mommy and daddy for help. Most people in this generation still rely on their parents.

Getting back to topic, I think letting your child cry it out for a while, and not giving him his way all the time is only going to help him in the future to know that not everything will go his way all the time. My son has learned to deal with our rules. Yes he still fights them, but he knows he will not win certain battles with me. Discipline really does start at infancy. Obviously you discipline a baby different than a teenager, but you still need to discipline and set your ground rules. This is the framework for your child's future, and I believe if you give into a baby's every want (I am talking about older babies, NOT newborns. At 11 months, my son DEFINITELY has wants as well as needs) you are only damaging them in the long run. It is way too easy to give in, we have on occasion, and it is a VERY hard habit to break. Once a baby realizes that you will give in, they will fight it harder and harder because they think they will eventually get their way. How does that help them in the future?

Elizabeth - posted on 05/14/2010

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Well Kat, changing your original post, I don't know there is much to discuss :) Most of us have made it clear we would never leave a child to cry for hours on end, and we wouldn't leave a child to cry to soothe themselves to sleep before 6 months old. The mothers you are thinking of aren't really ascribing to sleep method as much as it is probably a situation of being overwhelmed. In that case, the only thing I can suggest is if you can find someone for live in help, your husband, an older relative. We have many more children born into single mother homes, not that a Mom can't do it on herself, but certainly if she has a partner to help her these kinds of situations would probably be avoided.

Kat - posted on 05/14/2010

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There are a few things I agree with, and a few I disagree with.

A few people have written something along the lines of: If my baby is fed, watered, warm and dry then they should be fine.
I disagree with this. Yes, you have tended to their physical needs, but what about the emotional needs? Why do they get disregarded?

Also, someone has posted that children need to learn to soothe themselves back to sleep, as this will help in later life. This has scientifically been disproved. The part of the brain that is used as an adult when calming ourselves down is "toned"(as you would a muscle) when we(as children/babies) are soothed by another person. So, if we want our children to be adults who can control themselves and calm down their anger/upset, then we need to prepare them. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying to run to your child's wimper. As I have edited my OP to say, the actual CIO method sounds relatively harmless. Again, it is the leaving to cry/scream until, hours later a baby goes to sleep from exhaustion.

Keep it coming guys, this is hugely enriching my knowledge! :-)

Kelly - posted on 05/13/2010

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I have been sitting here reading everyone's posts and I am shocked at some of the things some mother's have said. I don't want to criticize or name names. I am just going to share my experience and hope that it can help someone.

I have 2 boys, a 4 year old and a 1 year old. I did the CIO method with my 4 year old and it worked like a charm. He has been sleeping wonderful since he was 1 year. My second son, however, the CIO method did not work. So we are having to try different approaches. I haven't found the magic thing with him yet, but I am working on it. He is only waking up 1 or 2 times a night now. I think that this just goes to show how different all children are from each other. I don't think any 1 method works for all children or families. So moms... Don't criticize each other for the way we are raising our children. We are here to support each other and offer advice. I hope that all the sleep deprived moms out there find what works for their family and that they get some rest. Good luck moms! :)

Elizabeth - posted on 05/13/2010

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I don't know that we should criticize Moms who do co-sleep/don't allow CIO. Co-sleeping didn't work for my family, for a number of reasons, but the chief one was that my baby, even at 8 weeks, didn't sleep well in bed with us.

Yes, we do CIO, though there are times when I do rock her more if it seems like she is just too upset to even think about sleep. I also treat her like a person and realize she has so much going on right now, teething, massive growth, etc. that we are firm with bedtimes, but not strict. We do allow a little flexibility is she just isn't ready yet, but not much past 8:30 PM, only because through experimentation I know what a disaster it is to let my daughter stay up past that.

So yes as a CIO parent, I know my daughter is also happy, comfortable with sleeping etc. She doesn't sleep through the night yet, but she has done so in the past. But as I do not do the other methods, that to me would drive me nuts and therefore not be good for baby, I can't say that those will mess up a kid. I do think catering to every single want a child has will have negative consequences later, but that is wrapped up in far more than how our children sleep under teh age of 2. That has more to do with the totality of the childhood, discipline or lack thereof, and so on and so on.

However, the BIGGEST problem I have with anyone their way is best (even the breastfeeding militant moms, if I had hard-headedly stuck with breast feeding, my daughter would not be healthy today) is wrapping themselves in scientific studies that are very limited in population, and only show a potential link, not a causal relationship. Many Moms don't understand the difference, for example, a study might show that most people in prison were spanked as children, without comparing it to the general population who was spanked or not, and also that many people in prison do not have a high school diploma. However, being spanked as a child, or failing to get a high school diploma doesn't mean you WILL go to prison, or even that you are more likely to go. It just depends on the person and so many other factors we can't possibly know. Plus, there is always someone's own will (as in there are kids who weren't spanked who have a high school diploma or even a college degree and they end in prison too).

So the more and more this thread has gone on, the more and more I disagree with villanizing CIO mothers. I did watch the video etc. and while I agree it is important to teach ALL parents (not just Moms) to not neglect their children, a round of crying isn't the same as chronic neglect. Period.

Tracey - posted on 05/13/2010

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I think it's funny that Lisa wrote both that her daughter is a "well-attached" and "independent" little girl. Isn't this contradictory. Again, I must stress that parents who use the CIO method don't have sad or abandoned babies. My baby is the happiest baby all the time. He is constantly smiling and laughing. He is very content to sit in his crib and fall asleep by himself now. This is what we have taught him. When he is talking in his crib at nap or bedtime, he isn't sad at all. He is babbling up a storm and laughing. This is what parents who don't use the CIO method do not understand. It doesn't instill fear in children. It teaches them to fall asleep on their own. Because of it, we have children who are happy and well-rested. Isn't that what all parents want?

Lindsey - posted on 05/12/2010

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i let my first son cry it out and he is just fine...i think by using cio they learn to soothe themselves back to sleep which is a skill they can use for the rest of thier life so no it doesent damage them in my opinion

Lisa - posted on 05/11/2010

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I co-sleep with my daughter, and always comfort her immediately when she cries. Yes, it's made my life a bit harder at the moment, but I truly believe that the effort we put in during the first few years will show HUGE results later on. No, I haven't had a good night's sleep in almost a year, but 20 years from now I hope I can look back at this time and feel good about the effort I made. I love my baby so much, I can't even stand the thought of her feeling sad or abandoned, and already she is a wonderful, well-behaved, well-attached, independent little girl!

Thanks for the video. I have passed it on to all the other sleep-deprived mothers I know who need to be reminded of why we are doing this! :)

Courtney - posted on 05/11/2010

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Just a question...and I don't want to come off rude. But if you don't want me to tell you to let your kids cry it out...how can you tell me that it isn't the right thing to do for my child. You don't want me telling you what to do, so please don't slam my technique. Babies have different personalities and mine is very stubborn and very smart. I tried everything before finally letting him cry it out (at six months, not right away). Now he sleeps through the night. It may be sad to hear him cry but it is simply unfair to him for me to be so frustrated with him because I have not slept. My son would fall asleep in my arms and wake up every time I set him down. He was waking every 30 min, when I could get him to sleep at night. I think we all know what is right for our kiddos. You do it your way and I will do it mine. Please don't criticize!

Nira - posted on 05/11/2010

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Wow, what a topic. I’ve been reading all the posts here and I’m really happy we’re discussing this. I definitely prescribe to Elizabeth and Tracy’s views. With my own LO we had no sleeping problems until a few weeks ago when she started fussing when going to sleep at any time – day or night. Although I believe in sensible CIO I can hardly bear to hear my baby cry even a little. The first night we started with CIO every second I waited while she was crying seemed like a year. In the end, much like Alison’s story, I found myself crying in my room when she finally fell asleep. But by the next night it was easier for both of us - seeing as it was so hard for me I never let her cry for more than 30 sec to a minute (which is a lot when your baby is crying) and I’d go in each time, hug her or kiss her and put her back to bed. Of course I made sure she wasn’t hungry/thirsty/needed a change/in pain before I put her in bed and when she cried I listened closely to make sure it’s the angry / tired cry and not I’m in pain or anything like that. It took a while and there are nights when it doesn’t work cause she’s overtired or had too much sleep during the day but she goes to sleep now around 8 pm and wakes up smiling and happy at 6 am on most mornings (since her teeth are growing she sometimes wakes up crying during the night and you can see she’s in pain). I especially like how most of you wrote that you understand that every child and every parent are different and we each find the way to handle the sleeping problem in a way that suits both parent and baby. All the harsh judgments on CIO I think come for either a lack of understand of how the method works and how to adapt it to your needs and your baby’s needs as well as for moms who need to justify to themselves why they are still sleep deprived and their baby doesn’t sleep while others do it differently. I don’t tell other moms what to do and do not judge them for anything they do because it’s hard enough being a mother without the added judgment from people who don’t even know you and your baby and your situation. As long as both baby and mom are happy and sleep enough (because it’s important for the baby’s development to get a good night sleep) than who are we to judge how they do it?! Why compare CIO to child abuse and not co-sleeping? It’s not even on the same level. Neither are abusive if done right, both are valid. Try using your compassion and not your criticism – we’re all facing similar difficulties and we should support one another and not add to each other’s difficulties.

Amanda - posted on 05/10/2010

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i didnt assume there was only one way of getting my daughter to sleep. for the first 4 months we use to hold her and cuddle her until she fell asleep and then had to carefully lay her down so she would stay sleeping, and even with that she would wake every 2-3hrs, and not always to eat, so to get her back to sleep we would have to start all over again with the rocking and cuddling. by 4mths it was very exhausting and i thought to myself there has got to be a better way, i'm not going to be walking around the house rocking a 12mth old to sleep, no way in hell. I could barely carry her at 4mths without having to switch arms every 5-10min or so. So i talked to a few parents i knew and i got their feedback on what they did and at first we tried the bedtime routine, bath, bottle, then layed her down awake, well all she did was scream, so then i would pick her up and she would stop. so then i tried rocking her for a bit in the chair until she was very sleepy, but not fully asleep, then i would lay her down and she would wake up and be really cranky and then it would take almost another hour to calm her down and get her back to sleep, with us holding her. so after doing that for about 2 weeks with no change, i decided we needed to try a different approach, i wasn't against the CIO method, because i personally do not believe it will make my child feel abandoned, i believe it builds her independence and allowes her to realize she does not need me 24/7. so at 6mths of age, i started the CIO method first with her naps, the first 2 days where hell, she barely napped at all, as she would cry, fall asleep and then wake up, cry a bit more, fall asleep..and so on. I did CIO just at nap times for about 4 days and at the end of the 4th day she was falling asleep on her own within 10-15min of whimpering, not crying. I let her get use to falling asleep on her own at nap time for about a week and then i tried it out at bedtime, still following with a bedtime routine, and the first night she cried on and off lightly for about 20min(i checked in on her every 5min, but never picked her up, just reasurred her i was close by. after 2 nights of doing that she started falling asleep on her own with a little whimpering for about 5min. She is now 11mths old, and goes down for naps and bedtime without a fuss and I find she sleeps alot more peacefull and longer than she ever did and is a much happier/content child. And because I'm getting that much needed sleep, I'm able to keep up with her durn the day and enjoy my time with her because I'm refreshed. It also helps when she does have a bad day, sick, teething etc...I'm able to deal with her and look after her without being tired myself. I don't judge moms who don't believe in CIO, and would never push a mom to try it if she wasn't comfortable with it. But I also don't believe that other mothers should look down on us moms whom have tried it and had it work for us. It's not like we dont love our child, and enjoy listening to them cry and scream. But we know its going to help them in the long run(and us) and its not going to last forever. I agree CIO is not for every child or parent for that matter, but to any moms whom are having sleep issues with their children, don't knock a method until you've done your OWN research about it, dont just listen to the negative things ppl have to say about it. listen to the positive experiences ppl have had with it. My daughter has no side effects from it and i even talked to my doctor about it and she said there is no medical reason not to try it, if it works for us, great, if it doesnt there are other methods to try aswell and we are sure to find something.

Rocio - posted on 05/10/2010

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Well I think to each parent their own. I agree with Elizabeth West because we do the same thing with our 11-month old. We put her down in her crib when she is exhausted. We all know fussy babies wil try anything to keep from going to sleep. So we pay attention to the signs of weariness and put her to bed. Sure, she cries but babies are smarter than we think. She cries to test her daddy and see if he caves. If she is still crying after 5 minutes we pick her up and comfort her, but more often than not she usually falls asleep before the five minutes. We also have a five year old who still has problems sleeping in his own room because we always rocked him to sleep as a baby. I guess there no right answer, but you will know what works for you.

Cori - posted on 05/08/2010

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By the way, we are all blessed with the wonderful gift of being a mom. We are part of sisterhood and should help each other. I don't care if you breast or bottle feed, use cloth or disposable diapers, pick your baby up every time they cry or let them fuss a little- As long as your child is fed, gets sleep, and doesn't sit around in their own crap it is all good!

Cori - posted on 05/08/2010

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We were getting up with my son several times a night at 10 months old. He was getting overly tired and it was making him more prone to colds. Finally we reluctantly decided to give CIO a try. We made sure he was clean, dry, and had a good meal and a bottle, and cuddled and read a few stories. Then we laid him down. He fussed immediately. The first night was the worst. We would let him fuss for a few minutes and then go in to comfort him without picking him up. It took a while but he finally went to sleep. After that first night he started going to sleep without fussing and has been sleeping through the night since. He just had to learn how to go to sleep without being held. Before I would end up holding him until he finally passed out and then we'd be up and down all night. Now we are all finally getting solid sleep and he is a much better rested, less grumpy baby. We never let him scream and we always went in to comfort him and change his diaper if needed. So, I sometimes still have to get up with him at night but I'm not teaching him to rely on being held to fall asleep. Different things work for different parents. I don't think he ever feels less loved.

Kristin - posted on 05/08/2010

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This first paragraph is in response to Tanya's post.

It is most definitely possible for breastfed babies to sleep through the night...my daughter and my sister's daughter are living proof of that. They both sleep at least 11 hours straight at night, and are > 50th percentile for weight and > 90th percentile for height. Every child is different....that is the take home message.

This is what frustrates me. Nowadays, sooooo many parents are wanting some book or expert to tell them what to do and how to be a parent. Daggone people....that is part of why we were given brains, to critically think and assess the needs of our offspring. What parents need to understand, is that the same response or treatment may not be appropriate every single day. Sorry, it may be a little more time consuming...but adjusting to what your child needs is more appropriate than just using the same technique over and over. And PS: if your child is having to cry him/herself to sleep each night, then "crying it out" is actually not working.

I just can't stress enough the importance of truly responding to your child's needs. It continues to baffle me that people treat babies as if they are another species that we can't quite figure out. They are simply a smaller version of ourselves. Do you have the same mood every single day? Are you more sleepy some days versus others? Do you want to eat more on some days and less on others?? Do you want some alone time some days and some cuddling time on other days? Babies are the same!!! There is not one method that works 100% of the time....it's usually a combo of a lot of methods used throughout the day. Just use your brain!!!!

Alyssa - posted on 05/08/2010

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Ok I dont like how you are saying people are abandoning their kids by letting them cry it out. I dont agree with you. I cried it out and you know what I'm fine. My son cries it out bc I'm NOT going to rock him to sleep or hold him while he sleeps my dad does that to him and he comes home wanting me to do it. Yeah right buddy you better lay down and go to sleep. All I hear now days is this will hurt them and that will hurt them. My God put them in a bubble and never let them leave the house. Seriously I lived and so will he.

Davida - posted on 05/08/2010

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I agree my son gets a bottle and cuddled in the living room with me and his dad then we put him to bed and he is ready to go to sleep and even if he is trying to fight it I go in make sure he doesn't still have to burp give him some hugs and kisses but never leave the room or turn on the light then put him right back to bed it tells him that we are still here and love him but that it isn't playtime but bedtime and he settles right down and will sleep all night. We have been doing this since he came home so it is second nature to him. It also makes sure that me and my husband has time with each other without the stress of a fussing baby on the monitor!!

Elizabeth - posted on 05/08/2010

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Amen Tracey. I really think the biggest divide is that parents who are 100% against a baby crying themselves to sleep believe the rhetoric that babies (and to be clear, I am talking about babies older than 6 months, usually at least 8-9 months old) only have NEEDS and not any WANTS. Personally, I know my child, I know without a doubt she has emotions, she has opinions, she has things she wants and she will actively problem solve to get what she wants. If a toy is stuck, she will try to get it some other way. She can't reach a toy in her toy box, she tips the whole thing over. She plays games with my husband and I, like peekaboo, or smile and shake her head at Daddy when he reaches for her then turn around and reach for him (he's taught her the "fakeout" and she plays right back).

Every child IS different, you can't make a hard fast rule that magically at 12 months the child is okay to fuss a little. My daughter has nights she just decides "I don't want to go to bed." It's usually a day when unavoidably, we were busy, so she is probably a little overstimulated. When this happens, rocking doesn't work. I give her her bottle, she has her blanket, she has her paci and glow worm, and yes she cries for 5-10 minutes. She isn't afraid (I know her I'm afraid cry), she isn't hungry, she is just MAD. So mad, she will throw her paci out of her crib, and she will throw her bottle. We give her a few minutes to work it out, and if she hasn't settled, we will try again to soothe her to sleep. It doesn't make us abusers, and we aren't messing up her mind. We are allowing her to be angry, be upset in an okay way. And as she gets older, she will be fine when we say bedtime and she doesn't want to go to bed. She wants to throw a fit, she can, but it won't change bedtime.

Tracey - posted on 05/08/2010

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Again, am truly offended by that last post. Why is it that mother's who haven't used the CIO method say things like, "If you aren't willing to do what it takes to meet your baby's needs then you shouldn't have kids?" If you talk to anyone I know, they will say that I am an overprotective mom. My child is a very happy and content little boy. He is more interactive than most babies his age and always smiling and being silly. He has a very good life.

Not only that, but you need to understand that not all babies are the same. I would never criticize a mom and say such things about the fact that you sleep with your child. I don't agree with it, but each mom and baby are different and have different needs and wants. I am constantly readjusting to fit his needs.

In short, none of us who use this method are child abusers as you make it out to be. This method has allowed our child to be happier and more rested throughout the day. That is why we do it. Not because we want our sleep.

[deleted account]

There is a known, specific cycle of attachment: the child expresses a need (in babies, by crying), the adult responds to the need (by taking care of the baby), the problem is resolved, and the baby gains trust and attaches more securely to the parent. A baby doesn't understand that it's night time and you want to sleep. He doesn't care. All he understands is that he is crying for you and you are not coming. If you don't respond to the need then the problem doesn't get resolved and the baby doesn't learn the trust or attach as securely. Because it puts the baby into a state of anxiety wondering whether his needs will get met "this time". 

Babies are 100% dependent upon their parents. It's your job to meet their needs. If you aren't willing to do what it takes to meet your child's needs then you shouldn't have kids. Because common sense tells us that there is more to meeting a human's needs than just feeding and changing. Love, affection, closeness, safety, those are as real of needs as the ones for food and they don't go away when it gets dark out. Babies are not capable of self soothing. That is a myth. All they learn by CIO is to give up because nobody cares enough to come. That's why they cry less.  

My youngest is 10 months and has slept in bed with us since day 1. None of my kids have had sleeping problems and all my kids had no trouble moving to their own beds as they got older. None of my kids were made to cry it out. They are all mentally and emotionally very healthy. And no, my 10 year old and 13 year old twins do NOT still get in bed with us. That's a myth too, that you will never get them out of your bed.   

All this garbage about co-sleeping being unsafe is just that- garbage. WAY more babies die in cribs than ever in their parents' beds! Co sleeping has been done since the beginning of time. And most co sleeping deaths involve formula fed babies, alcohol or drug use, or other unsafe practices. 

 

Carey - posted on 05/07/2010

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Short and sweet. I have 3 sons (4, 3, and 1 yr. old) and I never did cry it out. They all now sleep very well (11-12 hrs/night). When they were infants, I helped guide them in an eating routine and when they awoke at night, not hungry, I would lightly pat them and speak in a soothing voice for a few minutes then let them fall asleep on their own. My children have never woken up crying (unless they were ill) even for feedings. I think if you instill from birth that you are there no matter what, your kids will be confident that when they awake, there is no need to cry.

Anna-Jo - posted on 05/07/2010

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I completely agree with you, Tanya! Our son is 10mths old and has always slept with us and nursed on demand throughout the night. Everyone always comments how friendly, happy and confident he is, so I figure we must be doing something right! :-)

Tanya - posted on 05/07/2010

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well, I think it is ridiculous to let a baby cry it out. I don't know how many of you here breastfeed, but babies are not supposed to sleep through the night period. Breastfeeding and cosleeping are natural and ensure that your child is being nurished and getting enough sleep at night. I cosleep with my daughter and she barely makes a peep because I am right there. Only when formula and cribs were invented did people start pushing seperate bedrooms and sleeping through the night. Absolute nonsense I say. Do what is right for your family, but I don't think crying it out is a good solution for anyone, baby or parents.

Lindsay - posted on 05/07/2010

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I don't like the idea of letting my 10 month old scream it out either. I don't think he said have to lay in a dark room and scream until he falls asleep. My sister keeps telling me thats what I have to do, but I strongly disagree. He isn't sleeping through the night, but I would rather be there for him then to let me cry.

Tracey - posted on 05/07/2010

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I have heard your argument many times from different people. What people don't understand is that you are not abandoning your child. When I did it, I went in at 3 minutes, then 5 minutes, then 7 minues, and then 9 minutes. After the last time, he went right to sleep. I went in, didn't pick him up, but gave him a hug and laid him back down. I repeated this for both morning and afternoon nap and once more at night. By the next day, he had learned to go to sleep by himself. He now sits in there and talks happily before he goes to sleep.



After 9 months of him not taking naps hardly at all and only sleeping 4 hours at night, I needed to do something. His waking up after only short naps at 9 months old was really wearing him down emotionally. He needed sleep. Honestly, the cry-it-out method only took a day and he NEVER screamed through the method; he would just cry. Now, he wakes up every day with a smile on his face and he has more energy. He is a very healthy, happy baby and he knows he is loved by both mommy and daddy.

Jacqui - posted on 05/06/2010

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Some great discussion going on here, it is really interesting to see everyones replys - getting lots of information will help us all make better decisions. At the end of the day i am not a CIO fan, i have three children and they grow so quickly, even waking every hour or so at night dosn't last forever, cuddling, rocking, feeding - you will miss it when its gone and before you know it they are off to school and independant, confident happy children. Children gain a lot from a nuturing, attached parenting style, reserch sugests that in the end it creates more a better sence of self, independance, and connection to their family. CIO can try to force independance on a child when they are way to young and cause insecurity later on in life. Anyway we have been blessed with children to nurture and look after, enjoy every minute you have with them, they are so precious.

Monica - posted on 05/06/2010

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I know EXACTLY how you feel...person who feels insane!!!! I had a mental breakdown this week and contemplated committing myself. I know, crazy! Since my husband is in medical school he asked me all the questions they ask before you are committed... I didn't make the cut. So, we figured out I need to just get a whole REM cycle in and then I might not feel so nuts. He helped out last night with our daughter and I woke up feeling refreshed and NOT crazy! I don't like cry it out and we're trying to find something in between CIO and Gentle baby sleep patterns. It's soooooooooooooo hard! My daughter is attached to me but also becoming independent. She did well with Daddy at night. I nursed her once at 2am and once at 6:30am. She went down at 9:30pm. It was nice. We're going to make a sleeping log and go from there....I too am at my wits end and it's just great to know I'm not alone. Good luck to ALL!

Nikki - posted on 05/06/2010

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never used CIO never had a problem my baby sleeps just fine during the night and if he does wake up ill cuddle him give him a bottle or water and he'll go back to bed. Babies need to be loved and shown that there parents are there for them, our kids are only kids once why not enjoy it and make the most of it, as a parent it is your job to comfort your child not teach them independance as a baby, a baby who is shown affection and reassurance will be much more confident to become independant later on b/c they can trust and rely if they fall we will pick the up and help them along the way versus a baby that is shown they need to do it on their own they will feel more reluctant to become independant due to fear we won't be there if they fail..... I understand CIO is a method and it works for some people I just don't agree with it a baby needs his mommy , he is a baby remember!!

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