Cry it out

Becca - posted on 09/24/2010 ( 119 moms have responded )

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I have always thought "crying it out" was what I was going to do to teach my son to go to sleep on his own. As I listen to him crying right now I'm not so sure. My mom said she was told by doctors when I was little to do it, and I have heard many people say they did it. They also said it was hard but helpful. I have also heard people very much against it, and I am wondering what else can I do. What have you done? What works/ doesn't work? Am I just being mean and selfish to be doing this? I would also like to hear why people think it is right or wrong.

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Minnie - posted on 09/25/2010

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Amy- NO ONE sleeps through the night. An adult's sleep cycle averages 90 minutes. We wake at the end of each one. An infant's averages 50 minutes.

Now I know personally I have had times in which I couldn't sleep. Something was bothering me, something on my mind, or my body was uncomfortable, or venus was in the third horizon, whatever. But when that happens, I can do something to occupy myself until I'm ready to sleep. A baby can't get a nice soothing cup of tea and an easy-reading magazine. Why are infants expected to be left to their own devices in the dark to get back to sleep? I am grown- I can soothe myself back to sleep with a book or a cup of tea or some music, whatever floats my boat at the time. Well- when my daughter has trouble sleeping there is my breast, my arms, my warm body for her to seek comfort until she is ready to sleep. And gradually she WILL learn to find her own ways of getting herself to sleep. She doesn't need to be forced into it before she is ready.

[deleted account]

Loureen, the "life skill" I was referring to is SLEEP! And it isn't something children necessarily learn to do on their own. I have plenty of friends with children who are 7 and 8 years old who STILL don't sleep through the night. And these are the very parents who didn't sleep train.

As for my use of the word "devastating"....
Plenty of things are "devastating" when you're a parent. Like dropping your child off at school and watching them cry as you hand them over to the teacher. That's practically a rite of passage and I never hear parents criticizing that! Or how about the first time your child's heart is broken? Anything that hurts our children is "devastating."

But sleep training is something that's for the greater good - not just for parents, but for the child, too. Too many children in this world are chronically sleep deprived as it is. I believe that if you teach your child good habits from the start, you lay the groundwork for a lifetime of healthy sleep habits.

Charlie - posted on 09/24/2010

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I am very much against it , Cry it out goes against every grain of my motherly instincts .

I personally think if your instincts tell you its not right dont do it ,if hearing your baby cry stresses you out ( and it should IMO) then just imagine what a world of stress your child is in while crying , if you feel bad for doing it then dont do it .

[deleted account]

This is a blog that explains which type of babies can do CIO. She describes two type of babies. One type is a "releaser". A baby that releases tension by fussing or crying. These babies seem to need to just fuss for a minute or two to fall asleep and if you try to rock them or nurse them it will only make them unable to fall asleep. The other type is an "increaser". This type of baby will cry and cry and cry for hours until she gives up out of exhaustion or you give up and help her. I have an "increaser". I know she will not go to sleep on her own using CIO. Which is why I will never do it. I agree that if you have an "increaser" doing CIO is mean because the baby cannot settle that way. It's an interesting read.
http://www.askmoxie.org/2006/06/babies_a...

Rosie - posted on 09/30/2010

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april this is from the link i provided about the PROPER way CIO is to be used.

First, wait until your baby is physically and emotionally ready to sleep through the night, usually between 4 and 6 months of age. Ferber doesn't designate a precise age at which to begin his technique, since it can vary so much depending on the child.

If you're not sure whether your baby's ready, you can always give it a try. If you encounter too much resistance, wait a few weeks and try again.

Step 1
Put your baby in his crib when he's sleepy but still awake.

Step 2
Say goodnight to your child and leave the room. If he cries when you leave, let him cry for a predetermined amount of time. (See "How long should I leave my child alone?" below.)

Step 3
Go back into the room for no more than a minute or two to pat and reassure your baby. Leave the light off and keep your voice quiet and soothing. Don't pick him up. Leave again while he's still awake, even if he's crying.

Step 4
Stay out of the room for a little bit longer than the first time and follow the same routine, staying out of the room for gradually longer intervals, each time returning for only a minute or two to pat and reassure him, and leaving while he's still awake.

Step 5
Follow this routine until your child falls asleep when you're out of the room.

Step 6
If your child wakes up again later, follow the same routine, beginning with the minimum waiting time for that night and gradually increasing the intervals between visits until you reach the maximum for that night.

Step 7
Increase the amount of time between visits to the nursery each night. In most cases, according to Ferber, your baby will be going to sleep on his own by the third or fourth night — a week at the most. If your child is very resistant after several nights of trying, wait a few weeks and then try again.

How long should I leave my child alone?
In his book, Ferber suggests these intervals:

•First night: Leave for three minutes the first time, five minutes the second time, and ten minutes for the third and all subsequent waiting periods.
•Second night: Leave for five minutes, then ten minutes, then 12 minutes.
•Make the intervals longer on each subsequent night.

Keep in mind that there's nothing magical about these waiting periods. You can choose any length of time you feel comfortable with.

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[deleted account]

Here's an example of what I was just talking about:

http://www.circleofmoms.com/expecting-in...

I feel for her, I really do, but there comes a point where you have to say to yourself "Is this still better than CIO? Is the constant battling, the crying, screaming and the restraining a better situation than CIO?". It doesn't to me.

[deleted account]

I don't agree that sleep is a developmental milestone. It's a basic human need. We (adults and babies alike) NEED sleep. Some people think CIO is cruel, I think allowing and then encouraging bad sleep habits is cruel. I read on this site all the time "I am so tired, my child won't sleep! But I won't do CIO" (usually attachment parenters but not always). If you think you're so tired, what about your child who needs 30-50% MORE sleep than you? You think you're not coping? What about them? "Oh but they're very active" - tiredness can manifest as irritability and aggression, which, especially in a younger child, could be misinterpreted for 'active'. "Oh my baby is breastfed and needs to wake during the night." - true for young babies but breastfed babies are just as capable as formula fed babies at sleeping through the night at the same age. Breast feeding might help with their immunity but then sleep deprivation lowers immunity (I'm not saying don't breastfeed. But those mothers that do choose to breastfeed past 12 months always say the added immunity is one of their deciding factors and that could get cancelled out if they're lacking sleep). And then some people think its normal for breastfed older babies to slow their weight gain compared to formula fed but possibly it could be their lack of sleep and not the fact that they're breastfed at all (so some mother could be quitting breastfeeding because they think their baby isn't getting enough when it's actually the lack of sleep that's the issue). Our bodies grow and mend themselves in our SLEEP.

I'm not advocating for CIO as the ONLY way to get your child to sleep. If you use another way and it WORKS, then more power to you. BUT, if you've tried everything else, and you can't get your child to sleep the amount they NEED, then I think it's negligent not to try CIO - you're not doing it for how it makes you feel and not because of the child.

And finally, yes, your baby will cry at first and its not nice. But it's not for long and I'd bet a lot of money that in the long term, you get less crying out of the CIO children (and not because they've 'given up'). I've also read on here, from anti CIO mothers that they've used their bodies to physically hold their preschoolers down so they'll go to sleep. HOW is that better than CIO? How is that child centered?

[deleted account]

I'll hold my hands up we made a CHOICE to use CIO, I did not get to the end of my tether or have no other options, I weighed up the options and decided that this was the best option for MY family.

We followed a modified version of CIO and NEVER ignored our sons cries, I should say we used fussing it out because when he cries we soothe him (pick him up, rock him and when he is calm place him back down in his cot). We began with 5 mins of crying and increased from there, my son never cries for more than 15 mins.

We found that our son NEEDED to be alone to sleep, he sleeps better when in his own room and when he is allowed to fuss to sleep, unless he is ill or teething he generally goes to sleep after 5 mins of fussing (sometimes if he is awake he will just chat to his teddies for a few mins before going to sleep).

I completely agree that shutting the door and just leaving your child to cry is mentally abusive, and is NOT the way any responsible parent should use the CIO method. It is NOT funny or nice to leave your child in distress whether that distress is caused by pain or by them wanting you, distress is distress and your child should be soothed by you (or daddy). I also agree that it is NOT necessary to teach your child to sleep via sleep methods, I know people who do not use sleep training and their children are fully functioning members of society, however, there is nothing wrong with gently helping your child along their way.

There are many methods to help your child sleep, nobody can tell you what will work for you, IF you are not happy with a method it will NOT work and you are wasting your time doing it. IMO the MOST important thing is CONSISTENCY, whatever method you choose you MUST be consistent!

April - posted on 10/23/2010

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Sleep is something you just do. It's a conscious decision to just close your eyes and either wait or doze off immediately. A baby is a baby, but also a person that makes decisions and has feelings. A baby FEELS that he's not tired or simply not ready and has to DECIDE when to sleep. that's my take

Minnie - posted on 10/22/2010

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Kristaaaa, this is a debate community. We each think that we are right. Why else debate?

Of course each child is different, I give you that. But I do not believe that a child needs to cry alone to be taught to sleep. I actually don't believe that a child needs to be forcefully taught to sleep at all.

Krista - posted on 10/22/2010

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So Lisa, what would you suggest if your child does not do well with company when going to sleep? Not all babies are the same. Mine isn't a cuddler -- he never has been, even when he was teeny-tiny. I used to co-sleep (not bedshare, but he was in a bassinet right next to our bed), and he would seriously fight going to sleep, because he was too interested in us. At 3 months I put him in his own room but would stay with him until he fell asleep. It still took forever, because he'd be too interested in me and would fight sleep. When he was about 6 months old, I decided to try a gentler Ferber method of 2 minutes, 4 minutes, and no longer than 6 minutes of crying. Letting him fuss or cry for a few minutes after putting him down for the night resulted in him actually getting a LOT more sleep. He was better-rested, and hence, a much happier (and probably healthier) baby.



I know that you're very passionate about your own parenting methods and I admire that, but I do hope that you will consider the idea that sometimes people use methods that differ from yours not out of malice or ignorance, but because that method genuinely IS the best one for their child.

Minnie - posted on 10/22/2010

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Whether the child is being checked on every few minutes or is crying and not being checked on for all purposes, allowing a child to cry alone in bed with the intention of teaching him or her to put himself or herself to sleep, is Cry It Out. Make it sound as nice as you want, it's still forcing an infant who is not developmentally ready to go to sleep by himself or herself.

Children do not have to be 'taught' to go to sleep by themselves, any more than they have to be 'taught' to walk or become potty-idependent. Maybe this is a case of parents having unrealistic assumptions on the timeframe when a child is developmentally ready. But it does happen.

We don't have adults who have to still nurse at their mothers' breasts, who can't sleep without nursing, who poop in their pants because they weren't 'taught' to sit on the pot, etc. etc. (barring health concerns, of course).

Carolyn - posted on 10/21/2010

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I ran daycare for 25yrs., have had many different kinds of children with all sorts of questions. I personally feel that yes a child needs to cry some times. Not when going to bed, this is suppose to be a good safe place to go & feel secure. Somethings can be tried, your bedtime routine like start with a warm bath ok it last for half hour or fifteen min. Then book time ones that talk about going to bed and how it is a calming time. Not the favorite one that jacks up to a party at the end. Invest in some slow soft written ones, maybe some that have the soft feel to it. One they may be able to take to be if you put the child down while still awake. My daughter-in-law started putting her son down & did a 5min. check, went in made sure he was ok, no talking just making sure he was ok. Then wait 7min. each time she would add 2min to her check in time. He eventually put himself to sleep. Now we just tell him night, night & walk out the room. He is usually asleep within 10 to 15min. It takes so much patients to listen to a child cry. I know mine cried for 5mo I thought he would never stop. Turns out he had colic 27yrs ago there was no gas drops, just hatti's & I refused to give him alcohol. So he cried, I cried and we got through with a whole lot of rocking & praying. God Bless those who have to go through it. But, I truly believe if what you have tried does not work keep trying different things. It could be the room is to dark/light, it could be they need to hear soft music or a round of sleep oriented CD. Making sure they are not crying for anything else is the key. Taking away the discomfort is just plain trial & error there is no magic position or trick. Each child will have different needs & as a mother you need to help them figure that out. God Bless & I hope things get better for him & you.

[deleted account]

Perhaps we should use the term "ferberizing" when refering to the CIO method? People take the title literally sometimes and I think THAT is a huge problem and is the main source of confusion in these debates. CIO doesn't mean the same thing to everyone even though it should.

[deleted account]

I thought about that a bit more. All I can come up with is that "controlled crying" sounds much better than "cry it out" but they're just labels/names/titles - in essesence they're the same SHIT! ;)

[deleted account]

@Beck I think there is a difference if you used one of those methods and none if you're against letting babies cry.

Controlled crying is typically referred to letting a baby cry but checking/comforting them after a period of time whilst Cry it Out can also refer to that or just leaving a baby to cry til they fall asleep. Again. definitions vary, as do opinions on the pros and cons of both methods.

Beck - posted on 10/20/2010

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is there a difference? I'd like to know as I thought the CC and CIO methods were the same??? :S

Cheyenne - posted on 10/19/2010

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it sounds like some people on here are saying that the cry it out method is to put your baby in his/her crib and let them cry for however long it takes for them to go to sleep and every bit of info i have read about the cry it out method says to go in after 5 minutes of crying and sooth them without taking them out of their crib cause it will make them more alert then you walk out after a min or two then increase it each time by one minute. i dunno but if i let my boy cry for more than ten minutes he would be throwing up from crying so much

Beck - posted on 10/05/2010

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Jayde - I think warning the neihbours was a great idea! I have never had to do that cause I live out in the bush we were in a hotel in the city once next to a family with a young child (who could talk) yelling and crying for mummy a lot over night.
I did the same thing with letting my little girl cry for no longer than 20, but started at small intervals. I have never actually used the CIO method but used babywise which is similar. But thats another topic. I did the leave it 5 mins, then 10, but if it was just a tired cry I'd leave her for longer than my normal time limit as she was dropping herself off.
If she was doing an upset or angry cry then yes i would be a little more persistant because hse obviously needed me, but when she is just crying as she drops off she needed to get herself to sleep she didn't need me coming in every five mins interupting her as she dropped off to sleep

Jayde - posted on 10/05/2010

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i didn't read the other comments but it depends on the age. My daughter who was sleeping through the night started waking up at 3or 4 in the morning ready to go for the day (she was 14months at the time) i couldn't handle it anymore after a month so i warned the neighbours and told myself if she cries for longer than 30mins ill go in & get her. Well first night she took exact 30mins then fell back to sleep- i was amazed cos i didn't think it would work- the next few nights she only cried for maximum 15mins then fell back to sleep- it took about a week. Now she sleeps from 7pm-6am im happy with that! Good luck :) Also just to add she would never uncontrollably cry just real whingy cry.

Kelina - posted on 10/04/2010

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The increaser releaser makes sense to me. My son hated being rocked, squirmed and screamed if i held him when he was tired, and made getting him to sleep a nightmare from day one. He never wanted to cuddle when he was upset only if he was hurt. We did ferberizing at 8 or 9 months, i can never remember, and today for the first time ever, he came and cuddled with me because he was upset. He's 19 months!

[deleted account]

I see what you're saying, Anika. I actually got the link for that blog through another blogger. The other blogger had a "releaser" first and an "increaser" for her second child. So the second child isn't always easier. Although I *hope* that my second child is easier when it comes to sleep lol.

[deleted account]

I'm the opposite -- I can snuggle for a bit, but once "I'm ready to go to sleep, don't touch me, don't breathe on me, just stay on your side of the bed,
thanks." - Krista

LOL Krista, that is SO me too.

@Sara - I dunno. It sounds like a nice theory and if it's true my daughter is definitely a 'releaser'. She makes the little 'ahh ahh ahh' sounds Krista was talking about too. But if I can be devil's advocate here, this could just be a blogger justifying to her self why her tactics worked with her first child and not her second. Her theory could be true but it's just as likely that she wasn't able to attend to her 2nd child's needs immediately (because of the 1st) and he just learnt to put himself to sleep. Who really knows?

But I do agree with the gist of her blog which is to do what works for the individual child in that individual situation. Allowing my child to cry (a little) worked for my daughter and our family. But it might not for our second. Some parenting strategies you need to be strict with (like I will never smack my child) but others you need to be flexible with.

[deleted account]

That is very interesting, my son is definitely a releaser and there is NO WAY he will sleep on me unless he is sick or so tired he can't stand on his own feet. He will wine, cry and wriggle until I let him be. Then, he will be out within 10 minutes unless he has a need that is not fulfilled.

I have used a modified version of CIO with Shawn ONLY past 6 months when he started waking up and wanting to be with mommy every hour past 1am. he would ask for a bottle but would barely drink more than one gulp (abnormal for my little guy). I would just tell him before bed time that he needed to sleep on his own and that mommy would not take him out of his crib if he wasn't hungry. The first night I went into his room every 5-10 minutes and without a word would stroke his hair and walk out. After 30 minutes, I went in still didn't talk, gave him a cuddle and put him back into bed. He fell asleep before I left the room.

He just needed the re-assurance that I was there. I was going to cut the waking up gradually but after that night, he just slept from 8pm to 8 am waking up only once around 5am to eat and go back to sleep.


It worked for us but it was controlled, I don't like the close the door and walk away method which is often implied to be CIO... to me, it's not what it should be.

[deleted account]

I HATE snuggling while I'm sleeping but Chad and Roxanne are both snugglers. For Roxanne, although she sleeps in her bed through the night 98% of the time, when she does happen to wake and come in with us, it's "the closer the better" to me. She always wants to curl up right under my arm and she actually pulls my arms around her. She's funny. I'm surprised she does so extremely well in her crib.

Krista - posted on 10/04/2010

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That makes SO much sense, Sara.

My kid is definitely a "releaser". If I try rocking him to sleep or otherwise interfering with him, he just gets more wound up. (The only exception being when he's sick, when he wants his mommy and will happily conk out in my arms). Even when we're driving and he's about to fall asleep in his carseat, he lets out these little "aaaahhhhhhh"s, that aren't really crying, but just kind of a mild fussing. We joke that he's leaking air, because that's almost what it sounds like.

I suppose it's silly that I hadn't thought of it before, really. Some women I know can't go to sleep unless they're snuggling with their boyfriend/husband. They need to be held or touched in order to be able to sleep. I'm the opposite -- I can snuggle for a bit, but once I'm ready to go to sleep, don't touch me, don't breathe on me, just stay on your side of the bed, thanks. And my husband is the same way. So it kind of makes sense that our child would be the same -- not interested in being held/rocked to go to sleep.

[deleted account]

Last night my 3 month old woke up at 2am hungry so he fed for his normal 1/2 hour to 45mins and then i tried to settle him back to sleep. In my arms he wouldn't stop wriggling and squirming so i put him in his bassinett next to my bed and let him sook himself to sleep. It took lees than 5 mins for him to be fully back to sleep. He then slept until 7am this is the 1st night i have put him down and let him sook and it was also the first night he has only ever woken once and then slept for 4 hours after his feed. before last night i was bed sharing from when he would wake for his night feeds at 1am and then every 2 hours from there. My guess is its because he could smell me even though he wasn't hungry. I will try it again tonight but i know he is way to young for CIO and i don't think thats what i did at all but i also think some of the mother on here will think of that as CIO.

[deleted account]

It depends on your definition of CIO. As a general rule I'm not a huge fan of CIO, but I admit to using short bouts controlled crying on 2 occasions after trying other things first. I would never advocate leaving and not going back until the baby has cried themself to sleep for however long it takes. Thats just cruel.

I'm less opposed to CIO for older children, but even then there has to be an amount reasonableness to it. It's still a bit mean to just leave and not return because young children get frightened for all sorts of reasons.

Jennifercounce - posted on 10/02/2010

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I think it depends on the age of the child and how long you let them cry but if you are uncomfortable with it don't do it!

Stifler's - posted on 09/30/2010

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I did the method Kati described for my own convenience. Not a fan of rocking a year old child to sleep for every nap and bed time. So shoot me.

Joanna - posted on 09/30/2010

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I did CIO (as well as stopped swaddling the same night) when my daughter was 7 months old. I prepared myself for the worst, but she was asleep after crying for 15 minutes (I checked on her twice, at 5 and 10 minutes, then right when I was going to go at 15 minutes I heard her fall asleep). And instead of waking up 3 times that night, she woke up once and cried for about 5 minutes and then slept the rest of the night. The next night she cried for maybe 5-10 minutes, but didn't cry again after that.

So maybe I was just lucky, but it worked perfectly... for us. IT doesn't work for everyone. But she went to bed and woke up happier than I'd ever seen her before, and it saved my sanity (7 months of 2-4 hours of sleep a day will turn you into mommy zombie). It also helped me learn her cries more... a sick cry, a scared cry, a nightmare cry, and comfort cry, etc. And I love how easily she puts herself to sleep now. Now that she's 3, if she's not ready to nap, she will play in her room and then lay down and sleep, I never have to fight her for naps. It's nice.

Cat - posted on 09/30/2010

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I'm only going by my experience, but, if any of my kids cried for longer than approximately 10mins, I'd go get them and try something different... If they're ever crying simply b/c they're tired and nothing else is wrong, it doesnt last for more than about 5-10mins, and it decreases, not increases... Like i said previously, I cannot usually do the CIO method b/c I cannot stand hearing my kids cry... I dont jump immediately within the first few seconds, b/c, especially as they're older they need to learn some degree of patience, but I am opposed to just sitting and listening to them cry, especially if they're under about 18mths of age...

Oh, and the 'idea' that kids who are not left to CIO will somehow never learn to fall asleep on their own is entirely bunk... I have three kids who not only fall asleep on their own, but stay asleep the whole night...

Bonnie - posted on 09/30/2010

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Hi, Becca.

The old school thought on this was to let baby cry it out.The problem with that method is that it doesn't work very well if there is a reason, other than your attention, why baby is crying.

Baby will also cry if he is over tired, so try to tuck him in before he gets to that point. A little fun play time one on one, story time with you, fresh air and a snack or a meal before those activities will also help baby to wind down.

I would say, as a veteran parent of four and a grandmother of two and an educator, to only let baby cry for a few minutes, no more than ten tops, and only if you know baby has been fed, doesn't have a burp, is dry and comfortable, and is tired.

Key tired signs are rubbing the eyes or wobbling and plopping down more often or even a little whining. Use your mother instincts on this.

If this is happening in the middle of the night and baby is old enough, over six months, then try to quietly check on him and don't engage with him. This will send the message that night time is when everyone in the family sleeps.

Try to stick to a general routine which will also help baby to feel more secure.

On the other hand if baby is uncomfortable and you need to change his diaper, do so, but in a quiet manner with low light if possible and no conversation. Be gentle and patient and you will learn to read the signs that your baby is sending through his crying which is his main way of communicating his needs to mommy or daddy.

Good luck! If you want to continue the conversation or have any other questions, feel free to stop in and see me at www.parentforward.blogspot.com.
Good Luck! Good Parenting!
Bon :)

Petra - posted on 09/30/2010

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*Sigh*

Amy - My opposition to cry it out lies with the mothers, whom I have personally known, who shut the door and simply walk away. Yes, yes, yes, I know that you may take offense to this being called cry it out. Semantics. Perhaps we can agree that its a misnomer. For the time being, how about we let it go?

If you use cry it out, I have no judgment for you because I simply don't care. I am not condemning moms who do graduated sleep training. If I came off all "mommier than thou" by saying that long, long nights were the reality for me for the first several months of my son's life, then our experiences probably varied greatly. I expected to lose a lot of sleep when I had a child and I did. Nowhere along the way did I think that when I was tired of being up late at night, just putting him in his room and ignoring him would be a viable solution. Your viable solution involved a timer. Cry it out as practiced by people I know, does not.

I'm getting a little tired of the persistent attitude of so many mothers that poor little first time mumma-me is in need of some wisdom... and I've received CIO advice from women, as I've discussed, in the same spirit. You know nothing about me whatsoever and feel justified in making assumptions about my knowledge and experience base, as well as my intent; nevermind that I am an educated 31 year old woman with a 5 year old step-son whom I have had the privilege of having in my family since he was one, and that I have a very, very close extended family whose little ones have played a huge role in my life and have helped shape my childrearing views. But according to you, Amy, due to the young age of my only biological child, my experiences are so sorely lacking that my opinion holds no weight.

Good to know that no one is hyper-sensitive on this forum, and that no one will resort to unnecessary personal attacks and judgments about people who simply hold different opinions about the concept of "Cry It Out".

Erin - thanks for your continued input :-)

April - posted on 09/30/2010

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what is an acceptable amount of time to let your child cry if it's just "pissed off crying" and not " i need my mommy crying"? i am curious what everyone's comfort level is?

April - posted on 09/30/2010

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Ferber! That sounds better? I don't let my child CIO, I ferberized them? Not trying to be judgmental, but that sounds weird to me. sorry.

Erin - posted on 09/30/2010

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Wow Amy, can you say condescending? So you're suggesting that because you have two children, who are older than Petra's, you are right and she is wrong?

As with many anti-CIO mothers, Petra's opposition to CIO may be a moral one, and have absolutely nothing to do with her experience. Your post assumes that every mother, if forced to deal with enough sleepless nights, will resort to CIO as a matter of necessity. That's simply not true.

I don't have negative feelings towards mothers who use CIO. I don't think it's abusive or evil. But I also don't think it's natural, and I hate that sleep-training has become so mainstream that those of us who don't believe in it have become the exceptions.

[deleted account]

Well said, Krista.

And I'd like to add, Petra, that I noticed your "experience" seems to include only a 9-month-old baby (who's very cute, by the way). But trust me... as a mother who has two children (a 7-y.o. and a 17-month-old), I can say that you haven't gone very far down the road of motherhood yet.

CIO is a viable solution that works for many families. There may come a time when it will work for you as well.

Krista - posted on 09/29/2010

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No, and that's fair enough, Erin. I guess it's just that some of the things that Petra said did not come across well, and DID imply that ALL mothers who use CIO are only doing it for their own convenience. And saying, "you chose to have a baby, you choose to deal with all that goes with: sleep deprivation, long nights, pacing pacing pacing humming singing rocking until your little one chills out & nods off,"...well, I like you Petra, but this DID come across as a little bit mommier-than-thou, I'm afraid. It made me feel as though you were saying that because I use CIO, that I'm shirking my responsibilities as a parent. So perhaps you can understand why a few of us here bristled.

Erin - posted on 09/29/2010

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I agree that most mothers on COMs are talking about Ferberizing when referring to CIO, but that is certainly not the case in the general community. I think that is the point Petra is trying to make.

Erin - posted on 09/29/2010

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And this is partly why I hate CIO. Everyone has different definitions. Some mums will allow their babies to have a little grizzle on the way to sleep and think they are doing CIO. Others will do what Petra's friends obviously are, and take it to the extreme while thinking they are also doing CIO.

If there's one thing I've noticed on these boards, it's that there are more than one category of CIO mummas. There are those who research it and practice it according to recommendations, and those who do no research, listen to their peers and take it literally (resulting in babies crying for long periods of time).

It DOES happen, and it is done under the guise of sleep-training.

Krista - posted on 09/29/2010

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Actually, Kati is not going by her definition of CIO. She is going by Ferber's definition of CIO. As am I. As do pretty much any responsible mothers who use CIO.

Allowing neglectful mothers to define CIO would be like allowing someone who beats her kid with a baseball bat to define "spanking".

So these women that you speak of, they might CALL what they are doing CIO. And I can call myself a size 6 supermodel. But saying it doesn't make it so.

I suppose to make things easier, we could allow people like those women to lay claim to CIO, and to call what we do Ferberizing. But it'd be kind of hard to get the word out officially, methinks.

Rosie - posted on 09/29/2010

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it's not my definition. i didn't invent CIO petra. neither did your MIL, or whoever else has mentioned it too you. did you not read the link?
i don't think you're an idiot, you're just not understanding what i'm trying to say. just cause someone says it's CIO doesn't make it so.

Petra - posted on 09/29/2010

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Oh... I see. Po-tay-to; po-tah-to. Because you use CIO, it must be restricted to your definition of CIO. Right. I must be completely wrong and my neighbours are most certainly crack-pots, as is my MIL, as are a number of my girlfriends, simply because you think so. Keep responding like I'm an idiot and capitalizing your really, really important points and making fun of my usage of colloquial, friendly expressions and please, take it so personally that you suck the potential camaraderie out of this debate completely.

Rosie - posted on 09/29/2010

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you don't seem to understand that that is NOT CIO. do i have to spell it out for YOU, DUDE?!! leaving a baby to wail for hours is in no way CIO, just because some crackpot acquaintance of your says it is.
it is the fact that you can even put it in the same catagory as CIO, that i have the issue with. lumping the woman who leaves her child to wail for hours in the same category is dangerous. it gives people the wrong impression and leaves people, like sally here, to make assumptions that other peoles kids are screwed up, or that everybody who uses CIO is a lazy parent. i take offense to the fact that you keep on calling it CIO, when it is clearly NOT THE SAME THING. STOP SAYING IT IS OR REFERING TO KIDS LEFT WAILING FOR HOURS AS A FORM OF CIO. that is all, thank you. :)

Petra - posted on 09/29/2010

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Kati, I know what you think CIO is. I have read about it many times and had many productive discussions about it. Again, I don't take issue with it and I have not condemned it. I stated, very clearly, that CIO to a lot of mothers I know is what you, yourself, deem "ignoring your kid". This method of CIO is alive and well and is still advised by mothers, grandmothers, doctors and anyone else who has an opinion on the matter. I am speaking from experience and I thought I made that clear too. Your definition of CIO is going to differ from my neighbour's. Because it is not the method you use does not invalidate it as a method of CIO to others who do use it. I happen to disagree with it. If you do too, what are you continuing to argue with me for? What are you hoping to convince me of? Do I really need to make a little disclaimer with every mention of CIO (not your CIO, but the CIO I discussed above, even though you don't think its CIO, but what my mother-in-law refers to as CIO)? Seriously, dude.

Petra - posted on 09/29/2010

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Sara B. - Not judgmental dude, matter of fact. They put their kids in their rooms for the night and walked the fuck away so that they could, as explicitly stated by them, get a good night's sleep. These are the mums I know who do CIO. I don't know any of you. If I had a response to direct to one of you, I'd name you.

BUT... you seem to want to cling to a little point of contention there. How many more ways can I say it? I guess Cry It Out in Alberta means put your kid in their room for the night and forget about them. That is not a judgment on my part, it is an observation. The mums I know who don't do CIO, don't do CIO and don't tout any methods. The mums I do know who do CIO, just shut the fucking door on their kids.

Nowhere in my statements is anything directed to the prescribed CIO method that mothers like yourself use. I explicitly said the mothers I know. Take a comment like that at face value, there is no subtext or subtle dig at you anywhere in there. Relax, guy!

Sara - posted on 09/29/2010

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You're right, you didn't directly say any of those things. Sorry if we blew things out of proportioni. BUT, the subtext of your reply with statements like "Tucking them away in their rooms and forgetting about them for the night is what I've seen practiced by all mums I know who are pro-CIO. Crying got in the way of a peaceful nights' sleep for them, so they just ignored it" seems to have a very judgemental tone to it. Maybe that's just me, but I do apologize for assuming that's what you meant.

Petra - posted on 09/29/2010

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...after rereading the responses... I did not call a single mother on here lazy or an unfeeling monster, or any other name. I did not imply that you are bad mothers. I did not imply that your method of CIO is harmful or wrong. And I certainly did not imply that because I sacrificed a whole lot of sleep for my son that I am a better mother. I specifically referred to the only mothers I know that actually do CIO, and the way that they do it, and voiced my disagreement with their practices. If we want to get into specifics, letting a three month old (the age where I was still pacing pacing, and very happy to do so) scream his little head off while I plugged my ears or put on some music, which is the only CIO I've ever seen in action, is fucking awful. But I held my tongue. Its not my place to tell someone else how to parent their child. I did not judge any of you or tell you that you're doing it wrong. I am clear that you feel your CIO methods are not harmful, but again, the only mums I know who openly support CIO are doing it in the method described above. It is considered CIO by those who use it, and I do feel strongly about it and I will debate its use on a friggin' debate forum.

Petra - posted on 09/29/2010

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Wow - I didn't expect to get lit up for that :-)

I understand what your idea of CIO is and I do not take issue with it at all - I think the method of CIO you use, Krista, is common sense. The mothers touting CIO in the literal sense that I know, are just as vehement in their opinion that what they are doing is good for their babies. My experiences with CIO mothers are what I relayed in my post. They have said that what they do is CIO and it needs to be done, for their baby's sake - and I do not agree that this is what's best for their children, its what is best for them. I've sacrificed less and less sleep for my little one as he's gotten older and began sleeping through the night - with the odd rough night, where I just suck it up and do what needs to be done.

Ladies, I was not attacking or belittling your methods, but rather the CIO methods I constantly have shoved down my throat. This is what I know to be CIO because I have yet to meet someone who chills with their timer and then goes in after the prescribed amount of time - or who even really cares how long its been. I know that you don't think what these moms are doing is CIO, but tell that to them and they'll tell you you're wrong. Perhaps I should have made myself a little more clear.

Rosie - posted on 09/29/2010

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the first time someone can prove that a "screwed up " child was caused by CIO, i'll be on your bandwagon. until then, my COMPLETELY NORMAL, LOVING, HAPPY, HEALTHY, children will be waiting over here with bated breath.
your completely ignorant, presumptuous post angers me. how DARE anyone assume that my children are screwed up, or love me less, or that you're a better mother than someone who uses CIO!! we could get into a huge pissing contest about who has done the most for our children, i know i've done things that most other women havn't had to deal with, yet SOMEHOW i manage to realize that it would be pretty damn arrogant of me to assume i'm mother fucking theresa, and everybody elses kids are screwed up. FML....

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