What if "Cry it Out" isn't best for your toddler?

Sometimes "Cry It Out" is just not the best method for every child, or for every mom! What are some of your best methods for getting a toddler to sleep as an alternate to CIO?

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40  Answers

157 22

We tried Cry It Out two or three times with my eldest, but every time he was ill (which was a lot otat the time) he would go back to square one and I just couldn't do it again. I hadn't been comfortable the first time around. So I would sit with him in his room and sing lullabyes till he drifted off to sleep. By the time he was three and half, he didn't need me any more and he is now an independent sleeper. Now I miss singing him to sleep, especially since our second child doesn't like me singing to her at night. She still needs to be parented to sleep though. I don't mind. They grow up too quickly.

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34 42

The cio method worked wonders for my son. At 3 months when I went back to work, we started it. We would let him cry for a minute then go in, then 3 minutes then go in, gradually making it longer intervals. When we went in we never picked him up, just laid our hand on his belly and talked very softly to him, sang to him and comforted him. He was usually asleep by the 3rd-4th time. My son was sleeping in his own bed for 8-9 hours straight by the time he was 4 months old. He is 3 years old now and still sleeps like a champ. He has always been a very happy child and is very independent. He doesn't depend on us to do everything for him and that will be a huge trait when he reaches adulthood. If he can't do it, he will come to us but he always wants to try first. Can't wait to see how successful he will become. My friend always did everything quickly and at the snap of her babies fingers, she's 4 now and my friend wishes she didn't jump everytime she said so because now her child can't and wont do anything for gerself, she depends on her mom and dad to do everything for her. :-/ For those of you against it, I'm not sure why, it doesn't harm the baby at all. Never phased mine. There's nothing wrong with it but if you don't want to sleep yourself than that's your decision, but it worked wonders for me to be able to sleep all night uninterrupted. At least try it. Let me tell you how, I will always use the cio method to start with, if it doesn't work then Ill try something else with our next.

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6 23

Try the book The no-cry sleep solution by Elizabeth Pantry (I think that's the authors name). I tried twice to let my child cry it out but it wasn't for me or him. As his parent, I'm his protector and comforter, I can't let him just cry. A wise friend of mine said to me, "If you were upset, scared, lonely and crying, wouldn't you want someone to come to you and comfort you?"

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157 22

It's Elizabeth Pantley. Great book!

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5 30

Ok... I ABSOLUTELY HATE the term "Cry it Out"... It gives what I do a bad connotation. I use a technique that I call "Self-Soothing" and YES, it is basically the exact same thing. (I think... my neighbor called what I do "cry it out", but that isn't how I see it.) It is letting your child cry when there is NOTHING that they need. I am a MAJOR advocate of this, because It is giving your child the opportunity to learn HOW to Soothe themselves. ALL 3 of my kids have been parented with this "technique" if you want to call it that... For me, it wasn't something I read in a book or online, it was simply common sense. I didn't know there was a name for it until my neighbor said it. There are people who find this cruel, and I think what they don't understand is that You don't make your baby cry if there is something legitimately wrong... If they are hungry, feed them. If they are dirty or wet, change them. If they are lonely, hold them, but when it is bed time, and all of their needs have been met, lay them down while they are still AWAKE and walk away... Yes, they might be upset at first, because they want you, You give them 5 to 10 minutes to see if they will calm themselves. If not, you go check on them to make sure there is nothing wrong, and if they are simply crying to be held, talk soothingly to them as you lay them down, assure them they are ok, and walk away. They will learn very quickly how to be ok by themselves. YOU will also learn how to read your children's emotions and needs, because you will learn how to analyze their cries. And if you start this young enough, your kids will adapt to this easily. It usually only took about a week for them to get used to not getting attention every time they cried, and they stopped doing it...They only cried for legitimate reasons after they learned that I wasn't going to hold them when they ONLY wanted attention. My children are all very well behaved, independent, and loving little girls. They have no attachment issues or problems making friends or adjusting to new situations. THEY DON'T need me for their happiness. They want me, but I am NOT at their beckon call... I am not controlled by them. I think that this teaches them LONGTERM things they will need to be successful people. They learn that it is ok to be alone. That they can find happiness within themselves. They learn independence, and they also learn that I am not their personal slave. They do not ALWAYS get what they WANT, but their NEEDS are ALWAYS met. I am there for them if they need me. For all of those people who think it is mean to make your child cry, let me ask you... Would you give your 5 year old EVERYTHING they ever asked for, or would you sometimes tell them no if you do not think they need what it is they want? It is no different. It is simply starting early... When our babies were first born, we were at their command... When they cried, they DID NEED something... That is how infants work, but after about 2 months, they start to develop wants... not just needs. They will cry for more reasons than just poop or food... And during the day, I will hold them and soothe them and love on them, and rock them and sing to them and all of that that they do need, but at bed time or nap time, I will check their basic needs, make sure there is not something they NEED, and let them Self Soothe. All 3 of my kids have slept thru the night before they were 3 months ON THEIR own without me needing to rock them or sing to them or whatnot... They did not cry when I left the room, they just knew that it was time to sleep... The only exception to this is my youngest who when she is teething will cry as I leave the room, but will calm herself down within a matter of a minute or two. I personally LOVE this. I love that they are independent and content to be alone. It has not only helped me be a better parent, because I have been less stressed, but I have also had content, independent and loving little girls. I am looking forward to implementing this "technique" on the little life that is growing inside me right now. I think that there are a lot of misconceptions about WHAT "cry it out" is... It is not neglect... At least not for me... It is a practical, loving, and I believe very beneficial approach to your children... And in my opinion, a way to teach them valuable things at a very young age... Starting them out the way you will parent when they get older, so that when they are 2 or 3 years old, and NOT getting their way all the time, they are already used to it... I freely admit that I could be wrong, but this is what feels right to me... I think - going back to the misconceptions thing - that parents hear cry it out and think that it is making your kids cry even if there is a need... That is not what it is... When they need comfort and soothing, you give it to them, but when they want attention, and they have already had a large amount of your attention the whole day, they don't NEED it... It is a want, and Not all wants need to be fulfilled... This comment is meant for the parent who doesn't like the idea of "cry it out" but has seen or heard it's success and is willing to try something that is similar, but comes from a positive and loving perspective.

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5 15

Completely agree 100%. I have 3 children which I used this "method" Whatever they like to call it. It is common sense. If they get attention when they cry for no good reason they will continue to do so. The method should be called "Teaching your children to cut out non-sense" If parents don't like to use this "method" for bed time what happens with any other rule? "Can I have chocolate before dinner?" "No it's almost dinner time." "Cries" "Ok have a little chocolate"

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963 14

Cry it out is NEVER "best" for ANY child. All it teaches a child is that you no longer care about their needs for an arbitrary amount of time during the night. It also does very bad things to their hormones that can have detrimental effects into adulthood. It also does bad things to mommies hormones that make it hard for her to rest even after the child gives up.
It's far better to soothe your child with whatever works best for that child (cuddles, stories, lullabies, nursing,...) until that child is old enough to fall asleep comfortably on their own. Some lucky kids can do that in their first year. Others can't until much later.
My 7 year old couldn't self soothe to sleep until she was 3 1/2. My 2 year old could do it at 9 months, but still prefers nursing. It's a little more work for a little while, but my kids are worth it.

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5 17

thumbs up!!!! super mum

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1 18

I have never read any CIO advice that suggested leaving a child in distress for as long as some of these answers have suggested (45 mins in one), usually its just a few minutes before reassuring them that you are still there (though not picking them up). I tried controlled crying with one of my 3 children and it worked within 2 days. This is after nearly 3 years of broken nights! The other 2 didn't really need it as were sleeping through by 8 weeks. I can see no difference at all in their ability to make friends or their relationship with me, they are all happy 'successful' children. I think the needs of the whole family (no one was getting any sleep in my house) need to be taken into account, and a little common sense applied to ANY theory.

9
43 31

Calmness, reassurance, consistency, comfort, trust, patience.

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0 9

I am 100% against CIO. As a Mother it is beyond me to allow a baby to soothe oneself. We as adults need soothing from time to time; to admit otherwise you are both a fool and a liar. How then could we expect an infant to do the same? Let me be clear about my definition of CIO, as I saw some assumptions that those who don't allow CIO must then allow their kids to eat candy if they cry for it? No, that's called whining. My definition of CIO is when you know your baby needs you, not in regards to a diaper change, more food, or a burping but just 100% needs their Mother's touch and you neglect it b/c their "basic" needs have been met. That's what CIO means to me, neglecting their need to be close to you b/c their basic needs have been met. I know there are different methods that people use with CIO, but to be honest it makes no difference to me. CIO is CIO.

My daughter is 2.5 years old and not one time in her small time here on this earth have I allowed her to CIO. She has been held when she wanted/needed to be. One would suspect, according to these responses, that I have a clingy child? Ha! Hardly. My daughter is the most independent little girl. She wants to do everything by herself. She is very loving and very bright. I look at her face and I know she knows how loved she is by those around her. That we will protect her come hell or high water and that we are there for her no matter what. The confidence she displays can not be mistaken and is apparent to all that have met her. There is no greater joy than that of a Mother who comforts her child.

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15 10

I COMPLETELY AGREE!!! My 4 yr. old is independent too, he is confident in knowing I'll meet his needs for comfort as well as food, clothing etc.. I think it helps instill empathy, a trait that is sadly lacking in many people.

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7 20

I don't see how "cry it out" is bad. Obviously to a certain extent, n maybe its not for every child. Like a few others mentioned, if you know your childs different crys then you know what you should do. My son is 2 1/2 and "cry it out" worked wonders for him. I started this method rather early on, when i knew his types of crys. He's always been a good sleep and theres been several times in his 2 1/2 years we've had to let him "cry it out" and basically cry himself to sleep, for the sure fact he just DIDNT WANT to go to bed, even after a normal routine of play times, running errands and naps, he still didn't want to go to bed. Which is fine, but he must stay in his bed. If he were to be sick or some other reason for him not wanting to sleep then of course i would tend to him. I know his "i just dont want to do it" cry. Your child develops "trust" VERY early, if anyone knows their psychology. So as long as your not neglectful (which to an extent "cry it out" is not neglectful unless its taken overboard) then your child already has their trust in you and if "cry it out" works for them, it will not destroy the trust they have for you. Kids are smarter then people give them credit for. They "test your buttons" rather early and its up to you to give in or show the child you mean what you say and say what you mean. 45 minutes does seem long to me, im not sure who mentioned it but someone mentioned someone mentioned it =P i would always do "cry it out" method for 15 mins at a time, if it continues i will talk to him, calm him down and if he still is in his "i just dont want to do it" then the process will start over again, so theres 10 minutes of calming in between. My niece who never experienced "cry it out" in lack of better words is a brat.....like i said its not for EVERY child and its for the parent to determine that, but the couple times i told them they should just let her cry, well...it worked...and she was completely fine...."giving in" which i find to be the opposite of "cry it out"...also going overboard can be JUST as bad as "cry it out" (if you dont believe in cry it out) becuase some people over comfort their children and they generally dont become independent later in life when they should because they will always have their parents by their side. Just my opinion....

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5 30

agree! It is all about balance...

5 17

i find this method hurtful and painful for both the parents and children involved. i tried it for 3 days but, it drained life out of me to hear my son cry. it felt like i was ignoring him at his deepest point of need. its definitely not anything for me. i read about it and found out that a lot doctors dont agree with the method....... psychologists sites i read from even allude that the method makes children distant from their parents in the future. theres a lot of information online and i would advise all parents who are interested to read about it before getting on with this method.

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8 11

Allowing your child to cry won't make them distant from you. As a mom and dad you have to actively "parent" your children, which does mean doing things that your child doesn't like. There is nothing wrong with letting your child cry especially when you establish trust with your baby early. Their daddy and I have always put our sons to bed after bedtime ROUTINE and if they cried, check on them for dirty diaper or any other issue without taking them out of their room, put them to bed again.. I would sing to them and smile (confidence is taught) and turn the light off again and leave the room. If they cry again gradually let them cry a bit longer before checking on them. Eventually they got to where they just needed their hair stroked or blanket pulled up or an extra good night kiss before going to sleep. Now our oldest 3 just head to their room when we say bedtime and then daddy and I head in for prayer and hugs and kisses and tucking. Our youngest is still nursing so his schedule is different but will gradually become like his brothers. They are all 4 very close with daddy and I because we are a family and rely on God given wisdom rather than psychologists to guide us. There comes a point where a parent has to learn their own children instead of relying on books to tell them what to do. A parent knows their own child better than anyone else!

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0 1

We are the only mammals that attempts to isolate our young at such an early age...relative to developmental stage. I have three children...one is 18 and my youngest are 2 1/2 and 4. I cherish the time I spend with my children at the end of the day. Of course, my 18 year old no longer requires (or allows lol) it...but as a young child - we both had some of the best conversations ever at the end of the day. Children require safety. Sitting with them, talking and calming them at the end of the day is a necessary part of development especially in our fast paced world. I will never understand where the desire came from to get kids to sleep through the night as fast as possible...kids reach that stage when their bodies and minds are ready. Crying is a signal. It is what those who cannot speak use to communicate that something is wrong. If that something is that the child is lonely...so be it...I believe if we spend more time nurturing our kids at the end of the day...we'd be a much more healthy society.

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0 7

this is a stream for alternatives to "cry it out". i'm disappointed to see it bombarded by defense for cry it out. mothers looking at this stream are looking for answers other than cry it out. we understand it and we don't want to do it and please let us alone in that decision, as we let you alone in your decision. i've seen a few suggestions for elizabeth pantley's book, the no cry sleep solution. it is around $10 on amazon. it is a wonderful book, as she recognizes that not every child is the same and so no solution is the same, so she offers many solutions and helps you make a plan that works for you and your baby. it is my understanding that if you parent a certain way (very hands on, snuggly, cosleeping, etc.) then if you try cry it out it will not work and your child will be confused, upset, ill, etc. please read elizabeth pantley's book, it will make both you and your child feel better, make you feel empowered as a parent, and give you answers to your questions, without making you feel guilty. it is a slower process, but just try to enjoy each and every moment with your baby, you will not get them back.

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464 4

My son has been sleeping through the night since he was 4 months old. I established a bedtime routine back then. He's almost 4 now and the routine has evolved through the years but still works like a charm. He has gone through phases where he hasn't slept well but they usually don't last long. I think if you know your child"s cry then you know what to do. If they are fussing a little bit let them fuss for a few minutes. However, sometimes I feel they work them selves up to the point where they don't even remember why they're crying and at that point they need to be comforted. I don't think it's necessary to jump for every single whimper, but to allow a child to go on for hours..... I wouldn't have the heart for it.

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1 5

Selfish, cruel, long term psychological damage, spoiling, ruining, NEVER, AWFUL. My word is why. Why do we need to destroy each other in order to prove that what we do is right and what other moms do is wrong? No decent parent (one who would take the time to read parenting advice on this site) would do something that would be terrible enough to earn some of these comments. You disagree, fine. You agree, great- offer your support. That's what we all need. Support. I have two wonderful children and they have slept through the night since they were about 18 months old without needing my husband or me to comfort them throughout the night. God says that my marriage is my first priority and that is hard to tend to when you have a child between you every minute of every day and night. I understand if you do not agree- but you don't need to judge. My children self- soothe. They fall down and get right back up. They go to the bathroom at night and all I hear is a toilet flush and back to bed they go. It worked for us and it has resulted in a well rested, well adjusted and loving family that knows that we are there for each other when it is needed but that each of us is strong enough to handle things alone. I am not saying my way is better than yours, it just worked for us. I do not believe that my children will have long term psychological damage. I do not believe that I am cruel. I do not believe that giving myself time alone with my husband at night is selfish. I want to provide a loving stable home for my children and my husband and I have done just that- using a self soothing approach to bedtime. You don't have to do it. You don't have to agree to it. But how dare you judge it with your sharp words and uninformed (about its application In each home) conclusions. You don't know the inner workings of any family but your own so how can you feel it is appropriate to tear another mom down just because you don't agree? We all do the best we can by our children and we all do it differently. Support is what we all need! That's why I go to this site, isn't it what you are here for?

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5 30

I like what you said about your marriage being priority. I believe that WHOLEHEARTEDLY! I have a friend whose husband doesn't even sleep in the same bed as her anymore because the baby sleeps with her... I cannot imagine forfeiting sleeping with my husband to sleep with my kids... If that is what works for her, more power to her, but I could never do it.

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8 0

We never let our daughter cry it out. She used to cry a lot when we left her in the cot, not surprisingly as we adopted her at age 1 so it was obviously a very difficult transition for her. We read about the method of Controlled Crying and it has worked well for us. Basically you leave the child crying for three minutes and then go back in to reassure her. You repeat the process until they fall asleep. We found that it took less time each evening until she stopped crying altogether. She still doesn't always settle quickly, she will talk a lot, but she will go to sleep eventually. At times when there have been changes to deal with she has cried again, notably when we removed her dummy and then when we recently lost our elderly cat, who she really loved. But after a couple of nights she was fine again.

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16 11

I don't believe it the CIO method. When my son was a baby I use to hold him until he went to sleep. When he got heavier I would lay down in my bed with him then put him in his cot, but in the middle of the night he would cry and end up back in bed with me and I would try and put him back in his cot but he would wake up. eventually I got sick of him being in bed with me so down come his cot and in goes the new bed, so when he'd wake up I would go lie down with him in his own bed until he went back to sleep usually only takes 10 minutes. Now he slept's through the night.
So I believe in comforting the child.

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7 20

More power to you is this method worked for you, BUT does he expect you to come to his room EVERY night? Seems like he does this an awful lot with coming into your bed, and now your going to his room instead, im not sure how thats any different. I think most children go through the "im wanna sleep in mommy and daddys bed" phase, which you just have to break. Sounds like he's just getting what he wants. Thats what i got out of this, im not trying to offend anyone

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14 17

I don't like crying it out either. Although my son wakes up at least twice a night (he's almost 13 months) and spends a lot of the night sleeping with me, I just can't do it. I didn't with my daughter, who is 3 either. She sleeps very well in her bed now. My friend, whose daughter is also 3, told me this sad story of how they once tried letting her cry it out. After about 45 minutes they came back for her. She was so relieved to see them she pooped her pants. I don't think that is ok to do to a child. I will NOT let my kids cry it out. Like I said, I sleep with my son. It helps us both get more sleep. I always start him in his crib when he's already asleep. I don't know if what I'm doing will result in him sleeping on his own or not. I'm just trying to make sure we both get sleep without the CIO stuff. Good luck.

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28 39

I can only give an answer according to what my experience has been with this idea. When my oldest son was two years old, I put him in his crib to go to sleep and he didn't want to go to sleep. He started to cry! A few people told me to let him cry it out when this happens and my husband and I decided to give that advice a try. He cried for over an hour until he was blue in the face. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and I took him out of his crib. It took weeks before he went to sleep in his crib again because he was always afraid that we were going to leave him there to cry. It was a pain in the butt getting him to sleep in his crib again, but we managed to do it. I say go with you motherly instinct on what to do when this happens. I really do believe that mother knows best!

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34 42

That's why it didn't work. For over an hour, really?? Its meant to be a few minutes. I never went past 10 but started with one and increases by 3 minutes every time. I think too many people go to the extremes with the cio method. That's probably why so many people are against it, thing we leave them for an hour. I would never dream of leaving him to cry that long.

15 10

I could never do the CIO method and I think it's mother's instinct not to let your baby cry and for good reason. For those of you who think CIO isn't harmful to your baby check out these articles:

http://parentingwithpassion.blog.com/2012/03/18/why-i-will-never-let-my-baby-cry-it-out/

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/fussy-baby/science-says-excessive-crying-could-be-harmful

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2 15

I could not bring myself to do this. It broke my heart to hear my child crying because I was not there to give comfort. I brought the crib into my own room and sang or read while holding hands until they fell asleep. This made it easy to transition the same routine to their own room when they were old enough to sleep through the night. It takes me about 30 minutes to get them asleep, and they stay in their own beds unless they are sick or have a nightmare which is not often.

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6 10

i cant agree with nikki kostner any more. if ur child has nothing wrong with him/her leave them alnoe and they will go to sleep. call it what u want. yes go and check on them every once in a while if they r still crying. I know women with children that use the "do-whatever-ur-child-wants" method and their child is still sleeping in their parents bed at the ages of 4-6 years old. As a matter of fact 1 of them got a divorce b/c of it. A child needs to learn to be independant at some point in their lives. If u start the "do-whatever-ur-child-wants" method then when does it stop? Where do u draw the line?

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2 13

Just find a routine that works for you and your family. I know its hard but it really does work. As long as you use it more nights then less. I have a 4yr old and a almost 2yr old. We have dinner, take our baths then its there chose a long family time movie or a short movie say an hour then I read them 2 books of there chose. Then they know there bedtime is coming. No surprises. I work different hours sometimes. Children don't concept time really. They know its dark. So don't worry as much for the time as to get them on a regular routine. I never used the cry it out methods, sometimes I just lay with them they just need your comfort sometimes. Love them. Who cares if there brates there yours and only yours.

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0 5

Every article or book I've ever read promoting Cry it Out insists that the child is this intense burden. If that's your view, why are you having kids? They are NOT a burden. Don't treat them as they are. Babies cry because they are in need and have a need that should be met. Not because they're spoiled.

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7 20

Wow, i've never read anything that pretty much insists the child is a burden! not saying they dont but i agree with you, why are they having kids then? BUT im actually on the Cry it out side, yes babies cry for a reason and need to be comforted. Yet when my son was 1, sooner than that i think, i could tell when he wasn't crying for any reason other than stubbornness. Even now being 3, he will throw a tamrum, crying and all if he isn't get his way and i just use to "cry it out" in a different way now, i just let him throw his fit and within sections he literally turns the crying and mood off. Theres a difference between Comforting a child in need and comforting a child whos upset because something didn't go their way. Then again i guess cry it out is different for both babies and toddlers, i think it all depends on when you know your childs cries and different emotions, or attitudes rather.

80 10

Crying out can be affective as you are starting to learn your child's cry and what they really want, my husband would jump at a whimper so we would wait a minute or two to see if she would settle herself'.
Routine is a plus at toddler age, we never put our child to bed unless she has reaached her tired level. Can't see the point in arguing with the child for an hour because you believe (or others opinions) that this is the appropiate time for bed, why not wait that extra hour then put them to bed.
Full tummy is a plus so they sleep thru the night.
If nothing is wrong and they are just playing up sometimes just walking out the room is the best, cos both you and the child is getting frustrated and that doesn't help either one. Of course never leave them if they a totally distress, hug them and try to work out what is wrong.

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32 17

Google "The Sleep Lady" I used her "Guide to a Good Night Sleep Tight" and loved it! It is not a cry it out method but after two weeks I had my baby sleeping through the night in her own bed. I can't tell you how exciting that was! I wanted to co-sleep but found that I didn't sleep when she was in the bed with me because I worried and she squirmed or wanted to breast feed all night.

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11 40

I always made sure my children were full, clean, and tired before put them in bed, if they cried n picking them up n holding them was their only reason 4crying then I did allow them to cry it out, esp. If they were tired. Picking them up only reinforced their behavior, saying if u cry long enough I will come n get u. I also didn't want it to b anyone else's responsibility to hold them until they feel asleep should they babysitt I also did not want them sleeping with me

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0 3

It doesn't work for every child. I personally couldn't bear to hear my baby cry when he was that small. I made a rule for myself... I would let him cry for 15 minutes and then I would go in and soothe him.

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0 17

Do not agree with cry it out or controlled crying...I too, was interested in learing what other parents do as alternatives to this method and I am shocked how many times I read that the cry it out method is "common sense". Quite frankly, I feel the opposite and this explains why there is so much anxiety and depression in our culture.! If you think these methods work (where a child is left alone to cry) you are wrong. All your child is learning is that he is alone, there is no one to help him/her and he just gives up (which then the parent interprets the method has worked). Between 0-6 years there is so much brain development ...crying is a signal that a parent needs to tune into, not ignore. As for going in to comfort your child at intervals, this does work for some babies, but not all. I believe do what works, but do not leave a baby or toddler to cry alone. If frustration is arising for you, then do walk out and take some time for self, switch with your partner or go back. I have found that yes, it is some work and dedication but worth it because your kids are happy, peaceful and trusting. Using the cry it out method, you pay in the long term.

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5 30

I am interested to see what YOUR definition of CIO is, because a LOT of people are mislead on what this method ACTUALLY is...

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0 4

My youngest and 5 month old son will occasionally let me lay him in his crib when he is still awake and full and tired and he will go to sleep all on his own. I thought that was self soothing? Most people on here are saying their kids don't need anything but then why are they crying? That tells me they need something. If my son cries I go in and get him. And I have a 2 year old that successfully goes to sleep on his own. But it took some work. I don't believe letting a baby that doesn't understand just cry and cry. And I think it's a sad thing to "get used to". People with little ones don't get very much sleep. That's how it is. You deal with it.

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11 11

Cry it out never worked with either of my children. They would just cry and keep crying and As someone else said on here, I'm supposed to be their mom, their protector, and just leaving them to cry made me feel like I was abandoning them. I actually use a modified version of a sleep technique I saw on Supernanny.

I put my daughter to bed, have kisses, hugs, goodnites, love yous and all that. Then I put on a soft CD (Enya's Watermark over and over on one disc). I go to her doorway and sit for a couple of minutes until she's asleep or almost asleep. She can't see me, and it if weren't for the creaky as hell floors, I wouldn't even have to sit there at all. But knowing that Momma is there if she needs me helps her greatly, and keeps me sane with no crying and screaming.

I think different methods work better for different parents and children. And it shouldn't matter what others think. If it works for your family and you're happy with it, then that's all that matters. =)

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235 30

There is a similar method to yours in 123 Magic. You start off sitting next to the child's bed until they fall asleep. Then each night you move your chair a little farther away until you're outside the door. The author said usually it takes no more than 2 weeks to get your child to fall asleep and stay asleep without you sitting there. It also talks about how to deal with if your child gets up during the night or wakes up too early. It's really good and makes a lot of sense and is a lot more humane way of dealing with your child's sleep issues than CIO. Anyway it worked well for us. Some kids definitely have to have noise to sleep at night otherwise their worry brains go into overdrive. My 2nd daughter had a 20% hearing loss in the higher frequencies of her left ear. Her audiologist said that when things are too quiet she gets an annoying buzzing sound in her ear. Having music playing when she's going to sleep helps drown that out.

33 35

My toddler is happy if I just sit in her glider while she lays in her bed and watches this picture projector on her ceiling. It plays music for about 15 mins and about 5 mind in she's fast asleep. On occasion she just climbs into her bed and covers up and goes by herself.

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24 5

my boys have always had eachother but my third child a little girl obviously has her own room. As a newborn I'd rock her to sleep and put her in her crib. She was never in my bed until the horrible news made it in our home that my husband had been laid off so the 5 of us made our way into one bedroom at my mother in laws and there we stayed for 6 months. By the time we moved back out on our own, she was hooked and nothing worked so we gave up and she slept with us for a few months til my husband couldnt take it anymore. At this point she was almost 3 yrs old. For a couple weeks, we unsuccessfully tried the CIO method, until it dawned on me to ask her what the deal was. she explained she didnt want me to leave so I gathered she was afraid once I'd leave her room, I'd leave altogether. so I explained to her that I wasnt going far and if she needed me to get her water or if her tummy got sick to just call me and I would hear her. For the first 3 nights I got alot of "mommy's" and I rushed to her for everyone and told her see, I wasnt far, I knew she was just testing to see if I was being honest. I may have been mommied 4 times tops in the second week. By the end of the month, I didnt have to stay up the extra hour or two I had done to make sure she could here me because she trusted what I said and went right to sleep. Not for all kids, but hey its worth a shot. so glad it worked on her.

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35 19

I don't think parents who do CIO are bad parents (my sister, sisters in law, and best friend all use it) so I'm not trying to say anything bad about people who use that method, but for me and my child, it wasn't the right fit. For me, I felt that if I were to ignore my baby while he cried it would be disrespectful to him. I don't care if other people disagree with that, that's the way I feel about my child and crying it out so please don't respond to this to bash me for it. I would be really hurt if I was crying and my loved ones said "crying is good for you so just deal with it on your own." Having said that, though, my son does have 2 night time cries. One is a whiny cry, which means he is trying to put himself to sleep and if I were to go into his room it would actually make it harder for him to go to sleep because I would have disturbed his trip to dreamland, so I do leave that one to him. The other cry means he wants me to come to him and I don't let him cry that one out.
My husband and I researched out all the ideas out there for putting babies to bed and both agreed that we didn't want to let him cry it out but also didn't want to rock him to sleep so that he became dependent on us to get to sleep. What we came up with was this, we created a bedtime routine (which we still follow now, he's 2 1/2) so he would always know what was coming. Then, after taking care of all his needs we would hold him & rock him until he was too tired to protest going to sleep, but not asleep yet and then put him in his crib. It worked like a charm. Within a couple weeks he was at the point that we didn't even need to hold him or rock him. We could just put him in his crib and he would go right to sleep without any fuss at all (unless he was sick or teething). He did this until a few weeks ago (moved to big boy bed, figured out how to take his diaper off, and is teething all of his two year molars).
Now he's older so our tactic is a bit different. If he's crying at bedtime now, it's almost always because he has soiled his diaper. So, we go in and, without saying a word to him, change his diaper, tuck him back in bed, and walk back out. He doesn't cry after that. If he's not going to sleep because he's playful, we will go in and pick up his Simba & his monkey (he loves to sleep with them) and say "Simba, Monkey, it's night-night time, lay down and go to sleep, ok?" and make their heads nod in agreement before laying them back in bed with DS. It's funny, but so far that works like a charm. We never hear a peep from him after telling his stuffed animals to go to sleep. :)
The only other time he cries at bedtime is if he's sick or teething, in which case, we will go in and hold him and comfort him because I personally feel that it's cruel to make them cry when they are miserable. We've never had a problem with him thinking that he will get special treatment at bedtime after he's been ill/teething. He just goes right back into his normal sleep schedule because that has been the way it is since he was about 6 months old. So, those are my alternatives to CIO.

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5 30

YES! THIS is what CIO or Self-soothing as I call it, looks like when done well! It ISN'T making your kids cry for hours... You said that he has a whiny cry that if you went in there you would just wake him up more, so you don't.... It is about taking the extra couple seconds/minutes to assess why they are crying and see if they actually need you or not! AND, you laid him down awake- which means that there wasn't this whole dramatic scene where he NEEDED you to fall asleep, and when you weren't there, he lost his mind... My kids are almost 3, almost 4 and almost 1, and when the two older ones cry at night, we go in, because since they don't do it all the time, I know that they need me... The little one, I still take a couple seconds, stand at the door and see if she sounds like she will fuss back down... If not, i go in and see if there is anything I can do for her- usually it is teething related... I very much agree with your method. Whatever it is called...:)

311 26

We do a combination of CIO and attend to baby directly. I listen to his cries. If his cries are hungry then i attend to him, if he's crying and it's fussy crying yes I let him cry for a few minutes. If he does not stop after a few moments I go in and check, if i can tell something is going on like needing to be burped I burp, or i put his my hand on his belly to calm him. Usually that does it. I do not let him cry though for more than a few moments. Many times he quits on his own and goes back to sleep within 2-3 min now

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5 15

Completely agree 100% with Cry It Out. I have 3 children which I used this "method" Whatever they like to call it. It is common sense. If they get attention when they cry for no good reason they will continue to do so. The method should be called "Teaching your children to cut out non-sense" If parents don't like to use this "method" for bed time what happens with any other rule? "Can I have chocolate before dinner?" "No it's almost dinner time." "Cries" "Ok have a little chocolate"

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7 20

i agree! i guess it depends on the child, i guess? i dunno but my son is 3 yrs old and i STILL use the "cry it out" method....everyone keeps mentioning comforting their children all the time instead of this....thats fine and all but perhaps they need to find another method other then just "comforting". Comforting at the wrong times can lead one down an ugly path, im for both sides kind of, comfort them when they need comfort and use "cry it out" or some other strict/less to no comforting method....some people go overboard with CRY IT OUT, to a level that shouldn't of gone to, and i find COMFORTING a child during times the parents should really hold their ground, is just as bad.....any of these two methods are not good when taking to extreme....

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3 21

I have a child that does not like to fall asleep by herself. I am a firm believer that I should not share my bed with my child. So no matter how tired I am, I always go to her bed! I lay next to her until she drifts off to sleep. I was thinking I was a bad mom doing that, until someone helped me see it differently. They told me, "It is a wonderful opportunity to connect and be with your child. Some day they won't want you to be that close and you will have missed your opportunity." Know I enjoy comforting her at night even if I have so many other things that need to be done. The CIO method doesn't work for everyone! Also, my older child did the same thing...she goes to bed wonderful now at 4.

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20 6

I sit on a chair in my kids room until they both fall asleep, I sing if they ask me, and sometimes I leave the room and tell them I'll be back and I always do.

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4 13

Take back to bed - all you do it keep walking them back to bed and say 'it's time for bed - goodnight' and just keep doing it. The first night it took over an hour but then the next night 20 minutes and got shorter in time each night until now it's only once or twice out of bed. Best thing we ever tried!

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16 37

I found that comforting Shane downstairs and letting him fall asleep then carrying him up to bed worked a lot better 4 me. Now he goes to bed awake with little or no fuss. I couldn't let him CIO coz it used to make him sick.

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5 14

my son is two and he was never easy to get to slep but now I let him pick out a teddy bear, sometimes I have to ask him a few times to get the one he wants, and read him a book. It doesn't even habe to be long. Then I say goodnight, see you in the morning and hell say it back :)

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Crying it out is definately harder on parents!! If it isn't completely for you, try routine, make sure your child is tired enough to want to go to bed and stick to your guns about bedtime is bedtime. Find what is best for your family and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Good luck

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4 33

Instead of Crying Out try Controlled Crying (I think) I found it in a book called toddler taming and it worked for me.

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