"Cry it out' method and long term sleeping habits

Lynlee - posted on 07/16/2009 ( 40 moms have responded )

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I'm interested in how using 'Cry it out' or 'controlled crying/comforting' methods affect babies and toddlers sleeping habits in the long term. Did you use either of those methods to get your babies to sleep and how do they sleep now that they are older? Would you use the methods again?

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Jacci - posted on 07/16/2009

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my daughter is only 18 months.. i started those methods within the first week of bringing her home.. by 6 weeks she only woke up to eat and then went straight back to bed. and by 8 weeks she was sleeping through the night in her own bed.. she still sleeps in her own bed and sleeps from 8pm till 9am everyday and takes 1 nap... obviously i would use them again.. my mom didnt use them on me or my brothers and i know all of us still are extremely light sleepers and normally only sleep well if someone is lying with us.. she says she wishes she would have used them

Danielle - posted on 07/21/2009

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I would also like to add that both my children know they are loved. I also have two HAPPY and HEALTHY children using the CIO method. Sometimes as parents we have to make the hard decisions and difficult actions for the benefit of our children. By teaching kids that we will come running all hours of the night for no reason is teaching them that they will always get what they want. I completely agree with Michelle when she says she gave her children the gift of a goodnights sleep so her body and mind can get the rest it needs.

Savannah - posted on 08/10/2009

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I used CIO with my first son. By no means did I leave him to cry for hours on end. I did come in a reassure him from time to time. It took a week and he was sleeping through the night. I had tried EVERTHING else and this is what worked. It has in NO way affected my bond with him. he is very much my little momma's boy. He knows that I love him and he definitely knows he can rely on me. The thing is that now when he wakes up crying in the middle of the night I know that he needs me and I am right there for him. He doesn't hide his emotions or anything. We have a wonderful relationship. BUt, like I say, it only took a week until he was sleeping. And he sleeps 12 hours a night.

DIdn't really do it with my second. It didn't work (I probably didn't try very hard). But he is a good sleeper on his own, so he didn't really need any method. He just sleeps. When he wakes up crying I rub is back and he falls back alseep. He also sleeps 12 hours a night.

So I don't know which is the best method. I guess it depends on the child and how you go about it.

Krista - posted on 07/20/2009

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I used the cry it out method with my son when he turned about 3 months. He was a horrible sleeper before this and I was so tired that I couldn't function. It was hard to listen to him cry at first because no one likes to listen to their child cry, but it took about 3 days and he was going to sleep on his own. He's 22 months now and we just put him down awake and he goes right to sleep most times. There are some times when he fights it, but usually within a half hour he's asleep for the night. He sleeps from about 7:30 at night until about 6 or 6:30 in the morning and will always take at least a 2 hour nap during the day. Sometimes 3. I'd use this method on any future children as well.

Kristi - posted on 07/19/2009

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I started those methods as soon as I brought all my kids home. It worked wonders with out first. He was sleeping through the night by 2 months. And we started it with our twins (9 weeks old) and it is really helping. With 3 under 3, someone will always be crying, so they learn to sooth themselves. I think its better whe they get older, and can sooth themselves. I know of mothers who didn't, and their kids are 2 and still not sleeping through the night. Its hard to listen to your child scream, but its tough love. but you have to find whatever works for you, good luck!

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LaToya - posted on 05/21/2013

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Well I'm happy to hear ur bond is still strong. I never tried this method with my first, but in about to try with my second and that's what I was worried about, if it would weaken our bond.

Lynlee - posted on 08/11/2009

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Hi everyone and thanks for responding. It's an interesting and controversial topic. We don't use CIO and our son sleeps great!

Stacey - posted on 08/11/2009

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well i am trying my daughter on the cry it out method tonight...so what do i do when she wakes in the night leave her to cry again? im soo confused on how this works my family home visitor told me when she wakes in the night its because she got hungry and is used to the bottle so we have to train her stomach that she doesnt need to eat when shes sleeping so i guess that means yes but also im just afraid of how she will feel

Savannah - posted on 08/10/2009

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I will also add that, as far as worrying about your child not being reassured by you, I don't really think that is the case. When Coltan is hurt or scared I'm the first person he comes to.

Once again, though, I'm sure it depends on the kiddo.

Stacey - posted on 08/09/2009

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Quoting Lynlee:

"Cry it out' method and long term sleeping habits

I'm interested in how using 'Cry it out' or 'controlled crying/comforting' methods affect babies and toddlers sleeping habits in the long term. Did you use either of those methods to get your babies to sleep and how do they sleep now that they are older? Would you use the methods again?



im interested as well because im being told to let my daughter cry it out and its just too pitiful for me i cant stand it it makes me so sad for her..i feel like she feels i abandoned her...but i also heard its the best thing and besides i do need to wean her off her bottle soon especially for bedtime because she likes to sleep with a bottle.

Stacey - posted on 07/23/2009

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My son is 17 months months old and sleeps in a toddler bed all through the night. He sleeps with mommy and daddy only on nights he is really scared (u can tell when they r really scared or just fussing). We'd put our son to bed with a kiss n a bottle n walk away. He'd cry for a while and if he hadnt stopped I'd check in on him. Sometimes he knew we'd come in if he made himself sick so we eventuall stopped going in all together. He does great now. He sleeps all throug the night. Still fuses when it's time for bed but it only takes 15 minutes for him to be really out like a light. My son is fine and you can tell he loves his mommy and daddy very much. I'm pregnant with number 2 and plan on doing the same thing. It's all about working at it and not giving in. It takes time but it does work and it's really helped our marriage since we can get some quiet time before bed just by ourselves.

Jerica - posted on 07/23/2009

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I tried the cry it out method for a week... i guess my child is just stubborn.. it was hard for me sometimes he would cry for 2 hours ... from day one he has not been a sleeper.. and still is not to this day..guess he thinks hes going to miss out on something? oh well sometimes you have to take the hand you were dealt and deal with it.. and thats what we do..however with my next child i will let them slef sloothe from day one..

Sarah - posted on 07/23/2009

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We tried the CIO method with my daughter & it worked for awhile. From 5 - 8 months, she slept in her crib just fine. She then developed the flu around 9 months & ever since then, she hasn't slept in her own bed. She's very stubborn & strong willed. We don't mind her sleeping in our bed. We enjoy the cuddle time & cherish it because one day she won't want to cuddle with us. We stopped using the CIO method because we felt bad for letting her cry. I know there is nothing wrong with letting a child cry, but we decided that it wasn't the end of the world to let her sleep with us a little longer. We are in the process of getting her a toddler bed, seeing as she can climb out of bed & climbs on anything & everything in sight. She takes one, 1.5 - 2 hour nap a day & sleeps pretty well through the night, 9 - 12 hours. She's never really been a great sleeper, so we just take it day by day.

April - posted on 07/21/2009

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I tried the cio method and it did not work. My daughter is very stubborn and has a strong personality. As an infant, she would go to sleep about 8:30 and wake sometimes twice around three and five. She also took two naps a day. After she started walking at nine months everything went haywire. She never wanted to go to sleep. I gave her a bath at the same time every night but she didn't care. She would go to sleep and wake up wide-eyed as if she had taken a nap . She was in the same room and after a half an hour to 45 min. I would give in. She nursed until 18 months, so I thought she may be hungry but she would try to use me for a pacifier. I would offer her milk and put her right back to bed to her dismay. She seemed to alter her cry whenever she thought I had become immune to something unbelievably more annoying than the previous. At one point she would roll her tongue like a Spanish r. By two she was adhering to bed time and slept through the night. She had the nerve to be angry with me for waking her in the morning so that I could attend classes. I'd say every child is different if it works, wonderful. If not you'll sleep eventually. I would try it again with my next child it doesn't hurt to try.

Shanty - posted on 07/21/2009

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I did the cry it out method with all three of my sons. My first started sleeping through the night (12 hours) by 8 weeks. He is now 6 and never wakes up at night. My second started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. He is now 4 and is also a wonderful sleeper. My youngest slept 12 hours a night by 5 weeks. He is 14 months and still doesn't wake up at night. He naps once a day for 3 hours and just goes right down. My other 2 did the same for naps as well when they were younger. All three of my boys go to bed around 7:00. If we had another one, I would definitely use this method again!

Erica - posted on 07/21/2009

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I think some of the concerns about the cry it out method have less to do with if the children will be good sleepers in the future versus if they will have trust issues. (Of course depending on how CIO is done. Some parents check on their baby after short intervals for reassurance, but others may leave the baby alone without any assurance for long periods of time.) Parents may like the CIO method for getting children to sleep at the time (and even later), but some of the negative effects might be indirect... If there are negative effects; I'm no expert, but some people claim that not being comforted as a baby - or sure that your caregiver cares - can affect relationships far into the future. In Danielle's earlier post, she makes the important point that her children know they are loved, and also that one of them only cried one night. It seems like that would be a more positive experience than when a child cries night after night. So, I guess I see a compelling case here for CIO being effective for sleeping, but there is more to consider than just that.

Danielle - posted on 07/21/2009

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Hi, I used the cry it out method with my son when he was 5 months at the recommendation of the dr. The first night he cried for 30 minutes then slept for a while and cried for 10 min. He never cried at night again. He is now 2 1/2 and is a wonderful sleeper. He goes to bed at 7 every night without drama. He also takes naps without a fight. I have a 3 month old and if she isn't sleeping through by 4 months I will be using this method with her also.

Michelle - posted on 07/20/2009

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I used a CIO method on my daughter pretty much from the beginning and she is now 25 months. She is a great sleeper though and always has been. When she was really young I used to have to wake her up to keep her on her feeding schedule. The crying really didn't last long and before I knew it she had learned to fall asleep without crying. We still follow a daily and nightly routine and she sleeps from about 8pm to 7:30-8am with a 2-3 hour nap during the day. I think other than during an illness I have had to go into her room to comfort her maybe only twice!!! My daughter is a HAPPY, HEALTHY little girl who knows her Mommy and Daddy love her and will ALWAYS be there for her when she needs us. It's just that I can get a goodnights sleep knowing I gave the gift of a goodnights sleep to her where her body and mind can get the rest and time it needs to grow and mature. I would DEFINITELY try it again, but then again with so much success the first time, how could I not? Evey child (and parent) is different though it's true. I definitely say give it a try but if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for you. What do you have to lose ? Good luck! :)

Sydney - posted on 07/20/2009

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My daughter is 18 months, and I tried the cry it out method a few times, but it was horrible. She has a very strong personality and would not stop crying not matter what we did. She started life very determined. Some kids need night time parenting as well as day time. I believe that children cry because that's their only language at a young age.
She is very good about going to sleep now, though she does need some reassuring.
Again- this is my daughter who is considered "High Need", but I will never try it again, even with another child. I would like to recommend a wonderful book "The Fussy Baby Book" by Dr. Sears. It can be a bit too liberal in the parenting style for me, st some points, but I took what I needed from it and it really helped me in the early months of my baby's life where I was losing my mind! I hope you can take all these wonderful recommendations and find what works best for you.

Doreen - posted on 07/20/2009

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i don't believe in letting my children cry it out and both my girls, 8 months old and 22 months old, sleep very well thru the night. we do have a very strict schedule as far as nap time and bedtime as well as a "get ready for bed" routine that we do every night. i don't think i could ever use the cio method as i believe that children cry for a reason, there are also fazes that babies go thru that can make them cranky...when they realize they are their own person....when they are just learning about the world...over stimulation...lack of routine or a change in schedule...there are allot of factors i think in a baby's developement that i believe it is the parents job to soothe rather then allow the baby to sooth themselves...

anyway, i just though i'd post my 2cents....because as i said, we don't believe in the cio method and our 2 girls sleep from 8:30pm to 8:30am and my 8 month old still takes 2 naps a day and my 222 month old still takes 1 nap a day...

good luck!!

Christina - posted on 07/20/2009

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i let my boys "cry it out" and it worked very well, my oldest is now 7 and he sleeps good and stays in his bed. i have one daughter a i wimped out on letting her cry and now i believe that i am paying for it because she is very difficult at bed time and gets up every night about 4am and gets in bed with us...we have been trying to take her back to bed but then she just cries and eventually comes back

Trish - posted on 07/20/2009

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Yes, I have used the cry it out method, and IT DOES WORK!!!!! It is hard to do, but they need to learn that they cannot always be rocked or held or be in a swing. I have a two yr old daughter who is an EXCELLANT sleeper. I now have an almost 3 month old daughter, who i haven't used this method yet, because I feel she is too young yet, but around 6 months is when I will start. Good Luck......be persistant.........be patient....it all works out in the end!!!!!

[deleted account]

The only CIO I ever did w/ my girls was if I would nurse them in the middle of the night and they wouldn't go back to sleep (at 9 months). It only happened a couple of times. Otherwise I nursed them to sleep every night til they were 15 months and once or twice in the middle of the night from 3-14 months. They started sleeping through the night on their own at about 14 months. They have always been great night sleepers.



I did a modified bedtime CIO (we're in the same room) w/ my son at 9 months cuz I would nurse him 4-5 times in an hour and a half and he still wouldn't fall asleep. Most nights he falls asleep on his own now. He is still up 2-3 times every night though. We have done an occasional middle of the night CIO and he can fall asleep on his own, but won't stay asleep. I end up nursing him twice a night, but if he wakes up more than that he goes back to sleep on his own w/in a few minutes. He has always been a poor sleeper. I'm not sure how much of it is him and how much of it is because my circumstances are completely different from when his sisters were little.

[deleted account]

There are a lot more reasonable and gentle methods to encourage sleep. I would highly recommend "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley or Nightime Parenting by Dr. Sears. We know letting kids CIO causes a rise in the stress hormone cortisol and we don't know the long term affects of this. Children are meant to be parented and loved. Not to be left alone and trained like animals. Not always an easier road, but more rewarding in the long run.. This will not be a very popular post with what everyone else has said. Hope you were wanting two sides to this issue.

Sara - posted on 07/18/2009

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i let my son cry it out at 9m and thats also when i stopped nursing and it took 1 night and now to this day (14 1/2m old) he sleeps all threw the night from 12-15hours a night!!!!!!!!

Catie - posted on 07/18/2009

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i just started it with my daughter about a week ago and it's seeming to show a differnece but i think it will take a bit longer with her because shes about 11 months already...i dont really regret not doing it earlier though becasue im still happy i got those rocking her to sleep nights and just holding her watching her sleep. the last couple months though have been a struggle to put to sleep.

Lyndsay - posted on 07/18/2009

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My son has been sleeping through the night since he was 6 weeks old. I put him on a firm schedule from day one, he started at 2oz every 2 hours then up to 4oz every 4 hours. During this time I stretched out the middle of the night feeds little by little until they were completely gone. By the 6 week mark he was eating 6-8oz bottles every 4 hours, with the last one before bed, and sleeping 12 hours a night. At first when I was making him wait for his feeds he would be fussy and cry, but I just stuck it out and it worked magnificently. He is now almost 2 and has been sleeping through the night since, with the exception of the occasional nightmare.

Jennifer - posted on 07/18/2009

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i did try this with my eldest after specialists advised as they were stumped on what else to do (he had behaveral prob) but this is deffenetly not for me i compleatly agree that a baby cries for a reason even if it is attention seeking & in my opinion to leave a baby or small child alone in another room scared & confused that your not responding to there cries is wrong, ok i know for most people it works & you gat a good nights sleep but if you think about the effect that has on your child is very sad, all they do is learn that your not going to come to them when they cry out for you

Wendy - posted on 07/18/2009

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I have never let my kids cry it out!! (for more than 10 minutes that is) My daughter is four and she can fall asleep on her own easily. She can also put her self back to sleep when she wakes up in the night. She started sleeping through the night at 4 months. She only bothers us when she really needs us. My son (15 months) has been a little more challenging, but he can put him self to sleep and sleeps all night. If any one wants to learn techniques to get your kids to sleep without using the 'cry it out' method there is a great book by Elizabeth Pantley called "The No Cry Sleep Solution". I started using the techniques when both my kids were infants and I'm glad I've never needed to let them 'cry it out'.

Liz - posted on 07/18/2009

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I have used the cry it out method since both of my girls were infants (now 2 and 3) It has worked wonders, Both of the girls have slept through the night since they were about 4 months old, and go right to bed without a fuss. We have a bedtime routine but they are placed in bed awake and will put themselves to sleep. Of course there are reasons where you may have to deviate such as illness, but when this method is implemented consistently, it only takes about a day to get them back on track. Also it doesn't mean that you may never go to your child, you can tell the different cry that your child has. My 3 yr. old gets night terrors and I still go to comfort her when she wakes with them. The hardest part is the first day or so listening to them cry (i would get in the shower) but is amazing how quickly they learn that crying isn't going to work.

Becky - posted on 07/18/2009

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Babies cry for a reason. Okay as I have read comments some do not know that or do not care. Sometimes they cry just for the fact they do not want to be alone. They get scared,frightented, and need to know mom or dad is there to help them yes even as babies they know. I have 3 children 13, 11 and 1 years old. Nobody knows a child like their parents. Not even doctors cause every child is different I learned that from babysitting and being around them all the time. Doctors see them on checkups and through generalization. Most parents go by old wives tales and what their parents said and it pretty much comes out not in the baby's best behalf. They get afraid of the dark,things in the night etc. that you will deal with later. Mainly because nobody was there. They will grow out of it have patience show them you are there and it will end up easier for them and you in the long run plus build a bond

Jen - posted on 07/17/2009

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My daughter has been a pretty good sleeper from day one. She would only get up once or twice in the middle of the night and then slept through at 8 weeks. When we actually started a bed time we would let her cry it out until she fell asleep on her own. The limit is 10 mins before going in to sooth and leave them to cry some more if they need to. It only lasted a couple of night before she figured out that it was bed time and she was to go to sleep on her own. She's 19 months now and all we have to do is tell her it's nap or bed time and she'll go into her bedroom. We'll put her into bed and she'll fall asleep or play quietly before falling asleep. She sleeps at least 12 hours a night (sometimes she sleeps 13). Her bed time is 9 and she gets up anywhere from 8:30-10. We are not morning people in our house so we all like to sleep in when we can.

Robin - posted on 07/17/2009

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I used the cry it out method...however, i never let her cry more than 45 min. It only took about a week and she would go right to sleep or coo in her crib. Now, she is three and when it is bed time, she has a routine...brush teeth, go potty, read a book and she goes right to sleep. Has slept through the night since she was about 10 mo. old. Using this method was VERY hard for me for that first week. I wanted nothing more than to go in and rock her to sleep, no mother likes to hear her child cry. But i knew the difference between her cries. I knew that she was ok, it was me that was really upset. And, Yes, I would do it this way again.

Ingrid - posted on 07/17/2009

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There are other methods out there that will provide the same results without your kids CIO. The way that the question is asked will get you answers from people who liked the methof, otherwise they would have stopped the method. Both my children, 2 and 3, are excellent sleepers and have been since I brought them home from the hospital. They never CIO. They did learn to self soothe early on. I want to teach my children that they can rely on my presence when they are having a hard time so I knew that the CIO method was not for me

Tonia - posted on 07/17/2009

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I used it with all 3 kids and it worked wonderfully. Started it when they were about 2 months old and actually capable of sleeping through the night. I would lay them down at bedtime and if they cried for 20 mins I would go check on them, make sure they were ok, then leave again. It only took a couple nights till they went to sleep no problem. They sleep great now that they are older, no problems. I would definitely do it again.

Tracy - posted on 07/17/2009

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I used the controlled crying and comforting method but I also started a routine with him from an early age so he would know the ques thats its bed time. Around 41/2-5months I started the crying and comforting method to help my little one go to sleep. I often would pat him on the bum and face him opposite direction. Once he was 5 months they have the ability to self soothe better. I would only let him cry for short (2- 5 minutes ) periods then comfort him using buy patting him on the bum. I never allowed him to cry himself to sleep though. I was just trying to teach him to sleep and so he had the tools to do it himself. This took me a solid month of hard work of being consistent. I think its paid of for me as since then I can put him in bed for naps or at bed time and he just goes to sleep. He looks at me and rolls over and just goes to sleep. This worked for me and would do it again. But every little one is different.

Sarah - posted on 07/17/2009

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I used CIO in my own little way with both my girls. My eldest is now 5yrs and she has slept brilliantly from about 6 months old. She now goes to bed around half 7 ish and wakes up about half 7 ish in the morning (she has to get up for school).
My youngest is 14 months and she sleeps exactly the same.
I didn't follow any specific 'rules' on CIO i just made up my own little way of doing it.
Both my girls are excellent sleepers and i would repeat my methods if i was to have any more kids. A good nights sleep is important for everyone! :)

Jude - posted on 07/17/2009

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It differs from child to child, some... We used the cry-it-out method with both our kids. Our daughter had trouble with it, and still gets upset at bedtime, occasionally. Our son, on the other hand, took to it very well (he's two years younger) and goes to bed with no fuss whatsoever. Still, the biggest "fuss" we get from our daughter is, "I'm not sleepy!" After we say she still has to go to bed, she's okay with it.

Carol - posted on 07/17/2009

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i have left my 16 month old to self soothe from the very beginning and he now has excellent sleeping habits. He goes down at 7pm and wakes again anytime from 7am. i have only had to re-implement these techniques when something disrupts his sleep patterns (teething, sick), but he is back in routine within a day. i have also just use the same method to get him off the pacifier. My personal opinion is that the earlier you start the less need for "crying it out". i don't think my little one has every "cried" (more moaning and feeling sorry for himself) for longer than 5 minutes. The older they get, the longer it takes. I also always go back in every few minutes to lay him down again and reassure him. He always wakes with a big smile in the morning.

Di - posted on 07/16/2009

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hi,
i did the cry out thing with my daughter and it works wonders. she used to be awake all night and not give in till 7am when i was exhausted. this went on till 11months then i tried cry out and she sleeps from 8.30pm till 8am and has a 2hr nap during the day. she gets put in bed awake without any crying and is asleep within half an hour. the hard thing was hearing her screaming for me when we first started.

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