Letting a baby cry themselves to sleep

Alexis - posted on 12/09/2010 ( 186 moms have responded )

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Do you think it's ok? I personally don't. A kid yes, but a baby no.

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Amie - posted on 12/16/2010

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I think it's fine for some kids. I think it's fine for some parents.

We all know there are people who pervert CIO and they are the ones that worry everyone. There are days I don't want to admit I've used CIO because the idiots who claim to use CIO, are not in fact doing so. They're neglecting their children.

I know there are parents who do not agree with me. I know why they don't agree with me. I don't care enough, this includes friends and family, for it to affect me. I am confident enough in my decisions as a parent to not let an opinion of a technique by someone else affect me to the degree I see happening in this thread.

The opposing (non-CIO parents) sides view point is not an attack on any of our parenting. Not a single one of them have claimed to be a superior parent. They do not like CIO as a concept of parenting. It does not fit their styles and can not imagine using it as a tool.

Sarah - posted on 12/17/2010

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I agree with everything Cathy has said.

I think the reason that the CIO will never be resolved though, is because every baby, every Mum and every situation is completely different.
Like Cathy pointed out earlier, I could have rocked and held my eldest while she screamed her head off for 30 mins or more, or I could lay her down and listen to her cry for 10 mins.
If part of the reason for NOT using CIO is because it's damaging for babies to cry for long periods, then surely the 10 mins is preferable to the 30 mins?!?

I basically think that as long as you're not using CIO in a neglectful way, and it works, then it's a good thing for SOME babies. If rocking them to sleep works, then that's great too.
Neither is superior, neither is right or wrong, because it's SO subjective.

I used to get quite upset and angry thinking that people thought I was less of a mother because I've used CIO, now though, it rolls off me, because I'm secure in the fact that I did what right for MY kids.

I think that everybody needs to stop and think "Am I happy with the way I've done things?" and if the answer is "yes" then it's all good! :)

Ez - posted on 12/15/2010

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Liz, having to leave a baby to cry because you're busy running your household is very different to CIO. I'm sure all of us have been in the position where we are in the middle of chopping chicken or are in cleaning the shower when our baby/ies cry and want us. That is just reality and it can't always be avoided. It is not the same thing as consciously setting out to make a baby cry in the bid to teach them something.

Johnny - posted on 12/15/2010

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I can't see myself ever choosing to sleep train, although I've learned that you should never say never. Like Nikki mentioned in her posts, until you walk in those shoes, it can be hard to see why people would choose something that makes you so uncomfortable. But a years worth of sleep deprivation could certainly change a person's mind.

Now CIO (I am using this term as opposed to a planned sleep training) I can not stand. Just leaving a baby to cry endlessly alone until it gives up or passes out or pukes and chokes is abhorrent to me. This morning at work, I had the pleasure of listening to one of my co-workers (male) describe to someone on the phone how his wife & him just left their 3 month old to cry, and I quote, "because we don't need to deal with that bullshit." Women couch it in nice terms that make it seem like a parenting choice. But when I see moms talking about leaving their kids to cry endlessly because they don't want to be manipulated by their 2 month old, I throw up in my mouth a little.

Nikki - posted on 12/11/2010

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6 months ago, I would have had the same ideals as you Erin, basically I felt the same way, but now I can really see both sides of the argument, while I will never be a advocate for leaving your baby to scream themselves to sleep for hours on end, I have a better understanding as to why parents use methods like CIO in an appropriate way.



I have never read a parenting book, I have read crap on the net about that wanker from babywise, but I certainly don't agree with it. I have had no expectations for Isobel when it came to sleeping, I was happy with whatever made her happy, the problem is NOTHING made her happy to go to sleep in the end, rocking, patting co sleeping, massages, sitting next to her bed, music, star lights, teddy bears, no stimulation a little stimulation, dark room, light room, in the pram, in the ergo wrap, the list was endless. She just fights sleep. I am the same, I hate going to sleep, always have apparently.



I agree that some mother's have unreal expectations, but I can also see that other mother's have difficult experiences which lead them to try strategies like CIO for the sake of their own sanity and for the belief it is in the best interest of their child.



I got to the point where I couldn't handle it any more, it was impacting Isobel in a negative way, she was so grumpy all the time, she needed more sleep.



So I had the choice, she could scream in my arms for two hours then sleep for 30 minutes if I was lucky or I could try a modified gentle version of CIO. (by modified I mean I went in more often and I picked her up and cuddled her until she was settled again, never let her cry for more than 5 mins) It has worked really well for us, I don't regret my decision at all, I feel it has to be healthier for her. Now instead of screaming for hours, she cries for 5 - 10 minutes in total a day, if she wakes half way through a nap, she settles herself back down, instead of sleeping maybe 8 hours a day she sleeps 14-15, she is happy, I am happy. Worked for us.

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[deleted account]

Carol, according to your link Erin's smiley means she was bored/sad.

: | = bored, sad......that's what it said. Funny...

Charlie - posted on 12/17/2010

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I agree its hard to debate this because of the varying definitions of cry it out , I would hate to lump parents who let their child cry for a couple of minutes with CIO parents who say they leave their kids to cry for 30 minutes or until they "pass out " .

Luciana - posted on 12/17/2010

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No. It's not ok and it affects their brain development. Also, the more you let a baby cry, the more the baby will cry.

Sarah - posted on 12/17/2010

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Ahhhhh I see.
Although when I have a crying fit, I like to be left well alone! hahaha!

As I said before a) I don't agree with letting teeny babies cry. b) I don't agree with letting any age child scream their heads off for long periods of time. c) I think that everyone's idea of what CIO actually is differs so much, and everyone's circumstances etc differ so much, that's it's hard to make a blanket statement about it.

Do what you feel is right for you and yours is what I say! :)

Charlie - posted on 12/17/2010

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The thing with holding a crying baby is cortisol levels measured by saliva samples showed babies who are held released far less than babies who were left to cry .

It is important to remember that crying is therapeutic and healing too , a growing number of psychologists believe that the healing function of crying begins at birth, and that stress-release crying early in life will help prevent emotional and behavioral problems later on. However they too recommend babies should never be left to cry alone. This healing process will be effective only if babies are allowed to cry in the safety and comfort of a parent’s loving arms. When toddlers and older children cry or have temper tantrums, it is still important to stay close and be attentive, even when holding may not always be appropriate.

This same method is used on adults in " deep feeling therapy " by allowing them to cry as much as needed in a supportive environment with an attentive, empathic listener .

Nikkole - posted on 12/16/2010

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I hate hearing my babies cry (unless there throwing a fit) i tried the cry it out method but my son would cry and cry soo hard he would make himself puke! So he slept with us and i rocked him to sleep till he was 8months then after that he would just fall asleep next to me! My daughter is 5months and if she wakes up crying you have to go pat her butt or make sure shes not Hungary or she will be up for hours! Night time is not supposed to be an emotional thing and yes i agree you should let your kids experience emotions but why let them cry when there in bed i dont understand that! And never once have i rocked a screaming baby to sleep for 30 min or however long my kids are very calm unless my 5month old is hungry, and my 3 yr old is having a tantrum (which is not often) but to each there own if that method works for you and your family then thats awesome!

Ez - posted on 12/16/2010

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Oh FFS. Do you even know what a mod is?

Seriously, drop it. I disgree with CIO. You don't. This is a debate board. If you can't handle an opposing opinion without getting this attitude then perhaps you are in the wrong place. If this bickering continues another mod (as in moderator of this board) will end up coming on and locking the thread. Which would be a shame because I'm sure the other members would like the conversation to continue.

[deleted account]

I did use CIO with my first but i didn't know any better.
With my 2nd i didn't have to he was sleeping through at 3 months and i have never had a problem from him.
Right now with my 5month old he has just cut his first tooth and the 2nd one is right behind it so he isn't sleeping for longer than 40 minutes at a time :( But 1 week ago he was sleeping through. This is a whole new ball game for me because i never had trouble with my 1st 2 and teething.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/16/2010

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Sooooooo......essentially what is natural for one parent, is not for another. We all have different techniques, hell...I am bf'ing and i let my daughter pacify all night long on some nights just so I can sleep. Does that make me a bad mom? You may think so.....but atleast i am getting some sleep. I think we all agree, cio at an infant stage is too young...I don't do cio, but I can understand that it does need to be used especially when the mothers mental health could be at stake.

Joanna - posted on 12/16/2010

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I did a minor form of CIO when my daughter was 7 months. She was still being swaddled because if I pit her down unswaddled shed be up in 20 minutes. Even swaddled she was only sleeping 3 hours, then 1 1/2 hours, then half hour after that, every night. The lack of sleep was worsening m depression. So I killed 2 birds with one stone by doing CIO unswaddled. First night she cried a total of 15 minutes (I went in every 5.). She slept for 5 straight hours, woke up and cried for 5 minutes, then slept for 5 more hours. She woke up happier than she ever had before. Next night was maybe 5 minutes if crying. Then after that, no more crying when I put her down.

It worked great for us! I can sense with my new one that it's a method that may not work so well when the time comes. Every parent and child us different, we all just do what works for us.

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Sara B glad ou wrote that. Makes a good point I think.

Loureen, also glad you wrote what you wrote. interesting even if I don't agree with it.

Erin H - more semantics I guess...CAN I drop the attitude? or MAY I? regardless thank you for your permission. whatever.

[deleted account]

The problem with that is some kids get put in bed and go to sleep in a matter of minutes but if they are held and rocked with that constant stimulation they just fight sleep harder. Thats how my youngest is and thats how my oldest was and she still doesn't sleep easy, shes a night owl like her mama. My baby, if he cries, its for a few minutes at the most and if he cries longer I check on him.

Charlie - posted on 12/16/2010

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"If you want to walk around rocking a screaming child for 30minutes that's your prerogative but if you KNEW that crying would stop after 10 minutes if you just let them be and still choose to carry on rocking them so that they don't feel abandoned just so you can claim to be a superior parent... good for you or more fool you!"

That isn't the reason I cradle him nor do I feel I am superior , I just feel this is what is right for My boys , and yes I do not want them to feel abandoned or cry alone for any amount of time IF i can help it ( of course sometimes life dictates otherwise )

I just bring the other stuff like papers and quotes for the sake of debate .

Ez - posted on 12/16/2010

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I do not make parenting choices based on being able to claim anything. I chose not to use CIO because I disagree with it's principles. I don't believe it 'teaches' to self-soothe. So yes, I did continue to rock/cuddle Milla until she was developmentally and emotionally ready to do it on her own. As Loureen has shown, there is plenty of opinion that agree with my approach. But that was not the reason for my choices. I did not set out to tick off a bunch of criteria and then go 'Woo-hoo!! I'm the best mumma in the world'. I did/do what feels natural. CIO does not even come close to qualifying.

Sara - posted on 12/16/2010

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I've read that Harvard study, and my problem with it is it is not actually an original research paper, but an opinion paper based mostly on anthropological studies of parenting practices. It describes how U.S. parents emphasize independence, while mommies from other cultures co-sleep and respond faster to their little ones. It does not have any data about sleep training.

Charlie - posted on 12/16/2010

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Harvard University wrote a research paper on CIO .

America's "let them cry" attitude toward children may lead to more fears and tears among adults, according to two Harvard Medical School researchers.
Instead of letting infants cry, American parents should keep their babies close, console them when they cry, and bring them to bed with them, where they'll feel safe, according to Michael Commons and Patrice Miller, researchers at the Medical School's Department of Psychiatry.

The pair examined child-rearing practices here and in other cultures and say the widespread American practice of putting babies in separate beds - even separate rooms - and not responding to their cries may lead to more incidents of post-traumatic stress and panic disorders among American adults.

The early stress due to separation causes changes in infant brains that makes future adults more susceptible to stress in their lives, say Commons and Miller.

"Parents should recognize that having their babies cry unnecessarily harms the baby permanently," Commons said. "It changes the nervous system so they're sensitive to future trauma."

Their work is unique because it takes a cross-disciplinary approach, examining brain function, emotional learning in infants, and cultural differences, according to Charles R. Figley, director of the Traumatology Institute at Florida State University and editor of The Journal of Traumatology.

"It is very unusual but extremely important to find this kind of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research report," Figley said. "It accounts for cross-cultural differences in children's emotional response and their ability to cope with stress, including traumatic stress."
Figley said their work illuminates a route of further study and could have implications for everything from parents' efforts to intellectually stimulate infants to painful practices such as circumcision.
Commons has been a lecturer and research associate at the Medical School's Department of Psychiatry since 1987 and is a member of the Department's Program in Psychiatry and the Law.

Miller has been a research associate at Harvard Medical School's Program in Psychiatry and the Law since 1994 and an assistant professor of psychology at Salem State College since 1993. She received master's and doctorate degrees in education from Harvard's Graduate School of Education.

The pair say that American child-rearing practices are influenced by fears that children will grow up dependent. But parents are on the wrong track. Physical contact and reassurance will make children more secure when they finally head out on their own and make them better able to form their own adult relationships.

"We've stressed independence so much that it's having some very negative side effects," Miller said.

The two gained the spotlight in February when they presented their ideas at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting in Philadelphia.

In a paper presented at the meeting, Commons and Miller contrasted American child-rearing practices with those of other cultures, particularly the Gusii tribe of Kenya. Gusii mothers sleep with their babies and respond rapidly when the baby cries.

"Gusii mothers watching videotapes of U.S. mothers were upset by how long it took these mothers to respond to infant crying," Commons and Miller said in their paper on the subject.

The way we are brought up colors our entire society, Commons and Miller say. Americans in general don't like to be touched and pride themselves on independence to the point of isolation, even when undergoing a difficult or stressful time.

Despite the conventional wisdom that babies should learn to be alone, Miller said she believes many parents "cheat," keeping the baby in the room with them, at least initially. In addition, once the child can crawl around, she believes many find their way into their parents' room on their own.

American parents shouldn't worry about this behavior or be afraid to baby their babies, Commons and Miller said. Parents should feel free to sleep with their infant children, to keep their toddlers nearby, perhaps on a mattress in the same room, and to comfort a baby when it cries.

"There are ways to grow up and be independent without putting babies through this trauma," Commons said. "My advice is to keep the kids secure so they can grow up and take some risks."

Besides fears of dependence, other factors have helped form our childrearing practices, including fears that children would interfere with sex if they shared their parents' room and doctors' concerns that a baby would be injured by a parent rolling on it if it shared their bed, the pair said. The nation's growing wealth has helped the trend toward separation by giving families the means to buy larger homes with separate rooms for children.

The result, Commons and Miller said, is a nation that doesn't like caring for its own children, a violent nation marked by loose, nonphysical relationships.

"I think there's a real resistance in this culture to caring for children," Commons said. "Punishment and abandonment has never been a good way to get warm, caring, independent people."

http://www.naturalchild.org/research/har...

Ez - posted on 12/16/2010

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Oh my Lordy, D-Mak is right. Semantics people. I was simply trying to explain the difference between letting a baby cry because you are in the middle of something vs making/having/letting/whatever word you want to use them cry during sleep training. One is unavoidable in daily life, the other is a conscious decision to embark on a crying-technique of sleep training. Crying is guaranteed, or else there would be no need to sleep train. That was my point.

And Vicki, you can drop the attitude.

Sara - posted on 12/16/2010

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Well, the problem with that research is that none of it is based on studies that are actually about CIO techniques. Most of the data is taken from studies of abused/neglected children, not children whose parents are loving and meet their needs and also practice CIO techniques. There's not actually been one single longitudinal study done on CIO, so as far as I'm concerned there's no scientific evidence that shows that it's right OR that it's wrong, it's just one of the many techniques out there that people can chose to utilize if they feel it's right for them. I have a problem when people bring the research aspect into it because it implies that practicing CIO with your children is damaging them in some way and makes you a bad/abusive/neglectful parent for doing so. I don't really feel that to be the case. It's a personal choice, period, IMO.

Charlie - posted on 12/16/2010

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Personally I don't understand CIO , I understand the technique , I understand how it "works " but I do not understand letting a baby cry .

Personally if my child is going to cry in my arms or in his cot alone I would prefer it to be in my arms , I tell you I walked kilometers in my hallway soothing him .

Let me be clear that I believe there is a difference between being fussy and being upset , letting a baby fuss .

Although Vicki previously stated : I look at it as I gave them an opportunity to learn to self-soothe which will, in the end, create greater confidence....which leads into...

I completely disagree there is so much new evidence to suggest the exact opposite of your claim , Dr Penelope Leach says that the much-publicised ‘cry-it-out’ techniques recommended by parenting gurus such as Gina Ford and Supernanny can be scientifically proven to raise the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in an infant’s brain this is backed by many other child sleeping experts including the worlds leading expert in infant sleep

"Researchers at Yale University and Harvard Medical School found that stress early in life can alter the brain’s neurotransmitter systems and cause structural and functional changes in regions of the brain similar to those seen in adults with depression.

One study showed infants who experienced persistent crying episodes were 10 times more likely to have ADHD as a child, along with poor school performance and antisocial behavior. The researchers concluded these findings may be due to the lack of responsive attitude of the parents toward their babies."


"Researchers at Pennsylvania State and Arizona State Universities found that infants with persistant crying during the early months showed more difficulty controlling their emotions and became even fussier when parents tried to consol them at 10 months.

Other research has shown that these babies have a more annoying quality to their cry, are more clingy during the day, and take longer to become independent as children ."

"Researchers have found babies whose cries are usually ignored will not develop healthy intellectual and social skills.

Dr. Rao and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health showed that infants with prolonged crying (but not due to colic) in the first 3 months of life had an average IQ 9 points lower at 5 years of age. They also showed poor fine motor development."


There are so many more and while I wouldn't leave my babies to cry for 5 minutes and I am not a medical professional I do not believe a couple of minutes of crying here and there will do damage but 10 minutes ? 20 minutes ? is way over the top IMO , it breaks my heart to hear people say they leave their babies for such extended periods to cry .

[deleted account]

wait a second...all the posts before my posts are only showing up now after I've posted hrs ago?
anyway...I think when we are posting and putting some of ourselves into it, it is about us to a certain degree.

here's more food for thought (here we go)...what is wrong with a baby being let to experience all emotions (age appropriate obviously). someone above stated that it is funny how we treat infants not like people (something like that). I do. and I don't want my babies sheltered from different emotions. insert here feeling abandonment is NOT one of them. but frustration, joy, anger, and not getting everything exactly on demand (sometimes, cause I'm not a total bitch but not everything). feeling and dealing with emotions is a healthy thing. I think maybe that is where the self-soothe is imp.I've seen too many children in our society that think it is there right to get everything they want when they want it. they have gotten every single thing as fast as they've wanted it and turn out to not be able to cope when they realize life just isn't like that! YES, I know, not all children are like that an lots of kids develop self-confidence by 'attachment parenting' and cuddles to sleep and etc,..and many do not! each child, family and situation is unique and different.

Krista - posted on 12/16/2010

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I do think that it's insulting to suggest that I MADE him cry, like it was of some benefit to me to do so.

I agree with Cathy on this one. Saying that parents who use CIO or Ferber are setting out to MAKE their baby cry is both inaccurate and insulting. If I'm doing Ferber with my son, and he cries on the first and second nights, but not on the third night, I'm sure as hell not going to set out to MAKE him cry (And how would I do this? Pinching him? Making him watch Nancy Grace?), in order to make sure that I'm teaching him that he has to soothe himself.

There is a big implied difference between "letting" a baby cry and "making" a baby cry. A BIG difference.

Meghan - posted on 12/16/2010

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I'm back.
I used a version of CIO,(like I said) and my son was sleeping GREAT!!! Went to his bed and waited for a hug and kiss and slept through the nite. Then he got sick and I started to sleep with him for those few days. (Cause I actually DO care about him, comfort him when he needs me and want him to know I am there for him when he needs me-despite what many of you seem to suggest). But then the nites kept going on, we went on vacation and had to share a bed, there was guilt from me putting him in daycare and more visits with his father....and I now have a child that WILL NOT go to sleep with out me cuddling him-and he no longer self soothes himself back to sleep the 3 times a nite he wakes up-even though he will still walk to bed and put himself to sleep at daycare WITHOUT cuddles.
The fact that he was able to put himself to sleep-and stay asleep before and now can't shows two things. That sleep training did work for him until he realized how to work me and I gave up consistency on my end. Every kid is soo different. I don't think J is traumatized by what I "did" to him. And clearly he doesn't think I don't care about him-cause he knows mommy is a sucker

Minnie - posted on 12/16/2010

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Vicki- why are you getting so worked up about people criticizing you for sleep training? This is a debate forum. Some people think that sleep training works and is a good tool, some think it is wrong. They disagree with each other.



Anyways, don't make this about you. Your statement way back was that if a parent does not set about teaching the child to self-soothe (and since you are posting in a debate about CIO I am going to assume that CIO is your version of self-soothing) that the child will have sleep problems. You made a very definitive statement there, and I am here to tell you that myself, my children and countless other children who have never been left to cry, or whine, or self-soothe as a matter of course, have sleep problems.



I fully understand that parents get tired, frustrated, at the end of their ropes, and search desperately for a solution to get the most sleep for everyone. And I am not opposed to a little whine here and there if you know that the child is going to fall asleep quickly. But you cannot say that you HAVE to do this OR ELSE.

[deleted account]

When Erin said "consciously setting out to make a baby cry" she was only trying to show the difference b/w intentionally sleep training and unintentionally not being able to get to your baby because you're busy. There IS a difference and I think you guys are taking Erin's statement too literally. IF you're sleep training your child, crying is typically a symptom of that and I *think* that's what she's refering to.

[deleted account]

umm...don't think I said anything was unclear. but maybe I was not clear. in retrospect your comment did not anger me...it pissed me off! "consciously setting out to make a baby cry". give me a break! maybe you are referring to the thread that has yet to be started called "assholes that abuse and treat their kids like shit and need to have children's services called on them." do you seriously think that anyone here who actually does give a shit sets out to MAKE their kids cry. would everyone not want their babies to go to sleep peacefully and happily?! sounds to me like you just don't get it, and what people have been saying re: using it properly and not using it properly. differing opinions fine. what works for one doesn't always work for another. but bottom line is repsect. and I find it disrespectful that you would assume anyone in this thread consciously sets out to MAKE their kid/s cry. open that mind a bit sweetheart!

and forgive me but I'm not all that computer literate. I don't know what the symbols at the end of your sentence means. enlighten me please.

and one final thing not necessarily directed at Erin but to group...please don't judge a person that uses different ideas than you. I know most of you here don't. we never really know the reason why people do what they do unless we hear it from their mouths. so from my mouth...I did not want to take this approach. as I've said before I would have done things differently with a singleton (I think, never can be sure as I don't have a singleton but I think I would have - guess some of that depends on child's personality but I digress). I have a history of depression. If I did not get minimum 6 hrs uninterrupted sleep I was at risk for ppd. I did not want to take this approach but had to, or else I was putting myself at risk for not being a good/safe mother. The depression has gone due to the birth of the babies but I still had to keep an eye on it. This was one of they ways I did that. PLEASE do not criticize this anyone as it is not easy for me to open up about the depression with regards to why I went to the sleep psychologist and took this approach. I'm open and always have been about my depression but not in this sense. I do still have anxiety and it is still a hard path I chose when I hear my daughter cry and I know I have to keep it up or else I'm back to square one. I would have loved to hold them both and rock them and do all that feel good stuff but absolutely couldn't. I don't think it's damaged them, just is not part of my philosophy as I've mentioned before in working with children.

and I have a feeling that is that for me on this topic.

Sara - posted on 12/16/2010

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I'm with Cathy on this. There are some babies that *gasp* just DO NOT like the sling, they don't like sleeping with you and they don't respond well to it. My daughter was one of those babies. To this day, she sleeps best and prefers when she sleeps in her own room, in her own bed. She's always been that way. She hated to be worn, she hated to be swaddled even. The bottom line is that there are actually children that don't like some of the other techniques out there and respond best to just being left to their own devices.

Stifler's - posted on 12/16/2010

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My kid used to cry as soon as I put him down even if he was fast asleep. Hence why I started the whole let's let him cry for 5 and then go back in and soothe him.

Minnie - posted on 12/16/2010

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But Cathy, you KNOW they will, otherwise there would be no 'need' to sleep train. If your child simply rolled over and fell asleep when you laid him or her down you wouldn't feel like you had to teach self-soothing. Now this is sounding like it's the baby's fault.

Minnie - posted on 12/16/2010

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I might be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that the 'C' in CIO stands for cry...lol

Ez - posted on 12/15/2010

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umm.. when you use a CIO technique, you go into it KNOWING the baby is going to cry. Not sure what's so unclear about that. It's called CRY It Out for a reason :-/

[deleted account]

thanks Liz...
and excuse me Erin but who ever said consciously setting out to make a baby cry? now THAT angers me.

[deleted account]

Vicki-I have had practice, 4 babies, and learned from experience that I can't do everything at once. I have also learned that bed time is really the only time I have for me so yes I selfishly make my children self soothe so I get a break.

Self soothing isn't a matter of child rearing methods it's a fact of life and at some point it has to happen. I think we have all pretty much agreed that letting a baby cry for extended periods is unacceptable but not everyone wears their infant, breastfeeds, co-sleeps, and all that good stuff, some of us just don't do things that way. I have a house hold of 6, soon to be 7, and when the kids get home and I'm helping with homework the baby is in his playpen, sometimes throws a fit about it, he want to be on the floor so he can move around more, I have to cook too, and there's plenty more things that are done everyday that need to be done.

Minnie - posted on 12/15/2010

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The concept of 'self-soothing' as a method of child rearing is largely a western culture concept. We don't have people living on no sleep across the globe. I myself developed naturally into putting myself to sleep when I was ready. I can see my two year old doing that as well. I have always offered to nurse her off to sleep and more and more she's rolling away to go to sleep or just snuggling next to me. Sometimes she even tells me to go and she falls asleep alone. I never had to make it a point to make her fall asleep by herself. It's something that comes about naturally.



I suppose though, that many people have different expectations regarding time frame when this should happen. And maybe that's where people say "see? She's a difficult sleeper, because she has to nurse at two to fall asleep." But wait until she is three or four and has weaned by herself and is putting herself to sleep consistently. It's a gradual progression throughout childhood into adult hood. It doesn't have to slam bang happen at nine months or whatever arbitrary age one likes.

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I'm pretty sure its not jumping to conclusions but repeating factual research. I'll try and find the two books the psycholgist uses and check look up some names you can google, if you like. And no, that's the thing, dr's are not educated about sleep. Nor are they educated about nutrition which is the biggest joke to me. I believe they spend 1 hr on sleep (or is that nutrition - sorry can't remember, yeah, I'm making a good case for myself). And I didn't 'force them to self-soothe.' I look at it as I gave them an opportunity to learn to self-soothe which will, in the end, create greater confidence....which leads into...

Doreen - I too believe confidence is crucial and if emotionally and socially a child is healthy they have a better chance of succeeding in life and continuing to be happy people. I'm not into the rote ABCs learning or emphasizing the academic aspect of care with infant/tods or even preschoolers for that matter. I don't believe in "getting them ready for kindegarten." I do believe in supporting them emotionally 9and socially) as #1. Someone earlier said that CIO if done with a set plan and NOT leaving a child to cry fo 30 min or as poster above said an hour is cruel. I couldn't agree more. Basically I think we agree on the confidence aspect but approach it, in this instance differently.

and byw...my kids are never going to be the easy baby. just not their makeup, and has not been from day 1. Do they drive me crazy sometimes...you bet! but I love their bold, creative and yes, confident personalities and wouldn't change it at all.

Liz - thanks, how did you come about this belief?


and finally (sorry all over the map) I don't see it as forcing them to self-soothe but providing them with the opportunity to do so. they knew I was there (that's the whole point of not letting them cry endlessly) but to go in and do frequent 'checks' as needed thus reassuring them they are not alone.

Minnie - posted on 12/15/2010

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Vicki- that's just a very bold statement to say that if a baby isn't forced to self-soothe that they will have sleep problems. A bold statement especially from someone who is supposed to be educated about sleep (your doctors).



That's just like professionals saying that if you don't introduce solids by such and such an age that the child will be a difficult eater. Or if you don't initiate potty training by two that the child won't learn.



It's jumping to conclusions.

Doreen - posted on 12/14/2010

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Isn't it crazy that we treat babies different to people? My background too included that line "leave the baby to cry, it's good for their lungs". I guess what I am trying to say is that it is "bullocks" :) Really at the end of the day that baby is a person just like you - you just far more protected by experience than them. SO your reasoning is more logic and less hurtful. THEY on the other hand are completely vunerable and rely on YOU to reassure them of your love of their enviroment etc. SO if you like it or it is good for you when you shouting and crying cause you are either hurt or upset and you are ignored then I suppose I can understand why someone would leave their baby, but for the rest us it just makes you feel less supported and less loved. Babies are also people & share emotions just like you do. You more in powered as an adult to protect yourself with your experience and logic. So my take on this subject that I am passionate about is a baby that knows he is loved is confident and happy... and that baby becomes the "easy" baby. WE all want the easy baby. Reassurance of their environment is crucial for confidence. I had twins and tried never let them cry - I use to pick them up and walk with them until my arms wanted to fall off and made the biggest effort to say and remind them that I am there and it's ok. Everyone said I was spoiling the twins but you know looking at how confident and calm they are today (@ 10) I wouldn't do it different. Now that they are older it all depends on the situation - if I have done all I can and they just need to be then I let them.

Meghan - posted on 12/14/2010

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I love listening to my son cry!!! And now that he talks its awesome to hear him cry for me.

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Vicki-I totally agree with the fact that babies need to be able to self soothe and if its not kept up on they are harder to keep in a routine.

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