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

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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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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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Hi Emily - Me and my husband are exactly like you with our almost-three-year old boy & girl twins. We tried the CIO method a few times too and, while it was temporarily successful, we also had to start from scratch whenever they got over an ill period. We're both been very hands on parents from day one and think that, if they want cuddles and kisses and lullabies to be sung to them at the moment, then we're very happy to do it. As you say, they grow up so very fast and, before long it'll be "don't kiss/hug me Mum/Dad". So I'll give as much as they need while I can and while they want it.

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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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It's Elizabeth Pantley. Great book!

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I also read this book and successfully got my 2 boys to sleep through the night (10-11 hrs ) by 5 mths old. I could not do the cry it out method! The book has soo many suggestions to get kids to sleep there's out to be one to help almost every child plus they have suggestions for toddlers that are still not sleeping through the night.

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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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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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Nikkia Kostner and Natalie Crawford took the words right out of my mouth!!! MANY baby/sites, books, doctors, AND child protective services RECOMMEND THIS!!!!!

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My pediatrician, whom I implicitly trust because she has always been right about everything, said that before 6 months old babies do not cry just to cry or get attention and that if they cry at night it is because they are hungry or have a legitimate need even just to be held. Babies synapses in their brains are forming at this time and part of how they form is by being given love and attention and sometimes that needs to happen in the middle of the night. She said before the age of 6 months babies are incapable of being manipulative or crying to get attention and that by addressing their cries quickly leads to them being more secure that you'll always be there and less clingy. When children are ignored they actually become more insecure and clingy. These a facts that have been established by years of research. Having said that, each child is individual and what works for one doesn't work for another. It is up to each family through trial and error to decide what works best for them and their children. As I said before I'm not against CIO. I think in theory it's common sense and if it works for you great. Some of us have tried it and it hasn't worked so well for us. I don't think we should be made to feel like we are bad parents for not using it or told that our children are not going to be well adjusted because we didn't use it. I want my children to be able to count on me to help them be happy children. That's part of my job as their mother. I'm glad to be at their "beck and call" so to speak. Why would you have children if you weren't willing to be there for them day and night? I don't feel controlled by my children at all. I do what I do because it's what I want to and I love my children very much and would do anything for them. Wouldn't it be nice if children only needed you during the day and then you could just switch it off, but it doesn't work that way. I have teenagers and often late at night when you're most tired is when they need to talk and if you just ignore them and say time for bed and we'll talk later you've missed a golden opportunity. They get the message you don't care and won't talk to you later. Being a mother is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year job and I love it! I encourage my children's independence in lots of ways, but when they need me I'm happy to be there for them whenever, whatever. There are many different ways to parent and as others have said I would like to see a site that shares different ideas without putting down the ideas that are different.

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Well said Julie! It's up to every family to decide what is best for them. Some children take well to CIO and others don't. I know mine didn't. We shouldn't be judging each other, but instead offering support to those who ask for help.

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Julie- My Children must be different than the ones they researched because they are not at all insecure or clingy. If fact, they are quite the opposite. Completely independent and secure. My oldest did not cry or fuss or scream on the first day of preschool... She just accepted this new phase of life. After the first day or two, I had to ASK HER if she was going to give me a hug and tell me bye... I think if I was NOT taking the time to respond to needs and wants; If I did not talk with them and hold them and address their cries THEN it could lead to them being insecure... I noticed with my children that they started "manipulating" me very early... They would be held for a long period of time, get a ton of attention before bed, and then I would feed them until they no longer wanted food and clean their diapers and snuggle with them, then lay them down... If they were crying at that point, it was because they did not WANT to be put down... I AM willing to be there for them DAY or NIGHT if they need me, but I also know that not all wants are needs, and I refuse to give my child- no matter the age- EVERYTHING they WANT. I have seen this done, and the end result that I saw is not something I want for my family. In the homes I have seen this done, THE CHILD rules the roost. The mother is at his/her command, and I don't think that is a good thing. I did read a book after my second was born that said something like, "Children should be a functioning part of the family, NOT the center of it." And I agree with this. It is all a balance game... They do not always get what they want, but they do not always NOT get what they want... I would also do ANYTHING for my children as long as I felt that it was best for them, and what i do is simply put, what I feel is best for them. When they need me, I am happy to be there for them whenever and whatever as well... I think what you might not understand about my NIGHTTIME parenting is that When they are Little -before 6 months- and still to this day, I guess... I DO go to them if they cry... I address the needs if there is one, and I lay them back down... IF at that point they cry again, it is NOT a need, because I know that their needs have been met. It was right around 2-3 months where they consistently Stopped crying at night - The WHOLE night... After that time, IF they cried for more than a minute or two. (depending on intensity) I would go to them and see what they needed... With my almost 3 and 4 year olds, I still do this, because IF they cry in the middle of the night, I know that they need me... I find it interesting that you would say that you don't think you should be make to feel like a bad parent for not using CIO, but then you would go on to imply that people who use CIO are not willing to be there for their kids... I did not put you or your methodology down, and as I said when I posted on your thread, Every parent does what THEY feel is best for their children, and if it is done in LOVE, that is all that matters... I wonder why then, you would ask WHY people who use or support CIO would have children, and assume they are not willing to be there if their kids need them... I personally have children because I LOVE them... Because I want to raise them to be independent loving Godly people, and I assume that others who use CIO had children for similar reasons.

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Julie, that is what I was told as well, before 6 months old its not good to let them cry, because even if you do not know the reason, they are crying for a reason! For a need! I have 3 children who I have never forced to cio. I have always parented them to sleep. My oldest would be rocked to sleep, my middle child I had to walk with her and pat her butt. My youngest just likes to sit with me and cuddle. I would not trade this time for anything. My 6yr and 3yr go to bed great now, no rocking or walking any more, so for those that say you will have to do it forever, you won't! It's such a short time. Love them!

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Amen!!

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I completely agree with Nikkia's post about this "CIO sleep method." I have 3 kids age 5 mo - age 4 who all slept 8-11 hours at night starting at 9 weeks old. There is no way I could function if I didn't gut-it-out for 5-10 minutes of crying for the first week or so after putting them to bed *with their needs met*. Seriously, if you have 1 kid and you want to keep getting up 1-3 times a night for a few years, that's your choice. I see friends who do this. But I have a life to live, too. I want to be able to sleep all night & get up early to work out. I want to spend alone time with my husband after the kids go to bed. I love my kids, and children learn the "norm" that you teach them. They either learn to self-sooth and go to sleep or learn that they are in control of their parents. This goes into areas beyond sleeping.

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I agree with you as well Kristin. Your children will learn from you how they should respond in any given situation. If you freak out every time they fall down, guess what, they probably will too... If you rock them to sleep, that will become normal and they will need that. If you DON'T rock them to sleep, that also becomes normal and they DON'T need it. I have had my children all very close in age... 4 in August, 3 in July, 1 in June, and baby 4 due in October... I personally could not have handled/coped with my children each needing me in order to sleep... It would not be physically possible for me to do that... I do not have 2 hours to devote to bedtime. I am very busy trying to take care of our home, and keep up on laundry for a family of 5 going on 6... One of which is currently potty training- therefore twice the laundry. Dishes out the wazoo... and I personally NEED my down time. I NEED my time with my husband in the evenings... I need my alone time during naps... I don't function well without that. It enables me to be a better mom and wife and homemaker, to be able to just lay my kids down with a kiss and a hug and tell them goodnight and walk out the door... And I will say it again: I believe letting your children figure out how to calm themselves down without you is a GOOD thing... It teaches them to be independent and how to solve problems... I do not "parent to sleep" because I can't, and also because I believe letting my children self-soothe is mutually beneficial and enables our home to run more smoothly and efficiently... @ Liz- note: I DO think you should go check on them if they are CRYING -even in the middle of the night... (again-it depends on the intensity of the cry... if they are just fussing a little, I give them about 5 minutes to see if they stop fussing or if it becomes a real cry) It is when you go to them, MEET their need, and they cry because you put them down... That is when CIO comes in... you give them 5-10 minutes, and let them calm themselves, if they don't... They probably still need something...

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I did a little research into sleep methods to see what my method resembles the most, and I think the No Cry Sleep Solution is the closest, altho I would not pick my baby up 100+ times until they didn't cry when I put them down... I would let them fuss, so I guess it is a mix of the two...

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Nkkia, I'm so sorry that you were offended by my comment. I think that's great that CIO has worked for your children and family. Like I said every child is individual and what works for one may not work for another and that each family learns through trial and error what works for them. I only responded because your comments especially with the words you purposely capitalized inferred that those of us who don't use your method are letting our children manipulate us and that we are turning them into spoiled, whiny, clingy brats. I think it's clear that with any topic research can be found for and against. The thread was titled "What If Cry It Out Isn't Best For Your Toddler?". I know my pediatrician has recommended it before, but for various reasons it hasn't worked for our family and I've looked elsewhere for answers. Like I said in theory it makes a lot of sense, but in practice it doesn't always work. I'm a better mom when I get sleep, so if that means I have to lie down by my kids until they fall asleep or let them sleep on the floor next to my bed for comfort during a thunderstorm than so be it. All my kids were sleeping on their own in their own beds by kindergarten. They're growing up so fast that I can handle them in my bed once in a while so we all actually get some sleep. As long as whatever you do works for your family and everyone is healthy and happy that's all that matters. We don't all have to do things the same way.

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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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thumbs up!!!! super mum

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"does very bad things to their hormones that can have detrimental effects into adulthood" --I am sorry, but that is false... Crying is GOOD For your hormones. It releases excess stress hormones in the brain. Hence why people feel better after they cry. And as far as my hormones, I personally sleep better at night knowing that my kids won't cry at night unless there is something wrong... I have said it before, and I will say it again... Your kids get used to whatever their routine is... If someone who has been rocking her child to sleep for the first year tries to not do this anymore, her kid is gonna freak out, and change will take longer and be more stressful, But if the kid is already from DAY ONE is used to falling asleep on their own, then they won't need the mom to jump thru hoops in order to get them to fall asleep... I personally have let my babies fall asleep on their own without me holding them --which they WILL do... needing to be held to fall asleep is learned, as is falling asleep solo-- So they would be used to it, and at night, I will assesses the cry before I go check on them... I refuse to run in to "soothe" the kid who just fussed because they rolled over, resulting in waking the child which makes them mad, causing them to begin crying full force...thus making the whole thing into an hour long ordeal because you feel some compulsive need to "comfort" your child by rocking and singing and patting, when all your child wants is for you to leave them alone so they can to go back to sleep... I am not going to type it out again, but you should check out my comment on http://www.circleofmoms.com/article/crying-out-sleep-training-beyond-cruel-00563?trk=related_article_from_thread_articles_new#_ down toward the bottom. Self-soothing/cry it out or whatever you want to call it is GOOD for a child INTO adulthood... It teaches them very valuable things as a child so that they will be better able to problem solve, and be more independent and think for themselves as they get older. I do however respect your statement that your kids are worth the effort. That is true... I however believe my kids are worth the effort it takes to get thru the very short period of adjustment to self-soothing, because I personally see this as a very beneficial thing for the child as well as for me as a parent... I think it is our JOB as parents to do what WE feel is best for OUR kids, and if you can handle a 3 and a half year old that still doesn't sleep all night, BLESS YOU! I personally could not!

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CIO (and babies sleeping in a different bed than their primary caregiver) is a fad that is almost unheard of outside of the modern western world. Even here it is only 50 to 100 years old depending on your socioeconomic status. It is based on the notion that placing the child needs before the parents wants would "spoil" children and make them less independent. I prefer parenting my children the way nature intended human beings to be raised.

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Nikkia, recent research does actually suggest that crying it out can have detrimental effects in adulthood. You can read the article here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201112/dangers-crying-it-out Having said that, I read your post on how you do bedtime and to me, when I think of people letting their kids cry it out, that isn't what I think of. I know of people who will let their kids cry for an hour or more thinking that they are following the CIO method and that's when I think the harmful effects can take place.

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@ Melisa- That is what I hate about CIO- It has such negative implications... It ISN'T making your kid cry for hours on end... The more I read about what people THINK CIO is, the less I think that CIO is what I do with my children... I teach them from day one to fall asleep without me. That becomes their normal, and so far, I have been able to avoid having them cry very long... They hit a stage where they would cry when I left the room after putting them to bed, but again, they were already used to falling asleep without me, so I knew that they didn't need me for that, and if all other needs were met, I would give them a little time to fall asleep. If they did not fall asleep within a certain amount of time, I would go back in and see if there was a need... I am not sure what THAT is called, but that is what I do... The one comment I had about the article you posted is, what I read was talking about kids that are Never held or never cuddled or loved on, or made to cry EVERY time they needed something. The being held as little as possible... The parents that are emotionally distant... I will fully agree that THAT does damage, but CIO or whatever I do if it is NOT CIO- ONLY refers to bed time and nap time. My kids are held whenever I am able to hold them during the day. I cuddle with them. I love on them. I listen to them. I play with them... But ONLY at certain times of the day, I let them go to sleep without me...

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So you are teaching your kids that their need for contact with you will only be met when it is convenient for you. Young children don't have the life experience yet to understand that just because "so far" mommy's only withheld affection at night doesn't mean she won't do it all the time later and it does affect the way they view the world. The more we learn about how babies brains actually work (instead of what would be convenient for us) the more we find out that training them to "self soothe" at night is really just training them to give up asking for mom because she's not going to come until it suits her. That is NOT what I want for my kids.

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Sally- It isn't withholding affection... It has nothing to do with affection... It is a simple question of determining a want or a need... And wants and needs are two completely different realms... It is also not a matter of "convenience." I do what I do because I believe it is what is best for my children and my family... From day 1, I lay them down awake so that they are used to falling asleep without me... They don't need me to rock them to sleep, or sing or any of those things, A. because they have had PLENTY of that during the day, and B. because they are already used to not having that in order to sleep... IF they cry, I attend to their needs. If their needs are met, then they don't actually NEED me... From my understanding of your words, you feel like a child should NEVER cry, and people who allow their children to cry for any amount of time or ANY reason are somehow Not affectionate or loving parents... I disagree with that completely. Because I am a very affectionate, loving parent, and my kids are very loving and affectionate, but I have let all 3 of them cry for short periods of time at night when I could tell that they were crying because of a "want"... I have done quite a bit of study about psychology, and I DO understand how the mind works... That what someone is exposed to consistently becomes normal and expected... That is why routines work well... That is why rocking and singing works... That is ALSO why self-soothing (or allowing your children to fall asleep without you) works... They get used to it. It becomes normal. And then it isn't stressful for parent OR child because it is just how things work... That is also why when parents constantly go in and soothe, the babies begin to need the parent to help them fall back to sleep at night... It is what they get USED to. Again, I start at day 1... When they cry, I take care of needs. If they fuss after that, it is either, there is a need I missed, or they are upset that they were put down... I have to assess each time they cry which of those things it is... I have to think, when was the last time I fed, diapered, cuddled, checked fingers and toes for temperatures, or hairs caught in them... Did they puke, are they stuck in an uncomfortable position, are they warm or cold, or are they just tired? If at this point, they are still crying, I have found that sometimes, they are crying because I am messing with them, and they want to go to sleep... And if I give them 2-5 minutes, they will calm down and fall asleep... Because they are used to falling asleep without me... I hope that makes sense... It isn't a malicious thing... It isn't, "I don't have time for you." It isn't "I don't care." It is "I respect you as an individual, and I want to give you what you need"... And sometimes, that NEED is to be left alone. At least it has been in my experience... It is possible to overstimulate children which makes them more irritable and fussy... Also, I want to say is that training your children to "self-soothe" isn't training them to "give up asking"... It is teaching them to not "need" extra things like singing or rocking or bouncing or patting in order to fall asleep in the first place... To be content on their own without needing to "ask" for mom... When my kids would cry at night, I would go in and change their diapers, feed them their bottles until they wouldn't take anymore, burp them and snuggle until they were drowsy, then I would lay them down in their crib, stroke their cheek, and say, "I love you baby. Night, night." and then I would turn on their music and walk out of the room... As they got a little older, I would only change their diaper if it was full, and try to get them to take a little less of their bottle per feeding, and lay them down with the same words, but no music... They progressed to where they didn't need as much food at night, and didn't need the music, and when they got to where they didn't need food, I would go in, and just lay my hand on their back if they fussed, or I would stand outside the door and see if they were actually Crying, or if they just fussed for a minute and fell back to sleep on their own... If they still cried, I would pick them up, diaper, or feed and lay them back down silently... It was a very gradual transition to them not needing anything at night... I think so many people have this terrible view of "self-soothing" or CIO, or whatever, because I am sure there are parents who don't understand it fully, or don't do it in a loving manner... It is simply a parent's choice to do what they feel is best for their children... If it is NOT done with the child's best interest at heart, then it probably isn't a good thing, but that is applicable in ANY situation. But, a LOT of times, perception is the issue... You seem to perceive that it is a bad thing to ever let your children cry, so therefore, you refuse to use this method with your children, which is fine, but I Perceive it as beneficial, and helpful, and something that has consistently worked with all 3 of my children to get them to sleep thru the night, and they have no adverse emotional developmental affects, or trust issues with me because of it now that they are older... I perceive it as a loving, practical, thing... So I use it... My goal with this post is not entirely directed at you, altho it is addressed to you. It is to maybe get rid of the negative stigma about it, or clear up misunderstandings about what "self soothing" is, for those that might want to use it, but either don't like the connotations that come with it, or maybe don't understand what it is, or how to do it in a loving way.

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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.

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

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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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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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What you said Brittany is exactly what numerous studies have shown, that responding to your child's cries immediately helps them to be more secure and confident. There's a video that was made that shows what happens to a baby when they are ignored when they are crying and they actually become more upset and confused. It's sad to see what happens to the baby who at first is being played with and then what happens when the adult just sits there with a blank face and ignores the child. This only takes place over a period of a few minutes. Can you imagine children that are ignored in a dark room night after night? Scary! Studies show that children whose cries are ignored actually have lifelong problems with attaching to other human beings and as Beverley said are incapable of empathy.

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My kids (4,2, & 5 mo) all slept 8 hrs at night by 9 weeks old by CIO. Basically, they cried 3-10 min for a few days until they got used to the pattern at bed time. This is not torture. Try your responding-to-every-sound method when you have more than 1 child and enjoy the life of being controlled by your kids, not working out, and not sleeping for years!

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Call it what you want Kristin. I define every sound by cries that are unending, and yes even with one child on the way I will continue to care for my babies how I see fit. So what if my life is controlled by beings that require my constant need and affection, they are my children and I chose to have them. When they are old enough to care for themselves, I will allow them to be the independent individuals I know they will become. I will not neglect them for my own desires when I feel they need me. Obviously you and I are very different when we weigh our children's needs. I'm not sure why you felt the need to respond to my comment if all you were going to add is what you did. You obviously felt compelled to do so and with that I hope it made you feel better. Just remember that your children will care for you one day. I hope they bestow the same kindness on you as you did on them. Hopefully though they will be better than that and not think you're a burden.

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WOW... Brittany, did you when your child was a baby immediately go in to her when she fussed... NOT a LOUD, Demanding attention, full fledged cry, but rather, A FUSS. a whimper, a grunt, a just-rolled-over-and-startled-myself-and-now-im-annoyed-at-being-awake cry... THAT is what Kristin, (I think) is referring to... I think what Kristin and I do sounds very similar, and to be honest, I personally get a little offended by people who are so ADAMANTLY against CIO... (The more I am learning, the less I think that what I do is CIO, but...) I believe that our children are a gift and a blessing... NOT a burden. For me, that means that my kids are a wonderful PART of my life, and I am SO thankful for them, but they are not my WHOLE life. I still exist as a human being apart from them. My needs matter too... I cannot, and I do not believe I am called as a parent to neglect myself for my children... I cannot take care of them to my full capabilities if I am not able to also take care of myself. (the oxygen on an airplane thing)... I personally know parents whose entire life is controlled by their children. They cannot go anywhere, they cannot leave their kids with anyone. They no longer sleep in the same bed as their spouse. Their children have become their ENTIRE world... They don't exist outside their kids... I don't believe THAT is what God/Nature intended when He gave us children... I wish that people who DON'T do CIO for whatever reason, would not look down on those of us that allow our children to cry for short periods of time during a transitional phase into sleeping thru the night ONLY when they are ready to be able to do this... We all do what WE feel is best for our children and our families.

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I guess what I do is most similar to the No Cry Sleep Solution...

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To be honest my daughter didn't whimper, when she was upset you knew it. She had colic; so I was vigilant with her anyways. I in no way think a parent should neglect to care for themselves, as you were saying, but I just don't agree with denying the needs of their children to do so. We are who we are. If you don't agree with me on this, then it is what it is. I don't feel you are as severe as some, but I still disagree with CIO. That being said, you shouldn't take offense to what I say. Who am I to you? Maybe you had reservations about it and my post tugged at that, I don't know. My intention is not to guilt trip anyone, I'm not perfect, but to voice my opinion on how I feel about the topic. As far as parents who have children who dictate their lives, that's a different argument. Letting little Timmy have chocolate milk because you let him once and now he want's it all the time so you give in etc...that's indulgence. I can't relate to your scenarios about this b/c none of those things are an issue with my daughter. She goes to bed at 8:00 every night in her toddler bed alone and stays there. No getting up in the middle of the night. She's comfortable with loved ones if we leave her with them etc. My daughter is my whole world, because without her I would/could not live. She's the epitome of innocence (as are all children) and in my opinion what is still good in this world. God chose me as her Mother and I will do my best to love her the way God loves me. Unconditionally. Caring for every tear I've ever cried; holding my pain in his hands. I do appreciate your response Nikkia.

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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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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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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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Actually I used to work with mothers and small children and one thing we learned in our training is that "crying it out" actually does change things in the way babies brains work and it can have long term negative affects. I too have read these credible studies that show that crying it is not the best method. It can cause some serious anxiety and as all children and parents have different personalities it is absurd to me to think that this method is supposed to work for most children. I lean more toward follow my children's signs as of when they are truly ready for different steps. This helps teach them that they do not have fit in a box or do things like everyone else but do things in their own way and in their own time. It actually boosts their self esteem and helps their social development. Obviously giving chocolate before dinner(as one person mentioned) is a totally different situation. I used to use this to describe it to my moms that I counseled: Babies are used to being a WE, they are inside of you and they are a part of you. They come out and all of a sudden they are expected to act like individuals and they are still in WE mode and we we go into ME mode. Human babies are programed much like other mammal babies in the animal kingdom, they have a built in desire to be close to use especially at night time. It is their built in instinct from years and years of danger in their environments where leaving your baby or toddler alone at night would surely mean they would become some predators midnight snack. Obviously things are different now but they still have that built in instinct and need to be with us. Some adjust faster then others and gain that independence at different times but there is no golden age to say okay your fine you need to be alone. Babies are used to being WE's just like all other mammal babies that stay very close and attached to mom or dad, sometimes it seems like our race has become so intelligent and advanced to just to forget the natural intelligences and common sense that we were blessed with.

5 30

Donna- I single you out, because I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but disagree with a lot too... I have 3 kids who have been parented using, I guess, cry it out, or controlled crying or self-soothing --whatever you want to call it-- who are all independent and loving and trusting children. I understand the WE thing... That is why as an INFANT, it IS important to hold your children and cuddle them and all of that, but if you start them off being able to fall asleep on their own, they will already be used to that, and it won't be this huge psychological disruption in their lives... It will be common place.-- I am NOT saying that you never hold them or touch them, or let them fall asleep on you, because THAT is SO important, and not having that would be damaging-- But you are simply giving them the opportunity to fall asleep on their own. I do believe in "co-sleeping" in that your child is not in the bed with you, but still close at night for the first month or two... Psychologically, I am not sure if that is relevant or not, but it is easier to respond to their needs in a quick manner... Infants cry when they need something basic- food, a clean butt, warmth, and yes, sometimes comfort, and I do believe that it is important to respond, it probably builds trust or something, but there comes a point when they are not crying because they NEED anything... boredom, curiosity, habit, they rolled over and it startled them... and at that point, I think it is important parents to start assessing the NEEDS of their child, as well as for the child to learn how to manage their emotions and their WANTS on their own. For my kids, THAT point was at about 2 or 3 months, where it was time for me to start asking if they really needed me, or if it was just a want. (You can tell if you have reached this point if when you go and check on your crying child, they are still dry, they will not eat very much, and they are fine as soon as you pick them up, but start to cry the second you put them down.) During the day, it is ok to give into wants... Hold them if they want to be held. Play if they want to play, but also say no sometimes too if you can't or if you are cooking, or doing something important --UNLESS it is a NEED-- so they know that they can't ALWAYS get what they want if there is something else that NEEDS to be done, and also so that there isn't a disconnect between night time and day time... If a child is always given what they want, then that is taken from them, it is more stressful for everyone involved. That is why when parents say that they "tried cry-it-out" it doesn't work because your kid is already used to you being there when it is time to sleep, of course they are going to be upset when their routine is broken, but if said parent is consistent with it for longer than a day or two... it will become routine and the kid will no longer feel the need to be upset about it. But if they are already used to soothing themselves when there is nothing they NEED, there ISN'T that huge transitional period of your kids screaming bloody murder ONLY because they want you... They might fuss for a couple minutes, but then they will fall asleep... With my youngest, I think she just needed to cry every night, because even when i would hold her, she would cry for a couple minutes before she fell asleep- no different than when she was in her crib... As I said in a different comment on here, Crying is good for you. It releases the stress hormones in your brain and helps equalize your mood. It is only when you get upset about crying that it becomes an issue... Crying happens... That is life. And something I have taught my kids is that it is ok to be upset. It is ok to cry... Crying is normal. Don't resist the fact that sometimes people (babies too) just plain need to cry for no logical reason at all... Giving your child the gift of tears and learning how to deal with negative emotions as a baby is one of the best things you can do for them, I think. They will be better equipped to handle tears when they get older... Allowing your children to cry gives them LONG TERM mental benefits of learning how to problem solve, how to be content alone, and how to be independent and unselfish people... Cry it out is NOT neglect, because the child's NEEDS are put first... You take care of needs FIRST and if they still are crying, it isn't a need... Neglect is when someone is NOT caring for basic needs or ever holding a child, because it is true that Children NEED to be held... (Just not all the time...) Neglect IS detrimental... Neglect is Cruel... But teaching your children to feel and be safe with OR WITHOUT you... THAT is, I believe a beautiful GIFT.

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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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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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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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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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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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When my Children are grown my husband will still be here. I don't want to drift so far apart during my children's early childhood that we can't ever get back once they are gone. The nights are all that we get together- after the kids at in bed. It is our time to talk and touch and be together. My God tells me - fous on the marriage and the family will be strong. I believe this and it affects the way that I parent my children. They are not neglected. They are loved soooooo much. My maternal self-indulgence (running and holding them at their every whim) would be easier some times. But, I believe that what we are doing is working and it is guided by the words of someone I trust over any psychiatrist, mommy blogger or child rearing "expert." My actions are guided by the words that my God have to me and I trust in them. Thank you for the support! I really do appreciate it.

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You are so right. Every child and parent has different personalities and different things will work in differferent situations! Well said!

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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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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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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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I ENJOY spending EVERY night putting my kids to bed. If I cannot do it due to sickness or meetings, my husband does. At times when we are both home, we argue over which one of us gets the privilege of this duty. They only want it this way for a few years. Between the ages of 7 and 10, they begin to reject it. It is not at all about giving in or control for either me or my children. It is about love and the precious memories we are creating together. I feel that it is selfish to put personal desires over the love and memories that can be cherished forever by both parent and child, and passed on to future generations.

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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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...

235 30

My understanding is CIO is putting your baby to bed awake and if they cry you let them "cry it out" meaning you don't go in their room or respond to their crying at all for 15 minutes. If your child is still crying after 15 minutes you go in and put a hand on them and talk to them to soothe them, but under NO circumstances are you to pick them up and hold them. If they calm down and then cry as you leave again, you keep repeating the process of letting them "cry it out" for 15 minutes before going in and only putting a hand on them and talking to them to soothe them, never picking them up. Ferber's book claims that after doing this consistently for 1 week most babies are sleeping through the night.

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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....

5 15

It's called routine. If you start with rules (and stick to them ALWAYS) Children fall into a groove and dont know any other way. My Children are 6yrs, 5yrs and 3yrs old and at bed time their body clock tells them they are ready for bed. Most nights my children are asking me if it's bed time :) and they put themselves to bed. I am very proud of my children. At times they don't like my rules but they have learnt to respect me and they love me for it. I am always on their case and at times hard on my children but I know in the long run it's for the best. It's just making balance in the day- Love, playtime, cuddles, learning and sticking to YOUR rules. Children NEED discipline but they need to know WHY they need to do what you have asked of them. Children are smart and if you explain why they can't do that and keep reinforcing it. They will eventually do it without thinking :)

7 20

well said :)

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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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1 26

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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