Mandi - posted on 02/04/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )




why are so many moms for the cry it out method? it just seems to me that a majority of moms use this method, i guess whatever works for them. but would they still use this method if they knew what it was actually doing to their babies? i mean isnt it our job as mothers to tend to our childs every need? i dont quite understand how some people think that babies as young as 4 months can learn manipulative behaviors when they cant and they think they will spoil their child if they take care of them everytime they cry, its what we as mothers are supposed to do


[deleted account]

Alot of people have differnt ideas of what CIO involves. I dont think that leaving you baby to cry for extended periods of time is necessary or productive but leaving them to try and settle themselves for one minute isnt going to do any permenant damage either. I think on impersonal forums its difficult to judge what actually goes on at the home of those writing about their experiences - alot gets lost in translation. I also think we should all remember that people do things differently and so long as there is no crossing into abuse then there is no right or wrong when it comes to parenting.

[deleted account]

I am one that let her daughter cry for 2 hours. I tried to go in and comfort her, but every time I did it just made her mad. She was 9 months old and had already been nursed, but refused to go back to sleep. It only happened like that one night in her life. I never did CIO w/ my girls unless they had already been nursed and only 'needed' CIO about half a dozen random nights in their entire life. They are 8 and trust me.... those rare, random nights did them no damage. :)

I have done 'CIO' w/ my son on several occasions, but have never left him alone for it.

It does have it's place. Not for everyone certainly, but I don't think it's fair to be accused of damaging our children. Every child, parent, family, situation is different and their needs need to be met accordingly. :)

Megan - posted on 02/04/2010




I used this method when my son was 6 months old. My son was waking up every hour from the time he was born and was up most of the day. I was a complete zomby. I tried absolutely everything and Im serious I went into a day clinic that specializes in sleep and they couldnt help me. If I didnt try the "Cry it out" method my body would be a mess due to lack of sleep. How could I be the best mum I can be if I cant sleep. I dont think nursing them to sleep is spoiling them I love doing it when he will actually go to sleep. After doing a form of the crying it out method my son was 10x better and so was I!!! He was sooo happy, hes just such an amazing little boy!!! Now if I didnt try this method we would both be mess and he wouldnt be able to learn as much as he has because his brain wouldnt be functioning at the same capacity as what a child would if they slept. This was my last chance to get my life back together and your saying I shouldnt!!! My son didnt know how to self sooth because I was always trying to do it for him. Now he will only go to sleep when he is in his cot he doesnt like to fall asleep in my arms or have someone to pat him to sleep. So am I wrong to put my son to bed and have him self sooth by having a little grumble before he falls asleep. The only way that the crying it out method would do damage would be if the parent isnt using it correctly. You DONT let your child cry for hours. YOU set the time intervals in which you choose to comfort your child and let them know that your there and that everything is okay. The doctors say that if this doesnt work within 3 days then it doesnt work for your child and to stop. I GOOD parent knows what kind of cry a child has, a GOOD parent knows when their child is hurt or sick and in this case you wouldnt use the cry it out method. My son grumbles for a couple of minutes and then goes to sleep, this is NOT doing any damage my son has excelled by doing this. As for the 4 months it is NOT recommended to do this before 6 months.

Where is the damage to let a child cry for 5 mins, cry NOT scream!!!

I do care for my sons every need!! He does NOT need me to rock him to sleep every single time he goes to bed or wake up.

[deleted account]

I notice your both mothers of one baby. Try having a few babies and then think about the cry it out method lol. I dont use it never needed to but i did tend to my baby's every need when i had my first every cry i'd run to see what was wrong. I ended up with a baby that was grouchy wouldnt sleep and needed constant attention. Baby two came along and i couldnt give him the same attention that i was giving my first i was too busy trying to get baby one to sleep to rock baby two. So baby two learnt to go to sleep on his own in his cot. He never screamed the house down he would just kick and gurgle away until he fell asleep. Did the same with baby three put him down awake and waited until he went to sleep on his own. Baby 1 who i rocked to sleep every night took 11 months to sleep through the night. Baby 2 slept all night from week 3 and baby3 slept all night from day 1. Too much attention sometimes isnt a good thing.

Sarah - posted on 02/04/2010




I think the question should really be, why do SOME mothers use CIO incorrectly.

If CIO methods are used correctly, then i have no problem with it whatsoever.

I used my own little version of CIO with my 2 girls. They need to sleep, mum's need sleep.

I would never have used CIO at 4 months. Nor would i have left my kids screaming in their cots for hrs on end. Letting them have a little whinge before they sleep tho, i don't see the harm in.

CIO has an extremely bad press because people have preconceived ideas about what it entails, or they use the methods incorrectly.

Both my girls are perfectly happy going to sleep, no damage done by them having a little cry at times.

As i said, used correctly, it's a good method. Not saying that it's for everybody, but it's not this terrible, heartless method that people seem to make it out to be. :)


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[deleted account]

I think cry it out is disgusting. And what is even more disgusting is that us women are allowing asshole doctors, such as Dr. Ferber influence our parenting style, by telling us how to "train" our babies to better suit our own selfish needs. You are right, mothers are supposed to attend to their child's every need, and this is how child rearing has been done since time itself. It has just been in the past while where mostly male doctors, who claim to be professional experts on child care, seem to scare a mother out of her own God given ability, Mothers Intuition. We have it for a reason, and I don't think any mother would allow her baby to cry it out, if it weren't for these doctor "experts" telling her it were okay.

Leslie - posted on 02/05/2010




i couldn't let my son cry it out either... his crys were so bad that i gave them the title " the screaming angry cry" . he was very sensitive and very irritable and in the early days the only way he would sleep would be to nurse him to sleep... a few times if he was in his crib and he started crying, i was in the washroom and 5min later when i was able to get him i picked him up and he had either a big burp or a big spitup... (sensitive baby)... so ever since then i would have a fear that he was in pain and i could never leave him cry. i haven't read all the posts here yet but if you are not a fan of the CIO method i suggest reading any books by Dr. Sears... and perhaps more specifically the nightime parenting one..and one thing he says really stands out to me.... he says we are built to respond to our babys crys and that there is a reason we feel the pain when we hear them cry... i believe it is meant so that we don't ignore them.
my son is almost 10months and even though i have had anxiety attacks over the past few months and maybe even suffer with PPD i still couldn't let him cry it out... i feel like the longer and more he would cry the worse i was... therefore i tried pretty much everything in the books to get him to sleep.. .singing, rocking, bouncing, stroller rides (for afternoon naps)... and so yes i probably did it to myself and the CIO method may or may not have worked, but now.. finally at nighttime my husband, son and i get ready for bed together and lie down 30min before bedtime, read some books, sing some songs... and then lights out. we all go to sleep without crying... its amazing and i think i might start to believe that it was all worth it...

Christina - posted on 02/05/2010




It depends what you believe is best for your child!!!
During the day i would tend to my child everytime she cried.
She suffered badly with colic and it was a nightmare, i was so down but i struggled through it, i would not for one second have left her unattended to cry!!!
However after the colic had gone my daughter was still in the routine of being wake at night and sleeping alot through the day!!
When she got to 10months old, i decided it was healthier for her to stay awake as much as possible during the day and sleep as much as possible at night!!
We decided to work this around her bottles, her last once used to fall at about 7pm so after this we would put her to bed, at first she didnt like being left, i left her for around ten minutes then i would go in comfort her put her dummy back in and leave her again!!!
After a week, sucess, she loved her bedroom, she loved her cot and would quite happily go to bed without a murmour!! and she is a much happier child during the day!!! if what i did it the CIO method, how can it be a bad thing to have a happier child????

Mandi - posted on 02/05/2010




im not saying that all methods of cio are bad, im talking about when a mother just lets her baby cry and cry, i can see letting your baby fuss a bit and maybe cry, my son gets fussy right before he falls asleep unless hes eating, im talking about when babies are left to cry for an extended amount of time, which puts strain on their undeveloped internal organs and can cause hemorrhaging in the brain, in fact my brother was left to cry for so long so many times he go a testicular hernia, not to mention all the psychological damage that leaving your baby to just cry can cause, they can have social issues later on in life, night terrors, trust issues, bed-wetting issues. when an infant cries for an extended amount of time its obviously because they have a need that isnt being met... and they stop crying because they have given up hope that you will come to their aide, not because the need is just magically gone or has been met, which can cause major trust issues between mother and child, i read an article about a baby who got to the point that they never cried when they needed anything, not food not anything and because her parents went to the extreme with the cry it out method, you could sit her in a corner and she wouldnt make a peep all day. regardless of whether your baby has been fed, burped and changed, that doesnt necessarily mean that they dont still need something, crying is their only way of communication and they have other needs besides those, when your baby is lonely or bored the only way they can tell you is to cry.
yes i am a mother of only one child, but devon doesnt really cry very much, so like sheree, i know when my son cries there is something, and i do go to him whenever he cries because of that, and he doesnt manipulate me. my boyfriend and father of my child is a psychology major who is studying alot of child development, i can honestly say that they dont learn and put into use manipulative behaiviors until almost 2 years of age, i hold my son constantly and he does just fine when i put him down for an hour or so and doesnt expect to be held constantly, but i suppose all babies are different. and yes when they cry they expect to come to them because that is what we are supposed to do.
Im not trying to make anyone feel bad, i dont have anything against people who use the cio method properly, but i personally wouldnt be able to use it, im to much of a softie and i couldnt bear to listen to my son cry, so it works for some and it doesnt work for others

Sheree - posted on 02/04/2010




Susanne, sorry i dont know how to reply with a quote,
"I notice your both mothers of one baby."
I guess your referring to me as i posted not long before you and yes i do only have one child, but my daughter actually goes to bed by herself everynight. When she was first born, i wanted to be able to cuddle her and rock her to sleep, but she hated it. She would only go to sleep when she was in her cot by herself, if she wasnt thats when she would cry. I wasnt a mother that went running for no reason, but i also have a daughter who only ever cries if something is wrong, infact i rarely hear her cry, so when she does i know there is something bothering her. I do agree with you though that when number 2 come along i probably wont have as much time, here's hoping that number 2 is like number 1 and want to sleep by him or herself :)

Ashley - posted on 02/04/2010




we used a version of CIO like some moms said on here it works when done properly. My son was 7 months old when I gave in and tried it. I never let him go longer than 10 mins b4 I would go in and let him know I was still here. Eventually (about a week) he stopped crying when I left the room and would pretty much go right to sleep, though still some nights he sings and talks to his stuffed animals. He is 2 and I do not regret him getting the sleep he needed or me for that matter.

Dawn - posted on 02/04/2010




When my son was about 4 months old, I was looking for sleep advice and CIO was suggested. I felt he was too young at the time, so I spent many a night up at 2:00 am for playtime. It didn't bother me because I felt at his age he needed to sleep and eat when he felt he needed to. Once he reached 7 months, when I could see that he was developing his personality and was testing limits, we began letting him cry when he was just pitching a fit about going to sleep. I too have read that sometimes babies just need to cry to let off steam. Now that my son is almost a year, I use CIO mostly when he needs a nap and will not respond to other methods. I am still a softie though...he was putting himself down for naps but about a week ago he started cutting another tooth...I have started rocking him to sleep again because I know he just wants some comfort. I don't think he will need to be rocked to sleep for the rest of his life because I do now and I don't think he will have resentment issues for the times I let him cry. Each to their own, but it is interesting to read all the differing opinions!!

Natalie - posted on 02/04/2010




you don't just let your baby cry its self into a coma or something... i did that method, it worked best for us but i was still there for my baby. I checked on them ever 10 Minutes or so to see if they need anything and to let them know i'm here for them. They didn't cry long though and both of my kids slept through the night at around 2 months old. You have to know why they're crying.

I hate posts like this b/.c it makes the Mother's feel bad that are doing this. Every baby is different, every Mom is different and different methods work for different families. Just b/c it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it's wrong. You know that babies are actually supposed to cry? So their lunges can develop the way they're supposed to? ad yes, you can spoil a baby b/c they learn really fast that the mom will come to their side every time a peep comes out of them and you'll end up carrying your baby around 24/7 so it will actually sleep.

Andrea - posted on 02/04/2010




It's not that we let our babies cry it out every time they cry! A lot of you make it sound like we neglect our babies. If my son is crying because he is hungry, wet, tired, etc. I tend to him. If he is fed, burped, has a clean diaper and showing signs of being tired I put him in his crib and he cries for about 5 minutes and falls asleep. It's not that we wants anything, sometimes babies get so tired that they don't know what to do with themselves...and my son doesn't like to be cudddled to fall asleep all the time. I have done this since was 6 months old. I certainly wouldn't let him cry for half an hour or anything because that is out of character for him.

Cathy - posted on 02/04/2010




This is clearly a sensitive subject. Surely we all do what we think is right for our children and that at the end of the day if they are happy we are happy. Somethings work for some children but not for others. I am not sure if I have used this technique myself - I guess I must have at some point. However I don't think there is necessarily a connection between using this technique and how well behaved a child will be.

Firebird - posted on 02/04/2010




I started using CIO when my daughter (now 5) was 16 months old. Using CIO on an infant as young as 4 months is just plain irresponsible and neglectful. People are always telling me how happy my girl looks and when I take her to places like restaurants she is on her best behaviour. If done "properly" CIO doesn't have negative affects.

Krista - posted on 02/04/2010




I think the real issue here is to define what "cry it out" actually MEANS. There are a lot of people out there who really use it incorrectly --- I have seen women on this site say that they leave their baby to cry for an hour straight, which is NOT what was intended. And yes, that is counterproductive and rather cruel.

Proper CIO never leaves the baby to cry alone for more than 5 minutes or so.

The reason why it can work is because a lot of babies fuss and whinge (and yes, even cry) a bit before they go to sleep. So you might have a baby who lets out a cry or two just as he's getting sleepy, and Mummy's right there, picking him up and talking to him, which wakes him up the whole way. Lather, rinse, repeat, and you can wind up with a baby who just can't get to sleep. This method gives the parent a bit of a time-out, so that if the baby is fussing and whinging himself to sleep, the parent is not going in, interrupting and making a big fuss, waking the poor kid back up.

Personally, I used a modified version of CIO with my baby. More often than not, he'd fall asleep right after his last bottle anyway, but if he didn't, and I could tell he was sleepy, I'd put him in his crib, say "Nighty-night, sweetheart", and leave. Oftentimes he'd fuss a bit, or even let out the occasional cry or two. But as long as it didn't escalate into actual "I'm awake and I am NOT happy" crying, I'd leave him be. But if I ran there to comfort him every time he let out a little cry or two, his sleep would have definitely suffered for it.

He's now almost 6 months old, and he drops off like a champ around 7:30 every evening. He's well-rested and happy, and so are Mom and Dad.

Sharon - posted on 02/04/2010




If done properly - it has its place. Children are not cookie cutter cutouts. They are different and need to treated and raised differently. What works for one sweer docile child may not work the strong independent willful child.


Megan - posted on 02/04/2010




I got to the point that I was soooo tired that my legs would collapse on me! I dont think that , that is a very good way to be a parent. Could you imagine not sleeping for 6 months straight, trying to find the energy to still do the washing, ironing, cleaning, cooking, etc until you have been at that point you will not understand how desperate you become. My son was moody as well he was soo tired and I could see that.
Should I have just been doing the same??? Tell me what you would have done in my instance. I am not overstating either I would get a couple of hrs of sleep if I was LUCKY.
The damage was taking place from him NOT sleeping and me NOT sleeping!!! I would have loved to rock my son to sleep, I love those special moments. I occasionally get to breastfeed him to sleep and I love it. If that worked every time dont you think I would have done that instead of CIO.
I think people need to understand that every child isnt the same and different things work for them. Should I be told that Im hurting my son when Im trying to do whats the best for us and my family? I know when my son is hurt, I know when my son is sick and Im there for him.
I think some people that havnt used the method think the child screams this is not the case, If you really want to understand what happens within CIO then go and see a doctor that specializes in it and they will be able to explain what it is that we do.
I love my son and am there for him every time he NEEDS me, He knows that mummy is always going to be there to make things all better.

Tcordukes - posted on 02/04/2010




I think i'm a bit of both, i don't think it's right for babys, as they cry cause they want something, however as they get older i have found that there are a big difference between the crying because they are tired and crying because they need something, so when i put my one yr old to bed and he starts doing a little whinge i'm not going to run in everytime, there is nothing wrong he just doesn't want to go to sleep, it last a whole 5 mins max,

Sandi - posted on 02/04/2010




4months is a bit young generally they are still crying when they need something at this age. We used the cry it out method on our 7month old daughter .We gave it 2 weeks and if it didn't work then we were going back to our old ways. It did work after 5 days though. As I was saying in another thread. This is a life lesson.

You teach your baby to sit, stand, drink from cups so why not this? I'm sure the day will come when my daughter wont like eating vegtables & she will have a tantrum but that wont make me stop giving her them. Same as sleep, she didn't want to settle herself, she wanted us to do it...so she had a tantrum.

Although we used the CIO method, there were certain cries that a parent knows, where I would still go in and tend to her. Usually teething or wind. In the long run I think the benefits outweighed fighting maternal instincts. She sleeps better, it's better for her mental wellbeing and her growth and she is less cranky (as are we) so the days are more fun, she learns more and is less cranky all round. So basically we did it because it worked for us, but your baby may be more..."strong willed" and not take to it.


P.S. Larna is 10mths and now sleeps 9pm - 9:30am without as much as a murmer (appart from when she feels she needs to have a chat with her toes before she nods off)

Rikki - posted on 02/04/2010




im not a fan ither my son had realy bad colic and only slept for 4 hours a day for about 3 months cio was suggested to me many times but there was no way in the world i would have let him cry it out and very glad i didnt do it as when he gets going sometimes he wont stop to the point he is sick it breaks my heart and yes i may only have one child but cant see myself doing it no matter how many children i have there is no point me trying or we would both be crying...i guess what works for some wont work for all and i would rater sit up all day and nite with my son if i had to then make him cry allown :)

Tiana - posted on 02/04/2010




The only way I see that method effective, and I struggle to ever do it. I can't help myself most times I have to tend to her. But if you have fed, burped and changed. Then if she hasn't puked she can be left alone. The way my fiancees parents said was try for a few min like even 5 if they don't settle themselves and it only gets worse pick em up. With certain research projects babys have died of lack of attention. I don't agree with those who let the baby scream and don't check on it, it could be starving, or in need of a new nappy. Babys can learn a lot my lil girl is bright she is only 3 months this week coming but when she just grizzles which isn't quite too often lol well in my softy opinion haha, I know she is messing with me when the moment I am holding her she stops. She will scream at others and then shush with me. I agree with you

Stephanie - posted on 02/04/2010




I have a healthy 15 & 5 year old who were never victims of the cry it out method.

Everyone comments on how well behaved my kids are and how much manners they display. They are loving and gentle and never manipulative.......

Stacey - posted on 02/04/2010




oh good i'm glad to see i'm not the only one, but i got stuck with a 15mth old who wanted me to still hold her to sleep i didn't use the let her cry method but the leave her a min the go in and comfort her, she now puts herself to sleep, i feel like crying when she cries i feel so bad.

[deleted account]

I have never used the Cry it out method with either of my kids! I do't believe it does them any good. They get all worked up, sometimes they get to stressed and we do to! I believe it is wrong to let your baby lay in their cot and scream!! GO AND PICK THEM UP... They obviously need you!

[deleted account]

I can agree. Although, I have done it myself. For me, it was mainly hormones. I fully believe Mothers are ment to tend to their child's every need. If you can't stay strong for your heart and soul.. then what are you good for>? NOT THE BABY! They sense the emotions and it just makes it THAT much harder on them. I went through that for about the first month and got over it quick. I couldn't look at my baby girl knowing that I am making her upset.

Sheree - posted on 02/04/2010




I am another that doesnt understand the cry out method. I feel guilty if im in the car and my daughter cries and i have no where to pull over. I feel as a mother and protector, i should be there for her whenever she needs me, and at this point crying is her only real way of letting me know something is wrong. If a baby cant learn to be able to depend on their mother, who can they depend on?

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