Crying It Out (CIO)

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I don't normally just repost a link but I totally agree with this article. It just never made sense to me that leaving your child to cry itself to the point of basically fainting from exhaustion is any kind of good idea.

 

http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/crying-dangerous-kids-one-expert-says-222400379.html

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I recently read this article, and I agree with it. After much research, I didn't resort to CIO methods. I did try once, and it felt so WRONG.

 

Sometimes you have to go with your gut instinct.

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Sometimes you have to go with your gut instinct.

 

Absolutely agree with this and it carries over into other aspects of life. The problem is, a lot of people have lost touch with their instincts, or are influenced by what other people say or what they read.

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Except that the article quotes Ferber as saying that he never advocated "crying it out". Few people do. The Ferber method involves attempting over an extended period to gradually withdraw from your child at bedtime. You go back in and show your presence to the child numerous times at the start, which becomes less over time as the child learns that the direct link between screaming and getting attention has been broken. It can be a bit unpleasant at the start, but to be honest, in our situation, his difficult behaviour at bedtime was esculating anyway, so it was worth a try. Within a week there was a major improvement. We also differentiate this to night terrors and other wake-ups in the night, where clearly body contact and attention is the way to go. Attachment parenting v "crying it out" is a false comparison anyway. You can be very attached as parents while still teaching independent sleeping skills. A more sensible comparison would be co-sleeping v independent sleeping. There are plusses and minuses to both approaches.

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My MIL has long insisted that I am damaging Teenie by refusing to let him cry it out. She also claims he will be in bed with me till he is 12, fine by me. I love me some baby snuggles.

 

On a more serious note, I am happy with the decision to cosleep, though I would not do it with a newbie as that really scares me, I will use a co sleeper for that stage. I feel when he is ready to assert his independence and move to his own bed he will let us know as have countless children of parents who cosleep. And if the first step is a bed in our room that is fine too. Really until a new baby is coming along and it is not safe for him with us, I will not push the issue. I think even then I would put his bed here and still go for a family bedroom.

 

Now we put our bed on the floor, and he goes to bed super easy. I can get back up and he sleeps alone just fine. If he does need me he cries or if feeling bold, comes in search of me, but he usually just cries a bit till I come and settles right back down.

 

I am not really in a rush to force him into his own bed. I realize that does not work for everyone and some people may think I am nuts. But it works for us.

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The best advice I ever got about establishing rituals/expectations for bedtimes, naptimes, etc. was to choose ONE method and stick with it. And choose early in the child's life, preferably. The most confusing thing for babies and young kids are when parents decide to "try" something, give it a couple of days, and then abandon it because it "didn't work." It didn't work, because it takes longer for a child to understand your expectation and get into a routine.

 

Parents who take into account their own and their child's temperaments, and then make a deliberate and informed decision, will have success.

 

 

You can be very attached as parents while still teaching independent sleeping skills.

 

I love the way you put this. Good sleep is a skill which has to be learned.

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Exactly, Cinzia, well said. I read once early into our still new adventure as parents ( I think it was in this book: Babyjahre ) that not to worry which way one goes as long as it is consistent. They also did a great job of discussing both the parent that stays by baby's side until she is aslepp and the one that gradually removes himself from baby's side through either adding distance or letting time intervalls pass without being pushy about which way is better. Essentially both work and it all depends how you are as a person, as a parent, what your goals are and even what your life situation is. And, moreso, what the personality of your child is. I think it would be nice, if we could all just remember that the vast majority of us tries our best at parenting and our life experiences might dictate different priorities. That does NOT mean I have my priorities straight and you don't.

 

Exaggerating statements like the one that started this thread

 

 

It just never made sense to me that leaving your child to cry itself to the point of basically fainting from exhaustion is any kind of good idea.

 

are just not helpful or fair to other parents. I think we can all agree that that is not a good idea. I also dislike the term "attachment parenting". As if not co-sleeping equals a detached parent. Unnecessarily polarizing.

 

Just to sum it up, here is my experience with my child:

 

Some co-sleeping (or more honestly passing out while breastfeeding) in the first six months, otherwise crib next to our bed. Then a stressfull period of difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep with hours of rocking, soothing, singing, trying to lay down with her, etc. Turns out that all that attention, even sitting quietly by her bed not touching her was keeping her up. Finally decided to do the intervalls thing going in every few minutes and after five days she would go to sleep after about ten minutes. The other thing that helped was moving her into her own room. She slept through the night (13 hours) the very first night we did that. Previously she had woken about two to three times. That was at 9 months. She has slept through the night ever since and usually goes to sleep on her own after a short song and greeting of her night time teddy bear and about 5 minutes of crying (sometimes 10). I feel like she needs those five minutes to release the excitement of the day. She does that at nap time, too. She even did it when she was tiny and going to sleep in my arms. In the morning I take her into our bed and we all have a cuddle that she usually ends after 10 minutes, because how boring is it to be in bed when there is a whole world out there!

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Anything goes for the first year. If it's working for you, keep it up, if only to preserve your sanity. In our experience, "systems" don't work. Some of them are too rigid and some just allow the kid to do whatever, which means no sleep for anyone. I totally agree with calibear that separate rooms around 9-10 months is a great move. Once we did that, those little moments when our guy would wake up and roll over were just moments of readjustment instead of a full wake-up and a whole production. We did a modified version of Ferber, which was initially really hard on everyone and eventually helped a lot. Now we get 10-13 hours of peace every night.

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I guess I have just found the whole idea of "teaching independent sleeping skills" to an infant as odd.

 

For millions of years children have slept in close contact with their parents. I just don't know how much that genetic imprinting would change just because we live in a modern society with multiple rooms and cribs.

 

Just because getting them to sleep "independently" can be done doesn't mean it should be done or that there are not long term consequences for doing so. Maybe not...but I am going to err on the side of millions of years of evolution.

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And if the kid is waking you up every hour on the hour for no discernable reason?

 

Always ask who is writing the article and who is it intended for. Don't have the time to muse on the second question but the answer to the first is this... someone who has all sorts of anxiety problems and is looking for someone to blame. He decides he has been undernurtured as a baby. All (rat) mother's fault. Nowhere does it say if the author is a parent. I take this article as the point of view of someone I am going to regard somewhat circumspectly.

 

If you don't want to let your baby cry it out, fine. However, be prepared to be enslaved. Or not, depending on how the kid reacts. They are all different. At one point around age 2 my lo was crying every hour on the hour through the night for no apparent reason other than she wanted to know I was there. Running through to say hi every hour was just reinforcing a habit in my view. It seemed to be a power game I was going to have to win. I soon had to let her cry it out for my own sanity. She was persistent and strong willed. Two hours every night for a week. Nobody enjoyed it. Eventually she got the message and blessed sleep returned. The neighbours rang the Jugendamt so I had to explain myself to them (and presumably have a record there for future reference). So if my kid has anxiety problems as an adult we'll all know who to blame.

 

This is a really unhelpful article to those trying to cope with a difficult baby or toddler. I would take it with the huge pinch of salt it deserves. Some kids can be hard work and pandering to their whims (responding to their needs??) actually does not help either the parent or the child if you are in that situation.

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Just because getting them to sleep "independently" can be done doesn't mean it should be done or that there are not long term consequences for doing so. Maybe not...but I am going to err on the side of millions of years of evolution.

 

Hence my point about taking into account your own and your child's personalities when you decide how you want to deal with the issue of bedtime. Everyone can come up with well-reasoned arguments for why their way is better and someone else's is not. Yours is quite reasonable, and of course millions of babies around the world are brought up that way with no harm done to anyone.

 

I like my sleep, and I like not having a child in my bed. So I was very clear about putting the child down to sleep in her own bed (which for the early weeks was in my room) and letting her get to sleep on her own, for naps and for bed. I never had any trouble with her crying about being put down, as long as she was dry and fed, since she was used to it and could expect it (and at the same time every day.) It suited both our personalities (and Dad's) to do things the way we did, so it worked out. The child is 6 now, and she is still very close to, and affectionate with, me, even though we didn't sleep in the same bed. She's also an excellent sleeper who very rarely gets up in the middle of the night (maybe once a year) and never has trouble getting to sleep. (Yes, I realize that's due to natural luck in large part.)

 

One note on looking ahead: I was glad not to have to deal with deciding when would be a good time to transfer the child to her own room and bed. Several of my friends have come up against that problem when baby number two came around, and Number One was a toddler who didn't understand or appreciate that Mom was kicking her out (her view) in favor of her new or impending sibling. Another friend had an 8-year-old daughter who was just not a sound sleeper and slept best in her parents' room, even if it was on the floor.

 

As far as "teaching sleeping skills" (independent or not), it's pretty well accepted that getting to sleep and staying asleep is indeed a learned skill, and some people are better at it than others, even as adults. Any sleep clinician can tell you that. Whether you think of it consciously or not, the way you deal with bedtime is teaching your child something about how to get to sleep. Some kids learn that it's scary to try to go to sleep without a parent in the room, or even holding them. Other kids learn that they must have a bath and a bedtime story before they go to sleep. They learn this due to the parents' decision on how they are going to get to sleep.

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I was always against CIO in theory (in my childless days, oh, how I have changed since then ;) ), but my firstborn was an appalling sleeper. Whilst he was a baby, I put up with it, but we got to a point when he was 18 months old, had given up the boob (of his own free will) and I was spending an hour and a half rocking him to sleep every evening. He'd got night wakings down to one a night, which I could cope with, but honestly, bed time was driving me insane. He couldn't fall asleep in my arms (I was basically carrying him around and rocking him until he passed out from exhaustion), but would cry if I put him down in his bed awake - I truly believe because he'd never learned to fall asleep there. There is a German book called "Jedes Kind kann schlafen lernen", which explains a watered-down method of Ferber, in which the child is never left to cry for more than 10 minutes, and you even build up to that over 4 or 5 days. The first night, I went in every 2 minutes, and it took Toby about 15 minutes to fall asleep. I was sitting outside his room with a clock in my hands, and it was pretty horrible (for me, I could tell by his crying that he was just pissed off, which helped), but it was such an improvement on our previous bedtime routine that it was worth it. The second night he was out like a light in 10 minutes, and the third night I never went back in at all, because he whined as I left the room, rolled over and fell asleep.

I would never advocate leaving an infant to cry, but by that age, Toby understood fully that people are sometimes just in other rooms. He would play in his room whilst I had a shower etc, so I knew that he wasn't feeling abandoned or anything. He just had never learned to go to sleep by himself. Once given a chance to do so, he manged it without any real hassle, and I would do it again straight away. Luckily, Liv is a much better sleeper, so up to now, it doesn't look like we'll need it, but if things change, I would try it again. One thing I read about any "programme" designed to change habits is that you should see an improvement within 3 days. It doesn't have to be complete within that time, but if things aren't getting better, then you should consider whether that plan is the right one for your family.

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I think their is a BIG difference between "sleep training" infants and toddlers. Once children are old enough to be able to tolerate some frustation/delayed gratification and still feel safe it is a whole different ball game.

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On behalf of already busy parents I would like to welcome new or perspective parents to the world of parenting and in particular, the sub world of "there will always be someone around who will tell you that their method was right, it is right due to the fact that their kid grew up ok (at least they may think so).

 

Along with breast feeding the whole controlled crying/crying it out battle is one where someone is going to tell you you are doing something wrong (along with vaccination - don't go there, don't tell poeple what you did and refuse to be dragged into any conversation about it. Should you happen to be, and the other person say 'vaccinations are not needed!', you can always answer 'I'll juts go and ask all those poeple pre-smallpox vaccination program what they think - oh...' - This shuts up 90% of such people).

 

The inference being that you are a bad parent and you are going to damage your child for life by doing your way - which is not the way they did it.

 

Now, there are indeed times when this is true. we have not allowed our daughter hang out of windows in the flat or hang by her hands off the balcony. I would say these however are exceptions and it is ok for me to say you shouldn't do it.

 

Regarding other topics, such as the crying however, I can give you a little tip. It is a kind of secret tip that you will already know and when you read it, you will go 'ah, yeah, of course'.

 

The secret is, it is up to you. read it again, go on, feel that slight thought building in the back of your head. It really is up to you.

You will be dealing with the consequences of your actions. That is what happens as a parents.

 

We didn't let our daughter cry it out and she has turned out ok. I bet to be honest, if we had, she would still be ok. Sure, some will say going in builds trust but other will say it builds dependence.

 

You make your decision and you deal with the consequences. All kids are different and you have no way of knowing how it would have turned out if you had done it the other way.

 

Enjoy your time as parents, I blinked once and our daughter was suddenly 18 months old.

 

A little exercise for you.

Smile, nod, smile nod. They will soon get the message. If that doesn't work, try a 'ah-ha, really'.

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Attitudes are many and varied. I come from a line of mothers that believe sometimes babies cry to excercise their lungs and hear their own voices (and who is to dispute that?). You can hear from the cry whether or not you need to worry. You do not need to "attend" to baby every time it raises its voice. This is in contrast to one well meaning, kindly soul who informed me she might let a baby cry for a few seconds. Oh boy. Seconds??

 

The best bit of advice my mother gave me was the reassurance that babies are more robust than we think and that they are made to survive. She often liked to remind us as kids when we inferred she was neglecting us (i.e. we were not getting what we wanted) that "they used to bring them up in caves, you know."

 

It's really easy to be over anxious and quite difficult to remain detached and unflustered.

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I'm waiting to see how my little niece turns out, speaking of "not letting them cry at all." I first met her in August, when she was about 3 months old. Mom is from Shanghai. Grandma was in attendance and had been in the States already for a couple of months. Dad (American) had yet to be allowed to change a diaper or do anything else to care for her.

 

Every time that baby made a peep of any kind, her diaper was changed and she was fed. Like, every 15-30 minutes. She was never put down unless she was actually asleep. I guess this is what Grandma insisted on. Mom looked completely exhausted and told me privately she couldn't wait for her mom to go back to China, which was still TWO MONTHS off! According to her, babies in China are not allowed to cry. I wondered if that's true, or if Grandma was a psycho maniac whom her daughter just couldn't stand up to.

 

I'd met Grandma before, and she seemed like a sweet lady to me, though she speaks no English and I speak no Shanghainese. But I think we have pretty much all learned that you have to push back sometimes against people who tell you what to do with your child.

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It gets easier bo, in about 18 years. :D

 

Jr had "severe colic" and reflux as an infant... talk about crying. So I tried all I could do to STOP the crying. It was a nightmare. CIO was not an option for us. So we co-slept. I got him into his own bed as a toddler, and he has been sleeping through the entire night since about 3 years old. He is very attached, but not any more 'dependent' than any 7 year old should be. I mean, I still make him dinner. :rolleyes:

 

Was it more work for me as a parent than letting him scream alone in a crib? Sure, but that's the gig I signed up for when I had unprotected intercourse.

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We've been putting him in a straight jacket which I can now talk about as I've just found out it's legal. Seems to help.

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We should thank featherlight for this post, a good example of what I was talking about.

 

 

Attitudes are many and varied.

 

It always starts with a neutral phrase to set you at ease.

 

 

I come from a line of mothers that believe sometimes babies cry to excercise their lungs and hear their own voices (and who is to dispute that?).

 

(Establishes a history of the way that will be soon described, to make it clear 'this works and is right').

 

Is there any kind of evidence that we are geneticaly designed to cry for no other reason other than to exercise our lungs? I am not saying it isn't one of the reasons but I am guessing it is to let the mother know we are not happy about something - TIP - if you baby is doing this every 2 hours, feed it - it is not doing this for the exercise :-)

 

 

You can hear from the cry whether or not you need to worry. You do not need to "attend" to baby every time it raises its voice.

 

(This sort of phrase is to make you feel like are a bad parenst if you cannot tell the difference. Most new parents cannot tell the difference as you have to elarn this as you go. According to this phrase, if you are deaf or have any kind of hearing problem, you wil automaticaly be a bad parent).

 

Although this is true, I have never thought of going to my daughter when she has been crying as 'attending'. Isn't that what doctors do during their training..??

As said, you have to learn by experience the differences between the cries. If your kid gets collic you will end up wishing you could go deaf, for a little while at least.

 

 

This is in contrast to one well meaning, kindly soul who informed me she might let a baby cry for a few seconds. Oh boy. Seconds??

 

(This is to contrast the opposite view point and ridicule it).

 

Note the term 'informed'... See, this sets out how the person saying it feels about the message/point they received (although I expect they were told in much the same way they are telling you about all this).

 

quote name='featherlight' date='20.Dec.2011, 3:57pm' timestamp='1324393026' post='2631212']

The best bit of advice my mother gave me was the reassurance that babies are more robust than we think and that they are made to survive. She often liked to remind us as kids when we inferred she was neglecting us (i.e. we were not getting what we wanted) that "they used to bring them up in caves, you know."

 

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