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Why does CIO "work"?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'm not asking because I want to try it out!
On the contrary, I feel like if I knew what about it makes people swear it "works" and "has" to be done, I would be better prepared to argue why I am not willing to do it with my baby.
Does that make sense?
post #2 of 28
The baby realizes after X-amount of nights of not being responded to that no matter how hard they scream/cry that no one will answer.
post #3 of 28
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post
The baby realizes after X-amount of nights of not being responded to that no matter how hard they scream/cry that no one will answer.
Pretty much. Eventually a baby will learn that there's no payoff/response to crying, so they give up. That really evokes a visceral response from me, just thinking about it makes me ill... And I have two kids who don't sleep, who both had/have severe colic and sleep issues - I've walked away and let them cry for 5 or 10 minutes (as opposed to throwing them out in the snowbank)... but to systematically allow a baby or toddler to cry, in order to teach them to 'self soothe' - breaks my heart.
post #5 of 28
I don't think it works at all. Most people who do it seem to have to do it more than once, every time baby's schedule is disrupted. Go on vacation? CIO again. Baby over an illness? CIO again. Move into a new home? CIO again. Daylight savings time? CIO again.

That's just the impression I get. Maybe some babies are more easily "broken" than others and never need to be trained again, but I think that's the exception, not the rule.

I think CIO families just get so used to it they don't even consider the subsequent bouts of crying as re-training. They'll tell everyone it worked like a charm the first night/5th night/whatever but I'd bet 10 bucks they deal with more crying than that but just tune it out.

It's not that I don't believe other people feel it works for them and their kids...that's not why I don't do it. I don't do it because it's wrong to ignore a baby's needs just because the clock says they should be asleep. Someone can tell me till they are blue in the face that it's "magic" but I don't care. That stuff doesn't matter. What matters to me is that I raise a child who can trust me and know that I'm there for him.
post #6 of 28
I agree with the pps. They learn that crying doesn't get their parents' attention so they stop doing it. I find it disturbing that so many people think it's a good thing that their baby doesn't trust that they will come when they cry.
post #7 of 28
This can't be addressed in any reasonable way due to the UA.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bena View Post
I'm not asking because I want to try it out!
On the contrary, I feel like if I knew what about it makes people swear it "works" and "has" to be done, I would be better prepared to argue why I am not willing to do it with my baby.
Does that make sense?
Yes that does make sense.

I think in our society (and by our I mean western/global north) we have grown to value independance and through that we have grown to believe that teaching independace must come through hardship, through cutting the apron strings. We have grown to believe that if it doesn't hurt it must not be good for you. And so we are encouraged to leave our children to cry to give them character and build their independance. Other cultures don't seem so obsessed with making their kids independant, but then most other cultures don't kick their kids out at 17 or 18 either.

I think people believe it works because as far as teaching kids to not call for their parents at night it does work. But since the goal is to teach them to self soothe it fails. I don't know many adults that truly self soothe...most I know rely on alcohol, drugs, a partner, white noise, food or any and all of the above. So I'm thinking Ferber's theory is lacking on long term research, ya know?

But at the end of the day, the bottom line is that you do not have to justify your choice to anyone. You KNOW it's not right, so to hang with those who think you're wrong.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
This can't be addressed in any reasonable way due to the UA.
This sums it up well.
post #10 of 28
Just a quick moderator note to say that this topic is fine so long as no one advocates CIO.
post #11 of 28
yep, it definitely "works" - because they learn they won't be held if they cry. at most daycares, (especially big ... idk what you call them, chains?) you are told not to pick up the babies so they don't get too "attached." it is awful, and a big reason i no longer work at daycare. on monday, the babies will be fussy and cranky, because they are used to mom and dad holding them during the weekend, but in a couple days they would be back to "normal" and content just lying in the crib or on the floor. it's so sad...
post #12 of 28
My mom recently told me she used CIO with me at 7 mo when I wasn't "going to sleep well". My heart sank. Forever and ever I have had trouble speaking up for myself and I get extremely emotional when I have to speak up for myself. Now I know why. Could be nature, but the "nurturing" I got sure didn't help.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by leaves View Post
yep, it definitely "works" - because they learn they won't be held if they cry. at most daycares, (especially big ... idk what you call them, chains?) you are told not to pick up the babies so they don't get too "attached." it is awful, and a big reason i no longer work at daycare. on monday, the babies will be fussy and cranky, because they are used to mom and dad holding them during the weekend, but in a couple days they would be back to "normal" and content just lying in the crib or on the floor. it's so sad...

That's horrible!! I've worked in a couple chain day cares (as well as independently run ones and even did childcare in my home for 5 years), and no one ever tried to convince me to not pick up a crying child!! In fact at the largest day care I worked at during the difficult times in the "baby room" (drop off in the mornings, naptimes) we always brought in an extra person (over and above ratio) so there was an extra set of loving arms to hold more babies! Very frequently during the day we would have 3 adults for the 6 or 7 one year olds who were there.


So back to the original topic- it only "works" because babies finally give up hoping that their cries are going to be answered. They detach from their caregivers and even detach from their own feelings (both emotional and physical).
post #14 of 28
CIO has been practised in the US as the bed time routine of choice in America for many years, at least the past 50... but if it worked (taught proper sleep habits) I doubt the folowing statistics would exist for us as adults:

20-40% of all adults have insomnia in the course of any year
1 out of 3 people have insomnia at some point in their lives
Over 70 million Americans suffer from disorders of sleep and wakefulness
Of those, 60% have a chronic disorder
84 classifications of sleep disorders exist


Sleep problems add an estimated $15.9 billion to national health care costs.

Now I'm not saying CIO caused these sleep problems but if it really did teach us from an early age how to sleep better why do so many of us need assistance falling/staying asleep as adults?
post #15 of 28
I would like to point out my SIL as an example of how CIO DOESNT WORK! Shes almost 17. She was the fourth with 10 years between her and her youngest brother (Hes 27) She was a horrible sleeper. I don't know how often she was left to CIO, but I have heard my MIL make some sort of comment about having to clean up puke. I also know that at the age of three, the boys (HUsband and BILs) would take turns sleeping with her, because she would NOT sleep by herself. To this day, she HATES being home by herself. She gets to scared and freaked out. She still asks to spend the night at my house rather then be alone in her house until 1030pm (At which time her parents would get home from whatever) Just throwing that out there.

My mother was not AP, but her maternal instinct told her letting us cry at night was cruel. She spent many a night sleeping on the floors of our bedrooms. Neither of us have any problem being alone, EVER.
post #16 of 28
Currently I am in a situation where I have temporary guardianship of a little girl who is 18 months old. She NEVER cries, even when she falls and hurts herself. She just looks at you with the most depressing beautiful little brown eyes in the world... and shakes quietly.

This is a child that people say that CIO "worked on"... because she does not cry. However she is completely emotionally scarred. She is a gentle little girl who does not bother communicating because she knows it does not work.

If that is not awful, I dont know what is.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by almadianna View Post
Currently I am in a situation where I have temporary guardianship of a little girl who is 18 months old. She NEVER cries, even when she falls and hurts herself. She just looks at you with the most depressing beautiful little brown eyes in the world... and shakes quietly.

This is a child that people say that CIO "worked on"... because she does not cry. However she is completely emotionally scarred. She is a gentle little girl who does not bother communicating because she knows it does not work.

If that is not awful, I dont know what is.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by almadianna View Post
Currently I am in a situation where I have temporary guardianship of a little girl who is 18 months old. She NEVER cries, even when she falls and hurts herself. She just looks at you with the most depressing beautiful little brown eyes in the world... and shakes quietly.

This is a child that people say that CIO "worked on"... because she does not cry. However she is completely emotionally scarred. She is a gentle little girl who does not bother communicating because she knows it does not work.

If that is not awful, I dont know what is.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by almadianna View Post
Currently I am in a situation where I have temporary guardianship of a little girl who is 18 months old. She NEVER cries, even when she falls and hurts herself. She just looks at you with the most depressing beautiful little brown eyes in the world... and shakes quietly.

This is a child that people say that CIO "worked on"... because she does not cry. However she is completely emotionally scarred. She is a gentle little girl who does not bother communicating because she knows it does not work.

If that is not awful, I dont know what is.


Poor thing, hopefully she ends up in an emotionally safe place
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
I also know that at the age of three, the boys (HUsband and BILs) would take turns sleeping with her, because she would NOT sleep by herself. To this day, she HATES being home by herself. She gets to scared and freaked out. She still asks to spend the night at my house rather then be alone in her house until 1030pm (At which time her parents would get home from whatever) Just throwing that out there.
You just described my 18-year-old sister to a T. Neither of us was EVER left to CIO. My mom firmly believes that babies cry for a reason and leaving them is cruel.
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