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How do you respond to others who tell you they've used CIO?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
So we've discussed a lot about how to respond when relatives, friends, coworkers, and total strangers tell us we should be using CIO. But how do you respond to people when they tell you, often accompanied by them saying it somehow saved them and their child, that they used CIO on their baby?

This has happened to me twice recently and I'm never sure what to say to that. Yesterday I was strolling with my new next-door neighbor and our babies. She was saying how her son (who's now 14 months) wanted attention at night and if she picked him up he would cry the next night too, so she "did it the hard way and let him cry". I was like "ooh!" ~said with the painful tone of "Ouch!". And left it at that. I mean, I really don't feel like getting into it with my new neighbor, who I otherwise like well enough and would like to keep the door open, so to speak.

However, it's on par, in my book, with casually saying "Our baby cried a lot so we slapped him upside the head and now he doesn't cry as much any more." In that case you could at least call CPS, kwim? There is a feeling like I want to intervene and help save the poor baby from this awful fate. And I would say if you know a baby's being abused it's your obligation to step in. It's just that, sadly, CIO is not seen as abuse in our culture and even the opposite. So saying something about it mostly falls on deaf ears.

On the other hand, I hate it when people butt into my parenting ("He should have his own bed" "You shouldn't pick him up when he cries", blah blah blah), and I don't believe I'm going to convince anyone of anything, so I mostly feel it's not worth the energy. If someone is attacking my parenting by saying I should let my baby CIO, then I feel the need to defend myself and explain why I don't use CIO. But to argue it with someone else who's already done it, and isn't telling me I should do it? What's the point?

Still, it's a really awkward situation.
post #2 of 44
It is a tricky one, for sure. I've only had it happen a couple of times and I've really just said "Oh, right." (which in Australian is sort of the same as saying "Oh, ok" as in I-am-acknowledging-that-I-heard-your-statement-but-am-not-commenting-further-at-this-time) in a kind of surpised tone.

This is probably a bit of a cop-out but, I am trying very hard to stick to the rule that I do not offer an opinion on something another parent is doing unless I am specifically asked. If it was a general discussion of the merits or otherwise of CIO then I would put my boots on and wade in but I don't feel comfortable commenting on something that someone is already actually doing.

I'm not convinced this is the right thing to do, especially as I am pretty sure that the people in question don't know about the research showing that it's harmful. But, I am a wuss I guess
post #3 of 44
Depending on the message you're trying to get across to the other person you could say "I'm glad that your baby is sleeping well now but we decided to go another route" or "I've done some research & decided to go another route" or even "our doctor doesn't recommend doing that". Saying your dr doesn't recommend anything is always a great fall back. Even if you may not listen to everything your dr says, they don't know that.

Unless you're looking to discuss why CIO is bad or why you chose not to, I'd just move on to another subject at that point.

But I agree, it's hard to hear. I always just figure if I was crying, I'd want someone to help me. At least now when people hear that Lucian (my 9 month old son) is my 4th, they don't seem to be so pushy with advice. I guess they figure if my oldest is almost 17, I can't be messing up the parenting thing too bad. LOL
post #4 of 44
When I have heard this in the past, I have just said, I couldn't do that. If asked anything further I use the response I gave a mom-to-be that suggested I pull DS's hair if he bites while nursing - If there is a way to acheive the same result without causing him pain or tears, that is the way to go.

Thankfully, there are other options, a lot parents just aren't aware of them.
post #5 of 44
Of course the biggest question everyone asks about my 6 month old is....
Is she a good sleeper?
Im not one of those who takes offense to that. I feel that people are well intentioned and want to make sure Im getting rest.
I just say, she wakes up to eat and then goes right back to sleep, and that's the best anyone could ask for.
They usually dont ask anything else.
If someone wants a debate on things like cosleeping, nursing on demand, babywearing.... I just hit them with the research. It doesnt make anyone EVER want to go any further.
post #6 of 44
I smile and nod and change the subject. I don't like CIO either, and consider it borderline abusive - but it IS borderline. If it's someone close to me, I hope to model how you don't need to do CIO (and co-sleepers do have their own beds eventually). If they're not close to me, then I just move on. But to be honest, I probably would think twice about becoming close to them depending on the degree of the CIO..
post #7 of 44
"Every family has to do what works best for them." Also, repeat it to yourself before you say it to the other person.
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post
On the other hand, I hate it when people butt into my parenting ("He should have his own bed" "You shouldn't pick him up when he cries", blah blah blah), and I don't believe I'm going to convince anyone of anything, so I mostly feel it's not worth the energy. If someone is attacking my parenting by saying I should let my baby CIO, then I feel the need to defend myself and explain why I don't use CIO. But to argue it with someone else who's already done it, and isn't telling me I should do it? What's the point?
DH and I have friends and I was amazed when I asked the mom about sleeping advice and she strongly recommended CIO, saying they need to learn to self-soothe and that, really, it's the best thing for them. I did not expect this advice to come from her and I was honestly stunned into silence. That said, I don't feel it's my place to tell other people what to do or how to parent. Maybe in the future I will drop hints about how we don't do CIO and maybe share some research if pressed. But I won't be blatant about it.
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynsage View Post
"Every family has to do what works best for them." Also, repeat it to yourself before you say it to the other person.
I agree with this and this is what I try to do, along with a deep breath, or two.

I realize I don't want or need other people's unsolicited advice and unwanted comments about the way we choose to breastfeed, co-sleep, our health choices, elimination communication, cloth diapering, eating organic, etc...because I am doing what I think is best, and I just assume that they are too. I just happen to think other people are wrong to do CIO. However I try to respect their ability to choose for themselves what they think is best, and keep my opinions to myself, unless they specifically ask me about my opinion on CIO. And usually I find that parents that do CIO ( at least the ones I have met) don't want any input, opinions or advice.
post #10 of 44
Most of the time I just smile and nod. Sometimes however, I have responded with, "Wow I couldn't do that", and "You must be strong than me I can't not respond when he needs me". And "I couldn't stand the idea that he thought I wouldn't help him if he needed me."

But honestly those have been saved for snarky I'm smarter than you kinda people.
post #11 of 44
If itd stranger or someone just making a general comment I jsut pretend like they never said a thing and move on... If they invite a response...
Sleep is important for us too I'm no good as a patient mama all day if I don't get good sleep (validates their needs) thankfully I've found the whole respond and they will DEMAND it all the time to be untrue. (I leave out trigger words like crying screaming even things like picking up ect) Rather quite the opposite actually i've taught all my LO to sleep well during the night by responsing to their needs.

Deanna
post #12 of 44
im not using any sleep method in particular with my new baby, just doing what feels right at the time...she sleeps with me and feeds when she wants and so far (she's only 19 days old) she sleeps for 5 hour stretches during the night so we're happy...

but im not really up to date with what is actually classed as CIO?? did i use CIO with DS...? He used to cry as soon as i put him down so i'd spend hours settling him then one night (he was ooh about 14 months old) i needed to use the bathroom n his father wasnt home so i laid him down and as usual he cried his head off... for three minutes max while i went to the toilet... when i went in to him he was settled all by himself and every night afterwards thru his toddlerhood he'd cry for two-three minutes (more of a moany-whimper) then pass right out snoring softly, is that CIO?

got me all paranoid that im "borderline abusive" :S

as for your neighbour... unless you truly feel that her baby is being harmed (and you obviously wouldnt want to still know her if you believed that) then maybe just leave it and subtley talk about ur methods of settling ur LO to sleep in future conversations and rave about how lovely and calm the methods are... maybe she'll convert on her own....
post #13 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perdita_in_Ontario View Post
But to be honest, I probably would think twice about becoming close to them depending on the degree of the CIO..
Yeah, this was the signal for me that indeed I am not looking for a real friendship beyond being neighborly with my new neighbor who said she'd used CIO. I'd already had the feeling they weren't really my kind of people, but the CIO thing really cemented that.
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by corban's mum View Post
but im not really up to date with what is actually classed as CIO?? did i use CIO with DS...? He used to cry as soon as i put him down so i'd spend hours settling him then one night (he was ooh about 14 months old) i needed to use the bathroom n his father wasnt home so i laid him down and as usual he cried his head off... for three minutes max while i went to the toilet... when i went in to him he was settled all by himself and every night afterwards thru his toddlerhood he'd cry for two-three minutes (more of a moany-whimper) then pass right out snoring softly, is that CIO?
In my opinion, no. Some babies, it seems, need to have a little fuss to release tension and fall asleep. Had he cried for 5-10 minutes, and calmed when you came in to settle him back down, only to cry once again when you left, and you kept that up until he finally went to sleep, exhausted from crying, that is CIO to me.
post #15 of 44
I just say "Oh, I could never do that with mine" with as non-accusationary a tone as possible, and no one has taken it badly so I must be handling it. The fact is that it is incredibly common, and even recommended by most "experts" and pediatricians, so most parents do it. I don't want to judge almost every parent I know, but on the other hand I want them to know from my experience that kids can grow up to be good sleepers without that. Sometimes it leads to more conversation and they at least tone down the CIO plans. I think often parents don't really think there is another viable option.
post #16 of 44
i don't like to perpetuate the myth that not using CIO is "wussing" out, the way that some of the statements (i.e. oh, i couldn't do that!) do. if it's ever brought up to me, i tend to go with a statement affirming how normal it is for babies to need their parents during the night, and that it's natural for them to wake throughout the night, and that it's temporary.

usually i say something like "oh, i have never needed to do that. i think it's pretty normal for babies to sleep in shorter stretches... i know one day she won't need me at night anymore!" or something like, "it's hard being a baby! i think i'd be pretty upset if someone told me i wasn't allowed to get up at night to go pee or get a drink of water." it obviously depends on how close i am to the person, but if delievered in a lighter tone, i think it usually comes across ok.

anyway, putting an adult in a baby's shoes by comparing getting up for a drink or getting to snuggle with our partner to wanting to nurse or be soothed is a good way to make people think objectively about what CIO actually is.
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post
usually i say something like "oh, i have never needed to do that. i think it's pretty normal for babies to sleep in shorter stretches... i know one day she won't need me at night anymore!" or something like, "it's hard being a baby! i think i'd be pretty upset if someone told me i wasn't allowed to get up at night to go pee or get a drink of water." it obviously depends on how close i am to the person, but if delievered in a lighter tone, i think it usually comes across ok.

anyway, putting an adult in a baby's shoes by comparing getting up for a drink or getting to snuggle with our partner to wanting to nurse or be soothed is a good way to make people think objectively about what CIO actually is.
I really like this approach, and I'm going to use it next time I get the chance!
post #18 of 44
I think I don't like it when others comment on my parenting (telling me cloth diapers are gross, babies don't need to breastfeed past 6 months, wearing her all the time is spoiling her, etc) so I wouldn't do that to someone else.
post #19 of 44
The reason I say "No, I could never do that" is because that's the honest and accurate main reason I would never use CIO. I really could never do it. I speak my truth and give more info if wanted.
post #20 of 44
i would just say something like, "oh, that must have been tough." because i'm sure it is tough for CIO moms. nobody likes to hear their babe cry and they are just doing what they think is best for their family with the information they have. and for every study that "proves" that CIO is detrimental to children there's another one that "proves" the opposite (yeah, i've seen the sleep books....everybody has their studies.)

and further, it just doesn't feel fair to judge them on that one thing when i'm sure there is something they are doing for their kids that's better than what i'm doing, yk?
i mean, i have a friend who did CIO with her babe. but she is WAY better than me at showering her son with constant affection and undivided attention. she would never let her kid play while she watched a show on tv like i would.
i have another friend who did CIO with her kids and she stays at home with them while i work part time by choice and have dd in daycare.

also, we're not really sure if what this particular neighbor did was in fact CIO. a 14 month old, while still needing love and attention, is very different from a 4 month old. a 14 month old DOES know that crying will get a response and usually they know how to put themselves back to sleep. i don't do CIO but if my dd cries at night i do sometimes give her a couple minutes...and at her 13 months i CAN tell the difference between her "real" cries and her "attention" cries. 99% of the time she falls back asleep right away on her own.
and just now while putting her down for a nap she was screaming bloody murder. and you know what she needs? i can stand there and talk to her...i can give her a bottle and she swats it away like i'm trying to poison her....i can pick her up and rock her and she wails and arches her back...what she needs is for me to leave the room and the crying stops within the minute. that IS leaving a babe to cry but it's not CIO.

at a certain age, ignoring a tantrum does not mean CIO and i'm sure this age is different for different kids.
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