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Is CIO ever the lesser of 2 evils?? - Page 4

post #61 of 214
Graceoc - thank you. you hit the nail right on the head for me. that is what I have been trying to say just a lot less consisely
post #62 of 214
Like spanking, I believe the experience of crying without a response has risk. I believe that crying without a response does intrinsic harm.


Both of my children and different points in their babyhood/toddlerhood have *NEEDED* to let off steam and fuss and cry a bit before going to sleep. And they needed to do it ALONE! The more we tried to comfort them, the more then cried and fussed, the longer it took them to go to sleep, and the more sleep deprived they were the next day, and the more frustrated and resentful we were as parents.

thank you. some babies need some time alone. for my son it was only a few minutes of fussing and crying, and then he'd fall right asleep and was a much happier child.
post #63 of 214
Am I the only one thinking that there are some semantical problems with some of the confusion???

After reading lilyka's post I am thinking that the term CIO is a very broad one and that is where some of the disagreement comes from.
post #64 of 214
I think to some extent you are right. but also tghe impression I goit from the AP books I read as a new mom was that if I ever let my baby so much as whimper I was doing them unrepreble harm. And I still think a lot of people the measure of a good paretn is hoiw little your baby cries. And i agree it is hard to listen to them be sad even for a moment but sadness and frustration and anger are a part of life and i feel that is OK to let our children feel these things when they are appropriate. If my child is angry and frustrated because i put them to bed when they would rather party the night away so be it. They are entitled. But that doesn't change the fact that I can objectively see thier need for sleep and know how one of night can throw a small child off. (night is thrown off so tomarrows naps are thrown off so thier bed time is thrown off so thier naps are off so bedtime is more off, overtiredness sets in . . . . . ) but they can't see this. It is hard for nayont to see this in themselves unless they have made a descion to do what they know is best in the long run. I also feel when you have allowed your baby to get into such a funk that they can't pull themselves out that you have to do things you didn't want to do.

For example. Teeth brushing. My children don't like to brush thier teeth. and I am not particularly inclined ot brush them for them. for some reason the battle seems like a big ol' PITA to me, our bathroom won't fit tweo people so it means me holding them down in the hall way and allowing them to spit on me (thier natural inclination when I am holding them down with a brush in thier mouth so it isn't like I even have to give them the oppritunity) and the carpet (the only carpet in the house ) but if I were to let it go I would be forced to subject them to filled cavities, novicane shots (can the drill really hurt more than that?), root canals. dentures and more. I wouldn't subject my child to that kind of dental work unless I absolutely had to and no would fault me for making them get thier rotten teeth cared for. However hoiw much better would it have been to see to it that it never got that bad. no matter how much I hated the brushing routien and schedule. DO you see the connection. I have a tendancy to go to far with annalogies.sory if I have. My point was, letting your baby cry it out, real cry it out, the big break of all bad sleep habits, ripping a big nasty bandaid off really quick, really is only acceptable if things have gotten very very bad and all other avenues of hope have been exhausted and your child is old enough where they are not likely to grow out of it or sick enough from sleep deprivation that you cannot wait any longer but if things have gooten that bad you really have to do what they have to do. yOu shouldn't have let them get that bad but hind sight is 20/20 remember these lessons for the furture. But okease please try everything else first.

And I don't think letting a baby fuss is the same as CIO. AND if you have to let your baby cry for 20-60 minutes every time youput them down THIS IS NOT WORKING. I have never read proponant of CIO say that this sort of srying was supoosed to continue for months and months. I read someonewhere else (not here!) that this lady lets her baby cry fr 45 minutes at the beginning of every nap and bed time. listen lady your system isn't working. try somehting else. get a clue. SO that is most certainly not what I am talking about either. Ava fusses to sleep often but when I say I mean I go to brush my teeth and she is done before i spit and swish.

So yeah I think definition has a lot to with it but I also think there are people who think allowing your baby to cry for any amount of time, even long enough to hear what thier need is is cruel and devistating to the baby. I don't think so at all.
post #65 of 214
As heartmama said, there is a difference between AP and good parent. They can mean the same thing but at the same time, a person can be ap and a bad parent and vis versa.

Does anyone have a definition of AP? Does mothering have a definition on the site?
post #66 of 214

I think you are right.

I am in a group with a hardcore ezzo'er. I really like this woman but I detest her parenting philosophy. She does not push it on anyone and as a person, I really like her. She is a good mom, she ezzo's because she believes that is what she SHOULD do to be a good Christian mother.

I completely disagree with her on SO many levels. But my view is "hey, glad she is not my mom!" I dont argue and always offer a counter view to a new mom when she talks about what she did.

Point being...my view of CIO is to make sure baby is fed, dry and all other needs are taken care of, then leave in room in crib to cry it out until they go to sleep.

My in-laws and father believe that babies need to cry. Drives me freakin looney! My children do NOT need to excercise thier lungs, they breathe ALL of the time and that is plenty of excercise. My newborn is treated VERY differently than my two year old. When my newborn cries, I am there. No questions about it. A newborn has NO concept of time and they are completely incapable of self consoling. Not very long ago, they were part of my own body, they are NOT independant of me. I am responsible for their entire care, including emotional.

As my children get older, I respond differently. When my daughter was 2, i had little control over her physical actions, I just had to provide a safe place for her. Did we CIO, no but she did not go bed at times w/o crying. And yes, she was letting off steam. She and her daddy were getting ready for the new baby so he started putting her to sleep. They would close the door to the bedroom. She could not open it herself. They would read 2 books and the lights were out. She would get up, scream and holler. But he was ALWAYS there for her. IF she needed his arms, he was there and she could go to him. She was safe and within the boundaries of the bedroom walls. She would calm down and go to bed. This is NOT CIO in my book. This is letting them rage as needed and giving them boundaries in which to explore anger, frustration and venting. BUT WE ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE.

I think the availability is the factor. Until my children are old enough to come to me themselves when they need me, I go to them when they cry. Period. I make sure that they have access to me when they cry. I dont care if they are just across the bed from me. I can respect the need for space but I will always be nearby my kids.

To me, that is the difference between AP:knowing your kids and the alternate CIO.
post #67 of 214
lilyka - i really liked your post, especially the second-to-last one.

I learned alot about sleep deprivation from you and other mamas here who have dealt with it. I do think it is a "real" problem and I do think it may require a diversion from the standard parenting-to-sleep guidlelines that most of us here follow without ill effects. I can also understand why, having gone through it with one child, you would be more inclined to "start early" with the next. I don't really agree with this (seems to me along the lines of well, might as well wean them early when they don't know any better than waiting until they are older), but it's hard to argue with someone who has been through that, kwim? Especially when I haven't!

And I, too, think there are some semantics issues here. Graceoc - I don't know to whom your post was directed (if anybody here) but I sure wasn't picking up on any "I'm right, you're wrong" vibes. I'm hearing people who approach the issue from different POV and different assumptions about what constitutes "normal" sleep, what constitutes a "sleep habit", etc. but I feel as though everybody is being respectful.

From what I understand of the posts here, the only person who *I* think does CIO the way I've always thought of it is Midwesternmama (and I'm not attaching any judgement to this at all, she's just the only example here I have). I think CIO is not just leave-them-to-cry, but also includes "controlled crying" where you go in at periods and touch, pat the baby but do not pick him/her up. I certainly don't consider letting a child fuss for a few minutes to be CIO, especially if the child is more content that way. And again, I'm hardly the person to define anything, I'm just giving one example of how each of us defines it a bit differently.

I also think there's a HUGE distinction between crying in a toddler versus a young infant. As lilyka said of her 2 year old DD (and the same applies to mine) they deal with disappointments every day, and are learning to process their emotions, which usually involves some crying. This is a very different sort of cry from an infant left in isolation, or that has a need to be nursed/held/picked up that is not being responded to. What I described doing with my DD in earlier posts was no different than what I do when she asks for something she can't have at the moment. She's old enough to understand and to cope with that, otherwise I would not do it.

Anyways, I think this thread has been, and is going, very well. I really do enjoy hearing from the self-professed "CIO" mamas b/c I do think it's important to understand that there are distinctions.

My only concern is sort of what heartmama touched on. That this is an AP board and people come here and lurk to see what AP is all about. I would not want it to seem that AP advocates CIO, and yet I also think it's important to see that the definition of that can vary from one person to the next, and mostly that everybody here, whether they do AP or not, is trying to do the best for their child. I think we can, and should strive to, have frank discussions about what is AP and what isn't, without attaching judgement to that.

I really liked heartmama's statement that not every AP parent is "good" and not every non-AP parent is "bad", but that AP itself does have certain core values and assumptions that may not fit everybody's unique situation. I don't think saying "CIO is not AP" automatically puts a "good or bad" label on a person.
post #68 of 214
Originally Posted by Chanley
I think the availability is the factor. Until my children are old enough to come to me themselves when they need me, I go to them when they cry. Period. I make sure that they have access to me when they cry. I dont care if they are just across the bed from me. I can respect the need for space but I will always be nearby my kids.

To me, that is the difference between AP:knowing your kids and the alternate CIO.

Chanley, you are so right on!!
post #69 of 214
For me, seeing a distinction between CIO and "leaving a baby to fuss for a few minutes" elicits much the same feeling I have when people insist on drawing a distinction between "a tap on the hand and spanking with a belt".

Yes, there is a qualitative difference. One is less extreme than the other.

But they both come from the same fundamental view of what "children need".

A baby has no control, and I do not ever feel comfortable controlling whether they get a response from me.

I believe that finding value in the withholding of a response, whether for 5 mintues or an hour, is fundamentally at odds with attachment.
post #70 of 214
graceoc wrote: Why is it so hard to believe that sometimes a child/baby needs to let off some steam before falling to sleep?

Well, I would not like to be left in a crib and ignored, even for five minutes, while I cried. That is one of many reasons why I find it hard to believe that a baby "needs" that kind of experience any more than I do. I have others, but that one makes my point for now.

>Are ‘you’ so clouded by your own ‘ideal’ way’s that you can’t hear what these mothers are saying?

I hear what they are saying. I do not agree with the choice they made, but I hear it.

Have you really heard what those who are opposed to withholding a response are saying?

There is no reason to get defensive or feel offended. I don't expect that many participating in this thread will actually change their minds, and I don't see anyone being attacked either.
post #71 of 214
Have you really heard what those who are opposed to withholding a response are saying?
i've heard them and understand them well, but i think some people need to realize that if a parent sees that the constant response is the problem, then they are doing the child only a disservice by continuing to give constant responses to the child. in my experience, doing what is best for my son and consistently listening to his own personal needs, and fulfilling them, has formed a very secure attachment between us. i don't have a problem calling myself an AP mama and still admitting that yes, we did let him cry at times, because of this.

i can see no true parallel between this issue (leaving a child alone for a few minutes because that's what they personally need), and saying it's ok to spank because that's what a child "needs." it's two completely different things.

i don't feel attacked, personally; i just wish people would try harder to see all sides of an issue.

and, to someone who said maybe the semantics are the problem here ~ i agree. i think "CIO" as a term sounds like an evil thing, because many parents just leave their babies to cry and cry for a half hour or more, use ear plugs, whatever, just to do what's best for the parent... whereas what i'm reading here is that the parents who have used it *here* have only done it for a few minutes at a stretch, and stayed responsive, and realized that their children fared better with no stimulation for that time, than if they had kept being held, cuddled, rocked, soothed, whatever. some babies are extremely sensitive to constant stimulation and literally can't handle continuing to be "responded" to. there is a big difference between the shrieking, terrified wails of an infant who truly needs to be held / attended to (changed, fed, whatever), and the weak cries and fusses of a baby who is overly tired and needs a few minutes to themself, and a responsive, attached mama will know the difference between the two.

ultimately, i think it's selfish to ignore what a particular child may need just to stick to a set of principles or a label.
post #72 of 214
I didn't see where the OP was asking only for support/ hugs, so we should all be able to express our feelings, pro and con!

The comment about being selfish feels very inflammatory to me...
post #73 of 214
i apologize if it seemed that way; i was simply voicing my honest opinion that if a parent ignores what their own child needs simply to stick to a predesigned label, that's not in their child's best interest -- they are being selfish.
post #74 of 214
You would think there would be nothing left for me to say but my dh is working 20 hour days so I will make up stuff if I havejust as an excuse to chat with other adults (just kidding baout the making up stuff paret, I would start another thread for that:LOL)

Anywho, I wanted add also that when we "went down a different path" with ava we didn't have to let her sit crying. We started with many ideas from the NCSS and the reason we did that is because we didn't want to fight this again. we didn't want to get to the point where CIO was our last resort option. And we started out with an experimental attitude. "well Ok we will try this and see if it changes things but if not no harm done" And I have to admit we were pretty slack. She was also quickly showing signs of haveing the same sleep isssues Lily did. So one day she was hanging out having tummy time, happy as could be and I got about elbow deeop in sticky bread dough and couldn't get to her until I got it off. so I said soothing things while I picked and peeled and washed and before I got to her she was sound asleep and slept for 3 blissful hours (as opposed to her standard 20 minutes) and woke up refreshed and cheery (to the smell of fresh made bread thank you very much. ) and si we thought "hmmm, lets go with this" and we did and then we slacked and then we started again when things got unbearable. al we really had to do the second time was be consistant. I canceled some things that happened during nap time and it was hard but we needed that consistancy. Shortly after that we completly nightweaned. Since she had never been dependant on nursing to get to sleep it all went really smoothly.

I don't think it is the same as saying "well, might as well wean them early when they don't know any better than waiting until they are older." Nursing is somehting thay need. Absolutely need. Nursing to sleep is not. Falling asleep in moms arms is not. Sure it is fun. Sure it is nice to snuggle but for most babies , they will develope and cling to whatever sleep habits they get those first few weeks.

One way or another what ever you while putting your baby to sleep is developing a habit. I guess it is up to you whether you consider that habit good or bad. Lily got seriously imprinted., that is just the way she is a stubbor to boot so it was to the point that after we moved, I would rock her to sleep and take her to our room. In our old house we turned left. she would start screaming when I turned right in our new house. Not once. Not one time ever did I take her from our living room to our bedroom with out waking her up. i could take her to madelines room (yeah left) but then Madeline would pull her out of bed and scream "not for baby!!!!!" any wonder how she ended up with sleep issues :LOL Her habit of feeling her self being picked up and turn left wasn't a bad habit (until we moved ) but it was her habit. Humans are creatures of habit, some more than others. SHe probably gets her intense nbeed for routien from me. I hnever even noticed how habitual I was until I had her and our habits clashed. I thought I was totally spontaneous. Not so. Anyway moy point is, if it works for you and all the other children in your house then great. DOn't change it. But if your baby is suffering and you are suffering and the rest of the family is suffering then something has to be changed. Do it as gently as you can but do whatever you have to do to get things in order. And if you can prevent these sort of problems then by al means don't be afraid to try.
post #75 of 214
I really appreciate this thread... its an interesting discussion and has got me thinking.

One thing that comes to my mind that i haven't seen mentioned is the fact that every baby is an individual, and every baby is different. I know that this is pretty obvious, but i think its easy to forget- I know I do at times. Things that work for my dd may not work for another. I trust that those mamas who needed to try a modified CIO (or however you would like to call it) did something that worked for their child. What works for my daughter is not to leave her. She does cry to sleep in her dads arms occasionally. She sometimes cries to sleep in my arms when she's biting my nipple and nursing is not an option. If I had a different child, I might have had to do things differently. I think its easier to have a blanket "no xyz" or "always xyz" approach when xyz has or has not worked for your child. We think, "How could you do that?" because we never had to. This is not to say that there isn't value in adhering to a particular approach- like ap- and allowing it to guide your parenting. I am incredibly grateful to parent-friends who are AP and were models for me while i was pregnant and in the early days of parenting.

But i think its a bit presumptuous to assume that a strict, traditional AP approach will work for every child- I have read many posts from mamas who wanted to wear their babies, but their babies hated it. I believe the mamas who have posted here that their dc wanted to sleep alone. While I appreciate upholding the integrity of the term 'attachment' i personally can't presume to know what each mama's individual child's needs are. It seems that this is a recurring theme in many threads, when listening to your child and responding to his or her needs presents an approach that is not considered tried-and-true AP, and yet, isnt AP all about listening and responding to your child?

I also have a hard time drawing a parallel to the type of CIO that has been posted here (after many, many other options were tried, and then not even doing the full CIO), and spanking. Sleeping is a biological need. Discipline- which I guess would be the corollary- is not. It's necessary in life but not a biological necessity in the sense that sleep is. I wonder if others have thoughts on this.

post #76 of 214
klothos raises a good point.

If a baby sleeps better and is more content sleeping alone, then is it AP to continue with cosleeping? For whose benefit is it being done?

If a baby left to fuss, does so for a minute or two and then drifts off to sleep, is this not better than trying to hold/nurse/rock the baby when that only makes the fussing escalate to crying, and gets the child too agitated to sleep? If picking up the child makes him wail harder, that is apparently not what he needs, right?

I have had no experience with either type of baby, but I have heard enough mamas here talk about it that I believe it does happen. Not the norm, perhaps, but it does. My feeling is that a "non AP" parent decides a priori that cribsleeping is the only option and forces it to work no matter what, whereas the AP parent offers the most natural and logical choice first (cosleeping) but if baby doesn't like it then they must do what baby needs.

I guess where the problem lies is how it is determined that this is what baby "needs". Sometimes I wonder if the exhaustion and fatigue of the parent doesn't somehow cloud their judgement, or if maybe they are just starting out with a false set of assumptions (and I'm not talking about anybody here, just in general). On the other hand, biological variability is real and significant, and while understanding the environment in which babies evolved helps to determine what MOST babies will need, there will always be exceptions. I guess one problem with defining what is AP is finding an objective measure of it. Everybody thinks they are "attached", and everybody thinks they are "doing what's best for the child". How can we decide? What is the ultimate "ruler" by which we determine these things?
post #77 of 214
Aww . . .this thread really touches me!

We've had so many sleep issues with DD . . .she actually slept through the night at age 4 months, but by 6 months, was waking every 20-60 minutes. I was going crazy, esp. since I did most daytime and all the nighttime parenting. We never did CIO (well, I did leave her to cry while I regained my composure and released anger elsewhere sometimes), but geeze . . .I can certainly understand why some people choose to.

We are planning to TTC, and I am absolutely TERRIFIED of the sleep issue with baby #2. I read The No Cry Sleep Solution (but, too late-- DD was 1 yr. old and had her habits firmly established) and I am certainly willing to try that with #2 from the beginning.

Things are OK now . . .we have to be very careful with DD's schedule/routine, and I nightweaned her at about 20 months. My main concern was that I be able to sleep, and now I can. DD still wakes up and comes to bed with us, but she doesn't play, she doesn't nurse then (I simply cannot sleep through a nursing session), she just SLEEPS. It took way too long to get to this point . . .sleep was the issue that DH and I fought about more than anything, and everything was worse since we were sleep deprived!

Just wanted to add-- Kelly, I LOVED your post!
post #78 of 214
This thread has been really interesting. I do agree that this is somewhat of an issue of semantics. And to me, personally, I would agree with Chanley, that the issue of CIO is one of availablility. I strongly believe in crying-in-arms. I think that babies, and often older kids too, need to process their emotions and their only way to process is often crying. And that this crying does precede good sleep, but to me, it is important that my dd knows that I will be with her while she cries.

I also think that fussing is different than crying. Zoe fusses all day long at little things, she is not able to get at my cup of coffee (albeit decaf), or I've moved some paper product (library book) out of her reach. I let her fuss and process her frustration while being near. I don't try to fix her frustration.

In the past, before she was mobile, I might let her fuss for a minute when going to sleep, if I knew that she was really tired and my presence was only stimulating, but when it lasted more than a minute, I would go in there and go through to night time routine again. And when I got nursed out and at the end of my rope, I would send dp in. If I was a single parent or my dp was unavailable, I don't know what choices I would have made. I think that people generally try to make the right choice for their family. And I agree with newmainer (Hi Kelly!) that all children are different, and that different things work for different families.

And now, when she cries harder when I hold her when putting her to bed, I mostly feel like she needs to process something, and is doing it the only way she knows how, as she is non-verbal. And she usually goes to sleep pretty quickly after she cries. But that is my child, and I have no real experience with other children.
post #79 of 214
Piglet I totally agree. AP is listening to your baby's needs, and if your instinct is telling you that whatever you're doing isn't working, then you have to change things. I think sometimes AP parents stick too closely to "AP rules" like cosleeping without really being in tune to the baby's needs. I think cosleeping at all costs is almost as bad as crib sleeping at all costs, like many "mainstream" parents do. I think you have to consider all options, and sometimes "controlled crying" or the more gentle approach to CIO, rather "fuss it out", works for some older babies. It never worked for my DS, but some other things did.

The chronic sleep deprivation is very real, not just for adults! When the baby is never EVER happy, even when awake and held, something is wrong. Once other medical causes have been ruled out, the most likely answer is sleep. But it's a hard thing to fix, and sometimes only time will help. I really think it was a combination of time, maturity, lessening separation anxiety, and the gentle NCSS things we did that helped DS. I don't think anything in the universe would have helped him sleep better before he was ready. Not for our lack of trying though! It wasn't until he was sleeping better that I saw a huge change in his personality. He was so much less clingy, and way more happy. Fewer tantrums.

I am going to play it by ear with the next one which we will TTC this summer...I have an amby baby hammock which I intend to use for naps, and perhaps for part of the night from the beginning so he/she learns to fall asleep in it early on. I think, no matter what, learning a variety of ways to fall asleep from the beginning is really essential. Dr. Sears recommends this in the HNB book. Mom and dad should both be able to get baby to sleep in different ways. I think nursing to sleep 100% of the time can lead to sleep "problems" (the waking every half hour to nurse kind of problems) later, in some HN types. I'm not saying nursing to sleep is wrong, just that babies should learn several ways of falling asleep. This makes it easy on everyone, mom especially. I'm not saying impose sleep training on a newborn, just experiment to find other ways that work while respecting what the baby needs.

I am terrified of having another HNB though...it was hard enough with an only child, but a HNB and HN toddler will definitely knock some years off my life expectancy.
post #80 of 214
Originally Posted by Piglet68
From what I understand of the posts here, the only person who *I* think does CIO the way I've always thought of it is Midwesternmama (and I'm not attaching any judgement to this at all, she's just the only example here I have). I think CIO is not just leave-them-to-cry, but also includes "controlled crying" where you go in at periods and touch, pat the baby but do not pick him/her up. .
When did I say that I didn't pick him up? I did... many times. I don't have a problem with you thinking that I "do" CIO, I don't feel that the method we use and hard core CIO are the same... at all.... but, hey, you weren't there so you don't know. And, you didn't know my baby, now turned huge big-boy, and you don't know that picking him up was what I wanted EVERY SINGLE TIME... but almost never what he needed.

Originally Posted by Piglet68
I certainly don't consider letting a child fuss for a few minutes to be CIO, especially if the child is more content that way..
Funny... I feel the same way....

Originally Posted by Piglet68
And again, I'm hardly the person to define anything, I'm just giving one example of how each of us defines it a bit differently.
Yes, we all DO define it differently. And yet, I have ABSOLUTELY no problem identifing myself as AP. My definition may be drastically different from yours, but in the end I responded to my sons cues as well as anyone could have in the situation that presented itself.

In general, I think that this board has had some trouble and many, many threads about how to define AP and what kinds of things can you do, or not do, and still be in the club. I am feeling twinges of high-school clique that you have to wear pegged jeans and have big hair to be a part of...

I offer the best information I have to the OP, and hope that if she is in desperate need of a solution that includes more sleep and thinks that her baby would do better if left un-touched for a while... that she will not consider herself to be a "bad mommy" if she chooses to put her baby in a crib (OR some other baby-safe environment) and see if, given a little time, that is what baby really needed. Only the OP knows her baby and her situation... all we can do is offer what we suggest and hopefully try to respect that there are few who come to these boards who do not have their children't best interests at heart, and none should be made to feel differently.
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