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is cio ever ok?

post #1 of 117
Thread Starter 
i will be brief.
i think there has been a MAJOR misunderstanding and look forward to responding to
those who gave helpful/thoughtful advice
and those who became very angry, hurtful, and mean to another mother in a time of need and weakness....
but first i want to understand:
is it only called crying it out at night?
or can they cry it out during the day too?
when do you see it ok to put your
baby, toddler,or child
down and let him cry while you.....
watch?
leave the room?
pray for help?
take a shower (with both hands)for the first time in tooooooo long.....?
get something hot out of the oven?
is there an age limit or difference?
is it EVER situational?
is there a time limit?
one minute?
10?
more?
can it ever help more than it hurts?
do you think babies, toddlers, or children ever want to be untouched or given personal space in order to work things out?
thank you for helping me learn more about mothering
that is why we are here
p.s. please no angry hysterical rants about how mothering.com is going straight to hell by talking about this.
thanks
post #2 of 117
is it only called crying it out at night?
or can they cry it out during the day too?

**Nope, CIO is day or night....


when do you see it ok to put your
baby, toddler,or child
down and let him cry while you.....
watch?

**I guess it's situational... If he's an older toddler and tantruming and is upset about something and really does want to be left alone to vent, that's fine...I like to vent alone sometimes too. But if comfort is what the child wants, it's never ok to withold it.

leave the room?

**IMO, it's never ok. I guess if you're on the brink of doing something absolutely horrible to your child, it's better to walk out of the room...I guess that's a better solution.

pray for help?
**hahaha...I did this enough during the colic days. Usually I prayed that God would help me not freak out because Bran was screaming for his 4th hour in a row...but usually I prayed while I was walking Bran around patting him. Hard to pray when you're getting screamed at...

take a shower (with both hands)for the first time in tooooooo long.....?
**Nope... At least keep the shower door open and hang a foot out for the toddler to hold on to. To this days, most of my showers are 60 seconds long with the shower door open, water spraying all over the floor, and me hanging a body part out of the shower to be held...

get something hot out of the oven?
**LOL, that should only take a second, so I guess it's probably not CIO. If nothing else, take the tantruming child to the oven, turn off the oven, and keep comforting until you can safely put the non-screaming baby down.

is there an age limit or difference?
**Older children may be able to verbalize their desires to be left alone to cry. Younger infants/toddlers aren't able to do so. They also need parents to help balance them out... I don't think it's ever ok to let a baby-toddler cry alone (unless you are at that point where you will do something seriously harmful to the baby. I'm talking the 1 in a million chance where you will hit the baby or something. Then, it's better to walk away).

is it EVER situational?
**Every situation warrants the parents to at least try to comfort the child. Most of the time CIO is for the convenience of the parent....the child's needs come first.

is there a time limit?
One minute?
10?
more?

**The minimum amount of time it takes to get to the child. Like I said, the parent should ALWAYS at least attempt to comfort the child. And the parent should never ever leave the baby or toddler to "work it out themselves"...most of them still need the parent's help.

can it ever help more than it hurts?
**Not according to scientific research...

do you think babies, toddlers, or children ever want to be untouched or given personal space in order to work things out?
**Yeah, but I think that comes when a child is older. If nothing else, stay by the baby/toddler, pat his back, or reassure the child that you are there when he is done venting frustrations.


That being said, there is a HUGE difference between letting your child cry when you are holding/comforting them, and abandoning them to let them deal. Children/babies/adults sometimes need to cry...it's the abandoning them part that is bad. Heaven knows Bran's cried in my arms before...sometimes it's just how they release emotions. But letting him sit in a room alone to cry is emotionally harmful to the child, IMO...
post #3 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by moma justice
i will be brief.
i think there has been a MAJOR misunderstanding and look forward to responding to
those who gave helpful/thoughtful advice
and those who became very angry, hurtful, and mean to another mother in a time of need and weakness....
but first i want to understand:
is it only called crying it out at night?
or can they cry it out during the day too?
when do you see it ok to put your
baby, toddler,or child
down and let him cry while you.....
watch?
leave the room?
pray for help?
take a shower (with both hands)for the first time in tooooooo long.....?
get something hot out of the oven?
is there an age limit or difference?
is it EVER situational?
is there a time limit?
one minute?
10?
more?
can it ever help more than it hurts?
do you think babies, toddlers, or children ever want to be untouched or given personal space in order to work things out?
thank you for helping me learn more about mothering
that is why we are here
p.s. please no angry hysterical rants about how mothering.com is going straight to hell by talking about this.
thanks

Okay, here's my take on this. No, it isn't only called CIO at night, it happens during the day as well for some people. The problem is that most people are of the (false) impression that children are somehow supposed to sleep through the night at a certain age, no matter what. No matter about teething/developmental milestones/family changes and upsets. The term CIO means to leave your child alone to CRY BY THEMSELVES....without comfort, without your presence.

There is a HUGE difference between allowing your child to cry themselves into hysterics because they want you and taking a much needed break for yourself. Taking something out of the hot oven? Our little game is "Behind the silver line, behind the silver line, who can stay behind the silver line?" in this totally dumb sing-songy voice, until they are all three behind the silver line (meaning out of the kitchen) for the 45 seconds it takes me to get something out of the over. Even my 14 month old is starting to understand that one, she's heard it so much. There's an age where children do sometimes need to work things out on their own. My son is almost six and he's *getting to* that age. Where I will say "I really don't like your attitude right now, do you need to take some alone time and figure out what's wrong so we can fix it?" I DON'T think that a 14 month old needs to learn to work things out on their own. Even my 28 month old isn't quite capable of that one, although there are days that I will suggest she take a few minutes of alone time if she needs it....and if I make that suggestion, she usually will, I think mostly because she likes to copy big brother. . Taking a shower? Alone? What's that? Well, if I feel that I need a shower alone, I play peek a boo with the shower door. Baby may not love it, but I feel it's better than shutting her in a room alone while I do it.

And I left your most important question (in my opinion) for last. Can it ever help more than it hurts? Nope. Never. Sorry, but my opinion. It will ALWAYS hurt. They may sleep, yep. They may not call out for us. But is that what we really, really want to teach them? Not for us, it isn't. I'd rather go on no sleep for months and years at a time, and know for certain that my children trust me to come when they need me. Because soon enough, the will be 15-16-17 years old and I want them to know, deep in their soul, that no matter what the situation, no matter what the problem, no matter how bad they think it is, I will ALWAYS come for them. I will always answer them when they call for me. Always. And that's something they learn now. Either they can trust me or they can't. And I want it to be second nature....if I'm in trouble, and I can't handle it, I KNOW Mom and Dad will be there for me. It isn't something we can say and have them believe, they have to FEEL it, in their heart, in their soul.

How do I know? Because I didn't feel it. I never felt it. I knew, as far back as I can remember....They wouldn't help me. They wouldn't come. If I needed them, they wouldn't be there. And, so I may not remember being left to CIO, but I can guarantee you that I was. Because I NEVER TRUSTED MY PARENTS TO BE THERE WHEN I NEEDED THEM.

I'm changing that cycle with my kids. Sure, I'll be sleep deprived. Sure, I'll get frustrated, we all do. I'm human. But, personally, I will never believe that it will help more than it hurts.....Just my thoughts.
post #4 of 117
No. I don't think CIO is OK. I think that crying is a fine response to big emotions but when a parent gives up and says "You're on your own. I refuse to respond or be attentive to your needs.", that's not respectful or attachment parenting. There may be times when a child cries and needs that release but a parent can certainly give the child space, if the child needs the space, without putting the child in a situation where the child is totally alone and unresponded to.
I have gone to the bathroom with a child on each boob because I really had to and I would rather not hear two crying babies while I did it and I just couldn't wait - especially since they were both falling asleep and interrupting that would take forever to get them asleep again. There are times when you have to juggle your needs with those of an infant/toddler/child but that I don't think that ever involves CIO. To me, CIO is a tool parents use to teach or punish or ignore a specific emotion because they feel it's not important due to the greater importance of the lesson being taught.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I don't think crying is the same as CIO. My daughter went through a period, in infancy, where she would fuss while she fell asleep and I patted her back. It only took a few minutes and she wasn't upset, just venting. It's perfectly OK for babies to cry but it's not perfectly OK for parents to completely disregard the crying.
post #5 of 117
post #6 of 117
to me, CIO means bedtime, but certaintly there are other times when parents choose to let their kids cry.
sometimes it's unfortunate but necesary, like if you're tending to another child or at the end of your rope and can't handle it in the best way anymore. Sometimes it's becuase you know they're crying to complain and not from need. and for some kids, giving them space or quiet to cry IS comforting them. You have to know yourself and your kid really well- know your limits, know their needs, and then do your best. I could't judge anybody for doing that!
post #7 of 117
Like Kavamama said there is a difference between crying and CIO. I do think CIO can happen at any time of day. If your baby is crying and you leave it alone without comfort that is CIO. That said there was a time or two in my Dd's early days when after hours of crying I felt like I couldn't take it any more. I would put her down in her crib and leave for a brief period of time to compose myself. For me at that time I felt her crying alone for a few moments was better than me staying in that situation. The point was not for her to CIO though. Now I have left her crying while I ran to the potty. Even now in the morning DD will wake up and I'll nurse her back to sleep and try to slip out of bed to go to the bathroom. More often than not she wakes up and cries and I yell from the bathroom that I'll be back in just a minute. Again not CIO just a temporary separation that she's not happy with. When we have our new baby I'm sure there will be times both kids will need me and I may not be able to fully meet both needs at the same time and there will be some crying. All I can do is hope to minimize that. Being an AP parent doesn't mean your baby will never cry it just means doing your best to attend to their needs and not leave them feeling ignored or abandoned while they're crying (if the crying can't be avoided of course).
post #8 of 117
For me, CIO is LEAVING your child to cry alone when he or she obviously wants comforting. And that applies day or night. Leaving a child to cry alone in a crib.. or in their room.. is CIO.

CRYING is different. Yes, sometimes my toddler needs to cry as a release. But either dh or I will always stay RIGHT THERE, offering comfort.

If ds does not WANT to be held or talked to.. we tell him we are there when he needs us and we give him his space. When he does come to us, we are right there to hug, nurse (in my case) and offer empathy and validation for his feelings.
post #9 of 117
i don't think it is the preferred way to handle a situation, but i have done it when i was falling apart myself.

i had terrible (suicidal) ppd with ds1, and i let him cry himself to sleep a LOT. it was horrible. i was a mess. he is 3 now, and we have a wonderful relationship. these days he usually likes to be held while he cries, and this is what i do. sometimes, if he is having a fit at night, after trying this and that, i will finally tell him that i am very sorry that he is upset and mad at me, but i am exhausted and i need to go to bed too. and i love him very much, but i am not going to come back to the room if he keeps yelling. i am going to bed, and i will see him for hugs and kisses in the morning. he rarely yells after this speech. this works for us. obviously, this wouldn't work for all the mamas here in the commune.

i occasionaly let ds2 cry before falling asleep b/c when he does it, it is very brief (few minutes), and i need him to sleep so i can sleep. that's it. of course i am sorry that he is sad for those few minutes. but i don't believe this is going to irrevocably damage his attachment to me. (oh, and i have done it for the shower, though he is in the bathroom watching me through a clear shower curtain.) during the day he is in the sling 90% of them time with me kissing his head uncontrollably.

but, when we need to sleep, we sleep. else i lose it. big time. and then i'm not able to do the 90% with kisses thing.

i don't recommend cio. i recognize when i have done it that i'm not doing my best. i'm only human. i'm a work in progress.

what works for some will not work for others. i am impressed by the mamas who never cio. they clearly have resources within them that i don't have. but i don't think it necessarily makes them better mamas than me. just different. i love my boys as passionately as they love their kids.

trust yourself!
post #10 of 117

no flames here!

i read both your closed threads and your responses. i think at this point you have been flamed enough! hugs to you.

i don't cio is ever ok. if both dh and i are at our wits end with trying to get ds to sleep (we have a family bed) this is what we do...

we got rid our bed frame. mattress is on the floor so ds can get in and out. if it is 3 am and he just won't go to sleep, we close the door and go to sleep. we have completely child proofed our room so there is no way he can get hurt unless he turns into spiderman and starts scaling the walls!. he eventually makes his way into bed.

as for during the day...my ds showers with me. we have a bath/shower so when i am under rinsing soap, he stays at the other end. he understands, no problem. it fun, and he stays in the tub after i get out so i can have a few minutes to dry off and primp a little.

in the kitchen, we have a knock off platform like from one step ahead (my dh made ours) ds stands counter height with me while i am cooking, cleaning, etc...

i understand you are having a lot of trouble right now, but please undertand that cio it out day or night is not ok.

obviously situational crying like tantrums are completely different.

allyrae hit the nail on the head. everyone needs to cry sometimes. its the abandment during this time of need is what is wrong, imho.

i did it again. my posts are always long winded. my apologies!
post #11 of 117
I think CIO is okay only in extreme situations. My dd has severe reflux and screamed non-stop for hours at a time. I nearly went crazy. I was also dealing with my own PPD, mastitis, and a demanding 3 year old who was acting out in response to the stress in our home.

There were a couple days where she would cry and I had to leave her for her own safely and mine. I swaddled her and put her in the bouncer, shut the door, and went to the other end of the house to escape until she went to sleep. I feel bad about it but I was doing the right thing. It was a very horrible time in my life.

I also had to let my baby scream in terror while I rolled her up like a burrito in order to push feeding tubes down her nose. She would have dehydrated if I hadn't done that but God it was hard. I'm so glad we are past that time.

My brother was shaken to death by a caregiver. He was special needs and I imagine that the caregiver didn't have the self-control to put him down and walk away.

Having lived through that horrible time, I can now see why a mom with less control or mental capacity could shake a baby.

Darshani
post #12 of 117
Sometimes my toddler needs to throw his tantrums. He has that emotion that he needs to release. Sometimes he wants me to hold him during these tantrums, sometimes he wants to be by himself. BUT I AM ALWAYS AVAILABLE. Is it ok to allow your child to CIO (my definition of this is crying alone...period)?. Absolutely not. I responded to your other thread also. You may not have appreciated my answer, but I was being honest. I don't think I understand how a mother puts her screaming baby in a crib by itself, and then leaves. If your baby is going to cry, why not cry in arms? I think that is much more mentally (and physically) healthy for the baby.
post #13 of 117

In the carseat...

I have had to let my daughter cry in the carseat a couple times. When she was little she would get really upset in the carseat. So I basically never went anywhere. But when we HAD to go somewhere, she would cry sometimes. A couple times I had to stop the car, nurse her, hold her for a while, BUT we couldn't sit on the side of the road all day!!! So I had to put her back in the seat, play some baby CD's and drive home.

It was excurciating!! SOOO SADD!!! But it was not by choice to make her cry. It was a safety thing.

When i get really frustrated and feel like just letting her cry. I try to remind myself how I would feel if I didn't have her around anymore, and I remember that she is worth it all.
post #14 of 117
I don't agree with CIO and we don't use it. I can't believe how many moms here feel it's acceptable either

I don't believe I understand what the misunderstanding/debate was over your OP either? you asked for opinions not solutions/alternatives,yk?
post #15 of 117

justice2- have you heard of holding time?

justice2-i so agree with you! i feel children should be aloud to express their emotions. it is our job our mothers to offer the appropriate environment for them to do this.

have you heard of the holding time by martha g. welch? it is a little on the controversial side, and i haven't tried it myself but my dear friend has and she swears by it. her 2 yr old dd is "tantrum prone" to put it lightly! she holds her very lovingly and keeps holding her through all the emotions until dd is calmed down again and is relaxed. i know it is more involved that that but that was a quick description without qouting the entire book!
post #16 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon
I don't agree with CIO and we don't use it. I can't believe how many moms here feel it's acceptable either

I don't believe I understand what the misunderstanding/debate was over your OP either? you asked for opinions not solutions/alternatives,yk?
I'm scratching my head here too. Anyone notice the sticky at the top of this forum? It has been there for quite awhile. Seriously, check it out.
post #17 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by spsmom
justice2-i so agree with you! i feel children should be aloud to express their emotions. it is our job our mothers to offer the appropriate environment for them to do this.

have you heard of the holding time by martha g. welch? it is a little on the controversial side, and i haven't tried it myself but my dear friend has and she swears by it. her 2 yr old dd is "tantrum prone" to put it lightly! she holds her very lovingly and keeps holding her through all the emotions until dd is calmed down again and is relaxed. i know it is more involved that that but that was a quick description without qouting the entire book!
I had not heard of it put in those terms, but Mothering had a wonderful article a few editions back about crying in arms. I think this is a wonderful and loving way to allow your child to cry if that is what the child needs. Sometimes a child DOES need to cry and that child needs to know that you are there for them, that you love them and that you won't leave them to figure it out themselves.
post #18 of 117
But crying in arms is NOT NOT NOT CIO.

CIO is a deliberate action taken by the parent. The parent ignores the child's cries ON PURPOSE to achieve a desired behavior modification.

A child crying in a carseat or having a release of strong emotions, is not the same thing as sitting there and listening to your child cry with a hard heart. Sometimes the parent can't help the child, but they damn sure ought to try instead of knowing their child, their BABY, needs help and willfully ignoring them in the hopes of breaking their will and forcing them to sleep.
post #19 of 117
I completely agree with your entire post, Elphaba. Please (please, please) don't think that I was likening crying in arms with CIO...they are two very, very different things.
post #20 of 117
If you run a search there are long threads in this forum on CIO, as well as a few on Aletha Solter. Crying in arms is not CIO. CIO means to cry "It" out, with "it" being the need to get attention to the cries.

Solters book "the Aware Baby" is a very interesting approach for a "chronic" crier, or a child who seems to need the release of a long cry each day. Worth checking out.

As to the OP question, if you think you will hurt your child, it's always better to walk away. Other than that, no, it is not okay to CIO.
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