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A friendly debate????? - Page 4

Poll Results: Do you allow your children to CIO?

  • 0% (0)
    Yes, on a regular basis
  • 11% (33)
    Sometimes, usually for sleeping purposes
  • 88% (264)
    No, never
297 Total Votes  
post #61 of 149
double post
post #62 of 149
I guess I don't think I have anything to "prove," by admitting to using CIO in my circumstances. I certainly don't expect to have the majority agree with me at MDC, but the majority didn't parent my kids during this period after our adoption, either, so I'm not seeking approval.

We tried comforting and sleeping in the same room for my older daughter. She absolutely refused to go to sleep as long as we were with her. I know that if we did not allow her to cry, our transition would have taken much longer and been much harder on all of us, dd included. For the period when she wasn't sleeping, she was miserable all day long--low grade whining, because she was exhausted. After the two nights of "ferber," she was much happier, and her normally sunny personality appeared. That's when the bonding really started. It wasn't fun or easy listening to her cry from a different room any more than it was fun or easy listening to her feeling miserable all day.

I'm not a big advocate of CIO. I just think that sometimes, under some circumstances, it works. My two year old will not allow us to comfort her when she has a tantrum. Picking her up or stroking her or even sitting with her just annoys her more. I don't consider that it's so cruel to let her just get the tantrum out of her system if that's what she needs to do.
post #63 of 149
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by heartmama

Parents who believe children should CIO have plenty of support. All the reasons given here by parents who have used CIO would be understood and encouraged at almost any other website. The mainstream is on the side of CIO. That is the reality.

Shared sleep, or at least parenting a child to sleep (nighttime parenting) is at the very heart of ap. CIO is not part of ap. It is, obviously, the antithesis of ap. It is choosing not to respond to a child.

Ap parents have a wealth of anecdotal and scientific evidence, much of which has been made widespread through Mothering magazine, which supports nighttime parenting over CIO as the best way to fullfill the emotional and physical needs of babies and mothers.

We aren't debating whether CIO is an ap issue. CIO is not a part of ap, and I think (hope) we can all agree on that.

Which leaves me to wonder, what are parents who CIO going to prove in this thread? I understand the other thread used the term *abuse* to describe it, and parents who CIO wanted to defend themselves against that label.

This is a different thread. What is the point of a CIO debate at Mothering? [/B]
Heartmama, I completely agree. I originally posted this debate because of the "abuse" thread. People there became visciously defensive about their decision. I know that on other AP boards, ie. ParentsPlace.com, talk about CIO is completely against board rules. Therefore I was completely shocked to see how many "AP" mama's left their children to CIO or sleep trained their children. I have, since posting this thread, found that there are some valid reasons for CIO, although never alone, IMO. Like Onthefence with her child and the sensory problem, obviously, holding her child was causing more problems than necessary. I cannot understand though, how a parent can place their child in a crib and walk out. I cannot understand how anyone thinks that a child sleeps better when they cry themselves to sleep versus falling asleep in a comfortable, loving, warm environment. I think that my child would feel abandoned if I left him alone to cry himself to sleep. He sleeps great. He is 14 weeks old and sleeps through the night. I rock him to sleep and yes, he does take a paci, and then I place him in his crib, next to our bed. Sometimes my hubby's alarm wakes him up (hubby gets up at odd hours of the night to work) and I place Kaeleb in the bed with me for the rest of the night. This only happens once in a while though. I reserve bathtime for nights so that he can play in the water and usually during drying off, he screams. I dry him off as quickly as possible, slap a diaper on his bum, get him dressed and comfort him immediately. He is usually asleep an hour later. I don't think I could live with myself if I placed him in his crib and let him CIO. My dd on the other hand, was always a fall asleep by herself baby. She never CIO. She simply fell asleep unaided. Lord that child was an easy baby!
post #64 of 149
Whether something is a reflection of attachment parenting doesn't invalidate it as an effective choice.

I think ap is a (mostly) clear set of values and whether a parent thinks they will work for them is absolutely their choice to make.

CIO does not have to be a part of ap for a parent to say "It works for me".

I think if people accept that then there would be fewer hurt feelings in these threads.
post #65 of 149
I have done alot of research on sleep. I believe that in a society where people do not go from their parent's bedrooms to that of their spouse, learning to fall asleep on one's own is important. I used CIO in limited way (see my threads) to teach my kids to do this.

Obviously the posts from the board "Nightwaking and the Family Bed" seem to correlate with the many, many sleep studies that I have read: Co-sleeping tends (not always though) to make worse sleepers. Now, that does not in any way mean that co-sleeping is not a valid and good choice. It was just not the right choice for My family.

So why do I post on AP board? Because I

1. Breastfed and engaged in child led weaning.

2. have an open bed policy for any child who knows how to fall asleep on their own, but needs their mama any particular night. (My kids take this option about once per month)

3. Engage only in gentle discipline.

4. Love to hear what mama's have to say and this is a great board.

People do not have to agree on everything. Respect my choices and I will respect yours.
post #66 of 149
Obviously the posts from the board "Nightwaking and the Family Bed" seem to correlate with the many, many sleep studies that I have read: Co-sleeping tends (not always though) to make worse sleepers. Now, that does not in any way mean that co-sleeping is not a valid and good choice. It was just not the right choice for My family.
I would hesitate to say that the Nightwaking board is an example of how cosleeping makes worse sleepers. It is a place where mothers go when they have a problem relating to cosleeping (just as there are many places, I'm sure, where you can go if you are having problems with crib sleeping). You generally don't hear the success stories, after all we don't need advice when things are going well. Most cosleepers will tell you how much MORE sleep they get because of cosleeping. Besides that, most people that seem to have tried CIO are not cosleeping (for whatever reason). Wouldn't that mean that cribsleeping is creating problems of its own? Not all people (children and adults) sleep well. There are many reasons for that (including diet, genetic predisposition to sleep disorders, health issues like restless leg syndrom, medication, etc). It is a broad generalization to claim that learning to fall asleep on one's own will solve sleep problems. Also, most (if not all) research may focus on how these CIO babies *sleep* as adults, but do they focus on how they function in other areas as well?

post #67 of 149
Thread Starter 
I respect anyone's decision to parent their children the way that works best for them. I apologize if I came across any other way. I merely don't understand. Upon reflection, I know that it is not my place to understand what happens in someone else's family. I do apologize if I have offended anyone.
post #68 of 149
I voted No, never.
My babies are now 5 (ds) and 3 (dd). Ds was a high needs baby, and at times it was stressful...but I have no regrets.

post #69 of 149
I don't think I have used CIO, in the textbook sense, but I am sure many of you would. My dd is a terrible sleeper. She has always cried before sleeping, whether in the sling, swing, arms, car, srtroller, crib, bed, nursing... She would pull off, cry for a minute, then latch back on and fall asleep. Until she was 7 months she nursed to sleep in our bed and would wake every several hours to nurse. Then she started waking every 15 minutes until I went to bed and every hour all night, so we had dh walk her to sleep. She started sleeping longer for about a month but then started waking hourly again. So we started putting her in the crib asleep, where she would stay for about 3 hours and then come to bed with us. That eventually stopped working as well. So at about 11 months we decided that she needed to fall asleep in her crib. The first night she cried for a very long time. I stood next to the crib, rubbed her back, sang, and when she got very upset I held her until she calmed down. The next night I put her in the crib and within 10 minutes she was asleep, slept 6 hours, and was happy the next day. She now goes to sleep with 10 minutes 95% of the time. She started waking after 2 hours so I rubbed her back and she fell back to sleep. After 2 nights she started sleeping 5-6 hours again. She is now happy in the morning, instead of whiney and miserable. I didn't realize what an impact not sleeping had on her personality. I have also left her alone in the crib to cry, but never for more that 2 minutes to recenter myself.
I think that we need to look at all of our child's needs - not just the need to be held/nursed/etc to sleep. We also need to be realistic about what is actually going on with sleep and how much we have altered their inborn sleep habits. I have always chalked up dd's sleep issues to her inborn nature, but recently I was forced to reevaluate that assumption. My dd, who on a great night sleeps a 5 hours, then 3, then 2, then 1, spent a night at my parents' last week. She slept in bed with my mother and went to sleep at 9pm - and slept until 5am. She then played with her feet for 15 minutes, then laid down and went back to sleep until 8. I am obviously more of the problem than I was admitting to myself. I think a lot of it came from me trying too hard - trying to do what was right according to "the book" instead of what was right for my child. Instead of accepting that she was going to cry for a minute before sleep I bent over backwards trying to get her not to - and that led to a child with terrible sleep patterns.
I didn't want her to cry at all and if there was another way to get her to sleep well I would do it. But I had tried every suggestion in The No-Cry Sleep Solution and many suggestions I got from many different people. Nothing else was working and we needed her to sleep. As bad as it was to let her cry that night, and for a few minutes on other nights, the alternatives were worse. I was too exhausted to devote as much daytime energy as she needed. Dh was getting to the point where he wasn't able to do his job as well - the job that allows me to stay at home. He and I were arguing constantly because of lack of sleep, frustration, and the inability to spend any time together in the evening because we were consumed with getting her to sleep. Then there are the really awful possibilities - that one of us would fall asleep while driving, or do something else dangerous because of sleep deprivation. So I had to weigh the damage of crying against the damage of having two unhappy, barely competent, hostile parents. I decided crying was the lesser evil and I don't think she has been scarred by it in any way. Actually, I think the oppisite. I was beginning to watch her in her struggle to sleep and feel so terribly for her. It seemed so painful and upsetting for her to want and need to sleep, but not be able to. I put myself in her position and thought "How would I feel if everytime I was tired, and everytime I went through a sleep cycle, I need my enviroment to be exactly a certain way for me to fall back to sleep?" I decided that it would be awful, and frustrating, and upsetting. Yet I was letting her suffer through that, because I had been told that letting her cry was bad. It wasn't until I really examined what was best for her and forgot about what I was being told was best for her, that I was able to respond in a truly attached manner. I think I got so attached to a philosophy that I began to loose my attachment to dd and my gut instinct.
I do agree that CIO is used too often, too young, too extremely, and against what is best for the family. I tried everything I could before I let her cry. I waited until she was nearly a year old. I never left her alone to cry herself to sleep. I really believe that I did what was best for our family and will cause no lasting problems with dd or our relationship. 95% of the time I respond to her cries in the manner she wants me to - I truly don't believe that letting her cry for a few minutes before bed (with me right there) is going to have a lasting negative impact. I think that when it comes to thinks like CIO we need to look at the big picture and our individual circumstances and make decisions based on that, not what other people are telling us.

post #70 of 149
This post has been temporarily removed for editing by the author, and will be returned when editing is complete.

Kylix, your PM box is full. Please PM me when you've emptied it. Piglet68.
post #71 of 149
alexa07 wrote:

Co-sleeping tends (not always though) to make worse sleepers.
I think there is considerable research which does not support that claim.

To begin with, it is well documented that many "sleep studies" which record the habits of co sleepers fail to distinguish between families that co sleep from birth, and those who begin with crib sleeping, develop problems, and try co sleeping later. In reality, many families that use co sleeping have also crib slept. Co sleeping tends to be a * reactionary* choice, rather than a lifestyle choice for most americans . Babies who wake often, children who wake up with nightmares, etc. sometimes wind up in the parents bed. A researcher could now say this family co sleeps, and has sleeping problems too. You see how misleading this can be.

Also, international research shows that co sleeping is the norm in a majority of cultures. These cultures, in research I have seen, do not have a higher incidence of sleep problems. In fact, it is lower in many of the reports.

Some of the best summaries of this research can be found in back issues of Mothering.

Anecdotally, if you browse the sleep forums at mainstream boards, or read mainstream magazines, they are chock full of parents having problems with crib sleeping babies that refuse to sleep through the night, toddlers who refuse to stay in bed, and older kids who refuse to go to bed at all. I'm not sure you can prove much from reading a sleep forum either way.
post #72 of 149

tenne are you familiar with Aletha Solter? The description of your daughter brought back her book in my mind.

I don't agree with all of her writings (The Aware Baby, Tears and Tantrums, I can't remember the rest), but she makes an excellent case for something she calls "aware crying" (I think). Solter had studied primal therapy with adults and began to identify a kind of crying in infants that was not a signal for food or pain, but an attempt to release pent up trauma and frustration the baby had experienced (birth, or later events could cause this). Often, a baby that is trying to release an emotional pain through crying will begin an exhausting cycle with their caregiver. The baby cries, the caregiver attends to them, attempting to stop the crying, the baby stops temporarily and begins again. The baby does not have any other way to release those emotions, and since every release is met with a frantic attempt to stop their cries, they begin to wake up crying frequently, to the point of exhaustion.

As with adult primal therapy, Solter writes that the only way for a person to release their trauma is to feel heard, supported, and not to be discouraged from letting out their pain. She writes that often when a parent identifies this kind of cry with their baby, and just holds them, relaxes, and listens and lets the baby get it out, the cycle stops and the baby sleeps better, is more alert, and happier. Some babies need to be heard every day, others not as often, and some only for a few sessions until their trauma is released. Solter writes the reason why tradition CIO does not work is the same reason therapy doesn't work without a therapist. People want and need to feel heard.

It occured to me that while you see yourself as "part of the problem" (since your dd slept better with your mother), your dd may actually feel so much safer with you, naturally, she waits until you are near to begin this cycle of release.

Maybe this does not apply to your dd, but I went through something like this with my ds , and the pattern you describe with your dd could have been lifted from the pages of Solters "Aware Baby" book, right down to the "latching off to cry" during nursing.

As I said in an earlier post, a crying baby is not an aspect of CIO. Babies cry. It is one way they communicate. Possibly, holding your dd in your arms and giving aware attention, Solter-style, will work just as well as letting her cry in her crib.

Just an idea.
post #73 of 149
When Cub was new, and I was getting my bearings, we had a cycle of Things To Try When He Cried. Rocking, bouncing, nursing, singing, Daddy, etc. Putting him down was in this cycle, because I would have felt like a schmuck if all he wanted was to be left alone and I hadn't tried it! Never once did that do the trick -- of course, I only put him down for a moment or two, and there was an increase in decibal so I immediately picked him up. I decided that if I couldn't get him to stop crying, I could at least be with him while he did it -- it's what I, as an adult, would want if I was distressed.

He has always slept with us (he's two now) and slept through the night almost immediately. He's had bad patches when he was teething, or going through a developmental surge, but generally it's been marvelous. I do think there's a difference between kids that have been brought to bed from a crib because of problems and kids that started out in the family bed. My criteria for moving him from our bed was that he be old enough to wake up, need us, navigate to our room and crawl into bed.

When he cried in his carseat, if it wasn't possible to soothe him (because there was another driver, for example) I talked and sang so that he would hear my voice and know that, even if he was unhappy, he wasn't alone. I can't imagine letting him cry when it was possible to be there for him. I'm just not wired that way, and I don't believe it would teach him anything useful.

Sometimes when he gets angry he tells me he wants to be alone. I respect that, but remain close enough to be there when he changes his mind. I think that's AP. It would be cruel, dominating, and counter-productive to force my embrace on him at that time.

Thank you, Heartmama and Kylix, for expressing my thoughts so well! I agree that it's important to clearly define CIO so that we are actually debating the same issue. There have been many posters who referred to themselves as CIO when I would disagree, and many who insist that they're not when IMO they certainly are. I also think it's important to clarify that saying that CIO is absolutely not AP is not a judgement -- it's a fact. Saying that CIO is evil or abusive is a judgement. I respect the posters who acknowledge that this is simply one aspect of AP that doesn't work for them -- they're honest, and seem happy with the outcomes.


post #74 of 149


Thanks for your post - I was nervous. I have heard of Solter and thought about getting a book, before I read some pretty negative reviews.
Thank you for your suggestion. Dd actually doesn't cry until we put her in the crib - although lately she has figured out the routine and starts whimpering when we turn off the light while holding her. Generally we stand next to the crib holding her until we can feel she has relaxed, then we lay her down. She usually cries for a minute at the most. I would be happy to hold her while she cries but I am fortunate in that she rarely cries while being held. Actually she almost never cried in arms before 6 months but the older she gets the more she does - I think because her wants/needs are more complex and being held doesn't solve things the way they used to. But she is now comforted in the crib by me just singing to her. But when she wakes she starts screaming immedietly. There are times that I will be watching her sleep for 5 minutes and am convinced that she is out. I will turn to walk to the door and before I am 5 feet away she is standing and screaming. It is terribly frustrating, particularly because I would have no problem with cosleeping if it worked for us. But after 3 weeks of playing for 2 hours in the middle of the night I had to do something.
Thank you also for pointing out that she feels safe with me, it is something I try to remember but don't always. The whole sleep issue is such a struggle for me, and guilt inducing all the way around, so no matter what I do I feel badly. It is truly the only difficult thing (so far, for me) about being a mother and something I have a very hard time discussing with anyone, since I feel like I am floating between two philosophies. I am fortunate to have two wonderful internet friends who understand - without them I would have snapped by now. But in any case - I appreciate your post, and suggestions.
post #75 of 149
I have a good friend whose dd is now 5. Since birth they responded to every single whimper out of the dd by picking her up. Bedtimes were awful - and I've witnessed lots of them. She never read, or ignored the kid's cues that she was tired. They still have sleep problems with this child.

I have a dd who is almost 3. She will sometimes object strenuously to going to bed. Crying, telling me she's not tired, etc. Yet once she is in her crib within a few minutes (max 2) she will roll over, put her thumb in her mouth and go to sleep.

My friend, in that situation would not put her child in the crib, so she would be up crying for hours. Because they don't CIO. Well, I don't think I do either, but I let the 2 minutes happen. And my child is a happier, calmer, more rested child than hers.

I also "sleep trained" both my dds to sleep through the night at 6 weeks. I've had this discussion here about it before, and I'm not getting into it again.

I agree with most of what Alexa says.
post #76 of 149
(((Pallas))) thank you! I liked this:

I also think it's important to clarify that saying that CIO is absolutely not AP is not a judgement -- it's a fact. Saying that CIO is evil or abusive is a judgement.
(((tenne))) you may like Solter's book. At least the part about aware crying. I don't agree with her entire philosophy but I think her book is groundbreaking in it's own way. I've never seen another book that really tries to address the issue of how to help heal a traumatized infant. Good reading.
post #77 of 149
Some of these posrs and the attitudes behind them bother me. They share a very disturbing similarity to the Ezzo philosophy - "if you don't raise your children exactly the way we tell you to do it you are doing it wrong and going to ruin your children for life."

IF the idea of AP is to learn to listen and understand your children's cries and needs regardless of what the "experts" tell us, then aren't we just as guilty of Anti-APing by telling a mother that she didn't understand those cries and needs.

Babies beyond the first few months cry for many, many reason. They have no other form of communication. Just because they communicate unhappiness doesn't mean they want or need a parent's intervention. By this I mean - if your 2 year old said to you "I don't want to go to bed. I want to stay up," with tears in her eyes would you always give in just because she expressed unhappiness with the situation. Would you only put her to bed when she fell asleep on the floor of the living room every night because you don't want her to express unhappiness? That wouldn't be good parenting or listening to the other needs that she has, such as sleep. So I don't believe that would be true APing.

I firmly believe that a baby has just as much right to express opinions about things without being raised to feel like they are doing something wrong with being unhappy. I am unhappy sometimes and express it. I don't feel like I am wrong for it or that everyone around me must jump through hoops to make me happy.

Every post that I have read on here about mothers that use the CIO (all in very non-Ezzo ways) did it after listening to the cues of the babies. Their babies expressed unhappiness at the situation. These women are being told that they are not listening to their baby's cries and therefore not being a "true" APer. Yet with some of these post if they did it the "only" AP way stated by some posts their children would be miserable (Dylan being the best but not only example). I agree with Tenne that it is used WAY too frequently and too soon amongst the general populus.

That all being said and after thoroughly reading the posts I must change my original answer. I said I tried CIO but couldn't do it. I was thinking only in terms of sleeping. We did CIO with the carseat when DS went through a stage at 9 months of hating the carseat. Since I could not put my life on complete hold until he got over it or grew out of the seat he had to learn that even though I would be there for him I couldn't give him what he wanted. I would talk to him the whole time and reach back and pat his head and offer him toys. It took three episodes before he stopped. Now he is completely happy in the carseat. I firmly believe that he was expressing an opinion of unhappiness at being confined but realized that it wasn't hurting or killing him to be there and throwing a fit was not going to change the fact that every time we got in the car he would have to go in the carseat. He got over it and is NOT permanently damaged or less trusting of me for it.
post #78 of 149
double post, again
post #79 of 149
irishprincess71 wrote:

if you don't raise your children exactly the way we tell you to do it you are doing it wrong and going to ruin your children for life."
Wow, what post even implied that? I hope not one of mine. I've bent over backwards trying to avoid exactly that kind of accusation.

the idea of AP is to listen to your children's cries, then who are we as outside observes to tell a mother that she didn't understand her child's cry
WIth that in mind, any response a parent deems necessary, from spanking to "blanket training", falls under the umbrella of ap. Ap cannot mean all things to all people.

They have no other form of communication. Just because they communicate unhappiness doesn't mean they want or need a parent's intervention.
What about a parents loving attention? I think children always have a right to love and attention from their parents. In the example you gave with the 2 year old crying on the floor refusing bedtime, you seem to think the choice is "No response" or "Let them lie there screaming until they pass out". Just because a toddler is being unreasonable, doesn't mean they don't deserve patience and understanding. Personally, I think toddlerhood is the most difficult stage with any parenting approach. With ap, I would probably try to help them regain some control, offering small choices to see if that gained cooperation (Do you want these pajama's or these?), trying to offer some positive incentives (When you get on pajama's, we can read any story you like), or at worst, validate how they while helping them move along with their routine. Not responding or ignoring them completely wouldn't feel supportive of our attachment at all.

We did CIO with the carseat when DS went through a stage at 9 months of hating the carseat. Since I could not put my life on complete hold until he got over it or grew out of it he had to "suck it up." I would talk to him the whole time and reach back and pat his head and offer him toys.
Do you really consider that CIO? Do you disagree with my definition of it or is there some part of what you did that I don't understand? It sounds like you were responding to him the entire time.

I also think babies have a right to protest and cry about things they hate. Who said otherwise?

Do babies cry for a reason? Do babies need a response to their cries? Do babies have a fundamental right to love and attention from their parents whenever they want it? How can you answer "no" and still be within the framework of attachment parenting?
post #80 of 149
I can't find my exact other post (I think it maybe was in the thread piglet had to delete). But what I think I said about the Nightwaking forum was that it shows that many parents who co-sleep are frustrated by the lack of sleep. I believe I also said that those parents have made a choice that the night-time interaction with their child makes the lack of sleep worth it.

They have weighed the good and the bad on the scales and chosen to co-sleep believing strongly that the benefits outweigh any problems. I think that they have made the right choice for them.

I, for me and my family, certainly saw the benefits of co-sleeping. But I also felt that learning to sleep on ones own was important in a culture where one did not go from their parents bedtoom to their spouses.

Thus my compromise was to allow my kids to learn to fall asleep on their own but once they did to have an open bed policy.

I also did this sleep training young. Which I totally understand many would disagree with. I felt that based on studies I saw, the younger it was done, the easier it would be on the baby (remember I only allowed crying after a child had bf as much as they wanted.) Based on what happened in my case I believe this was true, for my kids, in my family. I would not want anyone else to do this if they were not comfortable with it.

BTY, did you see my post where a co-sleeper was very upset and said she wanted to try CIO, and I suggested that she not make this decision when she was so upset and felt for the most part that CIO was wrong. I suggested she get and listen to the advice of co-sleeping Mama's! I don't think anyone should engage in CIO if they do not feel it is the right way for their family.
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