Is this CIO? Am I being cruel? - Mothering Forums
Life With a Baby > Is this CIO? Am I being cruel?
reneenetrop's Avatar reneenetrop 09:09 AM 10-12-2011

I have read all about the CIO technique, and I agree, it isn't something that I would want to I hope I'm not breaking any rules in this post by discussing it...but I need to get some opinions, cuz right now I'm feeling like the meanest momma on the block!


My 5 month old has been a good night sleeper since about 3 months...wakes once some nights for a feed, but mostly goes down around 8ish and wakes at about 6am. Through the day however, he doesn't nap well at all! He outright refuses to sleep in his crib during the day, which is fine with me, he slept in his swing all night up until about 3.5 months, so he is just continuing to nap in there through the day. At night, we have a good routine, bath, bottle, story and songs, and then bed...he is awake 90% of the time when we put him in..he watches his mobile while i do him up in his sleep sack, gets kisses, then I switch on his Fisher Price Aquarium and he watches it and listens to the music. Most of the time he is asleep before it shuts off 20 minutes later, if not, soon after. Some times he may protest a little, whine and fuss about being left alone, but never any real crying or it ok to let him fuss? It's working well, but in some reading I'm starting to feel a little guilty and thinking he feels abandoned..that is just a side real issue is with naps. 


Many times he falls alseep nursing and I put him in his swing and he will sleep an hour or so....the problem is on the days when he doesn't. SO often lately, he's been fighting sleep till he's completely overtired and miserable. When he's fed, dry bum, nothing hurting, comfortable, doesn't want to play, just cries no matter what...and it's his tired cry, he has a very distinct 'i'm tired' behaviour.. I have no choice but to put him in his swing and leave him to it. He doesn't want to be rocked or cuddled anyway and I figure he needs space...but he doesn't realise it! Sometimes he whines and cries on and off but nothing intense so I do my best to leave him..he has a mobile and music on his swing to entertain and soothe...When he's like that I leave him for up to half an hour some times (I have a video monitor so I watch him) If I go in to try and calm him, he just cries harder and gets more intense so I don't, and generally he is asleep in 30 minutes. Other days tho, he instantly starts to scream when I put him down. I try to sit by him and talk to him or sing, and calm him but he won't have any of it he just shrieks until I take him out...but then the fussy cry returns because he is exhausted. It's lose lose! He needs to sleep, he's exhausted and miserable and often has been up for several hours without even a cat nap..I know my baby and 2-3 hours is all he can manage without becoming a tired mess. I've started walking away when he is like this, I have no choice I get to my wits end and need a time out, so I've let him cry like that for 10-15 minutes or so, and typically he calms back into his mild protest and goes to takes a little longer than usual but he does generally have a good nap after that. Is it wrong of me to leave him for so long crying hard? If he doesn't settle by 15min that's my limit, I get him up and we start over trying to nurse or whatnot..


Anyone have similar issues with a little one not napping to the point of exhaustion and frustration? I need any advice and thoughts on whether i'm pushing it with letting him CIO like that...encouragement please...


Thanks for reading for so long!



zinemama's Avatar zinemama 09:34 AM 10-12-2011
I think you have a baby like the tension-releasers Moxie describes here. Check it out and see if it fits your situation.
reneenetrop's Avatar reneenetrop 09:48 AM 10-12-2011

thank you, i think you are right!

Katie8681's Avatar Katie8681 01:12 PM 10-12-2011

That article made so much sense!  I have been having the same fears as you, OP.  My 3.5 month old is not 100% a "tension releaser" but much if not most of the time, that's exactly how he is: When he gets to the point where he's fussing/crying and all other possible needs have been met, I have to put him down and let him do his thing for anywhere from 1-20 minutes.  We have his swing in the living room and my husband and I are in the room with him, and 9times out of 10, he gradually calms and drifts off to sleep.  He has his nursing to sleep moments too, but primarily, he settles himself.  Nice to hear that maybe I'm not a heartless mama after all.

MrsBone's Avatar MrsBone 06:57 PM 10-12-2011

In the same situation as you right now with a 5 month old. DD slept through the night(we're talking 8-12 hours straight at 1 month old, and now she's still sleeping through the night but daytime sleep is almost non existent..her first nap of the day is pretty easy (she goes down about 2 hours after waking in the morning), is happy for 2 or 3 hours, then is ready for another nap. She fights it and cries..I've found that if I nurse her, then give her the paci while she's sleepy, while rocking her, I can then lay her in her crib for her nap(she's not asleep yet, but very sleepy). So that's what I've been doing. I used to be able to lay her in her crib, awake, swaddled with a paci and she'd drift off peacefully, but not anymore! I've just accepted that it's going to take more work for awhile. I have to say thought, if I stuck more to a schedule she'd probably do much better. We tend to stay up late some nights and get up late, which throws off the whole day, and doesn't really help the problem. I'm thinking a consistent schedule would probably help a lot.

MoonWillow's Avatar MoonWillow 08:15 AM 10-17-2011

You are at your wits end, doing everything you can possibly think of to meet his needs. To me that is the definition of a GREAT mom. You aren't leaving him neglected and ignored. hug2.gif

reneenetrop's Avatar reneenetrop 09:50 AM 10-17-2011

Thanks for the input and support, it's nice to know I'm not alone :)

TheDivineMrsM's Avatar TheDivineMrsM 08:01 PM 10-29-2011

10-15 minutes is not CIO. It's not cruel. You are not abusing or neglecting your baby. You're trying to figure out what he wants and you're trying to give it to him. Sounds like you're doing the best you can! Hang in there mama!

Nova0929's Avatar Nova0929 09:08 PM 10-30-2011

No, you're not being cruel! But here's what I did in this situation: I took my baby for a walk in the Ergo and he would fall asleep in 15 minutes max, and I could ease him into bed. Some days he went right to sleep in bed, other days I had to take him for a walk. Then I tried walking him in the stroller and he also slept right away in that, and I kept him in the stroller for the remainder of his nap. I did this for about one month, maybe 50% of the time (other times he went right to sleep in bed). Now, one month later, he goes to sleep like a dream in bed, soo easy. I just needed to get him through that particular stage, and it worked soo much better that way than letting him cry. And I got some good exercise, too! ; )