A friendly debate????? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Do you allow your children to CIO?
Yes, on a regular basis 0 0%
Sometimes, usually for sleeping purposes 33 11.11%
No, never 264 88.89%
Voters: 297. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-21-2003, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am posting a poll whch will, inevitably, lead to a debate. I am hoping to keep this debate clean and not derogatory.

CIO.....From what I understand, this is a fundamental (at least for me and my family) part of AP Parenting. It ranks right up there with breastfeeding on demand. My 14 week old baby never cries unconsoled. It physically hurts me to hear him cry, especially if I cannot determine the cause. I have watched my 8 year old break out into tears because Kaeleb was crying and we couldn't figure out why. I can see that it tears at my DH when our son is upset. So here is my question...how many of the "AP" parents here actually do let their children CIO and for what reasons?
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Old 05-21-2003, 12:54 AM
 
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Well, I answered sometimes, but not for sleeping purposes. If we're home I never let ds cry unconsoled, although he certainly cries. He often loses it in the car, however. I have found that it's just quicker in the long run to get home ASAP rather than stop and take him out of his carseat, because he will just start howling again when I have to put him back in it. If dh is with us I always sit in the back seat to entertain him, but even so he just doesn't like the car much.

I have never tried CIO for sleep training purposes. I know my son - he would not stop crying after 5 or 10 minutes. There's no way it would work for us, even if I were willing to try.

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Old 05-21-2003, 01:10 AM
 
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3
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:15 AM
 
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CIO (abandoned) is bad for the mental, emotional and spiritual health of the child.

Simply, it stunts the sensitivity and development of these vital human qualities.

a

The anti-Ezzo king
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:15 AM
 
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Okay I will answer. My first ds now 37mo was forced to CIO I know horrible, horrible horrible. Anyway the first and only book we got when we got home from our terrible week in the hospital was "Babywise" My son slept through the night at six weeks, but oh we are still paying for the trauma that we caused and he is just now at three opening up to me. Anyway that wasn't the point of thesurvey.

I have used CIO a few times with my ds#223mo. Mostly it is when it is bedtime and I have had enough and am about to snap. (My kids are 14mo apart and always fighting or into something, and dh works 70+hours so I am by myslef most of the time.) Usually my son will go to sleep in 10minutes or less. I don't really associate it with CIO b/c he cries/whines for several five or less minutes most nights. My older son almost never cries unless he forgets his "special toy/friend" of the day. And then he stops when the item has been delivered.

I never felt right about CIO, but was way to depressed to get away from the BOOK and trust myself as a mom. Thankfully with my second child a friend just dropped off a few books she felt were helpful. The Baby Book and MOthering. Slowly but surely she won me over, and my second son mever cried it out unless I was totally about to loose it...like maybe once every other month....he was colicky for SIX LONG months, so sometimes I just had to let him cry while I took a few minutes to myself. As it was he cried whether being held or not. Well I need to go my eyes are glazing over and I am rambling on and on and on.......................
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:22 AM
 
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I've thought about this one a fair bit. I'm wondering about definitions.

We never leave ds alone to cry it out.

BUT if he is upset that we have not let him do something he will cry and does not like to be consoled by us immediately.
We offer to cuddle him etc. but if he is angry he does not want and will reject any cuddling. In this instance we let him cry it out, until he wants consoling from us. Then we cuddle and make it better. We try not to give in just to stop him crying.

Is that letting him cry it out? Sometime it feels like it. If so I'll stand up for it.
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:25 AM
 
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No. That is definately NOT CIO.

That is respecting the childs feelings of wishing to handle himself on his own for a moment.

a

The anti-Ezzo king
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:36 AM
 
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I picked sometimes.

I will tell you kid by kid and you will see why I chose it.

Elizabeth, BF, cosleep, sling carried, and not allowed to CIO but once. 9m check up -- Walked in sleep deprived, crying, and ready to commit myself. Had serious ppd no one was willing to treat because I was breastfeeding. Asked doctor for some help. My child was sleeping 6hrs top per day, no naps at all. She suggested Ferberizing and explained it to me. So that night I nursed her and put her in her crib and the crying began. We went in several times over a 45 minute period of time, I finally left the house, came back, she was asleep. The next morning she woke up and I learned that she had threw up and slept in it all night. I never did it again and back in our bed she went.

Then comes Dylan four years later. We adopted Dylan and I thought it was paramount to our bonding that I do everything AP. Dylan was put in my life to teach me lessons about judgement and parenting for sure. He hated cosleeping. He hated the sling. He didnt like breastfeeding. He cried all the time. And I mean ALL the time. Six hours straight sometimes. I had the police called on me for abuse. I had people talk about me behind my back because evidently I was doing something wrong because my baby cried all the time. Dylan loved the crib and found comfort under a fleece blanket over his body and his head pointing north, that is when we could get him to sleep. Depressed, sleep deprived and desperate I tried CIO. What I was doing sure wasnt working. The first night, I got him ready for bed, gave him a bottle, laid him in his crib, in his room, just like he liked everything to be and he began to cry. I left the room, shut the door and sat in the hall and listened while watching the clock. Four minutes later he was out like a light. And it was this way until he was nearly two. Crying everynight for a few minutes before drifting to sleep. When I spoke to a developmental pediatrician, we discovered Dylan had SID along with FAS/FAE (something we knew all along) and that holding him all the time actually was painful to him and by allowing Dylan to be who he was, instead of forcing him into my AP box of ideals, was better for Dylan and the family as a whole. There was nothing abusive about it, it didnt create any mistrust or bonding problems. In fact things improved greatly for all members of the family as we all slept through the night.

Now Jack, he has never cried it out. He is easy going, a good sleeper, in or out of our bed. We have some issues with night waking right now but they can be resolved without CIO. Of course Jack is 15m old at this point and there are a lot more options for me to consider.
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:39 AM
 
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Is that letting him cry it out? Sometime it feels like it. If so I'll stand up for it.
I agree w/ Alexander, I dont think that CIO at all. I have to respect my oldest bounderie sometimes or he'll just scream worse! When he's done he's ready for a hug.
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:45 AM
 
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OnTheFence

Thanks. I found your post really good. Very interesting.

The part about your child finally finding sleep. It must have been such a relief for you.

As a matter of fact, many children find the moments before sleep tense, and crying is a form of tension relief. DD2 had this too, but crying is not the only way children relieve tension. Laughter can also do it.

We got into the routine of laughter before sleep. Sometimes she'd drop off in mid-laugh! You have to see it to recognise the strong corrolation to crying to sleep.

BTW Could you just tell me what SID and FAS/FAE are.

a

The anti-Ezzo king
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:04 AM
 
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I am voting "no, never," but I think my definition of cio is maybe looser than others. And my baby doesn't cry much in general & is only 3 1/2 months now, so I cannot - in all fairness - say what I will do if any future children are more high needs. I only know what I think I will do.

I used to pick Ian up at first whimper -- ALWAYS. I minimized car time since he hates (hated) his seat. Then one day he was in his carseat (with me in the back with him) and whimpering/fussing. If I had been at home, I would have assumed he needed to nurse. As it was, I couldn't at that moment. So I did what I could - rubbing his cheek, patting him, talking & cooing, etc. This did not help. So I sat back & just waited. Within 5 minutes he had fussed himself to sleep. I learned 2 things - 1: he does not need to nurse to sleep all the time - I just always tried that when he fussed & he fell asleep, & 2: he would probably be developing a healthier sleeping "system" if I did not pick him up or nurse him at first whimper every time.

I guess what I am rambling about is something I heard said in another post. There is a difference between fussing & crying. When a baby needs to unwind, they **usually** fuss - not cry. (PLEASE note the use of the word usually !! I am not an expert & there are always exceptions to the rule).

I will quite possibly allow my baby to fuss when I finally attempt to get him to sleep in his crib (if I can ever bear to not have him beside me in bed , and I will be confident that I know the difference between his fussing & a cry that means he needs something.
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:18 AM
 
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queen620's story is part of why I get... impatient... with the tone some anti-CIO* people take. By all means, be anti-Ezzo. By all means, educate whenever possible. But must they so harshly condemn the mothers who often were doing the best they could with the information they had?

I am married to a scientist, and am in the field of education. Through both of these prisms I see that the basic building blocks of "truth" change, often. Things that everyone is certain of turn out to be utterly wrong, things that everyone discounted turn out to be completely right. And on and on it goes, with each new study and each new exception to the rule.

I feel completely comfortable in my position to NOT let my child CIO, but I am also aware that there was a great deal of serendipity in the string of events that allowed me to come to that decision. Any number of things could have gotten in the way. My parents let me CIO, a few episodes of "Mad About You" made a big impression on me, pre-pregnancy -- I thought it was just a necessarily evil, one of the heartbreaks of parenting.

I think there are very, very few people who let their children CIO merely because they are mean. I think most of those people think they need to do it. I think they are wrong, and I seek to educate them wherever possible.

*Note, when I say CIO here, I refer to "textbook" CIO, Ezzo et al, not special situations such as what onthefence describes.
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:30 AM
 
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It is complicated--and each child come hard wired with their own little sleep problems or benefits.

Hugs,
Lisa
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:47 AM
 
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For the sake of clarity, I want to point out that CIO is not defined by what the baby is doing, but by how the parent of the crying baby views and responds to those cries.

In order to identify CIO, there has to be an *intentional absence* of response from the parent to the baby. The lack of response comes from a belief that crying without response is beneficial for a baby. These are the hallmark of CIO.

Babies cry. Sometimes nothing we do seems to help. Sometimes they don't want to be held and prefer us to be available nearby instead. Sometimes (when driving) we want to help and temporarily that comes in the form of talking or making reassuring noises perhaps, until we can stop the car and pick up the baby. None of this describes CIO. The fact that a baby is crying is not a hallmark of CIO.

You are not using CIO unless you believe your intentional lack of response to your crying baby is good them.

I point this out because CIO is so strongly debated in parenting literature and research, and in every book I have read, CIO is understood in the way I described above. So to have an accurate poll and discussion about CIO, I think we should be very clear what we are talking about. The literature that advocates CIO assumes there is benefit in ignoring a baby's cries. The literature against CIO assumes there is *no* benefit in ignoring a babies cries. That is the way CIO is understood in parenting literature that debates this issue.


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Old 05-21-2003, 02:51 AM
 
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I'm with heartmama
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Old 05-21-2003, 03:09 AM
 
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Polls never let me vote!

But I vote no, never.

I never think a baby benefits from having their cries ignored.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 05-21-2003, 03:37 AM
 
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Wow. Thank you, all of you for making my life easier (lol) and keeping this discussion so civilized. I have loved reading ALL the posts so far...this is great!! Let's keep it this way, huh?

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Old 05-21-2003, 04:09 AM
 
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I don't really fit into any of the three categories. I can't say never because we tried CIO twice with DS. Most of our current friends had babies when BabyWise was THE in thing. So they of course pushed it; as did my aunt.

Neither DH or I liked the thought of CIO but there were two times when I became desperate from lack of sleep and wanted badly to fix the situation. The two times we tried CIO were horrible. Within 3 minutes DH and I were fighting with each other as DS cried in the other room. After the second time I realized we needed a different solution.

I realized at 9 1/2 months that DS was nursing back to sleep every time he woke up (4 or 5 times a night). I knew he didn't need to eat but was doing it out of habit. So I quit nursing him. Instead when he woke up DH would rock him back to sleep. Sometimes he would cry even hysterically while DH rocked him. It took 2 nights. Now he only wakes up once a night if at all. We also moved him out of our bed and onto padding on the floor. He sleeps much better that way.

My goal with the next baby is to make sure that the night time feedings don't become a habit. I am perfectly willing to fill and answer the need but not the habit.
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Old 05-21-2003, 07:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by heartmama

In order to identify CIO, there has to be an *intentional absence* of response from the parent to the baby. The lack of response comes from a belief that crying without response is beneficial for a baby. These are the hallmark of CIO.

I'd like to add that the lack of responce also comes from a lack of care. I am aware that there are people that would rather watch TV or talk on the telephone to their friends. We are all aware of these cases, which is why so many people hate CIO. It is assoiated with neglectful parenting.

I do extend my sympathies to those who, inspite of their very best efforts find themselves ending up at CIO either through exhaustion or desperation.

I shudder to think of the pain some mothers go through, whose children who are left to CIO because their mothers are told "it's for the best dear".

Worse still are those that think that CIO is good for their children! Like "helps them exercise their lungs!" or "Gets their blood flowing!"

Or the worst for me "I can't be there for them all the time. They have to learn that sooner or later, and the sooner the better!".

And they sure do

a

The anti-Ezzo king
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Old 05-21-2003, 08:18 AM
 
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Never. I don't think letting a child CIO does anyone any good. We received a lot of comments when dd was a newborn from friends and family insisting we were doing harm by not allowing her to CIO. These are the same people who now can't get over how happy and confident dd is. I'm not saying that not letting her CIO made ALL of the difference, but I believe it has had a positive imapct.
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Old 05-21-2003, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally posted by Piglet68
Wow. Thank you, all of you for making my life easier (lol) and keeping this discussion so civilized. I have loved reading ALL the posts so far...this is great!! Let's keep it this way, huh?
see, I didn't need that suit afterall!
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Old 05-21-2003, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What exactly is CIO? My definition of CIO is actully crying. My child fusses, ocassionally, when I can't get to him right away. For example, I don't wear him while I am cooking for fear that he will get burned. I place him in he swing and talk to him while I can't hold him. Sometimes he becomes fussy. Sometimes I am in between preparing dishes and can immediately find out what he needs or wants. Sometimes I am in the middle of pulling something out of the oven and cannot immediately find out what he needs or wants. However, this is not my definition of CIO. When I think of CIO I see a mental picture of a child all alone, screaming their heads off (probably out of fear of being all alone). Whether that child be in a crib or swing or elsewhere. I really don't consider my son fussing (we call it talking, it's kinda a loud unhappy cooing as he is only 3 1/2 months old) CIO.
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Old 05-21-2003, 11:20 AM
 
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My answer wasn't there. I have let Sam cry. He has never cried himself to sleep,however, on the advice of a friend and a FORMER Pediatrician when he was about 2 months, we tried to CIO at night. It never worked. He just went into major hysterics never once calming down. We did this three times. Each time we felt horrible.

As a baby he was not terribly fussy. His cries were usually related to hunger or messy diapers. The one thing I did notice was that if he woke up from a nap and I didn't realize it or if I wasn't able to get there in what he felt was a reasonable amount of time , he would get upset. Usually, when I did get to him he was a little stand-offish for a couple of minutes until he was reassured that I was there and that I cared.

As toddler, I will let him cry but only if he is pitching a huge fit that involves screaming and crying. I let him get that out of his system even if it takes 10 minutes. I think at his age much of his crying fits tend to revolve around control issues. I always make sure he is not ill or hurt in any way. This doesn't bother me.



edited to add:

Each child is different. What works for one might not work for the other. A little boy at Sam's daycare will not go to sleep there unless he is placed in his crib and allowed to rock and cry himself to sleep. The caregiver was sad when she realized that all her rocking and snuggling wasn't going to get this little guy to sleep. At home he sleeps very differerntly, I believe with mom and dad, but since mom and dad aren't there, he has developed his own way of going to sleep. When I saw him doing this my first reaction was to go pick him up. The caregiver said that he usually only goes through this for 5 minutes then he is sound asleep.
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Old 05-21-2003, 11:47 AM
 
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I really couldn't vote, as I felt "sometimes" was an overstatement. If there was a "rarely" or "hardly ever", I would have chosen that one.
I tried it a few times with my DD and a few times with my DS, to no avail. Reason being, I was manic depressive/bipolar, and the lack of sleep had my disorder rapidly cycling to the point where I thought my kids were going to be taken away. The only time I had where my child was not literally attached to me was when I would take a bath, and even then I could hear them screaming hysterically in the next room, even though my DH or MIL had them! My Dh and I were also having serious marital issues, and we literally did not have two seconds together - we couldn't even sleep in the same bed, because all of us would keep each other awake all night long!
That being said, I gradually adjusted. My kids are soooo not textbook. And every time I'd try to do CIO with my DD, her immune system would get so depressed that she'd end up getting sick within a day or two. So I gave up. Same with DS - some nights it would work; other nights, it would be like starting from square one, no matter how consistent we were! It just wasn't worth it to me. I figured I'd just grin and bear it.
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Old 05-21-2003, 11:58 AM
 
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I voted sometimes, but I don't CIO for sleeping purposes. You might consider this CIO, I don't know...
Last week she threw what I can only describe as a temper tantrum. I thought she was tired, so I tried nursing-no go, I tried holding her-no go(just kicked and screamed), so I sat beside her on the bed while she sat there and cried. I talked to her calmly and would pick her up her couple of minutes until she stopped pushing me away. Eventually she just stopped crying. I don't know why she was so upset or why I couldn't comfort her, but that was that.
I don't really think it was CIO as that to me is crying for sleep purposes and the child is left alone and "ignored" by the parents. but maybe some will think my view is too limited.
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:19 PM
 
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I voted never, but maybe my definition of CIO is too limited? DS has never and will never CIO for sleeping purposes. As an infant his cries were never ignored. As a toddler, there are times when he gets angry and throws tantrums and no amount of redirection will sway him. So I will sit beside him or hold him if he'll let me, and let him cry. I don't consider that CIO because to me, CIO = abondonment and completely ignoring your child's cries.
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:21 PM
 
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I voted 'no' based on my personal definition of cry it out which is when a parent intentionally ignores a crying child. Usually I would consider CIO a horrible practice, then I read Kim's post about Dylan. She was obviously very in tune with his needs (and special needs children are oftten very emotionally different from most babies.) Unfortunatly for Kim, most people who do use CIO abuse it. And they give parents like her a bad rap from the rest of us APers. I had only heard of parents who put their babies in their cribs and let them scream no matter what for hours and hours. Sometimes these poor things would poop in their diapers or even throw up on themselves and the parents wouldnt even know, because they didnt bother to check on the baby. I didnt know how people could do this to babies, then I heard about Ezzo. There is something wrong with experts like him who promothe these methods. I have issues with him, not the parents who practice CIO (unless they REALLY abuse it, naturally.) But I dont let Dylan CIO, never have. If she fusses in her carseat I try and soothe her or pull over. Once, I had food poisoning or a 24 hr bug and did leave her screaming on the bed while I hurled my guts out. It broke my heart, but what else could I do? I do not feel guilty for it, it is over. I think we Ap parents need to realize that sometimes s*it happens, and our kids are going to cry. However, since we do not let them cry on a regular basis or to fit them into our lifestyles (when we should be molding our lifestyles around them) they will benefit from it.

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Old 05-21-2003, 02:53 PM
 
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then I heard about Ezzo. There is something wrong with experts like him who promote these methods.
Darling,

The problem is, that he's not an expert!

a

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Old 05-21-2003, 03:55 PM
 
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I am a believer in allowing a baby to cry in its crib for several minutes (not many, maybe 5) without being comforted as a method of allowing a baby to learn to sleep on its own.

I nursed both of my kids to sleep for the first few months. Then I began to feel that my kids needed and wanted more sleep then they were getting. They were waking up and crying when they were not hungry and were restless and growing more unhappy.

At the same time I did a great deal of researach on sleep. I looked at University Sleep Studies, Pediatiric Sleep Studies and Studies on sleep patterns in different cultures. ( I research for a living and thus have access to a wide variety of materials.)

I felt that in our culture (where we do not go from our parent's bedroom immediately to one we share with a spouse) that it is important to have the skill to fall asleep on one's own.

I also felt that any new sleeping environment is difficult. Many people feel it hard to sleep at first when they have a new bed or even a new pillow or blanket. I expected that my dc's might not like their new sleeping environment, at first. But like one who comes to love a new pillow I thought it was possible that they could come to be comfortable sleeping alone.

I also believed that trying to let them do this at an early age was better. So at a very early age, I let them try to fall asleep on their own, even though they cried. We never let them cry for more than 5 minutes without being comforted and we never let them cry for more than 15 minutes all told any night. They were offered bf'ing anytime they awoke and cried. But after BF'ing were put down to sleep on their own.

Within a few days my kids learned to fall asleep on their own. They woke less to feed and when they did wake up they were clearly hungry unlike before when they would pull on and off seeming restless. And their sleeping was MUCH improved. They slept longer and ate better. They seemed generally happier and calmer.

Once they had learened how to fall asleep on their own, I maintained an "open bed" policy. Any child who felt like they needed us in the middle of the night (because of storms or nightmares or general unease, was welcome to call for us or come to us.)

Now that my daughters are older 6 and 8, they generally sleep alone 95% of the time. They know they are welcome to sleep with us if they feel the need.


I believe that letting my kids learn how to fall asleep on their own was important. I simply know of too many people whose kids do not know how to do this and are miserable from lack of sleep (both the kids and the parents).

Obviously, others feel differently about these issues. Their reading of things is different. But I feel good and confident about my decsion. I did not make it because of "convenience" or to make my child "independant" I did it to give my child what I feel was the best way to obtain a valuable skill.

Please respect my choices, and I will respect yours.
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Old 05-21-2003, 04:20 PM
 
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Alexa, good points. I know from experience that I will allow any subsquent babies I may have to fall asleep on their own. When my son - who is now one - was a small infant, he could fall asleep on his own, in part because that's pretty much all they do at that age. Instead of sticking with the pattern that *his body* created, I found myself nursing him at the first sign of a whimper, squirm, or sqeal. I'd nurse him to sleep in my bed, and I'd nurse him at the drop of a hat throughout the night, even though he was able to whimper for maybe five seconds and go right back to sleep: We got into the habit of this, and now it is virtually impossible for him to go longer than a half hour to an hour at night without needing to nurse. And with a three year old and him to take care of during the day, this serious lack of sleep is screwing with my psyche. My intuition tells me that if I had gotten him used to a sidecar sleeper, or crib, or bassinet, from the beginning, he would have absolutely no problem lying down and going to bed for the night, even if he did wake up a few times to nurse. But since we are right next to each other all night long, and we are both INCREDIBLY light sleepers - he can't even move without me becoming wide awake - we are both very cranky and sleep-deprived most of our days.
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