Why does CIO "work"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 02-25-2010, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not asking because I want to try it out!
On the contrary, I feel like if I knew what about it makes people swear it "works" and "has" to be done, I would be better prepared to argue why I am not willing to do it with my baby.
Does that make sense?
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#2 of 28 Old 02-25-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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The baby realizes after X-amount of nights of not being responded to that no matter how hard they scream/cry that no one will answer.

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#3 of 28 Old 02-25-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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#4 of 28 Old 02-25-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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The baby realizes after X-amount of nights of not being responded to that no matter how hard they scream/cry that no one will answer.
Pretty much. Eventually a baby will learn that there's no payoff/response to crying, so they give up. That really evokes a visceral response from me, just thinking about it makes me ill... And I have two kids who don't sleep, who both had/have severe colic and sleep issues - I've walked away and let them cry for 5 or 10 minutes (as opposed to throwing them out in the snowbank)... but to systematically allow a baby or toddler to cry, in order to teach them to 'self soothe' - breaks my heart.

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#5 of 28 Old 02-25-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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I don't think it works at all. Most people who do it seem to have to do it more than once, every time baby's schedule is disrupted. Go on vacation? CIO again. Baby over an illness? CIO again. Move into a new home? CIO again. Daylight savings time? CIO again.

That's just the impression I get. Maybe some babies are more easily "broken" than others and never need to be trained again, but I think that's the exception, not the rule.

I think CIO families just get so used to it they don't even consider the subsequent bouts of crying as re-training. They'll tell everyone it worked like a charm the first night/5th night/whatever but I'd bet 10 bucks they deal with more crying than that but just tune it out.

It's not that I don't believe other people feel it works for them and their kids...that's not why I don't do it. I don't do it because it's wrong to ignore a baby's needs just because the clock says they should be asleep. Someone can tell me till they are blue in the face that it's "magic" but I don't care. That stuff doesn't matter. What matters to me is that I raise a child who can trust me and know that I'm there for him.
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#6 of 28 Old 02-25-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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I agree with the pps. They learn that crying doesn't get their parents' attention so they stop doing it. I find it disturbing that so many people think it's a good thing that their baby doesn't trust that they will come when they cry.

I'm Theresa. nursing, baby-wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping mama to Clara (9/08) and wife to Mike
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#7 of 28 Old 02-25-2010, 10:03 PM
 
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This can't be addressed in any reasonable way due to the UA.
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#8 of 28 Old 02-25-2010, 10:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bena View Post
I'm not asking because I want to try it out!
On the contrary, I feel like if I knew what about it makes people swear it "works" and "has" to be done, I would be better prepared to argue why I am not willing to do it with my baby.
Does that make sense?
Yes that does make sense.

I think in our society (and by our I mean western/global north) we have grown to value independance and through that we have grown to believe that teaching independace must come through hardship, through cutting the apron strings. We have grown to believe that if it doesn't hurt it must not be good for you. And so we are encouraged to leave our children to cry to give them character and build their independance. Other cultures don't seem so obsessed with making their kids independant, but then most other cultures don't kick their kids out at 17 or 18 either.

I think people believe it works because as far as teaching kids to not call for their parents at night it does work. But since the goal is to teach them to self soothe it fails. I don't know many adults that truly self soothe...most I know rely on alcohol, drugs, a partner, white noise, food or any and all of the above. So I'm thinking Ferber's theory is lacking on long term research, ya know?

But at the end of the day, the bottom line is that you do not have to justify your choice to anyone. You KNOW it's not right, so to hang with those who think you're wrong.

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#9 of 28 Old 02-25-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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This can't be addressed in any reasonable way due to the UA.
This sums it up well.

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#10 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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Just a quick moderator note to say that this topic is fine so long as no one advocates CIO.

Have you seen the updated user agreement yet?
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#11 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 02:23 AM
 
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yep, it definitely "works" - because they learn they won't be held if they cry. at most daycares, (especially big ... idk what you call them, chains?) you are told not to pick up the babies so they don't get too "attached." it is awful, and a big reason i no longer work at daycare. on monday, the babies will be fussy and cranky, because they are used to mom and dad holding them during the weekend, but in a couple days they would be back to "normal" and content just lying in the crib or on the floor. it's so sad...

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#12 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 03:09 AM
 
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My mom recently told me she used CIO with me at 7 mo when I wasn't "going to sleep well". My heart sank. Forever and ever I have had trouble speaking up for myself and I get extremely emotional when I have to speak up for myself. Now I know why. Could be nature, but the "nurturing" I got sure didn't help.

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#13 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 03:13 AM
 
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yep, it definitely "works" - because they learn they won't be held if they cry. at most daycares, (especially big ... idk what you call them, chains?) you are told not to pick up the babies so they don't get too "attached." it is awful, and a big reason i no longer work at daycare. on monday, the babies will be fussy and cranky, because they are used to mom and dad holding them during the weekend, but in a couple days they would be back to "normal" and content just lying in the crib or on the floor. it's so sad...

That's horrible!! I've worked in a couple chain day cares (as well as independently run ones and even did childcare in my home for 5 years), and no one ever tried to convince me to not pick up a crying child!! In fact at the largest day care I worked at during the difficult times in the "baby room" (drop off in the mornings, naptimes) we always brought in an extra person (over and above ratio) so there was an extra set of loving arms to hold more babies! Very frequently during the day we would have 3 adults for the 6 or 7 one year olds who were there.


So back to the original topic- it only "works" because babies finally give up hoping that their cries are going to be answered. They detach from their caregivers and even detach from their own feelings (both emotional and physical).

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#14 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 09:08 AM
 
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CIO has been practised in the US as the bed time routine of choice in America for many years, at least the past 50... but if it worked (taught proper sleep habits) I doubt the folowing statistics would exist for us as adults:

20-40% of all adults have insomnia in the course of any year
1 out of 3 people have insomnia at some point in their lives
Over 70 million Americans suffer from disorders of sleep and wakefulness
Of those, 60% have a chronic disorder
84 classifications of sleep disorders exist


Sleep problems add an estimated $15.9 billion to national health care costs.

Now I'm not saying CIO caused these sleep problems but if it really did teach us from an early age how to sleep better why do so many of us need assistance falling/staying asleep as adults?
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#15 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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I would like to point out my SIL as an example of how CIO DOESNT WORK! Shes almost 17. She was the fourth with 10 years between her and her youngest brother (Hes 27) She was a horrible sleeper. I don't know how often she was left to CIO, but I have heard my MIL make some sort of comment about having to clean up puke. I also know that at the age of three, the boys (HUsband and BILs) would take turns sleeping with her, because she would NOT sleep by herself. To this day, she HATES being home by herself. She gets to scared and freaked out. She still asks to spend the night at my house rather then be alone in her house until 1030pm (At which time her parents would get home from whatever) Just throwing that out there.

My mother was not AP, but her maternal instinct told her letting us cry at night was cruel. She spent many a night sleeping on the floors of our bedrooms. Neither of us have any problem being alone, EVER.
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#16 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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Currently I am in a situation where I have temporary guardianship of a little girl who is 18 months old. She NEVER cries, even when she falls and hurts herself. She just looks at you with the most depressing beautiful little brown eyes in the world... and shakes quietly.

This is a child that people say that CIO "worked on"... because she does not cry. However she is completely emotionally scarred. She is a gentle little girl who does not bother communicating because she knows it does not work.

If that is not awful, I dont know what is.

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#17 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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Currently I am in a situation where I have temporary guardianship of a little girl who is 18 months old. She NEVER cries, even when she falls and hurts herself. She just looks at you with the most depressing beautiful little brown eyes in the world... and shakes quietly.

This is a child that people say that CIO "worked on"... because she does not cry. However she is completely emotionally scarred. She is a gentle little girl who does not bother communicating because she knows it does not work.

If that is not awful, I dont know what is.

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#18 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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Currently I am in a situation where I have temporary guardianship of a little girl who is 18 months old. She NEVER cries, even when she falls and hurts herself. She just looks at you with the most depressing beautiful little brown eyes in the world... and shakes quietly.

This is a child that people say that CIO "worked on"... because she does not cry. However she is completely emotionally scarred. She is a gentle little girl who does not bother communicating because she knows it does not work.

If that is not awful, I dont know what is.
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#19 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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Currently I am in a situation where I have temporary guardianship of a little girl who is 18 months old. She NEVER cries, even when she falls and hurts herself. She just looks at you with the most depressing beautiful little brown eyes in the world... and shakes quietly.

This is a child that people say that CIO "worked on"... because she does not cry. However she is completely emotionally scarred. She is a gentle little girl who does not bother communicating because she knows it does not work.

If that is not awful, I dont know what is.


Poor thing, hopefully she ends up in an emotionally safe place
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#20 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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I also know that at the age of three, the boys (HUsband and BILs) would take turns sleeping with her, because she would NOT sleep by herself. To this day, she HATES being home by herself. She gets to scared and freaked out. She still asks to spend the night at my house rather then be alone in her house until 1030pm (At which time her parents would get home from whatever) Just throwing that out there.
You just described my 18-year-old sister to a T. Neither of us was EVER left to CIO. My mom firmly believes that babies cry for a reason and leaving them is cruel.

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#21 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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Poor thing, hopefully she ends up in an emotionally safe place
We are working on that, it is possible she will end up with us actually... which would mean I would have a 3 year old and (basically) 18 month old twins because my son is 18 months old. She has improved greatly in the past few weeks with our children who have adopted her as a little sister... but she has a long road ahead of her still.

I have never felt more strongly against CIO than after seeing what it has done to this little girl, obviously there were other factors in her life as well (hence why she is with us) but her grandparents were SO proud that having her being left to cry for months finally paid off.

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#22 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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I was allowed to cry it out when I was a baby and now I have awful sleep issues. DH was not often left to cry and he has no sleep problems. That said, when my oldest was around nine months old it seemed like nothing I did was helping her sleep so I layed her down in her crib, she cried for a few minutes, then fell asleep. From that night on she slept on her own and would put her arms out to be put in her crib, has no problems being alone, and sleeps well. Before that night I coslept with her and neither of us slept well. It makes me wonder if I was just not letting her fall asleep the way she needed to when I was trying to be with her every moment. I think she needed those ten unhappy minutes to work through how to fall asleep. I've tried it with my younger kids and it wasn't for them. They both coslept for a long time (one still does) and have never shown the desire to sleep on their own that the oldest showed. Maybe some of these parents (but I really don't think all) had kids who needed to fall asleep alone, all babies are different - why not explore this variation?
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#23 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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I agree with PPs... CIO doesn't work! My family was pestering us for a long time to try it (we just stopped talking about sleep with them) because my sister did it with my neice and now she's is the "perfect" sleeper. But I'll tell you, she's always got circles under her eyes! Someone said it's "learned helplessness" and I totally agree... I swear poor thing isn't sleeping nearly as much as everyone wants to think she is.

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#24 of 28 Old 02-26-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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My husband will be the first one to tell you that he thinks his emotional detachments and inability to communicate efficiently stem back to his mother making him CIO.

A tired mommy to DD (7/09) and loving wife to DH (08/06)
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#25 of 28 Old 02-28-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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I would like to point out my SIL as an example of how CIO DOESNT WORK! Shes almost 17. She was the fourth with 10 years between her and her youngest brother (Hes 27) She was a horrible sleeper. I don't know how often she was left to CIO, but I have heard my MIL make some sort of comment about having to clean up puke. I also know that at the age of three, the boys (HUsband and BILs) would take turns sleeping with her, because she would NOT sleep by herself. To this day, she HATES being home by herself. She gets to scared and freaked out. She still asks to spend the night at my house rather then be alone in her house until 1030pm (At which time her parents would get home from whatever) Just throwing that out there.

My mother was not AP, but her maternal instinct told her letting us cry at night was cruel. She spent many a night sleeping on the floors of our bedrooms. Neither of us have any problem being alone, EVER.
How funny, my SIL (the baby of the family) always slept with someone else (mom, sister or brothers) growing up, and has never been able to sleep alone! I don't think she's afraid of being home alone, but even as a teen would sleep w/mom or her friends. As soon as she went to college she found a boyfriend and they've been inseparable ever since...I don't know if it proves anything, but being left alone to cry is not the only way to make someone unable to sleep alone!

But in all seriousness, I totally agree with everything else you mamas are saying. Sure it would be nice to get a full night of sleep, but not at my daughter's expense. I could never sleep through her cries.

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#26 of 28 Old 03-01-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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Most people who do it seem to have to do it more than once, every time baby's schedule is disrupted. Go on vacation? CIO again. Baby over an illness? CIO again. Move into a new home? CIO again. Daylight savings time? CIO again.
I've noticed this too--I have relatives that complain miserably about having to do it over and over again every time there's a little set-back.

And while *maybe* you've got it easier when they're babies, then they have terrible associations with sleep when they get older--I've heard many complaints about once they're too big for the crib, since it gets complicated when you can no longer contain them, they can 'escape' and you have to put gates on the door, lock the door, etc. I've had relatives who can hardly believe it when my DD trots off happily to bed at night since she's not fearful of sleep.
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#27 of 28 Old 03-02-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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I actually found an article and bookmarked it for this exact reason, in case anyone asked why we didn't do it

Here it is: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2572047.htm
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#28 of 28 Old 03-03-2010, 01:21 AM
 
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My mother proudly told me how she let me CIO the day we came home from the hospital. She picked a 5 hour window at first and then increased the time frame over some weeks until I was STTN.

I sleep fine now. I like sleep. I LOVE SLEEP. However, I cannot stand to cosleep. I've done it with both of my kids because I find it useful and it was obvious THEY enjoyed it. But, particularly with my high needs littlest, I wished sometimes I had never heard of AP so I could claim ignorance.

Anyway, the thing with CIO is that the damage isn't obvious. It's not like someone CIO and wakes up with an extra head or something. So when you are looking at baby or child that is sleeping more consolidated hours than they used to it might look like a good thing.

That is until they read posts of people just loving the "closeness and bonding" of cosleeping and you have the nagging feeling that you could have maybe felt that way too, if only...
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