Will anyone admit to trying CIO with horrible regrets? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 03-23-2004, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am ashamed to say that dh and I tried CIO before I was aware of Attachment Parenting. I get physically sick everytime I think about it. I have wanted to talk about it and tell my story so that other clueless mothers don't do the same thing to their sweet precious babes.

I was a nanny for 10+ years before we had ds. I always started with newborns, and I always did CIO when they were about 4 months old (by parents request). It is sad, but it always worked...first day they cried and fussed for maybe 15 minutes, with me running in and out...second day they fussed for maybe 5-10 minutes...third day, I layed them in the crib and they went to sleep with no crying or fussing. That worked with 3 babies.
When I was pregnant with ds, I said "he'll be sleeping in his own crib at 3 months"...I thought I knew better .
Ds has always been a sweet baby with most mello temperment ever. We didn't actually hear him cry until he was 6 weeks old (from gas). We started CIO around 4 months, the whole running in and out of the room thing...My instincts kicked in and I couldn't stand it, so we decided to sit next to him in his crib and try and "soothe" him to sleep (with a pacifier...singing, rubbing his back, holding his hand...) It would take him forever to fall asleep and he wouldn't slow down his cry at all. He would cry until he just stopped and would sleep so soundly, it scared me. <tears> During the day, he was a different baby, he was sad all the time, and he stopped nursing himself to sleep or for comfort. I called my MIL and she said just keep going...I kept saying, how long is too long, how long is too long to cry? Maybe this isn't right for him. One night dh was up with him...he cried for 2 hours, nonstop, :Puke it makes me sick to think about it
I went upstairs and told dh we should stop, that it wasn't working...but he said maybe this was the last time and it would work? I went downstairs and cried and then started to search the internet for what to do...as if my own instincts were not good enough...I found a book called the NCSS and I bought it off of Amazon.com and downloaded it right then. I read the first chapter like lightening and got to the part about how the CIO baby feels...I ran upstairs and ds had just gone to sleep. I was sick with what we had done. After I read some of the book to dh, we both ran upstairs and took him out of his crib and cried and said how sorry we were and that we would never do it again. I wish he understood us. We slept with him in our bed from that time on. It took a really long time for him to get back to his old self. He is still very sensative and hasn't nursed himself to sleep since that incident. He also won't nurse for comfort anymore, he only wants his pacifier.

If only I had listened to my own gut feelings. All I knew was what people told me, and I wasn't strong enough for my own baby to do it differently. It has been almost 5 months since then and I still feel like we emotionally abused him, and that he is different because of it. I can't forgive myself...and I will never put another baby through that again.
Maybe this will change the minds of other parents considering CIO...don't put your most precious possession through such a heartless act.
I love my little guy with all my heart, and I always have...I just listened to other peoples opinions and not my heart, and I have to live with that. Some people might think I am way overdramatizing this but I know the damage that CIO can do...so here is someone saying, "DON'T LET YOUR BABY CIO!"

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#2 of 41 Old 03-24-2004, 12:10 AM
 
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One time, when dd was a couple of months old, I came home from the grocery store, and she was very contently sleeping in her carseat. I decided that this time I would unload the groceries from the trunk and carry them up, while she was asleep, so that she would not have to get impatient as she usually did while I was unpacking. I was gone for LESS than 2 minutes. When I came back she was so frightened, crying terribly. I felt awful. It took me a long time to forgive myself for this incident. But, you go on and learn from your mistakes. No parent is perfect, and you must trust that the love and affection you give them on a regular basis will overpower those times we use bad judgement.

Also, I would like to add that dh did want to try CIO once. Of course it failed terribly. Our baby so used to getting tons of love and affection...it is silly to expect her to all of the sudden go without. Anyhow, I guess he needed to see it for himself. Sometimes when you are sleep deprived and desperately need sleep, you are willing to try things that don't make a bit of sense while awake. I refused to leave the room, I was there with her, and I picked her up immediately as soon as she went from a soft cry to a louder one, so I don't feel too terrible about it. DH had to see that our baby is too smart for a technique like that. I am so proud of my little girl for standing up for herself and stating her opinion on the whole thing! Now she sleeps either in bed with me or in her crib which attached to the side of my bed with a missing side. She can snuggle mommy whenever she wants.

I think the babies who CIO effectively belong to parents who tend not to pick them up on a regular basis. I have a friend who truly believes picking up her children when they cry is a huge mistake. She even instructed her dh not to pick the babies up when they cry. CIO worked wonderfully for her.

Not the type of mama I want to be.
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#3 of 41 Old 03-24-2004, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Up until we tried CIO we held ds all the time, even for naps. I think that is why he took it so badly, he just couldn't understand what was going on and why he was being so neglected.

I keep wondering, after taking care of babies for so many years, why I never heard of AP? I wish I had.

I am all for ...when you know better, you do better...

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#4 of 41 Old 03-24-2004, 01:16 AM
 
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to you mama...thanks for sharing such painful memories. Hopefully your post will help someone else make the decision not to ever use CIO, no matter how tempting. And I'm sure your little boy will be just fine...babies are resilient and he knows that you love him and you're sorry....somehow my dd manages to forgive me every time I screw up

Perdita, wife to J, mom to Bridget (6), Ivy (4) Trace (2) and Fiona, my 3rd vbac baby, born 12/2/09!
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#5 of 41 Old 03-24-2004, 08:28 AM
 
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My ds was so needy as a baby. He was/is very spirited, but on top of that, he had undiagnosed food allergies. EVERY time I put him down, he would cry and cry. I kept taking him to the doctor, saying "I know something is wrong!" and I kept getting told that he was crying because I was holding him so much. It was all MY fault that he cried like that. Then, of course, there were the well-meaning friends, the parents, the inlaws, it seemed everywhere I looked, I was being told I was doing everything wrong, I held him, I let him nurse to sleep, I carried him everywhere, I let him sleep on me (literally, laying on my chest with a boob in his mouth!) I found myself crying myself to sleep every night, I though he hated me, I thought I'd made the biggest mistake in my life, the decision to have a baby, the decision to become a mommy....how could my own child hate me so much??? At about 5 months, we decided to try CIO. I remember, I was posting on a SAHM board, and they all told me it would be the best thing I could do, he would learn to sleep without me, I could at least take a shower more than once every 3-4 days, etc, etc, etc. He cried. He cried for a long time. He screamed. I cried. He screamed some more. I cried harder. I kept telling myself that I was doing it "for his own good!" (whatever the hell that means!)...After about an hour, he threw up all over himself and I gave it up. I ran in there, and held him and cried with him and promised him I'd never leave him alone again....

The very next day, I went on a search for a new support group. I found an AP board. I read more and more about AP. It just made such sense to me. Follow those instincts. Trust your child. Trust in your own ability to take care of your child. RELAX....

And to this day, the sound of one of my children crying makes me physically ill....and I still cringe and want to cry when I remember what I put ds through. My poor little baby. And you can only imagine how horrible I felt when it was discovered that he had food allergies as well. Of course, this was closer to a year old, and I insisted on the testing, and wasn't really surprised by the fact that he had allergies, just the extent of them!! And amazingly enough, when I eliminated all traces of all the allergens from my diet, he slept a record 3 hours!!!!

Reliving this and sharing it in the hopes that another mama who's doubting herself can realize that she is capable of taking care of her child, no matter what the "others" are saying, that she *should* follow those instincts, she has them for a reason...because SHE is that baby's mother.
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#6 of 41 Old 03-24-2004, 12:42 PM
 
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I tried once with ds1. It lasted all of maybe a minute. I could not do it. However, there are times when I have to let baby cry, especially with three kids and little help. Such as when I am in the middle of"taking care of business" or anything else I cannot stop immediately. It does not help that he is a screecher. But I do go to him asap.

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#7 of 41 Old 03-24-2004, 03:13 PM
 
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Thank you mamas!! The CIO stories brought tears to my eyes and it was so brave of you to sare them. My biggest CIO regret wasn't a bedtime issue. It was Thanksgiving and DD was just about amonth old. We were at IL's house and DD was in a little seat thing they got for her. I was misererable having her on that seat and not in my arms. Then she started crying and MIL said, "She is fine...blah blah she isn't hungry yuou just fed her..it is good for her" I couldn't eat with her so sad so finally I picked her up and MIL was as usual exasperated with me. I am still mad at myself to this day for not gettting DD immediately.

The first rule of homeschooling: water the plants! :
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#8 of 41 Old 03-24-2004, 07:38 PM
 
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I appreciate everyone sharing their stories. Its very good timing for me, because Dh is pushing for us to "just try" CIO. I won't do it, and I'm looking for more reasons to tell him no (to try to get him to agree with me). So thank you all for sharing!

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#9 of 41 Old 03-25-2004, 03:51 PM
 
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when ds was a couple of months old i was taking him to work with me. i was on my way to pick up my dh and ds started crying. it was one freeway exit--i figured i could take it. well, who counted on the bunch of traffic. by the time i got to my dh's work ds was screaming at the top of his lungs and covered in sweat. it was horrible. i grabbed him and held him and wouldn't let him go for a good 20 minutes, even though he had finally fallen asleep in exhaustion.

my ds is now 11 months and last month we thought we would try to see if he would go to his own bed (we co-sleep) and that was another disaster. i stayed with him and sang to him and rubbed his back for 2 hours before he finally fell asleep. he was awake again within the hour. no one got sleep that night. since then we got a bigger bed and things have been much better

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#10 of 41 Old 03-26-2004, 09:47 AM
 
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Thanks for sharing, ladies. I have never let DS CIO, but I had to share what I *think* are pretty horrible results that a friend has gotten from CIO.

Oh, I should say that she is pretty PROUD of this. I'm not kidding.

She has two kids. One is 2.5, the other is 4 mos. With both, at around 3-4 mos she has let them CIO. She just shared with me that she "knows so much better this time around with her baby" that she was able to 'help' him learn to sleep faster. She has already let him CIO and he is currently sleeping 9-11 hours straight at night! WOO-HOO! I, personally, don't think it's NORMAL for a newborn to sleep this long. Plus, she is nursing him. SO,we'll have to see what the ill effects are with the baby.

BUT with her 2.5 yo-he started developing a stomach bug in the middle of the night a few weeks ago. She said that she thought she heard him coughing a bit, but didn't check on him. He apparently was throwing up and was so scared to wake his parents that he got out of his crib, got box of tissues on his own, and tried cleaning himself up. She was impressed by all this. Sounds great to me! Teach your beloved that when he needs help to HELP HIMSELF-even when just a tot. And that mommy and dadday aren't REALLY there for you!

Don't get me wrong-our co-sleeping arrangement has been VERY CHALLENGING at times. But I can't imagine ignoring his cries and needs-even at this ripe old age of 26 mos.
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#11 of 41 Old 03-27-2004, 01:33 AM
 
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With my first baby I felt that everywhere I turned CIO was recommended, required, was what even natural mothers did. When ds#1 was four months old, I caved. I wish so much I could turn back time and do it over again. I can't even put into words the regret I feel over it. As a matter of fact, he's 5 1/2 now & I'm still so ashamed and guilty over doing it that I wasn't even going to post! I only shared my story in the hopes of stopping someone else from doing this to their baby.
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#12 of 41 Old 03-28-2004, 04:54 PM
 
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I agree with you that CIO is not a good idea but don't beat yourself up on it. Babies are more resillient than we think, just think about all the babies who are us now - whose moms were told that CIO is the only way to do things.

My own mom was proud that she let me cry all night when we got back from the hospital!!! Her mom thought it was barbaric but mine told her that this is what you are supposed to do and besides I need my nights sleep. So I was breastfeed every four hours and not a minute before - and not during the night... And you know what? I turned out pretty OK .

So don't worry about having harmed him. Whatever sadness he might have felt, you are all making up for it now.

Patricia
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#13 of 41 Old 03-28-2004, 10:05 PM
 
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Please dont beat yourself up over this. You were a new mom doing what you thought was the right thing. I never was able to let my babies cio. I did discuss it with my husband but we just couldnt do it. We did recieve that advice as well. Most new parents do. Your baby will know and does know that you love him. Learning not to listen to well meant or otherwise intended advice is one of the most difficult things as a new parent. I trusted my inner voice most of the time and when I didnt is the few times I've had regret over my parenting. There are things we would do differently when we look back on things. I would have not entered my oldest or our other son for that matter in school for kindergarden for instance. I would not have accepted the things the teachers said so easily if I had listened to myself first. You are way ahead in your parenting skills if you know that there are options out there to just about every situation. Thank you for sharing your experience.
Blessings
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#14 of 41 Old 03-29-2004, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your stories and support!
It has taken me some time to come to peace with some of my earlier decisions, but I am working on it, and making up for it by loving ds to pieces! I told dh today, too bad we don't get a practice baby first, so the first baby doesn't get all the experimenting. He said, "that's probably why people leave everything to their first-born...to make up for all the mess ups...":LOL

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#15 of 41 Old 03-29-2004, 12:06 AM
 
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Maybe so! We have already decided if we have anything to "leave" they get it equally. Hubby and I both come from very dysfunctional backgrounds and it is a wonder why we are as good of parents as we are, but if I learned nothing else I learned what I did not want to be as a parent and that in itself saved us from repeating some horrible things with our own children. Personally, I am also grateful to have the opportunity to raise our sons as well as we can. They are amazing people and it is a priveledge to be a part of their growing up.
Practice babies would be really good.lol
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#16 of 41 Old 03-29-2004, 12:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by MySweetTruman
I told dh today, too bad we don't get a practice baby first, so the first baby doesn't get all the experimenting. He said, "that's probably why people leave everything to their first-born...to make up for all the mess ups...":LOL
:LOL I have always felt like this too. The poor first babies are the experiments, the ones you learn all your mistakes with. It's so sad. But your husband's comment is just too funny! Maybe they do all deserve to be left with everything! It's true, all my Mothering regrets (so far) are things I did with my first. Hmmm, please excuse me while I go re-write my will...
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#17 of 41 Old 03-29-2004, 06:48 PM
 
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The quote about the poor 1st child. Yup Yup Yup Pressure from the "other world" is very strong,but what I'm always happy to see is that I find supportive poeple in very unlikely places.I surround myself with them and not others that will bring me down.
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#18 of 41 Old 03-29-2004, 10:00 PM
 
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Thanks for being so honest. I agree with every one hear that you needn't feel guilty. We all do things we regret and fell guilty over, that is a normal part of motherhood.

I did use a very mild form CIO with my son but i feel no guilt, nor ever have. I think the reason for this is that we started when he was a wee little one and he would just whimper for 5-10 min or less then go to sleep. At 3 1/2 months he would just suck his thumb and put him self to sleep. There was no trauma, or hours of screaming involved. I do think though that many of you with horror stories about CIO I would also have a hard time listening to my child do the same. Some talk about sleep training as this awful thing, but i think we all sleep train our kids. Wether it is training them gently to fall asleep on their own, or getting them accoustomed to rocking or nursing to fall asleep. I think the problem comes when people have rocked or nursed their baby to sleep for 6 months, or a year, or more, then all the sudden try CIO with obvious horrible results. You child is like, hey, this isn't what I'm used to, this is not how we do things. I think the older they are, the harder it is. I think you have to commit to one or the other. If you want to rock or nurse your baby to sleep, then plan on doing it for a long while, and visa versa. I hope that makes sense and that I did not offend any one.

Edited to add: I think it is great that you followed your instinct. I sounds like you have a very sensitive little one. It is really good to know your own child and what may have worked for those babies you nannied may not work for yur children. It is all about knowing your child and what is best for them. I also wanted to say, not to defend CIO, but hopefully to help you in your own healing, that what happend with you was not emotional abuse. Any Dr. or pediatric Psyciatrist would agree. Maybe your son will not nurse to sleep any more because you half trained him not to when that whole incident happened. He probably isn't scared, just trained to do diferently.

Ashley, Jesus loving mama to Jaden (8) Trace (6) and Liam (3) and fost/adopt twins Talia and Oliva (1).  Happily married for a decade! 

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#19 of 41 Old 03-29-2004, 10:13 PM
 
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When my dd was about 4 months old, my dh and I went to our Ped appt ( one of the last I might add) and to my suprise my dh springs " how can we get her to go to sleep at a bedtime?" to my Pediatrician. Up until that point, I would nurse, and rock and nurse and cuddle and nurse and hold- I don't recall complaining....so the Ped tells us about the Ferber method, of putting her in a crib, crying, check in 5 min, blah blah blah....I immed say " she is not tired at 8pm, that won't work" and Ped says " if it doesn't work in 3 days I will come babysit for you ( he lived a few doors down)
So that night I nursed her, put her in my bed-cosleeper and went out to the couch. She SCREAMED and I start crying and dh persuades me to stick with it. It was just like that lame a$$ episode of Mad About You.
My pooor little Mallory! I still feel guilt, but out of that experience came even MORE determination to AP both my girls and they both still sleep with me ( ages 8 and 3). Yes she cried it out, yes in 3 nights it was automatic with no crying but big fat hairy f*#@ing deal that my dh got to watch tv in peace. UGH!
The upside ( if there was one) is that even though I Ferberized my first child, she still nursed and slept in our bed and was cloth diped/sling carried and other methods that were and still are dear to my heart.
Mamas don't ever be talked into something you feel is wrong.
DH now regrets it too, and basically gives me NO input anymore ( just the way I want it!)
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#20 of 41 Old 03-30-2004, 03:03 AM
 
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In an act of desperation I did try CIO once. Dd was never a good sleeper. I only lasted 45 seconds, which was about 25 seconds longer than she usually cried before she was picked up. I'm sure there are no lasting effects on her.

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#21 of 41 Old 03-30-2004, 03:26 AM
 
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That's cute thistle. It is good to know what works for yu and to start doing it from the beginning and keep doing it all the way through. Start as you mean to go on!

Ashley, Jesus loving mama to Jaden (8) Trace (6) and Liam (3) and fost/adopt twins Talia and Oliva (1).  Happily married for a decade! 

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#22 of 41 Old 03-31-2004, 01:06 AM
 
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I tried something a little different. We nursed and co slept until she was almost two. Then I couldn't take it anymore. A king size bed with just me and her in it and I still wasn't getting a good nights sleep. I tried the CIO in a regular bed on the floor. I explained it to her during the day and did the whole bedtime ritual and then left. She cried but sort of half heartedly, like she was just complaining. Then she slept all night for the first time, like, ever. It worked great until she realized she can climb out of the bed. What am I going to do, lock her in her room? Now she's two and a half and back in our bed, which doesn't bother me at all. I felt a little better about letter her CIO because she was older, but it still sucked.

Also, don't beat yourself up. We are all doing the best we can! LOL.
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#23 of 41 Old 03-31-2004, 06:15 PM
 
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Once, for a nap. She was overtired and wouldn't settle. I felt like I was going to lose it, so I left and put earplugs in. When I realized how absolutely stupid that was I took them out and checked on her - she had fallen asleep. I felt awful, really awful. That's how I know for certain that I wanted nothing to do with CIO. I found this site and kept on going

Jen

That was dd1 btw.
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#24 of 41 Old 03-31-2004, 06:31 PM
 
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funny, Alstrameria, i actually ready somewhere about doing something like that in times of frustration. when you are about to lose it and can't get your sweet babe to calm down, to take a break from the situation by putting them somewhere safe and walking away for a few minutes. i guess it is supposed to prevent frustrated parents from beating their children.

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#25 of 41 Old 04-02-2004, 01:38 AM
 
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Yep--did it, regret it, won't EVER do it again! Best thing I ever did was bring that child into my bed.

And that's all I have to say about that right now!
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#26 of 41 Old 04-02-2004, 04:44 PM
 
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BUT with her 2.5 yo-he started developing a stomach bug in the middle of the night a few weeks ago. She said that she thought she heard him coughing a bit, but didn't check on him. He apparently was throwing up and was so scared to wake his parents that he got out of his crib, got box of tissues on his own, and tried cleaning himself up. She was impressed by all this. Sounds great to me! Teach your beloved that when he needs help to HELP HIMSELF-even when just a tot. And that mommy and dadday aren't REALLY there for you!
This brought me to tears.

Amanda
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#27 of 41 Old 04-02-2004, 04:47 PM
 
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That just breaks my heart.
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#28 of 41 Old 04-02-2004, 05:22 PM
 
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T Alstrameria, Sophie and Evelyn are ANGELS! I clicked your link and I was like "Awwwwwwwww!" Such cute babies!
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#29 of 41 Old 04-03-2004, 12:08 AM
 
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It broke my heart to hear it, too, ladies. When the mom re-told this story she said it very matter-of-factly. No remorse, no regret, no shame.

It's one thing to choose to do this CIO thing (which, of course, I would not choose myself), and it's another, really, to sort of brag about the results.

Yuck. Makes me really sad, too.
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#30 of 41 Old 04-03-2004, 12:44 AM
 
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We tried soooo hard with ds to put him down in his bassinette early on and let him go to sleep. We did it over and over and it never worked. WE thought we should start as we intended to go on, but ds had a completely different idea. We resorted to rocking/bouncing to sleep while standing up 'cause that is all that worked. We got sucked in by all of the books and tried cio one night. Can't bear to go into the whole story as I am still hurt by what we did. Only tried it once. Then we went back to trying to put him down on his own. Did paci, back rubbing, etc. and nothing worked. Believe me mamas, we really tried hard. I was dead set he would sleep on his own. Out of desperation we found ap and found the peace that we needed in our home. We did what our ds needed and learned to live with his own cycles. I hate cio and wish noone would do it. I also hope I never have to hear anyone else tell me that if I just start something early enough and teach my baby it will work. We tried from day one and had definite expectations and all of the feedback we got from books and other people just showed that they never dealt with a child like mine. My opinion on cio, getting baby to sleep on their own, whatever, is that it works fine if your child is wired for it. I felt like a failure as a parent as I read these books and stupidly listened to people because nothing worked until we found ap. Some kids just don't respond and I am so thankful that I found a method that respects that and respects me as a parent. Can you tell I have very strong opinions on this?
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