Feeling like a chump for not doing CIO - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 11-26-2011, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I think it's just a bad night but I need some reassurance. greensad.gif


So about a month ago I night-weaned 17 mo old DS and some nights it was going well and others - well he'd just be up fussing/crying for up to an hour before he could fall back to sleep. This continues. One night this week he went down (late) at 10 pm - slept till 4 am, did his "allowed," early AM nurse, slept till 7. Tonight he just won't settle in, he's been up 3 times already.


Meanwhile my DH and older DD are at a neighborhood party - our friends who did full on extinction CIO with both kids - took their 2 year old - gave him his bottle, dropped him in his crib and poof. That's it. No books, songs, back -rubbing, nursing, nothing. Sleeps 12 hours. I'm so freakin' jealous.


Here I am like a jerk, getting up every 2 hours, rubbing DS's back, not nursing, ok (which is good) - but I can't put him down and have him sleep for 12 hours. Sometimes the night routine is done in 15 minutes, sometimes I'm up and down 10 times.


I was hoping that eventually he'd settle in and if he did wake in the middle of the night, it would be enough for him to see- "ok, mom's here with me," and he'd go back to sleep. (Sometimes this does happen, I admit.) But a lot of nights he'll fuss or cry for up to an hour. I mean, what's the point of NOT doing CIO if he's going to be up crying anyway? I'm laying there with him and talking, rubbing his back, but he just can't settle down.


I look at my friends' kid - the one who got put in a crib with the door shut to cry for hours - and he seems fine - he's sweet and healthy and doesn't seem damaged or screwed up. He's not clingy or angry or anything. And my friends get to sleep all night, be up with their friends, watch movies, whatever.




Anyway ... I don't know ... *sigh*

Me (40) DH (49) daring DD (9) and darling DS - almost THREE! (born June 25, 2010 in an amazing, unplanned homebirth.jpg

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#2 of 11 Old 11-26-2011, 07:28 PM
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Right there with you.  I get so envious of families with kids who sleep well.  We co-sleep and I haven't weaned (DS2 is 20 months today).  I am pretty darn sure that if we quit one or both, I would get a good night's sleep.  We have never done CIO.  I am still up about every two hours (or less on bad nights), but I don't share that with many people because I know they'd say CIO.  Also--my older son is now 16.  We did NOT co-sleep (exH was very against it) and he weaned at 5 months.  He was still a terrible sleeper.  This gives me some comfort in a weird, illogical way.


The way I look at it is this:  if I was crying and screaming in the bedroom, how long would I want my husband to wait before he came to me to hold or comfort me?  Would I want him looking at a watch and thinking "Well, I'll give her another five minutes?"  Nope.


That said, I don't criticize parents who try small time increments of CIO.  If we don't get sleep, we can get insane.  I think the sleep thing is crazy hard and there is no good solution.  Also, some kids are just better sleepers than others.


I think there's a thread somewhere called the "Zombie Mama's Commiseration Thread," if it makes you feel any better.


Hang in there, mama.

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#3 of 11 Old 11-27-2011, 07:10 PM
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I've known families who have done CIO and some still report that the kid doesn't go to sleep easily/stay asleep all night. in fact, one of the families has a DS same age as ours and CIO worked like a charm (he's never even cried for 10 min before falling asleep) but they say their first (3.5yo) still doesn't do well with sleep.

I often wish I could have it as "easy" as parents who CIO their kids but then I try and remember the reality that DS probably still wouldnt sleep! eyesroll.gif

follow your instincts, you are doing what your DC needs you to do. I bet it'll pay off in the end. smile.gif

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#4 of 11 Old 11-27-2011, 07:56 PM
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my daughter took till age 4 to sleep through the night. nowadays (age 5), it's easy to get her to sleep and stay asleep.


and she's a super confident kid, way more so than other kids. i did not do any form of CIO.


the trouble with CIO is that it gives short term benefits to the parent at the detriment of the child's long term health.


i'd have to look it up and cannot right now, but i do believe that the connections in the brain are still very much being made at age 17 months. so you would do your child no favor to make him suffer abandonment, in order to get him to fall asleep on his own as a psychological survival strategy. which is what CIO really is.

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#5 of 11 Old 11-27-2011, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, all.


I need to go over to the "why not to CIO," info at some point soon - just as a refresher. My older DD used to sleep great - but since the baby was born she wants DH to lay with her till she's asleep, so that's putting stress on things too. (We never see each other, I wish he would set limits with DD, etc, etc, etc.)




I have to keep telling myself "this too shall pass," but it's just hard.

Me (40) DH (49) daring DD (9) and darling DS - almost THREE! (born June 25, 2010 in an amazing, unplanned homebirth.jpg

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#6 of 11 Old 11-27-2011, 09:17 PM
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Just a thought - where do you do his allowed early morning feeding? If you co-sleep and feed him in bed, he might not really get why it's ok to nurse at 4 am but not 11pm, 1am, 2am. As much as it would totally stink to get up in the very early morning, maybe never nurse him in bed so he begins to learn a distinction?


About your friends child - it was probably just a case of that child being ready more so then the CIO. I was a nanny in college and saw many different parenting personalities, and I saw several kids whose parents do CIO become TERRIFIED of their cribs...to the point where they would be so upset they would be shaking as soon as we entered the nursery :-( Their 2 year old is probably also super dependent on the bottle for comfort and when they try to take that away, they are likely to face a very difficult time. 

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#7 of 11 Old 11-27-2011, 10:04 PM
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It gets easier. DD weaned at 16 months and now at 20 months she is sleeping (5 out of 7 nights) 12 hours in a row without waking up. In my mind, its not CIO if a kid that old cries for 2-3 minutes alone. When DD is sleeping in her room and she wakes in the night, I dont jump up out of bed anymore. I wait 2-3 minutes and see if she will self soothe. If she gets wound up and starts really, really crying Ill get up and go to her. But about 75% of the time, she will fuss for 3 minutes and go right back to sleep.

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#8 of 11 Old 11-28-2011, 05:14 AM
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Some really fabulous parents do CIO and have really fabulous children. It's not the wrong way to do things, it's just not something I could live with doing. I'm sure you are the same!

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#9 of 11 Old 11-28-2011, 07:11 AM
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The one thing I'd say is that while I don't condone hardcore CIO both my kids have gone through stages where all our efforts to get them to sleep - nursing, rocking etc. - have appeared to get in the way of them going to sleep on their own. My 10-month-old, for example, has been doing this thing where he's obviously tired but will not nurse to sleep. He rubs his eyes, fusses and writhes around on the breast and HOWLS if DH tries to bounce him to sleep. So I've experimented with nursing him until he pulls off, singing a song then putting him in his crib. Several times - like just now for his morning nap - he's cried (I won't sugarcoat it) for a few minutes then conked out. If he doesn't go to sleep, I try nursing him again and it usually does the trick.

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#10 of 11 Old 11-28-2011, 07:34 AM
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My daughter and my son are two totally different varieties of sleeper. My daughter, once she outgrew her infancy, was an awful sleeper; getting her settled at bedtime was a nightmare, and there were many nights when she would wake up at 2 or 3 am and simply refuse to go back down. I did everything under the sun to try and "fix" things, but I was finally forced to accept that it was just the way she was wired and do the best I could with what she was. Starting preschool helped TREMENDOUSLY with her problems sleeping through the night, and kindergarten solved the issues that were left; she falls asleep now after 10 or 20 minutes singing or talking to herself, and with very rare exceptions for illness or severe storms, she sleeps the night through. My son is my "easy" kid, even though he's almost 3 1/2 and still doesn't "slept through the night" by the textbook definition. He always starts out in his own bed (both of my children have co-slept for significant portions of their lives, but I've had to restrict it lately because I've been reduced to a twin bed, it gets too crowded for comfort) but 5 nights out of 7, he wakes up at some point in the wee smas' and makes his way to my bed. He doesn't make any fuss, just climbs in, tucks himself up and goes straight back to sleep. I don't usually know he's there until I wake up the next morning. I never did CIO with either of my children beyond the "delayed response" approach that AdalinesMama suggested; I remember so many nights as a child lying in my bed crying hysterically because something truly scared me and my mom, who, in her misguided way, was trying to help me get over my fears by ignoring them, never responded. My own philosophy is that if one of my kids is calling for me, it's not too much for me to do to stick my head in the door long enough to show them that I haven't left them. I don't fuss, I don't lay down with them, I don't give endless drinks of water or tons of hugs and kisses, I just make my presence known and then I leave. As a result, my children are comfortable sleepers, they aren't afraid of the dark, and I don't HAVE to make endless trips to their room; they only call for me when they have a real need. 

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#11 of 11 Old 11-28-2011, 08:06 AM
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Funny thing, I wanted to CIO.  DH would not allow it.  DD1 didn't believe in sleeping.  Maybe 4 hours a night... maybe.  Then DD2 came along and she would fall asleep anywhere.  She loves her sleep.  We co sleep and she'll hush you if you're talking so that she can go to sleep or she'll turn and glare at the offender.  DD1 sleeps well now but only due to using melatonin.  We sometimes give her breath mints instead and she hasn't figured it out.  She has extreme anxiety over sleeping. 



I think it works for some people and others not at all.  My mom didn't do it and both my brother and I were great sleepers.  She was a back rubber.  She didn't mind though.  I think that's the big thing.  Don't compare yourself to other parents.  Do what feels right to you.  If you can handle a minute or two of tears, then why not try it.  However I couldn't go more than a few minutes.  So there is now way I could have done it.  DH would have flipped anyway.  He hated to hear them cry, I thought it was because of how annoying baby crying can become but it was because he thought they really needed us.  And they did.

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