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I usually would say something like "We just can't stand to listen to her cry for that long" and "I think it's pretty normal for them not to be sleeping through the night at this age, lots of babies don't sleep through the night at this age". We did train her to fall asleep drowsy and not nurse overnight at the age of 14 months. 2 or 3 really awful days (not hours of crying but more like 10-15 minutes and even that was really hard to listen to) and then it was done and now she can be put down drowsy, usually sleeps through, and when she wakes up usually will settle without nursing. I think she just needed a push. I wonder if that is when CIO works for people--when it's done when the kid is pretty much ready to make the change anyway and is just stuck in a rut of a previous habit.
 

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^^^^We're not supposed to advocate "harsh sleep-training practices" on MDC. I'm not sure what qualifies as "harsh". Some people seem to think a certain amount of crying is okay and is not the same as straight-up CIO. Some people think it doesn't qualify as CIO if the parent stays there but doesn't pick the child up. Some people think any crying is unacceptable. *shrug*. I'm not trying to violate any forum guidelines. So if my post is unacceptable somebody can tell me. But your post does raise a few questions for me. First, what about the circumstances MeepyCat describes, where they had to do something to change the pattern because the parents' sleep was suffering so much they were a danger to themselves? Let's assume that they tried all the gentler methods first. (The No-Cry Sleep Solution never did anything for our family.) Second, say you hear your kid cry and you're in the middle of something you can't interrupt. It takes you 5 minutes to wind up what you are doing, and during that time the kid has stopped crying. Did you just let them cry it out? Or did they just manage to get through a slightly rough patch without your help? If they managed to get through a minor upset on their own, is that bad? Third, as parents we are going to sometimes push a kid in a direction they don't want to go. Sometimes, as a result, they'll discover that's what they wanted or what is best for them anyway. At what age can we/should we start doing that? Is toddlerhood too young? If you make a change and your toddler at first hates it but then rallies and is totally fine, is that bad?

I mean, how do you change the rules on a child? When are you "allowed" to do so? If you follow what your child needs to sleep in infancy, and then find yourself with a 22-lb 14-month-old who will only sleep by being held for 30 minutes-1 hour and subsequently wakes every 30 minutes all night to nurse, are you just ... stuck with that until they outgrow it? At what point is the parent allowed to decide those behaviors are unsustainable for them?
 
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