Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 55 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't post often, but I read a lot
and I'm curious what your definition of CIO is. Some people, it seems, think it's okay to let the LO cry for a few minutes until they settle, others think it's okay to let the LO cry as long as you're touching them, others think that you have to constantly hold the LO if they're crying...

I don't want to damage my LO by CIO, but I wonder at what stage is "it" CIO? Is CIO up to the parent's to define? Is there a definition everyone can agree on?

Any responses would be greatly appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
I think the term CIO is something that everyone probably has a different opinion on.

Personally I think CIO it mostly tied to bed-time (I might be wrong about this).

I think that if you are to leave an older child (six months or older - any younger, and the thought makes my stomach turn
) in a crib or otherwise confined area to "cry" until they fall asleep to be CIO.

I have not ever nursed my babies to sleep. At around six months I put them to bed when they are tired and they go to sleep very quickly. I don't know where you draw the line at "spoiled" when they get older or CIO because I have never had to deal with such a thing.

I personally can't stand the sound of my baby crying and I can not deal with it for more than minute or two.

Does that mean I have to hold/nurse my 15 month old to sleep? heck no
I just know the exact right time to get them to go to bed on their own!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
to me CIO is to intentionally leave a child to cry for hours at a time in order to teach them to sleep at bed or nap time.

CIO (to me) is not letting your child settle for a few minutes to see if they really need you
CIO is not letting them stay on the floore, especially during tummy time to see if they can settle
CIO is not them crying in a swing, bouncer whatever while mom (or dad) takes a few minuted to get a breath, take a shower ect.
CIO is not when a baby is in a carseat and you have to drive
CIO is not when a baby cries while you get ready to feed them, FF or BF, or even solids.

I don't believe you can spoil a baby, but I also wouldn't hold mine 24/7. I just can't. I have 2 kids and I work full time out of my home. When they were babies they cried, because all babies cry. I got to them as quickly as I could, but my goal was never for no crying, but minimal.

After all you can't have babies and never have crying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
To me, there are different degrees of CIO, none of which are good, but some of which are terrible. Some people believe that babies need to cry themselves to sleep to learn independence and self-soothing. I think that is the CIO parenting technique in a nutshell, and it doesn't work for us. Well, to be honest I guess we've never tried it- but I can't imagine it really being anything other than miserable for all parties. I think that as a parenting technique, there are different degrees of CIO- some people may think they need to leave their dc for five minutes, others may think they need to wait fifteen, and still others may let their babies scream for hours on end to the point of neglect. CIO as a parenting technique is a deliberate choice- not when you are absolutely desperate with exhaustion from trying to comfort your dc and you have to get up for a minute and walk around- and not when you are stuck in a car on the interstate and your baby starts crying and there is no exit, no way to pull over, and traffic for miles so you do the best you can with singing and talking to your wailing baby- and not when you have to leave the baby while she is crying to go warm up a bottle or grab a favorite blanket and you plan to come back immediately but she is so tired she falls asleep before you make it back.

Some people think that CIO is tantamount to abuse. I am not a person who necessarily thinks that (except in the most extreme cases, where parents hear baby choking on his own vomit from crying so hard and still don't go get their baby- that is awful, and even if they think it is necessary- well, some people think beating kids with bruising belts adds character, too, and just because their "intentions" are "good" doesn't mean they aren't being abusive)- but I do think it is always bad parenting.

With my dd, we did basically hold her as much as she wanted (and still do, although she wants to be held way less!)- I did nurse her to sleep almost always, although starting at about age seven months she was mostly just as happy to have her dad help her fall asleep and by one year she didn't have any preference as far as which parent helped her go to sleep- she has generally needed only a little help, but we have had a handful of rough nights. When she was younger I also used to wear her all of the time, and while I don't think this is necessary or anything, for me it was both practical and fun, as well as bonding-and it made her fall right to sleep if she was being fussy. Now she is too old to get out of her carrier without being woken up, so it is no longer practical to get her to sleep for the night that way- and sometimes she does cry at bedtime- she wants to stay up and play- and I do everything I can but every once in a while nothing works.

But if you do everything you can, I don't think it can be called CIO. Just my opinion. I'm sure there are people who disagree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
I pretty much agree with all other's posts and opinions.

As an added note though, there is a very well written article on this site (I think in the "health" section, or maybe the "parenting babies"?) on crying in arms. I think it will help you understand that a allowing a baby to express himself by crying is not always CIO, and the difference is important.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,712 Posts
I think it's any time you deliberately put your baby down with the intention that they will cry themselves to sleep or calm themselves. Sitting there and touching them is borderline, imo. If the baby is crying and you're not picking them up when you can, it's pretty much CIO in my book.

That said, there are some times when you just can't hold your baby. It's expected that there are going to be times when your baby just has to cry, especially if you have multiple children. For example, my baby used to HATE the car (she's better now) and screamed anytime we went anywhere. Pulling over didn't help, she'd just calm as soon as I picked her up and then cry again when I put her back in her carseat. Finally I just had to throw up my hands and let her cry. I made sure car trips were as short and infrequent as possible.

Other times when similar things happen are when I have to put the baby down to go to the bathroom, or I HAVE to do some sort of cleaning that I can't do while wearing her in a sling, or I have to take a quick shower, ect. I definitely try as much as possible to prevent these, but this is my third baby and she's incredibly clingy (cries anytime you put her down) so, you know, I just had to resign myself to the fact that sometimes she's just going to have to cry and there's not much I can do about that.

To me, when I think of CIO, is babies that are put down in a crib or bassinet or something, and are not picked up when/if they cry. Whether that's in intervals or the baby is just left there to scream for hours doesn't really matter to me, it's all CIO.

Clear as mud?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
42,757 Posts
Hello!

This is a really great thread! It can be difficult to discern the line sometimes. We do struggle with where the line is as mods and admins just as anyone does.


We generally define it as deliberately not meeting a child's needs. We don't generally include crying in arms as "CIO"

Sure some babies complain a bit as they are falling asleep but once that is crying then a child should be picked up.

Here is some more information from Mothering

http://www.mothering.com/sleep-training

http://www.mothering.com/parenting/crying-for-comfort

http://www.mothering.com/sleeping-with-your-baby

Mothering did host a Webinar on co-sleeping. You can find that here

We do encourage co-sleeping but not all babies like to co-sleep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
I think CIO is letting the baby cry with the intention of "training" them. If you have to do something (drive, shower, etc) where you absolutely cannot hold the baby then that is not CIO. But letting the baby cry to try to teach them to sleep is CIO in my opinion.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
42,757 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by tmwmommy View Post
I think CIO is letting the baby cry with the intention of "training" them. If you have to do something (drive, shower, etc) where you absolutely cannot hold the baby then that is not CIO. But letting the baby cry to try to teach them to sleep is CIO in my opinion.
Yeah, one does have to drive.

FWIW when my ds was a newborn I *couldn't* allow him to cry even in the car due to his heart condition. It was very difficult. There I was in the minivan with other staff members on the way up a mountain to Peggy's house and I GAVE MY SON A PACIFIER IN FRONT OF MOTHERING STAFF!! Nothing exploded. Nothing bad happened.


It is ok, we all have to find ways to do things. Our goal is to help people find their way, help people find what works for them.

There are a million variables to the situation, that is what makes it hard to find the line.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,813 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by tmwmommy View Post
I think CIO is letting the baby cry with the intention of "training" them. If you have to do something (drive, shower, etc) where you absolutely cannot hold the baby then that is not CIO. But letting the baby cry to try to teach them to sleep is CIO in my opinion.
I agree. CIO is a thought out parenting plan, not what happens when baby is upset that you need to do something for a second. I had to laugh at your story abimommy. I imagine this secret paci whipping out of your pocket, and the hush in the car... We were also paci users to stop the tears in the car, bouncy chair, when-mommy-must-bathe moments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
I feel CIO is such a broad term. Some people think if you don't pick up the baby the minute they start crying then you are practicing CIO and so on.

For me if I have met all the child's needs in my power and tried to soothe them in every possible way and they still are crying then they just want to cry. And no longer should I feel bad if I leave them to just cry. I would want nothing more then to know what is wrong and still exhausting every option but the sanity of myself sometimes a person truely does have to walk away for a breather.

Now in those cases I think they really are rare. I have only experienced one child who cried on hours on end and nothing I did nor anyone else outside of his parents did mattered. I felt so bad I was in tears, I called my mom and she couldn't soothe him either. This happened before cell phones were common so its not like I was able to call the parents and say sorry come home he won't stop crying. So that poor guy would cry sometimes for 4+ hours. In asking other babysitters they said yeah it was like that for them too and why they no longer babysat. No matter what was done I just sat there tried soothing him and he just wouldn't stop crying. So while I think those cases are rare and it broke my heart. There was nothing I could do but let him CIO. which sometimes he fell asleep or his parents came home first.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
42,757 Posts
Oh no! If someone needs a breather then they just need to do that. Sometimes people do feel on edge and if someone needs a moment to calm down then that just needs to happen.

There is often a reason whether they are wet, tired, crabby, hungry, thirsty, tummy ache, gassy, reflux, constipated, lonely, bored, it is too dark, too bright, too loud, hates the curtain..there are a lot of things that could be going on. We should still try to comfort and soothe even the inconsolable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
your right soothing should still be trying to be done, but I guess what I meant was a person if needs to walk away for even a half hour it should be ok. I remember my mom telling me when I was a baby that I was collicy and after everything I still wouldn't stop crying so she laid me down, grabbed a glass of whine took a bath and half hour later came back she was refreshed to handle the situation again and try to soothe me however I had eventually fallen asleep.

Now a days some people would say that she was a horrible mother who let me CIO, When thats not the case.

I think we see people with crying babies and if they don't respond the way we would people assume they are being left to CIO ect.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
42,757 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by new2this View Post
your right soothing should still be trying to be done, but I guess what I meant was a person if needs to walk away for even a half hour it should be ok. I remember my mom telling me when I was a baby that I was collicy and after everything I still wouldn't stop crying so she laid me down, grabbed a glass of whine took a bath and half hour later came back she was refreshed to handle the situation again and try to soothe me however I had eventually fallen asleep.

Now a days some people would say that she was a horrible mother who let me CIO, When thats not the case.

I think we see people with crying babies and if they don't respond the way we would people assume they are being left to CIO ect.
We wouldn't permit that to be endorsed. I don't think getting some fresh air for a couple minutes is really the same as hopping in the bath with wine for half an hour. I do think that would be over the line of what would be ok to be promoted on the boards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts


Wow! This is a really fascinating thread; I have a bad habit of being a lurker (on here) - but learning a lot through that lurking. Before reading this thread, I certainly had one mindset of what CIO actually entailed; but it's so great to hear other person's viewpoints. I think the hardest part is in not making yourself feel bad, especially when it's those times of running to the restroom (well, speed walking - don't want to trip over anything, haha) or bathing or doing some household chores where baby cannot be worn/carried/however.

I don't think I could ever be a parent who uses a CIO mentality, I remember when my Aunt gave birth to her first child (later, my "Earth Child" [since I practice an alternative spirituality]) and her husband and she practiced such a method. I would often watch the little peanut when they "needed" a night out and having a much different mentality; would hold her until she fell asleep. When I approached this topic with my Aunt (stating some scientific facts, etc. etc.) - she decided I was spoiling DEC (Dear Earth Child); and needed to let her CIO. Seeing as I couldn't do that - I had to stop watching her on overnighters/parental date nights/etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
546 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by new2this View Post
your right soothing should still be trying to be done, but I guess what I meant was a person if needs to walk away for even a half hour it should be ok. I remember my mom telling me when I was a baby that I was collicy and after everything I still wouldn't stop crying so she laid me down, grabbed a glass of whine took a bath and half hour later came back she was refreshed to handle the situation again and try to soothe me however I had eventually fallen asleep.

Now a days some people would say that she was a horrible mother who let me CIO, When thats not the case.

I think we see people with crying babies and if they don't respond the way we would people assume they are being left to CIO ect.

Quote:

Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
We wouldn't permit that to be endorsed. I don't think getting some fresh air for a couple minutes is really the same as hopping in the bath with wine for half an hour. I do think that would be over the line of what would be ok to be promoted on the boards.

i just want to say, i dont know about the bath and wine deal, but sometimes there may be, albeit rarely a situation where it can take a caregiver 30 minutes or so to get enough space they need to come back to a crying child and be able to deal with it. im not saying those times are common or the what usually happens but different people at different places in life, depression, anxiety, with little to no support ect may actually need that amount of time, and that that in and of itself does not mean you want to do CIO, or have any forethought of such a thing but sometimes it can happen and that no person should be made to feel like they are harming their child if this happens on such a rare occasion.

i sincerely hope this does not come across like i think this is optimal or by any means one of the first things one should try but i would hate to have a caregiver who has HAD to do this feel like in some way that they failed their child.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
42,757 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2xshy View Post
i just want to say, i dont know about the bath and wine deal, but sometimes there may be, albeit rarely a situation where it can take a caregiver 30 minutes or so to get enough space they need to come back to a crying child and be able to deal with it. im not saying those times are common or the what usually happens but different people at different places in life, depression, anxiety, with little to no support ect may actually need that amount of time, and that that in and of itself does not mean you want to do CIO, or have any forethought of such a thing but sometimes it can happen and that no person should be made to feel like they are harming their child if this happens on such a rare occasion.

i sincerely hope this does not come across like i think this is optimal or by any means one of the first things one should try but i would hate to have a caregiver who has HAD to do this feel like in some that they failed their child.
No one scenario suits all families. If there is more going on then it might be best to post about that in the Mental Health areas so people can discuss coping mechanisms and things like that.

I have had PPD and I have general anxiety, it can certainly be difficult.

I realize that not everyone might have PPD or other issues going on to need a break. If things are bad we don't want someone to feel they are being judged or that people are being unkind. There is a lot to be said for trying to get some sort of assistance if one is having difficulties coping. Not everyone has that luxury but again, that is a special circumstance that wouldn't necessarily be included in defining how CIO is enforced.

There are countless scenarios for each family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,687 Posts
I wanted to say that to me, CIO occurs when a parent makes a conscious decision to not respond to their child's cries.

This includes the classic "Ferberizing" and variations on the theme, and a parent who decides there is no reasonable reason for their child to cry, so they set them down and walk away or choose not to respond despite their ability to do so.

This does NOT include a child who cries A) in the car while mum is driving and she can't respond physically. Verbal comfort is available and given, the child hears mom's voice and knows they are not alone. B) while mom has her hands full with dinner, older sibling, the dog and the delivery man. Mom will respond when she can, as soon as is reasonable, baby is not alone (especially if she's babywearing) and knows that his cries will be answered...eventually.
C) when she is being held by a caregiver (mother or father or friend or relative) and is inconsolable. Baby has not been abandoned, is being responded to and feels loved yet is expressing her frustration. It's ok, babies cry, some more than others.

Anther exception would be when mom grows frustrated and needs a moment to calm herself. As a SAHM who is struggling to break the cycle of abuse, I have found myself utterly alone, with a screaming child, and the very intense need to get away and center myself. If I can ensure my child will be safe, I take a moment to calm down and remind myself that I'm the adult, I'm the mother, I'm ok, he's just a baby, it's not malicious, etc etc. I've put my baby in a swing with a calming CD of classical music playing and taken that elusive shower for 5-10 minutes. And I come back a better mother. That being said, I've never left my son for more than 10 minutes while he was distressed, and that was me being at the end of my rope and needing a few minutes to get control of myself again. I would not consider taking a half an hour bath and alcohol an appropriate way of coping with this situation. Aside from the history of alcoholism in my family, 30 minutes is a very long time imo.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
42,757 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by nerdymom View Post
I wanted to say that to me, CIO occurs when a parent makes a conscious decision to not respond to their child's cries.

This includes the classic "Ferberizing" and variations on the theme, and a parent who decides there is no reasonable reason for their child to cry, so they set them down and walk away or choose not to respond despite their ability to do so.

This does NOT include a child who cries A) in the car while mum is driving and she can't respond physically. Verbal comfort is available and given, the child hears mom's voice and knows they are not alone. B) while mom has her hands full with dinner, older sibling, the dog and the delivery man. Mom will respond when she can, as soon as is reasonable, baby is not alone (especially if she's babywearing) and knows that his cries will be answered...eventually.
C) when she is being held by a caregiver (mother or father or friend or relative) and is inconsolable. Baby has not been abandoned, is being responded to and feels loved yet is expressing her frustration. It's ok, babies cry, some more than others.

Anther exception would be when mom grows frustrated and needs a moment to calm herself. As a SAHM who is struggling to break the cycle of abuse, I have found myself utterly alone, with a screaming child, and the very intense need to get away and center myself. If I can ensure my child will be safe, I take a moment to calm down and remind myself that I'm the adult, I'm the mother, I'm ok, he's just a baby, it's not malicious, etc etc. I've put my baby in a swing with a calming CD of classical music playing and taken that elusive shower for 5-10 minutes. And I come back a better mother. That being said, I've never left my son for more than 10 minutes while he was distressed, and that was me being at the end of my rope and needing a few minutes to get control of myself again. I would not consider taking a half an hour bath and alcohol an appropriate way of coping with this situation. Aside from the history of alcoholism in my family, 30 minutes is a very long time imo.
That is a very nice post
 
1 - 20 of 55 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top