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Saturday
Jul052008

Cry it out (CIO): 10 reasons why it is not for us

Intuitively and instinctively, the cry it out (CIO) method (also known as sleep training or ferberizing or controlled crying) of getting a baby to sleep is not something I ever felt comfortable with. And as I did research on infant sleep, I learned about what normal infant sleep is and I also learned more about the reasons why the CIO method is harmful. There are numerous scientific and emotional reasons why we have chosen not to let our babies cry it out, which I have summarized below.

1. Cry it out can cause harmful changes to babies' brains


Babies cry. They cry to let us know that they need something. And when we don't respond to those cries, it causes them undue amounts of stress. Science has shown that stress in infancy can result in enduring negative impacts on the brain. Prolonged cries in infants causes increased blood pressure in the brain, elevates stress hormones, obstructs blood from draining out of the brain, and decreases oxygenation to the brain. Excessive crying results in an oversensitive stress system (likened to a faulty burglar alarm in one book) that can lead to a fear of being alone, separation anxiety, panic attacks and addictions. Harvard researchers found that it makes them more susceptible to stress as adults and changes the nervous system so that they are overly sensitive to future trauma. Chronic stress in infancy can also lead to an over-active adrenaline system, which results in the child using increased aggression, impulsivity, and violence. Another study showed that persistent crying episodes in infancy is linked with a 10 times greater chance of the child having ADHD, resulting in poor school performance and antisocial behaviour. However, if you consistently soothe your child's distress and take any anguished crying seriously, highly effective stress response systems are established in the brain that allow your child to cope with stress later in life.

2. Cry it out can result in decreased intellectual, emotional and social development


At an American Academy of Pediatrics meeting, infant developmental specialist Dr. Michael Lewis presented research findings demonstrating that “the single most important influence of a child’s intellectual development is the responsiveness of the mother to the cues of her baby.” More specifically, other studies have found that babies whose cries are ignored do not develop healthy intellectual and social skills, that they have an average IQ 9 points lower at age 5, they show poor fine motor development, show more difficulty controlling their emotions, and take longer to become independent as children (stay clingy for longer).

3. Cry it out can result in a detached baby


Researchers have shown that although leaving a baby to cry it out does often lead to the cries eventually stopping, the cries do not stop because the child is content or the problem has been alleviated. Rather, they stop because the baby has given up hope that a caregiver will respond and provide comfort. This results in a detached baby. Detached children are less responsive, appear to be depressed or "not there" and often lack empathy.

4. Cry it out is harmful to the parent-child relationship


A child that is left to cry it out is less likely to turn to the parents in times of need. Being attended to as a baby is the most basic of needs and if a child learns at that point that she can count on her parents to respond to her needs, then she will also turn to them later in life when she needs their support. But I worry that if I leave my children to cry it out, then they will not see the point in reaching out to us if they have problems later in life and could try to deal with serious issues like bullying, drug addictions, teenage pregnancy, gambling problems, or flunking out of school on their own or turn to peers. Unfortunately, those problems are often too big for a teenager to be left to deal with alone or with peers and it can have disastrous results ranging from making poor decisions all the way to committing suicide out of a feeling of hopelessness.

5. Cry it out can make children insecure


Children whose caregivers are not consistently responsive and sensitive, often become insecure. Long-term studies have shown that secure individuals are more likely to be outgoing, popular, well-adjusted, compassionate, and altruistic. As adults, secure individuals are likely to be comfortable depending on others, can develop close attachments, and trust their partners. Insecure individuals, on the other hand, tend to be unsettled in their relationships, displaying anxiety (manifesting as possessiveness, jealousy, and clinginess) or avoidance (manifesting as mistrust and a reluctance to depend on others). Parents that use the cry it out method often do so because they are afraid that their children are becoming too dependent. However, an abundance of research shows that regular physical contact, reassurance, and prompt responses to distress in infancy and childhood results in secure and confident adults who are better able to form functional relationships.

6. Cry it out often doesn't work at all


Some babies will not give in. They are resilient or stubborn enough that they refuse to believe that their parents could be so cruel as to leave them to cry to sleep. So instead of whimpering a bit and then drifting off to sleep as some supposed sleep experts would have you believe happens, they end up sobbing and sobbing and sobbing for hours on end. Some end up vomiting. Many end up shaking so hard and become so distraught that once their parents realize that CIO is not going to work, the baby is shaking uncontrollably and hiccuping, too distressed to sleep and too distraught to be calmed down even by a loving parent.

7. Even if cry it out does "work", parents often have to do it over and over again


I can't imagine putting my child through one or several nights of inconsolable crying to get her to go to sleep and I certainly can't imagine having to do it over and over again. However, that is the reality for many parents. I hear people tell me that they always let their child cry for thirty minutes to go to sleep. Or that they have to start the CIO sleep training process all over again after each round of teething, each growth spurt, each developmental milestone.

8. Cry it out is disrespectful of my child's needs


So-called sleep trainers will tell you that after a certain age, babies do not have any more needs at night. Some claim this is after a few short weeks, others after a few months, others after a year. Regardless of the age that is assigned to that message, to me it seems wrong. I'm an adult and yet there are days when I need someone else to comfort me. If I've had a really stressful week at work, if I've had a fight with someone that is important to me, if I've lost a loved one, then I need to be comforted. But how would I feel and what would it do to our relationship if my husband closed the door and walked out of the room and let me "cry it out" myself? I'm an adult and yet there are nights when I am so parched that I need a glass of water or I am so hungry that I need a snack. I'm not going to die if those needs are not met, but I am going to physically uncomfortable and unable to sleep soundly. If I were to let my child CIO, it would be like saying that his needs are not important and that to me is disrespectful. To quote Dr. William Sears on the sleep trainers, "Parents let me caution you. Difficult problems in child rearing do not have easy answers. Children are too valuable and their needs too important to be made victims of cheap, shallow advice".

9. Deep sleep from cry it out is often a result of trauma


Babies who are left to cry it out do sometimes fall into a deep sleep after they finally drop off. And their parents and sleep trainers will hail this as a success of the CIO method. However, babies and young children often sleep deeply after experiencing trauma. Therefore, the deep sleep that follows CIO shouldn't be seen as proof that it works. Rather, it should be seen as a disturbing shortcoming.

10. Our World Needs More Love


Rates of depression are skyrocketing. Violent and senseless crimes are on the rise. As human beings, we need to spend more time being there for each other, showing compassion, nurturing our children. Learning that you can't count on your parents to be there when you need them is a tough lesson to learn that early in life and can be a root of many of the social problems we are facing today. I want to give my kids every chance possible of escaping depression and staying away from violence. And I'm convinced that nurturing them and responding to their needs at night, as I do during the day, is the first step in the right direction.

Those are our reasons for not using the cry it out method. What are yours?

Do you need some gentle sleep tips? See Gentle Baby and Toddler Sleep Tips

Sources:

The following sources were used in the development of this post:

Note: Please note that not all of these sources look specifically at crying it out. Some of them look at the risks of excessive crying in general. It is my opinion that excessive crying is excessive crying, whether it happens at night or not. Also, as I discussed in my follow-up post Cry it Out (CIO): Is it harmful or helpful? and Another Academic Weighs in on CIO there is no evidence that cry it out is safe, despite what its supporters will tell you.

Image credit: Anna Szozda on flickr

 

 

   

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Reader Comments (474)

Wonderful article. I totally agree. As a child of CIO I fear that I have been adversly affected by the method. Albeit a lot has happened since my baby days but that being said, I have an insecure attatchment style as an adult. The CIO was the only thing my mum did differently to my siblings who have secure attatchment styles. Makes me wonder. As a teenager, I never went to my parents for help, instead turning to self harm, anorexia, and substances to aleeviate my anxiety. Later diagnised with borderline personality disorder, it took many years of therapy to master how I nautrally thought. I had to re learn to trust people again, including my parents. I now have a fiance and a beautiful baby girl. I will never let her cries go unanswered.

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKrystal Smith

I've heard that there are no long-term damaging effects to cry-it-out.

February 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Aversa

I haven't read deeply enough all of the research about release of cortisol or long term effects of CIO or the articles arguing against those findings. I never really had to go that far because I've known CIO isn't for me long before I had a baby. People say things like that all of the time and change their mind when they have kids, but after having my little sweetie, this has not changed in the slightest. In fact my instinct to be there for her when she cries has gotten stronger.
I'm a big believer in maternal instinct. My instinct tells me that she needs me to comfort her, that it's cruel to ignore her needs and that gently and over time I could encourage her to become more independent and to get herself to sleep.
My sweetie is not a deep sleeper. She wakes a lot, but every week things seem a little better. I use a routine, I let her fuss a bit (but not cry), both at night and in the day, I increasingly soothe her with my voice and with rubs on her back to see if she wants me or not, in short I read my baby, and I give her opportunity to grow into her independence in her own time. I nurse her a lot at night and hold her for a lot of time. I am losing sleep. But that's part of being a mother. It doesn't really matter to me that there may be long term effects of CIO, I am concerned even with the short term...it's unkind to let a baby lay and cry with no understanding about why their mother won't come. That's enough reason for me.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbarista

While CIO should not be used as an excuse to not love and care for your child, there is a place for crying. Sometimes children just won't sleep on their own and need to learn to sleep on their own. Our first child simply would not sleep on his own. We let him cry it out for 30 minutes one night, 8 minutes the next, and the occassional nap after that. Our most recent baby, has to cry for 10-15 minutes to fall asleep sometimes. We would have never known that he could sleep on his own except that we patiently tried to see. So unless you want to be holding your baby to take naps still when he's 6 months old? Or if you want to have serious sleep issues for years to come, I recommend letting them cry sometimes. Again, NOT as a substitute for naturally caring for them, but to help them learn to sleep on their own. And is your baby going to have serious emotional stress for the rest of his life because you allow him to cry in order to learn to fall asleep? I doubt it. Remember that you are also caring and loving him throughout the wake hours too.

March 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

With 8 children I've only resorted to CIO a handful of times. They're fine. Oldest is 15 with no side effects as of yet. We're have a very close relationship and no suicidal thoughts. Each to their own. If it works for you, great. I'm sure your kids will be fine. If not then don't do it. One thing just to counter-argue you could say that a child that has never CIO grows up to be a spoiled rotten, self centered child. But..that's just the other extreme. I don't think CIO every now and again is going to kill a child. If that's how you must do it EVERY time they cry then there will be problems. This article is a bit extreme though.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersteph

Sounds like this all is your opinion...this article is a bit extreme. I think people like this make parents doubt their ALREADY hard decision to HELP their baby goto sleep. It will involve your baby CIO to some extent. But co-sleeping is much more harmful in the long run. Listen to your doctors...quit listening to these google "docs" trying to give you their "expert" advice!!

August 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterProudDad

I agree that CIO is not ok when a baby is very young (under 6 months). However, this had to be my last resort with my daughter when she turned 6 months & she's 2 1/2 now. I originally refused to do CIO, and would get pissed, especially when she was so young as 11 weeks (like an earlier poster said) when people pressured me to let her cry. But, our daughter was EXTREMELY fussy & colicky! We bed shared, she nursed in bed & had her freedom to nurse as much as she wanted. She would fall asleep on the nipple & if it fell out of her mouth, she'd wake up screaming her brains out. She "slept" a max of 30 min - 1 hour at a time, day & night. My husband and I were so sleep deprived and seriously on the verge of divorce. I would have to pace the floor with her all night to get her to fall asleep for that maybe 1 hour of sleep, then she'd wake, nurse, and the 2 hours+ of rocking, swinging, pacing the floor to get her back to sleep would start all over again. At 6 months one night my daughter woke every 10 min!!! We have her every medication we could find; mylocon, colic calm, any GERD prescription we'd gotten.... NOTHING worked. We bought a ton of different swaddles, tried a special bouncy bed, you name it. I seriously thought about leaving my family. Just disappearing! We hired a no cry baby nurse to teach us one night. I read every book..... In this case what can you do?!?! We didn't let her cry every single night till today..... It took about 3 nights to get her to stop crying. And that crying was never more than 45 min, and we did go in to pat her or rub her throughout that time. She was cuddled all day, fed, clean diaper, bedtime routine done & that's when we let her cry. It was painful for us too. But at 6 months and after worrying that I'd crash our car driving on zero sleep I finally tried CIO. I'm sorry but it was the best decision and our only one left. I could have cared less about personal time with the husband.... We just wanted sanity back and for us to all sleep. My daughter was massively sleep deprived too. CIO was so hard for us all, but, today she's a perfect sleeper, she's healthy, confident, highly intelligent, loving and very independent & head strong! I just think there are circumstances that not everyone has to dealt with. Consider my perspective. And remember we did bed share!

September 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke

Hi there!

I'm new to this blog and this was the first one I have read. While I love the extent of research,I have to disagree that CIO method is completely emotionally/mentally unsafe. I know exactly where you are coming from, with regards to respecting the needs of your child - when they are "crying" out. I myself tried CIO method - advice from my old fashioned mother - but I couldn't take it. I did, however, allowed my baby to cry for a couple minutes before running in to sooth her. My sister on the other hand used CIO method on both her children (4yr and 2yrs). I think it is safe to say as long as the child is not neglected in any other way CIO might be the only other option for some parents.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteraapollock1

I'm a firm believer that you should treat your children, when they're small and dependent, the way you want them to treat you when you're OLD and dependent. Teach them it's OK to ignore and they will ignore you, teach them it's OK to neglect and they will neglect you, teach them your needs and convenience are more important than their needs and they will show u the same...in time. Too many Western parents end up alone and 'crying it out' in miserable rest homes wondering why their children don't come to see them...?? Is it just a coincidence or are these elderly parents just getting their own version of CIO, and who do they have to blame but themselves? Look at cultures where babies are cherished, nurtured and treated with respect...the elderly are treated similarly. CIO should feel wrong to every parent.

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commenternubnubmum

I have just come across this article as my sister is having trouble with her 2 month old not sleeping apart from in her arms, and my advice to her was to try the CIO method. She told me you're not meant to do this until atleast 6 months which prompted me to look for articles on why. I used this on my daughter when she was 6 weeks old, and it worked a treat. If babies are fed, nappy changed, warm, happy AND can go to sleep in your arms, they can do the same in a bassinet or cot. The only thing they are 'needing' is the hugs. That's fine, of course give your baby as much hugs as you want, but if it's happening hours at a time and you can't get anything done, you need to make changes. Babies DO manipulate their parents, and that is a classic example. This article isn't based on facts and it seems like it is simply scaremongering. I myself was attachment parented and I have a myriad of problems that stem from it. My mother was doing what she thought best at the time but it was wrong for me. All of what you are referring to CIO children, happened to me - an attachment parented child. My daughter is the complete opposite. She is not damaged. She is independent. We have the closest bond imaginable. I love my daughter with all of my being and the CIO method worked for US. I have come from both sides, and I am not at all saying attachment parenting is wrong, it may be right for SOME people, just not ALL people, and that's the same with CIO parenting. If you try CIO it does not mean your child is doomed to a life of misery and suicidal thoughts like this article suggests.

July 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLulu

I have to say...I am a VERY unhappy person when I haven't had enough sleep. I do let my 6 month old cry for twenty minutes before she falls asleep most nights and have done so since she was 3 months old. She started consistently sleeping through the nights when she was about 4 months old. This has really worked well for our family. I am a much more loving, present mother after 8 hours of sleep, and my daughter seems to be perfectly happy.

August 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Seriously thank you for this post. Despite all of the facts I've read and articles and studying I did in college, my family still insists that I am spoiling my 3 month old and that he NEEDS to cry it out in order to be a healthy functioning and independent adult someday. Even the thought of him having to cry it out makes me uncomfortable. Sometimes with all the pressure I question my instincts but thankfully for articles like this I can stay strong for what I feel is right. Thank you!!!!

September 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterL's Mom

I posted this on another thread and will copy it here as well,hopefully it helps some poor judged soul

Wow, this post makes me glad that I'm the type of person that reads and does my own research rather than rely on whatever the next fad doctor comes up with. It's a good business really, I should get into it.

Attachment parenting/ mainstream parenting, what a load of hogwash....extremist nonsense. I'll coin my own term...instinctive parenting, yep, I'll copyright that term. As in Use your heads people! Stop looking for handbooks on how to raise your children! You know what's crazy, you already know how to! It's ingrained in your brain, even the most primitive animal knows how to instinctively care for its young. And nature is a great teacher, she lets us know what to do if only we were paying attention. Baby cries? Feed it, or burp it or clean it, night time? Sleep! Sunrise....wake up! Baby grows teeth, time to wean, baby can walk, talk run, time to teach it( Gasp!) independence! Oh bloody goodness what a concept!

Human beings, like all other animals are adapted to survive our environment. Like it or not attachment or mainstream whatever the heck you label yourself your children will grow up and actually do NOT need you to coddle them all the way to adulthood. All the protecting in the world won't keep them from their nature....all the ' training' in the world won't make them any more independent that they are meant to be at any given point.

But they will adapt...to any and every situation they are in and will compensate and make adjustments lots of times subconsciously based on their environments. If you think that a child will somehow be harmed because of using a stroller or crib you are very misguided. Birds build nests to hold their babies. I guess that makes kangaroo's better parents because they carry their Joey everywhere.

I come from an eastern third world culture...the kind doctor sears likes to point to in his research and I can tell you that the reason women wear their babies where I'm originally from is because they have no choice. They have to wake up at dawn to work their farms, fetch their water from rivers, cook and clean,while their husbands go off to do manual work and look to sell or kill something miles away in some market. Day cares not exist and everyone has work to do so take your baby with you. They have no strollers as they can't afford them, they don't have cribs because those are luxuries they can't fathom. They can't put their kids down because they have no choice, not because they are "attachment parenting", their share beds because they have one bed for the family and baby isn't old enough to sleep on the floor with the other kids. They breast feed for at least a year because food is scarce, breast milk is cheap and grains they eat are hard on the young baby's stomach.....cause that's mostly all they have to eat...grains....the kind that would be horse ( or for some reason Cow or chicken) feed here.The women tend to their babies 24/7 because in these parts, that is their job. Their whole reason for life. It's women's work, men don't tend to babies.

But that said even in these cultures that would seem like a utopia for some misguided folks here children are taught independence as soon as they are old enough to be independent. Not for the parents convenience ( laughable concept in those parts btw.... That word doesn't even exist in our language) but because it is ESSENTIAL for their survival.
These kids grow up just fine, well adjusted, happy and completely oblivious that somewhere in pleasant hills America some young woman views his mother's lack of options and consequent adaptations as some kind of ....I dunno, superior way to parent.

I hate to break it to you all kangaroos but you aren't doing anything special. Your kids won't be special or better for it. They will adapt to what your doing and go on to be the people they were going to be anyway.
Stop spending all this time pointing at the birdies.... They actually know what they are doing.

Sorry if I sound upset, this westernized way of romanticizing things annoys the crap out of me. And this need to put things in boxes and categorize things that don't need categorizing. Everybody use your heads. You all know how to parent, it's encoded in you, stop drinking the kook aid already, get of the internet, read some books....old ones... Preferably about evolution and natural selection. Watch a documentary and turn off Dr, Oz or sears or Ferber or whatever other male "experts" on parenting.

Annoying. If I spelled wrong sue me. I speak a few languages...

September 20, 2014 | Chez moi

September 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChez moi

This is exactly why I refuse to cry it out. I have two stepsons that were "difficult" babies according to my husband and they used the cry it out method and while they are intelligent for their age, I can see the psychological effects of CIO reflecting in their inability to handle "not getting their way" and how they handle stressful situations. The family chalks it up to personality traits but I've taken my fair share of psychology classes to know that that is not a "personality trait". How you handle situations isn't just the way you are, it's the way you were trained to handle them. My mom refused to do the CIO method with me and I can honestly say that I find ways to de-stress and ways that I know work. I'm not sitting in a corner rocking back and forth balled up.

November 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKD

Thanks so much for your post. I come from south América, I have never ever Heard of such a thing as cry out method until I moved to Australia...(Because I married my Dear Aussie Husband)...we often get invited for dinners sometimes to his friends houses & you can hear the screams of their children from the living room :( I used to tell them, hey your baby is crying! And the response will be, yes, she/he is learning to settle himself/herself to sleep :(... Dios mio poor thing! .... And they will talk about this books that teach these things even offer to write the author name for us.... I do respect all parents but I could not have done that! It will go against my instinct as a prime carer...Where I come from the majority of people is poor, most of mothers work all day selling food of little staff in the streets... They walk for hours carrying their babies in their back, but often I see that as soon as the baby cries they pull them from the back to the front to confort them...also I never heard of so much depression and anxiety than when I moved here and start leaving here, I understand that here there is more access to medical care and people get the diagnostics, but still seems a lot.... We are poor and our life is 100 times harder but mothers and people in general seem happier .... When I told my mum (old Spanish lady!) abouth this methods she said she hear about it on TV and could not believe it....Just sharing some other cultural views....Anyway God bless all of us! We all try to do our best!

January 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterIne

Thank you for writing this. I am so saddened and horrified by the mommies around me "sleep training" their babies at 3 weeks, 3 months, 6 months. If I wouldn't put my baby alone in a room and ignore her cries during the day, why is it okay at night? So Mommy can go on FB and drink wine? And thank you for pointing out that we expect/need comfort and love from our husbands at night, so it is so strange to deny that to our tiny babies.

January 25, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterliobhan

Hi,

I did a modified CIO method with my son and I have not seen any of these issues that you identified here in the blog. I think you need to be careful when using secondary sources to summarize research. It is best to go right to the research article and look at the methodologies to ensure that they are valid studies or if the results of their studies were valid (I mean valid academically). I believe that some of these "results" are very over exaggerated and may cause fear when there is none. If you don't feel comfortable using this method, that's absolutely fine. But I feel like your post could be misguiding.

January 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterValid research?

I know that this is an old post, but it was so needed today. My 2.5 is a horrible sleeper still, and has literally (not once) slept through the night. I had everyone telling me that we needed to CIO including his ped, but I would not. Could not. He would cry and scream and throw up, and I vowed never again. Fast forward to my now 6 month old, who up until this point has napped in his swing or carrier. Outgrowing the swing put me in a bit of a panic, and in that mindset decided that CIO might work for naps (we cosleep at night). As I write this, after "only" 20 minutes of crying for 1 day, I am in tears and I am vowing never ever ever again. The fact that my 2 year old was sobbing and trying desperately to bring his baby brother his toys, blanket, etc. confirms that even he knows it is not ok. So thank you for making me feel like I am not the only person who refuses to do CIO, and who agrees that eventually "this shall pass."

February 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

This article is ridiculous. You claims have no scientific merit. No, I have never used the CIO method with my kids as I was lucky they were both good sleepers. Who are you to judge if someone does use it? You are free to be against CIO but the fact that you are telling parents it can cause brain damage or ADHD is completely bogus. You are a fearmonger who is doing a complete disservice to other Moms.

April 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAda

This article is ignorant.

September 2, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbook

It is really very informative post.If anyone want to buy high quality baby stroller you may contact with us.We will provide unique baby stroller.

October 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJakson

Hi! Thanks for your article. First let me say that I don't agree with the CIO method. I just don't have the heart for it and I think it's the wrong approach. Babies need us and they cry to call us. That said, in my stupider days we did use the CIO method with my first daughter. It didn't take long, it worked, and today she is 16 and the smartest most well adjusted child you will meet. I realize this is anecdotal but I sort of question whether the list of consequences here is far overblown. If it were true that sustained crying leads to all those negative consequences, how do you account for the fact that a large number of babies will have bouts of sustained crying even when their parents do everything In their power to soothe them? So called colic or what's now becoming known as purple crying. This is just the way of things and is beyond our control in such cases.

November 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Folster

I am so glad to read this article . It's exactly what I've been telling parents for the last few years. And I see the results of parents who let their babies cry out . These kids have often learning problems and in general other disturbing behavior problems. My husbands family all go to CiO method (which i think is a very selfish method because you have your own sleep in mind and not your babies) and I see the difference in my children's remarks and the ones from their poor cousins which were sleep trained at the early age of 3-4 months with crying for hours until they fell asleep. I have also a next door neighbor who is letting their baby cry out for hours and hours already for several months and they don't give up !!! Neither does the child it seems and I just feel so bad , I think this is child neglect and we keep on waking up from their babies cry . I advice if you don't want to give up on your sleep for few years , give up of having babies!

March 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMaya

My child needed about 5 minutes of holding and rocking or walking around (any soft motion) to relax and then I could put her in her crib. My nanny did the same. There were days when she was sick and needed 10-15 minutes, but never very long. She woke me up once at night to nurse, some kids need one feeding at night, my child is in the 99th percentile in height, she grows so quickly but doesn't eat large quantities of food at a time, so she needs to eat more often. Parents have to take their child's particular physiological needs when making decisions about their child's sleeping routines. Then I decided that at 6 months, when my child could sit up and crawl, she would do well in a home-based daycare with a few other kids, and where it would have a cozy homy feeling. I visited 18 daycares, including 3 daycare centers, and found one close to my work which was nice, clean, the people were nice and assured me that holding my child for 5-10 minutes was totally fine, that it's normal for babies to want to be held to help them relax. They did that for the first 3 or 4 weeks, then they had more kids enrolled and decided that they no longer had time to hold my child and decided to try letting her cry herself to sleep, that she would learn to soothe herself. They never asked me if it was OK, they in fact knew that I was against it. They had just hired an early childhood education new grad who thought she knew it all, and she tried CIO on my child, went back into the room every 10 minutes, etc and it never worked. I noticed a sharp change in behavior in my child. First she was overtired, aggressive, very clingy, I had to hold her all the time, when I showed up in the morning, she wanted nothing to do with that young woman who was letting cry, and soon, wanted nothing to do with anyone else. After 3 weeks of that, I started showing up during the day around nap time. They always had a few windows opened so I could listen in before knocking on the door, and I heard my child cry and scream from the top of her lungs, I kept thinking someone would pick her up and care for her, but it kept going. After 5 minutes, I was expecting a phone call because I had told them to call me if she cried for 5 minutes and they could not soothe her, I told them I worked close by and could drop in to care for my child. I was willing to do it because at home, it was extremely rare that she would cry for 5 minutes, she hadn't done so since she was about 10 weeks old, which is the peek time for crying bouts (according to the author of "The Happiest Baby On The Block"). But the call never came, and I started to feel sick and very angry, part of me wanted to hit those people, I had to take a deep breath and calm down, and I went in, picked up my child who was all red, soaked with tears, was hiccuping uncontrollably for 2-3 minutes. The ladies at daycare told me she had just woken up, that my knock on the door must had woken her up... I told them that I had been outside for about 10 minutes, told them how they were liars, incompetent, disrespectful, child neglecters, and should be ashamed of being in the child care business. Some people are just too selfish and lazy to care for children, that's the bottom line. I took my child out of there immediately, I took time off and got a nanny. Expensive, but well worth it. As for long term effects, my child had become very clingy, she still is clingier now at 2 years old than what she was when she started daycare. She is back to her happy self, but has nightmares that started while she was at daycare, she has them less frequently now, but she screams (words sometimes) and when I look at her, I realize she is still sleeping and having nightmares. She wakes up once per night, still nursing and still growing fast. When she is sick, she wakes up 2 or 3 times per night, I never let her cry, I've gotten used to it actually, and she is sick a few weeks during flu season, and that's basically it, so I tough it up, it is totally worth that my child knows she can count on her mom when she is sick and needs help and comfort. I also make sure she doesn't have fever, and if she does, that it stays in check and I give her child meds if needed.
The few studies I've seen out there that state that there is no long-term impact of CIO are small and very narrow in terms of the number of criteria that they track, their evaluations are not very thorough.
My personal experience is that the CIO that my child went through made her needier when it comes to going to sleep. She is needier now than she was at 6 months old before she started that daycare.
I completely agree with all of the statements in this post, and have read at the related links at the bottom. My experience with my child is totally in line with those statements.
My child will start soon in a good quality pre-school only 2 mornings per week, for social development. There is no need for that before 2 years of age, I've chosen to wait until she is 2 and a half, because her vocabulary is much better now and will still improve by then, she will be able to better express what she needs then an infant would. I don't intend on sending her to pre-school in the afternoon until she is done napping during the day because daycares totally suck when it comes to getting kids to sleep, they want to spend the least time possible on each child because they have multiple kids to care for.
The first few years of a child's life are critical to the development of their sense of self, their self worth, their confidence. The people who claim that CIO has no long-term impact haven't looked at how those kids' self confidence was affected. And confidence matters a lot when it comes to achieving one's full potential. Kids grow so quickly, it's really worth making the effort to give them the best possible start. It is sad for some of those kids that their parents don't believe their kids are worth this effort and prefer to hide behind some books that glorify some version of the Ferber method to justify not putting the necessary effort to bring up an emotionally, mentally and physically healthy child who will be confident and will believe that he/she is worthy of achieving great things in their lives and be happy.

December 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDanika

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