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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)

Amen - Mama does know best. Well put! :)

September 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

I went to a Dr Sears talk last night (yay for Dr Sears!) and he mentioned that there's no data to confirm that it isn't harmful to let a child CIO. I'm just surprised that we are so cautious about avoiding things like SIDS, allergenic foods, etc etc with our babies but (as a society) we accept something that is so obviously distressing to the child (and the parents!) because of wanting to make them "independent" or assuming that they're not sleeping enough....we wouldn't teach our kids ANYTHING else by making them this upset.

September 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLizette

I am with you Holly,

I have used the cry method with 2 out of 3 of my boys, though they are very different personalities the cry method has never hurt them. I am very sad to hear other moms putting down another way of parenting. I am not saying that anyone is wrong in doing things differently, this is just what worked for us. They are feed, changed, cuddled before I put them down and are now really good sleepers. My oldest on the other hand I held, rocked coddled to sleep EVERY night and when I couldnt transfer him into his bed he slept with us. This was having an impact on everyone in the house, my husbands and my relationship, my sleep amount and his sleep amount. We were all sleep deprived and cranky. It took almost 4 years to break this habit that had been formed. So there are negatives to each point of view. Now all my boys get a good nights rest and so do my husband and I and we can be more productive happy parents in the morning.

I am not saying what so ever that it is ok to let your baby/child be left uncontrollably crying to the point of vomiting or shaking and any human being should know that. When all the needs are met before putting a baby down to sleep and I am there to meet the HAPPY little one when they wake up there is no from of neglect in my mind. I have never let my kids cry for more the 5 mins when they either fall asleep on their own (with out any crying on most occasions). They are always comforted and put back to bed. It makes for a happier household.

There are many "RIGHT" ways to raise a child, every mother is different and every baby is different. There are lots of different books and opinions out there, you cant get everything you need to know out of 1 book. "It takes a village to raise a child". You know your baby and its cries better then any one, take the advice you need and leave the rest behind. I do not believe I am in any way a neglectful mom and do not appreciate anyone else thinking or saying so, I live for my children and will do anything for them, you can ask any one I know. I am not raising a serial killer because I let them cry sometimes. My boys are very independent, happy, polite little boys, though they are not perfect they are not horrible either. There, I think I said my piece!

September 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristina Petigrew

Just wanted to add something that Dr Sears said last night re:CIO. I'm paraphrasing:

"The parents who lose sleep because of their children now are the ones who refuse to do CIO. But it will pay off when they're teenagers and you have good communication with them. Your CIO friends will then complain of children who won't talk to them, won't talk about their feelings, won't tell them where they're going. Unfortunately, all the sleep they got when they were doing CIO will be lost as they worry nights away about their teenagers."

Of course, this isn't a guarantee. But an interesting thought. My sister was made to CIO and has many issues with expressing her emotions, especially as a teen. I know of other stories (friends) who have made the same observations with themselves or siblings.

September 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLizette

I think we are going to have to agree to disagree. I never wrote on this site with the intention of trying to change anyone's mind, simply to put out there that CIO DOES WORK for some people. I find it amazing that all along, I've said it's up to the mother to know what's best for her child, yet those who oppose my opinion are so heavy-handed in their response to my views. It would do you all a lot of good to open your minds to the idea that not all kids are the same, not all are going to be damaged goods because of CIO, and not all are going to be saints because you coddled them every time they wimpered. Having said that, I'm finished. I hope you all enjoy your children and watch them grow into wonderfully happy, productive adults! Take care!

September 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

I get that not everyone agrees with what I wrote here or my reasoning, but it is completely laughable what some people will take from it. I just read a message board post that claims that I said CIO leads to drug use:

http://community.babycenter.com/post/a15270975/cio_leads_to_drug_use_in_the_future.

Um....no....I said that if you do CIO, it can harm the parent-child relationship, and if they are dealing with a problem like drugs in the future, they might be less likely to go to their parents for help. I didn't say that CIO leads to drug use.

...and always nice to hear that I am notorious:

"Ha, PhD in parenting is notorious for that shit."

Thanks for a good laugh this morning.

September 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I don't think anyone here argues that CIO doesn't "work" if working means you make your kid sleep without your help...I think what most anti-CIOers take issue with is, "it works, but at what cost?" You can tell me it "works", you can say "my kid's fine"...but really, the jury's out until they get older..as with other things in parenting (as PHD in Parenting mentioned - who knows what I've done wrong now that will sneak up on me in 12 years?). Like I said, there really are no guarantees of anything. But I will go to my child when they wake at night, at 2 1/2 she now STTN, and she did it on her OWN time and at her own comfort level. Sleep is a happy time, her bed is a safe and happy place, and it now takes 10 minutes to get her to sleep (she was previously a once per hour waker.

My parenting hours don't end at 8pm, tending to my child's needs and reassuring her and making her feel safe and important is NOT coddling. If she whimpers, I listen...knowing she might just resettle herself into sleep. If she calls for me I come, If she cries for me I'm there. My door is open if she wants to crawl into bed with me, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

She shows me she's more and more independent every day. When she's in college I'll fondly remember curling up together and cherish those moments when only mummy & daddy could make it better. I won't bemoan a few months/years of interrupted sleep.

September 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLizette

I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for putting into words things that I could not put my finger on. Thank you for validating the nagging notion at the back of my head that said, "This doesn't feel right..."
When my first born was almost a year old, my mother came to help me with some house work. I was almost 9 months pregnant with my second child at the time, and I had put my firstborn up to bed for a nap in the afternoon. He was not ready, and being a brand new parent all I knew was there were things I had to get done while I had the help. He started to cry, and I thought, "Okay, I'll go back in 5 minutes to hold him and then try again..." After 5 minutes, he had started screaming. I started up the stairs, and my mother came flying out of the kitchen with the dishtowel in her hand and said to me, "STOP. You stop right there. No child ever died from crying. This is a power struggle - You go up there to him, and he owns you. You come back down here, and let that child go to sleep, or I'll have to go." I remember my breath catching in my throat at the thought of letting my baby continue to cry when I never had before. I listened for the type of cry he was into, the scream cry, and just knew it wasn't right, but I felt I had no choice. I felt that if my mom left, I would never get the area for the second baby's birth ready. I knew I wouldn't get another chance to have help clearing away everything that had been the result of our recent move. I didn't go up to get my baby. I think it took him about fifteen minutes to finally calm down and settle to sleep, but it was the worst fifteen minutes of my life. Worse still, a new concept was born to my new parent brain. It was "don't listen to your innermost instincts. Don't feel the need to be gentle all the time. Do what you must, whatever the cost." That night, I went to put my one year old to bed at 8pm. Again, he was not ready, and it didn't even occur to me that the trauma of the cio in the afternoon would still be with him. I laid him down where he began crying immediately, and I left. I stopped my husband from going up the stairs to get him, saying much the same thing that my mother said to me. My baby cried for an hour.
Fast forward 3 months, we started to see developmental problems. He was being overly aggressive with us - squeezing our necks with his hands when we would hug him, biting, head banging and spinning. At 18 months we were told there was a potential problem, and he had some severe development delays. At 22 months my son was diagnosed with Autism. I'm not saying that CIO caused his condition, but what I am saying is that it was the worst possible parenting method for a child who uses totally different think patterns than other children. He was already in a segregated world; He didn't need us to put him in another one at bedtime. He experienced horrible night terrors, and was beyond consolable at times, even long after we had abandoned the method. Since this 3 month stint of cio we have not attempted it again. I will never ever use or condone the use of this method, and I would MUCH rather be one of those "absurd" parents who army crawls out of their child's bedroom for the sake of the child's mental safety. Just because you can not SEE the damage, like you can with a bruise or a bite, does not mean it is not there contributing and exacerbating pre-existing conditions that simply cannot be predicted. It is MY shame that I tried it at all; It is MY shame that I allowed myself to be convinced of its safety; It is MY shame that I may have deepened or worsened my son's sense of loss and dis-empowerment, making him feel disrespected as a person at such a young tender age.
I think the entire world would benefit from taking a deep breath, taking a step back from defensive positions on controversial topics and just simply asked themselves, "Do babies, BABIES, deserve to be treated with gentleness and respect JUST during the day? Or should that be a mantra for their existence as a total experience? If a baby could talk, and said mama please don't, would you listen then?"
BE GENTLE. BE KIND. You don't know how you will grow to regret your decisions, when those are options you are not utilizing. When my father was 6, his brother died of SIDS. They didn't recognize shaking a crying baby as a danger back then; In 50 years, we now recognize and cringe at the notion of "Shaken Baby Syndrome". 50 years from now, will there also be pamphlets available about the mental and emotional dangers and damages that result from CIO? Just in case, it's a practice I for one will never be a part of again.

September 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

What are your thoughts on crying in a carseat? I have relatives that I rely on for support (giving me some time for self-care) and in order to keep PPD at bay (had it last time, seeing hints of it this time) we need to get out at least once a day (not to mention getting some social time for my toddler). Thing is, my second DD is only 6 weeks old and many times getting from A to B she will cry in her carseat. I feel awful about this, and if the trip is long (30 - 45 minutes like it is to my Mom's house) I'll stop midway, nurse and start up again. This doesn't always work.

I feel like I'm already making my 6 week old CIO, she can't possibly understand that Mommy needs to get us here or there safely....

Went through some screaming in the car today and thought of your blog...thoughts?

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLizette

So basically, this Dr. Sears is saying that not using the CIO method means you have better communication with your kids when they are teens. Any proof for that? I'm 30, and 1 of 4 kids my parents have. They let all of us CIO (within reason) and we all have and always have had great open communication with both of our parents.

There are so many other factors that determine your relationship with your kids. Letting your infant/toddler cry seems fairly insignificant compared to other elements of the parent/child relationship:

- Are you involved in their free time, school, hobbies?
- Do you have regular playtime with them, with no distractions?
- Are you constantly teaching them, helping them experience the who, what, where, why and hows of life?
- Do you challenge them to think critically and form their own opinions?
- When they ask a question, do you stop to answer or just give the "just because" type answer?

Your communication with your kids is dependant on them trusting you and feeling comfortable with you. That relationship forms over time and is your responsibility to nurture. Don't simplify that relationship down to whether or not you let them cry-it-out as an infant/toddler. It is only one tiny piece of the puzzle.

At the end of the day, everyone has their own parenting style, whether it's their own, something they read in books/internet articles or a hybrid of the two. There are benefits and drawbacks to every method. Do what feels right for you.

Eric (a living example that CIO is not evil)

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEMD

After reading some of the judgemental, absolute almost mean spirited comments from *some* the anti CIO crowd, I feel I need to weigh in. Every child and every family is different so different things work for different families. Sometimes after you have adressed their needs, comforted them and let them know you are there, it becomes necessary to let them cry (for a reasonable amount of time that is). We tried several other ways with my son and this was a last resort. We believe that the marriage bed is sacred and special and so we do not cosleep except on rare occasions. To us, our marriage must be healthy first and foremost for us to raise a healthy well adjusted child. It only took a couple of times and now he sleeps wonderfully and is very a very social, healthy, well adjusted, 2 year old who loves and is very attached to his mommy and daddy. Even during the day sometimes we had to let him cry once his needs were met. As much as we all want to, we are not going to be able to shield our kids from every little disappointment and negative emotion they will experience as they grow, nor is it always healthy to do so, especially when they are older but we can build strong relationships with the and teach them to objectively deal with the world around them and still thrive. The way to do that depends on the family and what works for them. So while, you emphatically state that these are the reasons "YOU" do not practice CIO, you go on to post all of these one sided absolute statements that leave no room for dissent. Oh, you can diagree, but if you do you are going against the "research done by the experts" and of course THEY are ALWAYS right! I don't disagree that they make some valid points and that is what works for some children and their families BUT there is more than one way to raise and child and children are absolutely garanteed to be condemned to a life of hell and misery because a parent may choose to do it another way. Yet, most of those have diagreed have done so respectfully and encouraged parents to do whatever works for their family. Is it too much to ask for the same courtesy?

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRochelle

@Lizette:

The car can be tough when your little one doesn't like it at all. Long car rides are the reason that we decided to give our kids pacifiers. If it weren't for the car, I don't think there would ever have been a need. But I can't drive and nurse at the same time, so out came the pacifier. But in addition to that, we use a mirror so that the baby can see us, we talk to the baby, put on kids music (Sesame Street, Elmo's song in particular, worked wonders for both of our kids). While I don't like crying in the car and do what I can to avoid or minimize it, the big difference for me is that my baby knows that I am right there in the car. But it is tough...

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

@Rochelle:

I am not trying to shield my children from every negative emotion, but I will be there to help them work through those negative emotions until they learn to do so on their own. I won't force them to do so on their own. Whether at night or during the day, if they need to cry, they can cry. But I will be there with them to console them and help them express what they don't yet have the words to say.

You say, "once you have addressed their needs, comforted them and let them know you are there, it becomes necessary to let them cry" [alone I assume]. That is where I disagree. You felt that in order to meet your conditions of having your baby sleep where you wanted him to sleep and when you wanted him to sleep, you needed to do that. However, that was about your needs. I'm not saying that parents needs are worth nothing. They do need to be met too. But you did have a choice and you made a different choice than I would make because I believe the things that I wrote in this post. If you do not, then I will respectfully encourage you to do whatever works for your family and hope that I am wrong.

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Except for particular babies, CIO works.

I doubt many people are aguing against that.

But as a humane society, we don't make choices based on what 'works' we make choices based on what is respectful and good for the well being of our children.

It would work really well if we tied them up and put them in a closet. Boy, we'd get a lot of cleaning done!

It would work great if we dosed them with Benadryl whenever we were tired of picking up after them!

It would work if we fed them crap so they'd eat.

Lots of things 'work.'

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Yes Jessica and others, but again that is YOUR opinion that CIO is disrespectful to the child undermines communication and is in essence abandonment. You DO NOT live in my household, know nothing about me and are NOT raising my child so please state you opinion but keep you judgment to yourself. This has nothing to do with feeding kids crap or giving them Benadryl or tying them up and putting them in a closet so we can get the cleaning done. I don't even know why you brought this up. What it IS about is different styles of parenting. There is no one "RIGHT" way to do things and letting children cry (within limits after their needs are met is NOT the same as abuse or abandonment as you are trying to make it out to be. I would never tell YOU not to do the things you are doing based on one person's school of thought especially if I did not know anything about you. You are not going to change my mind on this so just stick what what you believe in and RESPECT what I believe in.

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRochelle

@Rochelle: Is there a clear line between stating an opinion and judging others? If there is, I haven't found it. Opinions on what constitutes judgment ranges from "http://momstinfoilhat.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/new-improved-mommy-wars-bingo/" rel="nofollow">By defending YOUR parenting priorities, you are attacking mine!!!" all the way to actually calling someone a http://www.phdinparenting.com/2009/06/06/typology-of-the-bad-mother/" rel="nofollow">bad mother. Where do you place the line between opinion and judgment?

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Wow.

Just...wow.

Let me say this...my 13 year old is a well adjusted, happy kid who I allowed to CIO. He was an easy baby but went through a rough patch around 2 m old where he would cry, like clockwork, every night from 11 pm-2 am. Nothing worked. No amount of holding, walking, bouncing, singing, NOTHING.

At one point I was just frazzled, feeling like a rotten parent and so frustrated that I just laid him down and walked away because I couldn't take it anymore. He went to sleep.

We finally began just put him in his crib at that time and leaving him. At first it felt cruel and weird, but after awhile he finally stopped crying in the evenings altogether. We found out later that he was very sensory sensitive, and just needed the QUIET SPACE and no stimulation to calm down. WE were the reason he was crying!

My son and I are very, very close and his bit of crying it out never hurt our relationship at all.

My opinion is every situation is different. What works for one baby/Mom doesn't work for another. Unless you've walked in their shoes, you have no idea.

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScattered Mom

I think the line moves according to the person on the receiving end. It's all in how that person reads/hears it, and may even be different depending on mood or any number of other factors.

The responsibility often falls to the writer/speaker to be non-judgmental, but I think it's an impossible task to say something that will offend absolutely no one.

September 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I'm curious to know what pro-CIO-ers think not having your child CIO entails. Some I've come across mention how co-sleeping doesn't work for them. Others have mentioned how on the verge of mental collapse they were. Not having your child CIO doesn't mean you need to co-sleep and it doesn't mean you must go insane. It means you utilize other, less extreme (shall I say) ways to create harmony in the home.

I learned several non-CIO techniques from the book "The Aware Baby" that might be of interest to some of you. Here's what I took from the book:

-Until babies master language, they express themselves through crying. This is their way of communicating their individual needs, and they should be listened to.

-Sometimes, our society does not place enough importance on allowing babies and children their say or entitling them to their emotions. As a result, some babies are not able to fully release pent up tensions, frustrations, traumas etc. through crying in a safe, loving, understanding environment and so tension builds.

-When a baby has pent up emotions, distracting them from their feelings through food, rocking, entertainment etc. does not make their emotion go away. It only stuffs it down. In some cases, all the baby needs to do is have a good cry while being held and nurtured and allowed the space to cry.

-If the LO is in good health (meaning the crying is not due to a disorder or some sort of physical pain) and if all of his other needs are met: he is fed, changed, does not need soothing or entertainment, try holding the LO in a loving embrace and allowing him to just cry while you validate his feelings and let him know you're there.

-How many of us would have liked/would currently like, a listening and loving shoulder to cry on? Or if you do have such a shoulder to cry on, don't your LO's need and deserve the same thing?

-Give the process time. If the LO had a traumatic birth, is a highly sensitive person, is overstimulated easily, is understimulated, or has experienced some other form of hurt (been bullied, seen his parents fight, etc.), undoing that will probably take more than one try.

-Some, not all, babies really need a healthy release of energy too. Get them out into the sunshine. Let them run around, or if they're still babes in arms, stroll them around and let them check things out. Being cooped up in the house all day will make anyone coo coo.

I utilize this method with my four month old and he goes right to bed at the same time every evening, sleeps 4-6 hour stretches, wakes only to eat and then goes right back to sleep, is confident enough to play by himself for long periods, and is complimented as a very calm and present baby who seems wise beyond his years.

September 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLainya

Lainya,
Thank you for at least being respectful. You are one that I do not mind having an intelligent conversation with. Personally I would prefer not to be labeled. People who are being referred to as CIO advocates are loving caring parents who have usually read lots of books and tried a myriad of things before allowing a child to cry. We are talking just a few minutes and not several hours as some have sensationalized this whole issue. Just like there are a number of variations with your particular philosophy of parenting, there is a wide range of variation and diversity of responses to a child's crying on the other side of the coin. Do not demonize (not talking about you) the other side if you do not know their story or what they are actually doing. FYI, our son did cosleep until the age of 4 months due to reflux. After 4 months we moved hm to a cradle next to our bed. At 6 or 7 months (when he started getting too big for the cradle) we tried him in the crib in his room for short stretches at a time until he started to sleep at least for most of the night. Teething pain woke him up crying pretty frequently some during that time. So we got some all natural teething tablets and my husband and I took turns comforting him and giving him the teething tablets. We got through that and he was sleeping pretty well, but then at about 12-13 months he just started waking up and crying. Again, my husband and I took turns getting up to comfort him and take care of his needs ( I breastfed for 25 months). Sometimes we would sit and rock him for a while, we tried soothing music in his room, yes we put him in our bed some but none of us slept very well including him (he would wake up cranky). I took him to the pediatrician to make sure there were no physical problems. He checked out fine. No medical problems and no more reflux. Since I am a chiropractor, I made sure he was adjusted. We did warm baths and massages at night before bed. I always prayed with him before we went to bed and prayed for a sweet sleep with no nightmares or night terrors (which can happen with toddlers as well as adults). And yes, we did take him outdoors a lot to let him play and expend energy (we live on 2.54 acres). Still he would only sleep for a couple hours and wake up screaming. As long as we were in there with him, he would be fine and dandy but as soon as I would put him down again he would cry. I knew he was sleepy because he would sleep with us holding him. Those were several weeks of extreme frustration and exhaustion for our family. We were sleep deprived from getting up so many times and it was starting to cause problems in our marriage. I felt so alone because we have no family close by and even started doubting myself as a mother. Finally we decided that after we had done the best we could we would have to just let him cry and eventually he had to learn to fall asleep on his own. Now before anyone shoots me with fiery darts, let me explain how we did it. The first time he would start crying one of us would go and hold and comfort him. Then we would tell him "Ok, mommy and daddy need to get some sleep now and so do you. I am going to lay you down and I want you to go back to sleep. You are safe. Mommy and Daddy are right in the next room." If he cried again we would wait about 5 minutes and then get up. This time we would not pick him up but just stand in his room and comfort him verbally. If it happened again, one of us would just stand outside the door so that he could see us (we would not go into the room) and verbally comfort him. After that we would allow him to cry himself to sleep which only lasted at the most 10 minutes. Then he would go on to sleep and would awake bubbly and cheerful in the mornings instead of cranky and we were happier too. It only took a couple times of doing that and he started sleeping all night and falling asleep on his own although I still hold him and rock him every night before putting him to bed even at 2 years old. Up until 4 months ago, I still breastfed him before putting him down for the night. We also read stories and say prayers at this time. It is a special time and I make sure he knows that he is loved but WE not he run the household and determine what time and where he sleeps. This is not a bad thing and it is not disrespectful to his needs. We ARE the parents. He is a very loving, social, and intelligent toddler (knows most of the letters and colors and can count from 1-20) so it did not hurt him to cry a little bit. So before you think the worst and judge someone because they are not doing what you are doing, find out what they ARE actually doing and even if you do not agree, respect their role as a parent who is not perfect and is still learning just like you.

September 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRochelle

And yet, people bash the non-CIO parents all the time. We hear it from ignorant pediatricians, our parents, in-laws, and society telling us, "they'll be too dependent" and other such bologna. Seriously, it is important that people who choose to parent with respect and baby's attachment needs in mind have some support. It can be hard to find. They need to hear, that yes, there is a *reason* it feels wrong to CIO. It is okay to feel this way; we aren't "weak" or "letting the baby walk all over us". We evolved to feel this way for a reason. In a society where people are reported to Child Services for sleeping with their children or nursing them past age 2, it seems laughable to say that no one bashes non-CIO parents.

September 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKrystan

Really excellent, thank you, spreading it around.

September 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

I completely agree that anecdotes will get us nowhere, and there is no way to ever *know* what caused what. Certainly there will be CIO kids that turn out super-secure and everything, and some (like my own dd) who were always responded to that still have lots of anxiety issues. My reasoning has always been, if it *feels* wrong, it most likely *is* wrong. I think babies evolved to *expect* night time company and response; otherwise, we never would have survived the hunter/gatherer stage. It think they were *meant* to freak out when left in the dark alone, and we are *meant* to feel a strong drive to respond to them. I completely believe the research that says CIO messes with their brain chemistry (cortisol, etc), but of course this will have different effects on different individuals. It is not a clear causal relationship. But when every bone in my body tells me it's a wrong, selfish, and disrespectful to do, I have to go with my gut.

September 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKrystan

I appreciate your post Rochelle because, for some time now, I've been meaning to point out that each method has its various extremes and that there are shades of grey in between. I'm sure there are pro CIO-ers who would disagree with each other and that there are anti CIO-ers who could find ways to disagree. Your story exists somewhere in the gray area as it shares a less extreme example of having your child CIO.

It wasn't ever up for debate, but I believe you have shed adequate light on your loving parenting. It sounds like you put some thought into it and tried a less harsh form of CIO. Not everyone out there puts this much thought into it though, and those are the people I really wish to reach.

We're all trying to be the best parents we can be, and how we go about doing that won't always be the same. Not only is every child different, one from the next, but every child goes through different changes as he traverses the various stages of development. I'm personally well aware that my 4 month old won't always have the same sleep patterns or same disposition as he does right now, and that I'll have to adjust as necessary. CIO still isn't for me though.

Lastly, I must say, this discussion reminds me that, when using such an informal and immediate platform such as a computer to communicate, it's best to remember that there is a human being on the other end. This is easier said than done. I have had my moments on comment boards touting my beliefs against the CIO method and I have, I'm sure, come across as judgemental and have done my fair share of labeling. It's not to be hateful, it's just that it's an issue that concerns me very much. I have a bleeding heart that feels the pain of others. When I think of a baby crying alone, I think of how scary and sad the poor little one must feel. Compound my emotions with the research I've read about human development and attachment theory and I'm just rearin' to share that knowledge and be that voice for the babies who can't speak for themselves.

I think from now on I'll pose more questions as to the way people are using the CIO method before I assume they're at the extreme. This way I can pose my response in a way that proves more effectively targeted and in a way that doesn't close people off to my message.

September 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLainya

Let me respectfully say shame on you "phd" for vilifying and scaring well intentioned parents and the real research done by real medical professionals that we base our sleep strategies on. I came across your post not knowing your credentials (or lack of them) and read your outrageous claims one after the other in David Letterman style (a top 10 list, really?) and was immediately terrified that we had taken the wrong path with our daughter and set her up for failure for the duration. Upon further reflection however, I realize your arguments are very thin, speculative and reaching hard to connect nearly every problem a person can have with only one aspect of their upbringing.

I think this is a terrific topic of debate for parents and science in general, but it would be much better if it were done in a spirit of critical insight and understanding rather than your brand of intuitive guesswork and holier-than-thou judgements.

September 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

@Joe: What real research by what real medical professionals are you referring to?

September 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

My son hated the carseat too, for his first year especially. And I felt the same way about him in the carseat as I (and phdinparenting) feel about crying it out--that his crying was a signal that he was distressed. Twice he cried so hard he vomited, while I was on the freeway so couldn't stop, and it still makes me feel awful to think about. So I started avoiding drives unless someone else could do the driving and I could be in the back seat with him. He's finally to the point where he's fine in the car. But I feel for your dilemma, Lizette--it's such a hard thing to be isolated, especially when depression is a factor. When I had to drive with my son I would stop the car multiple times and comfort him, I'd sing the whole time, I'd try to reach one hand back so he could feel my presence. If I were you I'd scour the internet for other suggestions and try everything. Maybe something out there will comfort your daughter in the car, because your sanity is also important (and important for your daughter's health and happiness). Good luck.

September 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Im not a doc, Im not a researcher but I am a mommy. Theres no need to parent bash here...we can all find studies ect to counter each side. Personally when my daughter cries it means she needs me. I AM HER SOUL provider, IM HER protector, i grew her in my body to love and care for her, why in the heck wouldnt i want to hold her when shes crying??? Shes not old enough to be spoiled or bratty so i dont need to teach her a lesson by "crying it out"..... PERSONALLY, every family has to do what they have to do to survive. Im not a perfect mom but i strive to be perfect to Ava. I would hope that everyone on this website realises that not all household are not ran the same way, BUT remember your child is a product of YOU and what YOU TEACH them from day 1 is what they will be. Their brains and emotions and personalities are being developed while you let them "cry it out".... how do you think that development works when the babys crying its head and lungs to exaustion? No one should judge each other here just state the facts right? Heres a fact, My daughter had colic until she was 6 months old and i never let her cry herself to sleep, i bought a very comfy rocker and rocked my princess until she fell asleep calmly, not in rage, even if i only got 3 hrs of sleep, it was worth it to me. Maybe other parents cant afford the time or effort but remember your job is to be a mommy or daddy.... work comes second in life, dont just put your kid in the crib to cry it out because YOU have to get up early...cry me a river... get over not getting any sleep and soothe your baby!!! I hope everyone reading my post finds the best method for their child :)

September 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristina Nganga

I commend the people here for carrying on such a lively debate, and on a much neded topic.

I, am not a parent. I am eldest sibling to what amounted to a small army of kids, in a nearly constant absentee parent household.
While I think innovation and discovery are important things in general, I feel it necessary to point out that this so-called "method" is really a method at all, it is inaction.

I always smile to myself when some study, some group of doctors, or some institution come up with some newfangled, whiz bang revolutionary method of child rearing that has never been done before, (It usually has) and then watching modern day parents, always seeking a panacea for their need for more time and convenience hop on board by the millions.
An example of this happened in the 40's as well when milk and bottle companies spread rumors that breast feeding was actually harmful to infants, and millions of gullible moms fell for it, with disastrous consequences socially, and medically.

This "cry it out" method is yet another gimmick, and I hate to break it to the ones here advocating it's use, but I must state quite clearly: you have not discovered the Rosetta stone.
Since our early origins as a species, human infants have used crying, to inform, to alert, at communicate, and to signal their needs.
Now suddenly a doctor comes along after 50,000 years of successful human biological and social adaptation and says "you don't have to do anything" and bingo. we have droves of parents, once again more than willing to dispense with thousands of years of common sense, and with personal responsibility at the drop of a hat, and all in the name of convenience.
I can tell you this.
The ones here who really need to CIO, are the parents who hop on these fads, in the name of modernization and personal ease, at the expense of their child's proper, (and sometimes tedious) development.

So, um, yeah.
If you cannot deal with the responsibility of a crying child, and all of the developmental challenges that come with this awesome responsibility, then don't have a child. and if you need more time for yoga, television, romance, work, and personal pursuits, that maybe you should re-consider having a child at all.

P

September 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPiero

THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!!! This article has really effected me today and i was thinking, when we cry...REALLY cry...its for pain or hurt right? And what do you we do?(most of us) We turn to the ones who love us for support....as we should do for our children when they cry...WOW its a freakin miracle right?

September 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristina Nganga

In total agreement with the idea that technology and the medical community often give us "permission" to ignore our instincts, usually with terrible consequences. I wonder what will be said about CIO in 50 years once its longterm effects are known.

September 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLizette

[...] 10 Reasons Not to Cry It Out [...]

[...] none is intended. I’ve been thinking about this a lot in general and even more since reading this comment by Rochelle [emphasis mine]: Yes Jessica and others, but again that is YOUR opinion that CIO is disrespectful [...]

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter“Don’t Judge Me&#8

As a writer for a natural parenting blog which advocates attachment parenting and a new mother: I felt compelled to leave a comment. I do agree with the consequences of the CIO and am pretty much anti-CIO. I remember my dad, who is a military man, telling me when my daughter was about six weeks old that she was old enough to be in her own crib and we shouldn't pick her up when she cries, this was her way of controlling us. I gently told him that we are doing it differently because research has shown that it could be emotionally and mentally harmful to the baby. He, in a rare instance, didn't judge or criticize but accepted our way of parenting. This was never brought up again.

We held Layla for hours when she would not sleep, carried her in a baby carrier until she did, co-slept with her until she, not us, refused to sleep in the same bed. She is now a very healthy 18 month old toddler who is fearless, confident, and happy. But this was of course without up and down. Although for the most part we did all that we could to help her sleep; sometimes just letting her cry for 15-30 minutes helped her fall asleep faster than us holding her and carrying her for hours. Infact, sometimes I felt that it frustrated her more. So while I am not a big fan of CIO, especially in the first six months of the baby's life. I do believe letting the baby cry themselves to sleep does help them sleep better.

And to be honest, a mother who is about to snap for lack of sleep and frustation of not being able to put her child down could be far more dangerous than putting the baby down and letting the little one cry for awhile. I think we all forget, how incredibly demanding that first year is and when a new mother is scared into "must never let the baby cry" which I felt some CIO people were about. Even Dr. Sears, who is probably the most notable anti-proponent of CIO conceded that there are times when a baby needs to cry.

SO the great disservice that most Anti-CIO people have is the extreme view of how the baby should NEVER be left alone to cry which I think is a bit inflexible on the whole parenthood thing. One thing I learned as a mother is that you have to adapt to a situation. Sometimes they do need that extra cuddle, hold time, love, attention, but sometimes they do want or need to be left alone and vent out their frustration. So perhaps when people are saying, "you are being judgemental and I know my child best" I think they are saying, give us the flexibility to parent with our instinct and with flexibility. We all have own experience as a mother and each child is different. So while I do agree that extended CIO can cause emotional and mental shutdown and there has been sound research on that; we should perhaps offer it in a more gentle way... especially to the new mother who need that understanding most.. letting them know that putting that baby down for awhile will not cause irreversible brain damage, which quite frankly, is what some CIO people do.

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusie

Susie
I appreciate you gentle and understanding wisdom on this subject. Your approach sounds pretty close to ours. Thank you for being a calming voice on this very volatile subject. No parent is perfect but I think we all are trying to do what is best for our children and other family members. You make a good point. During my natural birth classes they were pretty much attachment parenting advocates (within limits) but they showed balance by saying that sometimes after you have done everything to calm and comfort a crying baby to no avail, if it you gets to the point where you are frustrated to the point of snapping and possibly harming the child, it is better to put him or her down step back and possibly call for help (grandparents, trusted friends) if available. Shaking a baby is a horrible tragedy that can cause certain brain damage and often death whereas letting the baby cry for a few minutes (not hours) while you get your bearings or call for help, will not hurt the child. Many of these parents were very loving and caring but out of extreme exhaustion, frustration, and the rigid belief that a child should NEVER be allowed to cry they get to a breaking point. I say follow your instincts. Hold, love, cuddle and comfort according to your child's needs but realize you limits and allow for flexibility and for your child to express his/her OWN frustration at times, and take care of yourself also so that you can safely care for your child. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRochelle

As a follow up to some of the comments here about opinions versus judging, I wrote a new post called "Don't Judge Me". You can read it here: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2009/09/26/dont-judge-me/

September 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

@Rochelle: I absolutely agree that people should step back and leave the baby to cry for a few minutes if they are otherwise at risk of harming the baby. I also agree with asking for help. What I don't agree with is a premeditated decision that you are going to let your baby cry to sleep for X number of minutes or indefinitely. I think when we have the benefit of advance planning, we also have the benefit of thinking of alternatives and coping mechanisms. So while I don't agree with leaving a baby to cry as a sleep training method, I do agree with leaving a baby to cry in order to regain your composure. Very different things, IMO.

September 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I am surprised at the lively debate that is going on about this topic. This is something that tugs at the heartstrings of all parents. I personally wont let my child and will never attempt again to let him cry himself to sleep. I tried it before upon peer pressure and strong recomendation of the pediatrician who told me that I had to " do it over and over again to 'break the child's habit of waking up. I thought that was so harsh and insensitive an approach. My son cried for 20 -45minutes until my head was pounding and he finally threw up all his dinner. I felt so sick at what I saw, went over pick him up and brought him to my bed. Some parents have told me to feed them a smaller dinner so that they wont puke while crying it out and if they did, just clean up the puke and put them back to cry again. I have also met some whose baby cried out for 2-3 hours each day for 1 week. Now that is tough..

I am not bashing other parents who do CIO- These are all very loving and wonderful parents to their kids. You just have to find something that works for everyone. My son is 1 years old and he still doesnt sleep through the night. He wants to be nursed before he sleeps and he sleeps with my husband and myself. He is sleeping slightly better since we got back to Asia. I am sleep deprived most of the time but I try to mitigate the situation by napping while the baby naps or getting someone to help with the chores / hosuework or even baby sitting in the day while you can catch up on rest. The No cry sleep solution is a rather good book though you need time to see results. Nowadays I rest beside my son at night and gently encourage and wait for him to fall asleep on his own without the breast. He has fallens alseep on his own a couple of times.

I will not let my baby cry it out- it is counter-intuitive. The baby will wake up again anyway when he falls sick, reaches a milestone or encounters changes in environment etc.. Once after a jab, i hardly slept for 3 nights. :( Then you have to start the sleep training all over again. Yes at times you have to let them cry on their own for a few mintues if you need to go to the bathroom or bathe especially when there is no other care giver but yourself. It can be very challenging but I tell myself this phase will pass.. Before we know it , he will be a young lad hardly wanting to be around his mommy but his friends.

September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia

If your kids fell asleep in a manner of minutes then you are not a part of CIO at all. You are not what the whole conversation is about and you are not part of the cruel parents who are cold hearted enough to let their babies cry for an hour and a half. Don't be supportive of CIO if your kids fall asleep in minutes... you end up giving support to parents to let their kids CIO for hours.

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Once again... your kids fell asleep in minutes... not what the typical CIO scenario is. Since you quoted the Bible... here's one. "Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close." Ps 27:10 CIO method lets you abandon your baby... for an hour and half at a time.

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDan

“Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close.” Ps 27:10

I believe the CIO method lets you abandon your baby for an hour and half at a time.

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDan

I'm confused as to how Bible verses made it into the conversation, because the comments showing up in my email from this thread are not all here.

Anyway, since the Bible did get brought into it I'll post these:

http://gentlechristianmothers.com/articles/jeri/cryingbaby.php
http://gentlechristianmothers.com/articles/jeri/gcmnurture.php
http://gentlechristianmothers.com/articles/brenda/gcmconvenient.php

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

This has been a lively and interesting debate to read. As always, I appreciate Annie's straightforward, unapologetic approach tovexplaining her parenting beliefs.

If I may, I'd like to add a point to the discussion. In the phrase "cry-it-out", to what does the "it" refer? While that answer may differ in the minds of each CIO advocate, I would assert the simple fact that only the child knows the reason for her distress - day or night, bedtime, naptime, or any time.

It doesn't matter how lovingly you parent, it doesn't matter how "well-adjusted" you deem your child, and it certainly doesn't matter which expert you cite that gave you the confidence to leave your child to cry fir any amount of time.

It's not about you. It is about the needs of your child. Babies have one principal method to communicate. If I view all cries as my daughter's attempt to communicate a feeling or need that is both real and urgent, I will respond sensitively with my whole self, day or night. It doesn't matter why I think she's crying. What matters is that she is a defenseless person whose needs matter, but isn't yet capable of meeting her needs on her own.

When I hear someone describe how being left to cry "taught" her child to "self-soothe"/sleep, I am confused. Place yourself in the mind of your child. If I am a baby crying all alone fir 1 minute or 1 hour, I imagine I would be feeling a negative emotion or need, and that I would expect the parents on whom I rely for everything to help me to meet it. If no one comes, do I think: "Oh, I have been screaming and sobbing for no reason. My need doesn't really matter after all. I'm glad my mom taught me this lesson. I feel so much more independent"?

Clearly, none of us knows what a baby is thinking. However, I choose to see my child as a person whose needs matter, and who, if she is crying (really just communicating) requires my help to meet her needs - irrespective of the time of day or night.

October 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

I apologize for the typos. Late night typing on my phone :).

October 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

[...] read a lot of articles speaking against the cry it out method, and found another really good one [...]

October 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKid n Kitties » Blog Arc

Good afternoon,

I read al the posts and for me personally I am totally against letting my baby girl CIO. I am home with her at night and I am in complete control of how she is handled and put to sleep. She usually goes to sleep between 10:00 PM and 12:00 AM and will sleep through until 5:00 AM - 6:30 Am on most nights. This is not the issue. My husband is her caretaker during the day since he doesn't work and I am stuck at work all day (I leave the house at 7:00 AM and dont' get home until 6:30 on most nights.) Other than the leaving her cry for 15 - 30 minutes when he thinks she is tired he attends to all her other needs. He changes her, feeds her, holds her for quite awhile. I am so scared that she is being scarred for life by this and I am helpless being stuck at work all day and feeling terribly guilty about not being able to be home for her.

October 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGen

Gen,
Don't be so hard on yourself or you will drive yourself crazy with worry and possibly make yourself sick. Then you will be of little use to your child if you let your mind and your health go. After reading your post, I think you are a great and dedicated mother and from what you describe, your husband seems like a great DAD (not just caretaker) who just has a slightly different approach than you and is probably doing his best to balance the housework with giving her priority as well as attending to his own personal needs (like eating and showering). So many men in the same situation have shaken, abused, or killed babies out of anger and frustration for crying so it seems that you have a good one. I doubt if crying for a few minutes has scarred for life if all other things that she needs are in place and your husband is attentive at all other times. He is probably still attentive when she is crying but just realizes his limitations as a parent and so should you. I am not going to tell you to change your method of relating to your child. You know your child and so does your husband. I will say, that you would do well to realize that you have limitations and despite our best attempts to control every aspect of our child's care , none of us are perfect. The blessing is that babies are not machines or robots and God has made them wonderfully adaptable. Some childen have gone through the worst possible conditions... e.g. abuse, domestic violence in the home, poor eating habits, life threatening illnesses and disabilities, natural disasters, etc. and have turned out just fine. And even if a person is scarred by bad experiences beyond their control, there is all kinds of help and people can heal and change. None of this has to do with you (you are a good dedicated mom) except that you are not perfect and that your baby is more adaptable than you think. Keep being attentive and present for her but try to relax some and rest in the knowledge that you are doing your very best and your husband is doing his very best to be good parents to her. Does your husband stay at home by choice or is he out of work temporarily and looking? You don't have to answer if it is none of my business. I just asked so that if he is looking, I can say a prayer for him to find a good job.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRochelle

I just wanted to say thank you for such a concise and well-researched article to link to (http://www.hobomama.com/2009/10/ap-principle-3-crying-it-out-vs.html" rel="nofollow">Crying it out vs. the responsiveness of attachment parenting). Saved me the trouble of writing it! ;)

October 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLauren @ Hobo Mama

[...] Getting a bedtime routine to help is a great idea, but a tiny baby is too little to learn to self-soothe. This article gives some compelling reasons why not to CIO: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/07/05/no-cry-it-out/ [...]

[...] that CIO is not necessarily advisable for any babies. Here is a compelling argument AGAINST CIO: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/07/05/no-cry-it-out/ There is a lot of evidence for issues around sleep and CIO, and also better ways to get your baby [...]

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