3.27.2008

In Praise of C.I.O.: Come and Get Me, Sanctimommy Googlers

I am officially starting a petition to get the phrase "sleeping like a baby" struck from the English language.

My girls are beautiful. Smart. Healthy. (Except for this week, in which the unstoppable, Vesuvian-like flow of thick, nasty mucus from Thalia's nose has us considering just how much it will cost to build an ark.) The one thing my children have not been blessed with is the ability to sleep.

Able to consume astronomical quantities of food: Check
Able to sleep through the night: Not so much

Thalia refused to nap anywhere but a swing, that battery-hungry beast, then forced us into reluctant co-sleeping for 11 months until finally I broke down, emotional and sleep-deprived and let her cry. It lasted an hour. The next night, about 20 minutes. If memory serves, on the third night she slept like...well, some other person's baby.

I can now assure you close to two years later that she shows no signs of psychological damage, no fear of abandonment. Although she did run away, shave her hair into a mohawk and get a tattoo a couple weeks ago. But I attribute that more to allowing her to watch the Family Guy with us.

Sage, on the other hand, was a champion napper until a few weeks ago when she decided she'd far prefer to forage for dust bunnies and small, jagged hair clips under the couch in the afternoons than lie down in her crib. This wouldn't be such a travesty if she weren't also still waking up, on average, 2-4 times a night and yelling for a bottle.

Let me say that one more time for emphasis: After 10.5 months, she still wakes up 2-4 times a night. And cries. Loudly. She goes down, but won't stay down. We shove a bottle in her mouth so that she won't wake her sister right next to her. Which is of course the total wrong thing to do to get her to sleep through the night. We've traded a smart, long-term solution for a quick fix.

Every night for more than 300 nights.

And I am so so so freaking tired. (And, evidently, fat.) I can only imagine that Sage is tired too.

So this week it's deja vu all over again, as we let her cry Monday at 2:45 AM without intervention. It lasted a half hour. We all lived. And then she slept the rest of the night.

Last night: Only one waking. We still gave her that bottle.

But tonight the kitchen closes at 7PM for the night. Wish us luck.

And as for you, the kind, helpful, supportive anonymous reader who commented on a post two years ago: You are a horrible,selfish person.I wont even call you a mother because even animals take better care of their young.Crying it out is child abuse.Most of us want children,not programmed robots.Get yourself sterilised.

I hope you'll be back to offer me more of your thoughtful suggestions. Why, I'd hardly know how to parent without you.


82 Comments:

Blogger Jenni said...

I am absolutely, 100% with you on this. We got my son to nap using CIO and to stop waking eight times a night (at 7.5 months!). Now he's down to one waking, sometimes zero. And, if he wakes, we let him cry. It never lasts more than 30 minutes. It sucks, but I know I'm doing the right thing for him, and for my husband and I.

I stand in solidarity. You can do it. Good luck, and sweet dreams.

3/27/08, 11:14 AM  
Blogger KayleighJeanne said...

I wish that my pediatrician hadn't told us that my daughter needed to be supplemented, preferably with lard, so that she would put on some weight.

He totally guilted us into getting up and feeding the baby every. single. time. she wakes up during the night. I envy your all cried out baby, even if complete strangers think she will turn into a sociopath.

3/27/08, 11:15 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

Oh, I feel for you. When my oldest was a baby, he would only sleep in the swing and it had to be on full power. Yeah, we did that for 9 months until he finally slept in a crib. And now my baby who is 1 1/2 decided that she wants to start waking up every hour at night. What's up with that? Sleeping like a baby is a terrible phrase.

3/27/08, 11:29 AM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

We made our daughter watch the "Sleepeasy Solutions" video when she was 4 months old and told her that her days of co-sleeping were behind her.

She slept 11 hours that night, and pretty consistently ever since. Probably more to do with the solids than watching the video ;}

Although when she woke up at 5 this morning I also had that "what do they mean sleeping like a baby?" thought.

3/27/08, 11:31 AM  
Anonymous mrs. q. said...

I'm with you. Or will be very soon. Phe slept through the night at 3 weeks old. Now? Notsomuch. Um, how about Notatall. She co-sleeps now and makes me INSANE because she shrieks the second she senses she is near her crib. Our excuses went from 'she has a cold' to 'she is teething' to 'she had a near-death allergic reaction' back to 'she's effing teething again'-- we tried letting her scream. First 15 minutes, she puked. 2nd try, she pooped herself. I should get myself 'sterilised' too... let me know hgow it works and I'd love helpful suggestions to get this one to NAP-- SLEEP! ANYTHING!!

3/27/08, 11:36 AM  
Blogger kristin.bres said...

Oh if I could only muster up the nerve to try CIO with my 18 month-old (that's right, 18 months and not STTN!).
Sleeping like a baby - hah!
You may just inspire me - keep us updated!

3/27/08, 11:37 AM  
Anonymous toyfoto said...

Your kids are like my kids. We're headed to cry-it-out land with the little guy, soon. It will hurt but not for long. He's not sleeping with us and he's not sleeping without us. My thinking is somebody should be sleeping. If not the kid, than the people operating heavy machinery during daylight hours.

3/27/08, 11:39 AM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Ha! You should have that comment made into a t-shirt---so vicious it's awesome. I'm sure that commenter is a perfect mother.

Anyway, I think you are doing the right thing. I did the WRONG thing and let Jilly have a bottle for a wee bit too long. Now, 8 cavities and two abscessed teeth later, I have a feeling those night bottles were a great quick fix, but not such a great plan in the end. Thankfully my other two, who only nursed on my fabulous ta-tas in the wee hours, have perfect teeth.

3/27/08, 11:43 AM  
Blogger NotAMeanGirl said...

I can't handle CIO. I'm glad to know someone is strong enough to withstand the crying. I'm a wussy. My son is 7 and he STILL wants to sleep with me sometimes. Meh. (Though I have to admit sometimes its nice waking up with him all snuggled up to me. He's such a sweet kid.)

3/27/08, 11:46 AM  
Blogger H.E.Eigler said...

Best of luck in your CIO adventure. My daughter had a horrible time sleeping and after exhausting every option this CIO opposed mommy bit the bullet and we haven't looked back. She sleeps 12 hours at night now. Keep us posted on your progress!

3/27/08, 11:47 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

I just wrote a post about this issue too. The one thing my boys don't do well is sleep through the nights. My oldest is 3, but it took 1.5 years before he slept through the night without interruptions. (The one time we decided to let him cry it out uninterrupted, he was still screaming hysterically 2.5 hours later... so no one can tell me that the cry it out method works for all kids!) Even once Nate learned to go through the night, it was a struggle as any interruption to the routine meant we were back at ground zero for 1 to 3 weeks.

My second, 6 months, is doing the same thing. I have asked for help and/or suggestions. If I hear anything particularly useful, I'll pass it along.

3/27/08, 12:01 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

LOL... I am so laughing at myself. I'm so tired I can't even read straight.

If the cry it out method works for you, go for it. No one should judge another parent... I mean heck, I might be the only perfect one out there, but that's nothing against the rest of you! ;)

3/27/08, 12:08 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

PRAISE YOU!!! CIO method works. It's a bitch, but it works. And please, child abuse? Really? Has this person ever watched the news? Read a paper? I'd like to think of it more as "empowerment". You're giving your kids a gift, of sleep, of a restfull mommy, of the ability to know that they are OKAY alone in their bed, with themselves. Serioulsy, is this lady going to go rock her kid to sleep when he's 30?

3/27/08, 12:11 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

I agree with Kristin... teaching a baby how to go to sleep is a gift. They get over the crying. When my doctor suggested I let The Baby cry I was hesitant. He asked me if he were crying or having a tantrum to get a food or a toy would I give him the toy to make him to stop crying, and, if not, would I feel cruel? Hmmmm, I had to say that I hoped that I wouldn't give in and wouldn't feel cruel about it -- even though my child would be genuinly upset. It was hard to do, but it worked very quickly! Now, if I could just get him to go to bed without bottle/rocking....

3/27/08, 12:40 PM  
Blogger fluorescentmom said...

My son is about the same age as Sage and I am doing this same thing this week- Baby Boot Camp. It's going fairly well, except for how much it sucks.
Good luck tonight! I really enjoy your writing- thanks for putting it out here.

3/27/08, 12:53 PM  
Blogger Mayrasmom said...

My daughter is nearly four and people still ask all the time how does she sleep, or was she good at bedtime last night. Wrong thing to ask of a sleep-deprived parent.
I hope CIO works for you.
-Kathleen

3/27/08, 1:00 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

We used CIO with my first daughter (now 2) at 6 months because she never slept and it was the best thing we ever did. Now we are blessed with another horrible sleeper, but she's only 7 weeks so we'll be waiting a while longer until we try CIO again. Good luck!

3/27/08, 1:10 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

I am a huge believer in CIO. We did it with both kids, one of whom started out life as a horrible sleeper who would not sleep anywhere other than her crib, even as a tiny infant. CIO worked in a matter of days and now my kids are both great sleepers. We never have bedtime battles and they don't beg to sleep with us. In fact, they love their own beds. It absolutely worked for us. Hope it works for you too.

3/27/08, 1:31 PM  
Blogger beth said...

Good luck. It has worked for us. Even the next morning they don't seem to remember. They just wake up happy and rested.

Try watching Jon and Kate Plus 8 while she cries. That always cheers me up. How tough can one or two kids be?

3/27/08, 1:43 PM  
OpenID littlebiskit said...

I totally agree with Anne. In my mind, when someone says CIO, I always envision a terrified little baby. My daughter? Was not terrified. She was pissed about having to go to bed, and not having me there with her. That doesn't make me very sympathetic. So we let her cry.

I used a method I heard somewhere (not sure if it has a name) where I let her cry for five minutes, then went in, rubbed her back, shushed her a little, and then walked back out. No talking, no picking her up, and no turning the light on. If she started up crying again, I went back in another 10 minutes. Same thing. Waiting another 15 minutes, etc. After my third trip in, she squawked a couple more times and then gave in. Second night was two trips, and then none. I'll swear by this to the day I die. Worked wonders with my LO.

3/27/08, 1:50 PM  
Blogger clueless but hopeful mama said...

You are one brave woman to post about this (especially considering the sh!tstorm you got last time!) but I'm glad you did.

CIO was the best thing we ever did for our daughter. She was happier and we were happier once we all were sleeping through the night.

To any CIO haters: no one is talking about letting an infant with real, true needs cry without attention. What we are talking about is helping an older baby/toddler learn to put themselves back to sleep when they wake up. (This ALWAYS involved at least some tears. I don't think that's the end of the world or causes permanent damage.) Once you know their needs are met and they are old enough to not NEED food every 3 hours at night, they can learn to soothe themselves.

(IMO, of course)

3/27/08, 2:50 PM  
Anonymous hfb said...

Geez, babies cry and toddlers have tantrums, that psychopathic crunchy earth mommy needs to get over herself. Maybe she can join the troops of freaks who glare at me when I don't react much when my 16 month old has a hissy fit in a store over something I won't either buy or give to her.

My daughter was a year old before I put my foot down on the absolutely no napping and waking EVERY SINGLE HOUR during the night. I was nearly homicidal and in the interest of all living creatures in the house we started scaling back and letting her cry. She was a stubborn creature and once fussed for two straight hours with my husband and I going up to check on her a few times. Now she sleeps through the night for 10-12 hours and even takes a 2-hour nap or at least quietly entertains herself in her crib in the afternoon. Life is much, much better.

Nothing is more important to you and your kids than a good night's sleep. Nothing. That grumpy old crank who emailed you clearly needs both sleep and a new hobby. :)

3/27/08, 3:07 PM  
Blogger Feener said...

good luck !! it will work out !!

3/27/08, 3:25 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I am definitely of the opinion that when it comes to sleep you have to do what works for your baby and your family! Funnily enough, I'm on the other side of the coin - before DS was born, I swore that I would never so much as sleep in the same room with him. Of course, now we're still cosleeping happily at 19 months :-) Good luck and I'm sure things will work out great!

3/27/08, 4:00 PM  
Blogger Miss Merry Sunshine said...

Oh good luck. My daughter still wakes up at 17 months. If the effing wind blows wrong she's up. It's maddening and I swear if one more person tells me their baby slept through the night the day they brought them home from the hospital, I may punch them in the ovary. NOT helpful! We have to let her cry some and we put a sippy cup of water in the crib...that has been the magic answer. We may get her off the bedtime bottle next! That's just crazy talk...

3/27/08, 4:05 PM  
Blogger yasmara said...

We just did this last month with my 14-month-old (now 15 months). I had to leave the house with my almost-3 year old and spend the weekend with my parents while my husband dealt with the crying. It actually went better than expected and he (husband) never went more than 10-15 minutes of crying before going in to soothe him (baby) and now it's such a relief to know that when he goes down at 7:30 he will STAY ASLEEP. After over 14 months of multiple night wakings (plus not sleeping well for the last trimester of pregnancy), I finally feel like I'm close to a normal human being and my son seems happier too. I think CIO done in a reasonable manner is necessary for some kids.

3/27/08, 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Whenever someone says 'I slept like a baby' or something similar, my dad, being the sarcastic guy he is, says "Oh, you were up every few hours? That's too bad."

I did CIO with baby #1. It sucked, but was totally worth the week from hell. Now at 4 years old, she is a champion sleeper.

CIO absolutely did not work with baby #2. Lucky for me, a reassuring pat on the back was enough to get her to calm down enough to put herself back to sleep. But now at 16 months, she is back to waking up every 2 hours for no apparent reason. It's so infuriating. CIO is still not working. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?

Good luck with Sage tonight. I hope your night goes better than the one I'm anticipating for myself.

3/27/08, 4:44 PM  
Blogger Stimey said...

All three of ours went through CIO. All three of them sleep through the night. All three of them cried for fewer than four days. It may not be for everyone, but it sure worked for me.

3/27/08, 5:27 PM  
Blogger Cassey said...

Turn on the dryer, dishwasher,fans and T.V. I just did it a couple of days ago with my third, you'll feel like a whole new with a full nights sleep!

3/27/08, 5:42 PM  
Blogger ~Kat~ said...

I'm going to be real annoying here and just say "good luck my friend". If only because, that's all you need for an issue like this... lots of luck and patience.
Someday, you will sleep again... it may take a few or ten years but you will....

3/27/08, 6:16 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

Stick to your guns. It'll be so worth the few nights of crying to have an independent sleeper in the end.

Trust me. I've got a kid with "I don't want to sleep alone syndrome." It isn't fun.

And wouldn't it be nice if people could spell "sterilised" properly if they are going to suggest you should not have children? Geesh. Gotta love those nice emails, huh?

You're a great mom. But you don't need me to tell you that! :)

3/27/08, 6:53 PM  
Blogger Amy Jo said...

We support crying it out and mommies who do it! Go Sage Go!

3/27/08, 7:01 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

I feel like a dork posting this comment, but oh well.

I found your blog one night many, many months ago when we were CIO with my daughter. I googled "cry it out" and found your post on Thalia's experience and it comforted me to know that other good mamas had done the same thing...hating every minute of it, but knowing that the reward of sleep would be worth every second of heart-wrenching screaming. It was just what I needed to get through that first night.

So - thanks for telling us all about it.

3/27/08, 7:30 PM  
Anonymous The Casual Perfectionist said...

Good luck!!

My little girl was an awesome sleeper as a baby, but right before she turned 2-yrs old, she started waking up at night. On the advice of our pediatrician (at her 2-yr appt.), we did the CIO, and you know what? The first night, she cried SEVEN MINUTES, fell asleep for a couple hours and then cried a second time for FIVE MINUTES.

That's what we were worried about??

The next night, she cried once for THREE minutes.

We were lucky that it only took two nights. Sometimes it takes longer...and she woke up so HAPPY in the morning.

Granted, I went to her, rubbed her tummy and explained to her that she needed to sleep because everyone was sleeping, but I didn't pick her up.

I specifically watched the clock, because 7 minutes seems like 35 minutes, but it was the jolt she needed to getting back on track.

GOOD LUCK!! It will only get better from here...and then it will be something else. ;)

3/27/08, 7:57 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

I think the method littlebiskit is referring to is the Sleep Lady Shuffle. It's a modified version of CIO, and has adaptations and suggestions for different aged and types of babies. (even talks about nap training) We used it for our son, who started sleeping through the night at 4 weeks, but couldn't get there without tata, rocking, singing, etc.
We had to wean him off of that, then work on teaching him how to get himself back to sleep once we dropped his middle of the night feeding. Now at 10 months, he is a great sleeper...though I will admit he is an early bird. Especially with this daylight savings nonsense, he's chirping awake at 5:30 am. Ugh!
Good Luck with your baby girl.

3/27/08, 8:37 PM  
Blogger zellmer said...

We are doing this right now, too. After our first born was an excellent sleeper, our second one has proven to be more challenging. It would have been easier the other way around.
Anyway, at our wits end with trying EVERYTHING else after our baby wouldn't stop waking up every hour and growing more and more dependent on us putting the paci back in his mouth, or reswaddling him, we are so, so tired. We're on night three right now of CIO, but I've already seen some improvement.
I wish both of us luck.

3/27/08, 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck to you all. I am old, and I don't think you want to hear this, but I was very lucky as all three of mine slept through the night by a month. I joke that maybe they all knew I was a witch without sleep and they didn't want to go there!

I had a neighbor who got up with her little girl every night, and still got up with her at age four for the child to have "green juice". Like someone else said, it was very helpful in promoting tooth decay, so probably in vogue with some dentists!

Good luck to you all! Like the country song says, "someday you'll wish for this time to be back".It is a good time in your life, take time to enjoy it. (I am enjoying my life now, though.)

CSLMom

3/27/08, 9:59 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

Good luck tonight. We had to do it CIO with both of our girls to get them to sleep through the night. If there was another option, I would have gladly taken it. What mother wants to hear their child cry? You are doing the right thing.

3/27/08, 10:16 PM  
Blogger J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Good luck! I'm all for the getting them to sleep through the night, at a reasonable age. Too young, it's silly. But Sage is clearly old enough.

My mom co-slept with us, and says that we never cried, all was easy. Then we ask her how long we got up at night, and she says, every two hours, until we were 2 years old. That's right. Not saying anything against co sleeping here, but christ, every 2 hours? Until I was 2? I think I owe her something.

3/27/08, 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Kirsten said...

It is so worth it. We did it with our son, and yes, the crying is hard to get through but it doesn't last for long. And I knew that he was crying simply because we had helped him form the bad habit of waking each night... once that habit was broken he slept 11-12 hours a night.

And just remember, you're a great mom. It is evident that you love your daughters very much and truly want the best for them.

3/27/08, 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I just wanted to let you know that despite the Perfect Mom's opinion, my dog is firmly in favor of CIO. Harley can tell when my youngest daughter is crying because she's hurt, scared, or in need, and when she's crying because she's annoyed that mommy and daddy are really making her go to bed. If it's the latter, he ignores her. So do I.

3/27/08, 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

PS In case my last comment sounded cold, I would point out that I have co-slept the last 4 of my kids until they were done breastfeeding (and I let them wean when they want). But once a kid doesn't *need* to eat in the middle of the night, she needs to *sleep*! And despite "abusing" my kids by making them sleep at night, all 6 of them are happy, well-adjusted, and good sleepers!

3/27/08, 11:26 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

I was really uncomfortable letting my daughter cry it out, because I had intended to cosleep forever like all our friends. But I just couldn't do it. By 11 months I was insane. After we let her cry it out she was a different child. Naptime and bedtime are a joy. She smiles as she snuggles down into her bed. It used to be a two-hour fuss-fest. CIO dramatically reduced the amount of nighttime crying, and taught our child how to cope. Our friends' kids may have never had to cry it out, but they still don't go to bed until they're exhausted and cranky at 11pm.

3/28/08, 2:12 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

My son is almost three and now will sleep most nights through. This means he wakes up once or twice one-three nights a week.

We also did CIO when he was about 10 months old because I couldn't take much more of it.

At some point they need to learn and although CIO seemed cruel to me at the time, in retrospect I would have done it earlier. In the big scheme of things, it is nothing.

3/28/08, 5:19 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh, and whoever commented on imagining a "terrified" baby crying herself to sleep, when in reality the baby is just pissed off that mama's not at her beck and call, I am so with you.

Good luck.

3/28/08, 5:21 AM  
Blogger Mom24 said...

Good luck...I never had the gumption to make this work. We would try, but my kids seemed to fight it for 4 or 5 days, and by then my resolve caved...I know exactly what we should not have done. I totally agree, for what it's worth, that you are not harming your child at all. You will all be better off for teaching them to sleep, especially them.

3/28/08, 8:47 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I didn't let Lillian cry it out until 14 months. At that point, she still woke up 2 times to nurse. I should have done it much, much sooner. Good luck. The kitchen doesn't need to be open, and you need to sleep.

3/28/08, 9:26 AM  
Blogger Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

We are at 1 or 2 wake-ups a night with my 18-month old. For a long time, we just stuck him in our bed and he went back to sleep. But we are expecting #3 and I can't have my son still waking up on a different schedule than a hungry newborn because I will probably LOSE MY MIND. And so last night, he got to cry it out. It lasted less than an hour, but then I was awake for another hour and half. Gah. Hopefully tonight will be better. And then in July we get to start all over with a brand new baby. Sweet.
Good luck to you!!!

3/28/08, 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Jerseygirl89 said...

I didn't want to do CIO, but there got to be a point where I just couldn't take it anymore. Nothing else worked. Now I'm so glad I did. One thing that helped, though,was leaving a bottle of water in the crib.

3/28/08, 9:35 AM  
Blogger Momma Mikki said...

Maybe I'm the exception here, but we did the CIO method at 6 months and Bailey slept through the night on the second night. Now, our 11 month old sleeps 12 hours without waking every single night. This, from a girl would NOT sleep anywhere but her swing or my arms for the first 4 months and had to be forced into her crib, waking 4-5 times a night before we tried CIO.

Perhaps I'm heartless, but listening to her cry the first night wasn't hard. I just kept thinking about all the hours of sleep I didn't get when she woke up and all the hours of agony it was when she didn't get enough sleep. The cost benefit analysis meant that she needed to sleep and so did we. Enough said.

I turned the monitor off and enjoyed a television show. I checked on her a half an hour later. She was sleeping.

My partner on the other hand fell apart.

But we got through it and now have a champion sleeper, a better marriage and an hour or two at night to just be grown ups.

Good luck to you!

3/28/08, 10:34 AM  
Blogger Daisy said...

We suffered through night terrors when my son was about 15 months old. I say "We" -- he shared a room with his 6-yr-old sister, in a duplex with thin walls, so we would jump to move him out of the crib every time before she would wake up and the neighbors would wake up. The worst part for me? I was doing an internship that semester with a 50 minute commute each way. On no sleep, some nights. I hear you, mama. Do what you need to do.

3/28/08, 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing that with the second one, it's still an emotional decision wrought with guilt and your own tears, even knowing the first survived CIO just fine.

We've procrastinated doing the same thing with our second, at 13 months (eek). Probably because we know he is our last. Perhaps also because now we know just how fleeting those baby months are, and we (I) wanted to prolong it a little bit.

Good luck, good sleep, and thank you for all your wonderful posts.

3/28/08, 11:02 AM  
Anonymous SoMo said...

I feel for you, because I have been where you have. I wanted so badly not CIO with either of my kids, but when you haven't had a full night's sleep in 11 months and you are falling asleep while driving you must take drastic measures. My luck, the boy wasn't so easy as the girl. He screamed for hours, yes that is right hours, for a few nights until one night he just went to sleep. He is 2 yrs old, now, and I haven't seen any mental damage yet, but I have the therapy fund just in case. To be honest I am sure I am going to mess them up in the teen years far more than anything I have ton in their infant and toddler years.

3/28/08, 11:15 AM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Geez. I was just commenting at Joy's about how we get so wrapped in our "should" mom culture, we lose perspective on some things - and I would say that commenter is SORELY lacking in it!

Ours was never a great sleeper either, until about 14months. Her daytime naps were 20-30 mins. She woke once or two a night until she was about 14 mos. I remember thinking at about 10 months that I was going to go psychotic from lack of sleep. I didn't CIO in the end, but it doesn't mean I didn't think about it seriously and recall my mom doing it with my sister to good effect and no lasting concern. I just couldn't do it myself, is all. We got through it, we're fine, and I still think that although I feel like my choice on that issue was the right one for me, every parent has to go with what is going to work for them and their child. Sanctimommies be damned.

3/28/08, 12:11 PM  
Blogger RookieMom Whitney said...

You are almost on the other side! I am so so so envious. Also dealing with the "don't wake #1" scenario, but once we figured out that #1 would not wake up even if Oceanic Flight 815 landed in our living room, we let the crying begin. And it didn't work. Our daughter is immune to CIO. She was allowed to CIO for about 30 days and made only minor progress. Now what? I can not co-sleep. Oh no I can't. We are renting a small place with a full-sized futon. Co-sleep would mean no-sleep. I wonder if anyone else has found their baby immune to CIO?

3/28/08, 12:22 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

I am convinced based on anecdotal evidence that children who are terrible sleepers are geniuses.

I mean, my own son didn't sleep through the night on a regular basis until he was ONE AND A HALF, and he, in my entirely unbiased totally expert opinion, is a genius.

So Thalia and Sage must be geniuses, too, I think.

BTW Rookiemom, my son was immune to CIO. I finally tried for like two weeks it after reaching a breaking point with the lack of sleep. But the longer we left him in his crib, the longer and louder he would cry. He would just get more and more agitated, until I was worried he was going to make himself throw up. And the longer we let him cry, the longer it took to get him back to sleep.

He also didn't take well to co-sleeping. He wanted to be near us while he was FALLING asleep, but once he WAS asleep, he kicked and shoved all night long because he couldn't stand feeling closed-in (the kid wouldn't even sleep with a blanket on for his first 18 months.)

Kid was just un-please-able.

3/28/08, 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Motherhood Uncensored said...

Q never responded to CIO -- I think the longest I let her go was 3 straight hours and then we decided she wasn't a good candidate.

Drew, however, is perfect. And we are initiating it as I write this. Or well, tonight.

Mommy's diner is officially closing.

3/28/08, 1:14 PM  
Blogger eastvillagemom said...

I only want to add my support for what you are doing to the many good comments here--we were getting up with our guy as many as 4-5 times a night at 8 months (he was born last May, just like Sage!), and I could barely function at work. Sleep training has been an ongoing process for us, with setbacks along the way, but overall it has been a miracle for us. I know how hard it is and just want to say GOOD FOR YOU!!!

3/28/08, 2:21 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

YAY! I can read your blog again. I had to reluctantly stop reading because for some reason, your blog (along with quite a few others and I suspect it was the blogher ads) took like...4 minutes to load. So anyway, I'm ecstatic that it seems to be a thing of the past.

Those who denigrate CIO have never had a baby who doesn't sleep. Period. It can be done kindly and effectively, and as you said, without long term psychological damage. And babies NEED to sleep. Teaching them to do it is as important as anything else we teach them, if not more so.

3/28/08, 2:37 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

Crying it out is a very, very good thing! I wish I would have tried it on my third child, as he is four and still waking up at least once a night. Ugh!I was sooooo afraid he would wake up the other two, and that would have been worse than a trip to the dentist w/out pain meds.that I let hime wake up and get in bed with us. Each. and. every. time. I am still tired and still fat! Good luck tonight. I hope it works.

3/28/08, 4:03 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

My daughter was an actual patient of Dr Ferbers after 18 LONG months of no sleep. I'm such a believer in CIO that I'd fly a flag over my house if anyone know what the hell I was promoting. Go for it, and get some good long lasting sleep!

3/28/08, 6:38 PM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

I have nothing but respect for you, hon. We're CIO-ers ourselves, but we also forced our dogs to sleep in crates for their first year or two of life and if you think anti-CIO people are crazy you should meet anti-crate people.

What one has to do with the other, I have no idea.

3/28/08, 10:13 PM  
Blogger Carson said...

Sleep deprived mothers endanger their babies when they drive, cook, change diapers, bathe them. Pretty much reads like a new mom job description. When I got to my car with a cart full of groceries and found the door open. . .not unlocked, but open, and the cash was still sitting on the seat, I realized that I needed to try CIO. Better a programmed robot than a horrific car crash or other traumatic experience because of my sleep deprivation. I figure if it's an outrage that it could happen in Gitmo, it's an outrage that it happens in my home.

3/28/08, 10:41 PM  
Blogger Canuckedup mama said...

Seconding Meredith's comment...

I started read - err - lurking your blog in late '06.

But I found your post on CIO much later when I googled Weissbluth. Getting up every hour was making me lose what was left of my mind. I wanted to try CIO but my friends had perfect sleepers and fell into the "no way I'd do that" camp. Reading that someone else had to try it too gave me more courage to give it a go (so thank you!)

CIO worked for us. Hope it does for Sage as well.

(jumping back into comfortable lurkiness)

3/28/08, 11:04 PM  
Blogger Patamomma said...

I won't bore you with a comment on my kids, and how they did with the CIO. But, I will tell you that I slept with my mom until I was in the 7th grade. My hubby and I made a conscious decision to not allow our little ones to sleep with us period. I probably went to far the other way but, it has worked for us. The few times that one has crawled in, if I can't wake up enough to take them to bed I will eventually wake up and do so. You will get through this, and just think of a 13 year old sleeping with you should encourage the CIO method...lol. Patty

3/28/08, 11:46 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

why can't we have children AND programmed robots?

3/29/08, 3:12 AM  
Anonymous selfmademom said...

If you're doing this at 10 months, think of the mean mom I am who did it at 16 weeks with her wretched sleeper. After two miserable CIO nights, we have a dream sleeper... good luck. I think CIO is the only way to go!

3/29/08, 9:47 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I didn't try CIO with Mira until she weaned and switched to bottles. Now I tank her up in the evening with plenty to eat, and she goes to bed without any issue.

Until two weeks ago, she'd still wake up once per night (and I'd give in and give her a bottle), but lately she's sleeping thru the night now.

Good luck with it tonight. I'm thankful that Mira took to it so well. Cordy didn't stop waking 1-2 times a night until after she was a year old.

3/29/08, 9:29 PM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

we cried it out pretty early (my gal was colicky and crying in my ARMS for an hour plus a night, so at least in her bed we could put walls between us and the wailing). It worked for us, and engendered my strong belief that parenting is all about doing what works for you and the kid. Just works for the kid? Not so great if you don't sleep. Just works for you? Equally problematic. Works for both? Who cares what some anonymous jerk thinks?

3/30/08, 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Veronica Mitchell said...

It works. The anti-CIO people kinda leave that part out.

3/31/08, 7:24 AM  
Blogger Mitzi Green said...

i'm guessing that kind, supportive anonymous reader who felt compelled to leave such a comment has a teenager who insists on still sleeping with mummy, and a husband who's been sleeping on the sofa for the past 6 years (with whom she hasn't had sex since said teenager was conceived).

that is the one parenting concept on which i will not bend--no. children. in. my. bed. period. not ever. maybe on the wild occasion when you wake up feverish and chilled will i allow you to cross that line, but rest assured, when you're feeling better, your ass will return to your own bed, like it or not. and guess what? my raging bipolar kid, the one who has caused me infinite trouble at every end of the spectrum and every point in between? goes to bed at 8pm. doesn't get up. sleeps like the dead. and always has.

3/31/08, 2:41 PM  
Anonymous DOS said...

I strongly believe in crying it out! My son slept w/us until about 5 months old when he kicked me in my throat and to his crib he went. I still went in and gave him a bottle, filled w/formula and then slowly w/water. Our doctor said at 16 lbs they can make it through the night w/out a bottle so we feed him, changed him and put in the ear plugs and the next morning he was alive and happy. I can't stand hearing them cry so I used ear plugs and my husband didn't so he could hear if something serious was happing. Now he is 2 and sleeping in his own big boy bed from 8:30pm-7:30am. They have to learn that when mommy and daddy say it's night time, it's night time and that is that! Now goes round 2 with my 3 month old.

4/2/08, 7:44 AM  
Anonymous ImpostorMom said...

I'm in the "do what is best for you and your family" camp. For us that includes CIO. First at 4 months when I was so sleep deprived I burst into tears when asked how the baby was doing and again at 13.5 months when we'd backslide into two night wakings again.

Lately I can tell if the screams are the "holy crap my leg is caught in the crib slats" screams or just the "why are you not playing with me" variety. Either way there is no more eating at night and no more rocking or patting to sleep. This works for us.

I have friends whose babies get more and more amped up the more they cry so no amount of crying is ever going to allow them to sleep but I know very little about this so I take their word for it. I also have friends that just say they can't bear it themselves to listen to the crying. To each his own, you gotta do what you gotta do for your own family.

I've had my fair share of women in playgroups basically telling me I was awful for letting Boog cry in they same breath that they complain about how tired they are because their little angels are still waking repeatedly.

4/3/08, 11:46 AM  
Blogger Anya said...

Wow, I am so glad to read this post and all the comments. As a new mom to a four month old, I kept thinking I was the only one who has a baby that DOES NOT SLEEP lol. Glad to see I am not alone. I am going to have to do the CIO very very soon. I am beyond exhausted!

4/3/08, 1:54 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

I did the "give in thing" and co slept for a little while. Then my husband comes home from work and tells me of this woman he works with whose child has never slept in her own bed, the kid was 4 years old. Yeah, that night my little bug cried himself to sleep and has been sleeping pretty good since.

4/3/08, 2:38 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Letting your child cry is another way of saying that you are teaching them to get to sleep on their own, which is a wonderful gift that you are giving to your baby. That quote that you posted was NUTS! My kids, 3 and 2, have slept through the night from 6 months or so. We used a sort of "modified" cry it out, where we would go in if they sounded completely hysterical and pat them on the back, remind them we love them and they are not abandoned, and then tell them to go to sleep already. You need YOUR sleep - happy kids have happy moms.

4/3/08, 2:42 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Gosh, your life must be complete now that some anonymous moron called you a terrible mother. LOL! Too funny. I know it must have stung to read that, but consider the source and the tone. People who write nasty notes like that are simply venomous and spiteful. And most likely a little bit jealous of at least one area of your life. I'm not sure exactly what they expected you to do, but CIO is a perfectly legitimate way to help your child learn how to put him/herself to sleep. It worked for us! :o) Gotta go! I have to get myself sterilized. C-ya!

4/3/08, 8:01 PM  
Blogger jpdmom said...

I just found your blog (not sure how I missed it - you are hysterical!) I found you through the SV Mom Blogs (I contribute). Anyway - had same problem with boy kids = I hope they are sleeping now - the crying it out works! I had a commenter on my blog leave a similar comment - it still irks me....
Jamie R Lentzner
www.jpd.typepad.com

4/6/08, 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's it. I'm going to let Melissa cry it out tonight. I had been hoping that I wouldn't need to go there but by god, tonight (or at least tomorrow night) I am going to get more than 3 hours consecutive sleep. Thank you thank you thank you.

4/8/08, 7:12 PM  
Blogger the mad momma said...

same as Jaelithe. My son almost threw up and after weeks of trying it I gave up. eventually by abt 20 months he learnt. same with my daughter. i think they're just as stubborn as their mother!

4/10/08, 10:31 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I hope all went well for you, I suppose I should check since this post is a week or so old, but I was so wrapped up in the comments I didn't even look yet!

I cannot believe how close-minded and rude some people are in their comments.

Up until three days ago I had never, not once, responded to my daughter's cry. (She is six months old.) I could get her to nap, and sleep, but involved me usually napping with her, or nursing her to sleep, or any of the 300 things we moms try to get them to nod off into deep sleep land....

Anyhow, after doing some serious soul-searching I bought Weissmuth's book (Healthy sleep habits, happy child)

I absolutely cannot believe how fast it worked.

The first time we CIO it was twenty minutes, and I cried the entire time. But after that, it has always gotten shorter, and their are some naps and bedtimes were there is none at all.

I would recommend it to anyone.

It isn't a heartless thing to do, its a necessary thing to do. We teach a baby to eat, why wouldn't we teach them to sleep too?

I am doing it for her, not for my me. (Granted it is a nice bonus that I now have freetime again, but that wasn't even my intent.) I just wanted her to be happy and well-rested.

Thank you so much for posting about CIO. I will be reading the rest of your blog now to see how it went!

4/12/08, 6:29 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I should have reviewed my previous comment before posting. I meant to say I had never NOT responded to my daughter's cry up until three days ago.

Wow would if I have been blasted for that had a I not reread my comment!

4/12/08, 6:31 AM  

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