Wednesday, June 2, 2010

crying it out

cry it out is an interesting thing.

crying it out is the method in which a parent leaves their baby in their bed to cry for a specific period of time, before offering comfort- without picking them up.  the reason for implementing this method of sleep training is to help train your baby to fall asleep on his or her own without using "crutch" ie: rocking, patting.

you can start with cio as early as 4 months- dave and i didn't know this in the beginning, so we tried it the first couple weeks until we found out we needed to wait- oh, i felt terrible.  now we are at 4 months, and we have just started implementing it again.  we didn't really need it at first- but with the turmoil of the current wonder week- it has been a necessity.

why do i think cio is a good idea?  it's a good idea because i feel you need to teach your baby to self-soothe.  i just don't think it's a good idea to go and pick your baby up every time they cry- why?  i mean, sure, you have the ability to say, "my baby is so good, he/she never cries" but of course they won't when you are picking them up every time they cry.  giving into them will only make things harder when they are older- because babies are smart!  if i leave ian in the room and he is cooing and content he starts to cry the second the door closes, but the second my hand touches the knob to come back in, a hush falls over the room.  he knows.

it's also the toughest thing in the world.  it's the toughest thing in the world because nobody wants to hear their baby cry- it just tears you up- you want to go and run in and rescue them- hold them and rock them to sleep, but you've got to be strong!  i like to do necessary daily tasks during that time to keep me occupied- ie: eat breakfast or lunch, take a quick shower (all within earshot or view of my baby monitor).

crying it out has really started working for us.  5 minutes is usually my first check in.  after i put ian down for a nap or bedtime, i give him 5 minutes- if he's still fussing i go in and assess the situation:  is he wet?  has he spit up?  is he gassy?  has he lost the pacifier?  is it too hot/cold?  has he pulled mr. bear over his face?  i check into these things, flip him back over (he's been flipping to his tummy to sleep lately, and i find it easier to get him to sleep if i "start him over again" on his back).  i talk to him and reassure him, re-wind his lamb or mobile, give him a few pats and i'm out again.  this time i extend the time from 7-10 minutes.  lately, i  haven't needed to do this, and sometimes lately i haven't even needed the first check.

there have been other times though that after all the check-ins; the crying just won't stop.  and those times have ended baby in my arms both of us fast asleep in my bed.  and that's ok too.  sometimes baby just needs mama, and mama just needs baby.

what are your methods in getting baby to sleep with ease or to self-soothe? Pin It!


  1. During nap time we let Toby cry for 10 minutes than get him. At night we let him go 30 minutes then we spend 10 minutes soothing him. The idea is after that initial 30 to do ten minute soothe, ten minute cry, ten minute soothe and so on. We have never needed anything more than the first ten minute soothe. Incidentally he woke up three times last night and put himself back to sleep each time. I wouldn't let him cry it out until six months though!

  2. i used the babywise method, although slightly modified to fit us. i didn't do CIO and decided before that i would not, and thankfully i didn't need to, little man soothes himself to sleep with a little bit of chatting in his crib or playing with his crib toy (soft small stuffed frog).

    glad to hear that it is working for you, and only needing to check in once is great! isn't it crazy how smart babies are??

    p.s. its maegan from little green bird house, which is no more. i've got a new blog :)

  3. do you have the 2nd book in the babywise series, "parenting your pretoddler 5 - 15 months"? i have 2 copies, would be happy to mail you one if you'd like it. emial me at:

    emmypie1027 @

    and, i found that once my little guy was rolling around and flipped over to sleep on his stomach, he started sleeping better! he sleeps 12 hours at night, 7 - 7, not a peep and most of it is on his tummy. of course, nervous mom that i am, i still wake up and check on him a couple times a night. he gets more sleep than i do!

  4. M- i almost think the bw method is worse than cio- if i read correctly. in bw, they talked about how your baby could cry up to 45 minutes- that's why we decided to do the checks at increasing intervals. he's been doing pretty well.

    i actually just put him down about 10 minutes ago, and he fussed for about 3 minutes, and now he's just jibbering to himself. i think we're just now getting to the point where there will be less crying, and more talking/playing to get himself to sleep. he had been fussing for an hour- and last night he was down to 30 minutes w\ a few checks by mom & dad! and he slept 10 hours last night- his previous max was 9! we're slowly working to 12!!


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