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Spring Break 2016

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We are enjoying spring break here this week! As I take this week off, I have listed some popular posts from the past that you can enjoy!
Teaching Children: Whose Job Is It?

Actions Precede Beliefs

I'm Flexible!

Behavior, Food, and Sleep

Feeding a Newborn: How Long is a Feed?

6-9 Month Sleep Hierarchy

Structure Deters Whining1

Choosing a Coach/Teacher...How to Find the Right Fit

I look back on it as one of my biggest parenting mistakes ever. Perhaps it is my worst mistake. At the time, I wasn't sure what was the best thing to do. As I reflect, I regret the way things panned out. I regret the path I allowed my child to take. Or the path I left my child on, rather.

Kaitlyn was in first grade. She had taken dance since she was three years old and had always loved it. While we loved the studio we were at while she was young, Kaitlyn proved to outgrow it. At the end of her Kindergarten year, we decided it was time for more challenge. 

After some asking around, we settled on a studio that had been open for 30 plus years. I heard great things. Soon after starting the dance year, Kaitlyn started to express dislike for dancing. This was quite the shock since she had always loved it. I decided to hang around dance instead of dropping her off and running errands. I couldn't go in the room, but I could sit in the waiting room and from there, I could hear everything. 

What I heard was shocking. The teacher was unkind, to put it mildly. She told these little six year olds things like "That wasn't good enough!" and "If you aren't good enough, you can't be on the front row!" "We will do this over and over until every person has it perfect!" These things were all said in a gruff tone. I wouldn't have been happy with the way the teacher was talking to the girls under any circumstance, but this was a recreation class of 15 six year old girls. They were not competitive dancers. 

Kaitlyn is a peacemaker who does not like conflict. Her way of dealing with conflict is to avoid it. She wanted to avoid it by quitting dance. 

I hoped Kaitlyn would be put on the front row so I could go complain to the studio owner about this teacher. I knew if I complained after she had been put on the back row I would look like a disgruntled parent. 

The next week, the girls were placed and Kaitlyn was put in the front and middle. Hurray! But I discovered a major road block. This mean teacher was the studio owner's daughter. I felt stuck. I decided against saying anything.

And that is my moment of regret. I regret not going to the studio owner to stand up for my daughter. I was not alone. The class was full of parents who were upset and frustrated. We sat by week after week while our girls were verbally abused by this teacher. By the end of the year, only 5 of the 15 girls were willing to continue dancing at that studio. Most were unwilling to continue dancing at all. Kaitlyn was one of them. 

The interesting thing is that McKenna also danced at this studio. She also had a daughter of the owner. McKenna's dance experience was very different. She LOVED her teacher and her teacher was so sweet. She loved dance. 

But I couldn't risk one of my daughter's getting the mean teacher again, so we jumped studios. I apologized to Kaitlyn and promised to never leave her in a situation like that again. 

I talked Kaitlyn into trying dance one more year on the condition that it would be a different studio. Within a month of being there, Kaitlyn begged to add a second dance class. This is the girl who was ready to quit dance and walk away forever. As a third grader now, she still takes dance and absolutely loves it!

The business you send your child to and the teacher/coach your child has are both HUGE contributors to the quality of experience your child will have. Those two factors will determine if your child enjoys the activity or not. 

It isn't a simple thing to teach or coach a child. You need to be in control, yet have love and respect for the students. You need to expect the best from the child, but not perfection. You need to encourage and uplift. You need to believe in the child. You also need to push the child. The child will not enjoy it deeply if the child is not pushed to try harder and be better. Who your child has as a coach or teacher does matter.

Your child's teacher or coach will shape your child's view of work ethic and effort. McKenna takes gymnastics. In her gymnastics experience, she changes coaches every time she moves up a level and also each summer and each new school year. She has had coaches who pass off anything close and coaches who will only pass off perfection. Some coaches are noticeably better at getting the children to do their best and learn the most they can. She has had coaches who really seem like a waste of time and money. 

The right coach or teacher is a big deal. Not only does your child learn about the sport/instrument/etc. from that person, but life lessons. So how do you find the right fit? And what do you do if the fit is not good?

1-Ask Around
Ask your friends and neighbors where they recommend. Ask people who are similar to yourself or who have children with similar dispositions. If you are type A and ask your type B neighbor, she will have a different measuring stick than you will. 

2-Ask Questions
When you are considering a coach, studio, or teacher, treat it like a job interview. Ask their policies on dress, attendance, behavior, skills, etc. Ask about philosophies and goals. When Kaitlyn wanted to start playing competitive soccer, my husband talked extensively with her potential coach. After talking with him, Nate felt good about him. Nate felt the coach's values, goals, and coaching style were in line with what we wanted. We have not been disappointed!

3-Test Run
Once you have a good feel for who you might like, give it a test run. Many studios have summer camps. This is a great way to try a place out without committing to a full year. Some places allow you to try a class out before committing. Our gymnastics gym is this way. My children have been able to try a class 1-2 times before deciding if they want to do it. 

4-Decide on Quitting Policy
Most things start out fun, but once the honeymoon wears off, there can be a "I don't want to!" come from your child. Most adults I know who were above-average good at something wanted to quit at one point and their parents wouldn't let them. In general, it is wise to have a "no-quitting" policy. You can reevaluate at a natural break--like in between seasons or before a new payment is due. 

5-But Have Flexibility
We are big on no-quitting. What I didn't do with Kaitlyn was allow for extenuating circumstances. In retrospect, I should have looked around for a studio that would have accepted her halfway through the year (many do) and moved as soon as the winter recital was done. I knew it was a bad situation, I knew she had always loved dance, and I knew she was not being lazy or dramatic. 

6-Have Patience for Volunteers
If you are having frustration with a volunteer coach for a recreational sport like soccer or basketball, have some patience for the coach. It is very easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize a coach's decisions. Being a coach means you have a lot to think about all at once and it is harder to focus on your players and the game before you while also taking a step back and think things through. If you don't like it, resolve to be the coach next time.

I actually think anyone who complains about a volunteer should step in and do the job the next time. People will usually stop complaining once they realize what it is like to do the job. 

You even need to have patience for those getting paid sometimes. At our current dance studio, they have been open for only a few years. There are growing pains associated with a start-up. I have recognized they are figuring some things out, and the owners have recognized those things also. They are evolving and changing and going through trial and error. In the meantime, the dance instruction is great and Kaitlyn loves to dance, so we can be patient with things like revues that go way too long while they get it figured out.

7-Do Address Problems
Like I said, I regret not sticking up for Kaitlyn when she was in that situation in dance. I did what I thought was best at the time. I view that teacher as a bully and often bullies make life harder on whistle blowers. I didn't want her making things even more miserable for Kaitlyn because her mom complained. 

Since then, however, I have not hesitated to go to an authority over a teacher if I feel the teacher is out of line. It has only happened once since then and the outcome was positive. Don't let every bad look ruffle your Mama feathers. Your child isn't perfect and neither is your child's teacher. Only address real problems, not every time an ego is hurt.

8-Recognize Growing Opportunities
In life, we deal with difficult people and difficult situations. Learning to deal with those can be a great time to help your child grow. Don't rescue your child from every teacher or coach who isn't perfect. Give the situation a fair shot and only take action when your child is being negatively impacted in a long-term way. Children need to learn who to handle personality conflicts. If your child is in a short-term activity, like a sport that lasts two months, I would recommend just sticking it out unless you think it is really super damaging. 

9-Assess Regularly
After each session of whatever you are doing ends, evaluate the situation. Is your child's piano teacher still a good fit? If not, find a new one. Like I said, we initially loved Kaitlyn's first dance studio. It was a great studio for a young dancer. She got to the point, however, that she outgrew it. She needed more of a challenge. 

In the end, you want a teacher or coach who will inspire your child to love the activity. You want your child to learn and grow, but you don't want your child pushed so hard that your child loses a love for the activity. Do your homework and trust your gut. 

Today the ladies from the BFBN are talking about different aspects of trusting your children in the care of others. Go visit their blogs to read more! 

Follow Babywise Friendly Blog Network.'s board Childcare on Pinterest.

Follow Babywise Friendly Blog Network.'s board Sports, Dance, and Athletics on Pinterest.

Brayden Preteen Summary: 10.75 Years Old

This is a summary for Brayden from 10.5-10.75 years old.

It seems ten year olds in general are pretty easy. They are usually independent and responsible for themselves. They still highly value parental opinions and yet are growing bonds with peers. They still care about following rules and doing what is right. Most have not started the hormonal changes that bring on the infamous teenage sass. Some people call this time the calm before the storm. I don't know what the future will bring, but it is calm now.

Eating is good and normal. He has always been a good eater and not a picky eater. He seems to be developing his taste buds for more sophisticated tastes recently. He is liking stuff that is more flavorful than he has in the past. 

Sleep is good. For the ten year old, you still want about 10 hours of sleep at night. Your child might need more than that. Brayden typically sleeps 10-11 hours at night. 

School is great! Brayden enjoys school. 

Presentation at school
In this time period, Brayden continued with his competitive swimming. He improved a whole lot! He dropped time on almost every race at every meet he swam in. It was fun to see continually progress. 

He also played competitive basketball. This is the first time he played that. It was the first time any of the boys on his team played basketball competitively. It was a bit of a shock for them; other teams had clearly played together for years and were much, much better. The boys didn't win one game, but they improved a lot and tried hard. Brayden says he wants to do it again next year, so it wasn't too painful for him :).

The fifth grade goes skiing every winter and Bradyen went skiing with his class. Despite the fact we live in Utah with "The greatest snow on earth," he had never been before. He really enjoyed it! I think he would go weekly if we let him.

He is still taking piano lessons regularly. He loves the piano.

During this time period, rehearsals started for Shrek The Musical Jr. Brayden played the part of Shrek. It was a great opportunity for him to challenge himself in a lot of ways. He loved it. There are a lot of bonds that grow when you are rehearsing constantly with people. 

Room Remodel
We repainted Brayden's room during this time. The room had originally been Kaitlyn's and was painted a pale yellow. We decided to give it an update. He went with gray. The room looks awesome! 

Brayden is always very proactive in being helpful at home. One day, Nate and I were both very sick with different things. We were both bed ridden. Brayden took care of the girls, including making dinner, without us ever asking him to. He will unload the dishwasher without being asked or organize the food storage room without prompting. He is good about finding ways to be helpful and just doing it. 

Brayden's Schedule. This is a typical school day:

7:00 AM--wake up. Get ready. He does basic chores and practices his piano in the mornings.
9:00 AM--school
4:00 PM--home
5:00/5:30 PM--Dinner. Then time with family.
7:30 PM Start getting ready for bed.
8:30-9:00 PM--in bed

How To Get Stuff Done as a Busy Mom

Reality check. Life doesn't slow down. At least not in my experience. You think life will get simpler, but it really only ever gets harder. I think we live with this expectation that some day life will "return" to what it once was. What it was before something big happened that introduced some busy. Having a baby is one example. We spend our baby years believing that once our babies have gotten older, we will have more time.


Um, no.

Life seems to only succeed in getting busier as time goes on. Moms are busy. It doesn't matter if you are a working mom, work from home mom, or a stay at home mom, you are a busy! You have things to do but also want to be a part of your family's life. We want to be more than background noise in our children's memories!

A huge difficulty as a mom is to find ways to stay up on your necessary house tasks while still allowing time to be a mom in ways other than a housekeeper. This post isn't intended to give you the pep talk on "spend time with the kids, not time cleaning." Yes, we all want to spend time with our kids, but we do also have things we need to do each day, and that is okay! The trick is figuring out how to best accomplish those things so there is still time to fulfill other roles in your life. Here are some tips on getting those tasks done efficiently and with wisdom.

1-Have a Plan/Schedule

I find it very helpful to have a cleaning plan and schedule. I have certain days I clean certain things each week. I also make a plan for what additional things I want to get done during the week.

To see more details on how I manage my chores throughout the week, see this post: How I Do It: Chores. To see how I plan my meals, see this post: How I Do It: Meals.

2-Make Lists

I keep lists of things I need to get done. I have always been a list maker, and I have noticed as I have gotten more children and as my children have gotten older and busier, I really need lists just to free up some head space! I can't keep it all in my head. I used to do lists with paper, but I now use my iPhone. I put stuff in my list as soon as I think of it. I initially used my Notes on the iPhone. I now use two different apps. 

For my personal "to-dos" I use Mom's Daily Planner by I just use the free version and so far only use the "to-do list" function. It has been very helpful for me in organizing my to-dos. I can categorize and prioritize my lists. I can assign due dates and look at what is only due that day, which makes the list more manageable  I can also look at the entire list of what I have open if I need to.

For keeping the entire family on the same schedule, my favorite app is Cozi. We also use the free version of this. My husband and I have the same app, and when I put something in, it updates on his phone as well. We keep our family calendar on it. We also keep our shopping lists on it. You can also have "to-do" lists on Cozi (good place for a honey-do?). 

Lists help me keep track of everything I need to get done and where I need to be. 

3-Start with Scriptures

I find that when I start my day with scripture study, I am able to get so much more done in my day. I have found this to be true ever since I was a teenager, and I never miss an opportunity to share about it. Put it to the test!

4-Let Things Go

If you are feeling overwhelmed and like you don't have the time or means to do it all, figure out what you can let go. Sure, cleaning the blinds monthly would be great. But how much do you NEED to do that? Just think through the expectations you are putting on yourself and cut back where you can. For more on this idea, see my post Pregnancy: Think Through Abilities. It is directed to pregnant mothers, but it can easily be applied to all situations where you need to cut back. You can also see "Good Sacrifice vs. Foolish Sacrifice" and "Slow the Pace."

5-Don't Clean All Day

It took me until my third child to figure this one out. Don't clean all day! When you have young kids, you can easily spend the day following them around and cleaning everything up as they go. Then you get frustrated when a new mess is made because you just cleaned that area! One Dad I know was left to be a "stay at home dad" for a week while his wife was away. He started complaining about cleaning all day and I told him to just let it go. You will find you are a nicer parent when you pick once or twice a day to focus on picking up the house. See more on this under 9 below--Work as a Family.

Now, you want to balance this idea with the good practice of having your children clean up after themselves. With young children, you need to help them clean. So you do want to instill good habits of cleaning up after themselves, but that doesn't mean you follow them around cleaning the trail they leave behind them--that is not teaching good habits.

6-Early To Rise

This one isn't very popular, but if you can get up early, you will find you are able to get so much more done in a day! Getting up early means you are up before your children, and we all know doing things without the help of our children is much faster and easier than doing it with the help of our children :). So, even just an extra thirty minutes in the morning could do a lot for your "to-do" list.

7-Keep Things Presentable

My main goal for my house these days is just to keep things presentable--keep things in a state that if I had an unexpected visitor, I wouldn't be totally embarrassed. This is definitely easier said than done, and I have plenty of embarrassing visits, but it helps give me an end-goal that I can focus on for each day.

8-Pretend Company is Coming

I once had a friend comment on Facebook about how much faster she worked when company was coming over. Isn't that so true! If you want to clean your house in a hurry, pretend company will be there in 15 minutes. Clean like crazy for those 15 minutes.

And of course, actually inviting someone over can accomplish the same thing. Company coming is a great clutter-reducer for me :)

9-Work as a Family

When I decided a few years ago to stop cleaning all day long, I figured the best time for things to get very clean was right before bedtime. My children are all required to help clean up before bed. Everyone helps clean, then we do our bedtime routine, then the kids are put in bed, and the house is clean for about 12 hours! 

A great thing about doing this is that the children think about what kind of mess they are making because they know they will be cleaning it up. You don't have to do this before bed--you can pick any time of day.

10-Hire It Out

Sometimes you just need to hire it out. Many families I know who have both parents working find hiring someone to come in and clean 2-4 times a month well worth the investment. I "hire out" my children to help me with deep cleaning--I used deep cleaning as the jobs they can do to earn money. You might find there is something you want to hire out, whether it is a neighbor teenager, a professional, or your own children.

As life gets busier, work to figure out how to make it doable for you. Adjust things here and there to be able to still get chores done around the house but still be present with your childre.

"You're Lucky"

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"I can't believe all four of your babies slept so well. You are so lucky!" There it was. The comment that seems to come multiple times with each baby. How "lucky" we are to have good sleepers. It can be a frustrating comment; as parents, we know how much effort and sacrifice has gone into helping the child learn to be a good sleeper. We know it isn't about luck. But I have even had people who read my blog tell me I am lucky to have had good sleepers, so the comments can come even from people who have some inside information. 

But you can't really blame people. They don't see the effort going on and don't know of the sacrifices made to get there. It is human nature to attribute essentially "luck" to the good we see in the lives of others. Take even seeing someone who is very skilled at something, be it anything from athletics to instruments. We hear someone playing  piano flawlessly and marvel at how talented they are. Do we ever pause to think about how much work went into developing that talent? 

When I was in high school, I was at a church leader's house. Her daughter-in-law was furiously playing their grand piano in the other room. My leader explained her daughter-in-law was working on a master's degree of some sort in piano--it was a long time ago; I can't remember what she was officially working toward. What I do remember is that she was required to practice 10 hours a DAY. A day! Yet we would hear that playing and think, "Wow! She is talented!" and probably wish we had been given that talent. I know some people have talents that just come naturally, but most things we see as talents in others are the result of effort on their part. 
So I cut people slack. They don't know how much time and effort I have put in. And those "lucky" babies do come. People do get lucky babies who just sleep well. So the comments come. They tend to come with less frequency with each child you have who is a good sleeper. People recognize "luck" doesn't happen that often.

When the comments come, you have a handful of options for your reaction. If you don't know the person well, saying a simple, "Thanks!" or "Yeah." can suffice. If you are visiting with the person, you can throw out there, "Oh luck had nothing to do with it! We [insert brief details here]." Sometimes the comments come simply because they are making conversation. 

Just remember the comment isn't intended to be a jab at you or an effort to undermine anything you have done. Those people are out there, but most make comments innocently. Respond in kind. 

Poll Discussion: Sleep Props

There are times when a sleep prop is a necessary tool to help your baby sleep. Some things one person views as a sleep prop another person does not. Sometimes we hear so much warning about the usage of sleep props we are afraid to use them when the situation might warrant it. While I avoid many sleep props, there are many on the sleep prop list I used with my children and highly recommend to everyone. Some examples of sleep props are (NOTE--not all people would view all of these as sleep props, but considering a sleep prop to be something that you give baby or do for baby to help baby fall sleep, let's call them all sleep props for this poll):
  • Pacifier
  • Sleep positioner
  • Sound machine
  • Swaddle
  • Rocking baby to sleep
  • Nursing baby to sleep
  • Sleep location other than crib (swing, rock and play, wrap...)
It is very helpful for me when compiling answers if you at least number the answers you give. You can also copy the questions and answer them. If the question does not apply to you, simply put "N/A."

1. What sleep props did/does your child use?
2. What age did your child start with each prop?
3. What age did your child end with each prop?
4. When you ended each prop, was it difficult for your child?
5. If yes to number 4, what kind of reaction was it and how long did the reaction last?
6. In retrospect, would you use that prop again?
7. Any advice on sleep props?

Brinley Preschooler Summary: 43 Months Old

This is a summary for Brinley from 42-43 months old.

Sleeping is great! Nor troubles.

Eating is going well. She pretty much only eats fruits and vegetables these days. She has decided she doesn't like milk. These things don't worry me. At times I wonder how she can be sustained after only eating fruits and vegetables for dinner, but she doesn't complain so I go with it. She is also growing well and is healthy looking.

She loves playing with her "little friends." She has little friends because she is litte.

The couple of months leading up to 3.5, Brinley was a boundary pusher. She had some tumultuous days and moments. Leading right into 3.5, she relaxed a lot and has continued to be relaxed. She is only getting easier. She doesn't argue with me as much. She accepts rules quickly and easily. It is a welcome change! I don't remember my 3.5 year old being like that before, but I have always either had a newborn or been pregnant, so maybe my brain was not in a state to recognize! Haha. Or it was just a Brinley thing. I have noticed each of my children had different ages that were their hardest in those first several years. For Brinley so far, it has definitely been the couple of months leading up to 3.5.

always inquisitive

Brinley loves being the youngest and loves being a kid. Specifically, she loves being three. She and I were recently talking about something she wanted to do--it may have been start playing soccer. Something like that. I explained when she turned X years old, she would get to do that. Brinley was reduced to tears. "No! I will always be free [three]!" It was amusing. I have been warming her up to the idea that she will continually get older each birthday. I think she is starting to accept that.

In direct contrast to her desire to be the baby and stay little, she fights for independence and to do things herself. This back and forth is very common for three year olds. They want to learn independence, but they often feel conflicted about leaving the baby life behind. That is why one day your three year old gets offended if you try to put her pants on for her and the next day she has a meltdown if you give her pants to her to put on herself.

One casualty of her independence this past month was our tissue supply. She had a cold and wanted to wipe her nose herself. She just went to the tissues to take care of it. When I walked into a bathroom, I found piles of barely-used tissues! She would wipe, pull a new one out, wipe, pull a new one out...three boxes in a day. THREE!

Her current favorite book-- (affiliate link) Ninja Red Riding Hood
This section contains affiliate links. This does not increase your cost. It is interesting how much a favorite can change in just a month. This month, her absolute favorite thing to play with has been My Little Ponies. She has also really loved her Calico Critters and her Little People toys. She does still love LEGOs, and still the real kind. She actually packed up her Duplos and gave them to me and told me she doesn't want them anymore. That girls LOVES to declutter. She is my only child who likes to get rid of stuff. When I clean out her room, I get rid of more with her help than I would without. With the other kids, I have to smuggle out the broken toys.

Here is our typical schedule:

8:30 AM--wake up/eat breakfast/scriptures
9:00 AM--get ready for day
9:30 AM--watch 30 minutes of TV 
10:00 AM--Independent Playtime
11:15ish AM--Learning time
12:00 noon--Lunch
12:30 PM--free play
1:30/2:00ish PM--Nap
4:30/5:00 PM--Wake up and free play
5:30 PM--Dinner
6:00 PM--Family time
8:00 PM--Get ready for bed
8:30 PM--Bedtime

What Age Should You Start Cry It Out?

I have been helping parents get their babies to sleep for ten years, and I have yet to find one to enjoys certain processes of parenthood. One of those is sleep training. It can be stressful. One of the biggest questions people have is "What age?" This post answers that for you.

What Age Should You Start Cry It Out?

Listening to your child cry is heart-wrenching. No parent enjoys it. Sixty seconds of crying can seem more like sixty minutes. The reason a parent chooses to go the route of cry it out (CIO) is because the result is a baby who sleeps well, and sleep is vital for proper brain development. When Brayden, my oldest, was first born, I was not sure I wanted to do CIO. I was perfectly willing to help him fall asleep by rocking him. We went that route until he was 9 weeks old.

Here was the problem with rocking for Brayden. The entire time I rocked him, he cried. It would take about 40 minutes of rocking and he cried the whole time. Then he slept only 30-60 minutes. I could tell he was tired at all times, and in the end I decided I could either hold him while he cried it out, or he could be in his bed when he cried it out. Me rocking him was not soothing for him or me and it wasn't helping him sleep well.

An interesting thing happened when we started CIO at 9 weeks old. He cried for less time in his crib. His naps were still the same length, but the crying was less. One day after starting CIO, his nights went down to one waking a night instead of several. He was learning to sleep on his own and sleeping better overall.

After our positive experience with Brayden learning to sleep on his own, I was a believer in the CIO process. But that didn't mean I liked it any more. Nope. Still hated it. I would compare it to exercising. Hate it. It can suck. But it works. The difference between the two, however, is that CIO doesn't get easier with time.

By the time my third child was born, I read about the 4 S's from the Baby Whisperer. This was a life changer for us! Following this with my third and fourth led to rare crying ever from birth on. I can't recommend this method for you enough. You get the independent sleeper without the crying. Win-win.

CIO and Babywise
Let's get one thing straight. For some reason, there is an idea that to do Babywise means you must do some form of hardcore CIO. It just isn't the case. The book mentions that your baby might cry when learning to fall asleep. It also encourages you to avoid sleep props. But there is no guide to sleep training. The book recommends you make sure baby can fall asleep alone. The reason for this is that babies, just like adults, wake up multiple times a night. Babies wake up in the middle of nap (45-60 minute mark). If a baby cannot fall asleep alone, then baby will wake up fully and need your help to fall back asleep.

So your goal with sleep is just that baby can fall asleep alone so that mid-nap and mid-night baby can go back to sleep without help. You do not have to do CIO if you do not want to. For more on sleep training and Babywise, see Sleep Training According to Babywise. Again, I personally highly recommend using the 4 S's from the Baby Whisperer as the preferred method of sleep training.

What Age Can You CIO
Back to the topic at hand, cry it out. People who have decided to CIO often have the question, "What age am I okay to start CIO with my baby?" There is so much conflicting information out there on this topic. You have everything from "birth" to "never." Most people who agree CIO is okay agree that around 16 weeks of age is okay to start. Most will also say between that 16 weeks and 6 months old is your sweet spot time when you will have the least amount of crying overall and the fastest success rate. This means fewer days of crying.

My personal thoughts are to trust your "gut." I give a lot of weight to mother's intuition. If you feel your baby is ready for it, give it a try. Do not start, then stop, then start, then stop repeatedly. If you start and decide, "I was wrong!" go ahead and stop and try again at a later date, just not the very next nap. Don't start it until you are confident baby is ready and that you are ready. Otherwise all you are doing is making baby cry for a period of time for no reason.

Some people worry they are too late for CIO to work. There really isn't an age that is "too late." The older the baby/child, the less there will be "crying" and the more there will be calling out, "Mommy!" But it can still work.

Before You Start
Before you start with CIO, be sure you have thought it through. Be sure you feel good about it. Be

sure you have read the information I have for you below so you go into it mentally prepared. 

I would also advise you do your best to limit sleep props up until the day you start CIO (and after of course). If your baby has sleep props, then you are having crying to wean from the prop and to learn to sleep. Double whammy. Do you best to keep those sleep props to a minimum. 

What Age Should You Start Cry It Out?Find a good support group. There are many good Babywise groups online that can be your support through it and troubleshoot things with you. The Chronicles Google Group is fantastic. There are helpful and supportive groups on Facebook. There are many groups out there, so find the one that works for you and use that support network. "In my day" (seriously people, I am old enough for that statement), those support groups weren't available yet. Best of luck to you! 

  • CIO Bootcamp--Revised and Updated
  • CIO Responsibly
  • It's time to take the guilt out of sleep training
  • Sleep Training and Trust
  • Sleep Training: The Four S's


    Moving to one nap can seem scary. It is super nice to have those two chunks of time every day you can get things done or even relax, and moving to one nap means you move to one chunk of time. But I promise you, one nap is awesome! I think once you get there, you will realize it is the best of every world. Large chunk of time in the morning to do things with your little one and to go out of the house, nice chunk of nap in the afternoon to do other things in the home...ahhh.

    A big hurdle with the one nap is knowing when it is right and how to do it. Katrina from Mama's Organized Chaos is wrapping up BFBN week with information on when to go to one nap and how to get there. If you are at this transition, you will definitely want to check out her map to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. 

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    FAQs: Scheduling {BFBN Week}

    Whether schedules come naturally to you or not, you probably find yourself with questions from time to time. Today Carrie from Wiley Adventures is talking about various common questions people have with schedules. How do you set it up from the beginning? How do you stay consistent with your schedules? How do you change schedule as baby grows? How flexible can you be? What is the difference between a routine and a schedule? If you have these questions buring in your heart, head on over to glean some wisdom from Carrie.

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    One Quick Trick for Stopping Unwanted Toddler Behavior {BFBN Week}

    When we get to the toddler years, one of the biggest concerns is the behavior. Our sweet little babies grow into these toddlers with giant opinions--opinions that change with the wind. Stephanie from Giving it Grace is talking about how to stop or change unwanted behavior. She has some great tips and tricks for you that are simple to implement and not ways you normally think to get a behavior change from your toddler. Head on over to her blog today to read her great tricks.

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    How to Drop the Last Middle of the Night Feeding

    Waking up in the night with baby, at some point, can get old. You just want to sleep! You start to feel zombie-ish. I know the question of how to stop that 5-6 AM night feeding is a common one. It's like being at the end of a marthon, seeing the finish line, and having a huge mote you have to cross. How do you cross it?!? Emily from The Journey of Parenthood has some great ideas for you today. Emily says, Somewhere around 6-8 weeks my babies all stopped waking during the 3-4 hour and instead slept until the 5-6 hour. While you'd think that would be awesome, because it means an extra hour of solid sleep for me, it's actually the MOST frustrating time for a baby to wake. " Head on over to Emily's blog to get all of her great tips for this!

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