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Before my son was born, I decided that I was going to do an attended “cry it out” (CIO) to help him self-soothe in the beginning of his nap. I didn’t have to start implementing CIO until he was 2 weeks old. I would lay him down for his nap in his crib after our nap routine (swaddle, shut curtains, turn on sound machine, sing a song) and then I would close the door and walk away. If he started crying (not fussing, but a real cry), I would set the timer on my phone for 2 minutes. I did a minute for each week old he was at the time. So 2 weeks = 2 minutes. Setting a timer helped, because even just 2 minutes feels like an eternity! If he was still crying when the timer went off, I would go in and hold him until he was calm. And then I would lay him back down and leave the room. If he started crying again, I would set the timer again and follow the same steps. If I had to go in 3 times, I would transfer him to his swing in his bedroom and he would sleep in the swing for the remainder of the nap. After 1-2 weeks of doing this attended CIO, I realized that he just needs to blow off some steam before falling asleep. This was different to me because my daughter (almost 3 years old) wasn’t this way. Around 6-7 weeks I no longer needed to set a timer, because he was asleep within 6-7 minutes. And ever since then he’s been able to fall asleep on his own because he’s learned to self-soothe. I’m so thankful I did this! He’s now 14 weeks and is really good about settling down for his nap. The crying isn’t fun to hear, but I felt really comfortable knowing that he just needed to work through and self-soothe. I’m so thankful!
Christina Smith (Mom to an almost 3 year old daughter and a 3 month old son)