Here are many reader Cry It Out questions.
- tedsfiles said… what’s a CIO?
January 28, 2008 11:09 AM
Plowmanators said… CIO is Cry it Out
January 28, 2008 1:28 PM
CIO Process Questions
- Christina said…
My 5 month old still cries herself to sleep, except for the nap first thing in the morning. Am I doing something wrong? We let her CIO and she usually falls asleep within 15 min. But sometimes she cries at the sight of her bedroom or when we start to change her diaper and get her ready for bed. She’s a BW baby and sleeps through the night just fine.
April 9, 2008 9:45 PM
That is a great question. No, you aren’t doing anything wrong. Some kids need to cry. That is no problem. I have a good friend whose son cried for a few minutes before every nap until he was close to two. He just needed to blow steam that way. She should outgrow it someday…:)
April 9, 2008 10:49 PM
- Emily said…
yikes….Everything was going so well! My daughter has been going to bed at night, a little crying, but when she’s out she’s OUT until her dreamfeed. Well tonight I put her to bed and she screamed and screamed….broke out of her swaddle….reswaddled, screamed screamed….and she keeps falling asleep and periodically waking up and screaming….4 hours later! I”m going to lose my mind!! Is it typical to have setbacks like this? It seems like she hates the swaddle but she can’t handle without it….I’m at a loss! It’s almost time for her dreamfeed and I’m afraid we may be in for a long night….any insight? My daughter is 7 weeks old…..THANKS!
July 14, 2008 7:28 PM
Emily, yes, typical. There are a couple of things I would consider. Does she act that way for every sleep session? I wonder if she really doesn’t like the swaddle, or if there is something else that might be bothering her. Also, with my daughter we had to move to swaddling one arm but not the other for a while. See these posts How to Help Your Baby Sleep Better With Swaddling When To Stop Swaddling Your Baby
July 15, 2008 3:42 PM
NO, that’s the thing…..she falls asleep pretty darn easily for others, and was falling asleep at night just fine. I think the problem was that she was getting out of the swaddle and that is what was bothering her….I resorted to the miracle blanket tonight, and she’s still having a rough go of it, but I think she may just be overtired from last night?? She took naps today but because of my older kids schedules, she has to nap in the carseat at those times. Hopefully she calms down soon. I really do think she dislikes the swaddle but she just can’t handle being out of it. Once she’s asleep shes fine, but she’s mad while falling asleep….
July 15, 2008, 5:41 PM
Hopefully it all works out soon. With my daughter, she would sometimes break out of the swaddle and I would think she must hate the swaddle. I came to realize it wasn’t that she hated the swaddle, it was just that she was having a rough nap. Some naps are just bad, and certain times of day are bad. So that might also be a possibility. Good luck with it 🙂
July 17, 2008 8:57 PM
- Lorri said…
I just finished day 1 and night 1 of CIO.My son is 3 months old. The doctor said I should wait for CIO because he was born 2 weeks early and on day 7 was admitted back into the hospital with pneumonia and took 3 more weeks to recover. But now he is old enough and back to being healthy-no fluid in his lungs anymore.Napping-he goes about 40 minutes of crying before he naps. But then naps for only about 45 minutes. Do I have him CIO when he wakes mid nap? And CIO-I hear so many stories of “my daughter cried and cried for hours but then fell asleep.” But I never hear if she STAYED asleep. Last night he would cry for 1 1/2 hours-full on screams-choking and gagging himself on the saliva he was creating, it was very hard. After about 1 1/2 hours of this he would abruptly stop. My husband and I smiled and sighed a breath of relief. But then 15 minutes later he woke up again and cried for another 1 1/2 + hours and then went back to sleep for another 30 minutes. Again, he woke back up and cried for over 1 1/2 hours.At 7am which has been the first of the day feeding/wake up time, I got him out of his bassinet still screaming. All of us only got a total of 3 hours of sleep.This can’t be good for anyone. I would really love your help, suggestions, support. Could you email [email protected]?
August 8, 2008 11:10 AM
Lorri, I am going to take your posts one at a time.During this initial training, I would not have him CIO mid nap. He is just learning to self soothe. If he wakes early, see this post: What to Do When Baby Wakes Early From Naps or Won’t Fall Asleep For Nap It is normal to wake up at 45 minutes at this stage of CIO. They are just learning. There is a tranisition at 45 minutes, so they wake, and if they aren’t able to self-soothe, they often wake fully.I would wait on night CIO for now. Are you feeding him, then CIO, or is he waking and you just have him CIO?
August 11, 2008 10:47 AM
It is 5:23am on Day 3 of crying it out. Yesterday his naps went 6:30am-9:15am woke up looked around and then started crying.He went back down at 10:40 for nap #2 without a peep. Woke up at 12:15, looked around and within a minute started screaming-not just crying, screaming.He went back down at 1:22pm cried until 1:40 something and slept till 3:50pm. Also again within the minute started crying.He went back down about 5:30pm for 20 minutes then woke up. We fed him at 6:45 and he fell right to sleep.He woke back up around 8pm and cried until 9pm. He then woke back up at 11:30pm. Again-following doctors orders we fed him at this waking so that he could sustain his weight do to low weight from a bout of pneumonia.He was back down by 12midnight.He woke back up pretty much on the dot-I looked at the clock and saw the numbers change to 3:31.Unlike last night when he cried for an hour until 4:23. It is 5:28am and he is still crying. Thats double what it was last night.Is this because he DIDN”T wake up at 1am to cry so he had extra sleep/extra energy.I have to say I am tired of reading stories that are suppose to be encouraging of how their little one cried for and hour when they put him to bed and slept the rest of the night. I’m tired of having him cry for an hour, sleep for an hour, cry for an hour, sleep for an hour. Is there anything I can do about this.And I haven’t read many stories where the next night got worse. Its always “he cried for an hour the first night and then only 40 mins the next and progressively got better.” Where are the stories of babies crying one night for an hour and 2 hours the next night-I feel its just getting worse rather than better.And still 4 times within the past 2 hours he stopped screaming for about a min. each and his eyes closed. But then his whole body would jerk and wake up.I will keep you posted on how long he does go this morning crying.And I guess I still get him up at his normal waketime 7:30am?
August 9, 2008 5:32 AM
Lorri,Are you sure he is not hungry at night? Honestly if it were me at your point, I would get up, feed him, then put him back down awake if he is awake. Once he gets better at self-soothing in the day, your nights will be better.Also, CIO will get better, then seem to back track, then better, then backtrack…see this post: What Age Do Babies Get Easier? I would still get him up at 7:30 unless you fed him. If you fed him, I would give him an extra 30 minutes.
August 11, 2008 10:51 AM
My little one cried until 5:30am this morning. I finished my post and went in to him. He wasn’t sleeping though. Just staring eyes wide open. I had to watch very carefully to make sure he was still breathing.At about 6am he started crying again and I got up to feed him at 6:30-30mins under his first feeding of the day time 7am.He smiled and talked a bit to me and even played with some of his toys after I fed him. Basically he went from 12midnight to 3:30am and then cried and stayed up until 7:15am when he went down for his first nap.People ask questions about crying through their baby’s nap time, what about crying through my baby’s night time sleep?
August 9, 2008 7:50 AM
Lorri, like I said, I would wait on nighttime CIO for now. Day and night at the same time are too much for the nerves of you, and a real shock for your baby.
August 11, 2008 10:52 AM
LORRI, I just wanted to tell you that I completely understand about the difficulty of CIO. It will be 2 wks tonight since we started CIO with my LO (at night; already had naps down) and it has been a rollercoaster ride. He would do pretty good after the DF until about 2:30 or 3:00 am then it’s just like you said, cry for an hour (or more), sleep an hour (or less), till waketime. There have been a few ok nights interspersed, but only in the past few nights have I finally started seeing more consistent improvement. Last night was the first time he slept from DF to 6 am with no wakings. (woohoo) But I totally get it. I’ve wanted to quit SOOO many times and just feed him to sleep. Plowmanators has an entry called “Progress in a Spiral” and it’s so true. My LO is most certainly not one of those CIO for 30 minutes one night and then the lessons learned kind of child. I learned with CIO in naps that I just had to stick with it…and now at night too (and it’s so much harder to hear him cry at night, when there’s nothing to distract me). We’ll have to see how tonight goes….more improvement or a step back??? All I know is, CIO eventually worked beautifully for naps. He’ll learn at night eventually.
August 10, 2008 8:19 PM
Thanks Becca. You are so right about this. Here is the link for the post Becca referred to: Don’t Stress Mama: Good Behavior Progress is a Spiral
August 11, 2008 10:53 AM
Thanks guys. There was a few rough nights there and I guess I was trying to have him learn too much at once-and killing myself.This is what we are doing now:CIO for initial put down to bed. When I put him down for naps, if he cries-he cries. He needs to learn to nap. Over the weekend, he has woken up a few times into his nap, wiggles around for a bit and then goes back to sleep.If he cries when he wakes up-I go in and pick him up and put him into his swing.At night when we put him to bed only sometimes does he CIO. If he wakes up in the middle of the night, my husband gives him his pacifier.I have tried to feed my little guy and he eats whenever he is offered food. Our doctor said we were feeding him too much and that was what was contributing to his spit up problem. What helps us understand if he didn’t need the food is how much he spits up afterwards. Twice he spit up enough that I had to change my shirt before going back to bed. So now my husband gives him his pacifier and he falls asleep within 5 mins. I do think it is his internal clock because every time he wakes up it has been 3:30 3:31 and 3:33 and then 3:28 no matter if we fed him at 11pm or 10pm he wakes the same time.I didn’t like my husband giving him his pacifier because I was afraid we were teaching him to rely on the pacifier to go to sleep and creating a whole new habit.But I realize that one habit at a time needs to be formed and/or broken and getting him to sleep for naps is first and sleep when we put him in his bed too. Over the weekend our son has found his thumb. This is something we aren’t thrilled about, but so far it has helped him fall back to sleep during naps.So as of today he cried 10mins last night before falling asleep at 10:30 and then slept till 3:28am. Gave him his pacifier and he slept till 7:30am.He cried only 5 minutes for his first nap and slept 2 1/2 hours none for his second nap and slept 1 hour.Now my question is that I’ve been so worried about him getting enough sleep-that I’ve been letting him sleep the 2 full hours even if it meant going over the 3 hours between eating. If he falls asleep close to the time I’m suppose to get him up and feed him, which should I do, let him sleep or feed him?
August 12, 2008 1:51 PM
If he falls asleep close to feeding time, at most I would let him go over 30 minutes. But don’t make this a norm. You want to train his metabolism.
August 13, 2008 8:13 PM
I’m really glad to have found this blog and think that all new prints of Babywise should include it as a resource!We just got the Babywise book a few weeks ago-hence why we are starting so late. In the “latecomers” section I feel like it doesn’t really explain what to do-just kind of figure out where your baby should be and good luck. But reading your posts and learning that naps come first and then night time and it is all just feeling better to me rather than trying to do it all at once. I am going to link to your blog and send it to all of my friends!
August 12, 2008 2:43 PM
Lorri, I am glad the blog has helped you! Be sure to see this post, too: Starting Babywise Late Guide
August 13, 2008 8:14 PM
So our naptime is doing pretty well. He is sleeping 2 hours in the morning nap, then 1 1/2 hour ish for the next two naps with only about 5 mins of crying if any when going down.Here is a question though- for nighttime CIO on page 125 for dropping a feeding it states “Any crying will be temporary, lasting from fice to possibly forty-five minutes. Remember this will be temporary.”No where does babywise address those babies who cry for 3 hours straight. This is what happened when we followed the advice for dropping the middle of the night feeding. I have checked to see if he was hungry-he doesn’t want to eat he just wants to be held. But this is a long time for the middle of the night to be crying-suggestions for what you would do. The swing suggestion doesn’t work for 3am in the morning…
August 21, 2008 3:02 PM
Lorri,I would not have him work on dropping the middle of the night feeding until he consistently goes down for naps without crying. Then you will know he is skilled at self-soothing. If he wakes in the night and gets really worked up, he will be hungry. Since he cries that long in the night right now, I would just feed him.
August 26, 2008 7:50 AM
We did stop having him cry it out at night 3 weeks ago.My question is, is it common to have a baby-17 weeks old- who just keeps waking up at 45 min into a nap just because? We have been working on the CIO for naps for 3 weeks now and he doesn’t cry GOING to bed, just when he wakes up 45 min into his nap-but not all the time, only sometimes. He ALWAYS wakes up around 40-45 minutes into his nap, but only sometimes cries about it. Other times he wakes up, talks to himself, eats his hands and 10 minutes later is back asleep. Its when he wakes up and within a few minutes starts crying. Once he starts crying, he cries until it is time to eat again and then is too over tired to stay up after eating and our whole schedule is off.I’ve read about the 45 min intruder so at first I checked to make sure that he wasn’t hungry but he only snacks and then snacks again at feeding time. So I reasoned that he isn’t waking up because he is hungry.As far as putting him down earlier because he might be over tired-I’ve tried to be very self disciplined about logging when he shows sleepy signs and getting him into bed before he gets cranky.Is there such thing as putting him down too soon? So then he doesn’t need to go back into the deeper sleep cycle?He doesn’t cry when I put him to bed-so I feel like he isn’t over tired. And he doesn’t play in bed for more than 5 mins before quietly drifting off to sleep. Is he going to sleep because I am conditioning him to but could be ready to stay up longer? Does this make any sense?
August 26, 2008 5:17 PM
Oh yeah, and he LOVES his swing-so much so that it is not a place that he will fall asleep. Right now he will only sleep in two places: his bed or my arms-and my arms are not an option for early wake-up.
August 26, 2008 5:19 PM
Lorri, It is not unheard of. Brayden took 45 minute naps until 6 months. A good friend of mine has had her daughter nap that long for basically her whole life and she is older than a year. She has written an article on it for my blog and it will be posted soon. If you put baby down too soon, usually what will happen is they either cry for a long time or if they are past the crying stage of life they just play for a while before falling asleep.I think if he didn’t need to sleep, he wouldn’t. I always put Kaitlyn down at the same times. When the time came she needed a longer waketime, she wouldn’t fall asleep right away as usual.
August 30, 2008 9:16 PM
- my3sons said…
Hi – I posted a comment a few days ago, but I can’t find it! If you know where it is, will you let me know? I am going to bookmark this page so I can find it this time.I started CIO with my 3-week-old on Monday. Last night he cried off and on in his crib from 8-9:30. I fed him at 7. I finally went in at 9:30 and picked him up and he calmed instantly. I held him for a bit, put him back down and he cried until it was time to feed him at 10. He never cried that long before! Usually it was just 20 minutes, on Wednesday it was 40 after a long day out of the house. His last two naps yesterday, he just cried off and on the whole time until it was time to feed. One of the naps I did eventually get him and put him in the swing, where he dozed, but I know this isn’t the best quality sleep and it certainly isn’t helping him learn. If I didn’t have two older children, I would be giving up by now, but I simply don’t have time to soothe him to sleep. Is this normal behavior? What would you do?Thank you.
September 13, 2008 10:27 AM
my3sons, It is normal to have really bad days, and the more tired he gets throughout the day, the harder time he will have falling asleep. See this post:
Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps. Remain consistent, find that optimal waketime length, and hang in there!
Optimal Waketime Lengths
When and How to Extend Baby’s Wake Time Length
September 22, 2008 1:58 PM
Hi Valerie,Thank you for your help and encouragement. I remember reading in the book, “If your baby cries longer than fifteen minutes, check on the baby. Pat him or her on the back, possibly holding the child for a moment.” (p. 148) So I’ve been waiting until 20 minutes have passed, and then I’ll check on him, and if he’s still crying, I’ll soothe him, and then I’ll put him back down, and if twenty more minutes of crying has gone on, I’ll put him in the swing where he’ll sleep. I usually resort to the swing for some of the 5 p.m. naps. OK, just thought I’d tell you what worked for me, and maybe it’ll help someone else, too!Thanks again!!
October 7, 2008 9:48 AM
Thanks my3sons, it is always good to hear from others on how they have found success.
October 9, 2008 1:11 PM
- Lucie said…
First, let me say I am so thankful to have found your blog and owe you a HUGE THANK YOU for taking the time to share your experiences with all of us. I have spent over a week looking through and reading your blog! It is very thorough. My question is 1. where/how do I begin to sleep train my 3 ½ week old son? I used CIO with my 4 ½ year old daughter but not until she was 8 months old so I am clueless how/where to start when my son is this young.I am formula feeding my son and have him on the BW eat/wake/sleep schedule 90% of the time. At night I have been putting him into his crib after he falls asleep eating. He then typically will sleep 2 ½ -3 hours and wake for his next meal. During the day is our stumbling block. He eats/wakes/sleeps but has a very hard time sleeping in his crib. He will sometimes settle after CIO for 20 minutes or so but then wakes crying and cries/whines for another few minutes, then sleeps for about 5 minutes, etc. This cycle repeats for a hour. I have never let him go longer than that without “intervening” and bringing him down into his swing. He will then settle right into a sound sleep and sleep for AT LEAST 3 hours until I wake him to eat. He also sleeps well in his car seat. I wake him up if he has fallen asleep in his car seat also. 2. Why is he sleeping better in his swing (even though it is NOT swinging) and in his seat than in his bed? I have not tried swaddling him in fear that this too will be a sleep prop.3. How do I begin to sleep train my son during the day as well as at night? 4. Should I make sure he is being placed in bed awake even at night? 5. How long is too long to let them CIO at this age? I am a tough Mom and know this is the best thing for him so I am willing to go hard core—I just need to know how to do this most effectively and most quickly. 6. For a 3 hour cycle I know his waketime should be 45-60 minutes including feeding time—does this mean his nap should last ideally 1 hour 45 minutes-2 hours? How long should a nap last for this age? I see the benefits of sleep training every night as my 4 ½ year old is a FABULOUS sleeper! Please give me the tools to start my son on his way to sleeping on his own, with no props, during the day and at night! Thanks so much!
September 16, 2008 5:24 PM
Lucie, You are welcome! Thanks for the thanks. See this post: CIO Bootcamp You can swaddle; I don’t think it is a prop, especially at that young of an age when they don’t have much (if any) arm control.
Does he have reflux? That would be my guess for why he sleeps better sitting up. You can try inclining the crib matress. I would focus on days first, then nights should follow without extra work on your part. If he is awake at night, I would put him down awake, but if he is asleep after taking a full meal, I would just put him down (at night).For how long…that is going to depend on him. You are going to have to figure out all of the intricacies of him. Naps at that age are usually 1.5-2 hours. I would just be sure to wake him once he has reached that 3 hour mark for the next meal. Good luck!
September 22, 2008 2:10 PM
- Taylor’sMommy said…
Hi, I left a comment the other day, but can’t find it and haven’t seen any responses to it. My daughter is now 6 weeks old. We have been doing CIO since 3 1/2 weeks. She still cries for naps during the day and will usually struggle with the 4PM nap and end up sleeping only an hour and for the 7PM nap she will scream bloody murder until we get her. We tried going in there every 15 minutes and consoling her for an hour, but there was no success. Now every night for 7PM nap we just try 15 minutes and if she whales we know she won’t give in. Should I keep trying to put her down to CIO or just let her sleep in the bouncer until she moves out of this stage? Also how long does the crying continue for the naps? Am I dreaming to want to just put her down and have her fall right to sleep at this age?
December 24, 2008 6:44 PM
It is normal to still have crying after only 3 weeks of doing CIO. I find it takes about 8 weeks before there is no crying, though that doesn’t mean it is as bad the whole time. It does get progressively better over time. A few kids need to cry for a minute or two before each nap even older than a year old, though. See this post for more on how long it takes: When Does it Get Better? For the naps she is having a harder time with, experiment with waketime length. She might need to go down for those naps earlier than other naps. For the last, you could just go straight to the bouncer. I think that is a better option than putting her in for 15 minutes and then moving her to the bouncer. That is a normal time of day for young babies to cry a lot.
January 3, 2009 4:12 PM
- jencwu said…
I have been doing a sort of half-hearted CIO for about 2 weeks now with my baby who is now 4 weeks. I say half-hearted because I have been letting him use a pacifier to go to sleep but it falls out everytime he starts to drift off, so I have been reinserting it many times. Anyway, I feel like no progress is being made (although Tuesday was a nearly perfect day–I have no idea what I did differently!!). I’m getting so frustrated and tired of hearing him cry through most of his naptimes I am about ready to give up. I feel like maybe the benefits don’t outweigh the negatives? There seems to be no end in sight and it seems pointless to continue this way. Please give me some sort of encouragement and tell me what the benefits are and why they are worth it!!!
August 22, 2008 12:05 PM
Plowmanators said… jencwu, It isn’t really CIO if you use a pacifier. CIO is teaching to self-soothe, and a pacifier doesn’t do that. See this post Word To the Weary
August 26, 2008 7:53 AM
jencwu: I have been there with you. You could do what plowmasters suggest and after 1 hour put your LO in a swing.I would be careful with the pacifier. It is a dangerous thing as we quickly found out. See, you want your LO to learn to self soothe and go back to sleep-but by sticking the pacifier back in you aren’t teaching that lesson and your LO is becoming dependent on the pacifier. I use to let my little guy have his pacifier when it is time to sleep, if it fell out or he took it out, thats it-no freebies. We use to give him back his pacifier and found ourselves doing that all through the night too. I would encourage you to stop so that your LO is learning the same lesson every time. I like what it says in Baby Whisperer (the same book being reviewed on this site) that you need to do what you mean to do. If you want your LO to learn to soothe himself to sleep-don’t give him props, let him learn on his own.
August 22, 2008 12:50 PM
Thanks Lorri–good tips on the pacifier thing.
August 26, 2008 7:54 AM
You said you don’t use CIO for nightime, you just go straight to feeding. That’s what I have been doing also with my 4-week-old, and it generally works. He usually wakes up 3-4 hours after his previous feeding but there are times when he wakes up crying maybe 1 1/2-2 hours after his previous feeding. Would you still feed at that time or what?
August 22, 2008 12:51 PM
jencwu,At 4 weeks, I would just feed the baby at that time, especially if self-soothing is not in place yet. You can always give baby about 5-10 minutes to be sure he is really awake and not just moving through a loud transition, but then I would feed.
August 26, 2008 7:57 AM
Okay, so this whole mothering a newborn thing is like a rollercoaster! I just wanted to share a mini-success because it’s a huge success in my perspective and I’m excited about it! This last nap was the first “textbook CIO” I did according to suggestions on this blog. He ate a little early because our day kind of got started off earlier. So I put him down WITHOUT his pacifier (thanks Lorri!) after he was awake a little over an hour. He looked very tired. For about 30 mins after putting him down I wasn’t really hearing anything, he hadn’t cried at all and just made some little baby noices here and there. I peeked in his room and he appeared to be awake, so I guess he had been lying there the whole time awake but content, first time that’s happened for that long. He looked like he was kind of starting to doze, but I think I made the mistake of going in… even though he couldn’t see me I think he smelled me or something, because he then started crying. I let him cry about 20 mins, then went in and rubbed his head for a couple of mins and turned his lullaby CD back on, telling him “it’s okay, go to sleep.” I thought it wouldn’t work because he didn’t really calm down at that. But, about 10-15 mins later, he’s now asleep! I think God had mercy on me, knowing I was at my wit’s end 🙂
August 22, 2008 1:27 PM
yeah for you jencwu! hey that rhymes.Its good to celebrate the little things.
August 22, 2008 1:59 PM
Thanks for your success story! Hang on to it! You will have good days and bad days, but the good will start to outnumber the bad.
August 26, 2008 7:59 AM
Corzine family said…
jencwu:I just wanted to reply to your question about letting your LO CIO during middle of the night feedings. I too always fed my little guy when he cried in the middle of the night/early am. When he was your baby’s age he would wake 3-4 hours after his last feeding so I would just get up and feed him even if it meant feeding him at 5:30/6am when our day would normally start at 7:30am. The only exception to this is when he’d wake an hour or so after his last feeding which would sometimes happen. Sometimes he’d wake to eat at 4:30 am and then wakeup crying again at 5:30. If this happened I would let him CIO since I knew he had a full belly and a clean diaper. It only took a few times of this before he finally stopped waking an hour after his last feeding. I hope what I’m saying makes sense. Please let me know if you have any more questions. I’d be happy to help because I have been in your shoes and it seemed like there was no end in sight. I promise it will get better! My LO is 13 weeks now and rarely cries going down at night and sleeps 9-10 straight. His naps have gotten a lot better too. Sometimes he never cries going down and sometimes he fusses on and off for 15 minutes or so but he always gets himself to sleep. Just stick with it and it will get better it is just a long road to get there and you must stay consistent. I was very skeptical during CIO and constantly questioned myself (still do sometimes) but it will get better. Also, I agree with Lorri on the pacifier thing-it is better your LO learns to self-soothe without it.
August 24, 2008 4:17 PM
Thanks Corzine! Good tips.
August 26, 2008 8:00 AM
Thanks to everyone for your CIO tips/encouragements! It is so hard sometimes but I think we are headed in the right direction. Since coming on this website I have corrected some mistakes I was making (such as the pacifier) and even though there are still times he will cry through an entire naptime, we’re having more times where he does get himself to sleep 🙂
August 26, 2008 10:28 AM
I am glad to hear it jencwu! It is always nice to hear of the improvements, so thanks!
August 30, 2008 9:07 PM
- Katie said… Help! I am a Babywise fan and used it with my daughter, now 2 and 1/2. But, my 5 week old is not falling into a schedule at all. He fights sleep like he is at war. He will not fall asleep on his own. I have let him cry for over an hour on many occassions. We have burped, changed a diaper, gone to the doctor, I have stopped all dairy. Any advice? Should I keep trying or wait a few weeks and start again. By the way, nothing seems to stop the crying other than nursing. I am at my witts end! Love some feedback from anyone who has been through a similar situation.
September 5, 2008 2:26 PM
Plowmanators said… Katie, it sounds like my son–he hated sleep. Are you being really consistent with your CIO? One thing to watch with that second child is making sure you don’t assume they have the same disposition as your first. When it comes to CIO, you have to find out all the intricacies for that baby as an individual.
September 10, 2008 2:21 PM
Katie said… I know I haven’t been as consistant as I should be. I just keep wondering if he has reflux or an allergy which may be causing his fussiness/trouble with sleep. It is so hard to listen to him wail for over an hour. And then when it is time for him to eat he falls asleep at the breast. Thanks for your support, I will read through the CIO Bootcamp for more encouragement!
September 10, 2008 2:48 PM
Plowmanators said… I would rule out any issues you worry about so you can be more consistent–or so you can treat the problem. Good luck!
September 15, 2008 10:17 AM
- Melissa said… The issue we are running into is that our 7 week old will go down for bed, just after his feeding (about 7:30 pm) and will cry for up to an hour. We are wondering at what intervals we should go in to help settle him down. Babywise seems to say go in after 15 min. So we did, but then he goes back to crying again. We’d love some input.
October 22, 2008 8:48 PM
Plowmanators said… Melissa, it is different for every baby.
November 12, 2008 11:34 AM
- Joanne said… Hi,I need CIO support.I have an almost 10 week old who I just started ferber with 2 days ago. Today is a bad day. I keep changing things and regret it- unswaddled, sleep on side cause I know that is how I want her to end up sleeping.I feel like I am going to cause her harm probably from the articles I have read. There is even a website some guy made and he states he was harmed from CIO as a baby.I just need reassurance. Our baby FIGHTS naps all day. She may have one or two, but that is after an hour or two with fighting with her.Are there ever issues with losing voice from crying? Physical issues?I cannot deal with anything bad happening to my baby.I want this all to get better, fast.Another question, you said maybe 8 weeks for you to go out to public and they could put themselves to sleep without a problem?That is a long time. Yuck.
December 3, 2008 11:20 AM
Plowmanators said… Joanne, I am not really familiar with ferber method, but from what I know, be sure you going in often is what is best for your baby. For my son, it would have only hindered progress.I do not think you will harm your baby from CIO. My kids never lost their voices. Be sure to read the CIO bootcamp post. The more you know about how to do this successfully, the smoother it will go. The 8 weeks is how long it takes to get to no crying at all (if your child is one who will do that–most are but some will do some crying for a minute or two for even over a year). That doesn’t mean the crying you are experiencing right now will remain that intense for 8 weeks. It will progressively get better. It will get to the point of crying for a minute or two–and not intense crying but more of fussing. But at 8 weeks, most babies will consistently not cry at all before a nap.
December 5, 2008 12:05 PM
G-Man’s Mama said…
Joanne, Just wanted to respond to let you know that you will not harm your child by helping her to self soothe. I know how the first couple of days (maybe even weeks) can be hard. I started CIO with my 6.5 month old when he was 4 weeks. He now is the best napper and sleeper. He even tells his teachers at daycare when it is time for his nap and goes down without a peep. Have you looked at Val’s CIO Bootcamp post? You need to be consistent and resolute but don’t kill yourself. Also, you need to decide how long you are willing to fight for each nap. When we have an off nap (every once in awhile he is not having his nap) I just say “oh, well” and move on. Good luck and read lots of Val’s posts they are very helpful as is the Babywise series.
December 3, 2008 2:45 PM
Plowmanators said… Thanks for your tips G-Man’s Mama!
December 5, 2008 12:06 PM
Jennifer said… Joanne, I can totally relate to how you feel! Listening to your baby cry is so hard–but stick with it! As G-Man’s Mama mentioned, the CIO Bootcamp on this blog is the best reference I have ever read anywhere when it comes to helping your baby learned to fall asleep on his own. As far as negative effects go, Ferber addresses this in his book. I have the 1985 edition of his book and on p. 74, he says “Allowing some crying while you help your child learn to improve his sleep will never lead to psychological harm. It will be harder on you than on your baby.” He goes on to talk about how this concern is often temporary as the crying does decrease with time. If you haven’t read it already, I’d recommend reading chapter 5, “What your child associates with falling asleep–the key problem.” It helped me so much! Good luck! Your efforts will be worth it!
December 3, 2008 2:51 PM
Plowmanators said… Thanks for your Ferber perspective Jennifer
December 5, 2008 12:07 PM
CIO Not Working
- Jessica said…
I am so excited to have found your blog! I did BW with my first child that is now 22 months old, he was so easy that I really didn’t need to do anything to get him on schedule…he just did it. My 2nd child, now 8 weeks old on Monday, is quite the different story. She is on a pretty good schedule, with one exception. Here is her schedule:7:00 am – wake and nurse8:30ish am – nap10 am – wake and nurse11:30ish am – wake and nurse1 pm – wake and nurse2:30ish pm – nap4 pm – wake and nurse5:30ish pm – nap7 pm – wake and nurse8:30ish pm(sometimes 8) – nap*10 or 10:30 pm – nurse and back to bedshe wakes once during the night to nurse (usually around 4 or 5)and goes right back to bed*Ideally I would nurse her around 10 or 10:30 and this would be her last feeding of the night. I am at my parents’ house a lot in the evenings as my husband works a job with strange hours so many nights I get home around 8:15 to put my son to bed. If I leave my daughter in her car seat carrier (or put her in the swing), she will sleep until I wake her up BUT if I put her in her crib, she wakes up anywhere from 9 – 9:30 screaming. If I nurse her when she wakes up, she is fussy and won’t settle down until 11. When I put her in her crib where she takes all of her naps and sleeps during the night with no problem)for her 8ish naptime, she starts to cry around 9 or 9:30 so I wait for 10 minutes to see if she will CIO – if not I go in to try to soothe her and we go through this cycle until it is time to nurse her again (10 or 10:30). I have tried to let her CIO, but she has yet to quit crying…crying up to 30+ minutes. I would appreciate any thoughts/suggestions you may have!Thanks so much!Jessica
February 20, 2009 8:53 PM
Jessica,I think my ideas would be found here: Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps
February 25, 2009 4:52 PM
- Basarabas said… HELP!! I’ve been doing BW with Jacob for a week and he still screams when I put him down for naps and to bed at night. When is this going to end? It breaks my heart hearing him scream. What do I do?
July 23, 2008 9:00 PM
Plowmanators said… Basarabas,Totally normal. Be sure to see these posts:
Baby Sleep Cues and How to Get it Right for Your Baby
July 25, 2008 1:57 PM
CIO and Short Naps
- erintucker81 said…
I have another question about CIO- I’m on day 2 with my “sleepyhead” 11 week old. When I say he’s sleepy, he’ll stay awake for an hour at a time (including feeding) and I don’t have a problem getting him to take his full feeding. My problem is, he falls asleep after one hour, and then wakes up over and over again during his naps. He’s eating 7 times a day (at 5:00 a.m, 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and a dream feed somewhere between 10:30 and 11:00). Bedtime is at 9:00, so that leaves 4 naps during the day. Since he’s sleeping about 11 hours at night (whith two feedings- the dream feed and the 5:00 a.m.) if he takes all 4 naps after 1 hour, he’ll be getting too much sleep. He won’t sleep the entire 2 hours, and wakes up mad, but he also won’t stay awake for more than an hour– what do I do? Thanks for this blog by the way- I just discovered it the night I began CIO, and needed some support from someone else using babywise- it’s SOO helfpul!
May 6, 2008 5:36 PM
erintucker81,It doesn’t look like he is getting too much sleep. 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep is very different quality wise from 11 hours of sleep with two feedings mixed in. Once you calculate the feeding time in there, it definitely goes below 11 hours.It sounds like he is on the needs more sleep end of the spectrum. If he can only stay awake one hour, I wouldn’t mess with it. As he gets better at self-soothing, he should be able to make it longer through a nap. Personally, if it were me, I would shoot for a schedule you are more likely to have success at. I would go for a 2.5 hour schedule in the day. That should end up giving you another feeding, which will make it so he gets more calories in the day and doesn’t need them in the night. At the very least, I would do a combo 2.5-3 hour schedule. Hang in there, he will get better at sleeping as he works on his self-soothing.
May 7, 2008 2:10 PM
- Judy said…
Hi, I’m a first time mom with a son who is 11 weeks old now (was born at 37 weeks). We did not do CIO initially, but we did do the wake/feed/play cycle and currently he eats about every 3 hours. He has never slept well during the daytime cycles. At night, he goes to bed around 7:30 and feeds at about 11PM, 3AM, then 6AM. For these night feeds, it really is an easy wake, feed, change diaper and plop back in crib without any soothing and he will put himself back to sleep hardly with a peep. During the day cycles, though, we need to walk with him about 10 minutes to get him drowsy and when we put him in his crib, he sleeps for only 5-15 minutes before waking and crying. Sometimes, he was wake after 5 minutes and be alert and cooing. I can never get him to sleep until the next feed time. He cannot sleep anywhere except his crib or in someone’s arms (for hours in someone’s arms). He has never fallen asleep in his swing or bouncy chair. We are trying to start the CIO now, but for the past 2 days now, he sleeps max 20 minutes consecutively and then cries the rest of the time…up to 1.5 hours. Plus, last night, he was waking every 1-2 hours…I think because he was so overtired from basically not sleeping all day yesterday. What should I do? You suggest if they don’t fall asleep to put them in a swing, but he won’t sleep in his swing either…even in the dark, quiet. Help!
January 13, 2009 12:59 PM
Judy, When you are starting CIO, I don’t think it is effective to have them CIO when they wake early. I assume you have seen this post: Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps. There are ideas other than swing ideas in there. I would either get him up and continue with the cycle, play with him (try to hold him off) until the next feeding time (but move to a 2.5 hour schedule during this time), or try to put him to sleep by rocking him or whatever works for him. I would caution against the last option, though, because it reinforces his dependence on you.You might also look into the Baby Whisperer methods.
January 20, 2009 10:40 AM
CIO Success Stories
- Nathan and Rachel Greenfield said… i am so glad to have found this blog! i really like babywise and my son has done great on it. he’s 10 weeks old and everyone comments on what an amazing baby he is. he barely ever fusses- praise god. my biggest dilemna is bed/nap time- i don’t know how long to let him cry! i KNOW he is tired because the ONLY time he fusses is when he is tired and i also know his schedule so i can pretty much predict when he will go down. our bedtime routine starts at 7ish, he eats, we play until 8, he gets a bath and then we cuddle until 8:30 by that point he is starting to close his eyes- the MINUTE i put him in his crib he loses it! i just got done listening to 30 minutes of crying… it stopped for about 1 minute and now it’s back on again! oh it just KILLS me!!! will it start to get less and less?? i’ve JUST started letting him cry it out, before i felt he was too young. now i am ready to help him get used to falling asleep in his bed. my pediatrician is actually a babywise fan, she said to check on him after 15 minutes, maybe he’s not tired enough- but i know this isn’t the case because i KNOW he is tired. can anyone offer advice- how long to let cry? and does it get better??
July 17, 2008 11:52 AM
Plowmanators said… Hi Rachel, I am glad you found us! I would disagree with the pedi that maybe he isn’t tired enough. My thought would be too tired. I would actually shoot for closer to a 1 hour waketime than 1.5 hours at that age.
July 21, 2008 3:38 PM
Nathan and Rachel Greenfield said… Thanks for your answer! I am sure you spend A LOT of time answering everyone. I have to post my success story. The night I posted this question, while my son was crying it out and I was dying inside :), I started surfing through the website, before I knew it my son stopped crying and fell asleep for the night (maybe 30 min crying) and I spent hours reading up on everything. I read through the CIO bootcamp and decided to get serious about bed/naptime. My husband and I talked and decided we were going full force for it (before i was only letting him cry at bedtime but nap times I would let him sleep in swing or rock him until almost asleep) Anyway, I went hardcore and in just 1 week he has completely taken to our new system- it’s unbelievable!!! Each day he has cried less and less and NOW (after only 1 week) he cries for only 10 minutes (sometimes less) and then falls right asleep (and this is putting him in his bed at the first signs of being tired- i read the post about picking up on his cues, which for him is yawning and fussyness). Bed time routine has liberated us!! We moved his last feeding to 7pm and bathe him and get him in bed by 8 and the most he has cried in the last 5 days is 10 minutes but the last 2 nights- no crying!!! I seriously can’t believe it! My husband and I feel so much more freedom (and our son wasn’t even a fussy baby- I can’t imagine parents who are feeling trapped by a fussy baby). I KNOW that we have done what is best for him – I feel a new level of confidence as his mom (with him being our first- i found I was questioning myself quite a bit). Thanks for the website!!! by the way, I did shorten his awake time after I read about picking up on his cues and it’s really helped. I have a 10 week old baby who is sleeping through the night, who cries 10 minutes at the MOST at nap time, and who is a pleasant, happy baby when he is awake! What a blessing!!!
July 22, 2008 12:57 AM
Plowmanators said… Wahoo Rachel! I do spend a lot of time answering questions here…thanks for the success story. While I do get a lot of thank yous, I don’t often hear about the success, mostly just the problems 😉 It is nice to hear some good news!
July 23, 2008 9:29 PM
CIO While Sick
- Lindsay said…
Ok. I need some major help or reinforcement or something! I just put my 5 mo. old down for a nap and he SCREAMED BLOODY MURDER for 45 minutes—when I caved and went in and rocked/sang to him until he was almost under. Then I layed him down and he is now sleeping. Problem is, He has had an ear infection (and also a cough), so has been on antibiotics for the last few days (again). I have a real hard time knowing what to do, he has been sick for a month now with something or another (shots, ear, cough, ear) so has been spoiled a little bit. He is totally off schedule (though i am trying!). I can’t decide if he is just “spoiled” and is trying to get what he wants, or if he really is feeling horrible. He has also been waking EVERY 3 hours in the night as well and wont calm until we feed him. Again, I don’t know if he is faking or not. He shouldn’t need food, he’s 97%-tile weight and 5 months old. What do you reccomend? Anyone? (He is drooling like mad and wants to chew on everything, so I am guessing he is teething too and might be experiencing pain from that also.)
March 6, 2008 8:32 AM
I forgot to mention that he “usually” only cries for 5 minutes if at all when I put him down for a nap.
March 6, 2008 8:35 AM
See this post: Comforting a Sick Toddler/Baby. If he is sick, he might need mom’s comfort. Not all babies do, but some do and there isn’t anything wrong with that. It will likely make him so he has found a new preferred method of comfort (sounds like it), but I think you would prefer that to leaving him without the comfort he needs when he is sick. While he is sick, I would continue to comfort him. When he is over it, be prepared for some difficult days. He is older now and smarter, so he might take some time to bounce back, but he will. If you aren’t opposed, you could try tylenol to see if that helps his pain. Hang in there! Sick babies are wearing on mom 🙁
March 6, 2008 9:57 AM
- CAM said…
I was wondering if you could post something on how you or others get their babies to sleep when you can’t let them CIO at all. For example, if they are sick or you are in a place where it would disturb others, etc… I have looked over many of your posts, and I know there are times you don’t let them CIO, and I know you use the swing for nap problems occasionally. However, I don’t believe you mentioned how you get them to sleep in their bed during those times (particularly at night.) I have always had the problem where my children get so UNACCOUSTOMED to being rocked to sleep and laid down that when I try it it takes forever and usually they wake as soon as they are put down. My current infant boy (almost 5 months) has never liked to be rocked to sleep to begin with (he squirms and fusses for a long time if you try it), but now that he is sick he also sometimes has trouble getting to sleep in his bed on his own or staying asleep his normal amount of time. When he wakes in the night when sick I always give Tylenol if possible, suck the snot out or rub his chest with the Baby Vicks, but then he’s still so upset that I have to nurse him. He sometimes will still cry after that, but usually will fuss a few minutes and go to sleep again (but not for very long, 2-4 hours).My other two children had problems with it too when sick. I would have to rock them 4 or 5 times to sleep before they would stay alseep when laid down. It was probably just because they’d been up so long during regular sleeping hours that it worked at all. Kelle
January 5, 2009 11:10 AM
Kelle, I don’t really have ideas. Neither of my kids have had a hard time sleeping when sick. They might wake up, but they always go back to sleep with no help from me. When Brayden was a baby and we would visit people, he would sometimes wake in the night. If that was the case, I just nursed him and put him back to sleep. When Kaitlyn was a newborn, we traveled out of state for my grandmother’s funeral. In the night, she woke up earlier than usual. I still nursed her. She ended up nursing twice that night instead of once. But if we are in a place where I couldn’t do CIO, I just nursed.
January 9, 2009 3:34 PM
- Alison said…
Hi,I have an 8 week old son who was born 3.5 weeks early. He is VERY sleepy which I have written to you about in previous blogs. He has been on a 3 hour schedule since birth. He eats every 3 hours, most of the time we are still having to wake him during the day to eat and we are still struggling with getting him to wake at least 2 cycles a day for waketime. He typically eats 3.5-4 ounces per feeding, he is now 10 pounds. Our schedule is8112581030 DFAfter the dreamfeed he will typically wake between 330am and 4am to eat and then sleep through till 8 for his breakfast. He has been doing this for a week or so. So in essence he has dropped one of his middle of the night feeds which means he gets a total of 7 feeds per day. I have read on your blogs that babies should have 8 feeds until they are STTN. I am questioning whether to move him to a 2.5 hour schedule to get that 8th feed in or not. With him being so sleepy during the day I’m not sure if this is the right thing or not since at least 2 of his feedings during the day we are having to really work at getting him to eat because he is so sleepy. The feedings that he does wake for wake time he will usually stay awake for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes depending on the sleep cues and then when we put him down awake he will still CIO for an hour at times before he goes to sleep for his nap (I have been working at naps with him doing CIO for about 3 or 4 weeks now and praying that he will get it!!). So any tips that you have for me will greatly be appreciated. We are working so hard at getting him to follow the eat, wake, sleep cycle and to sttn. We had some setbacks because he was struggling with reflux and a dairy allergy but he started hypoallergenic formula last week and we have seen a big difference. Thanks!!
January 26, 2009 10:33 AM
Alison, If it were me, I would just leave things as they are and just expect he might take a bit longer to drop that last night feeding. But age-wise, according to BW he is okay to have 7 feedings.For CIO, see the CIO blog label, especially the “CIO Bootcamp.” He is most likely awake too long before a nap. You might be reading his cues as time for nap, when really they mean “too late.”
January 30, 2009 4:23 PM
Starting CIO “Late”
- Hollyecat said…
Oh, also. My son is 7 and a half weeks old. Thanks,Hollye
June 18, 2008 8:38 PM
Whoops! I thought I had posted the following message already, but it turns out it didn’t post the first time. So the “7 and a half week old” comment was supposed to follow this. Hope this isn’t confusing!Thanks… (the following is my original post)Hello!First, thank you for doing this blog. I really appreciate the resource, and I know many others share the same sentiment.I got Babywise when I was pregnant and read a good portion of it before I had my son. I knew it was going to be a little complicated with him though due to a disorder he had (has). So here’s my story.Ruben is my first child and he has/had a cleft lip and palate. He had a surgery to do the initial (and major) repairs on the lip and palate when he was 9 days old. But before that, he was diagnosed with TTN (transient tachypnea of the newborn). It can lead to serious complications, so he was admitted to the NICU 36 hours after he was born. We spent the next four days at the NICU with him while they tube fed him, etc. There was no way to try and work on any Babywise methods at that point. Long story short, he was released healthy and happy 4 days later. 1.5 days later, we flew to VA for the surgery. Still no way to practice Babywise. He had the surgery and the recovery was quite hard for all of us, although it was a veritable success. After about 2-3 weeks (the point at which he was starting to normalize after the surgery), he came down with a cold. Between the surgery (which caused major congestion) and the cold, he’s had very little chance to have a working nose! We have had feeding problem after feeding problem. So now, he’s almost fully recovered from the cold and no longer hindered by the surgery. All the while, we have been putting into practice any Babywise principle we could (like sleep/eat/wake), there’s been no real routine and he’s had a lot get in his way. To add to that, he’s a terrible sleeper. Even as a brand new one day old, he barely slept. Now that he’s not in pain or sick, he still hates sleeping. I have the hardest time getting him to sleep at all during the day. I have been CIO for the past three days, but he cries all day and nothing will get him to sleep. Every once in a while I can get him to sleep in a vibrating chair. I have been taking notes for 3 days, but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to when he sleeps and when he doesn’t. However, he eats well most of the time, and is fairly happy when we’re not trying to make him sleep. He also sleeps well at night once we get him to sleep after his 7 p.m. feeding. Sometimes he doesn’t get to sleep until after his 10 p.m. feeding. But at night, once he’s asleep, he sleeps well. He still wakes up between 2 and 4 for a middle of the night feed and I’m not going to worry about STTN until I can get his daytime naps better. I know this is a lot, but do you have any advice or insight for me? If he continues to cry all day every day with little or no break, I don’t think I can take it. I might go insane. Please help!Thanks,Hollye Long Austin, TX
June 18, 2008 8:41 PM
Hollye, First of all, know that your crying experience is not unique. I didn’t start BW with Brayden until he was 9 weeks old. Before that, he basically demand fed. So you aren’t too late. I know those first few months seem like an eternity, but you still have plenty of time to get BW working for you. Also, it is pretty common for those oldest children to hate to sleep. It is also normal to have really rough crying days, especially when you start later in life. Be sure to check out these posts:
Starting Babywise Late
June 24, 2008 10:31 AM
Should You Do CIO?
- mommynik said…
I have read your blog for months and tried both CIO and regulated CIO (intervals of going to console). I had been going crazy for months and I even diagnosed reflux in my son. His Pediatric GI doc ordered a UGI as a routine screening to confirm reflux and rule out other problems. It turns out that what they wanted to rule out was what he had: Intestinal Matlrotation. It’s a birth defect (my OB/GYN said that even after screening, 10% of children are born with birth defects, Malrotation is in 1 of 500 births).SOOOOOO… he had laproscopic surgery 2 weeks ago and he is MUCH improved now, 1 week from hospital release also. It has been scary, but I wanted to post that I, as his mommy, was SURE there was something that was off. I kept at it and continued to search. This was truly random luck that we found his malrotation. Most babies vomit green or yellow bile and that is the obvious sign, but I caught my son’s malrotation before he got to that point. But his constant anguish led me to search.I will stop here and thank you for your support of CIO strategies. I will tell you that CIO didn’t work for my son and now I know why. If you have other questions, please write me. I am thankful to have answers and I’m sure other mommies are out there worrying over their babies.Sleep strategies work great but sometimes, there are other reasons. Please trust your instinct. You know your child.
May 8, 2008 8:47 PM
mommynik, way to go with listening to your instinct. I am glad you were able to get things on the way to recovery. That is why I encourage people to really understand the principles of Babywise. Only the parents can ultimately really know and decide what is best to do for their children.
May 8, 2008 11:21 PM
- Kate said…
My daughter is 17 weeks and we’ve recently had some trouble at night. She goes down fine for naps (won’t always stay asleep, but doesn’t cry if I get her down at the right time). Right now she is eating usually every 3 hrs during the day: 7:30,10:30, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, then asleep at 8. My first question is about the evening. We dropped the 4th nap b/c she was waking too early in the morning. That fixed it for awhile, but lately she’s been really tired in the evenings and sleeping for about 30 min. around 6:30-7PM. Since this is so close to her bedtime should I try to get her to take this little catnap earler, around 5:30?The other problem is that she used to wake once during the night b/w 3:30-4:30 to eat. She never would do a dreamfeed. Lately she’s been waking a few times before this eating. Sometimes I can get her to fall back asleep other times I end up feeding her early. On a bad night she’ll wake up about 3 times before it’s time to eat. When I feed her early she wakes early usually b/w 5-6 and seems hungry. At her age I thought she would only need to eat once during the night. Should I add an extra feeding during the night? This would probably mean a feeding at 2Am and then at 5AM. Or shoud I do CIO with her? I’ve never had to let her cry before. Since she still needs to eat at least once during the night how do you do CIO? If I let her cry when she woke up during the night then when do I know if she’s hungry and wouldn’t it confuse her if for the 1st half of the night I had cry and then at one point would go in and feed her?Thank you, sorry for such a long post!
May 15, 2008 8:30 AM
To add to my post:I know now when she’s hungry or not during the night by if she’ll go back to sleep when I go in and comfort her. If she’s hungry then she won’t go back to sleep. If not she’ll fall right back to sleep after I go in.
May 15, 2008 8:00 PM
I think I would try to get that nap a bit earlier to help with night waking. See this post for ideas on sudden night waking:
6 Month Sleep Disruptions. Know that four months also often brings many sleep disruptions. See this post for analyzing that early morning feeding:
Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime. That post will give you ideas on CIO at night and other alternatives to it.
May 16, 2008 11:02 AM
- Georgie Bellas said…
Hi again! I’m loving your website and have been reading it all day. Thank you for the time you take to answer so many questions. My baby is 4.5 months. Is it too late to start the CIO method and if not what advice would you give to make it successful. Thanks, Georgie
May 29, 2008 12:31 AM
Georgie,Your baby is definitely not too old to start CIO. To make it successful, I would for sure follow the guidelines in this post. There are some things I would stress to you at this age:1-Be committed. I stress that at any age 🙂 If you are wishy-washy about it and interfere more than your baby needs you to, then you will only hinder progress. Don’t start until you are committed.2-Know that for most babies, it gets worse before it gets better. It is emotionally challenging for mom. Stick with it and you will see great rewards. If you are starting BW late in general, I would also recommend this post: Starting Babywise Late
May 30, 2008 2:43 PM
- Corzine family said…
I absolutely love this blog! It is so helpful. So here is my story and then I will follow with question. My baby boy is 4.5 weeks old. We started the feed/wake/sleep cycle when he was around 2/3 weeks. During that time we noticed he wasn’t taking good naps. He’d wake 20 minutes or more after going down. At this point we hadn’t started CIO yet so this was even after we rocked him or held him to sleep. We started troubleshooting and tried having him nap in his swing, bouncer, etc but nothing worked except for his car seat. In the car seat he took awesome naps and slept 3-4 hour stretches at night. I hated starting the car seat routine but for his sanity and mine I just said screw it and let him sleep in the car seat. Just this week (at 4weeks) I started letting him CIO at naps and his last feed/wake cycle of the night. I also started trying to break him of the car seat thing at the same time since I knew he’d be crying it out anyway. Every day he cried through almost every single nap which would last for 1.5-2 hours. I did all the normal stuff – going in every 15 minutes, not going in at all, swaddling, checking for a dirty diaper, gas, sleep positioner, etc and nothing worked. He would literally scream the entire nap or he would fall asleep only to wake 20 minutes later screaming again. Of course this made every cycle hard because he didn’t want to eat from being so exhausted. He would just fall asleep at the breast and all the sudden his 30 minutes of feeding turned into hour long feedings and again the cycle started all over again. After 4 days I finally decided that maybe trying to break him of the car seat and starting CIO simulatenously wasn’t smart. Plus I didn’t want to compromise his food intake or my supply. So late yesterday I began letting him still CIO but in his car seat and his CIO sessions are a lot shorter-maybe 15-30 minutes of CIO then he takes a great nap. Here is my game plan for the car seat thing: Once he gets to the point where CIO is almost non-existant I thought I’d start slowly transitioning him to his crib. Maybe just for day naps and see how it goes. With all of that said, here is my question:-In your opinion, am I doing the right thing by not trying to break him of the car seat at the same time as starting CIO or am I setting myself up for failure? I really want to do both at the same time because I am scared of us back-tracking once I try to break him of the car seat but I can’t risk his health or my supply. I wasn’t sure what other alternatives I had so if you have any suggestions I am all ears.
June 27, 2008 1:30 PM
Corzine,I think it sounds like you are doing the right thing. It is a good idea to work on one thing at a time. You are already aware that there will likely be some backtracking when you move to the next thing, but it is better to focus on one thing at a time so you don’t have so many different variables. Good luck!
June 28, 2008 10:38 AM
Corzine family said…
Do you think I should use the car seat like you used the swing – start him out in his crib then move him to the car seat if he doesn’t stop after an hour or should I just still stick to one thing at a time? He is currently on a 2.5-3 hr schedule. He is usually feeding/awake for an hour or so. I then usually watch his sleepy signs and try and put him down drowsy but awake. In his car seat his average CIO time is 25 minutes with some cycles at which he doesn’t cry at all. In his crib (using the inclined to sleep positioner) his average CIO time is 45 min-1.5 hrs and he never goes down in his crib without CIO. I wonder if maybe it isn’t his crib that makes his cry but his sleep positioner? I haven’t tried just the crib because I always thought he needed the positioner. One more question…I know I’ve read in a previous post that it took about 2 months before crying was unusual with your children but at what point did you start seeing progress? I’d like to just see a small light at the end of the tunnel if you know what I mean.
June 28, 2008 4:29 PM
Corzine,You might try it and see how it goes. Does he have reflux? Is that why you want him on an incline?Things were good with Kaitlyn from the beginning, but I started at 5 days old with her. With Brayden, I think it took about two weeks of consistency before things improved to a point I was able to handle the situation emotionally. I remember many days wondering what I was doing and if it would even work. But it did. Hang in there!
June 28, 2008 10:07 PM
Corzine family said…
He hasn’t been diagnosed with reflux but I have often wondered if he had it just because he has protested lying down so much but it probably is just a security thing for him. I don’t know all the symptoms of reflux but he doesn’t spit up a lot or anything. I just thought he needed the sleep positioner to help keep him on his back. Have you encountered anyone else you’ve known with a similar issue regarding their baby only wanting to sleep in the car seat? I don’t rock it or anything. I just keep it in his crib so he can at least get used to being in the crib and the surroundings. Thanks for your words on encouragement. You and this blog are a god-send.
June 29, 2008 8:11 AM
The only babies I have heard of sleeping in car seats have reflux and/or are premies. Not all reflux babies like the carseat though. My daughter had reflux, and didn’t spit up. She would swallow it back down.
June 29, 2008 4:53 PM
Corzine family said…
What other symptoms did your daughter have? He sometimes (since day 1) acts like he wants to spit something up but doesn’t. He also gets the hiccups like crazy. I’m not sure if that has anything to do with any of it. BTW I just tried a nap in his crib (without the sleep positioner)since the last couple of days worth of naps have been really hard even in his car seat. I just laid him down flat and he cried for maybe 5 minutes and he was out. It is either working or he is just really worn out-we’ll see.
June 30, 2008 10:27 AM
Corzine–I will respond to each post individually.For my daughter, I never would have known she had reflux. She was in the NICU and they told me. She rarely ever spit up, she would spit up and hold it in, then swallow it back down. Sometimes it would come out of her nose because of it. She wasn’t fussy or anything like that. She didn’t like to lay flat for the first few months of her life. If she lay flat, she spit up more often.
July 5, 2008 10:32 AM
Corzine family said…
From my last post…Of course I spoke too soon. He woke up 30 minutes after going down and cried again. He’s been doing that the last couple of days. He’ll CIO for 20/30 min then he’ll sleep for 20/30 min then CIO for 20/30 min, etc. Before this he’d CIO for 20/30 min but then sleep for an 1-1.5 hrs. Are these variations pretty typical during sleep training? His waketime is about an hour. Do you think I should try cutting his waketime down to 45 minutes even though I normally don’t start noticing his nap cues until the 50-60 min mark?
June 30, 2008 12:17 PM
Yes, it is normal to have short naps at first during sleep training. 100% normal. Don’t be discouraged by that. You can always try a bit shorter waketime and see how it goes, but it might also be that he is just learning how to self-soothe.
July 5, 2008 10:35 AM
Corzine family said…
For Anyone Who Wants to Reply:We are currently working on CIO (week 2) with our 6 week old son. Here is the issue and I’m wondering if this has happened to anyone else and possible solutions: Most naps he cries through the entire nap (anywhere from 1.5-2hrs). When I finally do get him up from his crib he is so tired he falls alseep nursing and most of the time he won’t wake for any sort of “waketime”. When he does this most of the time attempts to wake him are unsuccessful so he ends up napping the entire cycle and a lot of the time he wakes up early throwing off the rest of the day’s cycles. I’m so frustrated I keep asking myself if this is even going to work. I feel like we keep taking steps backwards. Does anyone have any advice? I read about the swing idea but I feel like if I do that he’s just going to get used to me moving him and using it as a prop. Are there other alternatives? Is there anyone out there going through the same issues?
July 4, 2008 2:52 PM
Your thoughts are totally normal. Will this work? I even had those thoughts with my daughter. It sounds like you have read this post:Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps:
July 5, 2008 10:37 AM
Corzine family said…
Could this be related to CIO?The last several days my LO has been waking up for 2 middle of the night feeds. Prior to this he was sleeping 4 and 5 hour stretches but now it seems like he only wants to go a max of 3 hours in between feeds at night. I’ve been treating it like a growth spurt (he’s a couple days shy of 6 weeks) and for the first 2 nights he took a full feed but last night it didn’t seem like he ate very much before he was quickly asleep. Per my earlier posts we started CIO a couple of weeks ago for bedtime and naps. His naps are very erratic (sometimes crying through the entire nap) due to letting him CIO. I’m not sure if these night issues are related to bad naps during the day or if it could be something else. If someone could help me troubleshoot I’d appreciate and if you have any advice that is great too. I should also mention I recently started a set dreamfeed. Prior I was letting him wake up naturally for the dreamfeed and middle of the night feed because I was having such a hard time waking him for a dreamfeed. When my LO started pushing that dreamfeed later and later I decided he should have a set dreamfeed (even if I had to give him a bottle of expressed milk-he always sucks that down even when he is sleepy) if I wanted him to drop the middle of the night feeding before the dreamfeed. Since I’ve done that he takes the dreamfeed around 12am wakes again around 2:30am and again around 5am. This morning he even woke again around 6am when his first feed of the day isn’t due until around 7:30am. What in the world is going on?
July 6, 2008 6:54 AM
There is typically a growth spurt around 6 weeks, so you might need to add a feeding in the day for a bit. Some babies don’t sleep as soundly when they are woken for a dreamfeed. Also, 12 AM isn’t really a dreamfeed time, it is a middle of the night time. If you want to wake him for a dreamfeed, I would do it between 10-11 PM. Otherwise, just let him sleep. If you disrupt his sleep patterns in the night, he will likely not sleep as well.
July 9, 2008 10:02 AM
Corzine family said…
Thanks for the info! I think I’ll just let him sleep and let him wake up naturally. I appreciate all of your responses.
July 10, 2008 7:18 AM
You are welcome! Good luck!
July 10, 2008 2:44 PM
Corzine family said…
One last thing…We are currently on a 3 hour schedule. To add an extra day feeding would that mean to drop back to a 2.5 hour schedule? Also,When BW mentions babies who reach 7-8 of sleep is that 7-8 between feedings or 7-8 of actual sleep? I hope my question makes sense.
July 11, 2008 11:21 AM
For a growth spurt extra feeding, you might even have to sometimes go only 2 hours. This is only for the growth spurt, so don’t worry about it becoming a new habit.7-8 hours of sleep is 7-8 hours of straight, uninterrupted sleep.
July 14, 2008 10:25 AM
Corzine family said… Is this normal during sleep training?We are currently in the 4th week of sleep training. There are days when my LO cries and whimpers for 20-30 then falls asleep and stays asleep his entire naptime but the last few days he has been whimpering/half-hearted crying off and on through almost every nap but at bedtime he goes down and barely cries at all. I feel like he has made progress from prior weeks since he isn’t screaming through every nap but is this normal for this stage of sleep training? I’ve tried adjusting his wake-time and reading his cues but nothing seems to change. I just wish he’d get some good naps in. I do usually transfer him to his swing so he at least gets a little bit of sleep in before the next cycle.
July 15, 2008 1:42 PM
Plowmanators said… Corzine,You are making progress. I think that sounds great. Just keep up the consistency and things will continue to improve.
July 15, 2008 3:43 PM
- mommy2gray said…
My son is 3 weeks old today. I have read Bw and I plan to start it soon. Am I to let a baby this young CIO and how long do I let him cry? Do I just let him CIO at nap times and night time after he eats?
August 1, 2008 12:32 PM
See this post for all things CIO:
August 3, 2008 4:53 PM
- Catherine O’Sullivan said… Hi. I have an 8 week old. she has had about 6 nights (3 here and 3 there) that she sleeps 10-5. then all of a sudden she has started to wake up at 3am. since i know she can make it through the night, should I just change her and put her back down? How long should I let her cry? Thank you,Catherine
October 2, 2008 7:08 AM
Plowmanators said… Catherine, This is a call you are going to have to make. At 8 weeks, I don’t think I would move to CIO in the night. I personally usually would wait until at least 12 weeks, unless I knew for sure baby didn’t need to eat in the night at all. I do have a friend who did CIO at 9 weeks with total success. If you are positive she isn’t hungry, then you can do CIO. I would only get her and change her if she is the type that would do well with seeing you but not get any food. Some babies would need you to not go in at all. Others do better with someone going in and saying “It is time to sleep, go back to sleep.” As far as how long, that is also up to you. Be sure you are committed to it and sure she is ready for it. If you interfere, it will hinder progress. If you try it and decide she isn’t ready after all, that is fine, but don’t try it each night without full commitment.
October 6, 2008 2:36 PM
- Summer Pittman said…
My son will be 8 weeks Monday. He is very windy and has silent reflux, I believe. I question myself all the time. He has been sleeping in a swing for the last 4 weeks or so. He is on Mylanta and prevacid for reflux and bottle fed. I want to let him CIO because otherwise he will not sleep in anything but the swing or car. Right now I have him in the bouncy in his bed so that he is elevated. I just need reassurance that I can let him cry even when it does last forever. I just feel like if he is fed, medicated (the only thing that ever really seems to bother him is the wind, not the reflux) then I should feel confident in letting him cry. Please help! I feel like he fights sleep, he doesn’t want to be rocked or anything but swing or ride. Help! I am so frustrated with him, I cry a lot when he does which I know is driving my husband mad.
December 28, 2008 5:24 PM
Summer, sorry, what is “windy”?See this post for help with reflux:
Babywise and Reflux Hopefully that should help you, but let me know if you have further questions.
January 3, 2009 5:02 PM
Todd Kortus said…
I have been struggling to use babywise with my daughter since she was born 9 months ago. For various reasons we have not ever gotten a consistant nighttime sleeping pattern. First she was colicky. Then, for a few months we lived at my parents and couldn’t let her cry at night. Since we’ve moved to our new house we’ve had ear infections and now a food allergy to sort through. Her daytime is wonderful. She has a great routine and naps well. She is always able to fall asleep alone at naptime and bedtime. Often at naptime she wakes up and cries, but falls back to sleep on her own. Nighttime is whole other scenario. She goes down around 7:30 like an angel, but wakes up around 12, or sometimes 3, or both, and will not stop crying/screaming. We have tried cio many, many times, but she can cry for hours. So, I have gotten into the forbidden habit of nursing her back to sleep in the middle of the night. She then will sleep until about 7:30 and have a happy day. I guess I am just wondering whether I should continue with my less than perfect routine. Do you have any suggestions for me besides having her cio for hours? How long do you think it is appropriate for me to let her cry? She screams and screams, coughing and getting extremely worked up. I try to just hold her a minute to calm her instead of nursing her, but that makes her even more angry. I always end up breaking down and nursing her. I feel like giving up, but am afraid of the consequences. I don’t want a 3yr. old still waking in the middle of the night and what will happen when I stop nursing in a few months?
January 13, 2009 11:55 AM
Todd Kortus, Since she cries for hours in the night, I personally wouldn’t do CIO in the night. I think you are wise to break her of it ASAP, but I would try some other strategies before turning to CIO right now. First, investigate and see if you can see a reason for her waking. This post should help with that:
Nighttime Sleep Issues
See this post for ideas on dropping nursings gradually:
Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime
See also: Baby Whisperer: Sleeping Through the Night
January 20, 2009 10:31 AM
What Age To Start CIO?
- Stacy Greer said…
Is there an age that is too early to start CIO? My DD is only 9 days old and I don’t know if I should let her CIO . . .
December 7, 2008 5:30 PM
I never did CIO and my son still slept completely on schedule, sometimes even ahead of schedule (had many 10-12 hour stretches at night early on). Just followed BW other than that and it worked.
December 7, 2008 6:24 PM
Thanks for sharing that Carey.
December 11, 2008 4:28 PM
Stacy Greer said…
So I guess the main thing is the scheduled feedings and wake/nap schedule? Thanks!
December 7, 2008 6:35 PM
Stacy, opinions vary widely on that.My opinion is that you as the mom will know when your child is ready for it. I knew Brayden was ready at 3 weeks.I started Kaitlyn at 5 days. Every baby is different, so just do what you are comfortable with.
December 11, 2008 4:27 PM
StacyGreer – I have always read not to do CIO until at least 4 months old.
December 9, 2008 9:07 AM
Bradysmom, see, and most of what I have read is 6 months. Every source is different.
December 11, 2008 4:29 PM
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