About Me

Alberta, Canada
What's My Deal? - - - There is so much to say, but I will give you the basics in regards to this blog. I am a Canadian 20 something woman married to a wonderful man, and we are the parents to our wondeful son who was born in the fall of 2010. As you will read, I am a supporter of breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, and so much more, but mostly learning about babies! Oh, and I also love reading blogs and playing jigsaw online!!! I blog to share things that I have learned, read, heard and experienced.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Thoughts on CIO

I've recently came across a new blog that I love.  It s a blog about Attachment Parenting, and I came across this post that I really meant a lot to me.

I have copied only part of the post below, but please read their entire post to fully understand who these woman are and their style of parenting to get the ideas they intended.  In this same post they do provide 10 alternatives to crying it out, and of course link their previous posts on the subject and also back up their writing with experience and published articles, books, etc.  Again, I really do LOVE this blog!

Here is the portion of the post that hit me the hardest:

I see it all the time on facebook pages and message boards - moms lamenting the torture of listening to their babies cry it out. Nine times out of ten the mom is hating it. Sadly, I occasionally see a mom happy to say the CIO worked and baby is "finally asleep." What tends to happen is that most moms I know hate CIO, but eventually it seems to work. Baby seems to cry less and less when he is left in his crib. And to an extent the trick has worked. Baby has slowly learned his crying won't work to draw his mom back in the room. He's been conditioned to understand his crying won't elicit the attention he needs or wants. He has learned helplessness.

As a parent with a supportive husband who doesn't and will not let her baby cry it out, the last few sentences of the above paragraph really helped me to know that Alan and I are doing the right thing.  Sometimes we loose sight of this because of the comments other people make.  I do a lot of research on babies and compare my style of parenting to others.  I have friends and family who do things their own way, and some are similar to Alan and I and some are not.  I think at the end of the day we do what works for us, but also what we believe to be best for our children and family. 

As always I continue to research topics about parenting and child development.  I am currently reading 'No-Cry Sleep Solution' by Elizabeth Pantley.  So far it is good, I have only just started this book, but am enjoying it so far, and learning about babies sleep habits, and a SOLUTION to sleeping through the night.  We do fairly well with Sutton actually.  Sleeping through the night is cconsidered to be a stretch of 5 hours or more.  This often happens in our house, so I am not at my wits end, walking into walls because I am completely sleep deprived.  I do find this subject fascinating though.  Even though Alan and I are comfortable with Sutton's night time sleep schedule, which is nursing him to sleep, placing him in his swing and then bringing him to our bed for his night time nurse then sleeping the rest of the night together.  Again, we are okay with this, especially the part about him sleeping in our bed, but ideally, we would like to place him in his crib and wake up 12 hours later.  I also understand that parenting doesn't stop between the hours of 8pm and 8am.  I am perfectly okay with this,  in fact, I love seeing Sutton when I go to get him out of his swing in the middle of the night, and then snuggling with him as he nurses.  After this, we both drift back to sleep, and wake up hours later.

Once we let Sutton cry it out, and we will never do this again.  I ended up picking him up after almost an hour, and he was too distraught to even nurse, his body was tense, and he was shaking.  Alan and I looked at each other and felt so bad for him.  I felt horrible that I had let Sutton suffer like he did.   I watched him in his crib as he was struggling, and knew we would never do this again.  Alan and I both agreed that this was not the method for us.  In fact, we knew this beforehand, but because of other peoples pressures, and curiosity, we caved, and we tried it for the first and last time!

I did come across this portion of her book.  She is quoting Jean Liedloff's 'The Continuum Concept' (Addison-Wesley, 1977).  Here, she describes a baby waking in the middle of the night:

He awakes in a mindless terror of silence, the motionlessness.  He screams.  He is afire from head to foot with want, with desire, with intolerable impatience.  He gasps for breath and screams until his head is filled and throbbing with the sound.  He screams until his chest aches, until his throat is sore.  He can bear the pain no more and his sobs weaken and subside.  He listens.  He opens and closes his fists.  He rolls his head from side to side.  Nothing helps.  It is unbearable.  He begins to cry again, but it is too much for his strained throat; he soon stops.  He waves his hands and kicks his feet.  He stops, able to suffer, unable to think, unable to hope.  He listens.  Then he falls asleep again.

I cried as I read this.  That is exactly what it was like with Sutton the one time we let him cry it out.  Babies know how to sleep, but they do not know how to sleep like older children and adults.  Of course not, they cannot do anything for themselves, why must we force them into sleeping like adults in this method.  The above breaks me heart, but this is what it was like for Sutton.  Even though he cannot speak to us and tell us what he feels, we both saw what was happening.  We both looked at each other with that look of fear and question. And this method of sleep will not be practiced in our family again.

I am eager to continue reading this book, and when I am finished and have tried her methods I will post about our experiences.


  1. Thanks for making me cry at work!
    Like you, we tried the CIO method once (for 10 minutes, and only because everyone was telling us it works) and Sloan was so worked up she puked. Ya, not going to work for us!
    Even at 16 months, Sloan is still getting up to nurse at least once per night, and sometimes to come into our bed. I would love for her to sleep through the night in her own bed, but she doesn't, so I'm going to comfort her when she wakes. I am in the midst of trying to wean her from that middle of the night nursing, and just snuggle her instead and give her a sip of water...but when she is frantically signing 'milk' and 'please' (which she just recently started using consistently), it's hard not to just give in to her...so I do. She's not controlling me (like people think is what is happening), she is telling me her needs and I am meeting them.
    I've never been a CIO fan, but especially after reading that verbalization (did I just make up a word?!) of what a baby is going through, I am even less! It must be SO scary for them!
    Matt is completely on board with the no CIO and semi-co-sleeping that we do, but still, everyonce in a while he'll ask me why she doesn't just know how to go to sleep - you're tired, so sleep! lol
    Maybe I should have just emailed you this - it's getting a little long for a 'comment'.
    Anyway...keep doing what works for you guys and little Sutt the Butt!

  2. After reading this post I've come to the realization that I'm not your typical CIO parent like I thought I was. I will let Brayden CIO for about ten minutes, if after the 10 minutes he hadn't stopped crying or hadn't fallen asleep I will just pick him up. After about three minutes he has usually fallen asleep in my arms then I transfer him to his bassinet. I also say I'm not a co-sleeper but again at bedtime if he is crying after 10 minutes I bring him into bed with us and if I've fallen asleep before him he just stays in our bed until I wake up and move him to his own bed, which is still in our room until we are done our renovations upstairs. So maybe we do have similar parenting styles after all.

  3. Chilete (Moms)April 01, 2011

    I'm just happy you are doing it your way, back in the day CIO was the only option we had, they didn't have all this information available as you young new modern Mothers do.
    here's hoping this generation will grow up more content and at peace with themselves.

  4. There is so much information available these days. And by all means these tools and whatnot are not new, the studies and support are available, I think that is the difference. Social acceptance plays a huge role in support too. And Im not saying at the CIO method doesn't work, it just doesn't work for me. But I do believe that it doesn't actually "teach" the baby to sleep well and soundly. I truly hope that the nurturing Sutton receives will aid in him being a wonderful child and adult.

  5. Great post. We total agree with you. When you leave a baby they don't know you can exist in another room. They think you are gone and that must be so scary for them.