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Crying It Out

Crying it out, also referred to by many as CIO, is the process of letting your baby cry himself to sleep. This is done as a way to sleep train a baby so that he can get more rest and sooth himself to sleep. It is not always popular however as some people believe there are better ways to get their baby to sleep.

crying-it-out.jpgCIO often works first and easiest during nap time. If doing CIO, your baby will probably learn how to comfort himself during the day before he does at night, so daytime is a good place to start. Once your baby gets his naps down moving onto bedtime should make the effort much easier. It is important that you maintain consistency however as to not confuse your baby.

At night you should wait till your baby is visibly tired before putting him down to CIO. If your baby seems to be crying and not giving into sleep, you don’t have to stay out of the room completely. Many people suggest letting your baby cry for five minutes, then going in to comfort them. Pat his back and talk to him letting him know you are there. When you leave, if your baby starts to cry again, let him cry for 10 minutes before you go in. Each time stretch this action out by 5 minutes until your baby falls asleep. Once or twice peek in your babies diaper just to make sure that he doesn’t need a change which could be making him uncomfortable, but still let him work out the crying on his own.

Don’t be surprised if the first attempt at CIO lasts a long time. Your baby will probably fight it the most the first time you do it. The second and third nights your baby should go to sleep much quicker than he did the first night. Every night the crying time should shorten as your baby is learning how to comfort himself and fall asleep on his own. In most cases it takes three days to sleep train your baby via the CIO method. Occasionally it may take less time or more however, depending on your baby. Also, just because your baby starts falling asleep on his own, it doesn’t mean that he won’t still fuss some at bedtime. Fussing will be normal as your baby attempts to calm himself to sleep at night.

CIO while effective can be very hard on mom and dad. It isn’t easy to listen to your baby cry and not go in to pick him up or give in and hold your baby or nurse him until he falls asleep. It takes as much will power for mom and dad to follow through, as it does for your baby to stay awake and not fall asleep. If you believe that CIO will work for your family, believe that you can do it and find a way to stay strong through the process.

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3 Comments on "Crying It Out"

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[…] very popular debate between new parents around the world is the one regarding letting your baby cry it out (CIO) or comforting your baby till they fall asleep. The topic goes very closely with the parenting […]

[…] in realistic terms what changes will occur when the baby arrives. Tell your child that new babies cry a lot — when they are tired, hungry, hot or cold, have a wet diaper, need to be cuddled, or […]

10 years 11 months ago
I’m a pediatrician who specializes in treating sleep problems in children. I think this was a good article, but would like to point out that if CIO fails, which studies report occurs from 10-50% of the time, further investigation into what may be causing the child to sleep poorly is needed. Most sleep disorders are missed, and my own son went years before proper diagnosis and treatment. CIO never worked for him because he was suffering from insomnia due to his sleep disorder. I’ve written a website and book for parents about how to spot children like him. It’s called… Read more »
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