Watch Me Break Mommy Blogger Commandment #1

Thou Shalt Not Write About Letting Babies Cry

Oh yeah, I’m going there.

You know, for as much as I like to tell readers that I’m honest about the good and the bad, there is one subject on this blog I just avoid as much as blogging about religion- SLEEP TRAINING.

It’s time to cut the crap and drop this veil of secrecy that forces me to direct message and privately respond to questions about letting my baby cry herself to sleep. F all of this.

My one year old? She cries. Sometimes for long stretches. Sometimes while I lay in my bed, wide awake, fully aware that she is pissed as all hell that I am not there to pick her up and play peek-a-boo at 3 in the morning.


You don’t have to be okay with that, but you shouldn’t really care about that because, you know, I’m not making you make your baby cry herself to sleep. Just mine.

Oh, some of you may be disgusted by this admission. There are studies, I’m sure, that you will link me to. You may think I’m a bad example of a mommy blogger for encouraging such a parenting technique.

I’ve never claimed to be the perfect example, but I’ve always prided myself on my transparency… and this is something I should just quit trying to dance around.

I’m not writing about this to say what I’m doing is “right,” but please don’t view this as a plea for help, and for the love of  GAWD no book recommendations. I’m barely getting enough sleep to operate a moving vehicle these days. Unless you’re going to volunteer to come over here and re-enact the book with puppets and flash cards in short, attention-grabbing bursts, I just don’t have the time or the energy. (And I read plenty of books when Kendall went through all of this 3 years ago.)

Letting her cry was not our first choice. It’s not like I enjoy it. We’ve tried “gentle” techniques, but everything “gentle” just pisses her off more. It’s come to the point where it feels like the most fair compromise is one that equals her being pissed for a shorter time period (which is totally what happens when she’s left to cry on her own versus us hanging out, patting her back, but refusing to feed her) and lets me get 4 or more consecutive hours of sleep.

I’m trying not to go into defensive mode here because I don’t feel like I need to defend this choice. I’ll just add that she’s a YEAR old, not a week old. She does NOT need to eat every 3 hours anymore. She does not have an ear infection or any other ailment. She just needs to figure out how to sleep… and no, we’re not co-sleeping. It’s not an option for us. No, we don’t just leave her in there to cry all night, but it’s more of a judgement call thing than a every-5-minutes thing.

What it’s really boiled down to is that my children need and DESERVE a functioning mother during the day. I can NOT function without sleep. In fact, I’m confident the lack of sleep the last year has been a huge contributing factor to my postpartum anxiety, and the days following a few measly hours of sleep are awful, even with medication and a gallon of coffee.

Honestly, I don’t think babies need to be soothed every time they cry. Sure, when they are younger than 6 months, or they’re sick or hungry, yes, they should be tended to quickly. But, sometimes they’re just annoyed or pissed, and that’s okay. They can feel that way. Those are emotions they can navigate on their own sometimes.

That’s MY philosophy, one that I’m comfortable with, knowing what I know, and having been through this parenting thing more than once now.

It doesn’t have to be your philosophy, but please don’t equate me letting my 26 lb one year old cry and throw tantrums in her bed at 3 in the morning because I won’t feed her magic-sleepy-milk for the 2nd time in 3 hours to child abuse.

And for those of you in a similar situation, the only advice I can give is to go with your gut. Sure, read books if you have the time, but mainly, read your baby’s cues and what feels right to you.

I truly feel that most parents are trying really hard not to screw up their kids, and I’m sure very few take the decision to let their baby cry in the middle of the night lightly. So can we please stop demonizing educated parents who feel like this is their only option?

Edited to add- 

People, people, PLEASE understand the difference between me letting my ONE YEAR OLD cry for UP TO 10-15 minutes at a time and letting a newborn scream for 8 hours, hyperventilate, choke on their vomit, kill their brain cells, etc. 

I thought I made it clear when I clarified twice that she’s A YEAR OLD, that I think any baby under 6 months should be tended to quickly, or any baby who is sick. I didn’t think I’d have to spell. that. all. out. But I guess I do because so many are assuming I’m advocating locking a baby of any age in a dark room to scream incessantly, regardless of circumstance.

So, let’s all be clear that that is not my stance. 

Just as I advocate and practice safe co-sleeping (though we don’t do it any longer), a parenting choice that many jump to conclusions about and demonize, referring to parents who do it as “uneducated” and “lazy,” I also practice “safe” and responsible sleep-training, which is obviously another polarizing parenting choice people are quick to jump to conclusions about. 

If you are the mother of a newborn considering leaving your baby in her cold, dark room for 8 hours to scream and cry while you’re drinking and watching a Lost marathon on Netflix, then I encourage you to do more research than just reading my blog post and taking what I have to say as medical and professional advice.  (That disclaimer was actually necessary because I’ve had several people tell me I just encouraged that behavior by posting this blog. I’ll also be sure to make a disclaimer that parents shouldn’t co-sleep with boa constrictors and meat cleavers in their bed the next time I talk about that… just so I’ve covered all my bases.)

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  1. You will get no side eyes here. When we moved my daughter into her own room at 14 months, we had to do the CIO for like a week. She needed nothing other than just wanting to sleep in our bed, and quiet frankly, it just didn’t work anymore.

    It took a week, and since then we have had some hiccups, but our family is much better with her in her own room.

  2. We let our son CIO much earlier than this (much earlier!), so no judgement here! I, actually, think it’s good for them and a happy and well-rested mom is also a good thing!

  3. Bravo!!!!!!! I didn’t let my son CIO but that was my choice and I applaud you being open and frank with us about your choices. I do not judge you one bit!! I understand that what works for one kiddo may not work for others. I’m glad you found something that works for your family =D

  4. Each child is different. My oldest would cry like a banshee any time we even got him near the crib. Everything we did just seemed to make him more mad (and 40 minutes of listing to a baby cry at the top of his lungs is NOT fun). I gave in and let him sleep with us at first, and when I got sick of that let him cry it out. Our second I could sometimes get to sleep without crying if we stayed with him for long enough…but not always. Our third is amazing…rarely had to let him cry it out. He’s 3 now and sometimes asks to go to bed! He learned to climb into his crib before he learned to climb out of it !

    Some may thing we’re just getting better…and there may be a little to that but I doubt it. I think people who think letting a baby cry it out is abuse must have children like my 3rd. If they’d had my first they’d think differently.

    And AMEN to being a better parent if you get more sleep!

  5. Wait… this is “a thing” too? Seems perfectly logical to me. You hear parents saying stuff about letting them cry it out all the time. I don’t get what the big deal is. Sigh. I have GOT to quit the blog world the SECOND I get knocked up. Seriously.

    Do what you do, girlfriend. (That would be accompanied by a z-snap had I just said that in real life except not really because I am white and not cool.)

  6. I can’t even tell you how perfect the timing is of this post. I just got out of bed (i first typed “woke up” but then realized I didn’t sleep) after a looong evening of my 15mo. old screaming, “mama! maaamaaa! boobieeeee!!” if we didn’t live in an old apartment with a neighbor whose bedroom is directly below said screaming toddler, I’d let the poor girl throw her fits. But in all honesty, after last night I might as well send a fruit basket to my neighbor and tell him to suck it up and pretend it’s training for his future daddyhood. Ooh, coffee is ready.

    • When my daughter was just over a year, we lived in a townhome with very thing walls. I decided it was time to let her cry it out so I talked to my neighbors (young, childless couple–so I probably did them a favor in the birth control dept.) and told them what was up. Then the afternoon before we decided to start CIO, I left them a bottle of wine on their doorstep with a note that said “Sorry in advance for tonight”. They loved it 🙂 and it took three days! Of course, we have since moved into a house and are back to not sleeping…but thats another issue altogether.

    • I live in a top corner apartment.. Ive got one behind, on the side, and below.. Its the week of Thanksgiving.. guess I’ve got some wine to buy!! With a note saying thank you.. :/

  7. I love you for this post! The judgy moms can just go cry about this. You are a great mom and know that you both need to sleep in order to function and be all that you can be. Good for you for admitting this and making other moms know they aren’t alone!

  8. We sleep-trained our son MUCH earlier with the CIO method and it turned out that he wanted to sleep all night too! Ha! Go figure. Being stupid new parents, we were getting up with him every hour, on the hour, whenever he cried, and I am nowhere near functioning if I don’t sleep at night. So we did it. And I don’t care if other people don’t like that we used CIO. If they feel THAT strongly about it, maybe they’d like to come over and take the night shift for the first dozen MONTHS or so? 😉

  9. I decided a long time ago that I was going to be HONEST with my friends and with my family when they asked about what was going with D and what we were doing with her (sleeping, feeding, etc.) and at the same time I decided that as long as the child was not in any actual danger I was going to be accepting of what other people did with their kids (in other words, cry it out, co-sleeping, breast or bottle all ok, locking your kid in a dog crate-not ok). This mommy wars, judgemental crap has got to STOP. Honestly what are we gaining by shaming other people?

  10. Yes, for your sanity, the kids need to learn how to sleep on their own! Other moms can judge me all they want, but I’m the one getting a full 8 hours of sleep! My oldest, 3, will ask to nap and be put to bed. Score! Now that Ethan is 8 months (wait, 9 months today, holyshit!) he’s learning to sleep on his own. Mommy CAN NOT rock you for 20 minutes twice a day so you can nap!!

  11. Dude, she’s one YEAR old, not one week old. I think there’s a huge difference. FWIW, my daughter didn’t sttn until she was around 14-15 months old. Major suckage. Hang in there. What else can you do?

  12. I love you more with every post. We did CIO with our daughter when she was 8 months old. She was waking up every 45 minutes all night long. She was exhausted, we were exhausted, and my poor first graders were tired of their crazy bear of a teacher. I honestly think teaching her how to fall asleep on her own was the best gift we could give her. And OMG Leyna is a year old, not a week or a month. There is nothing wrong with letting her cry! Thanks for being brave enough to share!

  13. I’m in the same boat, and honestly, the difference between a child waking once or twice in the night, fussing for a few minutes, and going back to sleep until 6:30 and a child waking literally every hour on the hour and then awake for the day at 4:30 for weeks and months on end could be the difference between life and death if I fall asleep at the wheel. I stuck it out for as long as I could, but it got to be a risk that I couldn’t take. You have to do what’s right for you and your family.

  14. I don’t have kids, but when I do which should be pretty soon, the CIO method that everyone here is talking about sounds like a plan to me. I have a friend who had twins and immediately got them on a strict routine & sleep schedule. Those kids were the best behaved babies I’ve ever met. I’m sure she had to let them do some CIOing, but it looks as though the results were worth the bleeding ears. I think you’re going the right direction.

    • Plans are good. They are what keep you distracted when pregnant.

      I think you have cause and effect backwards with your friends twins. They are naturally calm and compliant, and so responded well to the structure and order and seem like “good” babies. If you want that method to work the same for you, make sure you have the right kind of baby.

      Mother of an easy or “good” baby

  15. We are staunch supporters of the CIO method.

    Momma needs her sleep.

    & like you said, it’s very much a “judgment call.” If he’s sick or sounds truly frightened or upset, I go in. I rock him, rub his back, assure him that Momma is here & he is safe. If he just sounds pissed because he didn’t want the fun to end, he can find me kicked back with a book & a glass of wine downstairs.

  16. I GET IT 100%. Didn’t have to do it with my 2 year old but my 4 month old needs some help. After talking to our ped, we decided she had to go 6 hours. After that I feed her, one time a night. If she wakes again, we let her cry. Honestly, I do not function without sleep. I leave with both kids at 6:30am for work. I need to be able to sleep. And she is better for it. She self soothes and ends up crying for less than 10 minutes. Some nights she never wakes, some nights she does. But in the end, mama’s know what they need to do for themselves and their kids. No side eyes or book recs here!

  17. way to go! my rule for crying it out with my four kids was 4 months old, so i’m a much meaner mommy than you might be considered. i’m basically satan. 😛 but it worked for us. and i totally believe in the need for them to learn to self-sooth. they NEED that skill! to heck with anyone that gives you crap.


  18. AMEN. TO. YOU. SERIOUSLY!!!! I could have written this post. My daughter, Lena (pronounced “Lay-nah”) not only shares your child’s name, but temperment and ability to still demand nursing every 3 hours even though she is 12 months old. Truly, I couldn’t have written that any better myself. Verbatim what you did and your rationale and your take on it all is how we felt. We were finally just done. Because she didn’t NEED to eat. Because my boobs were the only way she’d go back down. She’s nurse for 45 seconds to a minute and pass out. Repeat 3 hours later. I HATED every other mom that had a baby sleeping 12+ hours uninterrupted since 4 months. Hated them. We tried to shush her, rub her back, give her water, “tank her up” before hand, give her musical sea horses, pacifiers, womb sounds, EVERYTHING. It just pissed her off more if we tried to do anything but give her the effing BOOB. My husband went into a coma, I think. We just went throught the motions, thinking it would resolve itself because we didn’t want to be those heartless parents that did CIO. But on the night of her 1st birthday, momma snapped. Momma needed moer than 3 hours of sleep at a stretch. So I shut her door and let her cry. She cried all night long. I cried all nigth long. She’d stop for 30 minutes (probably passed out). I literally did. not. sleep. She’d start up again, angrier than before (if that was possible). When dawn finally peeked through the curtains, I was scared to see what kind of child we had in that crib. She was her usual happy perky self. Hmmm…..maybe there’s something to this. Night #2, same shenanigans….but this time she actually was quiet for an hour at a time. Night #3…..I fell asleep to a screaming child at midnight, strangely woke up at 8 AM and had my first 8 hours of sleep. I felt horrible even after the fact….even though it WORKED….I still felt horrible for having to do that to her. But I realized she was just being a turd. She wasn’t in need. Alas, we’ve slept uninterrupted for 8+ hours every night for a month now. I commend you for being transparent and for just DOIN’ it. The hardest part is just pulling the trigger and going along for the ride.

  19. I give you high praise for this post. As a mom of 3 I have used the CIO method with all 3 of my kids to different results. My first was about 9 months old and waking up between 2-3 times a night. We started sleep training and within a few weeks he was sleeping through the night and not crying at bedtime. With my second it wasn’t even necessary. He was a self soother from day one and it made for an easy transition from rocking him to sleep to him sleeping on his own. My third (and final?) Is 2 and we are still fighting every night. He cries, screams, and throws things for sometimes hours and we kiss, sing, tuck, retuck, and leave the room a zillion times a night. Each kid is different but more important it is about what works for us as parents. Happy, healthy parents equals happy, healthy kids!

  20. Oh we are SO there. Hannah is an AWFUL sleeper & it’s driving me batty. We have tried the progressive Ferber approach and it just doesn’t work. She screams harder when we come in too often. I’ve also heard we should ditch the paci because we’re having to go replace it but we’re not ready to do that either because the paci DOES help her.

    So yeah, we listened to her cry for the better part of 45 minutes last night at 1:30 a.m. I know she’s not hungry. She nurses 4 times day and gets three solid meals and some finger foods to play with throughout the day. We finally phased out the middle of the night feedings and although I know it would have made her stop crying if I fed her at 1:30 I don’t want to start that nonsense again.

    If you figure out the magic solution let me know because there are days I’m seriously delirious from lack of sleep.

  21. Thank you, Sweet Baby Jesus, for this post. My almost six-month-old is developing worse and worse sleep habits every night. He currently has a slight cough we are waiting to subside, and then it’s CIO for us. I’ve asked for advice, and it drives me nuts when people shove, “YOUR BABY WILL HAVE BRAIN DAMAGE!!!!” shit down my throat. I know my pareants made me cry it out. I know my parents were made to cry it out. My husband CIO when left in the care of his grandmother. Hundreds of thousands of babies have CIO throughout the years, and guess what? CIO isn’t what messes any of them up!

  22. no judgement here. her learning how to sleep and her own self soothing techniques is truly a gift to her. hope she figures it out soon!

  23. THANK YOU for your post. I am battling out 3am wake ups/bottles with my nearly 12 month old, and I feel like such a bad parent, but how else is he going to learn, right?

  24. Well, when she commits armed robbery at 15 years old, we’ll know why.

    Seriously, though, I’ve got a similarly pissed 1 year old girl, who only screams louder and longer and pushes me if I pick her up when she’s mad in the middle of the night. Sometimes I surrender and drag her off to our bed so she doesn’t wake up her brother. Sometimes we are both just too tired to move, and she ends up snarking at us all. night. long. But you know what? The next night she usually sleeps like a gem. (That would be the night her brother has 3 nightmares, but no matter.)

    I too think a lack of sleep contributes to a lot of emotion instability (mine, the preschooler’s, the toddler’s, husband’s…everyone’s). If I’m too tired to be a good-enough mom during waking hours, there’s no point in my being an overly-attentive mom during should-be-sleeping hours.

  25. The thing that gets a lot of mamas hot & bothered (me included, though I never talk about it) is when women follow pediatrician’s words verbatim as early as two or three weeks postpartum. “Your baby is ___ lbs so she SHOULD be able to sleep ___ hours.” And then those mamas end up getting bummed about low milk supply down the road. Pediatricians are not lactation consultants, or sleep specialists, or therapists, or even women half the time 🙂

    Every family is so different. Good for you for getting to this point on your own, and I can only imagine it’ll do worlds of good for your sleep and anxiety issues. I’m following along because I’m in a similar boat with nine-month old twin girls. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Good for you, talking about CIO! We’ve had to do with with both of our kids and they’re just fine and dandy, thank you. I know that they feel loved and not at all abandoned and quite frankly, if we hadn’t, I’d still be getting up 3 or 4 times a night and that sucks for EVERYBODY. You gotta do what’s right for your kids and no one has the right to judge you for that.

  27. Umm, we let jack “CIO” at around 6 months when it was taking us almost 2 hrs to put him to sleep. Best decision ever. He just wanted to sleep and fall asleep on his own. Parents need to be sane and rested to raise their kids.

  28. Yeah, what you said.

    My daughter’s entire 2 years of sleep history has been lesson after lesson in what doesn’t work for us and we’ve come to the realization that whatever it takes for us all to get as much sleep as possible is what we have to do. It’s a survival game at our house. It’s more important that Daddy and Mommy are functional during the day than the little one, and every night is different with her. Some nights are too easy and some nights are too hard. That’s life.

    Good for you for doing what’s best for your individual child with no apologies.

  29. It’s like you’re in my head! I had/have the same thoughts about CIO. I had to do it for the sake of my sanity and the sanity of those around me. I don’t like sleep, I LOVE sleep. When I don’t sleep, the world better watch out.

    The results for us were amazing. 3+ nursing sessions a night before CIO turned into 13+ hours of blessed silence. A year and a half later, she still sleeps.

    I rethink the want for another child every time I get to sleep 9+ hours straight per night. Is it really worth it?

  30. I think this is a well-written post that shows how parents, especially moms, need to do what’s best for them and their family – which won’t always jive with attachment parenting technique. You know your kid and you know what you’re capable of. I think there’s a big difference between this type of letting your child cry to sleep and the beliefs held 30-40 years ago (i.e., that you could “spoil” your child if you picked him or her up a lot during a crying jag, as if a 2-week-old can be spoiled).

  31. Preach it, sister! Kids DO need to figure out on their own how to sleep. It isn’t EASY letting your child cry, but it’s the right thing to do in many instances. You get through it, they learn to sleep and everyone in the family is better off for it.

  32. Kids need sleep. Parents need sleep. Heck, I have a four year old that still needs to thow a bedtime tantrum occassionally, and he seems to be surviving. Co sleeping and anything gentle are just against that child’s nature.My 5 year old cried 30 minutes one night, and has slept like a champ since. I firmly believe many parents underestimate a small child’s ability to manipulate a situation. Is CIO for every child/ family? Definitely not! But some kids just need to learn a little earlier that sleep is somthing their family values, and it will not be overcome by tantrums. Kiddo, you just throw that fit. I’ll be busy getting the time I need to myself and with your daddy, so that I can enjoy you when you are rested and pleasant again. No judgement here!

  33. All I have to say is…AMEN. I’ve been letting my 15mo CIO ever since she was about 7 or so months, and after the first few nights she started sleeping between 8-11hrs a night. Just like you said, I know when she wakes up with that different cry,she’s either sick, gassy, or teething. Hate when people try to make parents feel bad for making the decision to do this…I always think, “are YOU going to come and get up every night at 2am with my baby and then function all day, everyday on 4 or fewer hours of sleep? No? That’s what I thought.” I know how horrible of a sleeper I’ve been my whole life and didn’t want that for my daughter. Thanks for posting this!

  34. To each his own with this sleeping thing. I don’t judge those who let their kids CIO. I have friends who did it from birth. I don’t judge…but their kids sleep better than mine, so how can I judge?

    With my 3 year old, I woke with him HOURLY from birth until 3 months. Come to find out he had reflux. Then I returned to work at 6 months and could not deal. We did CIO at 7 months, but then he got an ear infection. It was torture. Every time we did sleep training by day 3, he got sick. It never stuck. I should have demanded ear tubes, but i didn’t want surgery for him. At 17 months, he FINALLY got it. But then at 21 months he got another ear infection, we went on vacation and sleep as we knew it was over. At 3 he is IN OUR BED and has to be touching one of us to sleep. I can’t even put him in another room when we are AWAKE without him screaming bloody murder. He is a very sensitive, needy kid. He has tons of fears. And when I ask him why he needs to sleep with mommy and daddy, he says he needs to cuddle…sigh.

    I now have an almost 8 month old who is a MUCH better sleeper, but is also IN OUR BED. But he sleeps all night and I am being gentle with getting him in his crib FOR NOW.
    I will sleep train him if he doesn’t get it in a couple of months. But for right now I am happy with our situation.

    So call me jealous…BOTH of your babies are in their own beds…while neither one of mine are..YAWN. LOL
    I can dream of that situation…ONE DAY.

  35. My son cried before falling asleep every single night until he was two and half years old. Believe me, we tried everything and I did feel bad about explaining this to relatives when we were visiting. We learned to see it just as lung exercise, his last output of energy, not a cry for help. He was fine, he was safe, he was tired and crying and then he went to sleep.

    Now he goes to sleep on his own and sleeps all night long. I get a full eight hours and cherish every minute because baby number two arrives in three months and I’ll be a zombie all over again.

  36. I don’t CIO but I won’t judge you for your choices either. You and only you know what is best for your baby, your family and yourself. Love you. <3

  37. We did it with Robbie, too. He was 6 months adjust/almost 10 months actual and the worst sleeper ever. It came from months of not eating and being hungry (but refusing to eat) all the time, but even after he got his feeding tube, he still woke every 45 minutes or so. And it would take hours to get him down at all.
    it took 2 days of sort of a modified Ferber method and bam! He’d go straight to sleep and sleep 8 or 9 hours. We were all healthier and happier, believe me.
    He’s 3.5 now and looking back, I feel like that was when our life really began. We switched from survival to enjoying life.

    Charlotte’s a better sleeper now (at 3 weeks adjusted/8 weeks actual) than Robbie was at 6 months, but she still wakes a lot and sometimes stays up. And she wants to be held ALL the time. I’m already looking forward to the day when she can sleep normally and if that requires sleep training again, it will.

    There certainly are studies about CIO being bad, but I believe those involve letting a child cry incessantly, not for a few minutes every once in a while.

    I mean, honestly.. sometimes I have to let her cry for a few minutes out of necessity. If the 3yo and the 8 week old are crying at the same time, I have to check to make sure the 3yo isn’t bleeding before tending to teh 8w old who is likely just needing a boob or a hug. If she cries for a minute or two while I do that.. she just does. It’s not that I enjoy it, but choices have to be made.

  38. dear lord this is exactly how i feel about our 8 month old daughter. she is over 20 lbs, she’s mobile, she’s exclusively breatfed & she cries just to be soothed for one minute of milk or snuggling. we cannot cosleep anymore– i NEED my sleep– i have a son newly-diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder & a baby. if i want to do them justice as a mom during the day (working from home at night & raising them 24-7), crying it out has to be utilized at this point. i completely get your choice & we are doing the same. good for you for saying how it is– i’m a freelance journalist so i completely applaud your transparency.

  39. This post comes at a great time for me, personally. I have an 11 1/2 month old, who will turn 1 this coming Saturday. She falls asleep with me every night in a chair watching tv and drinking her bottle. She’s VERY attached to me, I breastfed her until she was 9 months old when I found out I was pregnant. I knew I could still breastfeed her while pregnant, but I was already worn out. BTW, this new baby is my 5th, so I’m a very very busy mommy. One in school, three at home, and one on the way. The last couple of months she has woken up in the middle of the night and sleeps with my husband and I, and we’ve had no issues with it, because we were getting sleep. The last couple of weeks have been torture though. She flips and flops and jabs her knees, feet, hands, and head wherever she feels like. And I’m constantly getting headbutted or slapped. My husband is not getting the sleep he needs for his work day. It’s been stressful. So I woke up this morning thinking “this has to stop”…I know she will probably cry in her crib and it might take a few days, or even a couple weeks, but she will learn to get herself back to sleep and stay asleep. Different methods work with different kids (as well as different parents!) and to each his/her own, My oldest was perfect, I had NO sleeping problems with her from birth. She slept 13 hours straight every night since she was born. My 2nd gave us complete hell. She was up every hour most nights, and I was a zombie. She ended up coming and sleeping in our bed until she was 3 (I do not want a repeat of this!) and my 3rd, well he was great, normal. He got up every few hours as a baby and it slowly moved to just once a night and then not at all by the time he was 1. He put himself in his own bed at 13 months old and slept fine. So now I have to figure out what will work for this one, (and one more!) As parents we shouldn’t judge each other, no one is perfect and if you are, well then good for you, I’m happy as a learning on the job type mommy.

  40. It has always been weird to me that mothers are so concerned with what OTHER people do with THEIR children. Bravo for doing what works. We decided we needed to balance the needs of the whole family, as well as balance his real need for good quality sleep with his desire to be with us. A lot of moms I know think I am heartless but they cannot believe how easily and how much my kid sleeps lol.

    • Weird? Really? Makes perfect sense to me, when I see my own reaction to babies, human or otherwise. I feel like I’m mommy to the world the way my heart strings get yanked all over the place.

      I’m not saying its good, that peolple get all judgmental, but I certainly understand the immediate, visceral reaction a parent has to another child’s distress.

      Throw in the natural feeling of insecurity about your own choices, which makes you want to dismiss other choices as flat out wrong. Makes for a perfect storm.

      • Thank you for being gracious enough to clear that up for me. My child must be so lucky to have you being mommy to the world and caring about his distress.

  41. I’ll admit I am NOT a fan of CIO. I could never do it with my son – I’m just too sensitive maybe. It isn’t an option for us. However, that being said – if you are making an educated decision to parent this way I say go for it. You know your child best. I believe that parenting evolves rapidly for every person. Right now crying a bit works for you and your child – and I’m certain that if their comes a time it isn’t working for you and your child – You’ll know and adapt. Congrats to you for being brave enough to post this! *hugs* because I can imagine the negative comments you might be getting.

  42. While I don’t agree with letting young babies CIO (hell, I have issues when my 8 1/2 m.o. cries for more than a couple minutes), there is a big difference between a baby and a 1 year old toddler! I totally get the need for sleep thing. Hopefully your girl figures things out sooner than later and you all get some sleep.

  43. Love it!!! I am reposting this on FB for all my Momma friends out there. You are so right that a functioning Mommy that can actually drive a moving vehicle safely is a better Mommy. I refused to do the Ferber method or cry it out method with my first son, but after getting no sleep & snapping at my husband all the time I asked my doctor. I highly recommend asking your doctor. I have had many Peds. tell me that letting them cry it out is safe and healthy for them. Not ONE doctor has said otherwise. They see hundreds of children and most likely for years, so I trust their advice. Don’t rely on a book or your friends….ask a professional. AFter I did that, I knew I had to try it. It took 3 days, at at 4 months old he was sleeping 12 hours. I did this with each of my 3 children and they are awesome sleepers. The real trouble comes when they can no longer be contained by a crib or door lock or gate. That is where I am now with my older children. Sometimes my 1 year old night wakes even now & it is still hard to let her cry, but once I know it is not a sickness or dirty diaper, then I just let her cry. It’s best to check on them first and make sure they don’t have a fever or something else going on. Sometimes if I think it could be a tooth, I just give them Tylenol. I do know many people who co-sleep and let their children nurse in the bed whenever they want and those Mommas are just fine not getting full sleep. I say that is awesome and more power to them. Some of us become crazy women w/o our full sleep. Well, that is me sister & I have no regrets letting them cry.

  44. Just promise you won’t let guilt tear you apart for any decisions you make as a parent. You’re being the best parent you can be and I support you for that. Sometimes you need to do what you need to do.

  45. Jill ,

    Thank you! While I personally don’t use the CIO method, I by no means think you are a horrible parent. I believe that you are trusting your instinct and that is all you can do for your kids and your family. I have followed your blog for awhile now, it inspired me to start my own blog and I will continue to follow you even if Leyna cries at 3am. You, in my opinion are a wonderful person and parent and you deserve a really big hug for even having the balls to post this!!! I hope things work out for you, and I hope that you are able to get some much needed sleep sooner than later!! {{HUGS}}

  46. We let both our boys CIO from 12 weeks. By then, they can go an entire night without needing a new diaper, milk, etc. And honestly (which you know) the minute we go in there, they’ve won. They’ve won the control fight. I LOVE my children, but I also know who’s boss and when I say it’s time to sleep, it’s time to sleep. Your body and mind will learn, and you’ll be happier for it.

    My youngest is 14 months and every once in a great while he’ll wake up crying, but because we CIO from early on, he self soothes and is asleep within a minute or two.

    IMO, our kids are better kids for it. They’re independent, they understand how to control situation on their own more, and by no means are they any less loving or any less nurtured.

    I’m glad you posted this. Judgmental moms who think we’re torturing our children irk me to no end 🙂

    • I’m sorry that some moms who choose to co-sleep and avoid the CIO method feel the need to justify their own choices by demonizing those who do things differently from themselves. I co-sleep. I can’t handle CIO, but it’s in large part because I seriously can’t. handle. Cupcake. crying. She’ll more than likely be a tyrant at some point due to my willingness to dance to her tune, but hey. My future ish. And, I don’t have a 3-year-old to tend to simultaneously. Bravo Jill, for being honest, despite what some may have to say about it, although seems to me that the majority of your readers are supportive of your choices. YOUR choices for YOUR children are YOUR business. 🙂
      ~Kim @ An Ideal Mother

  47. GOOD FOR YOU!!!!

    More than anything you can do as a mother, you need to do what works for you as a mother and as a family. She is safe in her crib, and you need your sleep as much as she does. She’ll figure it out soon. It won’t take long. I, unfortunately had to use the same methods with my son and he is a happy, healthy 2.5 y/o that now walks in to his room and goes to bed with out a fuss 5 out of 7 nights for me.

    It gets better as you know.

    Good luck!!! Kudos to you for speaking your mind 🙂

  48. I was a little worried when I saw there were 53 comments so quickly that you were getting your blogging brains bashed in, however, I’m so happy to see the opposite has happened!!! Finally some support for an issue that raises so many feathers & it appears more of us use the CIO method than the non-CIO want us to believe. LOL You’re a smart, educated, talented woman who loves her children obviously you are only going to do what you feel is best for your children & best for yourself & best for your family. <3 you!

  49. Well, I don’t know why anyone would fault you for this, Jill. I mean you’re Leyna’s mom. You know what she needs and there is no way for the rest of us to know.

    Babies need to learn to soothe themselves and if that takes five minutes of crying and fussing then so be it. You need sleep too!

    I can honestly say that Brigham not sleeping through the night for a full year caused another severe depressive episode in me. By the time he finally would sleep I was a basket case.

    Lack of sleep is one of my biggest triggers for anxiety and mood swings. I’m sure it’s that way for many people!

  50. I was never able to let my son (now 15) cry it out and my second child (4 months) will probably never need to since she only wakes to nurse once in the night (i wish all babies did this). I commend you for being honest and I don’t know how you stand listening to it but I hope it leads to more sleep for everyone. Stay strong!

  51. I let my baby cry. It used to happen all the time, now it happens almost never. And now that he’s over it and knows how to sleep, I know the nights he DOES cry a lot there is probably something wrong. I address it, and if it turns out he wants to play, back in the crib he does. It’s not child abuse. I’ts survival. Thanks for being honest about it.

  52. I agree that you should do what feels right to you. While I currently don’t let my child cry it out, if nothing else worked, I would. There is only so much you can do sometimes, and sometimes that means letting them cry. Especially when you know they are full, have a clean diaper and aren’t running a fever.

  53. When my daughter was born (she is now 21 months old), I did not believe in allowing your child to cry it out. I was awake constantly through the night, cuddling, rocking, singing, name it, I’ve done it to get my daughter to go back to sleep. This continued until she was over a year old and let’s face it, after a year of being sleep deprived, you’re ready to try anything. My husband suggested to let her cry it out.. How dare he suggest we let our daughter cry while we were in the next room, listening?! However; we tried it because being as student and mother of two, and relating to your comment that “children deserve a functioning mother”, we let our daughter cry it out. She cried longer at first, however after a couple of days, the crying lessened and now at 21 months, we have a daughter who goes to bed easily, (sometimes with hassle but rarely), and sleeps throughout the night at approximately 11 hours per night with a nap during the day. I would suggest this method to other mothers and I applaud for blogging about this as well because I have met a lot of “old fashioned” women who looked at me with wide eyes and open mouths at the thought of me allowing my child to cry and not attending to her the moment the baby opened her mouth.

  54. With the first you always jump at every cry. Then you have more than one child and sometimes you have to let the baby cry for a few. Even when you baby wear. Sometimes you put them down to sleep and so you can go to the bathroom for the first time in hours and then one of the other children is in need of something and suddenly baby is awake. As long as you know they are safe it’s fine. If you’re right there and it’s not the middle of the night and the baby is mostly a toddler now and she’s screaming and you’re not picking her up then I begin to wonder about you ;). So until you show me that you purposely allow your child to cry when you’re completely available for picking up and cuddles, then I won’t judge you ;).

  55. Good for you for your honesty and making the best decision for your family. Getting rest is important for everyone. People underestimate how much fatigue can affect you and how well you function/make decisions.

    It’s funny, I feel like all the mommy blogs I read do CIO to some extent. I felt like I was in the minority for NOT letting my baby CIO. I guess that’s part of being parent- feeling alone in your decisions. I hope sharing your choice helps you and other mothers feel less alone.

  56. Heather Hunter on

    Thank you again for being the honest mommy that you are. May your period of sleep-training be short and full of sleep for everyone!

  57. I have a 1 year old who wakes up every couple of hours (every hour, it seems) if I put him down in his crib. We did the co-sleeping thing, but now are trying to sleep train him. I have tried on a couple of occassions to let him CIO, but I’ve given in. I am going to attempt it again this week and hope I can resist the temptation to go in there and pick him up just to quiet him down. We all have to do what works best for us and this is a very personal decision, but I am so grateful for your post because so often I hear/read other moms and dads who are so opposed to this. I am 100% in agreement with you on the difference between letting a 1 year old CIO and a 6 month old or younger CIO. And I desperately need sleep!!!! Wish me luck!

  58. Way to go mama! You’re Leyna’s mother, only you and your husband know what is right and best for YOUR baby. There are a lot of people who disagree with CIO, and that is completely fine. It’s not for everyone, and definitely doesn’t work with all babies and toddlers. We used it with our daughter, now 17 months old, and were very fortunate that it only took a couple of nights before she started falling asleep with no crying whatsoever. All kids are different, as are all moms and dads, and we’re all just trying to do what’s best for OUR kids and OUR families. You’re a good mama, and your kids are lucky to have you!

  59. HELL YEAH! Love it 🙂 CIO worked best for us too 🙂 How else do they learn? Not all of us have amazing sleepers who slept 6+ hours the moment we brought them home to the hospital ;). And co-sleeping… a whole other can- of “mommy-blogger” worms 😉 You go- great job!

  60. Love this post! Moms get so much $#!+ for CIO. You’re her mom, you know best and we all function better with a good night’s rest. I’m pro-CIO because I know it’s what was best for our household. :high five: for putting this out there for others to read!

  61. Thank you for posting this! I’m a fan of the whatever-works sleep technique (obviously, within reason). Ultimately, it comes down to doing what’s best for you and your family and what’s going to make you the best mother possible. I hate that things like this are things we need to hide from because of the judgment of others. Can’t we just accept that what works for us may not work for someone else and vice versa? Let people be the best parents they can be without fearing judgment from other parents who know nothing about your child or parenting style.

  62. *pssst* I let all three of my boys cry at about the year mark and they all survived and do not have any abandonment issues. To this day they know Momma don’t play games at bed time. We do what we gotta do.

  63. Jill, you are awesome. We need to have honest conversations as Mamas. Conversations in which we are all entitled to our own opinion, but allowed to share them without judgement.

    I remembered this card and instantly thought of you. And me. I’m going through the same thing right now. Shame on those who make us feel as if we have to defend our personal parenting decisions!!!

  64. Amen, girl. you do what you gotta do. NO ONE loves to hear her baby cry. it feels like my skin is on fire from the inside out. but if it’s that for a few minutes on a few nights, or my sanity for months on end you bet your ass I’m going to choose the former. we used ferber with our first and will do it again with this baby when he’s ready, and if it’s necessary (here’s hoping we have one of those storied magical sleeping babies!!) in short: haters be damned.

    the bottom line is: you know your children and you know if or when it crosses the very obvious line from teaching into something else. you know when your child is legitimately hurting and when they’re just – as you say – extremely pissed about something that they need to get over.

    and honestly? I’ll go a step further and say that I think it’s helped train ME to deal with the inevitable melt-downs of toddlerhood. because sometimes you really DON’T need to comfort them, and if I were even a teeny bit softer than I am now, it’d be a disaster.

  65. Good for you! Ignore anyone else, it’s your child and you all need sleep! I had a baby with severe reflux and colic and no help from Drs with regards medication, so every time he was put to bed he would cry and scream no matter what we did. Even when the colic stopped at about 6months he still yelled to go to sleep, it was like he had learned the behaviour and even did it for nap time! I only broke him of it when he was over two and I explained why he shouldn’t do it! LOL Now on baby number four and yep another one with reflux, but on meds, but yep yells like mad. I could go into her and she would love it, but she wouldn’t go to sleep, I could rock her until she went to sleep, but it wouldn’t help herself get to sleep and we would be struggling with this hurdle further down the line! All my kids have been treated the same way and they all go to sleep no problem now & unless ill stay asleep. I am a mess if I don’t get consistent sleep and my 10month old unless she is ill does not need a feed during the night, so I will leave her to have a good old moan and cry until she drops off or until it goes on to the next level then I know there’s a poo filled nappy involved in the mix. Yerk! I had PND with all the children and it does involve the lack of sleep for me, so good for you! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  66. Awesome! I let my girls cry it out long before a year and they did great! I saw them learn to self comfort and they began to become part of the family, not the whole point of it. I’ve tried to deal with my children’s innate narcisim by just not changing the world around them to accommodate it. We are all born self centered for the purpose of learning and survival, yet alowing this natural characteristic to be applied to every scenario that a child would choose is not loving to the child or the family. It must be directed and trained. My children get lots and lots of comfort (which, btw, is not an inalienable right of life… or americans) but there is a time where proper training is not comfortable. Displaying anything but this truth in my behaviors to them cripples them by teaching them that the world they must learn to survive in is something much different than what they will find when it really counts. Teaching them the truth about how to live at peace with this world… in reality, is much more loving, in my opinion, than jumping to every cry, tantrum, even request as if my life, or theirs depended on it. It is refreshing to see someone else voice this same opinion. Thank you for your boldness and honesty!

  67. No judgement from the peanut gallery here 😉 It doesn’t make you a bad mom, just like your kids deserve a sane mom, you deserve a sane YOU. Keep up the good work kid.

  68. Good for you! I have to tell you that sleep training my son was the best parenting choice I have made in the almost three years I’ve been doing this. It’s not for everyone but it worked out amazing for us. A few rough nights for a few weeks worked out in the end for all of us. You should see our bed time routine, it takes all of 10 minutes start to finish and he’s out, and sleeps for 12+hours with out getting up. Sometimes kids need to learn how to comfort themselves. And for the people that say it’s cruel, that kills me, has their kid never had a crazy temper tantrum? Well, my son has and he cried longer than he ever did while we were “sleep training” him.

  69. Best quote evahh about all things parenting related! Smooch. Keep pressing on & living yourself & ur kiddos, it’s a hard job.

    d for the love of  GAWD no book recommendations. I’m barely getting enough sleep to operate a moving vehicle these days. Unless you’re going to volunteer to come over here and re-enact the book with puppets and flash cards in short, attention-grabbing bursts, I just don’t have the time or the energy.

  70. Girl, you know I tried to avoid CIO but it was the ONLY THING that worked with P. And now, she sleeps 12 hours at night, naps awesome and is generally a much, much happier baby.

  71. Every child is different they have different needs/wants/personalities and as a parent you have to know you child and make the decision that’s best for that child and their needs. I have 3 kids 9yrs, 7yrs and 8months. My oldest wanted to go to sleep by himself because he was/is very hot natured and it only made it worse when we held him to put him to sleep. Yes he cried but not long and he cried alot longer and was more irritated if we were holding him to go to sleep. I realized I was only holding him to put him to sleep because it made ME feel better. He slept much better once I let him CIO. CIO was not a way to put my 7yr old to sleep so we would put her to sleep then lay her down and the same with my 8month old up to this point. However he is also very hot natured and is not wanting to be held to go to sleep recently he prefers to lay down and we rub his back. So, like I said you know your child you know their needs and you know their personality and based on that we as educated parents have to make the decision that is best for them. So, don’t second guess that you know your child and their needs better then ANYONE!

  72. Thank you so much for this. We let our DD CIO from a very young age (like 3 months) she slept great at night (8-12 hours) but wasn’t napping. Dr suggested setting a time limit after putting her down for a nap and letting her cry like 10-20 minutes and we did and IT WORKED! She is 18 months old now and do I still have guilt if I lay her down and she is crying? Yes but she is out in less than 5 minutes EVERY time. I think Mom’s need to do what works for them and I know my DD needs to be in a seperate room, in her own bed otherwise nobody sleeps!

  73. No judgment here. I let both my boys cry it out, and they were both sleeping 8+ hours straight at night by the time they were only 6 weeks old. Years down the road, they’re both good sleepers, and no one’s scarred for life. Good for you for doing what’s best for you and not turning into a crumpled, worthless shell of your old self just because some Judgy McJudgersons out there think it’s OK to guilt moms over things that are none of their damn business.

  74. I have to say you absolutely rock for being honest.

    Everything I thought I knew about sleep went out the window when I had my son. Now that I’m expecting another baby I have no idea what to expect. I think we are all trying to do what is best for our children, our families, and ourselves. Whatever it takes to not become a sleepless martyr zombie is very likely whats best for your family! I don’t want to live in a world where taking care of myself makes me a horrible selfish person, or a terrible parent.

    Remember, fasten your own oxygen mask before assisting others, because if you are passed out on the ground you are no good to anyone!

  75. Girl, you KNOW how I feel about this. Everly has recently again decided that this sleep thing is for suckers. You know, because the hubs is out of town so I am all alone and she is crying out until I run to her. only to find out she is in fact totally fine and just wants to watch TV with me until all hours of the night so…..

    As you know, I am PRO sleep and PRO sane mothers and PRO taking care of you so you can take care of your kids so, just remember, if she’s fed, loved and changed, she is fine.

    Love you. I hope this works for you guys!

  76. Thank you SO much! I have a 2 year old girl and a 3 year old boy. I’ve done the same things with both kids, because sleep was a NECESSITY! Unfortunately, my son still doesn’t like to go to sleep at night, and it’s even more difficult now that he’s in a big-boy bed, but we’re working on it. Keep doing what works for you, and judgmental moms be damned!

  77. I have 4 kids ages 10 to 18 mos. We didn’t let the first CIO and she still has bad sleep habits at 10 years old. The other 3 CIO starting around 2 mos and they all went on to be happy, healthy well rested kids:) They’ve never asked me why I didn’t come pick them up when they were babies and they have all been able to fall asleep anywhere and stay asleep for the night. We’re expecting our 5th baby this summer and I’m sure we will do the same again. Thanks for being real. I love reading your blog!

  78. OMG !!! I know what you mean ppl condemn you for it, but i’m sitting here pretty with two boys that have gone to bed from 7 to 7 everyday since they were six months old AND in their own beds/cribs etc..

    they can yell all they want lets face it, they’re the only ones suffering because of it lol!

  79. Okay Jill first know that I love your blog and I do respect you but I really do have to say what I’m about to say. I want to not have to but for me I have to. It has more to do with me then you but still I’m going to say it.

    Leaving a baby to cry DOES undermine their growth. It changes what they expect from the world. No one held my daughter (like at all) or came when she cried (not at all) and so her brain is screwed up. Like really truly screwed up. She has a reactive attacent disorder. And I am reading this post just after coming from over an hour of trying to show her love while she hit, kicked and pushed away from me. Like I said what I’m saying is more about me then you.

    Now I know that what you are doing is not the same. And I know that most likely no children wind up with an attachment disorder from what you are talking about. I’ve seen pictures of your baby and I’m sure she doesn’t have one. And I’m not judging you. If this disorder has taught me anything it is that we all do what we feel is best and that’s all we can do. I guess all I’m saying is be careful. Know what you are doing. Make sure to foster the development at other times. And I’m sure you are Jill. Actually, I’m not really writing this for you. I’m writing it for someone else. I don’t know who but someone. Or maybe for me. So that I will know that anyone who reads this knows that when you EXCESSIVELY let a baby cry and don’t meet their needs you are hurting them. And it sucks! This disorder SUCKS!!

    I’m not saying what you are doing is excessive. I sort of equate what you are doing to driving. Like it or not my baby cannot be picked up when I’m driving. No matter how long it takes. And so she has had to learn to be okay with that. I’m just saying that people should know what excessive ignoring a cry can do. It’s just where I’m at that I can’t not say something. Hopefully my life will get easier and next time I read about sleep training I will be able to keep my mouth shut. Heading to tweet my apologies for this comment now.

    • Okay, I’m glad this is coming from you. Listen, I GET that people don’t want me encouraging others to leave 2 week olds in their cribs to scream at all hours. I DO NOT CONDONE THAT. Never have. I’ve spoken out about that. People are making the words I left here into more than they are. I made sure to clarify that she’s A YEAR OLD. I didn’t think I had to make it clear that I love her dearly and cuddle and play with her the rest of our waking hours. I mean, hell, that’s a HUGE reason why I’m doing this to begin with. I’m not a good mother who CAN foster a good relationship with my baby during the day if I don’t get enough sleep and am fighting anxiety. I am not extreme about this, and I HATE the assumption from others that parents who sleep train, all of them, just leave babies to cry for hours and hours. That is simply NOT TRUE. I came into this decision with a lot of thought and a lot of LOVE.

      • I know! And you didn’t need to clarify. I tried to say that. I didn’t read all the comments so I’m not sure if anyone else said anything negative. Like I said I really needed to say it for me. I’ve been. Thinking about the cry it out philosophy a lot lately. And that’s not even really what you mean. I know I kind of hijacked you. And I’m sorry. I couldn’t leave it alone.

        I truly meant that I know you aren’t just ignoring your baby. I also know
        that you aren’t responsible for the people who twist your words to defend doing so. I just …… I don’t know. It’s almost like a way I could defend my girl – even if it’s lame and after the fact. I’m sorry. I really am.

  80. Way to tell em to Shut It Jill!!
    Chad and I struggled with this when Tristan was that age. It took a bit, but we were all better for it. Sleeping kids and sleeping parents. As long as we knew that there was absolutly NOTHING wrong with him, we dealt.

    He’s 14, alive, well adjusted, intelligent, well rounded kiddo. And not some sociopath because we let him cry himself to sleep a dozen times.

    You are a Wonderful Mommie!! And you are Her Mommie!!

  81. All parents need to do what’s best for them. For the mom, the dad, and the child. And that’s going to be different in every situation. Never feel guilty for how you’re raising your child. The world would be an awfully boring place if everybody made the same decisions and thought the same things!

  82. Good for you for being honest! We eventually resorted to CIO/Controlled Crying when our boys were close to the 1 year mark as well. One of them had slept with us for most of his first year and we were having a really difficult time making the transition. Older babies and toddlers learn very quickly. I cringe when I see people equating letting a toddler cry in their bed to a newborn crying without a parents’ response — totally not the same thing.

    Great post, Jill! 🙂

  83. dude. we are moms doing what we gotta do.

    My kid gets worse if he cries it out. Does that mean we won’t let the next one do it? nope. it’s an individual basis thing depending on the baby’s personality and tendencies.

  84. My 8 month old is almost as big as your one year old.

    Big babies cry. Little babies cry. Whatever.

    No one’s going to be able to tell when all our kids have blogs and are berating each other for their own parenting decisions.

  85. Love it!! So honest. We let our oldest cio when she was 1 years old, it took over a week, every night, at 9pm, she would be fed, changed, tired…but did not want to sleep so we let her cio, she would cry for most 2hours then less and less each night. I of course would check up on her, which made things worst because she was more pissed right off. but after that, and ever since, she goes to bed at 8, no problem, no fussing, no crying. woo hoo, I am a alert mommy in the day, we play together, have fun, she’s loving, happy, and so smart!. Everything time I would run to her when she would cry, she became so needy I couldn’t get anything else done, but now she’s independent, and healthy. Thank you for posting this,

  86. I went through this with my first (second one is on the way soon.) I co-slept for a year and was desperate for sleep and thought I would be the last person to use Ferber or CIO, but it worked, and like you’ve experienced, the gentler the approach the more drawn out crying there was. The first time I let him cry it out, he was asleep in 10 minutes! It was the best night sleep he had ever had at that point. Thank you for your honesty. The best way to be on top of your day time mom game, is to get as much sleep as you can at night especially to fight off the PPD and Anxiety that plagues new moms. Also, the more sleep a child gets the less likely they are to have depression, weight issues, cognitive issues, etc as well. So, I say it’s really not that bad considering the benefits if it works. You’re a wise mother to prioritize sleep over a bit of crying. Best wishes, I hope Leyna sleeps through the night soon!

    • You know what I love most about you Kit? It is your true HONESTY. I don’t know a single parent that puts it asll out there the good, the bad and the ugly. I personally don’t believe in your philosophy but I would NEVER criticize you for it because it works for YOUR child and your family not mine. Who am I to judge what works best for YOU?

      Thank you so much for sharing …again!


  87. Its all a sliding scale isn’t it? I mean even the most attached at the hip mama has had to at least wait long enough to finish peeing to soothe her kid. So not that you need me to defend your choices, nor did I do CIO a lot myself, but I’m totally okay with you making decisions on how you raise your kid. As long as you don’t tel me how to raise mine!

    I adore your blog and think its hilarious and funny and honest. So keep on rockin at what you do best! Full support from this fellow blogger!

  88. I feel you 100% on this one. My son had severe reflux (like hospitalization severe) and so we coslept because it caused apneic events. He’s several months out of it and is now a gawd awful sleeper. He went 9 and a half hours without a nap today.

    Oh yeah, he’s only 10 months old.

    I was adamant we not do CIO. Out of desperation I have tried several times. I think this boy is going for an Oscar, because he gets so hysterical he hyperventilates or pukes wihin a couple minutes. I wish it worked for us, because we both need sleep desperately. No judgment here though, no one has their whole child rearing plan mapped out 100% set in stone no going back on it. That’s just unrealistic.

    • Are you raising my son? LOL, I would swear what you just described is my son to a “T”. Although our LO just started napping horribly we just realized he needs to be very very active and then he just goes to sleep super easy. I just had to respond because I started reading your reply and I could have written it myself, from the reflux, the hospital stays, etc…. So glad your LO is doing better!

  89. LOVE!!! I did exactly this and didn’t think there was anything wrong with my decision. My oldest (4.5 y/o)still sleeps like shit, but he knows how to put himself to sleep!

    I hope your time with her crying is brief!!

    • I agree 100%. I had to do this with my first child. As much as I hated to do it it worked. She is now a healthy and very happy 9 year old.

  90. I’m popping in via Facebook just to offer a little encouragement and support. IDK why people think they can judge other mothers for parenting choices they make without spending a day in that parent’s shoes. Bravo for you for speaking up and saying what’s on your mind.

  91. Holy crap, I can’t believe all the crazy negative comments on Facebook about this. Kudos to you for doing what works for your family. I personally never did CIO with my kids but my sister did and her 16 month old son is happy and well adjusted. I co-slept with all 3 of my kids. My 4 year old now shares a bed with his Grandma most nights, my 3 year old and her dad share a couch, and I share my bed with my 14 month old. A lot of people think what my family does is nuts, but it works for us. Different strokes for different folks, people. Geez.

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  93. I really honestly couldn’t care less what someone else does with their kids…unless it’s something truly harmful, like beating them, obviously. However, my problem with people letting their kids CIO, is that the vast majority of people i know who have done it are not educated on it. I can tell that you have researched it well and are comfortable with your decision, and that is great, but most people haven’t looked into it too much. and letting a 1 year old cry for a little while is drastically different than letting a 3 month old cry. i wish that all parents would look into things more, no matter what the issue is. Just because it seems like conventional wisdom now, doesn’t mean things were always this way, or even that they should be this way. We are constantly learning more about human development and what is healthy and what is not. I get really frustrated when people use the excuse, well our parents did it and we turned out fine. That reasoning is not good enough. 30 years ago women were told that formula was better for babies than breastmilk and now we know better.

  94. When our oldest was around the same age she somehow added the word “hungry” to her vocab and would yell it directly into the monitor at night in her fits. My sympathy is with you while you battle this phase. Good luck!

  95. Amen! I was never a cry it out momma when K was really young. But I think a time comes for every mom when they say enough is enough, we all need some sleep around here!

  96. This is me. This week. With my 6 month old. After the ped told me that the issues I kept returning to her office for were likely just a new “habit” that my formerly good sleeping son formed, I considered CIO for the firsdt time. And I wasn’t on board. I had no plans to ever CIO.
    Then, a month later, we were back to waking every 45 minutes. I would pick him up and instantly he would snuggle in and go back to sleep. But, I was up for at least 20 each time, so it was 20 min awake, 25 minutes asleep, all night long. I work full time, but even if I did not, I can not function this way.
    I was finally on board mentally. I think that is the most important thing. I never once judged or bashed anyone for CIO before, I just did not think it was the route I planned to go. With my kid in daycare 9-10 hours a day, I cherish every minute I get with him, so it felt wrong to give up the snuggle time. Until it didn’t feel wrong anymore. I HAD to be mentally for the sleep training in order to make it work.
    So here we are 6 days in. Sleeping is improved, but we still have a ways to go. He still cries occasionally, sometimes for just a moment, sometimes for much longer. We go in to reassure at predetermined times, or when we feel it would be beneficial. He wakes up with a smile every single morning though.
    I am glad CIO or whatever sleep training works for you. sleep is hugely important to function at your best. And honestly, babies are happier when they get good restorative sleep, which is not broken up every 45 minutes.

  97. Jill, first off, you’re an amazing woman. You’re a huge inspiration to many.

    That said, I don’t agree with CIO. I would never put you down for doing what works and feels right for you though.

    I firmly believe that babies have needs and wants and that the two are synonymous the first few years of life. That’s how I’m raising my son. You raise your kids the way you believe is right.

    When you feel so strongly about parenting topics, it’s very hard not to see your way as the “correct” way. It’s hard not to “judge” other mamas. I think we’re all entitled to our own thoughts, just like we’re entitled to raising our babes the way we see fit…but if you don’t agree, you need to keep it to yourself. Don’t feel like a better mom by climbing atop others. Agree to disagree.

  98. Great post. It’s funny – I’ve been on both sides of this. We did CIO from day 1. I had read Babywise & wanted to do it just right. It did work. She fell asleep easily on her own from ~4wks. In fact, I think I was judgier as a CIO mom than I am now!
    When I went back to work, there were some bumps, but we got back on track. THEN – we went away for Christmas that first year, and all hell broke loose. She was scared of the pack’n’plays, so we slept with her. When we got back, we got her back in her own crib. And – as Christina describes above – it was just like every time there was a weekend away or an illness, we were back to square 1. It was just emotionally exhausting for me! I decided to rock her to sleep if she woke up. She’d go back to sleep easily & I could get back to sleep.
    BUT – I totally get what a slippery slope this is. She’s nearly 2 now, and goes to sleep in her crib, but wakes up at some point in the night. At which point, I usually bring her into our bed to sleep. It’s working for now. I do worry that I”m creating a needier baby, but — oh, hey – look at me – I’m defending doing what works for me! 🙂 Just like we’re all saying we don’t have to! If it stops working I know I’ll have to sleep train again – good to know where I can come for moral support. 🙂

  99. Your 1 year is 26lbs? What the heck am I doing wrong!?! My 2 year old isn’t even up to 22lbs…

    As for sleep, I have absolutely no answers. Because I am so tired.

    • I have twin 2 year olds and one is 21lbs and the other 23 lbs. You are not alone! Our 21 lbs daughter is still in 18 month clothes with room to grow. Her twin brother is in 2T but nearly all pants fall off of him!

    • My almost three year old is still under 20 pounds. She is just tiny. Nothing wrong with her. Skinny girl – hopefully she will just be skinny her whole life and never have to work for it. 🙂

      • My 4.5 month old weighs 21.4 lbs. Every kid is different. Some are small and some are large. As long as they are healthy and growing on their growth curve I wouldn’t worry.

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  101. I have been all over the block with sleep training. We have 5 children the youngest being 2 year old twins. Our first was just awesome and really had no issues at all. Our second was pretty good too but then started waking at night. Instead of nursing him I would put a couple ounces of water in a bottle. After a couple sips he litteraly turned his head and went back to sleep and never woke again-generally speaking, our third I don’t remember much about waking at night so she must have been a good sleeper too. Now with out twins it is all turned about! They are two, our daughter sleeps just fine no real issues, but her twin brother has started screaming every time it is bed time/nap time. Finally I gave up and told him I’m sorry I am the mom it is time for bed/nap laid him down and walked out. It has been a few days of doing this and things are getting much better! Again this was out of the blue that he started doing this otherwise he was great lay him down and walk out end of story. So I know he was/is just trying to get his way. Babies are smart! After all basic needs are met there is no issue for me with letting them cry a bit. Mine rarely go on longer than 10 mins if they do I go in a check on them lay them back down and walk out. Many times that does the trick or they cry for a few minutes but realize they lost that battle and Mom’s will is stronger. Good luck! Sleep is coming your way soon!

  102. I let my kid cry it out. Plenty of times. I could give 2 shits what people think of my parenting. Maybe Mr. Kiss, I’ll let him chime in – but that’s it.

    Great job being honest and being strong and Go You, Mom’s Rock!

  103. And for the record, every kid will eventually get it. That sleep thing. It may take til they’re 4 or 5 or 6…which seems IMPOSSIBLE to a sleep deprived mom of an infant…but I promise, you will one day sleep well!

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  105. I don’t normally read these kinds of posts, but this had me particularly enthralled.

    1. You’re a fantastic writer. Especially for 4+ hours of sleep!
    2. A-MEN to the cry it out. Our daughter slept through the night from month 2 – month 12, then she decided to wake up every two hours. This happened for about two weeks before we decided to do something about it.
    3. My mom said this: “If she’s fed, diapered, clean, away from any possible danger & she’s still crying, it’s okay if you let her figure it out herself.” I agree 100%. There’s only so much you can do to soothe a fussy child.
    4. I loved the paragraph about how your children (and all children for that matter) need and deserve a functioning parent.

    You’re a damn good mother & your children are so lucky to have you as their mom.

    • Melissa I agree with you 100% but just wanted to add the following:

      Our pediatrician suggested we put our daughter on a sleeping schedule at 2 months. The length of time is 15 min. Every 15 min you check on your kid. It’s every 15 to make sure they aren’t in danger so long as everything else is taken care of ie diaper, fed etc. She is now 5 years old and most of the time sleeps through the night. Occasionally she will get up which we are working on.

      We are now doing it with our 15 month old son (started schedule at 2 months too) and it worked for us. It’s not cruel because you check them every 15 min. If after 3 times they don’t soothe themselves and fall asleep on their own then they definitely need something more…food or TLC.

      Kudos Jill!

      I do feel the trick is to start it at a young age. Our son usually falls asleep within the first 15 min. now.

      When I hear about other mothers having trouble with their babies not falling asleep I “suggest” the 15 min rule because most of time I find out they go into get them too soon because they started to cry. I’m not saying one way is better than the other I’m just trying to share what worked for us. I hope it helps someone else.

  106. A-freaking-MEN! my little guy is 13 mos and when he was 10 mos we finally committed to letting him cry it out. hubs and i were both zombies and it wasn’t fair to the baby, us, or our bosses. We tried being “gentle” and going back into the room in increasing intervals, but that just upset him more b/c he would see us and then become hysterical when we left the room again. i tried sleeping on the floor of his room with my arm shoved into the slots of his crib. i finally came to the realization that even him crying for 2 hours and then sleeping for 10 was better than all of us being up for 4 hours in the middle of the night. It was hard and he still screams bloody murder for 10 minutes each night, but he can now put himself back to sleep with no issues. Thanks for keeping it real!

  107. Forgive me for repeating something someone may have already said, but when you help your child learn to soothe themselves, you are giving them a GIFT. I’m not saying that all kids who cry it out are great sleepers, or that kids who never cried it out are all terrible sleepers, but falling asleep on your own is a learned skill. You do what you feel is best, and that’s all you can do.

  108. You had me at “cry.”

    My theory is that it doesn’t really matter what we do, we are going to screw our kids up somehow. It’s the natural cycle of life: born, parents wreck us, go to therapy/fix ourselves, get married, have children, promise to not do it the way our parents did it, screw kids up at other end of spectrum, etc etc. It’s the beautifully dysfunctional dance of life!

    Really glad I found your site! Good times!

  109. Danielle Owens on

    CIO is dangerous and you are promoting it. I have two children, one is 18mos old and I could never let him CIO, he DOES still need me, and if that is every 3 hours so be it. Some uneducated woman who has too many children because she can’t figure out the directions on her birth control packet finally got dial up, stumbled upon this disgusting blog and is going to let her children scream and cry all night. Then she is going to realize that she can do it for part of the day too. Then her children will be neglected little people WHO NEED their mother. All because you are obviously heartless, and think that your little one year old is grown up enough to not need you at night time. Day time mothers like you piss me off. Children NEED us 24 hours a day and it is YOUR JOB to be there. This blog isn’t your job, anything you do outside of your home isn’t your job. Your children are YOUR JOB! You make me so sick and so do all of the people commenting awful things like “Oh thank god! My 6 month old needs to CIO too!” Finally, their leader has justified their neglect! Way to go!

    • Did you know that you’re being a bully? I am a CIO mother, but it takes research and needs to be done properly. Don’t judge moms who use a CIO method until you’ve researched it and tried it yourself. My child doesn’t define my life either. My son is not my “job” as you say it should be. I’m a wife, a nurse, a mother. Not in that order, but “mom” doesn’t define who I am. I am a good wife, mother, and nurse…not just a “mom”.

      • Danielle Owens on

        Maybe I am a bully. You feel offended so I think I am right. You job is to be a mother, any time that you spend away from your children “being a nurse” takes away from them. I am a mother, I work from home so that I can actually BE their mother and their care giver. I DO judge people who use the CIO method. I have researched it, I still think it is abusive. I’m not some retard that just stepped off the public bus. You all sound like monsters.

        • You may be The Worlds Best Mother, but I hope you don’t use the R word in front of your children. Of course, compassion is obviously not your strong suit.

        • Danielle Owens on

          I am not the world’s best mother but I am a REALLY great mother, among other things, nothing near as awesome as being a mother of course. No, compassion really isn’t my strong suit. Some things are good, some are bad and CIO is bad.

        • See and I thought the really great mom’s were teaching their kids things like, not to judge until you’ve walked a mile in someone’s shoes. But I guess you were too busy researching CIO to worry about life’s great lessons.

        • Danielle Owens on

          My kids are more caring and compassionate than any kids that have been left to CIO because they have been shown love, have felt love and live with love. All the time, not just during daytime hours. No, I don’t ever want to “walk a mile” in the shoes of someone who lets their baby cry for 45 mins. It is wrong. It is abusive. There is no justifying it, especially not in a public forum where people who DO NO research just read all these comments and then do what you say simply because YOU said it online. It is irresponsible. This whole post has been pro CIO and that is dangerous. It is like all of you are reasonably smart but then selfish all at the same time. Sleep training and CIO is cruel and to call it a “learning tool” or whatever is uneducated. No child benefits from feeling abandoned every night. They eventually stop crying because they have given up. I won’t ever let my kids give up, I will ALWAYS be there. The fears that they have at night are REAL, maybe not to you, but they are babies and children and they are REAL to them. When you just leave them to CIO you are dismissing that instead of building trust and calming fears and THAT is mean. THAT is bad parenting. I would say the exact same thing to your face if you were standing right in front of me. I am not hiding behind my keyboard.

        • You know who else let their babies cry it out? Does the name Hitler sound familiar? How about Stalin? In more recent times – Hussein. To me, anyone who would allow their baby to “cry it out” is just as bad as if they slaughtered their fellow countrymen. And I use the term, “cry it out,” loosely. I should say: allowing your child to shriek into the vast nothingness – the empty void that is their so-called bedroom (if you can even call the grave-like cell with princess and unicorns… Satanic princesses and unicorns…on the wall in which you place your child lovingly in a clean set of warm and comfy footy pajamas of horror underneath the mobile of doom… or worse – the hammer and sickle Pinko Commie mobile)… I’ve lost my train of thought. Anyway, you people disgust me! You make me sick you little monsters (and not the Lady Gaga kind)! And I am not hiding behind a keyboard! I would tell you to your face if you only paid for the plane tickets to get here you sickos!

        • I approved this comment because it made me laugh so hard, and I’m holding out some hope for humanity that this was brilliant satire.

        • HAHAHA Ok, whatever you say John “Danielle” Smith. Vegetarian painters turned genocidal douchebags never cried about anything, even in infancy. I sincerely hope this is a joke.

        • “Maybe I am a bully.”

          I believe you’re acting like one, certainly. You should try to rethink how you will behave in the future, you should Take The Pledge:

          “You job is to be a mother, any time that you spend away from your children “being a nurse” takes away from them. I am a mother, I work from home so that I can actually BE their mother and their care giver.”

          So according to you then, just to be clear, you think that all women who have children should be SAHM’s? That would lead to only childless women and men in the workforce? I really don’t think that’s a feasible thought. A lot of families cannot afford a single-income life. And why would you put ‘being a nurse’ in quotations? I have a university degree and education, it’s not playing dress-up at the hospital. Do you think the nurses who assisted in delivering your children had kids of their own? Probably. If not for them, you would probably have no nurses with your during your whole hospital stay. Did your midwife or OBGYN have kids? If not, then I guess they shouldn’t be working either. I hope you never have to take your children to ER, because I guarantee you the majority of the female nurses have children there too. I leave my child at home with my more-than-competent husband so he can take care of him, while I take care of your sick children – a job which I love and am very passionate about.

          “I DO judge people who use the CIO method. I have researched it, I still think it is abusive. I’m not some retard that just stepped off the public bus. You all sound like monsters.”

          I don’t think you’ve researched it, at least the method I used, correctly. I think you using the r-word in a reply to me is more abusive than letting my child learn how to self-soothe by CIO.

        • Danielle Owens on

          Saying the word “retard” is not more abusive than CIO. Let’s be real here. And I would much prefer all of those over worked women with children working in hospitals be home with their children, raising them. It is absurd the number of children being raised by day care and the public school system. It all starts at home, being attached at home and being present as a mother. You leave our kids 12 hours a day and that is 12 hours they are being influenced (negative or positive) by someone that isn’t you. They are becoming attached to other people, people that aren’t their mother. This is how good children go bad. It is on their mothers. CIO is the first step to detachment. Saying that you “researched” CIO and use it effectively is like saying you researched spanking and circumcision and use it effectively. Spanking is still hitting and circumcision is still mutilation. Come on.

        • I’m not overworked, I love my job. Like I said, if only childless women and men were in the workforce, there would be a bigger problem in this world than CIO.

          For the record, the way I CIO’d my son, we did SleepEasy for 3 nights and he’s been STTN ever since. He DOES NOT cry anymore because he LEARNED HOW TO SLEEP! This means, if he does cry, I KNOW something is wrong and I go to him immediately. Also, not that its any of your business and I don’t know why you’re bringing up 2 more “mommy wars” topics, but I do not/will not spank my kid(s) and my son is not circimscised. That is for personal reasons, not medical. But, by not having him circ’d we risk him getting an infection and having it done when he’s older.

          I’m done, Danielle, just let this go. I’m happy with my parenting choices, you are with yours. Don’t judge me, it has nothing to do with how you raise your kids.

        • Danielle Owens on

          The funny thing is none of this was ever written towards you, or anyone else commenting on this post, really. Just the writer herself. Then you took personal offense to it. I’m not offended by anything because I know I’m right. It is pretty simple.

        • Not offense, more like I’m shocked that in 2012 women still feel the need to beat up on one another.

        • Unfortunately, not everyone is able to stay at home all the time. I to am a nurse and HAVE to work outside the home. I’d LOVE to stay at home with my daughter, but at this time that is not an option until my husband is able to have a full time job with benefits. When I’m working, my husband or in-laws are watching my daughter. Just because you work at home does not make you a better mother than someone who chooses to work outside the home-whether by choice or necessity.

        • Sarah Phillips on

          People are crazy. I had three babies without drugs, breast fed them till they were two, co-slept till they were 6 months old and them put them in their own beds b/c I couldn’t sleep with a baby kicking me in the ribs and trying to nurse all night. Each of them CIO around the same age as your daughter and somehow, they’re still sweet, sensitive, compassionate kids who don’t judge.

    • To Danielle,
      No one is twisting your arm one way or the other. What works for some may not work for others. But you can still give your opinion without all the harshness.

      When you say that CIO is dangerous means you have no idea what is involved. You don’t let your kid CIO all night. You check every 15 min until they “learn” to fall asleep on their own. But after 3 times it means they need something more, tlc, more food etc.

      From Leigh Ann…”falling asleep on your own is a learned skill.” I believe that too.

      • Danielle Owens on

        I know exactly what is involved and leaving your baby to cry ALONE in the DARK for FIFTEEN minutes! Do you listen to yourself?! Fifteen minuets to a baby is a LIFETIME!! If they don’t know what tomorrow means , or after lunch or how to judge time at all, they think you have left them and you aren’t coming back. THREE sets of 15 mins?! FORTY FIVE MINUTES!?!?!?! Are you kidding me. If I knew you personally, I’d report you. What kind of mother can listen to their child cry for 45 minutes??? Falling asleep on your own is NOT a learned skill, it is something that develops with maturity. You people are CRUEL! You perpetuate bad parenting and neglect. Mothers like you are exactly what is wrong with this country. Children are detached from their parents at alarming rates, starting with mothers like all of you.

    • Danielle,

      First of all I want you to know I have read this entire interaction. Every word from you, Jill and the others who have responded to you. Second of all I will tell you, since you do not know me, that I have a child with a very serious attachment disorder because she was neglected and left to cry constantly for months. So, now you know a little about me and where I am coming from.

      Now, there is no reason to ever be this nasty with someone. Even if you think they are wrong. Even if you hate what they are doing. I hate the idea of any child being left to cry all alone. I do. And I told Jill that. I tried my best to be respectful, however. I also know that every mom does what she thinks is best. And that each individual mom knows the needs of her family better than anyone else. I neither agree nor disagree with what Jill is doing with her baby. I will not do it with mine but that’s because I am not Jill and she is not me. I have not lived Jill’s life and neither have you and so neither one of us can tell her what to do.

      I agree with the point of what you said about the way someone else will take what she said. I think it is important to note that leaving your baby to cry for extended periods of time can hurt them. Extended enough WILL hurt them. I said that in an earlier comment but the way you said it helps no one. No one!

  110. Oh yeah. You’re evil. But that’s ok. So am I. I raised 6 of em. I also gave them pacifiers and on occasion used a stuffed animal or rolled up blanket to support their bottle so I could actually finish cooking dinner. Guess what? None of my kids turned out to be serial killers. In fact two of ’em are actually pretty good mother’s themselves. One of them is ROTC and another will prolly wind up in MIT and working for NASA. Yeah, I was a real B!tch.

  111. Hang in there…and trust that you’re doing the right thing for your child. My now 5 1/2 year old daughter was a horrible sleeper as a baby. We were constantly rocking her to sleep, then carefully laying her down, walking out of her room on eggshells…then BAM she’d wake up and start screaming and the whole process would start all over again. Around six months, we finally decided that she needed to learn how to fall asleep on her own. It was a difficult few days, but she finally got it. Now she’s an awesome sleeper…in fact, most nights she tells us when she’s ready to go to bed. We never have arguments about bedtime. Of course, there are occasional nights when she has a bad dream and we let her sleep with us, but those are few and far between. Sleep is so important…for kids and parents! Best of luck.

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  113. I have 4 wonderful boys that sleep like angels BECAUSE we sleep-trained. They were sleep-trained at 4mths old when they could show me that they were able to sleep through the night and soothe themselves. I respect your decision and so will every mom that has to deal with a 2 or 3 year old that still doesn’t sleep all night. My boys do. Mommy and Dad both do, and we are a happier family for it!

  114. People are insane. If Leyna is dry, fed and not ill, let that baby cry for a little while. It’s not like you said she cried for 8 hours straight. Holy shit, people. Get a life. Tell these people to read up on the benefits of self-soothing.


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  116. Hi Jill. Just wanted to show some support. I’m a fellow CIO mommy and I stand by my choice, but also don’t bash AP’ers and co-sleepers for their choices. We used SleepEasy for our son at 5 months, and he’s a super sleeper thanks to this. I’m like you, if mommy doesn’t sleep, I can’t function and be the loving wife and mother my family deserves. I can do the first 6ish months on their schedule, but when they’re old enough and weigh enough, sleep training it is. I will be doing this method with all my babies. I have researched it through and through, and my son is living proof that it can work.

    I breastfed, I use cloth diapers, he’s slept in his own crib in his own room since day 1….but I don’t hate you if you use formula, disposable diapers, or co-sleep. When will the f-ing mommy wars end? Why can’t we just support each other?

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  118. Interesting that Danielle admits her lack of compassion, then calls most everyone here a monster.
    The most compassionate and understanding on this board are the monsters. This is irony, right? Frankly, the “monster’s” kids will probably more well adjusted, given their parents compassion, understanding and general non-whackadoo-ness. At least from what I’ve seen here.

  119. I can’t help thinking this Danielle is playing a prank. It’s like every comment is more incendiary than the last. I still feel kinda new to the online mommy stuff, and you’re all taking it seriously, so that’s probably wishful thinking? But I like that idea better than someone trolling the web and picking fights.

  120. I’m new to your blog. Found you because of the upheaval you’ve cause on the internet the past couple of days 😉

    I was where you are 10 months ago. My 13 month old (at the time) son sound about like your daughter.

    Hope you are ALL able to get some sleep and soon!!

  121. I totally feel you on this. i don’t regularly let my daughter “cry it out”, but sometimes, she’s just so pissed off at the world that she NEEDS to scream and cry. when she’s done being angry, she falls asleep. i don’t think i’m damaging her in any way when I let her do this, and i commend you on going up against all those nay sayers out there who swear their kid has never cried before. toddlers can be so dramatic sometimes, and i have no problem letting mine be the drama queen she was born to be. and, like you said, she’s not crying by herself in a dark room for 8 hours. it lasts 15 minutes at the most, and then she walks over to me and falls asleep in my arms.

  122. i have to admit that i’m one of the lucky ones with a baby who has slept through the night since she was about 8 weeks old. from 6-8 weeks, she would sleep 4 hours, eat, and then go back to sleep for another 4 hours. by 8 weeks, she was sleeping 8 hours straight, and since she was 3 months old, she’s slept for 12-13 hours straight. (she’s now 6 1/2 months old).

    we really didn’t have a plan or a strategy for her sleeping schedule – we just got VERY lucky. i honestly don’t know what i would do if i went a YEAR without a good night’s sleep.

    i think each family has to do what works for them, and i can’t believe you’re getting shit for this. what the fuck is wrong with people? do they really have nothing better to do than judge someone else?

    good luck with getting leyna to sleep through the night (and you too)!

  123. I too have let my daughter CIO; my daughter is 16 months old. When I first started, I would let her cry for 5-10 minutes, and then the next week 10-15 minutes. Usually after 15 minutes, she’s sleeping; so, if she’s still crying at that point, I go check on her and make sure she’s okay. I then might hold her and sing to her, but that works for us. Some parents don’t let their children CIO, and that’s okay. Just like it’s okay to let your child CIO. Thanks for your honesty, and I’m sorry you’ve received so much criticism.

    • Sarah, you explained CIO much better than I did. Some of the mothers I think misunderstood one of my previous posts and some how got that I let my kid cry for 45 min straight? Not even close to being true. We all have our variations of what works for us. I should have clarified we worked up to the 15 min. Although I don’t think it would matter. But now my son falls asleep on his own within the first 5 min. Hum I guess that is cruelty. Unreal!

  124. The best parenting advice I’ve ever received has been to do what works. Speaking from experience, trying to survive on very little sleep just doesn’t work. While I didn’t CIO with Logan, I don’t judge other mamas who do. PPA increases sleep issues, sleep issues increases PPA…something has to give. I’m glad you found a method that works for your family!

  125. Using the potty requires training. Competing in the Olympics requires training. Sleeping not so much. Establishing routines is crucial. Making a child cry because they have a need that the parent is ignoring is cruel. I promise that you WILL NOT have a 15 year old waking every 3 hours demanding to be breastfed because they were never “trained” properly. Children are not learning to self soothe when left to cry. They are learning that they can not rely on their caretakers to meet their needs. Breastfed babies can actually need to eat several times through the night until AT LEAST 18 months. Babies do not understand being “pissed off”. So you are not teaching them that it’s ok to be pissed, you are teaching them that their needs come second to yours. Why does it bother me when other parents use CIO? Because the idea of a child crying for love and attention and those cries being ignored by the mommy who is suppossed to soothe the child is absolutely heartbreaking. Not to mention MY child will eventually have to be out in the world with your children and it freaks me out that your Ferberized emotionless detached child is going to crucify my sensitive child who has never had to shut down emotionally to sleep. My son didn’t sleep through the night until he was 3. He did it when HE was ready, not when I decided it was time. Was the sleep deprivation difficult at times? Duh! Of course! It’s parenting. It’s motherhood. It’s life.

    • What I think people like you are missing here is that I’m not just doing this because, dammit, that kid’s gonna sleep! I’m doing it because I NEED THE SLEEP. I physically, MENTALLY need the sleep. The “damage” I’m doing to my baby at night (which I don’t believe is any, but you obviously do) is far less than the damage that is done by me not being present for her during the day. Why, why, why is that hard to understand and even remotely try to empathize with? I am NOT asking you to agree with sleep training or use it or recommend it. I am simply asking you to think for one moment that perhaps MY journey and MY circumstances are wildly different than yours and that you really have no place to tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing with MY child. If you must judge, judge, but don’t you DARE tell me that I’m putting my baby’s needs “second” and that I’m raising emotionless children. YOU are the one acting emotionless here. YOU are the one without compassion. YOU are the one I fear having my children around.

      • We all NEED sleep. With two babies I have gone literally days with nothing but a few cat naps. I’ve gone a week getting only 8 hours sleep TOTAL. Is it difficult? Darn right. Maybe we just have different coping strategies. I just suck it up and move on and attend to my child’s needs and then have a good cry and a relaxing 3 1/2 minute shower where I forget to rinse the conditioner out of my hair. I tried to CIO with my first. It was the most horrendous thing I’ve ever had to hear in my life. MY child screaming for ME. It lasted all of three days (of which I slept a gens total of ZIP NADDA ZILCH NOTHING ZERO) before I have up and decided that the time I spent cuddling and soothing my son would mean more in the long run to me AND him then him being forced to sleep through the night before he was ready. I applaud your “transparency” but disagree with your methods. I understand your sleep deprivation and need for sleep. I figure I will get some sleep sometime between 2nd grade until their first boy/girl party. Until then, I soldier on with engorged boobs, dark circles under my eyes and legs that haven’t been shaved since October. Why? Because I have stock in Folgers and the sound of my kids crying affects ME more than lack of sleep.

        • I think what it boils down to is CIO feel some level of guilt and non-CIO moms are jealous of sleep and delerious from lack of it. I could be wrong- I haven’t slept in 5 years.

        • Right. That’s fine. Because that’s YOUR experience. And I’m not going to tell you you’re “spoiling” your child or you’re raising a “future brat,” because you don’t let them cry. Mind you, I don’t even believe those things, but those are accusations I’ve heard slung from the other side. Just because you can “suck it up” and I can’t (and I “sucked it up” for a good 12 months, FYI), doesn’t give you the right to accuse me of being a horrible mother. I am doing every thing I can, I assure you, to be the BEST mother I can possibly be. It consumes me. I am on medication for anxiety because I want to be a better mother. I am re-working my daily routine because I want to be a better mother. I am being honest with everyone here, sharing my struggles and getting feedback from those who’ve made it through to the other side because I want to be a better mother. This decision to let my baby cry for a few minutes at night so we can go from 5 wakings at night to 2-3, where she’s still nursing at least 2 times a night, was made so that I can be a better mother. I can’t martyr myself to be the perfect mom at night only to sacrifice my mood during the day. It’s not fair to anyone, including my 3 year old who requires me to be very active with him.

  126. I CIO with both my kids. But when you (you know who you are) stoop down as low as attacking my kids character, whom you’ve never met …you have crossed the line. I agree to disagree but would like to say:

    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.—Thomas Paine

    I hope everything works out for you Jill. Stay strong. It’s a shame you have to though, when we all should be helping each other out instead of attacking.

    Danielle, you are hiding behind your keyboard because you have no link to your name. I’m sure you are on FB. Use that as your website.

  127. ::sigh:: Honestly, Danielle, your vitriol is what is wrong with the world today. Not parents who do what they think is best for their children, themselves, and ultimately their families. Not the parents who make hard decisions out of LOVE of their child. It’s the parents who are angry, believe themselves to be the paragon of correctness and spew hate at those who don’t follow. Kids pick up on that. Then become that person later in life.

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  129. You know what’s way worse and has longer lasting psychological effects on a child than being left for 10-15 minutes to cry? Having your mom go absolutely insane from sleep deprivation or anxiety/depression. I let myself do that with my 1st child and I still haven’t recovered almost 2 years later. If only I had known to make some choices, reach out for help, ANYTHING but listen to the perfectionistic, judgmental garbage I kept hearing. You need to make the best decision for your FAMILY – that includes you too! Keep on keepin’ on and keep making informed choices for yourself and your family’s well being.

  130. It saddens me how hateful and angry some of these women are toward you simply for voicing an opinion. I’m always of the “to each their own” when it comes to these sorts of things. What works for me works for me and who am I to be pushing that on anyone else.

    I used CIO with my son first at 4 months and then again at 13 months and he is by far one of the sweetest, loving and most tenderhearted 5 year old boys I’ve ever met.

    Of course I also went back to work when he was 3 months old out of necessity but also for my own sanity so clearly I am a monster.

    I would LOVE to be home with him more but I am under no illusions that I want to be a full-time stay at home mom. I don’t even think that’s the best thing for him either. In my family, we all need some separation in order to appreciate the time we do have together. Some of my worst parenting moments have been a consequence of too little patience and not enough time away.

    You know what our family experience has taught him? It’s taught him that he can rely on his parents to always return to him regardless of the circumstances. He knows we love him but he also knows that there are other people in this world that are capable of loving and caring for him as well; whether that is someone that we pay to do that or a caring and loving family member.

    My take on this parenting gig is that my job is to help mold and shape an upstanding member of society. A job which I think entails teaching my son that yes, he can count on his parents, but also that he can rely on himself and others as well. After all I do actually hope he leaves the nest one day. But I suppose if he’s still living in my basement when he’s 30 I can rest easy knowing I’ve surely taught him he can always rely on me.

    I applaud you for being brave enough to stir up this shit storm, and for having the courage to do what is right for YOUR family regardless of what anyone else may think about it.

  131. Danielle, apparently no one clued you in to the old adage: you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Or in this case, bat shit crazy. There is a huge difference between a few minutes of crying and abuse. A neglectful parent can ignore their child’s cries, but crying with a purpose when the child is overstimulated is not neglectful or abuse, and you’re trying to blur the lines between the two until there’s none.

    From a medical standpoint, which I would wager I know a mighty bit more than you, the brain and other vital organs depend on sleep. Babies do. Adults do. After so long of not sleeping the brain will produce more chemicals to stay awake than to sleep. THAT is not healthy for a baby child either.

    So you see, there can be any angle to point out and say “you’re doing your child harm”, “you’re abusive”, etc.

    And beyond that, being a psycho on an internet blog is not about to change anyone’s mind, but set them further when you take such a stance. Try being less in your face, holier than though and denigrating and you might find you get further. Hell, you just might even change someone’s mind. Putting someone on the defensive will never achieve that. For someone who claims to know so much about what humans need and how they are, this very basic principle seems to be lost on you.

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  133. First off I don’t think it Matters what anyone says to Danielle.. She believes she is the best mother in the world because she stays at home and obviously would never ever let her kids cry.
    Ok seriously? Are you saying no mother should work? By that theory we wouldn’t have half of all the wonderful nurses, dr’s, teachers etc around because they would all be stay at home
    Moms! Like come on Danielle think about what you’re saying. Secondly let’s say you didn’t have a husband or family to support you would you not work for your kids?
    Anyways on to the CIO subject. I hired a sleep expert when my son was 18months cause I was so sleep deprives and dare I say working so I was really going crazy. Never once before that did I let my child cry at night but you know what? I learned through help of a professional that a little crying 10min at a time ok.. And even longer stretches if the child is only whining and not full out crying. Anyways he sleeps awesome now and I’m also a well rested happier and better mom. Moms need sleep and so do their kids. You know sleep deprecation in a child can lead to issues as they get older including poor learning in school? So Jill you’re awesome for making sleep for your child and you a priority and Danille, please keep in mind you’re likely not a registered sleep expert, or Dr or a real researcher. Cause if you were you wouldn’t be a stay at home mom all you really are is a bully!

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  136. I’m so sorry you are having to deal with so much misunderstanding and hatred. I agree with you. I battled with my son until the age of one on the sleeping thing. At that point, I moved him from the crib in our room to the crib in his own room and during those frequent waking periods, I waited and listened. A mother knows her child’s cry…or at least I do and I don’t think I’m anything exceptional. I can tell when its fussy and when its serious. I listened and watched on the baby monitor and waited. The first night, he cried for about 15 minutes but never coughed or stuttered in his breathing, laid down and went back to sleep. Each night has gotten shorter and now if he wakes up, he rolls around, talks for a few minutes and goes back to sleep. If I hadn’t trusted myself to know his cries, I would have been waking every few hours for the last 6 months as I had done for the full year before that. And he was a breastfed baby until recently. They sense things like confidence, frustration and stress. Stability is key and proving to them that when something actually is wrong you will be there. I commend you for having the courage to speak out on this controversial subject. I have been too scared to.

  137. I also “blame” my postpartum anxiety with not sleeping for way too many months. We no longer tend to Leila when she wakes up in the middle of the night AND I do not get her up in the morning before 7am (more like 7:30 am these days). She’s the happiest baby I know because she gets her sleep and so does her Momma. Thanks for being real.

  138. I haven’t read through all of the comments here, only on FB. I have to say that I support your decision and actions, completely, although you don’t need that reassurances. Your Leyna is one year old already, as well as your your extenuating circumstances, and can easily weather 20 minutes of crying alone. I truly believe that the recent study that was released regarding killing brain cells, etc, when it comes to letting your baby cry was totally irresponsible. My grandma birthed eleven live children and you cannot tell me that the youngest at the time did not have times where they had to cry-on-their-own because someone could not get to them immediately. I say BS to that. Everyone, regardless of age, lives better with contiguous hours of sleep. It makes for a happier baby, a happier mama, a happier daddy, etc.

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  141. I could tell when my 10 month (8 corrected) boy could be left for sleep training. His cry was the ‘put on’ one. I laughed when I heard it because he also gave me a look that said… “I knew you’d come in.” So, I knew it was time (and I thought I’d never do it). And that boy was one cranky kid I tell ya… until we sleep trained. Then he started being a lot more chipper in between naps etc because he was getting proper sleep. I think it took all of one week or less to train him. And now that 3 year old boy sleeps like a rock. Will put himself to bed for a nap if he’s tired and can sleep through his baby sister’s night wakings before I make it into the same room to feed her. He’s a happy happy boy to have his rest.

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  144. Bless you. I know you’re probably not even reading comments anymore, but bless you for writing this. We sleep trained at six months and it worked and we’re all happy and healthy and well rested. Or we were until two nights ago when the nine month growth spurt hit with teething and a random fever and I was up and down all night with bottles of diluted formula (gasp!) and very diluted apple juice (double gasp!) and losing my mind cos I’ve had 7 hours of sleep in the last two nights (tornadoes!) and sometimes they just have to lie there and rage about it for a few minutes before anything can get better for anybody. Bless you.

  145. Thank You for posting this. I love being a part of the natural parenting world, but sometimes their absolute defined parenting rules drive me crazy. I totally agree with you. Babies need to learn to fall asleep on their own eventually unless you don’t mind rocking and swaddling a 12 yr old. I think safe co-sleeping is fine for others, not for me (my question has always been when do they have sex? I apologize for my “transparecy”, but sex outside the bedroom happens a couple times a year for me, so ……) I don’t want to define myself by a certain parenting style because a book was written about it. Sleep is very important for us and yes, I feel like a mean failure of a mom when I don’t get adequate sleep. Toughen up just makes me want to slap you. I’m tough, I had my baby in a tub, now let me get some freakin sleep. We try to have a marraige centered family life because one day these little birdies are going to fly the coop and it’s going to be just the two of us again. And really coming from my mom the therapist, most of kids security comes from their parents marraige. Not from remembering that they were given a boob at every little whimper and patted everytime they woke up before they were five. You’re not a better mom because you sacrifice all of your needs or desires for your babes. You’re a great mom when you can recognize the right times to put your needs first so you can be a more pleasant loving mom. (Let’s not forget serving our husbands’ needs also. He’ll be a better teamate if he feels you try to take care of him just as much. Maybe he’ll do laundry also. It works for mine :)Yeah, my old man and I find we do best when we are more concerned with taking care of eachother than ourselves. I don’t need to find time to take a nap because the night before I told him to go to the driving range so he tells me to sleep in while he makes breakfast. Finding that balance looks different in everyone’s family. I’m not going to even read all the comments because it seems like some people just can’t respect we all parent differently for absolutely valid reasons.

  146. The Lindsay List on

    Hi Jill! I just wanted to say that I applaud your honesty and courage to write something so personal and controversial. It’s unfortunate that mom bloggers aren’t encouraged to blog more about how difficult it is to be a mom. No decision we mamas make comes without some sort of self-inflicted guilt – whether it is warranted or not. Bravo for trying your best. That’s all we can do!

  147. Lacey J. Ernandes on

    You are awesome. I think too many people are trying tell us how to raise our children. Let’s just face it, babies aren’t born with instruction manuals…They are, however, first and foremost people. And guess what people do.. they get pissed when they don’t get there way. And some people get even more pissed when other people rub something in their noses.. (I’m pretty sure my son thought “You b**ch pick me up!” When I would enter his room to console him but not pick him up… It always just made him scream even more.) Its our parents responsibility to teach us how to handle our emotions. I would hope that most parents would use a trial and error method of what works for their children AND their family. Some people (this includes babies) are more stubborn than others.. not any ONE way is going to work for EVERY baby. (I do believe if you choose the CIO method, letting your child cry it out should be used with good judgement and common sense.)

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  152. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am having
    issues with your RSS. I don’t know why I cannot join it. Is there anybody else having similar RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

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  154. I found this post as I was drowing in guilt for tossing my child into her crib with her dummy and music and letting her cry. She’s refusing her naps. She’s still not napping but I’m not overwhelmed with the guilt of being that person so thank you

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  156. nice post! well it might work and it might not, different baby different scenario and all that. im not saying im against you and im not saying im on your side. but still its a nice post!

  157. I came across this blog while researching to see if I was doing the right thing even though I know my daughter like no one else and can answer that question on my own. My daughter throws tantrums because she doesn’t want to sleep in her crib, the CIO method is most effective because I’m the parent and I need to teach her to sleep on her own, and I set the rules, not the other way around. Even though I couldn’t feel any more anxiety hearing her cry, I know it will help her in the long run. I wish my parents taught me to sleep on my own. Lol. some ppl need to realize that every baby is different!!!! I was feeling like a bad mommy I must admit, but if I didn’t care I wouldn’t bother to look anything up!

  158. Ellen Lynn Wilgar on

    I’m loving this post as I’m laying here wide awake from a one year old who has been crying for almost an hour. I have been in twice to check but I’m exhausted. I can’t keep getting up all night anymore. It’s time she learned to self soothe.

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  161. I am currently (today) starting to let my daughter cry it out. She will be one next week. When she is put in her crib she is instantly pissed. How long do I leave her? She has cried/whimpered for over an hour. What do I do? Help lol.

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  163. Kristi Delghingaro Buckley on

    Wow! You sound like me! Just last night we did our first CIO session at 4 am. I am pregnant with #2 and this has been going on multiple times a night since April. I was literally at my wits end and I simply can’t function without some sleep. I saw myself slowly becoming a bad mother during the day because I was so tired I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out. My sweet, happy baby was also slowly going mad due to her lack of proper sleep. She’s just over a year old and though I think my heart shattered a million times hearing her cry she ended up falling asleep in about 10 minutes. I think as long as the baby is old enough, not sick etc. this is a fine solution for both the baby and the parents especially when the parents are almost sick from fatigue.

  164. Sarah Williamson on

    I for the very first time started letting my 13 month old cry if out this week. For the last 12 months I have gotten up with her every time she has cried. I have fed her, rocked her to sleep, put her in her crib and walked away only to walk back in minutes or only an hour later. I have survived on 4 hours of sleep or less for 12 months and I recently decided I cannot do this anymore. I don’t like who I am when I don’t get the sleep I need. I’m angry all the time and I have no patience with her during the day. I sit in corners crying because I don’t know how I can even do another hour without a nap.

    All of that being said hearing her crying is hard, but I’m at the point where I would sell my soul to the devil for a chunk of 3 hour uninterrupted sleep. I just can’t anymore. I want to have more babies down the road. I want to be happy. I want to have Rabid energetic sex with my husband. I want to be the patient kind mom I know I can be with a little more fucking sleep. So I’m doing that. It’s going good. The only thing I feel bad about is not feeling more guilty about this decision. I feel like I should feel worse about this than I do.

    Thank you for this post. I feel like it really helped me feel justified in what I’m doing.

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