Any non-CIO methods that have worked?

posted 2 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
15288 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Is this just at the beginning of the night?  Or does he wake him in the middle of the night after going to bed too?  If it’s just getting him to go to bed, I say go for the CIO (but that iddn’t take care of MOTN wakings for us since he’s still eating at night) We co slept for a while and that did the trick, but other than that, we had to resort to CIO.  It was 3 HARD days, but then he started going to sleep on his own with out any crying.  (But he still cries when he wakes up in the middle of the night, usually for less than 3 minutes, but there’s still occasional nights that are pretty bad 10-15m fussing and crying).

Post # 4
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9232 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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Prettysmile40 :  how old is he now? Does he have a stuffed animal or other comfort object that he sleeps with? We never did CIO (we give her 1 minute of whining to settle herself, but if she cries for real we scoop her up even at 22 months) and I rocked/nursed her to sleep for 14 months and then introduced a stuffed animal and now she loves to put them to bed and climb in after them. Sometimes I’ll hear her wake up in the middle of the night and I watch the monitor and she’ll grab it and snuggle it and go back to sleep. If he’s under a year I would wait on the stuffed animal though. 

Post # 5
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7439 posts
Busy Beekeeper

There are gentler methods than straight up CIO that have worked for a lot of people (Ferber, etc), but I don’t think you’ll find any sleep training method that involves zero crying at all. 

Have you tried letting him fuss for just a few minutes to see if he can get himself settled again? You could also try timed check-ins, where you let him cry for say 5 minutes or so and then go in and pat/shoosh him without picking him up from the crib. This does not work for my baby (it just pisses her off more lol – she does better if we leave her completely alone to settle herself again) but I have friends who’ve had great success with it.

Also, if you’re feeling guilty about sleep training, check out this excerpt from Emily Oster’s new book: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/19/opinion/sunday/baby-breastfeeding-sleep-training.html. She looks at the actual research on sleep training and finds that there is not sufficient data to claim it’s harmful:

“Review studies of sleep-training interventions do not find negative effects on infants. And many show sizable improvements in maternal depression and family functioning. Sleep affects mood, and parents who sleep less feel worse. The evidence paints a pretty pro-“cry it out” picture.”

Post # 8
Member
15288 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

There is always going to be crying/protest when he doesnt get what he wants, to be picked up, but as long as you reinforce that crying out gets him picked up, he’s going to do it.  Once he realizes that it doesnt work anymore, apparently that’s when it stops. It usually takes 2-3 days for most people, and then there might be an extinction burst.  Its hard, SO hard to hear him cry, but everyone says in the long run, everyone is happier, baby too since he can sleep better/more.

Post # 9
Member
7439 posts
Busy Beekeeper

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Prettysmile40 :  I’m sorry mama! That sounds so rough. Just remember, you need to take care of yourself too. CIO may seem terrible and cruel to you, but if it works? That means you’ll be rested yourself, which means you’re going to be in such a better place mentally/emotionally, which will only benefit your child.

Back to sleep training…the thing that all the methods have in common is consistency. People who have done sleep training with success usually report that the first night or two are really tough, but then it does get better. It can take days or a week though. So I would do some research about the different methods – whether you want to do something gentler like Ferber or go whole hog and try true CIO/extinction… but whatever you do, be consistent. Depending on your budget, you could also consider hiring a sleep consultant. 

Oh and one last thought, there are different sleep sack /suit options that some people swear by, like the Magic Merlin or the Nested Bean. Might be worth trying something like that to see if it could be an easy fix!

Post # 10
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9232 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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Prettysmile40 :  the important thing to remember that the answer is whatever works best for you that you can feel good about. I have friends that thought I was ruining my kid by nursing her to sleep past a year old but it worked great for my family and one day she decided for herself that she didn’t need it to fall asleep anymore. I didn’t feel right doing CIO but I know it works fabulously for other families. I know you’re tired but you’re doing a great job. Give all of the suggestions on this thread a try until you hit on the one for you. And in the meantime alternate with your husband for overnight duty so you can get at least a little sleep! 

Post # 11
Member
2231 posts
Buzzing bee

Prettysmile40 :  I’m so sorry, trust me when I tell you I feel your pain completely! My almost 6mo is a terrible sleeper… literally up every 2-3 hours basically every night. Only naps sporadically and it seems like we find something that works and then he changes his mind on if he likes it.

I’ve tried CIO but I think he is too young or too stubborn– he will cry the house down and I’ll break down before he ever gives up. The kid is relentless when it comes to how long and how loud he will cry.

What has worked for me (and you can totally trash this advice because like I said, my kid doesn’t sleep)… but when I see “breakthroughs” with him is during nap times. I know they say not to fuck with naps and to do your sleep training at night but that doesn’t work for me. I’m too emotionally, mentally and physically drained at night to really stick with something so I started recently really focusing on some of the Ferber methods during day naps.

I’ll do all the things, you know the things:

  • quiet room
  • white noise
  • sleep sack/ swaddle/ merlin suit (this is what we’re currently using)
  • put down drowsy, but awake.
  • don’t nurse to sleep if you can help it

Then we get about 20m in and he wakes up. So I let him cry for a few minutes and then go in and shush, calm… but not pick him up from his crib. It’s 50/50 on if it works or if it pisses him off, just being honest. But the more I’ve done it, the easier it’s gotten for him to adjust to that tactic. Now when he sees me peep over the crib, he knows I’m there but I might not pick him up and he’ll drift off to sleep again. Now I might have to do this 30,000 times in one nap session, but it has helped him get used to not being picked up immediately. The success rate has been lukewarm so far, but its better than not working at all. 

 

Other than that tactic, no advice. Just solidarity that it’s fucking hard. I totally understand the mind fog that sets in and how you cringe in the middle on the night hearing your kid whimper because you know what that means: someone has to get up. I’m told it gets better lol, so I’m hanging on to that hope with all I’ve got! My sons pedi recommended keeping it as consistent as possible, even when it feels like things are going to shit, just try to keep it consistent (yes I took my son to the doctor for a check up because he literally would not sleep, at all). So every night rain or shine or new sleep environment due to travel or whatever, we cue up the same exact stuff: bath time, book, big feed, sleep sack in the dark room… Every. single. night, even if he is being a turd and fighting us or we’re traveling, or whatever.

Hang in there, you’re still an amazing mom and in no way failing in the parenting department because you have a child that is hard to get to sleep. They’re their own people, too– and they come with their own set of personality traits and circumstances that sometimes manifest itself in ways that aren’t ideal now but will help them later on in life. My son is DETERMINED to master new skills, even at this age he will keep himself up practicing over and over and over again until he gets it. Thats just, the way he is wired and I’d bet no amount of sleep training is going to override that desire to want to push himself. He must get it from his dad because mom over here is totes content to sit on the porch with a glass of wine :p

Post # 12
Member
1978 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I don’t have experience with non CIO methods (we tried, they didn’t work) but just remember that he’s only 10 months old and can’t talk. Crying is his way of telling you he doesn’t want to do something. That’s how he communicates. I know it’s hard to hear them cry but you need sleep!

how is he falling asleep? By himself? 

Post # 15
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2231 posts
Buzzing bee

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Prettysmile40 :  mine is the same. falls asleep initially fine but then wakes up screaming. It sucks, because the hardest part isn’t getting them to sleep, its keeping them to sleep after you’ve already attempted to sleep for the night and they get ramped up

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