View Full Version : Our CIO Story & A Question

03-31-2007, 09:11 AM
Dear All,

Our son is 16 months old and he has been breastfed since he was born. We have started the process of weaning him 2 months ago and have gotten rid of all the night time feedings except for the one before night. And now we are working on the nap feedings. All is going well here. We breastfed DS on demand all the way until he was 8-9 months old. And since we were new at this there were times my wife woke up 4-5 times a night to feed.

Eventually, at 12 months the wakings were 6-7 times a night regularly and we just couldn't take it anymore. We did some reading (Weissbluth) and discovered all the "mistakes" we made. Oh yeah, he wasn't a terrific nappper either (two 20 minute naps a day).
After reading we decided to first tackle weaning (we were only planning on bf until DS was 1yrs old). When we took care of the night time weaning which took about 1.5 - 2 months we decided to CIO.

We were apprehensive about CIO since we had such a great bond with our son and we didn't want this to harm it. But we bit the bullet and really needed him to sleep longer stretches for us and for himself. On our first night he only cried for 15 mins. then slept. He woke up two other times, but went to bed in about 10mins. w/ crying. The next was the same and on the third night no crying except for when he would wake up and put himself to bed with about 5 mins. of crying.

There were nights early on - I can remember two nights specifically - where DS cried for one hour then for two hours - straight. But we could hear him trying to put himself to sleep, so we never went in. On a side note we are much better at distinguishing his cries now. He does howl at times, but it is very brief and not often.

One side effect that really, really bothered me was how DS acted before we put him down. We always created a good consistent sleep routine, but when we CIO DS would get fearful and begin to cry b/ he knew sleep was coming - or we would leave him. This wasn't overtired crying - he seemed scared. After about two weeks of this we were going to throw in the towel even though DS was putting himself to sleep pretty well, but the before the sleep fearfulness and the insecurity he displayed during the day did not sit well with us. We figured we did not make sleep a place he could feel safe.

Now after 5 weeks of CIO there have been some changes. We did stick it out and continued - and DS does not show any visible signs of fearfulness or insecurity. He actually signs sleep now whenever he is asleep. He pretty much sleeps through the night except for teething bouts of illnesses. If he does wake he puts himself to bed in about 5-7 mins. He has not cried for over 10mins. in about 3 weeks. He sleeps from 7:30 pm to 4:00-4:30 pm (but recently he has been waking up at 3:30). DS also naps for about 1 to 1.5 hours twice a day sometimes just once. So he night time sleep has improved and his naps have improved.

Throughtout this whole ordeal I learned that kids are resilient and that my wife is great. I wouldn't recommend CIO to everyone, but for us it did help in some areas. Had DS still displayed signs of fearfulness and insecurity we would have stopped, but he actually is more giddy now and has more energy than before (just so you know he had a lot before now it is doubled).

Hopefully this will help someone out there. I have learned alot from this message board - thanks.

Oh yeah, my one question: How can we help our DS to sleep later? Ideally, we would like him to wake up at 5:30-6:00. We have tried having him sleep earlier. We have tried shortening his naps....Any advice....


03-31-2007, 04:29 PM
Thanks for sharing!

Kids really are resilient. Sometimes I wonder if we don't give them enough credit. DH and I were so upset when we were weaning our baby off the swaddle. He was crying and rolling and very distressed. Nothing we did seemed to help in terms of holding, singing, swaying, etc. We finally decided he'd have to learn to deal on his own. It took a little while, but now he is fine and even smiles when we put him in the sleepsack...like he knows it's nap time and he gets some quiet time to himself.

While Weissbluth says to try putting him down earlier, I think Ferber says to use a different technique. He said when your child wakes up super early, don't get him right away, but wait 10-15 minutes. You are building up a signal that it's not time to get out of bed yet. Apparaently, after a few days, the child will learn to just sleep in a little longer. You keep doing this until you completely shift the wake-up time. Our DS is only 4 months old, so we haven't done this. I have no idea if it actually works. Might be worth a try. If you want to read Ferber, I'd check it out from the library instead of spending the money. :)

03-31-2007, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the response. We have let DS cry for about 30 mins. in the morning, but we can tell he is wide awake. Sometimes he will just babble, but the problem is he keeps us up too. We have read Ferber as well recently to find a solution, maybe we just need to stick with one thing...

I forgot to mention during the CIO period our DS had the stomach flu, a bit of a cold and he was teething for a five day period. We also live in an apartment and it can be noisy sometimes. And even through that DS was able to work things out for himself. Our kids can surprise us sometimes.


04-09-2007, 09:11 PM
Wow, thanks for the story. DS is 9 1/2 months, and I BF as well. He has never slept through the night. Once or twice he slept from 8-4, and what a blessing that was, but the next day it was back to usual. Usually, he wakes up at 11:00 or midnight, 3:30, 5:00 and 6:30, and will not go back to sleep unless he nurses. My pedi told us that he is waking out of habit, not hunger, and that we should try CIO. Well, we did. Last night he cried from 10:30 to 1:30 - we went in a few times, but that seemed to make it worse. I was miserable, and I felt like a horrible mother letting my son cry like that. This morning, he woke up with a hoarse voice, which made me feel even guiltier. But, I have been working part-time until now, and have to go back full time soon, and can longer deal with the sleep deprivation, so we are going to try to stick it out with the CIO a little longer, and your story has helped me see there is hopefully a light at the end of the tunnel.