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April 23, 2008


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Hey..I think you are awesome that you got them all to bed on time! CIO, the way I did it with one kid, was once I knew every need was met, and she just wasn't able to soothe herself to sleep after that. So we nursed for a long time, she was changed, burped, comfy in her crib, and definitely tired and needing sleep. No baby of mine (3), ever just STOPPED crying in the middle of the day. And by the time I did CIO with her, there was no guilt, because SHE desperately needed more sleep then she was able to get. It 1.5 hours night one, 40 night two, and 20 night three, and that's it. I went in every few minutes ( a la Ferber), but i don't think it made any difference. She slept more hours in a row from night one than ever beforeAnd by the time I did CIO with her, there was no guilt, because SHE desperately needed more sleep then she was able to get. So it worked in that situation.But don't do it if you don't want to\feel they need it!!! Why do it if what you are doing now works just fine!!Feel better!

Mrs. KM

I agree with chaya - if you have been lucky enough to avoid them crying this far, and everyone is sleeping, that is wonderful! I've had to use a "modified" cry-it-out approach with my son, but only when he's not hungry or wet or gassy or teething. This way I know the crying isn't from having an unmet physical need (mine is like yours - if he's hungry he'll cry and cry and absolutely will not sleep). In my baby's case, sometimes he just doesn't want to go to bed, even though he really needs to sleep, so he cries, or he'll wake in the middle of the night and want to play. I have found a cross between the Ferber and Weissbluth methods to work best for him. I feed him, then soothe him in the rocker, until his eyes are really drooping or closed. Then I put him down in his crib. If he wakes up right away and cries (maybe half the time), I go in after 5 min, offer the paci, rub his back for a minute, then leave. Usually he'll sleep then, but if not, I wait 10 min before I go back. The Pros to this method: he falls asleep faster and stays asleep longer, and can put himself back to sleep if he wakes up. And if he does wake up crying in the middle of the night, I can be certain it is for a real need (not to play!). The Cons: The crying is VERY difficult to listen to, even for just a few minutes. Hope you feel better!

Laura McIntyre

Honestly i HATE CIO , i have never understood it and why people choose this method. People used to tell me to do it with my eldest to finally getting her sleeping all night but i just never had the heart . Now my youngest i guess sometimes does CIO , my situation is not like yours but sometimes big sister does need attention . As a younger baby i would feel terribly guilty as i was feed and get her sister done and she cried in the other room - my only justification was her sister took maybe 10 mnutes while she liked to feed for hours (sometimes up to 5/6 hours) .I find this type of CIO is acceptable and i imagine while dealing with 3 babies something you can not avoid. Your doing a wonderful job , don't worry


I recently started reading a book called 'The Science of Parenting'. It had a very interesting take on crying generally. "Babies are genetically programmed to call out for comfort when distressed. Crying is your baby's intense bid for you to help her with her overwhelming feelings and frightening bodily sensations because her brain is not yet developed enough to manage these on her own. Babies do not cry to exercise their lungs, to control you, or just for the hell of it. They cry when they are unhappy and need to alert you because something is really bothering them, either physically or emotionally. They are crying for your help."The most important part of her work, though is this:"Let's be clear at the outset - it's not crying itself that can affect a child's developing brain. It doesn't. It's prolonged uncomfroted distress. So I'm not advocating rushing to your child as soon as her bottom lip starts to wobble or after a short burst of protest crying that lasts a few minutes (perhaps because she couldn't have her favourite chocolate). Prolonged crying is the type of crying that any sensitive parent (or, for that matter, anyone sensitive to the despair of others) will be able to recognise as a desperate calling for help. It is the type of crying that goes on and on and on, and eventually stops when the child is either completely exhausted and falls asleep or, in a hopeless state, realises that help is not going to come."So, crying it out in the literal sense is actually BAD for your baby/young child. For the record, I don't think your babies are suffering from having to wait a little; they were with you and undoubtedly you were talking to them. Also, it was a one off kind of thing - this is in no way a criticism of you - or of anyone who uses CIO as a method - it's a widely accepted philosophy after all. But the scientific evidence suggests that it needs modification to be effective long-term.Also, as I have no children, I am hardly in a position to comment. I will say that we have never left my niece (now two and a half) to cio and she now sleeps through the night quite happily.


We don't CIO, but like you I know it would never work for my very stubborn girl. She would probably cry for hours.I never advocate CIO, but I think that all the success stories are based on kids like Ellie. Parents tell me, "oh, I put my 4 month old on a 4-hour eating schedule and I just lay them down in their crib and they go to sleep by themselves". All I have to say to that is, "wow, your child is very accomodating". I think it is 100% personality. Kids who respond favorably to CIO probably didn't need as much soothing from the beginning.Congrats on taking care of your babies needs so well. You're doing a great job!P.S. I have one child and completely freak when my husband travels for business. You are my hero!


What you did wasn't CIO. What you did is what every mom of multiples face when its just you and three babies. I joke that I did unintentional CIO for 9 months, because my kiddos scream every night waiting to be fed and then going to bed. Me holding or rocking them did no good. I swear their issues with simulation made it worse. Once I figured out to be still and not rock or pat them, they would rest, but it took many long nights of walking the floor for me to figure out that I was making it worse, not better. At 10 months, however, I did CIO. And they were well fed, cleaned diaper, and alerting that they were sleepy. It was rough the first day, but DH made it worse, because he kept talking to them. But by the second night, they cried for maybe 10 minutes. At 18 months, my girls are having the exact opposite issue. I want them to go to one nap and they are refusing. They want their two two hour naps a day. They go to bed at 8 and wake up at 8. It is heaven, but to each his own. I have been reading your blog long enough to know that you are a STRONG momma, who follows your own heart and does what's best for your babies. Kimberly and the GA Guinn Tripletswww.guinnfamilyhome.com


Honestly, I think they are too young to CIO. Babies cry when they need something - it's their only way of communicating. Eventually they will have to cry it out since there is 3 of them and you only have 2 hands. Just go with the flow. It definately sucks to hear your babies cry like that. I sat and cried with my baby when I went through the CIO stage. Now I can put him down awake and he puts himself to sleep. You're a great Mom, you'll figure out what's right for your children.


Wow- I'm so impressed that you got all the kids down by their usual time without help! I have enough trouble juggling 2 kids and they're 4 years apart!We did use CIO with Celia, because she was just impossible. We'd get her ready for bed, fed, and she'd just cry because she was exhausted. After a few nights of her being up fussing until 10 with us, before she passed out and was cranky the next day, we decided to give it a shot. The first night was the worst! She cried for 2 hours, but eventually passed out, and was in a much better mood the next day because she got an extra hour of sleep. The next night, it only took an hour. Then after that, it was much less, until it got to be a usual 5 minutes. She was a much happier kid when she got enough sleep. The first two nights were hard though, wanting to go check on her, hug her, soothe her, and not being able to. For us, it was the perfect way to get her into a good routine. Now with Seth, we likely won't be able to do the same thing, at least not without waking Celia up. But we'll cross that bridge if/when we come to it.


That wasn't CIO, that was having multiple kids needing something from you at once. We couldn't stomach CIO, but then again, P was a baby who would only cry if he needed something. When he was older, we realized that he occasionally would fuss for a bit--it wasn't full crying and if we left him alone to do it for about 10 minutes, he would fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply than if we tried to pick him up and comfort him while he was fussing. Eventually we realized it was his way of letting off tension, and that's actually continued--he doesn't cry now, but he needs some time to himself each day to process the day. When he doesn't get "quiet time", it's a bad evening. But that's a long way off and different from CIO, if they even need it.When does Seth come back?


The worst part about the intestinal bug I had after Passover in 2004? Still can't eat the kneydl! It just turns my stomach.


Great job, Karen!! I totally don't get CIO either. I feel like my number one job every day is to prevent the crying (not because I'm super mom, but because it makes me crazy). And the times when I had to let someone cry because I just couldn't get to them yet, sleep was never the eventual outcome. Projectile vomit, sure; sleep, never.


I did the CIO with my oldest because I thought that it was what I had to do, broke my heart. Did it with number 2 at an older age because she was like a magnet to me and I wanted to wean her. Broke my heart again. With number three there were lots of things I didn't do. CIO was one of them. I did stand next to her and tell her she had to sleep, but I never left her to cry unattended. I just couldn't do it to my baby that I tried for 3 years to have, couldn't do it. So if you don't have to, then don't feel you are forced to.


Crying it out, as everyone has said, should only be used if the baby is fed, clean, and tired enough for bed.There are a number of ways for babies to learn to calm themselves to sleep. For us, we started out rocking Kinneret to sleep. When that got to be an hour-long process, we started rocking for 5-10 minutes, and putting her down to get to sleep herself. We waited until she was about 6 months before we let her cry for more than 2-3 minutes without being comforted. We have that luxury because she's a singleton, and I think that's close to ideal. But don't beat yourself up if the reality is that you have 3 babies and 2 hands. Babies don't suffer long-term damage from waiting 20 minutes for a meal.

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