30 answers

Cry It Out at Nap Time Too???

I know that not all moms agree on the CIO method, so please spare me the criticism. But last night was our first CIO night. Surprisingly it went very well. But my question is do we CIO for naps during the day too? My son is still taking 3-4 short naps a day and the CIO seems like overkill that many times a day!! Please help!

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Thank you for asking this question. I am working on sleep training my 2.5 month old. I have just gotten to the point that her naps are amost non-existent and getting worse. She is so funny though. I can put her in bed at night with her eyes wide open and she barely peeps before falling asleep. Same thing after her early morning feeding. But the rest of the day is hell. She is in day care now full time too. So, consistency will be an issue but one we are just going to have to work around. I love my little girl and just want her to get the rest she desperately needs.

Best of luck to you.

I think the key is to be consistant, so yes. Then, each time he goes to bed, he will expect the same thing and it becomes a learned habit.

Looks like the rest of the ladies pretty much have it covered - I just wanted to thank you for posting this question. So many responses seem to lean towards CIO being too cruel - but it's the only thing that works for my little one. It's nice to know there are others out there!

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I am not generally a fan of cry it out, but sometimes, it's the only way. But, in answer to your question about nap time, I actually think that it is more reasonable to let him cry it out during the day than at night. Although, 4 times a day is a lot of crying to listen to. But then, for me, nighttime crying it out was not an option because I personally can't take it.

I tried the cry it out during nap time for my son at that age, and it just never worked. I figured that he wasn't ready for it, and didn't really become successful at just letting him cry until he was about 15 months old. Before then, he would become more and more agitated and then never go to sleep(and I really mean literally never, not even for the night, rather than literally "crying it out" and then calming to sleep. Just a thought.

After reading other comments, I just think it is so funny that people just assume they know your child. I have 2 boys. They are radically different sleepers. My oldest didn't sleep through the night, ever, until he was 15 months old, and not consistently until he was 18 months old. We tried every conceivable method. He just had to work into things on his own, and he wasn't too terribly fast. The second one cries it out already, and has been since he was 3 weeks old (he's just shy of 3 months now)... and has been sleeping through the night since then, as well. This is not because WE are so much better with him. This is because HE is a different child than the first. He is very laid back and rarely cries, ever. The first one cried all the time and is incredibly sensitive and high-strung.

You do what works for your child and yourself. I am a huge fan of doing whatever is best for your kid. If rock or nurse to sleep is best, do it. If crying is best, do that. I think we need to be flexible with our kids, within reason, especially when they aren't even old enough to speak or understand consequences.

2 moms found this helpful

when you start CIO you should do it every time they go down and it wont seem like overkill because if you are consistent it will work quickly and nap and bed time will be a breeze. oh, and don't worry about people telling you you are doing to many naps. just watch your son for the signs that he is tired. my 18mth still take two naps a day and people tell me that is too many but every child is different. she will get her blankie and snuggly kitty and lay down on the couch so i know she is tired and still needs her two naps. i'm sure your son has ways of showing you he's tired. you can also talk to your pediatrician at his 9mth appt. about how many naps he needs. CIO works best when they are tired but not over tired. also, be prepared down the line for some bad days here and there. both my daughters had bad days, maybe because they were sick or teething, when it was like the first days of CIO. this is normal and again if you stay consistent they will get back on schedule quickly. and remember when he cries he is just tired he's not feeling abandoned! he wants to sleep and is trying to figure it out how to do that, that's all!:)

Good luck!

Hi N.,

I have to second the advice of reading Dr. Weissbluth's book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." It should really be called, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Mom." :) This book was my sleep bible.

After my little guy didn't sleep for the first 7 months, I read this book and started sleep training. I can't quite remember what order I did (I was very sleep deprived at this point!), but Dr. Weissbluth talks about how babies sleep patterns are interlinked (ie: Not napping leads to not being able to night sleep or vice versa). For that reason, I think I would do CIO at nap times too. Consistency is the key. I also think it took my son about a month to get his schedule down for night sleeping and nap sleeping. It was a long, tough month, but I just kept being consistent.

The other piece of advice that Dr. Weissbluth writes about is when making a nap schedule, start his AM nap within one to two hours after he wakes up. This seems odd at first to put your baby down for a nap at like 8am, but it totally helped solidify my son's nap schedule. Once I started putting him down soon after he woke up, his naps lengthened and then he needed fewer naps. Until 9 months, it's pretty typical for babies to take 3 naps a day.

Good luck! I know CIO is tough but just tell yourself that you're giving your son an opportunity to develop the skills he needs to sleep.

I love the CIO method. It worked wonders for all three of my children. They all learned quickly how to soothe themselves to sleep. I think this is a perfect time for you to set up a schedule for your child's nap time and awake time. Your child is old enough to be taking two naps a day, a morning and afternoon nap. You said that the first night went well, so I would continue the process at nap time. Your child will know when to expect the nap and be happier with a set schedule. My first child was a great sleeper, but he would fall asleep any time and any where. He was not on any schedule. Once I did the cry it out method and put him on a schedule he was so much happier. He knew what to expect at certain times of the day. Actually, I was much happier too, I could plan our days around when to be home for naps and when to go to the park and play!
Hope this helps!

I know what you are going through! I have a 23month old little girl who did not like to sleep we tried many meathods when at 6 months we did CIO. We would do it for naps but never let her cry for more than one hour if she was still crying at that point I would get her up and play with her or feed her and then try it again a little while later. It took about two weeks at night and days where about a month.. She dis not cry the whole hour more than a few times and then it was more like she was yelling at me to come get her! I now have a 6 month old and he is the same way! It took him about three weeks but no I lay him down and he just goes to sleep while his older sister will sit and play in her crib then she will lay down and sleep!

It does get easier hang in!

My daughter also napped 3 times a day at that age, that is pretty average. Also, we let her CIO at naptimes to be consistent because we were teaching her self soothing skills, but her crying was not more than a few minutes. It just seemed like an eternity! It was an escalating cry so I would feel like I was getting to a breaking point, but then she'd zonk out. For a balanced perspective on the CIO method and its variations, check out Dr. Weissbluth's "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." It was a great reassurance for me as I chose how I wanted to parent and it helped me deal with any criticism I may receive from other moms with different parenting styles. :)

Hi N.,
I would say get bedtime under control first with CIO. Then slowly work on the naps. Say get bedtime set, and get your son down to only a little crying. Get your son rested with plenty of night sleep. Then slowly do the CIO method with naps. I like the book Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Marc Weisbluth. He discsusses sleep by age, so that you know more of what to expect and how to procees. Now that being said, sleep is a very individual thing and every child will be different... so don't be surprised if you feel confused about sleep. Anyway, he recommends not letting a child cry for more than an hour, before you interrupt the nap time.
Good luck... I have found sleep to be the most befuddling issue in my childrens lives.

Buy Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. It is by baby sleep bible and it will answer all the questions.

It isn't typically for a 8 month old to be taking 3-4 naps during the day. Once his night sleep is consolidated and CIO is over, he should fall into a once a day, long afternoon nap. During the CIO night stage, put him to bed when you know he is tired and he will eventually (2 weeks at the most?) fall into a pattern.

CIO is so hard. I critized my older sister for not letting her children cry it out (she wanted to but her husband couldn't handle it). After I had children, I had to apologize to her. I would always set my stop watch because the crying always seems so much LONGER than it really is. :)
When we CIO with our first, I had another sister living with me. I could go in the basement and the other sister could "listen" to make sure everything was OK.
When I'm tempted to get the baby up (I have a 4 month old now.) I think "I know he is tired. I am teaching him to sleep." I know if he was screaming for a bag of marbles or a pound of chocolate, I wouldn't give in. (Not that he knows what those are yet.) <grin>

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