CIO For Naps

Updated on May 07, 2008
A.L. asks from Irvine, CA
4 answers

Hey all. Up until 10 days ago my 6 month old daughter has been rocked to sleep for every nap. It's no longer practical and we've been trying to teach her to sleep alone in her crib. We have a routine, it's dark, she has white noise, and I KNOW she's tired because she's falling asleep in my arms as i go to put her down. She goes to sleep on her own at night and sleeps fairly well. So during the day we've been putting her down every 1.5-2 hours after she's been awake. We've been allowing her to cry, with reassurance, but after 10 days she doesn't seem to be improving. Also, once she does fall asleep she will take very short naps. My question is, how long before we should give up on CIO? She'll cry for a half hour up to an hour. At which point i just get her up and skip that nap. The hard part is that a couple times she's gone to sleep with minimal crying. Since I've seen her do it (and it was bliss!) it's hard for me to want to give up. Has anyone else had this experience?

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answers from Honolulu on

6 months old is a growth spurt time. They change physically and cognitively. They also get hungrier and feed more and more frequently. Maybe try feeding her more, and if/when she wakes during the night.

At least she goes to bed on her own at night.

The CIO method does not work with ALL babies. It did not work with my firstborn, and only marginally with my second baby. Even though I followed the book instructions.

Keep up with the nap routine.... maybe she is hungry, or teething?

There are a lot of other topics here for sleep problems. Try look it up, I"m sure a lot of it would be repeated here.

Maybe try and give her a transition object.... something to cuddle. For example, my son, at that age, got attached to his stuffed cow... and he needs it to sleep. It's his own little cuddle thing, and it helps him to self-soothe. It's a baby's way of transitioning and finding a comfort object.

Yes, the book "Secrets of the baby Whisperer" by Tracy Hogg is fabulous. I used this with my first baby. I really recommend it. You can find it anywhere or online like at Amazon.

Babies have a cycle of: wake up, eat, awake(play) sleep. About every 2-3 hours of "awake" time they will get tired.
Also, make sure that you have a downtime before she she can unwind pre-nap. Also make sure she is not over-tired or over-stimulated before napping.

PERHAPS, put her down for her naps at every 2 hours or 3 hours max at the very most... instead of at 1.5-2 hours. Maybe that is too soon after her "awake" time. I know that with my son, if I put him down too early.... he is not yet ready to nap and is still too awake. I put my son down at every 3 hours after an awake time. He naps at 9:30 and then in the afternoon at 2:30. He naps for 2 hours each. But that is just his cycle. Every baby is different. BUT I follow a routine, the SAME routine with him everyday for naps and sleeping. So now at 20 months of age, he KNOWS the routine and does not protest. He even will "tell" me it's his nap time and will take my hand and get up and bring me to his crib.

My son's sleep/nap routine is: I turn of the lights, make the room calm, I give him his milk, his cow, and for about 10 minutes I read or let him watch "Little Bear" (his favorite DVD) while he drinks his milk, and then I tell him "okay let's get ready..." and then I change his diaper, pick him up and carry him to his crib, close the mini blinds, make the room dark, turn on a fan on "low", then while carrying him I sing him the SAME 2 songs, put him down in his crib, adjust his cow next to him, put up the railing and say good night, then I walk out of the room and close the door. Done. Sometimes he will fidget around but as soon as I sing him the same 2 songs it's like a light-switch and he will calm down and then rest his head on my shoulder and knows it's time to go nap/sleep. I do this SAME exact routine at every nap and at night for bed. He goes to bed a 8:00p.m. Even if my husband or Grandma puts him to bed on occasion, he will actually "tell" them what to do.... it's so funny. But it just shows that he "knows" his routine and that it is to go to sleep.

Routines work. Which I know you are trying. Keep trying.
Your baby may just be going through some growth changes, and may be hungrier.

Good luck though, I know it's not easy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,

I have had the same problem with my son. He is almost 8 months old and about 2 weeks ago we started CIO. He responded well to it the first 3 days and with little crying would fall asleep and now suddenly he won't sleep even though he's been crying for an hour or so. Or he'll cry for an hour and then sleep for 1/2 hour and then get up. I actually haven't put him in his crib yet because he hates it, so he sleep on the floor, but the problem is that he gets distracted and starts playing with his toys.

My advice would be to keep her up more in btwn naps and keep her super busy with activities. This may tire her out more and then she could go down easier.

Good luck, you are not alone!




answers from Los Angeles on

If your daughter is bright (and girls usually figure this out faster) your daughter is probably crying because she knows that, eventually you will get her. I'm really not a big fan of the usual cry it out plans, but at the same time I don't think you should jump up and get her when she cries, either. This is a tough thing with infants- maybe you need to adjust her routine in some way. Right now I'm trying to remember exactly what we were doing at 6 months and I don't really remember. I know it was tough, and we just had to keep trying things until we found what worked, but I agree that you do need to get her used to falling asleep on her own. I know I read "The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" and it worked well, and I know there was a lot of crying and sleepless nights- at least you've got the night time thing down! What I do remember is that later ( more like 10 months) Izzy was really squirmy when I tried to rock her, but cried when I put her down. So I started just rocking her until she started to squirm (my aim wasn't to rock her to sleep, but to work it into our bedtime relaxation routine, and I have NEVER been able to rock her to sleep- she has always needed zero stimulation to sleep), which at first was just a few seconds, and then I would lay her down and that was it- she cried until she fell asleep. But that was based on what I knew at the time about her personality and trial and error. Eventually she learned that she liked the rocking and would let me do it longer, and sleeping became much less of an issue. Basically I think I've helped you zero, just now, but know that I've been there, and good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

I'd agree with previous folks that she's napping too often. My 6 month old takes two naps a day, one in the AM at around 10:00, she get's up around 7:30-8:00AM and then one in the evening around 4:00, with bedtime starting at 8:30ish and down about 9:00PM. She'll nap 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours in the am and 1 1/12 hours in the afternoon. Of course, this isn't always the case every day, but we try to stick to it. I highly reccomend the book "Babywise" for sleep training, really helped me a lot! With this schedule, mealtimes work in very well also, she is awake to eat with us, as she is a foodie already!

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