If We Don't CIO, Are We Creating More Work for Ourselves in the Long Run?

Updated on December 26, 2010
R.H. asks from Seattle, WA
29 answers

My daughter is 5.5 months old. I am a working mother but otherwise, my daughter is BF on demand (I pump for 3 bottles a day). She sleeps in her crib (for most of the night) and we recently moved her crib into her room (prior to that she was in our room). Most mornings I bring her into bed with us around 4am for the last night feed.

My daughter was a great sleeper and napper up until about 4 months old. Now she won't nap for longer than 45 minutes (often even less) and wakes 2-3 times (sometimes 3-4 times) every night. We've tried the Baby Whisperer PU/PD method for naps and some night wakings (those when we thought she wasn't genuinely hungry) for about 2 weeks and it did nothing for us. In fact, it left us more sleep-deprived and made us both feel very disconnected from our ability to soothe our baby. The only positive that came out of that one endeavor into sleep training is that our daughter can now be put to bed at night awake and will get herself to sleep without any crying within 5-10 minutes (interestingly, this is not the case for naps, which are a huge struggle).

When my daughter wakes in the middle of the night, things can quickly escalate. We've tried letting her fuss around and it very very rarely results in her getting back to sleep on her own. Sometimes she wakes really upset from the beginning. The end result of basically every night waking is that breastfeeding her is the only thing that calms her down and gets her back to sleep (Side note: when we were doing PU/PD in the middle of the night, it would take an hour or longer to get her back to sleep and she would be right back up within an hour or two.)

As I mentioned above, we are not into CIO. I believe I can sustain the current schedule for another 3-4 months (maybe even until she's a year old). My question is for moms who have been in this situation. If we do nothing and I continue to breastfeed her at night when she wakes, what can we expect in the coming months? Did your baby just learn to sleep better with time and age? Did you hope things would get better on their own but found that they didn't? I want to hear your stories.

Other factors to consider (although both are more recent and can't possibly explain the last 2 months of crappy sleep): my daughter has 1 tooth (possibly more on the way), she will probably be a relatively early crawler (already up on all fours rocking), she's super active during the day (her mode of transportation is rolling and she does it well)!


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So What Happened?

UPDATE #3 (May 2012): My daughter is now almost 23 months old and fantastic sleeper and napper. She is still nursing a couple of times a day. We never did CIO. She simply learned to sleep better as she got older. Naps improved once she went down to a single afternoon nap around 14-15 months (now her average nap is 2-2.5 hours). Nightime sleep improved starting around 16-17 months (she finally dropped the very early morning nursing session) and she started sleeping all the way through consistently at around 18 months. I believe many of our struggles were a result of her being on the spirited side. The stuff we read in almost every sleep book (even those with gentler methods) just didn't work for her. We had to come up with our own methods (as we all do)! Anyway, just thought I'd offer an update for any other moms that might stumble across this thread.

It's now been a little over a month since I posted this question and things have dramatically improved! My daughter got a second tooth and learned to crawl during the last month. I have no doubt these two things were contributing to her sleeplessness! I also determined that at least one of her wakings was because she was genuinely hungry. In the last week or two, she has been waking only once at night (sometime between 3:30-4:30am) at which point I feed her and she goes right back down until morning (~7am). I'm so glad that I just stuck it out and didn't try anything too drastic (e.g. CIO). Her daytime sleep has also improved and now she takes 2 longer naps (1-1.5 hours each) and a short cat nap in the evening (30 min). I truly believe her nighttime difficulties were a result of developmental growth and teething. Thanks for your support, ladies!

Wow! What an amazing community! Thanks everyone for sharing their stories and lending encouragement! There were some good nuggets of advice in your answers and I plan to implement some of your suggestions. For example, a lovey or something else that smells like me. I notice that once we bring my daughter into our bed around 4am, she will sleep the longest from that point until she wakes up around 7:30am. We're not against co-sleeping but a lovey seems like a good intermediate step. I'm also going to pick-up the "Good Night, Sleep Tight" book that was recommended.

I will be sure to check back and let everyone know what happens in another month or so. Keep the stories coming though. Hopefully they will be helpful to many other first time mothers who stumble upon my question!

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answers from Washington DC on

I have 4. THe first one I did cry it out and it killed me. The next three they slept with us.
At 18 she will not be sleeping with mommy. She will eat with a fork, pee in a pot and leave the house.
She's only 5 months old.
My hubby used to take the kids at about 11-12 months and give them fruit instead of me feeding them. He also eats a can of fruit at about midnite. They have had no ill effects and I started getting some sleeep.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Congratulations on not being into CIO. I know that it is so hard to live with interrupted sleep, but I believe that is just part of the package of getting the privilege of being a parent :-) I have had 3 babies (in the past 5 years!) and I continued to breastfeed them all at night when they woke up. They all learned to sleep through the night on their own when they were ready. My feeling is that if it seems wrong to you to let a baby cry, then it is. My kids are happy, healthy great sleepers and I think it is partly because I gave them what they needed when they were babies...love and comfort...even when the timing wasn't very convenient for you. Hang in there...you can do this and you will be very glad later that you did.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

What I do is I wake up baby after each feeding and put him or her down in the crib awake. This starts at birth so we don't have issues later. They always know how to self sooth.

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answers from Fort Wayne on

In short, NOPE! :) I co-slept with both my daughter's to varying degrees. My oldest slept with us till she was 6 months old, then she was content to be in her crib. She didn't sleep through the night till she was about 10 months old. She would wake up genuinely hungry in the middle of the night. I'd nurse her and put her back in her crib since that's where she slept best.
My second daughter was in our bed until she was about 6 months, then she'd start out the night in the crib. When she woke up in the middle of the night, I would nurse her lying down and we'd both fall back asleep. She started sleeping through the night at about 12 months. She was, and still is, the needier of the two.
I never did any sleep training with my kids. I just figured if they were hungry or needed to be comforted in the middle of the night, it's my job to to it, no matter what age they are. They both learned to sleep through the night on their own. There's no reason, in my mind, to deprive anybody of sleep. If nursing her in the middle of the night means you all get more sleep, the go for it! :)
On a side note: The teeth could be why she's been fussy the last 2 months. There are several stages to teething. They have to come out of the bone, push up through the gums and finally out. My youngest had a horrible time with the early stages of teething. She would cry, scream, fight sleep, etc. Once the bulge appeared on her gum, she was fine. Also, babies tend to sleep less before they learn a new skill. It's like their minds and bodies are on overdrive and just can't calm down.
The only other possible suggestion is that her schedule might need a bit of tweaking. Sometimes adjusting nap and bedtime helps things out.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

Well, I could reccommend all kinds of methods and books, cause we tried them all, and you know what? NOTHING worked. My son was up every two hours until he was almost three years old, not even weaning got him to sleep through the night (15 months night weaned, 19 months fully weaned). So he slept with us until he was two, then in a rollaway bed bumped right next to ours so I could pat his back all night, then around 2 3/4yrs old he chose to sleep in his own room and I would lay on the floor next to him until he was asleep. At three he was sleeping all night, in his own bed in his own room - and I was pregnant with #2!haha My daughter was a better sleeper, but not great, she is two and half and now wakes once a night (around 4am), so I go to her bed and finish the night there (she sleeps in a full bed). yes, it is EXHAUSTING sometimes, and yes there are nights that I feel like screaming "WOULD YOU JUST SLEEP!?!" but i don't. Because we tried CIO with our son and three weeks, yes weeks, into it, he was still crying at bed time and in the middle of the night. He just NEEDED human contact and constant reassurance - he is still this way during the day at 6 years old! SO, yes you are probably setting yourself up for more work in the long run, but on the other hand, you could spend the next six months to a year trying all the different methods and have nothing work anyway! Really, it would have been LESS work for me if I would have just relaxed about the whole thing, stopped trying to "make" him sleep away from us, and done what he was so obviously telling us he needed! That's my two cents! Good luck, and remind yourself in the middle of the night that there are lots of childless women out there who would give up all their sleep to have a beautiful baby to care for in the wee hours of the morning - this thought TRULY gave me a bigger appreciation for 3am feedings!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I have bed shared and breastfed on demand since my daughter was born. She is 5 y/o now and tho still bed shares (she's asking for her own bed which she's getting for Christmas), she weaned herself about 6 months ago. The first 2 years are the hardest... the first year they need to nurse a lot because they need all that optimum nutrition to develop at their top ability. The 2nd year, it's the issue of getting them to nurse, because they are always distracted, running around and learning new things. During these years, knowing Mommy is around and available to cuddle and nurse when they need it is priceless and helps drastically in keeping their temperament balanced and independent when they get older.

In between the 2 hardest years, you have to deal with nursing strikes, biting (completely able to be stopped), lack of self confidence that you are producing enough (which 9 out of 10 times you ARE), frustration, etc. Never forget - these are extremely young children... not miniature adults. How can you expect an infant or young toddler be ok with waking up alone in a dark room, possibly hungry or thirsty and expect them to self soothe or be happy about their situation? Many adults still wake up a few times to go to the bathroom, drink or eat something - or simply have a bad dream. Children and infants have bad dreams too... so if adults are not able to, how can infants and young children be expected to?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

You are not indulging a child or spoiling them or ruining their sleep habits forever if you respond to their needs. CIO doesn't respond to their needs. Especially for a breastfed baby. A breast fed baby is to be fed on demand for the entire first year of life.

Your daughter is still very young to expect her to go all night without feedings. Some are able to and most are not-especially a breastfed baby.

I exclusively bf both of my kids-held them or nursed till they were sound asleep and it didn't ruin their sleep habits. My oldest was able to go 10-13 hours a night after i taught him to sleep. The process took about 6 weeks start to finish. My daughter was never the sleeper my son was until she was well over a year old and fully weaned. Not to say that she couldn't self-soothe or sleep all night at times. But every child is different.

Again, your daughter is very young and coming up to that 6 month growth spurt.

It's important that breastfed babies be fed on demand.

But all that being said, I highly recommend The Baby Sleep Book by Dr. Sears, The No-Cry Sleep Solution and I know you have the Baby Whisperer already. I used all 3 of these to formulate a sleep plan.

I started with my son when he was in the late 6 month range.

My daughter was a power sleeper from 6 weeks till about 4 months and then same as yours it changed. Lots of big changes happen and infant sleep is never static.

It's very important that you learn as much as you can about infant sleep so that you can develop a sleep plan to teach baby to sleep. It is possible to teach them how to sleep in a kind and compassionate way that doesn't flood their little systems with stress hormones, raise their blood pressure and leave you upset on the other side of the door.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

She is too young to cry it out. Wait until she's closer to 8 months. If by then you don't start, yes you are going to have more problems later down the road. She needs to learn to self soothe.

It is good you put her asleep while she's awake yet sleepy, she can fall asleep on her own that way and not wake up startled, as is common with children who are rocked to sleep then carried into their beds.

I nursed, but co-slept until they were about a year old (though started the transition around 7-8 months), so it's hard telling how many times a night we did it.

As far as is she going to be a good sleeper with time and age? it really all depends!

Dr. Sears has some expert advice on ways to keep your baby sleeping and timing the feeding schedule, as well as info on some sleep training methods that do not work:


Children go through phases of sleeping well and disruptive sleep. It's very developmental, when they are teething, when they begin to crawl, then again when they begin walking. Their overtired, but excited to learn these new milestones often interrupt their sleep.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Your current method of feeding her when she needs is an awesome approach. Being responsive to your kid (aka NOT cio) can sometimes seem like more work, but it's not in the long run.

Have you thought about letting her sleep in your bed?

In our family, we've determined that whatever allows the most of us to get the most sleep is the best approach we can take. That means baby sleeps in bed with my husband and I so I don't have to wake up all the way to nurse her at night. She also doesn't have to wake all the way up to nurse since I'm right next to her and she doesn't have to work so hard to wake me up.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

You never can tell......I breastfed both my older girls on-demand around the clock until they self-weaned at around a year. My oldest is the worst sleeper *ever*! She wakes multiple times at night, takes forever to fall asleep and wakes up no later than 6:30am. My second is the exact opposite! Falls asleep within minutes, *might* wake up just once, and would sleep till 9am every day if I let her. I did nothing different with them, they're just very different kids!

I'm of the opinion that you do what works for your family. I was NEVER able to deal with the CIO method (we tried once and I ran in about 2 minutes in promising to never do that again! lol), so we co-slept. If everyone's needs are being met (including yours for sleep), then do what works for you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

The answer all depends on your family. My daughter just turned 4 & we were co-sleeping almost right from the beginning. I actually fought it for awhile. But, as soon as I gave in to it, we all started sleeping better. As time went on, her schedule changed as she grew. Slowly, we've transitioned her to her own bed. That's where she starts the night. Most nights she does come back to our bed. She simply crawls in & we go back to sleep. I truly believe that one day she'll just start sleeping all night. There won't be anything to tell me that she's going to, it will just happen.

You have to do what is right for your family.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

The first year has it's ups and downs. I was not a believer in the CIO method, I let mine rustle in their crib until I could tell they were going to start to cry..... moms have extra special hearing ya know. Mine were in their own room in their own bed from day one. HOWEVER, with the middle of the night feedings if they didnt go back to sleep after nursing in the rocking chair I just brought them to bed with me and that usually always worked. Hubby was sound asleep and I was totally aware of the baby being in the bed and not concerned I was gonna roll over and squish him or anything.
Yours is still young and waking because she is hungry. After a year old, if you choose to let them scream before they finally wear themselves out and fall asleep try it then. It is too soon to do it now. It is also an amazing feat that moms and dads can survive on so many sleep interrupted nights. Just make sure you arent drinking anything caffeinated, and do your bed time nursing as late as you possibly can. Maybe even wake her to feed her before YOU go to bed, that might tweak her schedule somewhat. All you can do is experiment because none of the schedule stays the same for very long. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hi R.
I personally don't agree with the CIO Method.
There was a post on this on Dec 8th with some very good responses and advise. You can have a look if you go into my profile and have a look in the answers section.
Also as you said she is teething so she needs the extra comfort and pain relief at this time.
Teething, in my oponion is one of the most difficult aspects of parenting at this age. It does pass ,thankfully, I am SO happy that my son finally has all his teeth.
Wishing you all the best
B. K.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

first I agree that she is actually too young to do the CIO method so I wouldn't even do that yet. Like you said trying to get her to sleep through the night ended up not working for you and that's because she is not ready for that yet. I would try to just listen to her cues and still feed on demand. All babies are different and therefor what works for one might not work for another. For example with my first at 11 months I had to let her CIO she was breastfed and still waking around 2 to 3 times a night to eat but once she hit 11 months she would wake and I would try to feed her but she wouldn't nurse. She wasn't hungry...she just wanted to play. I knew then that it was time to let her CIO cause she would not eat. But if your baby wakes at night and does nurse then yes she is still hungry. With my second I didn't wean her until around 13 months. And she did great....cried for about 30 sec. if that the first night i put her to bed without nursing and then started sleeping through the night. So again some babies take longer than others and just cause you wait a while doesn't mean you will have a bad "habit" to break.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

This sounds like the case with my daughter. How is her weight? My doctor told me when she reached a certain weight that she did not need to feed at night. I had read countless books, advice forums, etc about this topic.
I am not sure if my method is right for you, but I decided on a time that she could be fed in the middle of the night. If she woke up at 1 and 4 am then I would feed her at 1 am, but not at the 4 am. The first few nights were torture to hear her cry at the 4 am. My husband and I did our best to soothe her without bringing her back into the bed to feed (if possible have him do it so she doesn't get confused and or frustrated when she sees you). Eventually, each night she cried less and less and after 3 nights she didn't wake the second time.
Now at almost 10 months she has been sleeping completely through the night for a few months (7:30-7:00).
My daughter is very tiny and I possibly went against the doctor's advice to feed her because I felt it was the right thing to do and that she truly was hungry. I also heard that our issue is very common with breastfed babies. The introduction of solids did help a lot.
I have also heard that sleep habits change dramatically when they hit certain milestones.
I'm sure you will figure out what is right for you. Good luck and remember this time will pass before you know it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Most babies will keep waking up if you indulge them. However, if you want to do it for 3 or 4 more months, go right ahead. It won't harm her, and it won't hurt her "in the long run" either. The biggest reason is to CIO is for your own sanity. But if you're still sane, carry on.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I am anti-CIO and believe it creates more problems down the road. I believe every child has the right for their voice to be heard and responded to. Have you ever read any of the Dr. Sear's books about attachment parenting? It sounds like you have already adopted some of that style. Co-sleeping may help your situation.

As for waking throughout the night, she will wake to nurse more during growth spurts and sometimes just because of developmental milestones. I do not want to scare you by any means, but mine did not sleep through the night until they weaned which was around 2 years.

It sounds like you are doing all the right things for you baby. I remember those days and they are grueling. Just remember you are doing what is best for your baby and you WILL reap the benefit later. I know it doesn't feel like it now but this is a small blip on the radar. It is hard to see it when you are so immersed right now but this too shall pass.

Happy Holidays!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I have 3 children and not once, ever, did we use CIO. If they woke we took care of them. My oldest 2 are great sleepers. They will still get up if they're sick or something but who doesn't? My youngest is 18 months. She overall is a good sleeper. She can take her nap anywhere and everywhere we go. She sleeps though rides at Disneyland all the time when she's in the sling if it's her nap time. However she does go through phases where she's hitting major milestones, getting teeth, getting sick, growth spurts, suffering from separation anxiety, learning about the dark and all those sleep interupters in the baby years. They all pass and are all temporary. After a long couple weeks of no sleep (up 7 times in 4 hours!) because of illness and a couple outside stressors she was only up 1 time last night. She quickly nursed and went right back to sleep again. She's done that the last 2 nights now. I finally feel rested for the time being. All 3 of my kids have been exactly the same.
Teeth are on the move far before they come through, sometimes a good couple months before. If they are on the verge of a new milestone their brain activity is increasing making it harder for them to sleep. As they get older the growth and milstones aren't as monumental and large and shoved into such a small time frame in their lives so they don't throw their little systems for a loop. They also have the mental ability as they get older to understand what is happening to them, they don't have that as a baby.
I know it's insanely hard to suffer through with sleep deprivation but it will not last forever. Taking care of your baby's needs helps them to learn to be an adjusted adult. Ignoring them only causes them to learn that no one is there to help them when they are in need.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

You could try pumping for the middle of the night wakings. You could then split the feedings with DH/DP and you would be better able to figure out if she is simply hungry or is just using bfing as a way to fall asleep again. If she was sleeping well and is not anymore - she might just be hungry.


answers from St. Louis on

I didn't CIO it out either but both my children have been different when it comes to sleeping. My daughter was nursed to sleep until a year old and then I rocked her to full asleep or sat in her room until she was fully asleep until she was 2.5 years old. Then I knew she could do it alone and I started leaving the door open instead of closed (at her request) and now she goes to bed just fine. She also colsept with us (I saw coslept because it usually ended up being about 1/2 of the night even after breastfeeding..in fact this just stopped 2 weeks ago when we got her a larger bed. Now if she wakes early in the morning, I go and lay with her until it's time to get up).

My son was nursed to sleep until 9 months but after that, he never wanted to be rocked. When he's tired, he wants to go to bed alone!

That being said, my daughter was a horrible napper and my son is a great napper. Both my kids still wake up - usually my son loses his binky and after getting it, goes right back to sleep. My daughter will call out to me and once I lay with her, she goes right back to sleep.

All that being said, it's really hard to answer your question. I personally do not think you are setting yourself up for more work in the future because you will do what needs to be done and you will be surprised as how easily / switfly their sleep habits may change. Her waking may be a result of getting older (more independence), some sound waking her, getting teeth or being sick, etc.

Overall, kids do sleep better as they get older. But I'm still laying in bed with my 3 year old before she goes to bed (we say prayers and I sing her songs and lay with her for a few minutes) but she doesn't get out of bed after I leave her room and goes to sleep. I still lay with her in the middle of the night if she wakes but that is because we wanted to get her to stay in her bed at night and not ours and this works for us. Many people would say I need to walk her back to her bed and go back to mine. But at 230 in the morning, I'm okay with sleepnig with her for a few hours. Usually if it's before midnight, I go back to my bed. If after, I just sleep with her!

Do whatever works for you and your family!!



answers from Anchorage on

When my boys were little I would let them CIO for 5 minutes, and would than go in and comfort them, without food, until they calmed. Once calm I would leave, and if they fussed I would wait another 5 minutes to go in, I never had to go in more than once. Doing this I had both of my boys going to sleep on their own from under a week, and having them both sleeping through the night (form 8 until 530) before 2 months of age.


answers from New York on

Wow. I just wrote an extremely similar question earlier today, also for a 5.5 month old. We have almost identical situations! Only difference is my guy's up more like 4-6 times a night (10 when he's teething). We even did the foray into sleep training that got him to go to sleep on his own but otherwise didn't seem to help much. The only positive so far is that most nights, he has a couple 2.5 hour runs instead of waking up every single hour all night.

We're going to try again next week. We won't do CIO but we are going to try not nursing him when he wakes up. We might do a sort of modified, gentler version of Ferber if necessary; even though I hate to hear him cry, I just can't sustain this schedule any longer. After 3 months of getting up every hour, and now getting up 4+ times a night, my body (not to mention my mind) is simply falling apart.

I wish I could help more. Lots of people will recommend a book or three, but those never helped with my baby and I'm guessing yours is the same way. I think part of it is just some babies don't sleep well. :( Every single night I think "tonight could be the night", but it never is....



answers from Seattle on

My son was not a good nap taker for quite awhile. When he was an infant he usually only slept for 10-30 mins for his naps. I work at home so I figured out that either if I held him he slept longer or the nanny would hold him and later I figured out that when he would wake up I would go in and breast feed him back to sleep. Around 6 months he started taking longer naps. He would also wake up multiple times in the night. What I started doing was just have him sleep with us and I would breast feed him so I could get more consistent sleep. Around 18 months he finally started sleeping through the night or would only wake up once to nurse. He is 28 months now and has been sleeping through the night since this summer. He still needs to nurse to sleep for his nap which is 3 - 3 1/2 hours, but right now I don't mind since I am pregnant and can use that time to get a little rest as well. We didn't do cry it out and I think he is the better for it. He is really social, affectionate and has a great personality.



answers from Jacksonville on

Part of it is her need of reassurance - try putting in your shirt with her. Put it above her head. That helped my daughter when she transitioned to her own room at about the same age.

I can't answer the BF part of the question - my milk never came in. :(



answers from Seattle on

My husband was VERY against CIO, so with my second child I didn't CIO until I was to the point that I couldn't even carry on a conversation because I was sooooo exhausted. He was 11.5 months old when I finally went to CIO - going in every 5 to 10 minutes to calm him down and tell him I loved him and then back out. It took maybe 3 nights before he was going down for bed and naps without really crying for very long. It also resulted in his sleeping through the nights most nights. I used CIO with my first son at 5 months - also very effectively. My youngest I did CIO at 5 months also. For her it was challenging at first - the first night she cried for an hour and a half (again with me going in every 10 minutes to offer comfort but not pickup). I noticed that every time I went in she would grab my shirt and bury her face in it. Finally I took my shirt off and gave it to her. Three minutes later she was asleep. It is still her blankie (she's 3 now). Obviously nothing but CIO worked for me. I highly discourage co-sleeping. Everyone I talk to who did that had issues getting the kids out of their bed. Mine will crawl in with me sometimes in the middle of the night, and I definitely fell asleep with mine in bed for the early morning feedings, but I always made my kids start out in their own beds.


answers from St. Louis on

My son wakes up twice in the night and we give him his binkie and then he goes right back to sleep without having to be nursed. I sometimes just think they get lonely in the cribs. Sucking is something that calms most babies. If you don't use a binkie I would suggest it even though most people say to stay clear of them. It has be a god send in our home allowing me to sleep 6-8 hours every night again.



answers from Los Angeles on

You can't start sleep training until she's 6 months old but I'd highly recommend "good night sleep tight" by kim west. It's a great compromise between CIO and the super gentle, co-sleeping type approaches. My husband and I didn't believe in CIO and tended to our son whenever he cried but it proved to be too much strain on our health, our sanity, our marriage b/c we were both so tired! We finally did CIO out of desperation and it just didn't work for us (too harsh!). so by some stroke of luck, I happened upon this book and it's really teh best of both worlds. It's not realistic to let your child do whatever in terms of sleep (at least it wasn't for us) and our son's sleep definitely improved with this book's methods. it was actually pretty amazing. since then we've hit some bumps due to illness, milestones, etc. and we're back to the book now but again it's starting to work. i'd recommend getting it from the library. but remember, not til she's 6 mo! good luck,



answers from Cincinnati on

I agree with Momma L. that she's too young for CIO at 5.5 months old. She's also a bit young to give up nighttime feedings. With my son, our pediatrician told us to start CIO around 8 months old, which is when most babies no longer need to eat during the night (although they will still wake and may even nurse out of habit). I stopped feeding on demand around that time, and instead fed on a schedule, but actually didn't CIO with my son until he was 11-12 months old. This worked very well for us. Right now, your goal should be to teach your daughter to sleep when put down awake, and it sounds like that is going well! I wouldn't expect much more from such a young baby.



answers from Seattle on

My son is 8 mos. old and still wakes every hour (yes, every hour).. for naps and at night. We similarly brought him into our bed in the early morning hours for ease of feeding and so he wouldn't wake up toooo early. Maybe that backfired. He's also battling teething, trying to walk, trying to babble, it's the "key" time for separation anxiety, etc etc. there's always something. We actually tried CIO last night. After an hour and a half of crying, we ended up soothing him to sleep only to have him wake up an hour later. The only thing that helps is co-sleeping and I am not a fan of it. In fact, that's getting harder because he wakes and starts crawling around in the bed. My husband goes to the couch or I sleep in the baby room - a queen bed just doesn't seem big enough. I don't know what to tell you and I certainly don't know what to do. It's very frustrating.... I have a 4 year old daughter that did not sleep through the night until she was weened at 2 years of age - but at least she slept in her own room. We tried CIO with her and only found ourselves to have to repeat it several times, weeks apart. It would work for a while and then she would revert.

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