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Old 01-03-2011, 01:21 PM   #1
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Need advice and encouragement with CIO/Weissbluth method

DS is now 10 months old and still can't self-soothe or put himself to sleep and I need to help him learn to do this. DH and I have decided it's time to use CIO to help DS learn to sleep on his own, but it's not working!

I read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child before he was born and we followed Dr. Weissbluth's advice from day one (with the soothing to sleep option, rather than CIO). As a result, DS has always slept pretty well, and doesn't get overtired. He typically sleeps from 6-7pm to 6-7am with 1 wakeup at 12 for a change and a bottle (though the ped. wants me to discontinue this bottle to protect his teeth). He also takes 3 naps a day (1-2 hours long).

However, in order to get him to sleep, we rock him, sing to him, then hold him until he falls asleep. We got to the point where this only took about 5 minutes, and we were satisfied with that routine. Now, however, it's been taking upwards of an hour, and DS is starting to wake up during the night multiple times.

So, we started using the extinction method (CIO) last night and it's not working. DS will cry for an hour, and we give up and put him to sleep the usual way. As a result, he's getting less sleep than he used to and is starting to get overtired/sleep deprived. I'd love advice from people who have had success with CIO.

Thanks!

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Old 01-03-2011, 01:26 PM   #2
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Re: Need advice and encouragement with CIO/Weissbluth method

His night time sleep habits sound very normal for my kids when they were 10mths old, one woke twice at night to nurse.
He seems to take a lot of day time naps. maybe try cutting him to two a day then one before you mess more with nights, he may not be that tired with all the napping and once the naps are cut down he may be more ready to just go right to sleep after 5 minutes like he used to.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:34 PM   #3
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Re: Need advice and encouragement with CIO/Weissbluth method

yeah I think I would try cutting a nap first. The fact that it is taking so long to get him to sleep might mean that he just really isn't that tired. A lot of kids are already on two naps before 10 months.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:39 PM   #4
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Re: Need advice and encouragement with CIO/Weissbluth method

Thanks for your replies! I don't think it's that he's not tired though. The naps really aren't optional, though I know it's a lot of sleep for a 10 month old. His eyelids droop, he becomes a mr. cranky pants, and yawns like crazy. He's definitely tired at bedtime too. I think the biggest problem is that he just learned to pull up and climb things in the last 2 weeks. He'll fall asleep, but wake up the second he hits the mattress and then stand up...the whole time crying and trying to fight sleep.

I really want him to learn to fall asleep on his own...I think it's an important life skill and that he can't learn it unless we give him some time on his own to figure it out.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:43 PM   #5
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Re: Need advice and encouragement with CIO/Weissbluth method

I would agree to maybe try cutting a nap. I know my (now) 3.5 year old was at one nap a day at 10 months. She was on ~two a day, but started taking FOREVER to fall asleep, so we figured out that she just wasn't tired. Bedtime got pushed back, and she cut down to one nap a day.

My 7 month old takes about 2 (1-2hr) naps a day (if the first one is unusually short maybe a small 3rd catnap somewhere) and goes to bed around 7. He isn't CLOSE to sleep all night though.

Sorry I don't have any advice on the CIO though. Neither of my kids could self soothe at that age. My first didn't start really going to bed on her own until she moved out of the crib around 16 months. It doesn't bother me (most of the time). I'm pretty flexible. If it's 7 and DS doesn't seem tired (or if I'm trying to put him to sleep with no avail) then I'll usually just take him back out into the living room and let him play a little while longer. Then when he starts fussing, he will usually pass right out! But I'm a nurse-to-sleep. I figure that he will learn to self soothe one day, just like my DD did! She HATED the crib and LOVED the toddler bed, so we never had issues.

Maybe just try changing things up! Some kids need LOTS of sleep (my friends 3 year old still takes 2 naps and sleeps 7p-7a) and some kids need less as they get older (my 3 year old sleeps 8-8 and doesn't nap most days).
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:49 PM   #6
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Re: Need advice and encouragement with CIO/Weissbluth method

CIO won't work with every kid.

We CIO with DD1. She cried for 5-10 minutes, for 3 nights and went to sleep. She didn't STTN immediately though, but she did start sleeping longer lengths at that point. She was about 8 months old at the time. Prior to using CIO, we had done all the Babywhisperer techniques right from birth and she was only sleeping 1-2 hours at a time.

With DD2 we started the Baby Whisperer schedule right from birth. We had a great bedtime routine, consistent naps, soothing sounds, swaddling etc, just as recommended.....and she wouldn't sleep. She learned to put herself to sleep at about 2-3 months old......but at 15 months still does not STTN.

IME CIO does not lead to STTN.

I think that your son's previous night time routine is pretty good (waking once). I would continue with that if it were me, and try and teach him to self sooth at nap time. I would feed him, do whatever you normally do...rock etc....then when he is almost asleep, lay him in his crib. If he wakes up, try again. This is coming from a mama who is regularly up for HOURS in the night with a sleepless 15 month old who CAN put herself to sleep. Don't mess up a good night s sleep

I also agree with other posters that I would try and switch him to 2 naps. My DD is on one nap at 15 months and has been since 9 months.

If you decide to CIO, I would do it at nap time, not bedtime.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:50 PM   #7
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Re: Need advice and encouragement with CIO/Weissbluth method

Oops I just read your reply. Never mind about the cutting naps thing!

I think you're right that it's because now he's learning new skills, but our opinions differ on the 'learning' to fall asleep on their own. IMO it is a life skill, but one that they learn on their own time. Some kids do it from the start, some it takes longer. That's why I think CIO works for some kids and not for others. It's a developmental milestone that all kids are ready for at such different times! My thinking is: they WILL fall asleep on their own eventually. For my 3 year old, it was around 16 months. No amount of CIO worked with her (and believe me, we tried because other people told us to. She screamed for like 2 hours and threw up everywhere... and we decided it wasn't for us. Everytime we tried she would have screamed for hours had we let her). So this time around, with DS, I don't care. From around 4-6 months he would put himself to sleep. And then he quit. I think he's learning new thinsg and teething and just needs me to put him to sleep. Will he be 5 and unable to sleep on his own bc I didn't let him CIO? Nope!

I guess all I'm trying to say is, don't think that just because you don't let him CIO, that he won't learn to go to sleep. There are plenty of parents who nurse their kids to sleep until they are 2, and their kids fall asleep on their own just fine. Of course, there's a fine line, but I think until your child is developmentally able to do it, it shouldn't be pushed. You could try the modified method of letting them fuss for 5 minutes, going in, reassuring, etc and going back out for 7 minutes, then back in, etc. My sister did this with my niece around a year and it worked, she never cried she just fussed!
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:51 PM   #8
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Re: Need advice and encouragement with CIO/Weissbluth method

I have advice for you but will have to pop back on later this afternoon. Am on my iPod right now and it's a pain to type long responses.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:53 PM   #9
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Re: Need advice and encouragement with CIO/Weissbluth method

I'm no expert (my 19 month old ds still doesn't sleep through the night), but I agree with PP. It seems like your little guy is sleeping A LOT during the day. My DS started taking 1 nap a day that usually lasted about 2 hours when he was 14 months.

As for CIO, we never used it, but you said you started "last night" - was that a typo? From what I understand, it takes a few nights to work.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:55 PM   #10
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Re: Need advice and encouragement with CIO/Weissbluth method

OK, I'm convinced. I will try to keep him up longer during his wakeful periods to cut down to 2 naps a day.

Unfortunately, DS has abandoned his old routine. It's been at least 3 weeks since we've been able to easily put him to sleep with the rocking/singing routine and he's now waking up every 2 hours in the night. Something has to change. I don't care if he sleeps through the night or not...am happy to get up with him when he needs something, I just want him to be able to sleep again.
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