I have read a lot of articles for and against the cry-it-out (CIO) method for sleep training. Along with several articles about why we shouldn't sleep train kids at all. It's one of those thoroughly and hotly debated subjects in the never ending "Mommy Wars".
Most recently I read and shared this article discussing a study that says letting a baby CIO isn't harmful to their development. Last night, a friend of mine posted this article that claims just the opposite. Now, to be fair to the second article, I couldn't make myself read the whole thing. I got through about half of it, but the author's clear condescension to anyone who would even attempt to sleep train a baby, much less use the CIO method, was just too much for me to stomach. If you have to bold things, italicize things, and underline so much to try and make your point, I can't take you too seriously. I need you to be mostly unbiased in presenting facts, not supposedly debunking someone else's facts with your opinions.
So, let me explain why I am a support of the CIO method, and what CIO means to me. With Connor, we used a progressive CIO timeline (shown below) that I found on Pinterest.
We have a bedtime routine: diaper change, brush teeth, read a book, *kiss* "Goodnight, I/we love you" and down he went. As the chart shows, he would fuss or cry for the allotted amount of time, then we would go and "reset" him: pick him up, comfort him, wait til he claimed down, *kiss* "Goodnight, we love you" and back down. The first night wasn't great, it took about an hour for him to fall asleep, but that was the worst of it. The second night, we only reset him 3 (or maybe 4) times, and by the third night, he was going to sleep without a problem.
This version of CIO (also known as the Ferber method, or Ferberizing) worked wonderfully for us, and I always recommend it to moms who are having trouble getting their babies to self-soothe, as long as they are comfortable with it. I have not and will not ever encourage someone to do something they aren't comfortable with, especially when it comes to parenting. No one knows your child better than you do. We felt comfortable Ferberizing Connor, and it worked out well for us. He has been sleeping, mostly without problem, on his own, in his own room, since he was 4 months old.
Here's the thing, mommy wars are stupid. There's no other way to put that. As long as you are doing what you think is best for your child, why should I care if you baby wear or use a stroller? Formula or exclusively breastfeed? Ferberize or bedshare? These are just a few examples of the countless different parenting styles and choices that we see on a daily basis. You take care of your kid, and I'll take care of mine and we can all just hope we don't raise a bunch of ignorant, selfish assholes. Deal?
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community