How exactly do you do CIO?

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by marleigh, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. marleigh

    marleigh Well-Known Member

    I read the term CIO, but not sure exactly what that entails. Can someone give me some insight on how it's done? How long do you let them cry for before you go in? Do you go in? What do you do when you go in? What happens the next time they cry?

    The nightwakings have gotten out of control and it's time to put a firm position on sleep training. They were so good up until they got sick with the Rotavirus a couple weeks ago. Now, like I said in a previous post, they go to sleep well, but wake 2 to 3 hours later, crying, they are not hungry or dirty...I can seem to give them a paci at that time, but a few minutes later, it just falls out and the "game" continues 10 to 20 times a night. I've had enough.

  2. jromkey

    jromkey Well-Known Member

    I would read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (there is also a twin version but apparently it's not that different). It sets out the process very clearly. Basically you can use any interval that you are comfortable with (i.e. going in every 5-10 minutes until they stop crying). Some use the method of gradually extending the time - i.e. first going in after 5 minutes, then after 10 minutes, then after 15 minutes, etc. You are usually not supposed to pick them up but give them a reassuring pat or shush before leaving (the visit should be brief).
  3. brieh

    brieh Well-Known Member

    I read this one and the ferber one as well and ended up doing a bit of a mix. We did the paci game for a bit and then I just took it away. Was a little painful (for me) at first, but now she doesn't wake in the night for it. I think the book was helpful, but once again we didn't follow it exactly.
  4. ktfan

    ktfan Well-Known Member

    Are they able to maneuver the paci on their own? If so, I'd put a ton in the crib so that needing/wanting a paci isn't an issue. As far as CIO, I could never just leave them without going in, so I did 15 minute intervals. If they woke at night I waited 15 min. If they were still crying at 15 min, I'd go in (as little light as possible) and feel around, check for fever, sniff etc to see if there was a problem. If they were okay I'd make sure they had their lovey, pat or rub their back (for like 2 seconds) and then leave. If they were still crying after another 15 min I did the same thing all over again. Sometimes when I patted/rubbed I'd whisper "shhh, it's still night night time, go back to sleep". It's not easy at first, but it will work. Just be super consistent with whatever you decide to do and they'll be sleeping great in no time!
  5. vtlakey

    vtlakey Well-Known Member

    I have the HSHHC book as well as the Ferber book, but I found it impossible to find time to read both of them from cover to cover, so I mainly just skimmed them. When we started CIO we would go in after 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, etc, gradually extending the amount of time we would wait before going in. And when we would go in we would just rub their backs for a minute or two and leave again. We tried really hard not to pick them up, though once or twice one baby was crying so badly and I picked him up. They will learn to soothe themselves quicker the more consistent you are with not picking them up, but it's hard to do if one is inconsolable.

    Some people say that it infuriated their babies even more for them to go in and console just to leave again, so some did extinction CIO at that point, where they would set a maximum time limit that they would let their babies cry (ex. 60 minutes) and they wouldn't go in at all unless they were still crying by that point. For us checking and consoling worked, though if the boys were starting to wind down and not cry so much and we were due to go in and console then, we wouldn't in those cases because doing so would have just worked them up again.

    Just go with your gut instinct and do what you feel comfortable with. Best of luck!
  6. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I didn't set a time limit on it, I used my babies cries as a cue. I quickly learned the difference between a "I do NOT want to go to sleep" cry and a "OMG mommy has left me alone" cry. The first was more of an angry, pissy, frustrated cry. The second was a harsher more terrified cry, sometimes more of a scream of fear. If they were just sobbing or had an angry cry, I would leave them alone. When it changed to the scared cry, we would go in and sooth them, lay them down, give them their paci's back (we give one in the mouth, one in one hand and leave one on the bed nearby), rub their backs, restart lullabies and then go back out again.

    Whatever you chose to do, consistency is key. If you keep switching your methods or changing how you do things, it's harder for them to pick up on what exactly you want. It may take several heartbreaking nights of crying (usually the first 2-3 nights are pretty rough), and then usually just a couple nights of intermittent crying before they will finally learn to put themselves back to sleep. It's one of the hardest things to do, but it's so worthwhile when they start sleeping peacefully through the night most of the time! :hug:
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