artslvr — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies


How did you do the CIO method? And how many times was your DD waking up at night? I would LOVE to get a full nights sleep. DD wakes up 3 times and it's killing me. We've tried just rocking her to sleep and she won't have it. She won't go to sleep w/o eating and sometimes she only eats for 5 minutes so I know she doesn't really need it. It's more from habit.?

Re: artslvr

  • Just butting in b/c I ended up doing CIO with DD1. I read a lot. a lot. of sleep books back then. The most extreme CIO advocates suggest 4 months as the earliest to do it, but most sleep experts seem to recommend waiting til 6 months. I will say that DD1's problem wasn't waking throughout the night, but she was impossible to get to sleep (once I eventually got her to sleep, she slept OK). So... I don't know if the answer would be different for a baby who is up frequently.

    Some books to look into are:

    Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems (Ferber)

    Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Weissbluth)

    The No-Cry Sleep Solution (Pantley)

    and the Sleep Lady (I forget what her book is, but there's info on her websire at

    I ended up pulling bits and pieces from all of them and doing what worked best for us, but for me having the knowledge from all of them was really helpful. I just checked them all out from the library.

  • *butting in*

    3.5 mos is very very young to try CIO. According to my pedi, exclusively BFed babies may need to wake up to eat upto 9 mo old. I know how you feel - DD is 8.5 mo and has never STTN.

    per PP, read several books, CIO is not the only method. As babies get older, they get better and proficient at BFing, so she might be getting what she needs in 5 min. Or she might be a snacker.

    Have you tried giving her a bottle when she wakes up?

  • I recommend Ferber, if you're going to CIO.  However, your DD is young to try it.  I tried it with DS when he was 4 months old and he wasn't ready yet.  Did it again at 6 months and it went smoothly.

  • She was getting up 1 or 2 or 3 times a night at different times.  So it was sort of two issues for us. Issue 1 - I used my own version of CIO (like pp said, pulling from different sources, mostly on the internet) for a few nights to get her "trained" to fall asleep herslef.  Issue 2 - as DD approached four months I suspected she didn't really need the middle of the night feeding. I confirmed with the pedi yesterday at DD's four month appointment that what I'm doing is fine.  He said it sounds like she's just on the cusp of starting to sleep long stretches through the night consistently, which is about right for four months, and she's gaining weight beautifully.

    I only had to do about three nights of CIO (at bedtime) to tackle the Issue 1 - DD was still discovering how to soothe herself to sleep.  The first night she cried about 20 minutes, I went in three times, the first two times I picked her up to comfort her and the third time I just patted her and made shushing sounds.  The second night she cried maybe 15 minutes, and I went in three times.  The third night she cried maybe 10 mintues and I went in twice, didn't pick her up either time.  She slept 11 hours four nights in a row, but that didn't become consistent (unfortunately!).

    She now has gone back to waking up once a night, but now the waking up is not for food (Issue 2) - the times she wakes up at night is because she has flipped herself over or somehow gotten stuck in a corner of her crib.  So we don't feed her, we don't pick her up, we just get her situated again and give her the paci (though she isn't nearly as interested in her paci as she is in sucking on her fingers).  She?s getting to be the age that even though I put her on her back to sleep, she flips over and ends up sleeping on her tummy.

    I also have started to "dream feed" her around 10:00, to top her off.

    If/when she wakes up in the night, I go in, pat her back, give her the paci and let her get herself back to sleep.  Unless she's really wailing, in which case I do pick her up to soothe her - because I don't want her to wake the toddler!


    Wife, Musician, Fed, WW-er, and Mom of three little kids - not necessarily in that order.
  • Butting in here as well... My daughter is just at the 4 month mark. Most of the books I read from pediatricians and psychologists say that 4 months is acceptable, and in fact, there is some research that suggests that between 4-5 months is ideal. However, it is all very controversial and you have to do what YOU feel comfortable with.

    All that said, my DD (who sleeps well at night) was having a lot of trouble with naps and was getting really overtired. There were times when she would wake herself up and no amount of consoling, rocking, etc. would help. Therefore, I did CIO this week and have had a HUGE amount of success (this is for naps only). First day she cried for 40 minutes which just about killed me. For the next couple days she would cry (not wailing, just fussing) a little bit some of the time, but was finally taking real naps and seeming rested. Last night, we put her down and she talked to herself happily for 20 minutes and then was OUT. This week she has had some of her best nights' sleep yet - 12 hours total, waking up once around 2:30-4 to eat and then go right back to sleep. 

    Like Sofka said, they often do need to eat at night still at this age, but I found that now DD wakes up when she needs to EAT and otherwise puts herself back to sleep if she just wakes up but is not hungry. Now that her sleep is less disrupted by me assuming she needs to eat every time she gets up, she is doing much, much better.

    Sorry for the lengthy post - I would talk to your pediatrician about it before you decide anything. CIO is really hard to do, so you have to be 100% committed for it not to drive you crazy and for it to work for both you and your child. For us it worked well and has made DD happier and better rested, but that is not the case for everyone.


    I also wanted to add that when I did it, DD had been really, really good about self-soothing and putting herself to sleep for weeks. I knew she had the skills so wasn't just letting her cry when I didn't think it would work. As I was writing the above post, she woke herself up from her morning nap. I checked on her and put the paci back in, she talked for about 5 minutes, and has now put herself back to sleep (no crying and she smiled when she saw me). I was worried about her at daycare (starting next week) so after having done this, I feel much more confident that she'll be better prepared with the skills she needs to sleep at daycare when someone won't go in every 2 minutes to replace a pacifier. Again, sorry for the long post! 

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  • I will say that yes, if we planned on doing CIO, we were going to wait til 6 months. The longest we ever let her cry now is 5 minutes. I wouldn't let her cry more than that at this age.

    ?I've been reading multiple sleep books for strategies in the meatime. I'm just trying to see what's worked for others that I would try in the future.

    Sofka, we feed her every time she wakes up since rocking to sleep doesn't work. She will go back to sleep right after she eats so I have that going for me. ?

    We are going to talk to the pediatrician at her 4 month appointment on the 6th for other help and suggestions. I know she is gaining weight fine as well. She is over double her birth weight. I think part of it is she was born small (5 lbs 15 oz) so she is playing catchup. Some sources I read said that they should metabolically be able to sleep once they reach 11-13 pounds. DD is almost at the 13 pound mark. I'm hoping as she gains more weight, her sleep will get better.

    It's weird that it doesn't matter how much she eats before bed, because she doesn't sleep any different than if she had 4 or 6 oz. Oh well. Like I said, I would never do CIO right now and I honestly don't know if I'll be comfortable doing it at 6 months. I can't stand to hear her cry. ?

    DD can self soothe because she'll sometimes wake up from a nap and start to fuss and I'll be just about to go up there after a couple of minutes, and she sucks on her fist and falls back asleep. (she won't take a paci)?


    Thanks everyone for the helpful responses! :)?

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