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How to Cry it Out: The Bedtime Edition

How to Cry it Out: The Bedtime Edition

Well little baby, here we are. Mommy and Daddy have read every book, tried every technique, bought every sleep aid they could find. The months have slogged by and nobody is sleeping. Daddy is staring stoically out the window. Mommy is curled up on the couch wearing coffee-stained yoga pants and feeling like a giant failure. Everybody feels cranky and sad. And defeated. And the only way out of this pitt of sleep deprivation is to let you cry. They adore you beyond words, but baby, this is happening. It’s going to suck for a few days. But it really is for the best.

If you’ve come to the conclusion that cry it out is the answer(

1) To break out of the desperate pattern of bedtime battles and frequent night wakings and get everybody sleeping a civilized amount during the night.
2) To achieve goal #1 with the minimal amount of crying.

The best way to meet your CIO goals is to embrace the 14 point CIO plan I’ve put together here.

How to do Cry it Out?

1) Buy a night vision monitor.

They’re expensive and not particularly reliable (you may have to buy a new one for each new baby). But I think it’s a worthy investment for piece of mind and would recommend purchasing one prior to CIO. It will give you a safe window onto your baby all night long.

2) Make naps happen

You want your baby well rested going into bedtime because tired babies sleep poorly. So you’re investing in day sleep to help minimize the amount of bedtime crying. Does your baby take great naps in the car? In your lap? While co-sleeping? Great! For the next few days do what you need to to get those naps to happen. By any means necessary.

3) Avoid cat naps.

Your goal is longer naps. So don’t drive to the grocery store at naptime because that 5-minute car nap is working against step #2 (above). For the next few days you are going to be the Nap Master, to the exclusion of all else.

4) Use a solid bedtime routine.

What is a SOLID bedtime routine?

  • Takes 20-30 minutes to complete.
  • Involves decreasing levels of activity and light. (No TV time, no dance parties, activities should be moving towards the bedroom).
  • Everybody should enjoy the activities.
  • Final activities take place in the location your child will be sleeping.
  • Ends BEFORE baby is asleep!


What are you trying to wean your baby off of? Rocking to sleep, co-sleeping, nursing to sleep, pacifier, etc? Whatever it is DO NOT include this as part of your bedtime routine! If it must be part of the routine (ex. food) then make sure there is at least a 20 minute gap between baby’s last meal and bedtime.

Sample Bedtime Routine – Bottle/Boob, Bath (no soap), Massage, Jammies, Book, Song, Bed.

5) Ensure that baby’s sleep location is ABSOLUTELY safe.

Dangling cords within reach of the crib? Unprotected outlets? The crib should be clear of any possible entrapment hazards (no stuffed animals, blankets or pillows!). The only thing in there, other than your baby, is potentially a small lovey. If your child is old enough enough to be out of a crib, put on your anal retentive hat and look at your child’s room. Does the furniture present tipover hazards? Are there toys which could break into sharp pieces? Choking hazards?

Special Case: What about Co-Sleeping?

Yes you can use CIO for a co-sleeping baby if you intend to continue co-sleeping. Most often this is used in the case where Mom wants to stop being used as a human pacifier but is happy to continue co-sleeping. This can be done but it’s challenging. You can’t leave an angry crying baby alone in an adult bed. Even if that “bed” is nothing more than a mattress on the floor. It is simply not safe and shouldn’t be done under ANY circumstance. So, where does that leave you?

If this is your goal, it leaves you IN the room with your angry crying baby. I realize this may sound like I’m joking but I assure you, I’m not. You put your child on your bed, preferably between you and the wall. Then you lie down on the bed facing away from your child. Then you bite your knuckles hard enough to keep from flipping over and nursing your crying child to sleep.

6) Use your words.

Your baby’s receptive language develops far earlier than their expressive language. This means they understand what you are saying long before they can speak themselves. “It’s time for you to sleep buddy. Mommy and Daddy love you. We’re right next door. We’ll see you with big hugs and kisses in the morning. But for now we’re going to leave so your body can get the sleep it needs to be strong and healthy. I love you little baby!” Use the same words every night as part of your bedtime routine.

7) Give baby as much soothing as possible!

For older babies (6+ months) your options are generally limited to loud white noise, block out blinds, and a small lovey. It’s sometimes helpful to have Mom stuff the lovey in her bra and wear it there all day so that it smells like Mom. If your baby is still swaddled that is also really helpful. DON’T use any sleep aids which will feed into your object permanence problem. So pacifiers, timed music, etc. are all forboden.

8) Leave the room.

There are some books that suggest that it is more gentle to stay in the room so that your loving presence can help provide helpful soothing. In my experience staying in the room has the opposite effect, making your baby more upset, “WHY AREN’T YOU PICKING ME UP! HELLO?!? I can SEE you sitting RIGHT THERE!” It also has the unintended consequence of potentially creating a new object permanence problem for you in that they will expect to see you sitting there when they wake up throughout the night. For these two reasons I suggest that once you put your baby down, you get out.

9) Mom or primary care giver should leave the house.

Decide which parent (if there are 2) is the most likely to turn into emotional jelly at the sound of their baby crying (generally this is Mom). The emotional jelly parent should get out of the house and leave things to their more stalwart counterpart. Lots of parents feel that they need to sit in the hallway, curled into a fetal position, crying tear-for-tear with their baby as some sort of penance for their failure to teach baby to fall asleep. Crying in the hallway serves no purpose other than to make you miserable. Worse, it creates the opportunity for the dark strains of guilt to muddle your thinking. “I feel horrible! Maybe I’ll just nurse him to sleep one last time?” Backsliding won’t solve any problems and even worse, guarantees you even more crying in the future. A good way to avoid backsliding is to simply leave it to your partner and get out.

10) Commit to Check and Console or Full Extinction.

Personally I recommend the Full Extinction or Weissbluth method. However as I was unable to find any research that backed up my theory that this method results in less crying, you’re welcome to consider both and determine which works best for you.

If you start the CIO process planning to Ferberize or check and console and THEN determine that your visits are making things worse, you CAN switch methods to the Weissbluth full extension method. However DO NOT switch from the Weissbluth full extension method TO Ferber or check and console as this generally leads to LOTS OF CRYING!

11) Cry it out does not mean night weaning.

IF your baby has been eating/nursing at night then you will need to feed/nurse your baby when they wake up. CIO is not a good way to cut out night feedings as hungry babies will cry A TON. If your baby had been eating at predictable times then feed your baby when they “regularly” would be eating. If your baby wakes up crying at a time other than when they would regularly eat, then I recommend you don’t go to them.

If your baby was previously sleeping glued to your boob (don’t laugh, this is a REALLY common problem) then sorting out what is a cry for attention vs. a cry for food will be challenging. You’ll need to listen to your baby and your gut and make the best determination you can. I would suggest you try to space out the feedings as best as you can. For example if you nursed your baby at 6:30 PM then I would be reluctant to offer more food before, say, 11:00 PM. If you nursed again at 11:00 PM, then potentially the next feeding could reasonably be expected to happen at 3:00 AM. However these are not hard and fast rules, listen to your gut. It’s almost always giving you good advice.

12) Put baby back down awake. Or don’t.

In my experience the key with sleep training is to put baby down awake at BEDTIME. If you feed your baby during the night AFTER that point, it is generally OK if they fall asleep in your arms and then go back into their bed. I have not found that it is critical to wake baby up enough to “put baby down awake” at 2:00 AM. However if they do not organically fall asleep during the feeding I would not encourage you to rock them to sleep in your arms intentionally and THEN put them down asleep.

13) When baby wakes up early?

CIO is very effective at bedtime because there are a number of biological factors that make it very difficult for your child to stay awake at that time. However if your baby wakes up very early in the morning (4:00 AM or 5:00 AM) letting them cry will almost never result in them falling back to sleep. If your baby wakes up very early and doesn’t seem to be falling back to sleep (it’s been longer than ~20 minutes) then it’s morning time for you. This is horrible but generally temporary. You may want to consider offering baby a quick snack, putting baby in the swing, or bringing baby back into your bed. Sometimes these options will buy everybody a few more hours or sleep. But crying is unlikely to do anything productive.

14)

If you’ve started down this path then in almost all cases the worst thing you can do is to cave in halfway through. Night #1 will be stressful for everybody. But what happens if you go to your baby to rock/nurse them after 45 minutes of crying? You’ve failed to let them figure out how to fall asleep without rocking or nursing. But you have taught them that if they cry for 45 minutes, you will come and rock or nurse the to sleep. Which means that the next time you have a go at cry it out (and trust me, there is ALMOST ALWAYS a next time) it will be longer and rougher than it is right now.


The truth is that there are a thousand frequently asked questions about CIO but I’ve narrowed it down to a few hot button questions which I’ve answered below:

Cry it Out FAQ

1

How long will the crying last?

I suppose “it depends” is not a particularly useful answer. If you follow all my advice then you’ll generally find that kids will cry ~1 hour at bedtime on night #1, ~20 minutes on night #2, and 10 minutes on night #3. They may continue to grumble at bedtime going forward but it will generally be only for a few minutes. Some babies will only cry at bedtime. Some will wake up periodically and cry for 20-30 minutes throughout the night. As long as you aren’t trying to night wean via CIO, the middle-of-the-night crying generally stops after night #1.

2

When will I be able to put my smiling baby down for sleep at bedtime?

When do you smile when scrubbing toilets? Never? Well there’s your answer. Most kids will not enjoy bedtime until they are old enough to have their OWN kids at which point it will quickly become the favorite part of their day.

3

Am I a bad parent?

I don’t know, are you? I don’t believe that CIO makes you a bad parent. I do believe that you have tried everything you can to avoid letting your baby cry. And that nothing worked. And nobody is sleeping. I also believe that your whole family will be happier and healthier when you are all able to get the sleep you need at night. Cry it out is a bummer and nobody likes to do it. But 3 nights of unhappy baby are a worthy tradeoff.

4

Can I use CIO for naps too?

That is a whole separate topic which I’ll write about in the future. I don’t recommend tackling naps until AFTER night sleep is well established. So for now, focus on getting night sleep sorted out and let things settle into a positive and predictable sleep routine before you start mucking about with naps.

5

Won’t they get confused if I keep (rocking, nursing, pacifier) for naps but not bedtime?

Different parts of the brain regulate day vs. night sleep so you aren’t mucking things up by rocking to sleep at naptime then using CIO at bedtime. Many people feel they need to tackle the whole day at once but I don’t recommend it. Sorting out naps tends to take a while and involve quite a bit of crying and not napping. Babies who don’t nap become overtired. Overtired babies cry at bedtime. A lot. So with the goal of minimizing crying you would work on having GREAT naps (by any means necessary) so your baby is well-rested coming into CIO bedtime. Once night sleep is well established sorting out naps becomes easier (because well-rested babies sleep better), which is why I recommend focusing on night sleep FIRST before moving on to nap battles.

6

If I can’t use CIO to night wean, how DO I get out of night feedings?

Once you are done with crying at bedtime and things have become a bit more predictable, you can use these gentle night weaning techniques to gradually get out of night feedings. The bad news is that depending on the age of your child and the # of feedings this may take 1-3 weeks. The good news is that it’s surprisingly effective and tear-free.

7

What if my baby throws up?

Some kids can get themselves so worked up they throw up. It sucks when this happens. You’ll need to quietly go to them, clean them up and get them fresh jammies/bedding, ideally with as little light and fuss as is possible. Put them back in their bed, use your words, and leave.

Anybody have any experience they would like to share? Words of wisdom, kind advice, and lessons learned are very welcome!


1,142 Comments


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  1. Hi I’d love some help! We are on day 5 or 6 of full extinction CIO with our 9 month old daughter and we’re seeing no results 🙁 we got rid of her dummy and music thingy and have given her a lovey instead but shes still crying for at least 30 minutes each night and is now starting to wake at about 10pm too which is waking my 3yo up! I never had the guts to do CIO with my eldest and i’m starting to get upset now as she just isn’t getting it’ but i’m pregnant with #3 so desparate for some sleep and i don’t want to be co sleeping with a toddler and a newborn! Please help!

  2. Ok so I’m at a loss. What do you do when, during night 2 the extinction method, your 19 month old screams (and I mean the kind of noise you ordinarily associate with horror films) for up to 3 hours? And bangs his head on the cot? And then wakes up every 20 minutes (if he even went to sleep in the first place, it’s debatable) and starts the screaming all over again? I can do CIO, it’s been successful for him before at a much earlier age, but how much screaming is TOO MUCH screaming?

    My nerves (and my husband’s) are raw. I’m worried I’ve overlooked some game changing element like a developmental delay or even autism and that CIO is making him worse. Help!

  3. Hello,

    I just discovered your site, and boy am I wishing I’d seen it before. My son is 8 months old, and as per a couple of your articles, he is waking frequently through the night and FIGHTING going to bed. No amount of rocking can convince him to sleep and finally, at our wits end, my husband and I have decided to try CIO (which admittedly, kills me a little inside).

    I have a couple questions:
    1) Mr man has a tendency to hyperventilate and start choking when he gets worked up, do I leave him that way?

    2) He’s rolling all over his crib, flipping onto his belly, pushing himself up on his toes with his head on the mattress (like he’s trying to do a headstand) and slowly inching out of view of the camera (there’s no where else to put it so we can see better), I’m worried about him hurting himself, he gets his arms through the slats of the crib too. Do I interfere or just leave him?

    3) We do room share, and I’m not sure if protocol is different there. You mentioned co sleeping and baby’s own room. We recently switched him from a playpen next to our bed, to his own crib next to our bed (we thought it would be too big which is why it started off as the playpen). If he wakes in the middle of the night are we going to have issues because we’re in there and he knows it?

    We got into the habit of topping him off in order to help him sleep longer at night, so now he has an 8 oz bottle when we go to bed around 10/10:30, so he’s not had middle of the night feedings since he was less than 4 months old, in that sense we’re lucky.

    SO… any additional comments, advice, tweaks? Need more info?

  4. I’m sorry if this was already asked and I missed it, however.. I started the CIO process on my 1 year old son this week. He goes down after about 30 min of fussing/crying and then stays down until about 2 am. When he gets up at 2.. am I suppose to let him just fuss/cry it out until he goes back down again on his own with no soothing what-so-ever? Or should I go in, rub his back and attempt to calm him (assuming picking him up is a no-no) and then leave again.. I worry that he could be waking up because something is wrong (he’s cold/hot, pooped, etc.) Am I being counterproductive by going in and checking on him?

  5. My 8-month old goes to bed no problem. Sometimes he’s awake, sometimes practically asleep. He wakes up 2-4 times night and I usually nurse him back to sleep. I want to start working towards night-weaning by cutting feedings down first. We had made some great progress to feeding just once per night (by letting him cry) but then he got sick and we’re back to square one. My question is, will he get confused if I let him cry at some waking so and feed him at others? My thinking was that feeding him at a certain time (and not others) will create a habit, so he will stop waking up at the other times. But I also wonder if he’ll just get confused…Thoughts?

  6. We made great progress with check and console cry it out. We thought it would be a nightmare, as our classic Sears’ “High Needs” 7.5 month old was going to sleep every night with a pacifier, swaddled, rocked to sleep. He would sleep for 1.5-2 hours in his rock and play, then need to cosleep (we were taking turns sleep on a mattress pad on the floor of his bedroom) but would still be up every hour or so throughout the night, with one remaining feed which we gradually weaned down to 2 ounces prior to sleep training, which was anywhere from 3-4 am. Every time he woke up required picking him up and rocking him back to sleep. We knew it was time to end the madness!
    We cut everything cold turkey. One night, after his routine of bath, bottle, two books, and prayers, we zipped him into a sleep sack, said “night night” and plopped him in his crib, for the first time in his entire life! He cried hard until the 5 minute check, I went in, patted him quickly and told him to “go night night” and he cried hard for a few more minutes before starting to settle down, crying on and off for a few more minutes before falling asleep. The entire episode lasted only 14 minutes! He woke one more time the rest of the night around 3 am, and only needed one more check.
    Every night since then, bedtime has been extremely easy. He never cries for more than a few minutes. He usually sleeps through until about 3 am, will make enough noise for us to hear him on the monitor, but puts himself back to sleep within 15 minutes. The problem is that after about 5 nights of falling back asleep and sleeping until 5:30-6:00, after about night 6 this morning waking moved up to 4-4:30 am!!! We have been treating it as a night waking and letting him cry-it-out, initially with checks but now with no checks. We have been doing this for the past 3 mornings…. the first 2 mornings we let him go an hour before rocking him back to sleep and bringing him to bed with us, this morning we let him cry with no checks from 4:20 until 5:45! He will show a few attempts at self-soothing during these scream fests, but really shows no signs that he is going to fall back to sleep.
    What, if anything, can we do to fix this issue??? I don’t believe he is hungry, because we are holding out on the morning feeding until 6:30ish regardless of what time he gets up to keep him on his schedule, and he is only fussing before that because he is tired, not hungry. In my opinion, he is just a persistent, strong-willed “High Needs” baby who is “set” to wake up at this time of the morning, and he has gotten enough sleep to have enough fight in him to cry for hours at that point. He is definitely still tired, because he falls right asleep as soon as he gets what he wants (comfort). I think there is nothing we can do right now besides accept it, we have tried for 3 days with no improvement letting him cry after what I would call an honest effort of 1-1.5 hours plus. If you have any ideas let me know!

    • Also as far as naps, we have not nap trained yet, we tried the first two days of sleep training morning naps and they were both miserable failures. But he gets 3 to 3.5 hours total of naptime during the day, generally split between two 45 minute naps in the morning (one of the naps is in the stroller while walking the dog and the other in the car before or after running errands). The afternoon nap is 1:30ish until 3:30ish, usually lasting 1.5-2 hrs. Bedtime is 7:30 at the latest.
      Also, is taking him into our bed at that 4 am waking going to screw up all of our efforts if you don’t think letting him cry it out at that time is going to work??? Do you think this is something he will learn to work through???

    • Hi! Don’t worry, I think most babies are unlikely to easily fall back asleep at 4/5am without some kind of soothing. check out what alexis says about early wake ups:
      13) When baby wakes up early?

      CIO is very effective at bedtime because there are a number of biological factors that make it very difficult for your child to stay awake at that time. However if your baby wakes up very early in the morning (4:00 AM or 5:00 AM) letting them cry will almost never result in them falling back to sleep. If your baby wakes up very early and doesn’t seem to be falling back to sleep (it’s been longer than ~20 minutes) then it’s morning time for you. This is horrible but generally temporary. You may want to consider offering baby a quick snack, putting baby in the swing, or bringing baby back into your bed. Sometimes these options will buy everybody a few more hours or sleep. But crying is unlikely to do anything productive.

      also, the podcast: https://www.preciouslittlesleep.com/when-baby-wakes-up-too-early/

      I know you mentioned you don’t want to offer a feed at that early wake up, but perhaps the benefits of offering the feed (getting a few more hours of sleep) would outweigh the schedule tweak? My baby was the same, would wake up early anywhere between 4-6 and having the bottle was a quick and easy way to get a few more hours of sleep. Good luck!

      • Thanks Sam, my fear is that reintroducing the feed at that time will set us back as far as progress. I truly don’t think he is hungry, because he can go to 6:30 without getting really upset, the fussing and crying he does when we get him out of his crib is definitely because he is still tired and wants to go back to sleep. I am also afraid, however, that bringing him into bed with us is going to set another bad trend, and that’s what he will be looking for for a loooong time if we reintroduce it.

        • Have you got block our curtains? Which season are you in? I found my 9 month old started waking at this time, for a week and then realised the sun was rising earlier due to it now being summer! As soon as we installed black our curtains within 3 days he was back to sleeping till 6:30am/7am

  7. What age can you start using CIO?

  8. Hi,

    I have a 3.5 month old and am trying to be proactive. She sleeps great through the night, typically a 8 hour stretch followed by a 2 hour. I am nursing to sleep. My issue is naps. She will not nap longer than 20 minutes and is so tired all day. Would you recommend CIO for naps? If I CIO for naps do I have to stop nursing her to sleep at night too? I don’t want to mess with her night sleeping. Is it too early for all of this?

    • I wouldn’t recommend sleep training for naps but I would keep an eye on:
      – Are we giving her enough soothing at naps? Chances are she needs MORE.
      – Are we trying for naps at the right TIME (too early/late can muck things up).

      Eventually yes she needs to stop nursing for night and you want to help her learn to fall asleep at night without sleep training, NOW would be a great time to start chipping away at making gradual changes (nursing till drowsy, put down, rub belly till asleep, that sort of thing).

  9. Thank you thank you thank you. we are on day 6 and seeing improvement like crazy!!!! love this website and podcast!!!

  10. Hello,
    I really appreciate your approach to CIO and labeling it as a last ditch attempt for most parents. This went a long way to easing my guilt. We’re on night 2 I’m halfway through a giant bag of M&Ms rote reading this post. Thank you x

    • Curious how your past few nights have been? Getting ready to start…

      • Hi,
        So I’m not sure if it’s gone great or if we failed… We decide to use the Ferber-ish: night routine of bath, boob, book, song, and bed; then check in at 5mins, then 10. We go in and pat on her bum (she sleeps on her tummy) for 1-3 minutes. So the first two nights we only had to check in three times before she fell asleep but both time she fell asleep while we were patting her bum. She slept through the night both nights. She cried about 15 minutes total but by day two she completely lost her voice! It was brutal listening to her broken cry on the third night so we didn’t let her cry but only had to pat her bum for her to sleep (a huge improvement from hour long breastfeeding, rocking etc). Now we’re bk to CIO-ish where we let her cry but she always falls asleep when we go back in after crying and pat her bk. it’s probably still a sleep association but she’s been sleeping great, waking once a night for a feed and bk asleep.
        I’m glad we haven’t had two hour crying sessions and I hope it goes well for you too.

  11. Hi,
    Thank you for such useful and realistic information! My baby is 5 months old and has been awake every hour from 7pm to 7am this has gone on for 2 weeks now. Her day time naps all last between 30-60mins.
    I feed her at 12am and 5am and just try to rock and shush her to sleep with a dummy on the other night wakings.
    Is it too early to try CIO ? I really don’t know what else I could try as we don’t have a swing and can’t afford to buy one now. She never self soothes and always falls asleep with a feed. Her routine and sleep patterns used to be excellent in both the day and night.
    She is combination fed formula and expressed breast milk. On some occasions I have nursed her myself in the night just to feed her quickly to sleep.
    Thank you for any help

  12. My 4 month old has been waking every 1.5 hours at night for comfort. She will only go back to sleep if we give her a pacifier or I nurse her ( which most times means she suckes herself to sleep and eats very little). We are starting sleep training not to get her to sleep through the night, but mainly to get her to sleep between feedings and also stop relying on a pacifier to fall back asleep. My question is naps… I tried dropping the pacifier for her naps as well and it was a train wreck. She cried for 45 minutes until I put it back in. Can I let her keep a pacifier for naps but take it away at night?

  13. Hi there,

    Our 7 month old has never been a good sleeper but is at the worse now. He has occasionally slept through but now needs constant resettling that can take anywhere from 2-4 hours (no exaggeration) in the middle of the night. We resorted to co sleeping and husband in the lounge but Im still getting no sleep as he wakes every few hours and wakes me and then goes back to sleep. We have dabbled in CIO a couple of times unfortunately. Once a month ago and he cried for 1 hour with us going in every 5 then 19 then 15 then 20 mins so we gave up. Then last week tried once again but he went on for 1.5 hours.
    We are desperate to change the situation but fear we have ruined our chance to do CIO with co sleeping and dabbling in CIO?
    How long should you keep doing CIO before you stop at night? 2 hours? Less?
    What can we do?
    Thank you

  14. Hi there,

    Looking for some insight.

    We used the full extinction method at 9 months and after 3 awful nights my son was beautifully putting himself to sleep for 8 hours at a time. We ended up moving houses when he was 11 months and he has been sleeping awful ever since. My husband works away and I started bringing my son to bed with me.. need less to say this was a horrible idea!!! He is now 14 months and pretty well sleeps attached to my breast all night. He also nurses to get to sleep. Horrible.. I know. I went back to trying the extinction method about a month ago and just couldn’t handle it – he cried for an hour which resulted in bringing him to my bed. Tonight I tried the ferber method, letting him cry for 5 minutes – comforting him for 1-2 and then adding 5 more minutes each time I left the room. We won’t be doing this again as I believe he got more worked up every time he saw me. I am planning on trying the extincting method again but wondering how long I should leave him crying before I go to him? I feel like over an hour is a really, really long time to leave him cry. I am feeling so down about this and I know if we can get back on track everyone will be so much happier and better rested. I also want to night wean but was planning on giving him up to 2 feedings as needed to start until he has settled into his crib and gradually weaning from there.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice!! ❤️❤️❤️

    • He is used to co-sleeping and using you as a human pacifier. THIS IS THE HARDEST THING TO GET OUT OF. Also now he’s a toddler, so throw “has very distinct opinions on the matter” in the mix.

      Honestly there is no easy path out of being a human pacifier. It has been done but it’s hard. CIO is the most direct route but it’s not going to work if you go to him. No checks. No rescuing. YES HE WILL CRY LONGER THAN AN HOUR. I can almost guarantee he will. 1-2 hours is not unusual for a toddler who is used to using mom as a human pacifier. Sorry – not going to sugar coat it. This is the reality of where things are at.

      So that’s my advice – NO VISITS. No checks. No rescuing. 3 nights. Hard stuff no doubt. But nothing you and he can’t do.

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