Why I Won’t Be Using the Term CIO Anymore – EP 15

January 18, 2017 |  by  |  cry it out, parenting, Podcast

I’ve been using the term CIO or Cry It Out for years. I’ve never liked it. It’s pejorative. “Oh…you’re one of those CIO parents. Whelp I’m not, because, y’know, I’m a good parent.” It’s largely meaningless. And in some parenting circles even the faintest mention risks getting you banned from the group.

CIO parents

It also doesn’t really mean anything. I’ve tried to define CIO or minimally bring some clarity to the discussion. But even with millions of readers annually, CIO remains a vague ill-understood concept to most people.

And it’s ugly. It’s plain ugly.

In case it’s not clear, I’m not a fan. And going forward, I won’t be using it anymore.

Sleep Learning Independence Plan

In this podcast we delve into the history of the term CIO, unpack some of the baggage related to the term CIO, and how the ambiguity of what it means muddles our thinking about sleep and parenting.

There is a better option than CIO and we discuss it fully in the podcast. Hint: it’s this. What it means and why it’s the new cool thing is covered in greater detail in the podcast.


Further Reading

First use of the term CIO from The Care and Feeding of Children (written in 1894.)
What sleep training is.
What other parents have to say about it.
No sleep training is not child abuse, not even remotely.
Yes there is a book. It’s not quite ready, but almost.

Take a listen, let me know what you think. And I hope you’ll join me in embracing SLIP. SLIP into bed, SLIP into sleep, see how nicely it rolls off the tongue?


  1. SLIP : I love it!!!

    • Cheers – me too! It wasn’t easy to come up with a “better term”
      (maybe someday I’ll share the list of terms that were bandied about during brainstorming HA) but I’m fully committed and hope to make “SLIP happen”

  2. Love it!!! So much nicer and more true!! Night 7 of ST here and my 9mo lb SLIP’d right into sleep in one minute!! Night 6 he SLIP’d into sleep and stayed there for 12 whole hours with one little nurse in the middle!! Bliss!! All down to you!!
    My hubby is sick of hearing ‘But on Alexis’ website it says…’ But hes loving the sleep!!!! Ha!!

    Also i think there should be a warning at the top of your website about potential accidents for women who havent done their pelvic floor excersises!!
    Ill just drive past the house to keep the baby asleep and take a small jaunt to Canada… Bahahaha! So funny!! And i never thought id say that about a baby sleep webpage!

  3. i totally agree — the humor is what drew me to Alexis oh so long ago. We take all things baby SO seriously. babies be babies and they will grow up, and we can all accept the torture of some parts of the early years a bit better with some humor thrown in!

  4. Great podcast! Yes, it’s so true the confusion surrounding CIO. Your definition and explanation on CIO was so helpful to me. I hope the new SLIP term becomes a hit! Thank you again for all your work and research!

  5. Part of me wishes the new term was something like Getting Independent Nightsleep so that when people ask me how my kids sleep so well I can tell them I used GIN.

  6. I used the “slip” method, before it was wonderfully titled so, when sleep training my 6 month old and I’m using it again now during her 18 month regression and it’s gone extremely well both times. Both your site and The “Ferber” methods somewhat combined into my own mix really worked well for us. Keep up the good work and good on you for seeking to abolish the CIO term and all it’s misunderstood negative energy.

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