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CIO with a toddler

  1. #1
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    CIO with a toddler

    Anybody ever try CIO with a toddler (15 month old)? Unfortunately, our toddler (because of various trips away and being struck with a few illnesses in the past few months) has gotten used to sleeping with us and we need to get him back into his own bed. So I think we will just have to let him CIO once he gets over his jet lag (we just got back from a European vacation). Just wondering if anybody had done it with an older child. Any experiences you could share would be great! Thanks.

  2. #2
    AmyH is offline Registered User
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    We had the same problem with my son when he was about 18 months old. He had gotten really used to sleeping in our bed and we were getting squashed!

    I did not do CIO though. What I did was put him in to his cot at bed time with a bottle and lay him down. I brought a chair for myself and I sat beside the cot, so that he could see me. He would stand up in his cot and cry to get out and I would just lay him back down. The first night it took just over two hours for him to finally go to sleep. The second night it was just over an hour and the third night it was 15 minutes.

    After that I could just place him in his cot, **** him good night and leave him to fall asleep by himself.

    I did not want to do the CIO method as he was so used to falling asleep beside me, or on my knee that I thought the transition from that to just being put in the cot and left would be too much so I chose to let him see that I was still there.

    I have a second now and she has slept in her cot from day 1 and has never been near our bed, and I intend to keep it that way!

    Good luck.

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    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for your feedback AmyH - I think our situations are very similar. I've sort of tried your method, but for a brief amount of time and then I gave up and just brought him back to our bed because he just went crazy with his crying. Was the crying particularly bad in your son's case - bad as in tears, snot, sweat, the works? Also, how did he eventually fall asleep -did he just get tired, stop crying and close his eyes?

    I"m thinking of doing something similar to you too and staying in the room while he cries, but I'm so afraid that I won't be able to stand it or that he will hate me in the morning for not taking him out of the crib! But since I'm expecting a second baby in October, I have to get him to start sleeping in his own bed. I'm petrified about the whole process!

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    carang is offline Registered User
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    personally, i could never use CIO with a baby, but a toddler is a different matter.

    for me, it made a huge difference when i KNEW the ONLY reason the child was crying was because he/she was angry.
    once i was confident in that, i could let them cry.

    HOWEVER, with my daughter, who's now almost 3.5, i have a slightly different approach. when she gets REALLY tired, she goes a little crazy. starts crying/screaming etc. after 5 minutes, i go in and ask if she's ready to stop crying and have a cuddle.... if i don't get an answer, i leave. i continue to do this in 5 minute intervals. after 2-3 times, she stops crying and says, "yes, please". at which point, i sit on the side of her bed, she crawls onto my knee and we give each other a big, strong hug. the hug sometimes lasts 2-3 minutes. during that time, i talk quietly to her, preparing her for the end of the hug at which time, she must lie down and go to sleep.

    this ALWAYS works with her, but it would not have worked with my son. for him, i just had to let him cry.

    1) your child will have forgotten all about the crying by morning and certainly WILL NOT hate you! if you can't manage this now, it will only get worse...
    2) you CANNOT give in once you have committed to the process. YOU are the parent. you cannot let the child call the shots. if you let your child cry for an hour and THEN you decide you can't take it, you've just taught your child that IF he cries for an hour, he'll get what he wants!

  5. #5
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    HELP! So we started doing CIO with our toddler at night and though it has been really difficult, we are willing to hang in there (guess we have no choice) to see how it plays out.

    Unfortunately, the CIO at night has seemed to affected my son's nap times during the day! He now refuses to go into his crib during the day. Even if he is asleep in the nanny's arms - when she tries to put him down, he cries, which never used to happen before. Has this happened to anyone else before? Have I done something wrong? This is just all really stressful!!! It's only been 3 days since we tried the CIO, and I know I need to give it a bit more time, but I"m starting to panic a little bit. On the other hand, we can't keep having his bad sleep habits at night either....Sigh....

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    AmyH is offline Registered User
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    Sorry for not responding to your other post but I had not seen it until today. I feel really bad for you as it can be quite painful to see your child crying and not be able to stop it.

    For my son, he would cry hard, but when I would lay him back down he would stop for a few minutes and then cry again when he stood up to get out.

    For the first night he cried and eventually tired himself out and fell asleep. The second night he tried it a bit but was aware that I would not lift him out so the third night he gave up and just lay there!

    I would suggest that maybe you or your helper put him in to his crib during the day when he is not tired so that he can have a play in it. Pop him in with some of his toys so that he is comfortable being in the cot so bed time will be easier. I do that with my daughter now when I am hoovering and cleaning her room. She loves to play in her crib and practice standing up! I do take the toys etc out at night time so she knows it is sleep time then, not play time!

    If it is of any help, when my son was crying I was thinking that we would never resolve it and he would be our bed until he was 18! Now he is 5 and goes to be really easily and never gets out of bed until the morning.

    Good luck with it.

  7. #7
    AmyH is offline Registered User
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    Also to mention..... I did not mind being in the room when he was crying because I knew it was just temper and frustration rather than he had hurt himself etc. If I had left the room and let him cry it out I think I would be so worried that he had hurt himself etc that I would keep going back in to check anyway!
    I had the Chair right next to the crib so he could see me but I had a book to read so he knew I was there but I was not engaging in conversation with him. I would just put the book down, lay him back down and then continue to read!

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