PARENTING FREEDOM

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    Friday, December 21st, 2012 10:23 am

    Hundreds of hurting people visit here every day, most of whom are searching for comfort after loss. Please reach out for emotional support as you begin the healing process. Be patient with yourself. Allow yourself to grieve. Let it out. May God be with you.

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    "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
    but a broken spirit drieth the bones."
    Proverbs 17:22
  • Cry it Out, Sleep Training: Is CIO Biblical?

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    During a baby’s first few months, he is utterly helpless and totally dependent. He obviously cannot talk or walk or feed or clean himself. He is completely incapable of meeting his own needs, but he has been given three gifts that greatly increase the likelihood that his needs will be met.

    The first gift is his adorable baby-ness. A baby’s physical appearance, including a darling face, big eyes, precious lips, kissable cheeks, and a soft little body work together to make his mother desire to hold him in her arms. A baby is simply irresistible.

    The second thing is his voice. Ranging from coos and grunts to cries and screams, a baby’s voice triggers a physical and emotional reaction in his mother to act on his behalf. The mother can choose to respond or she can learn to ignore this urge to tend to him. Babies have been created to make pre-cry sounds that mean different things. We just have to learn to listen.

    Baby’s third gift is, of course, a mother. A healthy mother has the desire to love, protect, comfort, and nurture her child. She is “soft-wired” to feel his pain.

    “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13 NIV

    “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Isaiah 49:15 KJV

    What happens when a mother is persuaded to ignore her God-given instincts in order to “stay in charge” for her child’s “own good”?

    “[This] mother is one who, after much thought, has decided to allow [her baby] access to her breast. For a few minutes a day, his longing is suspended and his terrible skin-crawling need to be touched, to be held and moved about, is relieved. She loves him with a tenderness she has never known before. At first, it is hard for her to put him down after his feeding, especially because he cries so desperately when she does. But she is convinced that she must, for her mother has told her (and she must know) that if she gives in to him now he will be spoiled and cause trouble later. She wants to do everything right; she feels for a moment that the little life she holds in her arms is more important than anything else on earth.”

    “She sighs, and puts him gently in his crib, which is decorated with yellow ducklings and matches his whole room… She bends to kiss the infant’s silky cheek and moves toward the door as the first agonized shriek shakes his body.”

    “Softly, she closes the door. She has declared war on him. Her will must prevail over his. Through the door she hears what sounds like someone being tortured… Nature does not make clear signals that someone is being tortured unless it is the case. It is precisely as serious as it sounds.”

    “She hesitates, her heart pulled toward him, but resists and goes on her way. He has just been changed and fed. She is sure he does not really need anything, therefore, and she lets him weep until he [falls asleep] exhausted…”

    “He awakens in a mindless terror of the silence, the motionlessness. He screams. He is afire from head to foot with want, with desire, with intolerable impatience. He gasps for breath and screams until his chest aches, until his throat is sore. He can bear the pain no more and his sobs weaken and subside. He listens. He opens and closes his fists. He rolls his head from side to side. Nothing helps. It is unbearable. He begins to cry again, but it is too much for his strained throat; he soon stops. He stiffens his desire-racked body and there is a shadow of relief. He waves his hands and kicks his feet. He stops, able to suffer, unable to think, unable to hope. He listens. Then he falls asleep again…”

    “He awakens and cries again. His mother looks in at the door to ascertain that he is in place; softly, so as not to awaken in him any false hope of attention, she shuts the door again. She hurries to the kitchen, where she is working, and leaves that door open so that she can hear the baby, in case ‘anything happens to him.’”

    “The infant’s screams fade to quavering wails. As no response is forthcoming, the motive power of the signal loses itself in the confusion of barren emptiness where the relief ought, long since, to have arrived. He looks about. There is a wall beyond the bars of the crib. The light is dim. He cannot turn himself over. He sees only the bars, immobile, and the wall. He hears meaningless sounds in a distant world. There is no sound near him. He looks at the wall until his eyes close.”(1)

    Quotes from pages 60-64 of The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff

    Some Christians insist it is wrong for the mother to “cater to her infant’s whims”. They believe it is the infant’s sinful nature that is trying to control and manipulate his parents by crying. Feeding-on-demand and not sleeping alone are cautioned against as being too child-centered. To the contrary, we see normal infant needy behavior, not as a sign of sin in the infant, but rather as an expression of genuine need. We believe God gave babies special gifts to get our attention so we would fulfill our responsibility of meeting their needs. A child crying for his mother is not manipulation. Expressing his need for his mother is a healthy sign of attachment. He is crying because he feels abandoned, and he is clearly expressing his feelings of fear and neglect.

    Consider how our selfish, sinful nature desires to neglect our own children. We believe God knew we would get so preoccupied with other things – even so-called important things – that left to our own fallen nature, we would not give our babies the high level of nurturing that would help them develop to their fullest potential – physically, emotionally, mentally, and intellectually.

    Standing outside baby’s bedroom door, listening to his desperate pleas for comfort makes a mother feel terrible, both emotionally, and even physically. It is a self-imposed helplessness that results in discomfort and guilt feelings even though her mind is trying to convince her it is the “right thing to do”. Is that really God’s plan for mothers and babies?

    “In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me… I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” Jonah 2:2 NIV

    “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.” Psalm 34:17-19 NIV

    “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.” Psalm 103:13 NIV

    “Weep with them who weep.” Romans 12:15 KJV

    “Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.” Psalm 55:17

    Dr. Herbert Ratner, in his excellent essay entitled “The Nursing Couplet”, quoted some deeply moving verses from the Psalms and compared them to how a baby feels when he is crying for his mother. She is the one who lays the baby’s foundation for love.

    “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? … thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. … Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help (Ps. 22:1, 9 & 11). For me the reward of virtue is to see your face, and, on waking, to gaze my fill on your likeness (Ps. 17:15). May God show kindness and bless us, and make his face smile on us! (Ps. 67:1) I put my trust in you. … My days are in your hand, rescue me from the hands of my enemies and persecutors; let your face smile on your servant, save me in your love (Ps. 31:14-16). As a doe longs for running streams, so longs my soul for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, the God of life; when shall I go to see the face of God? (Ps. 42:1-2) Yahweh, hear my voice as I cry! Pity me! Answer me! My heart has said of you, ‘Seek his face.’ Yahweh, I do seek your face; do not hide your face from me (Ps. 27:7-9). Save me. … I am wearied by my crying, my throat is parched; My eyes grow tired as I wait for my God. … For my part, I pray to you, Yahweh, at the time you wish; in your great love, answer me, God (Ps. 69:1, 3 & 13). How much longer will you hide your face from me? How much longer must I endure grief in my soul, and sorrow in my heart? … Look and answer me, Yahweh my God! (Ps. 13:1-2). In your loving kindness, answer me, Yahweh, in your great tenderness turn to me; do not hide your face from your servant, quick, I am in trouble, answer me (Ps. 69:16-17). Wake up Lord! Why are you asleep? Awake! Do not abandon us for good. Why do you hide your face, and forget we are wretched and exploited? (Ps. 44: 23-24). Be a sheltering rock for me. … You alone are my hope, Lord. … I have relied on you since I was born (Ps. 71:3, 5-6). Bring us back, let your face smile on us and we shall be safe (Ps. 80:19). Yahweh, show us your love, grant us your saving help (Ps. 85:7). I invoke you all day long; give your servant reason to rejoice (Ps. 86:3-4).”(2)

    Dr. Ratner said that these words, borrowed from the Psalms, would be the declarations and implorations of the infant if he were able to talk:

    “Wake up. Why are you asleep? Awake! I have no one to help me. When I call be quick to answer me. Hear my voice as I cry! Pity me! Answer me! Have pity on me. Do not stand aside. Rescue me from the hands of my enemies and persecutors. Do not hide your face from me. Why have you deserted me? Save me. I am wearied by my crying. My throat is parched. My eyes grow tired as I wait. Favor me now. How long will you turn your face from me? How long must I have doubts in my soul, creating grief in my heart. Quickly answer me, I am wretched and exploited. Do not be long in coming. I call to you all day long. Have mercy on me. Let your face shine on me. Save me in your love.”(3)

    Often in our efforts to “do the right thing” or to meet our own needs, we forget to extend grace and mercy to our own beloved children. God has freely and lovingly blessed us with His gift of grace. Who are we to deny grace to our own children? When your child begs for your loving arms, extend mercy, and do not betray his trust.

    “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.” Psalm 145:17-19 NIV

    In our family, our older children would be greatly disturbed and bewildered if we allowed our baby to cry-it-out. What would they learn from such an experience?

    Well, our children would learn that babies are inconvenient, and we must prevent them from interfering with our lives by controlling and ignoring them. They would also have a different understanding of Bible verses like this one: “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13a NIV

    ~ But only after mother gets a good 4-hour stretch of sleep.
    ~ But only if baby sticks to the expected schedule.
    ~ But only after he stays in the crib for a long enough nap.
    ~ But only when mother decides baby should be hungry.
    ~ But only after mother gets something done.
    ~ But not when baby has fussed all day and mother has had enough.

    Rather, we want our children to learn empathy, compassion, how to nurture, how to comfort, and selflessness.

    According to Robert S. Mendelsohn, M.D., “Children cry because they are hungry, or lonely, or tired, or wet, or in pain. Compassionate people do not withhold comfort from adults who are crying, for whatever reasons. Why in heaven’s name should a loving parent withhold comfort from a little child? If your child cries, don’t let it continue. Pick him up and find out why. If he cries at night because he is lonely or afraid, take him into your bed.”(4)

    Dr. Bob Sears briefly explains why crying it out is physically harmful. “The blood pressure goes up. The pressure gets so high, new blood with oxygen can’t flow into the brain. So the brain can be deprived of oxygen… And that’s not all. It gets worse. The brain can be flooded with stress hormones, and we know that stress hormones can damage sensitive developing nerve tissue. So, night after night, weeks and weeks of crying can actually harm a baby’s brain.”(5)

    Ignore those who insist that babies should learn to sleep alone, and that it is important for them to eat and sleep according to a certain schedule.

    Imagine you have a family dog with 2-week old puppies. You read a book and decide that it is wrong for the mother dog to allow her puppies to determine her daily schedule. Puppies shouldn’t have the right to decide when they should eat and sleep, after all, the mother is in charge. With this belief, you take each of her puppies and put them in separate beds in separate rooms. You bring them to her for scheduled feedings every 3 hours. What would happen?

    First of all, your dog would become very anxious and stressed. She has God-given instincts to protect and nurture her young. She would frantically try to locate her puppies with all her senses. Her puppies would cry out in distress. The feeding schedule may even lead to slow starvation, and the puppies would feel they have no one to trust to meet their needs.

    http://www.ezzo.info/Voices/failed.htm

    A mother who resorts to Ferberizing for reasons other than religious may have childhood issues of abandonment, or she may be lacking certain nutrients in her diet. Endocrine system support or supplements may help balance hormones and stress levels, keeping one free from postpartum depression and related problems that are common among new mothers.

    If you have been influenced by Ezzo or Ferber or any other parenting “expert”, please reexamine what you have been taught. There is a better way.

    http://www.ezzo.info
    http://www.infantsleep.org/
    http://parentingfreedom.com/2011/07/10/my-no-regrets-alternative-to-crying-it-out/
    http://parentingfreedom.com/2010/12/05/does-she-sleep-through-the-night/

    Pick up your baby. Hold your baby. Nurse your baby. Rock your baby. Love your baby. Be in awe of your God-given ability to instantly stop your child’s cries just by holding him in your arms and nursing him at your breasts. It is utter relief to him, and what could be more rewarding and satisfying to a mother’s heart than to know she has been created to meet her baby’s needs?

    The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
    for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
    So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
    I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

    Author Unknown

    Rather than ignoring your baby’s cries, learn to listen and recognize early communication skills. Babies make pre-cry sounds that tells us what they NEED. It is really amazing to consider the way God created babies with identical, recognizable communication sounds, regardless of nationality or language.

    The website, http://www.dunstanbaby.com, lists five of the sounds that babies make to communicate their needs. They may look very similar, but the sounds are quite distinct. It just takes a little practice. It helps to listen closely for the first letter.

    neh = hungry
    owh = sleepy
    heh = discomfort
    eair = lower gas
    eh = burp(6)

    Learn how to respond to your baby’s cries, especially before he gets worked up into a desperate plea for help. Learn to LISTEN and respond with empathy and mercy.

    For more on this topic, choose from the following:
    Essay ~ Bible Verses ~ Quotes ~ Blog Posts ~ Books

    © 2001-2012 This website and its contents are copyright and intended for educational purposes only. The information, research, experiences, and links contained herein have not been compiled by a physician and should not be considered as medical advice. Opinions expressed in the reference books and links may not in all cases reflect the beliefs of Carol at parentingfreedom.com.

    End Notes
    1. Jean Liedloff, The Continuum Concept, pages 60-64.
    2. King James Version compiled by Herbert Ratner, M.D., The Nursing Couplet, Child and Family, 1988.
    3. Herbert Ratner, M.D., The Nursing Couplet, Child and Family, 1988.
    4. Robert S. Mendelsohn, M.D., How to Raise A Healthy Child…In Spite of Your Doctor, (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1984).
    5. Dr. Bob Sears.
    6. Priscilla Dunstan.

    Bibliography

    Bolster, Alice. Motherwise – 101 Tips for a New Mother. Schaumburg, Illinois: La Leche League International Inc., 1997.

    Granju, Katie Allison with Betsy Kennedy, R.N., M.S.N. Attachment Parenting – Instinctive Care for Your Baby and Young Child. New York, NY: Pocket Books, 1999.

    Groh, Karen. “In Giving of Ourselves, We Receive,” CCL Family Foundations. Cincinnati, OH: The Couple to Couple League.

    Liedloff, Jane. The Continuum Concept – In Search of Happiness Lost. New York, NY: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1994.

    Ludington-Hoe, Susan, Ph.D. with Susan K. Golant. Kangaroo Care – The Best You Can Do to Help Your Preterm Infant. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1993.

    Mendelsohn, Robert S., M.D. How to Raise A Healthy Child…In Spite of Your Doctor. New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1984.

    Sears, Martha, R.N. and William Sears, M.D. 25 Things Every New Mother Should Know. Boston, Massachusetts: The Harvard Common Press, 1995.

    Sears, William, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. Parenting the Fussy Baby and High-Need Child – Everything You Need to Know From Birth to Age Five. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 1996.

    Sears, William, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. The Baby Book – Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby – From Birth to Age Two. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 1993.

    Sears, William, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. The Baby Video. Chariot Family Publishing, 1994.

    Sears, William, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. The Complete Book of Christian Parenting and Child Care – A Medical & Moral Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Children. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997.

    Sears, William, M.D. Growing Together – A Parent’s Guide to Baby’s First Year. Franklin Park, Illinois: La Leche League International Inc., 1987.

    Sears, William, M.D. Nighttime Parenting – How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep, revised edition, Schaumburg, Illinois: La Leche League International, 1999.

    Sears, William, M.D. “Train Up A Child in the Way He Should Go,” Mothering, March-April, 1999.

    Sears, William, M.D. SIDS A Parent’s Guide to Understanding and Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 1995.

    Small, Meredith F. Our Babies, Ourselves – How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent. New York, NY: Anchor Books, 1998.

    For more on this topic, choose from the following:
    Essay ~ Bible Verses ~ Quotes ~ Blog Posts ~ Books

    22 Responses to “Cry it Out, Sleep Training: Is CIO Biblical?”

    1. [...] Parenting Freedom: Sleep Parenting Freedom: Sleep Training Woman to Woman, Helen E. Aardsma Mothering in the Shadow of the Cross Leave a [...]

    2. Shana says:

      Wow. I’ve just stumbled across your blog, amazing amazing. Oh, the description here of an unmothered baby just kills me. I’ve always nursed mine on demand and held them or had them in a sling as much as possible. They’ve slept with me. I agree with you 100%!

    3. Shannon says:

      A friend posted this link on facebook. I read about discipline and cry it out. Incredibly well researched looking at the true meaning behind words that people think that they understand. THanks. I’ve been arguing with my husband for the 4 years we’ve had children that cry it out is not good and that spanking is not the way to do it.

    4. SUSAN BAILEY says:

      As the mother of now 17 year old twins, I am comforted to know that I did everything I could to bond with my children even though it was difficult at times with two of them. I read Dr. Sears book early on and he is right on with his lean towards attachment style parenting. How could anyone allow a child under 2 years old to cry it out?? Babies cry for a reason and parents need to be ultra sensitive to these cries. Please don’t listen to Mike and Debi Pearl, Dr. Dobson or anyone involved with the cry it out method.

    5. Jessie says:

      Excellent post!!!! I will be sharing the link to this w/ other moms I know. Cry-it-out is one of the most cruel parenting methods commonly used today, & I am APPALLED that people who are Christians subject their babies to such terror in the name of training them to not be manipulative or spoiled. There aren’t strong enough words for my outrage against the “Christian” authors & leaders who promote this atrocity & deceive gullible parents into believing this is Biblical. The quotations from The Continuum Concept were positively heartbreaking. I immediately wanted to scoop up my napping baby & snuggle him closely! Thank you for such a clear, informative, well-researched post about this terrible practice.

    6. Amy Wagner says:

      Agree with Jessie. I feel very passionately about this subject, and love the bible verses that support it; I’ve never seen those before in this context.

    7. TG says:

      Amy, I keep coming back to this, too, because of the encouragement from Scripture.

    8. TheChristianHippie says:

      I LOVE this!! I just stumbled across your site and thought “Oh no, another one.” when I saw your listing for CIO. I was pleasantly surprised!!! “The Continuum Concept” just broke my heart! I just knew that’s what baby was going through. I would ask CIO mothers who suggested that I do the same, “How do you do that?” and they say, “Oh eventually they just give up and sleep!” and I would say, “I don’t want my baby to ‘give up’ on me! I want her to know I’m there for her and I’m near when she needs me!” It would break my heart if my child ‘gave up’ on me! Thanks for posting this :)

    9. Lisa Simmons says:

      Love this!! It should be required reading for all new parents.

    10. Don Sailer says:

      My wife and I had eight children. My wife held our children, carried them around in a sling, and nurtured them. She listened to their cries! She breastfed on demand and we practiced the family bed. She followed her God-given instincts to be a mom and we had a great time raising our children.

      The breastfeeding on demand stopped ovulation for 15 months on average and our children were spaced naturally two plus years apart.

      The Bible verses on this page were wonderful to read. God hears our cries and meets our needs. Moms and dads are to do the same thing! I have wonderfully independent, emotionally secure children. Erik Erikson addresses trust vs. mistrust as the first stage of child development from birth to age one. We found the things that we did above wonderful behaviors that fostered trust.

      I grieve for those who practiced Ezzo or any other false parenting techniques.

    11. Sara says:

      Hello,

      Your perspective on this issue is interesting and different from so many out there. Do you prescribe an age limit to when to cease the immediate attention given to a crying baby at night? I have a ten month old and have been told by many doctors that she is completely capable of self- soothing and should be left alone after some cuddling. Do you believe a baby should be attended to whenever crying for as long as they desire?

      Thanks for your input, and I look forward to your response.

    12. Carol says:

      Dear Sara,

      Ten months is so very young. I think your doctors are completely wrong.

      Compare it to yourself. When you are very stressed or upset, do you self-soothe or do you share your pain with your husband or friends, hoping for comfort? A little child’s needs are even greater…. Comfort your child. She will be grown before you know it.

      http://parentingfreedom.com/2011/07/10/my-no-regrets-alternative-to-crying-it-out/
      http://parentingfreedom.com/2010/12/05/does-she-sleep-through-the-night/
      http://parentingfreedom.com/category/parenting-cry-it-out/
      http://parentingfreedom.com/verses-cry-it-out/

      Love, Carol

    13. Sara says:

      Hi Carol,

      Thank you so much for your quick reply! I have been feeling the desire to care for my daughter Ava in this way, but as a new mommy have been told it will spoil her and that she is fine. I’m grateful for your post and reply, my husband and I both want to proceed this way from here on out. I am a teacher turned stay at home mommy/ part time tutor, and nurturing my daughter is my #1 priority. Thanks again, God bless.

      Sara

    14. TulipGirl says:

      Sara, you might also be interested in this mega-analysis on the infant sleep / CIO research to date. http://www.infantsleep.org The evidence-based information to date does not support non-response.

    15. Robin says:

      Sara,
      Good for you for listening to your mothering instincts instead of all those so-called experts! In all my parenting, I often compare what’s being recommended for my child with how my husband treats me. If I’m crying does he tell me that I’m old enough to handle it on my own? Do I like sleeping all alone at night? If I was having a hard day, would he lock me alone in a room until I could “behave myself?” If I forgot to put gas in the tank and found myself on empty by the side of the road, would he leave me there to “learn a lesson”? If I get frustrated because a project I’m working on flops, would he tell me to “just deal with it”? No! He would react to my foibles with love and understanding. I can do no less for my own precious child when he cries for mama or gets frustrated because his block tower tips or is having a bad day.
      I am a family physician and during my training worked with one of the top sleep experts in the country. His opinion of Ferber: “He’s a selfish jerk who uses the same manipulative mindset on everyone he knows that he encourages moms to use on their babies.”
      I really like The No-Cry-Sleep Solution to help convince people who criticize gentle practices. I don’t always agree with it though–I still nurse my toddler to sleep every night, which she does not recommend.
      I’d also recommend finding a new doctor who will support your parenting practices. Often midwives in your area can recommend some. I have changed doctors and can’t believe how much less stress I have now that I’m not trying to decide whether to keep things a secret or argue about it.
      This is such a short period of your child’s life. They spend 18 years with you and 60 or more as adults living on that foundation you build now. It’s wonderful that you’re taking the time for your daughter!
      Robin
      ps sorry for the long reply! your message touched a chord with me

    16. Jennifer says:

      Praise Jesus… thank you sooooo much for this resource. I have been agonizing for weeks on how to put my son to sleep. He is 7 months and although it’s been getting a bit better lately he wakes every 1-2 hours throughout the night. Up until a few weeks ago I have been nursing him to sleep. I am against CIO and it does not agree with my mothering instincts, but the “sleep experts” all say “lay them down in their own bed drowsy but awake”… Well, the moment I lay him down he bursts out crying! They say “don’t pick him up” so I rub his back, try to soothe, say “go night night” and stay next to the crib, hugging him if he stands up… I put him back down and leave the room for a couple minutes, crying because this does NOT feel right .. I don’t want him to feel alone, abandoned, confused, betrayed, unloved… but “he won’t learn to put himself back to sleep” they say… in the end I end up caving in and nurse or rock him to sleep. Last week, I begged God to show me through His Word what I should do. That night He led me the answer. That night’s devotional on my free 7-day trial of the Jesus Calling app was the following:
      “Most of mankind’s misery stems from feeling unloved. In the midst of adverse circumstances, people tend to feel that love has been withdrawn and they have been forsaken. This feeling of abandonment is often worse than the adversity itself. Be assured that I never abandon any of My children, not even temporarily. I will never leave you or forsake you! My Presence watches over you continually. I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.”
      I thought that this is definitely the answer and means I should NOT do CIO… yet.. as the days wore on I doubted… How will he ever learn to stay asleep? Even for a 3 hour stretch? When will I ever be able to sleep 4 hours in a row? Ever again? I can count on 1 hand how many times within the past 7 months!
      Tonight, I sobbed and again begged God to help me, to tell me what to do. I googled “Should Christians do CIO sleep training” and voil, I am now fully, 100%, without a doubt sure that God does not want me to let my baby cry-it-out. I still have those questions about “when will I ever sleep again.. even for 4 hours at night?”, but now that I know this is what God wants, then waking up 5-6 times/night it will be sooo much easier than agonizing over whether or not I am abusing my child emotionally and if so, how much…
      So thank you. Thank God!

    17. zu says:

      Thank you so much forthis website. Im convinced that the CIO method is not for me. Im to nurture my baby girl.

    18. Victoria says:

      I would really love to know what Mum’s here do with older ones. My son has just turned one, and he has slept in our bed since he was little. But he sure does wiggle a lot and still wakes about 4 times a night. This Ma and Pa are completely exhausted! My older two were 18 months when they slept through the night. I’m not going to do anything that involves leaving him to cry, but would appreciate your insight and thoughts. I’d like my older children to have a Mum during the day that is a bit less exhausted and a bit more fun.

    19. Priya says:

      Hi! I just stumbled onto your website and love all the great info! Before I had my baby girl, I read some Baby Wise/Growing Kids God’s Way books and was convinced that CIO was the way to go. Everyone around me (except my mom) encouraged me to use the CIO method and specifically told me tha I would be spoiling her if I was picking her up too much. After my little one was born, a switch came on in me. It felt so completely un-natural to let my baby cry without doing anything about it. I thought, if I was crying, I wouldn’t want to be ignored…why would I ignore my baby!
      I want to parent my darling girl with the same grace that was offered to me through Christ. My sweet girl is 11 months now and I am learning to discipline her gently with love. Thank you so much for this wonderful website! God bless!

    20. Patti says:

      I followed the advice of my mother to let them cry themselves to sleep, with my own children, as I was 20 yrs. old when I had my first child, and I was at a loss as to how to be a mother. Yes, I had instincts, but I think they were suppressed, as I am assuming that I also was treated the same way whenever I was a baby, so my needs for love and attention were still there when I was a young adult. I am seeing more and more of the harmful effects of this method, lasting even to adulthood. I have always been fearful and easily stressed, not being able to handle responsibility, and I didn ‘t know where this came from. I have searched high and low to discover where my problems stemmed from, and I believe many, if not most of my insecurities developed from emotional harm, due to me being abandoned in the crib in infancy. I wondered where everyone was. Even today, I struggle with being abandoned. I have gained a great deal of healing from these disabilities, though, through the perfect love and acceptance that God has for me. That is the only antidote for this harmful neglect of an infant, whenever the mother let’s her baby cry without being comforted. I can honestly say that I truly believe if my mother had nurtured me when I needed it, that accepting God’s love and believing it would have come naturally. Now, at age 61, I am still struggling to fully believe it. This has caused self-rejection also, which He is helping me overcome. These effects may seem extreme, but I believe it is paramount to nurture an infant in order for them to become whole and healthy. It also protects them from so many insecurities. I have watched my daughter-in-law love on all her children with kindness and gentleness since their births, and my grandchildren all happy and contented today because of it. It is worth the committment and time and hardship to lavish our children with love.

    21. Choose Grace says:

      Your children as soo fortunate to have a mom like you. They say that only about 3% of people grow up in truly healthy family environments–I would say yours will be part of that 3%.

      There’s something else about spanking that people usually skip over, due to it’s due to its awkwardness and due to people not wanting to “go there,” but the butt is a sexual part of the body with sexual nerve endings, which google can expand upon. The private, sexual areas of a child’s body should be respected. Nearly 50% of women in the UK enjoy being spanked as foreplay. It should be forbidden to spank children for this reason alone.

      Not only is it wrong due to the violent nature, but it’s also wrong due to the sexual one. Too many male teachers have gotten kicks out of spanking their female students (and still do–it’s legal in 19 states to spank school kids–a child gets spanked at school every 2-3 minutes). This needs to stop. Anyone reading this and agreeing (even if just a little bit), please speak out. Project NoSpank (Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education) and also Unlimited Justice are two organizations speaking out about this.

    22. Marie Carnine says:

      It is so simple really – parent as God parents…yet our concepts of God are often wrong due to our own parents ways of parenting. I have three kids, two of whom are now teens. My first one, we did the “Baby-Wise” thing that was being so pushed at the time of her birth. I felt terrible and it would tear my heart out. For my second child, I did less CIO and it went much smoother. For my 3rd child, I threw CIO and Baby Wise out the window completely and went with my heart. I was able to enjoy this baby’s infant days much more. Today my oldest is a non-touch person, does not know how to really hug though I hug her daily…it is an awkward hug. My second teen, a boy, is somewhere in the middle and my youngest is my sweetheart still, at age 10, still likes a hug! Had I to do it over, I would not CIO at all. Those days of being a tiny baby are so short. Take every chance you get to hold that baby, to rock them in the night hours and sing to them, to snuggle with them. Lay down your life for them. It is the right way. It is what God did for us.

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