You’ve got your beautiful three month old baby in your arms, they’re hopefully over the colic or reflux, your baby is starting to form a good routine but the only thing you’re battling with is sleep (or lack of!). If you weren’t lucky enough to have a baby who slept through the night from a young age, one of the things that you may have considered is letting your child cry it out. CIO is a method of sleep training that involves allowing your child to cry until they get tired and fall asleep (there are also some interval crying training methods). Many people believe that at 3-6 months our babies are “smart” and know that if they cry a mother will go in and cuddle, rock or feed them to sleep and so wail for attention. But once they get the idea that their mom isn’t going to go into them, they start sleeping through. This can usually take a few nights.
The other side of the coin is a wait it out method. The WIO method does as is says on the box. You WIO until your child is ready to sleep on their own, until they are ready to sleep through the night. Many people who follow a WIO method do so because they believe excessive crying affects the babies brain cells, releases high levels of cortisol into their blood stream or simply because they cannot hear their baby cry.
I’ll be honest, I left S to cry once for 6 minutes and I cried for about 3 of those minutes. It was very difficult and in those 6 minutes I realised it is not for me. I’m not against anyone who opts to let their baby CIO. It takes all sorts and everyone needs to do what works for them. But for me I decided when S was quite young that I would WIO and I can happily say at almost 17 months he is finally sleeping through the night. I’m glad I waited it out and I’d like to think he sleeps securely knowing that if he does cry, I’ll be there.
My reasons for WIO are because I believe babies cry for a reason. The reason may be comfort but it is a valid reason and if a child needs comfort and security till they are 16 months then so be it. They could be uncomfortable because they have gas, they could be scared of the dark, feel anxious with some noises they just heard or maybe they just want to me beside their mothers because that is the safest and warmest place in their world. Each child is different and reaches their milestones at different ages. Sleeping through the night is another milestone.