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Do you think using the CIO ( Cry-It-Out) Method is good for a 16 month old toddler?

I have 2 girls ages 2 almost 3, and the other is 16 months old. I am a SAHM, and my husband is away at work and comes home only on weekends. My 16 month old is clumsy and doesnt talk but understands when shes being talked to. I ask her to do things and she does it. But she is a big cry baby!! When she slips and I know shes ok, she screams and cries. I dont rush to pick her up anymore cuz most of the time I know shes fine, when she knows I am not looking she doesnt cry. Lately she wants constant attention, she wants to be held while I am cleaning, or cooking, doing my homework, even when I am brushing my teeth or washing my face. Sometimes she cries for no apparent reason, shes healthy and we took her to the doctor and said she is fine and healthy. Her diaper is changed, she is fed, and has things to do.. but she just continues to be this crying screaming dramatic baby! I am about to lose it, and I was wondering about using the CIO method on her and I was wondering if it would be effective for her! what do you think? How long should I let her cry it out and how should i go about it? Thanks!


Asked by Anonymous at 2:03 PM on Apr. 14, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • CIO is only meant to help a child learn how to fall asleep on their own, and it does work for lots of kids including 16 month olds. BUT is doens't sound like you are trying to sleep train her. Sounds more like she's either just needs more attention than you are used to with your older girl, or maybe she's going through a rough separation anxiety period. The only thing I know to reduce that kind of daytime clinginess is to give her as much calm, loving attention as you can. Once she's secure enough (someday), then she will be able to spend more time independently. When she's whinning... gosh, I don't know. With my son, I say "That is not a nice way to talk. Tell me what you want in a nice voice." That usually gets him to calm down and then point/grunt/act until we figure something out. He's just crying or whinning because he doesn't know how else to communicate his intense emotion - I'm trying to teach him a better way.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 2:56 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • It sounds to me like she needs a little extra attention. Don't ignore her. Give her some more mommy love.

    Answer by mompam at 2:04 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • If she is already tended, then treat this as you would a tantrum. Be unimpressed. Obviously, you will check everything FIRST.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:06 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • I think it could be effective. Try letting her cry at first for 5 minutes or less before going to her and then slowly increase the time over several weeks.

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 2:08 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • I don't think CIO is EVER a good choice! It's culturally accepted child neglect! Babies and children cry because they need you or your help. The child stops crying because she learns that she can no longer hope for the caregiver to provide comfort, not because her distress has been alleviated.


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 2:13 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • I think it sounds like an attention issue. It seems like she knows what gets your attention. Maybe it would be best to spend some one on one time with her throughout the day when possible. She may feel a bit ignored by you while you tend to her older siblings.

    As for the CIO, no more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time. With her age, I would say 10 minutes. When you go to check on her, give her whatever comfort thing she may have(blanket, stuffed animal, binkie....) and lay her down and walk back out. Don't speak to her or give her eye contact. It should help =) Wish you luck

    Answer by amandem at 2:09 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • I agree with Sabrina. Mine was exactly the same way at that age and he has no young siblings. He just wanted my attention ALL the time. I started letting him "help" me no matter what I was doing. If I was cooking, I gave him a bowl and a spoon and let him "cook" too. If I was washing dishes, I stood him in a chair and let him rinse the platic things. Washing my face, I would give him a wet washcloth and let him wash HIS face. That may be a little more difficult for you since you have 2 other small children as well. The idea is to keep him occupied for a few minutes because their attention span at that age isn't very long. It still took about 2 months for him to start to outgrow that--but he finally did--THANK GOD! lol

    Answer by popzaroo at 2:36 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • CIO is a good method. I used it and still use it. It lets them know they are not in full control of you and what you do. As long as you aren't letting your lil one cry for over an hr at a time then i see no harm in it. I have let my son cry for 30 min or so and eventually he would go to sleep. But only if you know there is nothing wrong should CIO method be used. Hang in there momma, its a phase that will soon pass.

    Answer by leann74016 at 2:42 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • I tried it when my DS was right at that age, I let him cry as long as I could stand it, at least until I started to cry too. He did this b/c he was fighting sleep, so once in a while we broke down to driving around til he konked out.

    Answer by yesmaam at 2:05 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • Sorry but I don't agree with crying it out for anything. I always felt that babies cry for a reason. I agree with Sabrina and the poster after her. Try to engage her attention in whatever you are doing by "helping". So what if it takes longer than usual. Which is worse - not getting everything done or the constant whining? Take this time to pay attention to and cuddle your little ones. They grow so fast and before you know it, these opportunities are gone.

    Answer by hootie826 at 5:32 PM on Apr. 14, 2011