A nanny recently reached out to me asking for my advice regarding a situation that she had experienced with the topic of Cry-It-Out (CIO). She works for a family with an infant boy who struggles with naps and a mother who has stated that she never wishes to use CIO.

One day as the nanny could see how tired the baby was, she placed him down for his nap and gave him a little bit of time to see how he would respond. With a few minutes of crying and after about ten minutes in the crib, he fell asleep.

Believing that this was a success, the nanny texted the mother to share. Much to the nanny's surprise, the mother was not happy to hear this and responded with a reminder that she does not want to ever use CIO.

This left the nanny confused as she believed she had followed the mother's wishes and was only sharing a win about nap time.

This is a common conversation barrier due to semantics.



CIO started out as a term coined for the sleep training method that involves putting a baby down at a time for sleep and providing space to work on the skill of falling asleep and connecting sleep cycles independently with no parental involvement unless waking at a time for a true feeding or time to wake. Another name for it? Unmodified extinction.

The fact is that you actually have a variety of options to choose from when deciding on the sleep training method you would like to implement. Each method falls somewhere on the spectrum of parental involvement ranging from no involvement to high involvement.

However, somewhere along the way, CIO became a term defined as any crying that might occur during a behavioral sleep intervention. Unfortunately, I've seen it used in this way to instill fear and shame to those who are either considering sleep training, are going through the process, or have been through the process.


1. Which level of involvement will be best for your child’s personality and age?

2. With which level of involvement are you most comfortable using?

3. Which method fits into your current situation?

4. With which method are you most likely able to follow through to the end?

5. Have you tried sleep training in the past? If so, did you see it through? If not, why?


Episode 3: Sleep Training, More Than Just Choosing a Method

The Five Key Components to Consider in Every Infant & Toddler Sleep Plan

Unsure about which method you would like to use? Or just want some guidance along the way? I'm here for you. Schedule a time for us to chat about your situation and how I can best serve you.

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