The No Cry Method vs. The Cry it Out (CIO) Approach

You would think having a 2nd child, I would be an expert on sleep; but then now that Tyler is already a little over 4 months, I can honestly concur that every pregnancy and every baby is completely different.  It’s not better or worse, but just different.  My son, Tyler just has an aversion to sleep.  I’ve even jokingly said to my husband a few times – I know he came out of me, but how is he really my son when he hates to sleep as much as I LOVE sleeping?

One of the greatest challenges we’ve faced with Tyler (aside from breastfeeding ) is sleep training.  Sleep is one of the most talked about issues among parents and now I know why.   Sleep and good sleep habits are one of those things that is always changing, hard to muster, but highly desired.  While Samantha (my older daughter) was clingy, whiny, and cried for no reason; we were lucky enough that she started sleeping through the night around the time she was 4 months old.  We were put her down in her crib around 10pm, and she would sleep through till about 5:30-6am in the morning.  I never had to Google, “Sleep training” and read about everything!

Unfortunately, just like everything on the Internet, there is just too much information and worse yet – too much opposing opinions.  There are two very different schools of thoughts in terms of sleep training.  The “No Cry Method” by Elizabeth Pantley, or the “Cry It Out (CIO)” method by Dr. Richard Ferber – otherwise also known as the Ferber method.  I read both methods and honestly, now I’m even more confused then I was before I started doing research.

CIO by Ferber teaches a child can cry themselves to sleep in order to learn independence and self-soothing.  Ferber suggests that by allowing a child to Cry it Out, you’re teaching your child not to depend on their mother and/or caregiver, but learning to cope with their own ability to sleep.  Ferber states that you should teach your child to fall asleep on his own and that he shouldn’t associate sleeping with rocking, having his back rubbed or with music on, etc… The big part of Ferber’s theory is the Progressive Waiting Approach or we call the “Cry it Out” approach – Ferber doesn’t recommend letting your child cry for progressively longer amount – but checking on your child in 3, 5, or 10 minute intervals with each waiting period a little bit longer.  Experts in this school of thought believe that crying isn’t harmful or out of fear, but rather – the child is just frustrated that they can’t get back to sleep.  Within 3-7 days, Ferber believers that you’ll have a child that’ll be able to cope with sleeping and soothing themselves.

But then parents on the other side of the argument feel that cry it out can damage a child’s psyche and is unnecessary.   In an age where we can know if a baby is safe in another room, despite the loudness of his cries, does it mean we should leave the babies to cry on their own?  CIO advocates says that babies left to cry will eventually stop and the duration of future crying bouts will decrease.  A no cry advocate would disagree – saying the child stops crying because he learns that he can longer hope for the caregiver to provide comfort, not because his distress has been alleviated.  The no cry method is also called the Attachment Theory, and it’s been gaining popularity in the last few years.  According to the attachment theory, many babies are born without the ability to self-regulate emotions.  That is, they find the world to be confusing and disorganized, but do not have the coping abilities required to soothe themselves.  Thus, during times of distress, they seek out their caregivers because the physical closeness of the caregiver helps to soothe the infant and re-establish equilibrium.  When the caregiver is consistently responsive and sensitive, the child gradually learns and believes he is worthy of love, and that other people can be trusted to provide it.  He learns that the caregiver is a secure base from which he can explore the world, and if he encounters adversity he can return to his base for support and comfort. This trust in the caregiver results in what is known as a secure individual.  North American parenting practices, including CIO, are often influenced by fears that children will grow up too dependent. However, an abundance of research shows that regular physical contact, reassurance, and prompt responses to distress in infancy and childhood results in secure and confident adults who are better able to form functional relationships.

Of course I want my son to grown up being independent, smart, and all those good things that both schools talk about – but seriously, when opinions clash so intensely, as a mom – how do I even begin choosing which one is the right one for me?   For the time being since my son and daughter sleep in the same room – and whenever Tyler cries, I don’t want to wake up my daughter as well, I am that responsive sensitive caretaker, but it would be nice to get a full 8 hour sleep again one of these days.

So what do you guys think?  What do you do to get your child to sleep?

Farm Birthday Party…

After the new year started, we had so much going on at home that birthday party planning for our daugther became at the bottom of the list. Luckily for us, a number of the kids in our playgroup’s birthday is also in February, so we decided to do a joint party again. This year it was a joint birthday party for 5 of the kids. We had it at White Post Farm in Melville, NY. It is rated from Long Island Press’ Best of L.I. – Best Children’s Party Place …that statement is true. I can speak for the rest of the parents that we were very satisfy  and all the kids had an amazing time. What more can you ask for when the favors (which was personalized), the cake, the food and the decoration is already included in the package?

The host was great! She was so friendly towards the parents and the kids. The activities that were planned out for them were great! First the kids got to ride a pony.  Then they got the chance to feed the animals and also pet them.  After that activity, they had the kids wash their hands and then eat pizza. Afterwards, the host brought in a baby goat and then took the kids that wanted to play with him to the other room while the others were finishing up their pizza. Then they had the opportunity to bottle feed the goats and the cow there. That was a little messy, but the kids had fun. Everything up til this point was indoors, the kids didnt have to wear jackets. The next fun thing in store for the kids was the train rides (that even some parents went on for a ride!) And lastly it was cake time,White Post was nice enough to give us two cakes for the kids, and they also gave each birthday kid a present from them. 

I’ve posted some pictures from the party. I would recommend it to everyone of all ages, our youngest guest was 6 months old!! It’s a little far, but well worth it. Great times with great company!

One of the birthday girl's sister riding the pony


Birthday Boy feeding a llama

One of the Birthday Girl petting the baby goat

One of the Birthday Girl feeding milk to a goat

The Train Ride

2 of the birthday kids blowing out their cake

Chicken Afritada…

My favorite dish ever…my daugther’s as well! And it’s so simple to make. I had it the first time ever at my friend’s place when we had a playdate for our kids. After that, I try to make this whenever I get the chance. Here’s the receipe my friend passed along . Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

Chicken Afritada Ingredients:

Chicken wings & thighs [5 pieces of each]
3 pieces potatoes, peeled and halved
1 red onion, diced
1 head garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
2 1/2 cups of  chicken broth
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
3 tablespoons of cooking oil [olive oil]
Chicken Afritada Cooking Instructions:

In a cooking pot heat oil.
Sauté garlic and onions.
Add chicken and slightly brown.
Pour the tomato sauce and stock. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer [total time simmer on low 5 hours].
Add potatoes and continue to cook.
Add the green and red bell peppers.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot with rice.

~Mama Winnie

Abalone with Chicken Traditional Chinese Soup

I grew up with homemade Chinese soups at our dinner table.  They were common sight and for many years Chinese soups were just part of the meal, nothing special.  I took what I knew about the soup for granted and wished I paid more attention to the effort my mother put into it while making it.   Homemade Chinese soups is a form of Chinese medicine that helps an individual balance the yin and the yang in one’s health.  These two forces represent the bipolar manifestation of all things in nature and because of this, one must be present to allow the others to exist.  As balance is restored in the body, so is health.

Making Chinese soup is about learning all these herbs so that Yin and Yang is not combined in the same pot.  Different kinds of soup heals your body in different ways and I’ve been slowly learning what to combine with what from my mom and mother in law.  On Friday, since I was off from work for the Chinese New Year, I made a pot of my favorite Abaolone with Chicken soup.  It came pretty yummy.  Chicken with Abalone soup helps your body restore its Yin to give you a more quiet peaceful state.  It’s also said to help maintain cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well.  Here is a recipe of the soup I made.  It came quite lovely.


–          7-8 Cloud Ear Mushrooms – these are also called Cloud Ear Fungus, or Mo-er Mushrooms.  They are usually found in dried forms.

–          A handful of dried Logan Meat

–          A handful of Wai San – This is also called “Shan Yao”, or Chinese yam.  It is white dried white slices forms of a root – (Wai san has been known to help you if you suffer from: lack of appetite, chronic diarrhea, fatigue, coughing or wheezing or abundance of phlegm).

–          7-8 small abalone or one big piece of abalone.  The 7-8 small pieces are typically cheaper.  You can use both if you wish

–          2 pieces or approximately 1-2 pounds of Chicken Breast with bone.  Use more if you’re making a bigger pot

–          1 pound of Chinese lean pork – this is optional but if added, it’ll bring more flavor and sweetness to your soup.

1 – Place the Mushrooms and Abalone in separate bowls and soak in hot water for approximately 20 minutes or until soften and expanded.

2 – In a pot of water, add all ingredients into the pot and  bring to a boil on high heat

3 – After the pot comes to a boil, lower the temperature to medium heat for approximately 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, lower the temperature to low heat and let simmer for 3 and a half hours.  Add salt to taste and enjoy.  Note – do not add salt to the entire pot of soup as this would spoil your soup a lot faster, instead – if needed spoon in some salt into your bowl as needed when served.

~ Mama Cheryl