Ask Kat: Talking to In Laws about CIO

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As the mum of three small boys, an expert in baby products and a no-nonsense parent, resident blogger Kat Armstrong always seems to be called upon by friends, family and strangers to answer tough parenting questions. We thought it was high time she shared this knowledge with you, and her series Ask Kat was born. If you have questions for Kat, you can email her at


Dear Kat,

My brother and brother in law have decided to do cry it out with their 9 month old daughter and I’m beside myself. How can I explain to them the lifelong dangers of CIO on my beautiful niece? I generally let bygones be bygones but this is going to be bad!

Louisa, Oakville


It’s very wonderful that you love your niece so much as to worry about her! That being said, there is certainly a lot of research about long term care deprivation (such as not attending to crying babies or not cuddling) and it’s affect on kids, but I am not so sure CIO fits into the same category. While CIO has not been something we’ve done successfully with our kids, many of our friends and family members have successfully done CIO with no long-term (or short term, really) problems. In my opinion, CIO works for some babies better than others and it certainly is something some parents are better at than others. I’m a firm believer in “whatever works” and in the case of your brother and BIL, I think what works best for them is probably getting a good night’s sleep. I wouldn’t worry so much, and instead focus on all the ways you can help your family enjoy their baby more!

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