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We went to the pediatrician today for our 9 month old's checkup, and based on his current sleep schedule (sleeping from ~7:30PM to 5:30AM, with multiple 30min to 1hr wakeups), the pediatrician told us that we need to try the Extinction method (also called Cry it Out or CIO).

The only problem is that we are going away in five days for a three night trip. I have been told that you can't do Cry it Out if you sleep in the same room (because it's too emotionally distressing if they can see you while you ignore them).

I am worried that if we do CIO for the next five nights, then go back to the old routine (multiple wake ups with parent soothing) at the hotel, that he will revert back when we get home, and need to be retrained.

Does it make sense to start CIO now, or wait until we get back from the trip?

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    "the pediatrician told us that we need to try the Extinction method " - that sounds weird. While the pediatrician can advise you, they cannot tell you what you need to to, that is your decision as the parents. – sleske May 7 at 6:20
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    Have you seriously tried other methods of sleep training? In my opinion "Crying it out" is a horrible, cruel and damaging method that can only be justified if everything else has failed. – Michael Borgwardt May 7 at 21:42
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I think you're right in your concerns about confusing your baby. It's a good idea to wait until you get back from your trip to start sleep training unless you are going the "Extinction with parental presence" route (which is not consistent with CIO).

As an alternative to CIO, there is "Ferberizing", which is far more work for the parents but maybe better for the child in the long run. This author goes even further than Ferber in their stance against crying it out.

I usually advise people to listen to their physicians, as they know your family and your situation. But just in case they did not mention any alternatives to CIO, I put them up for consideration.

Whatever you choose, it's wise to wait until after your trip, and I hope your baby learns to sleep like a champ soon! :)

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If you only have 4 or 5 days before you leave, it's entirely possible that your son will be not be fully trained by the time you leave. He may show improvements, but the benchmarks for a system like this centers around consistancy and repitition. A few days is probably not enough for it to "stick".

Despite your concerns that:

he will revert back when we get home, and need to be retrained.

Consider, also, that vacations and out of town trips are notorious for upending routines. Depending on your mode of travel, just getting there and back can be extremely tiring. You end up eating out more than usual. If baby fusses at the restaurant, more stress is piled on. And your little one can sense it. Nothing is "normal". A baby doesn't know how to interpret that.

With all of that in mind. If your child becomes over-tired and fussy, are the other hotel guests going to be understanding about thier sleep being disturbed? IMHO, this might not be the best time to suddenly insist that the little one remember how to soothe himself. Perhaps it would be better to start the CIO therapy after you return from your trip.

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