Ciao Baby

Ciao Baby is an iOS App designed to help people who want to use the "Cry It Out" or "Controlled Crying" methods* to sleep-train their baby.

*These methods are only recommended for babies who are at least 4 months old, preferably 6 months old.


  • Checklist (Nappies, wind etc) that must be completed before the app can start.
  • Choice of 11 Alarms* to sounds when a wait period has completed.
  • Ability to select any of the the fully configurable wait periods after each settle.
  • History kept of the time taken to get baby to sleep.
  • Customize app with baby's name and sex.


What is "Controlled Crying"?

The aim of the method is to teach a baby how to go to sleep by themselves, without the need of parental assistance (e.g. Rocking, pacing, or late night drives listening to "The Boss" play on the car stereo).

In addition to removing stress at bedtime, it can also help the baby to re-settle themselves if they wake up during the night - which means lots more sleep for everyone in the house!

Is It Effective?

The method isn't for everyone, but we used it with both of our children, and they are now great sleepers.

We frequently found ourselves about to get Murray (He's back to protect the innocent) up because we were sure that he wasn't going to settle, but after being distracted by something else for a couple of minutes we found Murray had actually gone to sleep. If we hadn't waited those extra couple of minutes, we could have found ourselves keeping Murray up for another 20 minutes, which would have made him over-tired (and harder to get to sleep), and us more stressed!

How Does It Work?

The method is often thought of as just leaving the baby to cry for as long as it takes to go to sleep, but it's not that mean! Here's an example of how it works:

  1. Prepare the baby (We'll call him Murray, because every third person here in New Zealand is called Murray) for bedtime.This can be a bath, massage, stories, cuddles, and generally calming down before it's time to go to sleep.
  2. Put Murray in his crib awake (This is the important part, as it helps Murray get used to going to sleep unaided) and leave the room.
  3. If Murray keeps crying, then return to the room after a short period of time (say 2 minutes), to gently pat and re-assure him (Without getting him back up) and then leave the room again.
  4. Repeat this process with ever increasing periods of time between your visits to settle Murray. A simple method is to double the "Wait" period each time (e.g. 2 minutes, then 4 minutes, then 8 minutes etc), but you can set the wait to whatever period makes you feel comfortable.

Getting Started


So you've decided that you want to give "Cry It Out" or "Controlled Crying" a try - this is how you use Ciao Baby to make it easy:

  1. Before even using the app, prepare the baby (We'll call him Murray again) for bedtime.This can be a bath, massage, stories, cuddles, and generally calming down before it's time to go to sleep.
  2. Put Murray wherever he's going to sleep, say goodnight and leave the room.
  3. Start up Ciao Baby, and press the "Start" button. Note: If the app has previously been used, then you may need to press the "Reset" button.
  4. A checklist is displayed, just to remind you of other things that might make Murray cry. Answer the questions to satisfy yourself that there is nothing else potentially wrong with Murray, and press the "Go" button. Note: You will not be able to continue until you are sure that there is nothing else wrong with Murray.
  5. The first wait period of 2 minutes will now start, and the time left before you have to go and settle Murray is displayed.
  6. You can now get on and do whatever you want for the duration of the wait. An alarm will sound at the end of the wait, to notify you that it's time to go and settle Murray.
  7. Once you've dismissed the alarm, go and settle Murray by gently patting and reassuring him, BUT DO NOT GET HIM UP!
  8. Leave the room, and then begin the next wait (which will be automatically set to double the last wait) by pressing the red "Start" Button.
  9. Continue steps 6 to 8 until Murray is sleeping soundly, at which point you can press the "Sleeping" button to stop the app, and record your success in the history.


  1. Before you start any wait period, you can change the length of it by tapping the "Next Wait" label. This is useful if you forgot to restart the app after a settle, and you did that wait manually, and now you want to skip to the next wait.
  2. If you get fed up completing the checklist, you can disable it in the settings


Baby Name

You enter your baby's name and this personalises some of the text displayed.

Baby Sex

The sex of the baby controls the background colour - blue for boy, pink for girl, or yellow (the default) if no sex is specified.


Choose from 11 different alarms, or select "None" if you want a more you want some peace and quiet (The device should still vibrate).


The checklist that is displayed when you first press the "Start" button can be disabled by moving the slider to the "Off" position.

Wait Times

Configure the wait times between settles, or use the default times which start at 2 minutes and double for each wait (e.g. 2, 4, 8 minutes etc).


App History

Every time you successfully get your baby to sleep and touch the "Sleeping" button, an entry is written to the apps history, which you can use to see whether or not you're making any progress in your sleep-training.

History Menu

The History Menu gives you full access to the apps history. From here you can:

  • Add a history entry by touching the + button at the top of the screen. This is useful if you do actually get baby to sleep, but forget to touch the sleeping button before the 2 hour limit expires.
  • Access various views of your history, including the most recent entries, the quickest entries, the slowest entries, or view all entries, drilling down by date. From these views you can edit or delete individual entries.
  • View some statistics of your apps history, including the average, shortest, and longest time to get your baby to sleep.
  • Clear your entire history.

Editing a History Entry

If you wish to edit a history entry, then:

  1. Select the entry that you wish to edit from one of the history entry views.
  2. The Edit History screen will then be displayed.
  3. Select the part of the history that you want to change
  4. A screen showing the current value, and other available values for that property will be displayed.
  5. Make any changes you require, and return to the Edit History screen. Note: When editing the date/duration information, it is all done on one screen - touching the property that you want to change will display the relevant picker at the bottom of the screen.
  6. Any changes made will only be saved once you touch the "Save" button at the top of the Edit History screen.

Adding a History Entry

If you need to add a history entry:

  1. Touch the + button on the History Menu
  2. A default entry will be created, which you can change in the same way as in edit mode (See above).
  3. The entry will only be added to the apps history once you touch the "Save" button on the "Add History" screen.

Deleting a History Entry

If you need to delete a history entry:

  1. Locate the history entry from one of the views listed on the History Menu
  2. Select the entry in the same way as when you edit it.
  3. Touch the blue "Delete" button.


Customer Feedback

  • "Grateful! Best anxiety control! - Ciao baby has been, and from time to time continues to be so useful. The first sleep training we did I get so anxious; with ciao baby I had an impartial timer, and could see the time was coming where I would go and settle my son."
  • "Brilliant app - Is a brilliant app and gives any parent doing controlled crying a real structure so you are not constantly looking at your watch. You can see from the history how baby is sleeping longer through the night, it's a god send and our daughter is now sleeping through the night because we had the app to keep the controlled crying structure."