To ask what exactly defines 'controlled crying' and what the alternative actually is?

(167 Posts)
goldiehorn Thu 17-Jan-13 13:58:55

I always assumed 'controlled crying' was when you leave the baby to cry for a few minutes, then go in and see them, then go out again and leave them for a little while again and then go in again and so on.

Whenever I see controlled crying threads, there is always someone who comes on and says its cruel and they would never do it. Does this means that people really go into their child as soon as they start crying and soothe them?

Also, people often say, 'dont do controlled crying, do the baby whisperer/no cry sleep solution.' From talking to people I have picked up that these are when you go in and shhhhh/pat etc. But dont you still have to leave them to cry for a little bit before you go in and soothe them?

It seems to me that surely you either you go straight to them at the first cry, or you are doing some form of controlled crying. What are the middle solutions?

(Just interested as with DS, we have always let him cry for a few minutes to see if he will self settle, and then gone in to him. We have not had to do any sleep training as such as he is a very good sleeper, but have been talking to friends about the whole sleep thing, and am basically just curious).

goldiehorn Thu 17-Jan-13 14:00:30

That should say 'he is a very good sleeper the vast majority of the time ' grin

nickelbabe Thu 17-Jan-13 14:03:33

i think it's more to do with the fact that you can't pick them up - that you are supposed, at best, go to them and say "you're alright, nan-night" then go again.

which surely would make the baby more upset? ("i'm really upset and lonely, and all she's done is go yep, you;'re still there, shut up - i want a cuddle!")

KerryKetosis Thu 17-Jan-13 14:05:42

I think that's a really good question Goldie.

Some of the controversy seems to come from mistaking CC for Cry It Out which as I understand it, means leaving the baby to cry themselves to sleep? Whereas, like you've said CC involves going in to soothe intermittently.

We've used CC fofr DCs 1 and 2.

DC 3 is now 7 months and we're kind of doing a 'lite' version of CC, not leaving her for very long but trying to allow her to have a go at settling herself.

FWIW I think being able to self-settle is a really valuable skill that we can help our kids develop. It's particularly evident to me with DC3 as she has entered a family where there are other children with needs too - Sometimes I'll be in the middle of doing something with other kids and I can't respond to her instantly like I could with PFB.

<dons hard hat>

Grapesoda Thu 17-Jan-13 14:06:37

You're right in your definition of cc. It's a technique described originally by Dr Richard Ferber. It used to be termed "ferberising" your child[sceptical] and it's still quite popular although recent studies have shown that children left to cry produce unhealthily high levels of cortisol.
There are alternatives. Written about most recently by dr William Steer and also by Elizabeth pantley's in "the no cry sleep solution" the sh pat thing is something in between I guess, by Tracey Hogg.

Grapesoda Thu 17-Jan-13 14:08:39

Didn't really mean sceptical, just wanted a little frowny emicon

goldiehorn Thu 17-Jan-13 14:11:09

Grapesoda would you be able to summarise 'the no cry sleep solution' and how it is not a form of controlled crying? I have never had a chance to read it.

Kerry I think you may be right that some people take controlled crying to just mean a baby cries itself to sleep?

BertieBotts Thu 17-Jan-13 14:12:49

I agree with you that a lot of sleep training is just slightly different versions of the same thing, if you're leaving the baby to cry or going in and "comforting" them (which isn't really comforting to them at all if it's not what they want, is it?) and then leaving again.

However I don't agree with any of it, yes I would go and pick my baby up as soon as it cried, in fact preferably before, because I believe that cry is a distress signal (what else could it be?) I would also not leave them if they were unsettled, which is what CC and variants advise. If I wanted to leave again then I'd settle them before I left.

Obviously there are times - say you were in the middle of cooking for example - when they cry and you can't just drop everything and tend to them straight away, but if I was doing something that could easily be interrupted I wouldn't hear them cry and think "Oh - right - better wait exactly 2 minutes before I respond to him just in case he thinks I'm going to come every time he calls!" Babies are supposed to think that you'll come every time they call! I don't get what delaying your response for 2 minutes or 5 minutes or whatever really achieves apart from them getting really worked up by the time you get there.

BlueberryHill Thu 17-Jan-13 14:15:34

Kerry, I'll don a hard hat with you, that is what we did with ours, or at least our last two. We didn't leave them long plus we had other children to see to also.

BTW the last two were twins so when I was looking after them through the night I couldn't hold /cuddle them both to sleep at the same time or separately, I would never have slept. Mind you I was lucky in that they were both pretty good sleepers.

tilder Thu 17-Jan-13 14:15:50

The cortisol issue is connected to cases of neglect and leaving to cry for extended periods of time on a regular basis. Several of the no cry books also draw on research done in Romanian orphanages.

So yes, its not good to leave a baby to cry a lot or for long periods. But a bit here and there is normal and if it were a problem then we would all be screwed.

I agree, learning to self settle is important as is having a good nights sleep without frequent wakings.

Mosman Thu 17-Jan-13 14:16:12

There was nothing controlled about the crying that went on in our house.
We tried the whole pat, reassure, put dummy back in thing with the first two, none of it worked until THEY were ready. The stress levels for all concerned went through the roof and it was my corstol levels I was more worried about.
In the end we just cuddled them to sleep for two years. It was no great hardship, 20 mins of lovin and they were happy and out like a light.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 17-Jan-13 14:20:18

No cry sleep solution is quite good, and does point out that expecting your child to never cry is unreasonable, and that sometimes the best option might be to stay with your child while they cry but not do what they are crying for (say you are stopping breastfeeding, you can cuddle with them and reassure them that everything is alright even though you know they are crying because they want boob) it's not one method, it's lots of different ideas, more about routine etc, and managing expectations. I found she was right that it took about a month to break DS'a night waking habit properly.

Anyway, all the cc is damaging stuff that will get posted in response to this is a load of bollocks.

goldiehorn Thu 17-Jan-13 14:21:04

And after that did they just settle themsleves Mosman ? I think a lot of parents worry about making a rod for their own backs but quite a lot of the cuddle to sleep parents say that their children just learned it by themselves.

BlueberryHill Thu 17-Jan-13 14:21:43

Bertie, I would always settle a child before I left, if that was a pat and a ssh fine, it they needed to be picked up and cuddled I would do that. However, I did let them try to settle themselves, I didn't usually go in straight away but I didn't do the time thing, I just listened to them, if they were getting worked up I went in straight away, if they were grumbling and settling, I'd leave them a bit longer. I don't think that letting them get really worked up is useful either plus it would wake the other twin (I wanted to avoid that at all costs). I didn't follow a set pattern, just played it by ear.

brainonastick Thu 17-Jan-13 14:21:46

Our version (I think from the Toddler Taming book), went...

cry 2 mins
go in and comfort (including cudding!), put back down to sleep with a firm 'night night'. Walk out whilst screaming started again....
cry 4 mins
go in... repeat...
cry 6 mins
go in... repeat
cry 8 mins...Oh no, didn't make it to 8 mins, they've gone to sleep

I don't think that is too barbaric?
I would never leave a child to 'cry it out'

KerryKetosis Thu 17-Jan-13 14:24:18

I think it's also important to consider that each child is different.

The thing is we were at the end of our tether with PFB by the time we got to CC. You know when they'r little tiny babes and just a we cuddle works to send them off? But then they grow out of that and you go to walking up and down, or putting in the buggy, or going for a drive hmm or taking them into your bed or whatever.

By the time we did CC (9 months) none of these things would settle him and he just cried and cried whatever we did. They were really dark times for me at least.

Then we did CC and in two nights he knew how to get to sleep.

Unlike lots of other babies I hear and read about, none of my babies liked coming into bed with me - the little gets, I would have love it!

KerryKetosis Thu 17-Jan-13 14:25:58

No Cry Sleep Solution didn't work for us either - nothing changed.

N0tinmylife Thu 17-Jan-13 14:28:34

I'm glad you have asked this question, I had wondered that. I hadn't discovered MN when DS was tiny, and just made it up as I went along.

If he seemed like he needed a cuddle, he got one, if he was just fretful because he was tired I would leave him to it, and he'd go off to sleep after a little protest. It worked really well, but I think that was because he was a basically laid back child who liked to sleep!

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 17-Jan-13 14:29:57

Both of my DC have had a clear 'grumbling' cry as well, just a few moans and they drift off to sleep. DD cried in her sleep (then babbled and now talks in her sleep) and DS is a light sleeper who cycles through the 'grumbling' patch every hour all night.

Part of the sleep solution for them has been leaving them to cry long enough to get to know this about their sleep habits and that my particular children are best left be unless they are properly crying. Or have been crying for more than a few minutes.

Mosman Thu 17-Jan-13 14:31:33

All four of mine are great sleepers as a result and we had none of the set backs of having to start all over again every time they were Ill or teething or staying out late.
I know I'm a bit hippy about all this stuff but honestly the CC routine seemed to take a lot bloody longer than my sitting them on my lap and cuddling them until the nodded off, just before they were asleep I'd move them into the bed and that was it until 7 am

KerryKetosis Thu 17-Jan-13 14:32:44


that's a good point too, you can sometimes tell can't you? Like it's a kind of shouty, cross cry just before sleep. rather than a hungry cry or whatever.

I've been up to my baby about 10 times last night. The worrying thing is when you here the 3am chattering, "HIYA! HIYA! DADADADADADADADAD" type thing grin

Then it's, oh god, she's just wakeful now and wanting to play!

KumquatMae Thu 17-Jan-13 14:39:06

Plenty of other alternatives that don't involve leaving the baby to cry, for ANY amounts of time. What works for one won't work for another if course, but what worked for us with ds at 9 months, who had been co sleeping from birth, was lying him down in his cot while we stayed in the room. If he got up we would lie him down again, reassure him. Eventually (after half an hour or so) he would go to sleep and we would leave. If he got up in the night we would go straight up and do the same. After a few weeks of that he started going down as soon as we put him in the cot and sleeping through.

Obviously as I said this won't work for all children but IMO very young babies shouldn't be subject to any form of "sleep training". I don't run to him the second he makes a noise as he will quite often self settled, but I wouldn't ever deliberately sit listening to him cry, timing it for when I would be "allowed" to go and give my baby comfort. It doesn't feel natural to me.

N0tinmylife Thu 17-Jan-13 14:39:55

KerryKetosis, exactly that. I know what you mean about the 3am thing. DS was brilliant as a baby, but a few weeks ago, aged 5 decided he wanted to get us up 4 times in one night because, there were monsters, he heard a noise, needed a wee, and the best excuse, he was "bored" of sleeping! grin

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 14:40:08

We have done a bit of CC when nothing else seemed to be working. DS is generally a good sleeper, and pretty much sorted himself out and started sleeping through from about 8 months. We've always tried to put him into his bed when he is awake, so that he's not started to wake up and find himself in a different place. We put him down, he rolls onto his stomach and we stroke his back for half a minute or so until he is settled. If he wakes during the night he generally has a mutter to himself, shuffles round his cot and goes back to sleep.

When we did CC, it was because he would only go to sleep while being held, and would wake up screaming hte minute you tried to put him down. Co-sleeping did not work , he just thought it was a game and when he would finally sleep, he had to be lying directly on top of me and I could barely breathe. So we put him in his cot, said 'it's sleepy time now DS' and stroked his back till he was calm, left and he started crying for 2 minutes, go back in, lay him down again and repeat 'it's sleepy time now DS', leave for 4 minutes etc etc, never got past 10 I don't think. And the crying wasn't a distressed wail, it was intermittent and tired and grumpy.

I don't go get him the first second he cries, I listen to the type of cry - sometimes it's a half asleep wail, then back to sleep again, sometimes it's an 'I'm awake and it's up time COME AND GET ME PARENTS!' and sometimes it's a 'my teeth hurt, I need a cuddle' type cry.

Putting yourself to sleep is a skill, and some babies are naturally 'good' sleepers and some need little sleep.

I did CC with LO at about 5 months - I would cuddle him when going back in though. Took 4 nights, no more than 15 minutes crying. By the 4th night he just grumbled for 2 minutes then fell asleep. Younger than people recommend, but I was having psychotic episodes partly due to lack of sleep.

Best thing I ever did. He still woke during the nights for feeds, but mostly went back to sleep straight after feeding. Since he was 7 months he has slept 11-12 hours per night.

Sometimes, now at 9 months, he might wake in the night for a cuddle, or I bring him into our bed, but he knows that night-time is for sleep. No more 4am parties!!

I would never do the cry-it-out thing unless very very desperate.

pinkyponk67 Thu 17-Jan-13 14:47:38

I think a lot of people mistakenly think "controlled crying" just means leaving the baby to cry themself to sleep without going in at all (aka crying it out).

With DD, all she wanted was to come in the bed with me. No amount of shush patting, gradual withdrawal made any difference. She would just stand up in her cot and scream if anyone was in the room with her.

We were at our wits end. CC (the Ferber type version) was the only approach that worked and even that took a long time. She sleeps okish now (at nearly 2). Had two previous DC that were much better sleepers.

brainonastick Thu 17-Jan-13 14:47:50

I forgot to say, we did the CC at 11 months for one, and I think well over a year for the other. I wouldn't use it on young babies either. I also used it as a last resort - they screamed if I left them, and screamed if I didn't!

goldiehorn Thu 17-Jan-13 14:57:31

I sometimes worry about the stress levels for the first few days of DS's life as he cried a lot, basically because we were absolutely clueless about what to do with a new baby.

My MIL was telling me not to go to him every time he cried as he was 'testing' me (WTF hmm ) and the 'breastfeeding is so wonderful' NCT workshop I attended had neglected to tell me that yes, he may want to feed all the time to start with. So we thought that he couldnt possible be hungry again, and just didnt know what to do with him, when all he wanted was feeding!

I feel absolutely bloody terrible about his first few days now, although I know that he is a very happy boy who knows his parents love him very much, I really wish I could rewind that little bit of time and do it properly!

KerryKetosis Thu 17-Jan-13 15:30:37

Goldie, please don't beat yourself up about having a newborn that cried and not knowing what to do about it. It is the nature of having your first baby and gazillions of us have been in exactly the same situation.

Anyone who suggests that babies shouldn't cry at all because it causes x, y and z are on another planet.

Most of us just plod along trying to do our best.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 17-Jan-13 16:06:58

Please don't worry about that! I think 99% of parents don't have a clue how much newborns will want to feed. I didn't!

Goldie - please don't worry about it, we all make a few mistakes in those first weeks!!

I'll never understand anyone who leaves a newborn to cry because they 'need to learn'. WTF.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Thu 17-Jan-13 16:28:22

I think there's a huge difference in older babies between "I'm distressed, my mother has abandoned me and I'm scared" crying and "I'm pissed off because I want to play some more and bed is boring, how dare you tell me it's time for bed!" crying. If they're not old enough for you to tell the difference then they're not old enough for any form of controlled crying.

But I agree with you that there's a lot of confusion on both sides - parents who say "oh, we're using CC for sleep training - we just walk away and put earplugs in" and parents who say "I can't understand people who do CC - how can they bear to ignore a baby screaming for hours on end"

SaraBellumHertz Thu 17-Jan-13 16:35:00

I fed DCs to sleep and fed them in the event the woke. No crying or being left.

As they got older they were more awake as they were placed in their cot to point where they went in awake and settled themselves.

thebody Thu 17-Jan-13 16:40:00

Hi op, I did cc on 3 of my 4 children.

No 2 was a dream and settled himself to sleep through at 9 weeks.

I claim no parenting skills for this as he was treated exactly the same as the others, exclusively bf and constantly cuddled so there you have it.

They are what they are and at 21 he's still the quietest and calmest of us all.

With ds1 I did cc when he was 13 months as if I hadn't I was afraid I would have harmed myself. I dreamed of developing appendicitis just to get a sleep.

Dr greens 'toddler taming' saved my sanity and I think almost my life.

It works by being determined and focused. You have to be focused on carrying on until it works, if you arnt 100% behind the process then you crack and it won't work.

It's not in the least cruel it's life saving, in some cases I think it could prevent child abuse, depression and illness as chronic lack of sleep is defined as torture.

I wouldn't expect it to work on a baby under 8 months though.

thebody Thu 17-Jan-13 16:42:06

To add it took 3 days with ds1, 2 weeks with dd2 and 5 days with dd4.

I know I don't need to describe the incredible paradise of a full nights sleep.

Grapesoda Thu 17-Jan-13 16:52:25

Hi. Sorry for being tardy. Just got back from the park.
The no cry solution thing involves a child centred approach and a range of techniques to promote " good sleep". She describes gradual changes for different issues. For example if your toddler is used t falling asleep only in your arms then she suggests lying next to him with your arm round him for,so many nights, then lying down without the arm round, then lying close by, sitting close by etc. all the time being led by your baby. She also talks about daytime activity, bedtime routine and so forth. It's quite a useful book IMHO largely because she explains that so many parents struggle with night times with their children and that it's actually quite normal. The biggest message for me was that although ppl might tell you that if you do x, y, z then your baby will sleep through when you want the, to, this is actually not the case. We're all different, babies are all different.we still have wakeful nights with our 2 yr old. But I found the stuff about weaning off night fee when he was about 12 months really helpful.
We're all just muddling through aren't we? smile

Grapesoda Thu 17-Jan-13 16:53:09

"fee" = "feeds" doh!

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Thu 17-Jan-13 16:53:53

We did it with #1 because he wanted to be in his own toddler bed (not ours) but wanted us to be face touching face when he went to sleep which took a very long time, he was very squirmy and it hurt my back. So after bath, story and a cuddle we slowly transitioned from holding hands in bed, holding hands while I sat on the floor next to the bed, to not holding hands but being there to pat to slowly further and further away until we were sat in the doorway reading a book. He wasn't exactly happy about any of it, but not really unhappy and certainly very little crying. I answered every time he called for me and told him the same thing, I was there, I loved him and it was sleepy time. I came if he called me over but would go back to where I was. Within a month he was going to sleep on his own with us in the next room. That month seemed to last FOREVER though and was very awkward when I was sitting on the floor with my hand in his and my arm killing me!

DS#2 co slept with us and then with DS#1 and then into a bed.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Thu 17-Jan-13 16:56:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BertieBotts Thu 17-Jan-13 17:10:30

I definitely agree there are different kinds of crying, although I still (personally) think you shouldn't be leaving them to cry until they are much older and they can understand why they are being left.

Also the thing about going at the first grizzle/movement vs leaving them to see if they will go back to sleep, again I did this when DS was an older baby but when he was little I knew from experience it was better to go in straight away, before the crying, as he'd just go straight back to sleep then whereas if I let him get to the point of crying he'd be properly awake and I'd have to calm him down and THEN get him back to sleep which took far longer.

SirBoobAlot Thu 17-Jan-13 17:25:13

A baby crying is a baby that need something. This might be something specific, or the reassurance that they are loved, and that someone is there for them when they need it.

If you 'need' to get you child to sleep, then there are much kinder alternatives. But we also as a society have very unrealistic expectations of what children 'should' do by X age. It is completely acceptable for a child to still not be sleeping through the night by two years old. However, you get it rammed in your face all the time that sleeping through the night is a Big Thing to aim for, and somehow an achievement as a parent. I disagree with the notion of 'good' and 'bad' babies anyway, but it makes me angry when you hear ''Oh Y is so good he's already sleeping through''. Why? How is that an achievement?

When you take on being a parent, you take on accepting that you are not going to get a full nights sleep for years, and that even after that, you will be up in the middle of the night with a poorly child / sorting out things for the school play / preparing for a party.

Controlled crying and cry it out are both cruel, and there are numerous studies to show they are both ineffective long term towards sleep, and damaging to emotional development.

Iggly Thu 17-Jan-13 17:28:31

Depends on age. When younger I see to them quite quickly once they cried because I knew they wouldn't resettle - you can tell.

When they get older, mine grumbled more so I'd leave them until they were crying.

As for self settling, I would leave them after a feed and see if they'd settle. Sometimes they did and that was how we gradually got them there. I figured that no fully grown adult needs to be rocked to sleep by their parents so I didn't need to do CC.

I have two terrible sleepers BTW. I'm sure some will think its because I didn't do CC but it's actually because they have/had silent reflux and food intolerances so cannot sleep well out of discomfort. CC would make things worse so I have to take the longer approach .

PolkadotCircus Thu 17-Jan-13 17:38:34

There are numerous studies which show how damaging lack of sleep is for young children.Lack of sleep is also not good for mothers.Sorry I don't buy the when you become a mother you sign up to sleep exhaustion line,it's tosh.Many mothers have other children or a job to deal with and they needa decent night of sleep as do their babies and toddlers.Miserable ,exhausted mummies and babies aren't good for anybody.

Mothers know instinctively what is best for their children and IMHO they tailor controlled crying or whatever the trendy name is to what suits their baby as believe it or not the vast majority of mothers love their babies above all else and want the best for them.

With me it was simply gently training my 3 into a routine. They always had all their needs met and it worked in a couple of days.Pre cc I had cranky miserable babies and mummy,after cc I had happy,contended babies and mummy-no brainier IMHO.

BertieBotts Thu 17-Jan-13 17:42:00

I don't think that sleep training is the only way to get sleep, though.

PolkadotCircus Thu 17-Jan-13 17:46:49

Who knows,all I know is no other method would have worked for my 3 eg we all loath co sleeping.Mine thrived with cc.

chandellina Thu 17-Jan-13 17:56:54

Cry it out worked a charm for me. I don't see anything cruel about it as a quick fix. Not for tiny babies, but once they're closer to one year and well fed in the day.

thebody Thu 17-Jan-13 17:57:22

Agree polkadot totally..

Sir boob its extremely crassof you to call a method that has clearly worked for many people as cruel. By default you are calling parents who do this as cruel.

If its not for you then fine but hook down your judgy pants please.

My kids range from 23 to 12 and all all happy and fine. They weren't damaged by 'cruel' parenting methods. Chill...

choceyes Thu 17-Jan-13 17:58:54

Yes we go to them as soon as we hear a cry and pick them up and soothe them. DH in particular can't bear to leave them crying even for a few seconds.

PolkadotCircus Thu 17-Jan-13 18:00:48

Exactly the body,I have views re co-sleeping however if it truly works for some all power to them,it's not a one size fits all.As I recall mothers and babies differ in personality,body and mind.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Thu 17-Jan-13 18:02:01

Older babies cry for all sorts of things, Boobalot; inappropriate toys, another banana when they've just had the last one, their book back so they can play the brilliant "throw it out the buggy" game for the seventeenth time, escape from their car-seat, or simply because they're knackered. These do not all represent needs - that way leads trying to glue broken biscuits back together.

thebody Thu 17-Jan-13 18:03:39

Yep totally agree polkadot.

pinkyponk67 Thu 17-Jan-13 18:05:12

SirBoobalot can you please link to the numerous studies you cite ref controlled crying (not CIO)? Thanks

chandellina Thu 17-Jan-13 18:05:12

Yes, when people say a crying baby always has a need that must be met, I always wonder if they think it's the same deal for older toddlers and children.

thebody Thu 17-Jan-13 18:08:16

Agree, toddlers especially need to understand that be they always precious and loved they are also part of a family in which all members have needs.

Parents have a need to sleep and have grown up time and not totally be at the crying whim of a child.

pinkyponk67 Thu 17-Jan-13 18:13:22

Depends what u mean by a need. If child old enough to tantrum on the day then isn't it the same at night?

Mutley77 Thu 17-Jan-13 18:14:39

No I haven't ever purposefully left either of my children to cry as babies. I don't agree that it is necessary.

Again I've never had to "sleep train" them but I would rather help them to self-settle in a more positive way, e.g. use of "cuddly" or dummy rather than having to cry themselves to sleep - which as s.o. above said produces high levels of cortisol.

zeeboo Thu 17-Jan-13 18:15:26

A tantrum represents a need to be heard and to have their feelings validated. I agree with Sirboob in general, though I don't think cc is cruel I think it's pretty lazy parenting. I did it with my eldest and still feel guilty.

PolkadotCircus Thu 17-Jan-13 18:17:21

Hmmmm I think giving into tantrums is lazy parenting and as a teacher I've seen the fallout in kids by the time they start school so there you go.Horses for courses I

While I'm hesitant to get into a cc debate as it evokes such strong feelings, I do want to point out that there are alternatives to cc, and that lots of parents (myself included) respond to their children when they start to cry rather than leaving them to cry alone for a period. It is not impossible, and it hasn't stopped my dd from sleeping through the night, night weaning, stopping co-sleeping and moving into her own room and bed.

I didn't do cc because I was worried about the research regarding cortisol levels damaging my child. I also didn't feel leaving dd to cry alone was the best way to raise a confident, happy and secure child. But I recognise these are personal choices and other parents have the right to make the choice that seems right to them.

thebody Thu 17-Jan-13 18:24:11

Really it's laughable the amount of 'scientific studies' spouted on mumsnet to suit certain theories.

Personally my children producing apparently 'high levels of cortisol'!!!! by crying was nothing compared to me turning into a non functioning sleep deprived zombie incapable of working or driving a car safely.

Oh and tantrums are a toddlers way of trying to get their own way, and on no account should these 'feelings be validated'.

That way lies more tantrums.

PolkadotCircus Thu 17-Jan-13 18:27:32

Hmmmm see any cortisol studies I've seen we're in reference to extreme cases with children in orphanages.

Having said that I figured 2or 3 nights of very limited crying would produce waaaaay less cortisol than months of babies waking in the night and crying,babies picking up on mummies stressed faced,smell and misery etc,etc.

Considering that after day 3 mine were out for the count 7until7 it was a sensible assumption IMHO.

Also the studies I've seen re the impact of lack of sleep on children and their education were quite concerning.I've again seen the educational impact in class.

HearMyRoar Thu 17-Jan-13 18:29:04

chandellina surely there is a huge difference between an older toddler or child who you can talk to and explain why you didn't respond when they through a tantrum and a baby who cant possibly understand why they are not being comforted when they are upset.

I have always comforted dd as soon as she cries. It never crossed my mind that anyone might find this so strange and difficult to believe. It has always seemed the right thing to do and no matter how awful her sleep has been I have never been able to bring myself to even consider leaving her to cry even for a few minutes. I guess in the end you can only do what you are comfortable with doing.

HearMyRoar Thu 17-Jan-13 18:30:04

..sorry, that should clearly be 'threw a tantrum'

amillionyears Thu 17-Jan-13 18:30:39

from 5 weeks old my ds screamed to go to sleep. i didnt know why he kept screaming at me and why he wouldnt sleep. I tried rocking, bfing, cuddling, sling etc... it all enraged him more. at 8 weeks my dm stepped in, put him in a room on his own and walked out. he was aleep in minutes shock turns out he hates any human presence when hes tired and wants to sleep. all my attempts to not do cc/cio actually upset him more. (i do cc and go and cuddle him on the rare occassions he doesn't settle. i have on 2 occassions had to do full on cio which broke my heart sad ).
ds is 21 months now, still hates company when hes sleeping. feck knows what we will do if/when we have dc2 as we only have 2 bedrooms grin
(apologies for crap typing - on my phone)

BertieBotts Thu 17-Jan-13 18:35:55

No, tantrums (at least at first) are an overwhelming level of a feeling that they don't know how to control. Which doesn't mean that you always give them what they want just because they're upset, just that you should take into account that they're upset rather than putting it down to manipulativeness. hmm

And Lady you can deal with all of those things without ignoring the child.

Chandellina the needs change as they get older, of course. As I said before if they're able to understand why they're being left (or whatever) then that's okay even if they do get upset about it, because at least they can rationalise it. A one year old doesn't understand why you're leaving them and so in my opinion if they're not happy to be left, you don't leave them (unless it's a situation like being left with a babysitter where they cry initially but are then fine, as that would indicate to me that they're upset about you leaving but they are also happy at being with Granny or whoever).

thebody Thu 17-Jan-13 18:47:20

Polkadot agree again. Have had some friends who spent bloody hours reasoning, cajoling their toddlers over tantrums.

These are now moody unpleasant entitled teens and young adults who still feel mummy should sort out their emotions for them as they can't control themselves..

Load of old bollocks, its a display of temper that must be addressed not ignored.

An out of control toddler grows into an out of control teen.

Simple fact.

thebody Thu 17-Jan-13 18:51:17

Btw cc is not ignoring a child. It's sensible management to a positive outcome for the WHOLE FAMILY including siblings.

If you don't understand this then that's fine, say so, but don't criticise those if us who do.

PolkadotCircus Thu 17-Jan-13 18:52:35

I agree and Bertie 1 year olds don't melt.

I had 3 under 18 months and wasn't physically able to go to every baby's whim every single time.I was with my babies 24/7 they knew I'd be back,it's not like I was out the room and gone for hours. Given what lovely well balanced 9 year olds they are now leaving them for 5 mins to deal with another baby,load the w/m etc clearly didn't harm them.

It's called life.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Thu 17-Jan-13 18:55:32

I wouldn't ignore completely, but I wouldn't give constant attention either. I think that CC works best at its very gentlest, with very frequent reassurance that the carer is there, and everything is OK and we will still be there in the morning.

I'm a huge fan of Ferber's book in general but I think he goes too hardcore and too young in his chapter on CC.
(In particular I agree with him that cuddling a baby to sleep and then putting them down in a cot on their own is akin to stealing an adult's pillow once they go to sleep - it's a recipe for paranoia. If you're cosleeping then cuddling to sleep is fine, but if you expect the child to sleep on their own then in general they'll be happier if they stay in the same place - but I digress)

Floweryhat Thu 17-Jan-13 19:22:38

Does this means that people really go into their child as soon as they start crying and soothe them?

^^ yes, this. Or in fact baby didn't sleepalone day or night and after that was put down asleep. When they woke we went immediately.

thebody Thu 17-Jan-13 19:23:39

3 under 18 months.. Polkadot go girl..

Floweryhat Thu 17-Jan-13 19:26:09
DialMforMummy Thu 17-Jan-13 19:32:52

I totally agree with Polkadot and thebody.

catgirl1976 Thu 17-Jan-13 19:35:48

The cortisol issue is a bit of a red herring.

Breast feeding produces the same levels of cortisol as being left to cry for short periods of time

I have never heard anyone suggest you shouldn't breast feed due to the increase in cortisol

Long term, high levels of cortisol production (like the ones found in the studies around Romania orphanges) are damaging

Short term, small increases in cortisol (like the ones experienced in being left to cry for short periods or being breast fed) are not

Which is lucky or we would never be able to do anything other than sit very still in darkened rooms, given nearly everything we do produces cortisol at some level.

That said, I would not advocate controlled crying for young babies. Nor do I think it is the right approach for every baby or every mother.

Floweryhat Thu 17-Jan-13 19:41:53

small study showing that babies who have been sleep trained still have elevated cortisol levels despite no longer crying or externally showing distress. Not neglected orphans. Very hard to do this sort of study with a bigger grou, and arguably unethical.

hazeyjane Thu 17-Jan-13 19:43:05

*An out of control toddler grows into an out of control teen.

Simple fact.*

Er no, simple bollocks.

catgirl1976 Thu 17-Jan-13 19:46:14

Again, I think that study is talking about CIO not controlled crying

It does not say by what amount the cortisol level was raised

Nor does it look long term. Only to day 3

There was no control group

There was a sample size of 25

Bit shit really isn't it?

catgirl1976 Thu 17-Jan-13 19:56:32

Also, something to note about cortisol production is that it is very closely linked with circadian rythms.

In a normal person, secretion peaks at around 8am and is lower in the night / early morning.

So if the circadian rythms of the babies in studies are altering (which they are if they end up sleeping through) you would naturally expect to see a change in the levels of cortisol and the times when that peaked and fell

So if prior to the CIO, the infants saliva was tested at say 8am, and then after the CIO, when the circadian pattern had altered the study would be flawed as it would not be possible to ascertain if the rise in cortisol obsereved was a direct result of the CIO itself or a result of a shifting circadian pattern.

If that makes sense

Iggly Thu 17-Jan-13 20:09:00

catgirl, I've never heard that about BF and cortisol - where did you read it as interested.

chandellina Thu 17-Jan-13 20:09:53

I think people create rods for their own backs by teaching their children how to get attention over things like sleep and food, rather than how to adapt to being part of a well functioning family.

I admit to being smug though because at least so far I have two great sleepers and eaters.

tilder Thu 17-Jan-13 20:11:38

I would like to read the whole paper but the abstract is very inconclusive and doesn't present particularly convincing evidence tbo.

I've read quite a lot of open minded, practical and realistic posts on this thread. Polkodot I liked a lot of your posts. Am also impressed by 3 under 18 months!

catgirl1976 Thu 17-Jan-13 20:14:19

Here is one study (does have it's flaws too) but there have been quite a few more with replicated results
I'll find some more and do linkys

Iggly Thu 17-Jan-13 20:18:09

Thank you. Will read!

goldiehorn Thu 17-Jan-13 20:31:03

3 children under 18 months? shock

My cortisol levels have gone sky high just thinking about that!

Mosman Fri 18-Jan-13 03:10:25

Sensible management for the whole family ? Nothing distressed my older children or toddlers like the sound of their baby sibling crying and if they thought I wouldn't help the baby they'd have been bloody horrified, it's instinctive within every mammal to react to the sound of young crying. If you don't understand well no point in any further discussion.

Am not against CC but it didn't actually work for dd1 who was an awful sleeper. What did work and has also worked for dd2 is 'gradual withdrawal'. It's a much kinder and more stress free strategy to employ and would recommend trying it before CC personally.

Its like the one they did a few years ago looking into cortisol levels of young children who cried every day for the first week they were left at nursery.

Except when they talked about it on this morning everyone was up in arms about what a load of crap it was and how they were trying to make working mothers feel bad.

BanghamTheDirtyScone Fri 18-Jan-13 07:35:38

'Does this means that people really go into their child as soon as they start crying and soothe them?'

Erm, yes...

blossombath Fri 18-Jan-13 08:35:42

Polkadot do you or anyone else have links to studies about lack of sleep and education? Surely this is at an older age (ie school age) than most children on whom parents carry out CC?

I actually came on to post the same link about self soothing which floweryhat shared, a blog which made perfect sense to me since my 10mo can 'self soothe' but often chooses not to. And his night wakings have not reduced much since he began to put himself to sleep rather than being rocked/fed in the evening.

The way I see it, he can get himself to sleep so when he does have trouble sleeping there must be a reason for it and, as his mum, I'm there to help. I dont think CC is harmful if carried out within the context of a generally responsive and loving home, but personally wouldn't do it (though reserve right to change mind if DS still isn't sleeping through at 2!).

Thanks for starting thread OP, I've often wondered what people mean by CC as I think many people use it to mean different things. For those who did CC, when you first put baby down, do you leave the room if baby is crying or try to settle them first then leave and commence CC if/when they realise you've gone?

GirlOutNumbered Fri 18-Jan-13 08:56:26

I never let DS1 cry and was always picking him up and feeding him at the slightest murmer. In a way I did create a rod for my own back, I had to feed him to sleep and he didnt sleep through until I stopped breastfeeding at 13 months. However, he is now 2.5 and goes to sleep in his own bed in his own room 7-7. If he wakes (very rare) he shouts for me and I give him a cuddle and he goes back to sleep. Okay, the first 13 months were probably hard, but I don't remember now and in a way I miss the closeness we had when I would go in and comfort him.

DS2 has had to cry sometimes as I will be busy with DS1 and he sleeps 7-7 with one feed.

So, I don't know what this proves really, asides from the fact that you don't have to sleep train if you don't want too?

BanghamTheDirtyScone Fri 18-Jan-13 09:25:17

I don't think anyone creates a rod for their back. It's so nonsense.

All babies have needs and requirements, it seems like you either have a lot of stress and hard work making them behave in a helpful way in the early months, with routines etc or you have a longer term but less intensive time of it by letting them do things at their own pace.

I have to say I had a very accommodating child in ds2, who cried about twice in his first 6 months, but then, I went to him at every murmur, co slept, and breastfed him till he started school at 4 and a half...he is a very very secure child, very easy, never had a tantrum etc. (so far)

It's all so totally random. I don't consider anything about him a 'rod for my back' - it's just called having a small child. No one gets one that never asks for anything.

PolkadotCircus Fri 18-Jan-13 09:52:47

Blossom no links but if you Google you'll see that babies need masses of quality sleep and lack of sleep has an impact on cognitive development and causes cranky and irritable babies/toddlers.Lack of sleep can cause depression in mothers too.It's even been linked to future alcohol and cigarette use.

Knowing how crap I am with crap sleep and how toxic and unhappy we all felt in a crap sleep environment I made 100% the right decision.

Bangham 3 nights is not a lot of stress and hard work.Night after night of upset and disturbed sleep is a lot of stress and hard work IMHO.It's horses for courses.

There are also other children to consider.A baby isn't the only important member of the family,other children count too.It's often not even possible to pick up babies immediately they whimper when you have other babies,toddlers or children.School children need a decent night sleep otherwise they can perform way lower than their ability.Being woken up night after night by a baby or toddler is just not fair.

BanghamTheDirtyScone Fri 18-Jan-13 10:29:40

I take some of your points.

However, even if it is ideal to have a sleeping baby you've still got to find a way to make them do it, and imo that's where you can find yourself in all sorts of difficulty.

You may have managed it in 3 nights - with no relapses - but most people are not so lucky.

Chunderella Fri 18-Jan-13 11:43:25

SirBoob I get what you're saying about society having unrealistic expectations about baby and toddler sleeping habits, and parents feeling pressured by this. Posters on here have talked about experiencing this, so we know that it's a reality for some parents. With that said, don't you think part of the reason that so many parents are desperate to get babies to sleep through is because sleep deprivation is so utterly, horrendously, sanity shreddingly awful for many people? If you are one of those who's able to cope with it easily enough, fair play, but that's not true for everyone. Not at all. There's a reason why it's also used as a form of torture. It does also have negative health implications for both children and adults. I for one would not assume, in the absence of medical evidence, that the negative effects of being left to cry on parents and child (because the child is not the only person that matters in this situation) are more significant than the negative effects of sleep deprivation. Or less significant, come to that.

Also, I disagree in principle with your point about parents signing up for sleep deprivation, but it also doesn't make sense in practice for lots of people either. For example the single parent who has other responsibilities- perhaps older DC, perhaps multiples, perhaps caring responsibilities for an elderly relative, perhaps a job where it is quite literally a matter of life and death that they are not sleep deprived- may simply not be able to countenance the type of parenting you advocate, even if she wants to.

(I should add that I've never tried either cc or cio as I've never had to, and am not wedded to any one particular parenting technique. DD is 5 months and has slept through about 60% of the time since she was around 12 weeks, but this isn't because of any intrinsic merit of either of ours and I don't think it's due to anything we did either. It's just how she rolls.)

Interesting information Catgirl thanks for bringing that up. I'd never heard of it before.

Mosman Fri 18-Jan-13 12:28:23

You get to the baby before it wakes the older children don't you ?

PolkadotCircus Fri 18-Jan-13 12:35:06

Not if it's continual,the other children are light sleepers,you have paper thin walls,you sleep deep and are functioning below par because you're exhausted etc,etc.

Chunderella Fri 18-Jan-13 12:35:45

Dunno Mosman I only have one. It sounds like you were able to do it, so it's evidently possible. Probably doesn't work so well if the older DC are lighter sleepers than you are, though. Or if you have multiples that are both crying at the same time.

Floweryhat Fri 18-Jan-13 13:16:22

"Sensible management for the whole family ? Nothing distressed my older children or toddlers like the sound of their baby sibling crying and if they thought I wouldn't help the baby they'd have been bloody horrified, it's instinctive within every mammal to react to the sound of young crying. If you don't understand well no point in any further discussion. "

I agree wholeheartedly with this ^^

I have 4 DCs, all under 8 years old. We try to tend to their needs as fast as possible. Under 6 months, or maybe longer, the baby is downstairs with us in the evening. One squak = boob/cuddle. No chance for older kids to be woken. Sometimes it doesn't work of course, especially when they're at that 3 months ish age. When they're bigger, we boob or cuddle them to sleep upstairs, then if they start to squeak on baby monitor one of us is straight up to pick them up. The older ones seem to have survived this pretty well and are secure happy children who don't have nightmares. They would be horrified if we left their littlest sibling crying. When they were little people would often comment on how our babies weren't heard crying much -they didn't have the chance! Their transitions from sleep to waking were often smooth, without that full throttle crying being reached v often. Of course occasionally 5 yr old tantrums, whilst 3 yr old poos themselves and it's hard to deal with everyone at once. It happens, everyone survives. However, out of preference we try to deal with baby's distress ASAP.

PolkadotCircus Fri 18-Jan-13 13:36:17

But Flowery mine never cried either-they were too busy sleeping that is the whole point. Older siblings don't hear babies being left to cry-how ridiculous.There is a whole lot of pontificating and ignorance on this subject by people who have never even tried sleep training/cc.

Mosman Fri 18-Jan-13 13:39:47

It doesn't come as a shock by the time there are older children in the house that a baby will indeed cry, you make arrangements and move people upstairs, downstairs, whatever it takes.
I fully expected and wasn't disappointed that there would be disturbed nights for me. As DH drove 300 miles a day I moved down stairs with the little one and then napped between 12 and two with him before the school run to pick the big ones up, this is no great hardship honestly.

PolkadotCircus Fri 18-Jan-13 13:47:14

Pmsl not everybody can move downstairs or nap?

Nap what the hell is that?Here you go twin 1 sort yourself out I'm napping after dealing with twin 2,so 25 month old toddlers keep out of the bleach cupboard I'm napping after dealing with your newborn sister all night,awwwww got no clean clothes or a decent cooked dinner,no food in the cupboards,no time to play- sorry I was/am napping.

Thankfully I didn't have to go through such upheaval or nap as mine all slept 7-7 thanks to good old Gina.

JollyRedGiant Fri 18-Jan-13 13:49:09

We did controlled crying with the Ferber method to get rid of night wakenings. This was at 7mo. It took a few days. We had already taught 'self settling' at 12w ish which took about a week. We did this with help from the Baby Whisperer book.

Ds has slept through ever since we did CC. He's now 21mo and there are less than 10 times in the past year he has been up through the night.

I actually found the CC easier than 'shush pat'. But both made a big difference. With number 2 I think we'll aim for baby to self settle without 'teaching' it. And we'll do less feeding to sleep and go to baby slightly slower when they cry. I do not mean we will wait a long time, I just mean we will not pick up at the very smallest squeak.

PolkadotCircus Fri 18-Jan-13 13:49:21

Sorry 15 month old toddlers- but you get my drift.

Most mothers I know have other v young siblings(15 months or 2 yearolds)when they have newborns,napping is simply not an option.

Chunderella Fri 18-Jan-13 13:55:41

Mosman I'm glad to hear that you were able to manage the sleep thing ok. It would be better if you didn't make blanket statements like 'this is no great hardship' though. Because for some people even the level of sleep interruption you describe would be a considerable, health impacting hardship. We're not all wired the same way when it comes to sleep, be we adults or babies. This is before we consider the fact that a nap is a totally unavailable luxury for some parents.

Mosman Fri 18-Jan-13 14:22:13

If you have a 2.5 year old they aren't at school so they nap with you hmm

Twins is an entirely different matter, i'll give you that but according to the Gina Ford book the routine is very manageable with proper planning and organizing. So i guess that's what you have to do with twins.

Floweryhat Fri 18-Jan-13 14:26:26
GirlOutNumbered Fri 18-Jan-13 14:36:25

That's interesting flowery hat. I had considered moving baby ino his own room, but that's reminded me why I shouldn't.

Very interesting thread smile

Just wanted to add that people who write books on parenting usually like to present a strong line on something - like there actually is an answer to everything !, whereas what actually happens in real life is probably every variation on any given spectrum of behaviour !

Mosman Fri 18-Jan-13 14:39:08

That was always a huge issue for me, SIDS is absolutely tragic and they do not "know" what causes it yet so I felt if god forbid it happened to one of my baby's I would feel slightly less awful than if they were all alone, imagine walking into the bedroom in the morning and finding them it must be heart breaking.

BanghamTheDirtyScone Fri 18-Jan-13 14:41:49

I'm confused as to why it is being argued that allowing children to cry is unfair on older children - while presumably, controlled crying does involve some of that?

In fact if you're unlucky and get a baby that cries for a couple of hours during CC, well, compared to a baby who is responded to quickly and stops after approximately 2 minutes -

ds3 does cry, and wake the others but he is 2 weeks old. Should I do cc for their benefit? The thing is if he was Ok he wouldn't cry - he does it because I presume his tummy hurts, he has wind or something else going on and therefore I must be there with him to help, to reassure.

If he didn't have a reason to cry then I suspect he wouldn't bother.

BanghamTheDirtyScone Fri 18-Jan-13 14:44:10

Actually my feeling isthat children of any age rarely, if ever, cry for no reason.

And therefore if you know going to them, beingwith them stops them crying, it's better to do that than to leave them unhappy.

Crying = unhappy. To me anyway. I don't understand a response to it that involves walking away.

Some 2.5 month olds don't nap at all in the day

PoppyAmex Fri 18-Jan-13 14:49:57

I read a study this week that stated that there's no such thing as "self settling" in babies and that it's a myth.

Sorry sleep deprived so can't remember the source.

Anyway I don't have the option to debate the merits because I physically can't hear her cry. <wimp>

Mosman Fri 18-Jan-13 14:53:22

Some 2.5 month olds don't nap at all in the day

Well they ought to they'd benefit enormously from it.

KerryKetosis Fri 18-Jan-13 14:54:48

Bangham, sometimes going to them doesn't help, they still cry.

Many, many nights I walked miles up and down my son's room, or sat with him while he cried and cried. No other sign of illness. And we would give him pain killers because we were at a loss. I remember this vividly because I was conscious that to the neighbours it would sound like he was being left to cry for hours.

My belief, based on this experience, is that sometimes babies cry because they are (over) tired and struggling to relax. And the reasons for that are multiple - you learn as a new parent don't you? About how day napping helps night sleeping, and how to spot signs of tiredness early to act on them straight away...

And if holding him didn't help (he would thrash about), and staying with him didn't help (my presence was a distraction to him) but leaving him in his room and letting him know that that it was ok, I come back, taught him how he can get to sleep and rest...

I would have loved a baby that was instantly soothed like the one you describe in your last post, but it just wasn't that way for us.

Well I doubt very much telling them they ought to because it benefits them would help!

KerryKetosis Fri 18-Jan-13 15:04:23

By the way, just to be clear, for example to Floweryhat, we DO respond to our babies needs. Your post makes it sound like because we've done CC we ignore our children. That's not the case at all!

Like you our babies slept downstairs with us in the evening, then up when we went to bed. Any peep and we go and see to her, give her a dummy back, pass her the comfort thingy that she rubs on her face, and usually she's calm again.

I hate to hear her cry and often tell the older ones that they have to wait because baby comes first.

CC is just for those nights when you're doing that. And then it's done. If they're ill or sore teeth or whatever, we still see to baby's needs.

Mosman Fri 18-Jan-13 15:12:51

And if holding him didn't help (he would thrash about)

Did you try swaddling him ? That often works wonders.

KerryKetosis Fri 18-Jan-13 15:27:15

Yes we tried swaddling. Believe me. We. Tried. Everything.

BanghamTheDirtyScone Fri 18-Jan-13 16:57:18

Kerry it sounds exhausting.

I know it doesn't always work - my current baby doesn't stop crying always just because I'm there.

I have not needed to use CC and I'm only putting my own experience...I have had mine in my bed, beside me, so I don't have to walk anywhere when they cry. I know how awful it is to have to get up in the night, and how impossible it makes life in general.

I just tried to minimise the effort I had to make to deal with them iyswim,

and yes it is really clear from your posts that you love and respond to your children. We all do our best I think in whatever way we can.

I think I just hate seeing posts from people trying CC saying 'help, I can't bear another second of it, I want to go to him'

those make me want to sob. Especially when people say no, don't give in now! Or it will be wasted!

KerryKetosis Fri 18-Jan-13 17:14:20

I totally agree bangham, those posts make me sad too. No one should do it unless they understand the theory and actually WANT to do it. If you're happy with the alternatives then of course, that's fine too.

I do also think that cc done badly is probably more damaging for baby and parents.

Which could be where those posts saying, "don't give in" come from. If you don't do cc properly, well there's no point.

Floweryhat Sat 19-Jan-13 16:20:27

"Your post makes it sound like because we've done CC we ignore our children."

IMO deliberately not responding promptly to crying (albeit for 2 mins, 10 mins or whatever) is ignoring your child and not addressing their need. I do not doubt that those who use the technique have the best intentions and do indeed respond promptly at other times. However, yes in my view CC is deliberately ignoring the needs of a distressed child sad.

One of mine cried a fair amount around 3 months of age and it was hard to comfort them. We couldn't work out the cause, and it was tough, but we took comfort that she knew we were with her and she was held, no matter how tough it was. If I was sad I would much rather have a hug than have my husband walk off and ignore me, even if I wasn't obviously teething or in pain.

PolkadotCircus Sat 19-Jan-13 16:29:43

Their need is sleep.

If they've had a fresh nappy,a feed,a cuddle, are warm but not too warm and aren't ill or colicky their needs have been met and helping them to sleep the much needed hours of sleep they need for development is only furthering the job of meeting their needs.

Floweryhat Sat 19-Jan-13 16:31:24

Well, there we will have to disagree.

PolkadotCircus Sat 19-Jan-13 16:37:28


They do need sleep I agree, ds3 is 22 months and can still wake up to 4 times a night.

He did sleep through for nearly two weeks over the Christmas period and he was like a different child, happier, cried less in the day and was less grumpy. I think it is getting to the point that the lack of a full nights sleep is more harm full and upsetting for him than cc probably would be.

PolkadotCircus Sat 19-Jan-13 16:45:44

Moomin I agree my 3 were totally different babies after they began to sleep through-waaaay happier,brighter,content,alert.I was a different mum,I actually began to enjoy motherhood and my dc got to see a smiley face.

Why anybody feels the need to judge I have no idea,maybe it makes them feel better about their own lack of sleep.It's horses for courses and if sleep training makes you more miserable than clearly it's pointless but for those of us that have only gained a lot all I can say is mind your beeswax and butt out to those that want to judge.

catgirl1976 Sat 19-Jan-13 16:55:38

Their need is sleep

Totally agree

And for all those who think CC is evil because it "raises cortisol levels"....not as much as a lack of sleep does. A lack of sleep in infants raises cortisol levels much higher than a few nights of being allowed to cry for short intervals.

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sat 19-Jan-13 16:59:41

what exactly defines 'controlled crying' and what the alternative actually is?

it is a ridiculous form of cruelty to your own child which people will wonder at in years to come.

the alternative is to treat your baby with lovingkindness and allow him or her to be with you whenever he desires, never leaving him or her to cry alone.

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sat 19-Jan-13 17:00:18

there should have been an s/ before that he, but hey.

catgirl1976 Sat 19-Jan-13 17:07:13

It's one alternative bunny

It doesn't work for every baby or every family

If you have a baby that continues to cry even if you are with them and therefore doesn't sleep and is distressed, some might say that would be a rather ridiculous behave.

Parents who have babies who can be rocked to sleep or respond to pu/pd etc, tend not to need to try CC. Those whose babies don't work like that have different experiences

And when they are crying and throwing themselves on the floor in temper during the day because they're so tired and you cant do anything to comfort them don't worry, it's still better for them than cc hmm

PolkadotCircus Sat 19-Jan-13 17:22:15

Pm so laughing at bunny's post what a load of drivel. After cc mine never cried,they slept all night that is the entire point.Again an ignorant post from somebody who has never done cc.

My mum used to leave me all morning outside in the fresh air as one did in the 60s and I can't rem a thing,fab relationship with her. Very thankful actually as I'm a fab sleeper,did well at school,very healthy.

As a parent you do many things children don't like and it is for their benefit.Just dragged mine out on a freezing cold hike out on the moor,they winged all the way found-tough shit they needed fresh air and exercise,I make mine do their homework again if they don't put enough effort in and they don't like that either-again tough shit.

They do like feeling healthy and doing well at school oh and the huge hot chocolate they get after a hike.It's called parenting and raising rounded,healthy,kids who feel loved and achieve the best of their ability.Giving love is the easy bit,I do it hourly however a lot of the other stuff is harder in the short term,you do however reap the benefits long term.Sleep training is just one of those things and bunny fine it's not your way but sorry I don't think depriving babies of the rest they need and letting them live in a toxic atmosphere of exhaustion and resentment is actually kind and could actually be described as cruel so there you go-horses or courses.

There is a continuum:

Never letting your child cry alone (so being in the same room as them all the time and being available to comfort instantly)

Going to them when they cry - it might take 30 seconds to get to their room

A very light version of CC, going to them after 2 min then extending it by 30 seconds to a maximum of 5 min.

Longer interval CC, going in after 5min, 10min, 15min etc


The Romanian Orphanage research on cortisol levels is like CIO day and night for months or years. Extrapolating that to a week's sleep training using CC at a sensible age makes no sense.

LadyWidmerpool Sat 19-Jan-13 20:41:52

I can tell when my baby is doing a little cry before going back to sleep and when she is properly upset and therefore needs comfort. I don't go in instantly but there's no point waiting ages, she will just get more worked up and take longer to soothe.

Zappo Sat 19-Jan-13 21:17:54

I always went in to my two. Not when they make the first grumble as they often go straight back to sleep but if they started crying/ calling for me. If I didn't go in pretty quickly they would just work themselves up and take longer to go back to sleep. They usually stopped crying as soon as I went in the room and offered them boob but when I decide to night wean them (1 at 18 months, the other at 2.5 yrs) DH would go into to settle them and that did result in a lot of crying which was heartbreaking for me. Although they were never left alone to cry I found it so terrible I often went in after 20 minutes and they would stop immediately.

DH would tell me that because I had gone in, their crying was for nothing asif I'd have stayed out the room, they would have settled eventually.

Because I couldn't listen to the crying, we agreed that DH would do bedtime and I would be out of the house and that's the only way I could deal with it. DD1 took several nights, DD2 took a couple. Both were nightweaned i this way but it wasn't easy. It wasn't sleep training persay but when they stopped waking up 5 or 6 times a night for milk, they did start to sleep better.

DD2 was ill recently and one night wouldn't settle for DH at all after settling for him for several months. She is now back in bed with me and waking for milk three or four times a night. DH wants to nightwean again but I hate going through it.

I can't stand to hear a child cry mine or anyone elses.

my son wakes up every 3 hours without fail and i either go to him or I am there (we co sleep) so he's never been left to cry. He's also never thrown himself on a floor having a tantrum because of lack of sleep.

what's the alternative? My son is 2 and I haven't found any other way of doing it than responding to him when he cries.

rhondajean Sat 19-Jan-13 23:43:31

I didn't read baby books with my two apart from ready steady baby and I suppose I did do controlled crying but I didn't have a clue I was doing it.

Night time is for SLEEP. Apart from rare occasns when they were I'll, I wasn't up during the night with either of mines past about 6 months once they stopped needing a middle of the night feed.

Sleep is extremely important to a baby and child's development. Yes different ones need more or less sleep, dd2 needs much less than dd1 who could sleep from 7 pm to 7 am as a baby (and still now!) but the detrimental effects of a lack of sleep on a baby or small child are obvious if you know them. Now I'm not advocating ignoring really upset children but if its night time and they should be in bed, then there is something totally counter intuitive about picking them up and fussing them when they are tired and whiny and crying.

What utter tosh about it being abusive! Abusive is the baby left to cry alone in its cot for hours - not the baby that has been given proper routine and is comfortable that it knows what happens and feels safe (whatever the routine is).

rainrainandmorerain Sun 20-Jan-13 00:01:31

dueling, same here. Ds has always been a frequent waker - I go to him to start with and then we co-sleep.

ds never slept well on his own in a cot. He needed to be settled umpteen times a night, and it took forever. Sometimes 45 mins to get him to calm down and go back to sleep - then he'd wake up again half an hour later.

Now ds (2 and a half) gets enough sleep - so do I and DP. There was a thread on her a little while back which amounted to secret co-sleepers admitting we slept with our dcs, and (mostly) loved it.

something I would also not admit to in RL... when ds was younger, I got a LOT of advice about sleep 'training' by cc zealots. Oh, how I heard that my dc would never learn to sleep if I didn't 'train' him, and if I wanted to do the best for my ds I would leave him to cry himself to sleep and blah blah blah. I've always felt more like 'it's just the way he is.' Early baby, bad reflux - he didn't have the comfiest of starts in life, and I don't blame him for not sleeping like a robot. Bit hard to explain, but I feel it's just how he is. I could get angry at him or go with the flow.

Anyway. As it is turning out, ds is one of those very chilled toddlers (so far) - no real tantrums, very easy to reason with, good language skills so expresses himself without that frustration you see in small children. It's just how he is. A lot of contemporaries are struggling with some EPIC tantrum throwing from their toddlers - proper full on scream/roll around/head banging etc. It's obviously exhausting and miserable for the parents, and quite scary.

I admit, I have thought - heavens, all that skill in 'training' your baby to sleep, and you can't do anything to 'train' them out of these tantrums?

stopgap Sun 20-Jan-13 00:21:32

We did gradual retreat over a three-week period. My son was 15 months. It worked a treat.

We were in one hell of a predicament. Nursing to sleep hadn't worked since my son was 11 months, and he still slept--wait for it--in his pram overnight. (He had raging silent reflux for seven or eight months, and had grown so accustomed to sleeping on an incline that he wouldn't accept anything else.) Before sleep training, we spent 30-40 minutes every night rocking him back and forth in his pram. Utterly nuts.

Yes, there were tears on night one of sleep training, but I was always there in the room with him--plenty of hugs and cuddles the first few nights, and even some lullabies--and by the beginning of week three, I could leave the room, he'd grumble for thirty seconds, and then be out like a light for 11 or 12 hours.

Ds3 won't co sleep, when I go into him in the night and it's obvious he's tired even patting and shushing makes him angry. I have to sit there on the floor until he goes back to sleep.

He self settles at bedtime and when he goes for a nap with no problems, he also self settles in the night sometimes.

Floweryhat Sun 20-Jan-13 08:44:59

I don't think there's any link between whether a child is prone to tantrums and sleep training/co-sleeping. Where is the evidence for this? It is also in many circumstances possible to get plenty of sleep without sleep training. They're not mutually exclusive. Equally some families have children who regress after cc and they end up doing it repeatedly after every illness etc. some of them get v tired!

As far as tantrums go, some of mine have been v laid back and well behaved, others not so much. Personalities and other circumstances vary too, it's not all about sleep. Actually my 3 year old has always been the best sleeper of the lot and easiest to get to bed etc. She's extremely tantrummy and a right handful at the moment -v argumentative. The only major difference between her and her older sibs is that she's stopped bf already and she's number 3. Oh, and of course she is a different child...

You can tell the difference when a toddler is having a tantrum because of frustration/ not getting their own way or because they are tired. At least I can with mine.

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sun 20-Jan-13 10:58:34

tell you what, that one who is laughing somewhere up the page - you be cruel to your children and i'll be kind to mine.

SomeKindOfDeliciousBiscuit Sun 20-Jan-13 11:10:36

I agree with bunnylove . Our DD goes to sleep in our bed a couple of hours or so before we join her. We have a video monitor for those hours, and when she stirs I go up and breastfeed her to sleep again. No crying. She is kneeling up, rubbing her little eyes when I come in and lie down next to her. I give her a little squeeze, she gives me the biggest smile and puts her arms round my neck for a hug, then lies down and feeds to sleep. It's very quick and we're all happy. She doesn't have to be unhappy because she knows we'll come straight away. Why leave her crying? To teach her no-one cares?
The problem stems from the idea that babies are somehow wicked, manipulative creatures with no good manners about personal space. Silly idea.

catgirl1976 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:11:50


rainrainandmorerain Sun 20-Jan-13 11:31:55

"The problem stems from the idea that babies are somehow wicked manipulative creatures...."

Yes. I've always been disturbed by the language people use about small babies when they use harsh parenting methods - it's always something like 'they know what they are doing....', 'they just want attention/they're not unhappy, they are angry and need to be taught a lesson' etc etc.

btw, I have a lot of sympathy for mums (parents, yes, but most of this sort of thing seems to fall to mums) who have very rigidly schedule driven lives, where they have very limited opportunities for 'working around' their baby, and so end up trying to force the baby into habits which fit into their lives and routines. I'm thinking in particular about mums who have to return to work very early, don't have much support at home etc. As a co-sleeping parent who does not leave babies to cry (and who knows what it is like to be exhausted to the point of utter misery) - I do understand that some mothers' circumstances mean that they they have very few parenting 'choices' open to them.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 20-Jan-13 11:34:21

Despite being in the CC camp I've always responded to mine in the middle of the night. IME if a child has gone to sleep in the semi-dark on their own (with teddy and blankie) in a cot - reassured, kissed, and knowing that mum will come if they call, then if they roll over and semi-rouse in the night they will not be unsettled - everything is just as it should be, and they'll mutter and carry on sleeping. If they wake up and cry then that's a sign that something is actually wrong and they need attention/cuddles whatever.

But if an older baby goes to sleep in mum's arms, or even latched on, and then rouses to find that someone has stolen mummy and dumped them in a cot, then it's not surprising they kick off. Ferber's analogy is "how would you feel if you went to sleep in bed and some maniac moved you into the bath while you were asleep?".

From this perspective "on their own" doesn't have to be alone in the room - shh-pat, or sitting quietly in a chair next to them reassuring occasionally is also fine. And of course if you're co-sleeping then the issue doesn't arise.

catgirl1976 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:37:20

I have thought of my baby as wicked or manipulative

I have thought of him as needing to get enough sleep

I co-slept till around nine months, after which time it became impractical for him to continue to do so for a wide range of reasons

He did not respond to any other method than cc, which took 2 nights before he was sleeping through in his own bed as opposed to the weeks of distress and lack of sleep all other methods (including co-sleeping) were putting him through

All babies are different. All families are different. Different babies respond differently to different approaches

CC at a sensible age and done well is not "cruel" or "damaging".

Telling other mothers that they are, is.

catgirl1976 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:37:48

That should say never thought of my baby as wicked or manipulative blush

SomeKindOfDeliciousBiscuit Sun 20-Jan-13 11:46:37

Tbh I can understand and agree with the previous poster who said (in other words) that this is all well and good if you have the luxury of choice. I'm a sahm but if I wasn't our routines might have been different. I still think we'd cosleep and not leave her to cry, but she might have wanted different things is she was at nursery all day, who knows.

I certainly don't think less of anyone whose choices are limited by their situation - you do what you can, the best for your baby in the circumstances .

I do think it's cruel when people just want to put them away for the night for the hell of it, though. I go cold when friends say "I went in the next morning and he was just covered in sick, it was everywhere! He's been crying in the night but he does." Poor fucking baby sad

catgirl1976 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:55:26

We have a video monitor Somekind

When we are downstairs in the evening we can see him

I check on him when I go to bed and then DH checks again when we do

If he wakes in the night (very rare) we can look on the monitor to see what's going on

We also know the difference between a "I have woken up but will settle myself in a minute and go back to sleep" cry and a "Something is wrong" cry. If it's the latter or he won't self settle we will go in (this happens very, very , maybe once a month, but because it generally means he has done a poo we always go in)

I agree we do what is best for our individual babies in our individual circumstances

Mosman Sun 20-Jan-13 12:14:46

I'm thinking in particular about mums who have to return to work very early, don't have much support at home etc. As a co-sleeping parent who does not leave babies to cry (and who knows what it is like to be exhausted to the point of utter misery) - I do understand that some mothers' circumstances mean that they they have very few parenting 'choices' open to them.

I was a 23 year old single mum living on the other side of the world from my family and who returned to work when I kid you not the umbilical cord stump was still attached, bloody hell if I could co sleep and breast fed and not use cc then I don't see why other's can't. That said I genuinely have no interest these days in what other people do with their babies sleep routines.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 20-Jan-13 12:32:05

somekind - yes, I agree, the 'I want them to sleep through the night because I just think they should and don't want to see them between 7pm and 7am' parents get on my wick. Someone I know got stressy about bedtimes and her dd waking up because she 'missed watching telly' in the evenings. Well me too, honey! Life's a bitch....

mosman - I'm not a sahm, I'm self employed/main breadwinner and went back to work FULL TIME (albeit in my own home) before ds was one week old. He was ebf and co-slept (not from the start, but once I'd worked out that was the best way - wish I'd done it earlier now).

I suppose my making allowances for other mums' circumstances is partly because I hate it when people make wrong assumptions about mine. Like assuming because I am a WAHM I can spend all day with ds and then work all night. Or 'you can do what you want' etc. I know famlies with several small children, a working mum who also does most of the domestic arrangments/work, and whose dps really don't help much. That's not my situation and I can see it makes different demands on them, is all.

catgirl1976 Sun 20-Jan-13 12:37:53

I have one day WAHM 4 days WOHM rain

Guess which day is the hardest!

Someone telling me I could "do what I want" on my WAHM day would make me very stabby smile

PolkadotCircus Sun 20-Jan-13 12:50:02

Err you seem mighty interested Mosman.

Your if I can co sleep,bf and not cc anybody can view is mighty arrogant.

I and many others have no desire at all to do any of the above.Who died and made you the parenting expert?

A routine is a waaaay better way to go IMHO, I think co sleeping is risky and anyway utterly loathe it as do my children and bf is sooooo not worth the anguish and trauma when it doesn't work so couldn't give a stuff how you parent.

Oh and re your ridiculous post re naps further down I'd love to see how you make in a newborn and toddlers sleep at the same time in the day without sleep training. Also I had waaaaay to much to do in the day re playing,reading with all my children,cooking,cleaning,shopping,getting exercise,seeing other adults to have the luxury of sleeping in the day.I know a lot of mums and not one could sleep in the day-ever.

Your ideals worked for you great,they would never work for me and more importantly I'd rather eat my own hair than parent that way anyway.

Mosman Sun 20-Jan-13 13:04:12

HOw to make a toddler and newborn nap at the same time ? Ridiculously easy get into bed, put one one side of you and one the other, snuggle up and they both nod off, you do too. Bloody marvellous.

PolkadotCircus Sun 20-Jan-13 13:08:01

Absolute b*******s and irresponsible.

Yes except some dc don't like to cosleep, also mine were prem so I wouldn't co sleep anyway

PolkadotCircus Sun 20-Jan-13 13:11:06

Soooooo what do you do if the toddler or newborn doesn't want a nap and want to play,eat,bounce,run around instead?

How about if you don't actually have time to nap anyway?

Mosman Sun 20-Jan-13 13:12:43

Oh dear hit a nerve have I ? If you'd rather eat your hair that cuddle your children to sleep that's your business but co sleeping works very well has done for many many families since time began.
I genuinely couldn't give a stuff how you've brought your children up but seen as you are arguing your way is the "best" I'll add some balance thank you very much.

And yes a prem baby would be different but I'd blood hope you weren't doing CC with them either.

PolkadotCircus Sun 20-Jan-13 13:19:19

No you were arguing your way is best I was simply illustrating that others don't parent like you and think actually their own way for their child is best.

Also I cuddled my children for most of the day as I was with them all 24/7 from the day they were born until they started school,cuddles soooooo not an issue in this house and I'm pretty sure every other house of a sleep trained child.

Couldn't give a stuff how old co-sleeping is,as a society we're changed in how we parent in many ways- a lot for the better.

You are the one who brought up babies and toddlers in a bed at nap time, we were talking about cc with older dc. So not as ridiculously easy to get a baby and toddler to nap at the same time as you said then.

Mosman Sun 20-Jan-13 13:24:24

If you consider controlled crying progress then there's nothing more to add.
I gave up caring what other people do with their children along time ago, my way is one way I'm not jumping up and down calling CC abuse but its not the only option open to people and to suggest its the only way if you're a single mum with one leg no family working eight days a week is most definitely bullshit. Where there's a will there will always be a way.

stopgap Sun 20-Jan-13 13:29:32

Co-sleeping doesn't work out for everyone, just as breastfeeding doesn't work out for everyone. My son shared our bed for the first three months, but then started with awful silent reflux which required him sleeping in a stroller at night, on an incline. Once this passed, we tried to bring him back to our bed and it was ridiculous--putting fingers up our noses, chatting away.

Nursing to sleep has not worked for me for many months (my son is now 17 months and still BF) and so we were recently faced with the decision to sleep train (in our case, gradual retreat) and all I see before me is a loving, well-rested boy who's thriving. Contrary to assumption about those that sleep-train, I always go to him at night if he cries (probably once or twice a month). I mostly use a baby carrier during the day, did baby-led weaning etc. so sleep-training is not necessarily done by one kind of parent, nor do I think gently encouraging my son to sleep on a flat surface has damaged our bond, either now or in the long-term.

PolkadotCircus Sun 20-Jan-13 13:39:48

Exactly Stop and Mosman where there is a will there most definitely isn't always a way.Many mums would far rather be at home cuddling their babies all day long but bills don't pay themselves,some mums would like to do half and half but the job doesn't allow it,bfing doesn't always work,you can't change a child's personality or ability however much you will it.........

You make a statement then utterly negate it in the same post with your snide,ridiculous comment add ons.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now