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control cry a 4 month old

(149 Posts)
JPaav Thu 15-Nov-12 19:58:05

Hi all. Need some advice. My 4 month old DD is in most ways a delightful baby, but she won't sleep at night more that 2 hours at a stretch. She was going for 5-7 hours but once she was 3.5 months it all went away. I am having some health issues and very high blood pressure and both her doctor and mine have recommended that we sleep train her via controlled crying. I used this method to perfect success with my older DD when she was 7 months. Do I do anything differently this time because she is 4 months? Any other tips??

CoteDAzur Thu 15-Nov-12 23:03:43

My understanding is that night wakings after the first couple of months is a habit issue rather than a need issue. When you stop night feedings, daytime feeding increases to compensate. After a few days, body adjusts to the new feeding schedules and the habit to feed in the night is forgotten.

JPaav Thu 15-Nov-12 23:07:39

Ok Cote I got it now. Your advice has been super helpful. On another note have you found with your second that the languages are more difficult? DD speaks English and Finnish (father) and we live in Vienna so German as well. I've read that seconds are more difficult to raise multilingual.

CoteDAzur Thu 15-Nov-12 23:14:32

Not in our experience. DD had only two words and one invented word at the age of 2, but DS was making sentences in all three languages at that stage.

I think that is because with DD non-stop chatting away, there has always been more conversation around DS. When DD was a baby, I did talk to her, but it was obviously always one-sided until she got fluent at about 3.

Sorry- iPhone posted too soon! I meant to say - mumsnet peeps seem really anti cc but in real life people I've spoken to rave about it.

From my experience it works. Babies learn to sleep. It's not like you leave them for ages to cry. They are checked and soothed every few mins. And the benifits are best for everyone. Baby sleeps well= happy baby= happy family= no brainer

I' have used cc with all my dc (5 of them) from about 5 weeks. (Shock horror!) and they have all slept 12hrs 7-7 by 12 weeks.

Happy baby. Happy family. They all sleep well (oldest now 15yr)

Controlled crying does not mean leave them to scream all night. You check they are ok and gently shhhhhh.

Someone on here compared it to the cortisol levels of a Romanian parentless children WTF?? Not quite the same as a poor child who is given no love attention whatsoever 24 hours a day!

Cc means you let them try to self sooth for 5 mins - check them - shhh- check- shhhh etc (and only at night) it bloody works!!

After a v short time my dc have learnt to go to sleep without crying and happily sleep all night. (Of course u need to make sure they are getting enough milk during the day) and I have FF so I expect this easier sleep wise than BF

Sits back and waits for flaming.....

JPaav Thu 15-Nov-12 23:58:35

Tend I am with you all the way! My daughter loves sleep because she learned to. I can't imagine going a year--my Dd would have been so sleep deprived I think that is cruel! Anyway, did you stop night feeds at same time also?

ISeeThreadPeople Fri 16-Nov-12 09:51:54

I am not going to flame you TEND. What's the point? You've done what you've done against knowledge, research and logic. It was your decision. You have to live with it. I wouldn't go around advocating it if I were you as it's so contrary to everything we empirically know about babies, but you made your choices and you say you're happy with them.

I will say a couple of things on the whole subject though...

That happy baby/happy mummy/family stuff is one of my pet hates. It's a load of old crap and trotted out as a trite sentiment to justify a much larger issue or behaviour ime.

Weight has fuck all to do with how much sleep a baby is capable of or whether they're ready to drop night feeds. My friend had a baby who weighed 12lbs for example. At birth. Should he have been immediately stretched to 5hrly feeds because all of the other babies we knew of 12lbs or so were a few months old and achieving this? No. Development and weight are two separate things.

Babies SHOULD be sleeping through at 6 months barring emotional or developmental problems? This is bollocks.

I've read that Weissbluth book btw. It's crap. Really crap. The odd bit of info and sense, wrapped up in a lot of opinion and misguided advice.

CoteDAzur Fri 16-Nov-12 10:04:50

"Babies SHOULD be sleeping through at 6 months barring emotional or developmental problems?"

Not "should" but "can", so there is no need to delay sleep-training at this stage.

And I don't know what "emotional problem" means in a 6 month old baby.

CoteDAzur Fri 16-Nov-12 10:06:48

Waiting until a year to sleep-train doesn't help anybody.

From what DD's paediatrician said and from what I see in babies around me, sleep training is best done before (1) teething starts, and (2) baby can roll around, sit up, bang his head around etc.

kdiddy Fri 16-Nov-12 10:12:04

Totally agreed iseethreadpeople. CC doesn't make babies magically learn to self-settle. It teaches them there is no point in crying because nobody comes to meet their need. So you get the outcome you want - longer sleep - but at what cost? They're not capable of being manipulative at 4months - they are expressing a need.

I stopped the dream feed with DS because it was actually disturbing his sleep and things started to get much better after that. His sleep dramatically improved at about 7 months - before that he was waking between 3-8 times a night. Lots of little things helped - no dream feed, big feed before bed, when we started weaning, when he became more active. I would recommend the no cry sleep solution as well - Elizabeth Pantley - it's a much gentler version of what you're trying to do which addresses and minimises many of the concerns about CC. You'll get there in the end with it more slowly, but more gently.

JPaav Fri 16-Nov-12 10:12:47

ISee, Why s it a trite sentiment if the baby actually sleeps better and is happier during the day?! And the Weissbluth book is so laden with research and stats that it is incredibly difficult to read. Just as you say trite sentiment with saying babies are happier I say trite sentiment with all those women who go on YEARS with babies not sleeping (awful for babes) to justify their "good martyr mother" status.

JPaav Fri 16-Nov-12 10:14:47

Oh last night DH handled the first two wakings with shhhh pat etc and not taking her from bed. She went straight back asleep with me not being there. She fed only at 3 and 6 am and it went great.

ISeeThreadPeople Fri 16-Nov-12 10:18:18

I was quoting the op "Babies should be able to sleep through by 6 months period unless there I a behavioural or emotional problem (not ill kids obviously)". She is saying that a baby not sleeping through at 6 months must be either ill or have some emotional or behavioural problem. The truth is that at 6 months babies need far more calories than they have done and yes, from milk. You don't start with solids until 6 months so up to this point they are relying on that milk through some absolutely massive developmental leaps and this very often includes night feeds.

Research tells us that sleep patterns do and should change in the first year and frequently. This is to cope with developmental and physical needs. We also know that they should have short sleep cycles and are designed to associate milk with falling back to sleep (in evolutionary terms it's the best way for the mother and the baby). They need to come in and out of sleep cycles regularly in the night as a safeguarding measure.

And if we're doing sleep training before they can roll around/sit up then I would have needed to sleep train ds at a tiny age. He was rolling both ways by 12 weeks and sitting by 15 weeks.

I am not against gently helping babies to achieve good quality sleep and I originally responded to the op hoping to offer some advice but she said 'she'd tried everything' and then went on to explain that she ONLY wanted advice on cc and no deviation from Weissbluth. She then says she actually doesn't know what pick up or put down is so may not have tried everything. I'm reluctant to offer any advice because I'm really not sure what the op wants.

ISeeThreadPeople Fri 16-Nov-12 10:25:59

I didn't say a baby being happier was trite. I was criticising that blooming 'happy mummy/happy baby' thing as trite. Because it's not true and it's only trotted out as justification and never thought through properly. Of course making a baby happy can often make the mother and the extended family happier. BUT it's such a loaded phrase. Because what if your baby's happy and you aren't? What if you're unhappy or have ptsd or pnd following the birth? Are you condemning the baby to a life of unhappiness? What if what makes me happy is gin and cake? Is that best for my baby? Works the other way too. What if the baby only wants to bf all day every day for the first 7 years of life? Should I do that and will it make me happy? It's just a nonsensical statement in every direction.

I'm glad you've had a good night and you've found that there are other gentler methods which do work. You deserve to feel as well as you possibly can.

I can point you in the direction of lots and lots of books on child development and/or sleep. Some totally research led and heavy reads, some easier reads. Weissbluth is no God and his opinion sets the tone of the text. I think I could pick any extreme parenting belief and find enough research to make it sound recommended if I had enough time.

And don't say that women who don't sleep train are martyrs. That's just rude. Plenty of women are perfectly happy to be child led and not for the boasting rights it confers, simply because they are doing what they believe is best.

CoteDAzur Fri 16-Nov-12 10:28:53

"Babies should be able to sleep through" is not the same thing as "babies should sleep through". That is what I said: They can sleep through at this age, so there is no physical need for night feeds.

I don't know what OP means by "emotional problems" of a 6 month old confused

"You don't start with solids until 6 months"

I started solids at 4 months with DD (because that was the advice of the time) and DS (to thicken the mix in his tummy so he wouldn't vomit up a river after every feed - it worked).

Sleep training worked with both. They were very happy babies, now very happy children, and they have slept through ever since, except the occasional illness, teething etc.

" They need to come in and out of sleep cycles regularly in the night as a safeguarding measure"

Are you trying to say that sleeping through the night is not safe for babies?

JPaav Fri 16-Nov-12 10:29:25

I plan to go gentler till I am certain she can give up her night feed which I doubt will be long based on how much she actually eats at night. But then we will do CC. We've used it before and in doing so helped my daughter become a superb sleeper and she is a super kid.

CoteDAzur Fri 16-Nov-12 10:35:58

"It teaches them there is no point in crying because nobody comes to meet their need. "

And you know that... how exactly? hmm Why not "Nighttime is sleeping not feeding", or possibly even "When lights are off, my parents get a bit slow to come when I call, but they do come so they must love me".

CC is not CIO. Parent does come in. Baby is not abandoned ffs. Parent comes in, comforts baby through a variety of pat/shh, pick-up/put-down, sings lullabies, kisses, whatever to get him back to sleep except milk.

Over a few days, this teaches the baby's body to forget the evening meal times and he stops waking up for feeds.

ISeeThreadPeople Fri 16-Nov-12 10:51:56

Nope, I'm not saying anything about sleeping through the night not being safe. Of course I'm not. I'm saying that a baby is a bundle of evolutionary and developmental needs and they are designed to follow a pattern. These patterns are not about whims or manipulations or 'boob addiction', they're about what best and normal for a small baby. If a baby sleeps through of its own volition then they're ready to sleep through. I am not disputing this. I am merely talking about interfering with the developmental needs and norms of a tiny baby. It's not about tackling a wilful behaviour or stopping a toddler scribbling on the wall. It's understanding what normal for a baby and working with it instead of against it or fighting natural, protective behaviours in tiny babies.

And yes a baby might be able to sleep through at 6 months, some do. I don't dispute this. What I was taking issue with was the implication that there are only two reasons whey they might not be. Emotional or behavioural problems apparently. No way they could be hungry? Really? Thirsty? Unsettled? Bad dream? Nappy twisted? Lonely? Cold? Hot? Teething? Babies of the age op is describing don't fit into little boxes and wake for myriad reasons, many of them beyond our control. It's fact, simple scientific fact that babies wake up during major developmental leaps as their brains work slightly differently when mastering skills. Equipping them with confidence and the ability to self settle at an appropriate time is fine. I will never, ever accept that when a baby's only method of communication is crying, that it is somehow right or appropriate to choose when to respond to this. Some babies aren't ready to sleep through at 6 months. Some sleep through younger and then stop sleeping through for a while. All normal.

And yes weaning age was 4-6 months over 9 years ago. But I'm responding to the op's situation now.

I don't dispute that you and other people did cc and their dc are happy and well adjusted and sleep well but these are anecdotes. I can tell you that I've never, ever sleep trained my dc and one slept through at 8 weeks and has done for his whole life, the other didn't sleep through until a lot older. I was happy to follow each dc according to their needs at the time and they are both bright, happy, well adjusted, independent dc who sleep well and self settle. But this is just anecdote, not data.

Houseworkprocrastinator Fri 16-Nov-12 10:52:28

interesting read.

www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/wellbeing/7661184/Crying-it-out-does-no-harm

it does state that it is for 6 months and upwards but for those who are completely against at any age or unsure it might put your mind at ease.

"Their study, the first to follow up children as late as age six, compared outcomes for children whose parents used the behavioural techniques at age eight to 10 months to those whose parents did not.

The researchers found there were no differences in the mental and behavioural health, stress levels, and relationships of children across the two groups five years later."

Pooka Fri 16-Nov-12 10:56:05

My dcs sleep well and are also super kids. Didn't CC. I think it's because they're mine wink

Could it be that your dd sleeps well and is super because of reasons other than the fact that you CC with her? It's a bit sad to put her loveliness down to the way you sleep trained. Or are you saying that because you feel she is super in spite of the controlled crying?

CoteDAzur Fri 16-Nov-12 11:13:10

"If a baby sleeps through of its own volition then they're ready to sleep through."

And if a baby doesn't sleep through, does that really mean that they are not ready to?

I often read on MN about children who only start sleeping through when they are 2 or even 3 years old. Do you really think that means they were not ready to sleep through before?

Or is it at all possible that they were ready, but just were in the habit of waking up and feeding several times in the night.

CoteDAzur Fri 16-Nov-12 11:16:29

"simple scientific fact that babies wake up during major developmental leaps as their brains work slightly differently when mastering skills"

I keep reading this on MN but don't have any experience of it whatsoever. My DC learned to sleep through the night at 4 months and 5 months, respectively. They weren't turning, sitting up, pulling up, walking, or climbing at this point. And once they slept through, they always slept through, unless sick or in pain (like teething), regardless of the major development leaps they went through or the different skills they mastered.

If there is any scientific evidence for this "simple scientific fact", I'd love to see it.

PeazlyPops Fri 16-Nov-12 11:42:29

4 month sleep regression is normal. 4 months is way too young for sleep training.

DS's 4 month regression lasted 6 weeks, but he's sleeping through again now. You just have to ride it out.

JPaav Fri 16-Nov-12 12:12:19

My kid was a wreck before w CCed, woke every 1-2 hours at 7 months. In 3 days she was more alert, happier, etc.

hazeyjane Fri 16-Nov-12 12:17:33

I'm not really sure why you even started this thread, as you have already decided the course you are going to take!

JPaav Fri 16-Nov-12 12:23:05

To learn if there is anything to take into account based on age being younger than last time.

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