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My 12 month old dd has gotten used to us staying in the room with her until she falls asleep, which is alright (although not great) at 7.30pm, but no fun at all at 3am - especially as I'm on my own.
I've been trying the Jo Frost controlled Timed Crying Technique ('sooth and leave') on these pages, but it seems to me that me returning to her every few minutes actually makes her worse, rather than better. She starts off gently crying to herself, and after half an hour of me popping in an out is on the verge of making herself sick.
Has anyone else found this? Did the technique work anyway?
Please please please no-one tell me how cruel I am for letting her cry - before I tried this I either lost my evening to sitting in her room and having dinner at 10pm, or if i really needed to get things done, she'd end up back in the living room in her comfy chair. So this really needs to work!
could you do a gradual withdrawal where you stay in the room but dont interact and then gradually move further away and then out of the room. Alternatively, you could try pick up/put down which also involves staying in the room.
If you wanted to stick with controlled crying then I would not go in if they are just whinging and only go in if distressed. Give a quick cuddle, put them down and leave again.
I do give her milk in the night, and haven't stopped doing that so she's not hungry. It's more the getting off to sleep in the early evening (ie, now) and again after the milk, which often takes two hours or more, even with me there. So it would be good for both of us to teach her how to get to sleep on her own.
Oh look this is hard. My dd was similarly programmed. In the end I took the hit for 6mths and stayed in the room and lost my evenings. Hard at the time but for me I couldn't do it another way.
I'm about to have dd2, this time I might be different and so might baby. I mean to say u have to do what u can cope with as a family. Not what a book says. Any book. Try different things but if u try a few maybe u just end up having to suck it up for a bit. It isn't long in hindsight although feels like it at the time.
Will try to be more helpful, I just hate the thought of an upset baby. I hear the upstairs baby crying for hours every day and it's distressing.
If the going to bed is the problem, what is your bedtime routine like? Do you have quiet play before bed? I find that if I make an effort 1 hour before bedtime to dim the lights and do only calm stuff with DD (no tickles, racing around etc) and talk a lot about going to bed " We're tidying away the toys. They're going to sleep too", she goes to sleep so much quicker than on lazy days when I just let her run around and do as she likes.
Felt the need to post as I thought some of the above weren't very helpful. I am sure this is not a decision you have come to lightly and i feel awful for you having to do it in your own. I do think learning to fall asleep alone is a skill and one that has to be learned. If controlled crying is the route you have decided to take then consistency is the key. Same routine every night so that acts as a comfort. If you think she might be better if you leave her completely then try it. I found that too hard so I went in at 5 mins, then 10, then 15 and so on. Don't go too near the cot and repeat the same phrase every time you go in in a soothing voice. Good luck and I hope you get some precious time to yourself soon.
Completely agree MrsHuxtable. We do dinner, bath, cuddle and book, then into bed where I sing a song (the same one every night). Sometimes she goes to sleep almost immediately, but on other days she doesn't.
She then wakes up at about 10.30pm for milk, after which I again give her a cuddle, then put her to bed with a song - but she NEVER goes straight to sleep after this one, and can often still be awake at 1am. As she wakes again at 7.30am, I'm starting to really feel the strain and need to find a way to get her to drop off to sleep by herself without me sitting next to her, holding her hand.
I have considered the gradual withdrawl idea but haven't tried it yet.
Thanks Gumps. Thats the technique I've been using - go in after 5 mins, 10 mins etc, but I find that the crying steps up after every visit and just seems to prolong the whole thing rather than actually soothing her. Or maybe that happens with all babies?
Am now jealous your DD only wakes once a night. DD still wakes loads of times. However, I catch her early (we co-sleep), before she totally wakes up, so she has a feed and we're back to sleep within 10 minutes max.
Incorporate it into your DD's bedtime routine and - this is vital - position it so she can turn it on herself if she wakes in the night. With a bit of luck it'll take her attention so you can slip away.
Is she actually crying or just whinging/grizzling? DS often does one really ear piercing shout just as he's dropping off! Makes me jump out of my skin, but by the time I've got back to his room, he's asleep! Also can you peep through the door and see what she's doing?
No helpful advice only to say I am totally with you with the desperation. Watching this thread with interest.
I have a 12m old who has always been fed or cuddled to sleep who can wake up to 6 times overnight. Totally exhausted and nearly considering controlled crying but any attempts to teach her to self soothe in the past have been a disaster with her getting more and distressed and i cannot leave her like that so not really sure what to try!
@Gumps, you may be right but I've not yet figured out how to tackle the 'weaning her off her night time milk' problem. A lot of people seem to say that they grow out of it and eventually just stop waking for it, so I figured I'd just let her sort that one out herself. It's not really so much of a problem if she can get herself back off to sleep afterwards, as I could still fit a decent night's sleep in that way. Or thats the theory, at least.
I would cuddle her, and put her to bed. Then I would stay in her room, faffing about for a bit, and not interacting with her, at all. Then I would say "I'm just going out for a second". Then I would go out, and straight back in. And I would continue to faff, not interacting with her. Then I'd announce that I was going into my bedroom (ie the next room) and I would go out, into my bedroom, and come straight back in. Then, more faffing, without interaction. (You get the picture?)
Any way, each time I would go out for a little longer, announcing where I was going and how long I would be, and doing exactly what I said I would each time. Finally, I would say, I'm going downstairs now, and I'll come in when I go to bed.
All of this was done with no crying at all. If she cried, I would soothe her, and start the process over.
It took a couple of weeks, but it worked really well.
@teacher123 she starts off whinging, but each time I pop in it goes up a level until it becomes full on crying. A couple of nights ago my mother was here and told me to just not go back in, to see if that worked. She did dial down to whinging again, but it went on and on until eventually I just went and sat down next to her - at which point she fell asleep within minutes.
We did CC with 2 min, 3 min, 4 min intervals which might reduce the time she has to get worked up. We also picked up DD and ensured she had stopped crying before leaving her each time. We only got to 6 min. We also agreed that if it didn't work or improve within a week then we would give up. If you are working up in 5 min intervals, how long do you end up leaving her? I don't think 12 month olds have a good idea of time so the longer periods may feel like forever. I know some friends did CIO as their return just made things worse each time in CC. Other friends just let their children get worked up and vomit. I couldn't do that.