Controlled Crying... Anyone got other options?

(30 Posts)
Natanotherone Fri 05-Apr-13 14:40:16

I don't know if I agree with controlled crying really but I'm exhausted and don't know how much longer I can continue without a good nights sleep.

My DS is 5 months old, he has always been good on a night I just used to have to pop in maybe twice a night to pop his dummy back in, but in general he has been sleeping through without a feed since 3 months old.

Recently though its increased to between 10 and 15 times a night and there isn't anything wrong with him, even the dummy doesn't quieten him anymore. I have tried staying in there with him and shushing and reassuring until he falls asleep but within ten minutes of me leaving the room he is at it again. Eventually I become so tired I out him in bed with me and hubby... Really don't like doing that though as fear he will overheat and I don't want to start something that may last for years.

Sme friends suggested I try the controlled crying approach but will that work with a dummy? I just don't know. I feel like a terrible mother though because I just can't calm him down at night and me and hubby aren't getting along as the lack of sleep is making us both short tempered etc sad(

I was very aware before he was born that sleepless nights might last for a year or so, but I know he can sleep through so it's frustrating

Ay help or suggestions gratefully received


Natanotherone Tue 09-Apr-13 14:05:58

Still having bad nights but I genuinely just can't let him cry for long as I just feel rotten, which book out of the above is most recommended? Will,purchase a copy for my kindle today and try other methods to begin with xxx

atrcts Mon 08-Apr-13 15:12:35

I had a similar experience with my son at the same age.

It was a good time to ditch the dummy as he cried past it!

My health visitor suggested early weaning as he might be hungry, which I did, and it worked like a dream.

Good luck - remember nothing lasts forever, no matter how hard it is at the time.

sheeplikessleep Mon 08-Apr-13 13:31:17

When DS2 got to 10 months and was still consistently feeding every 2 - 3 hours (breastfed), we did what I called 'cuddle to sleep'.

DH would go in, pick up DS2 and rock / cuddle him until he got sleepy. He'd then put him in his cot and pat his back. If DS2 got distressed, DH would pick him back up and start again. If not, DH would pat his back and 'shhh' until DS2 fell asleep.

It took 2 nights. TBH, I hated it (was crying downstairs), but I was exhausted and I knew DS2 was with and being comforted by DH.

I wouldn't personally leave a baby to cry for more than a few minutes. Agree with poster above about feeling abandoned. I think it's important that you are at least in the room.

Pidgywidge Mon 08-Apr-13 12:57:10

Ooh CC is always controversial! It wasn't for us either, so we did a pick up, put down method advocated by the 'Baby Whisperer' book. It worked for us, and DD is now 2.5 and is a fantastic sleeper. We've only needed to put her in her cot, turn off the light and close the door since she was about 4 months. I'm a big believer in you need to do what feels right for you and your baby though, and what works for one isn't right for all....

MillionPramMiles Sun 07-Apr-13 15:05:00

Ps, our dd is also a dummy user. We've littered her cot with dummies and she is able to find one herself and put it in but she still cries until we come in. I say that because I'd always assumed the dummy was the issue waking her up but it isn't. So getting rid of the dummy may not necessarily solve the problem.

MillionPramMiles Sun 07-Apr-13 15:01:26

Natanotherone - cc is a controversial topic, as you can see from some of the responses...
I have an 11 month old who wakes 5-10 times a night and has rarely slept through, despite dropping her nights feeds herself at 6 months. My dp and I are on the verge of splitting up, our health has suffered from the constant sleepless nights. Co sleeping was never an option as dd wouldn't sleep with me in the bed.
I was advised by my gp (a mum herself) and two local Hvs to use cc at 6 months. It certainly isnt my experience that hvs no longer recommend it. I declined at that time as, like others, it felt cruel. I tried gradual retreat and PUPD, both with dp and with an experienced maternity nurse. Neither worked. Both methods simply made our dd more angry and she cried till she threw up.
We are now back to square one and facing trying cc. We wish we had done it when she was younger, she is now more aware and we think it will be harder on her (as both Hvs and gp advised it would be).
You might be lucky, your ds might simply grow out of it and start sleeping through. Your ds might respond to softer methods. Or you might be unlucky.
My advice would be think carefully about how much exhaustion you and your partner can put up with before it affects your relationship and your health. Try softer methods, co sleeping etc but keep an eye on the impact it's having on you. I wish we had done that.
Good luck.

Lala29 Sun 07-Apr-13 10:22:23

Because a newborn doesn't know any different and hasn't been taught that every little cry gets a response. Children need their sleep and it's a parents' job to teach them. Someone further up used a gradual withdrawal technique, but their child still cried for 1.5 hrs, same result, although the baby can see their mum and surely that makes it worse??? "You are there, but you're ignoring me. Why?")

Anyway, it's a very personal decision and you've got to do what works for your family.

TiredyCustards Sun 07-Apr-13 10:11:00

Why wouldn't a newborn think they'd been abandoned? hmm

Hi op, ds just went through a similar run of bad nights. It was learning to crawl it seems.I've read ncss and it makes a lot of sense.

I find changing his nappy the first time he wakes up helps and he sleeps better the rest of the night. No idea why, he's never particularly wet, but it seems to make a difference! Good luck.

Lala29 Sun 07-Apr-13 10:01:43

That's the thing with everything you are saying though. We never left our daughter to cry for more than 5 mins. We timed the cries, and went in after 1 min, 2 min, etc up to 5. It's a lot easier and less cruel with a small baby. A 1 year old will definitely think you abandoned them. After all, you used to respond straight away and suddenly you don't. They don't get it. And that's why you should do space soothing (not CIO) from a very young age rather than when they are 2, you are going insane and you are not talking to your husband!

lagoonhaze Sun 07-Apr-13 07:54:26

I'm completely anti cio but the other night I cracked and let my dd cry as I was at wits end. I went in and she sobbed all night after it seems and she didn't trust me for days.

My point is we all have times of dispair but cio shouldn't be a method we plan to use. I think its cruel and borders on neglect. We wouldn't leave an adult or an animal to cry would we?

Op if you want an e copy of the no cry book pm me.

Tee2072 Sun 07-Apr-13 07:45:24

Yes. Comfort your baby when it cries and tell yourself it won't be forever.

Also, your baby is much too young.

My baby is much too young and he's nearly 4.

Whomever came up with CC should be put to death. It's so mean. And Unnecessary.

milkwasabadchoice Sun 07-Apr-13 07:23:36

Don't cc - its mean and makes you feel worse! 5 months is tiny teeny and they are growing so much physically and mentally. Their needs and patterns change.

Saying he 'can' sleep through the night only means he 'has' done so, not that he is able to at the moment. Ditch the dummy, feed him if he might be hungry, research safe co sleeping (I tend to co sleep from about 5am onwards when resistance is lowest), accept that you are going through a tough patch and that it will get better - and maybe worse again - and try to work as a team with your dh.

jessebuni Sun 07-Apr-13 07:07:22

CC is mainly for older babies, not saying you can't do it if that's your choice but when I ask my health visitor they said they don't like to recommend it with children under a year although it may be nevessary for some parents. There are loads of changes that happen between birth and 1 year that can disrupt sleep patterns. My first child started sleeping through at 3 months but I remember that there were the occasional 1-2 weeks of hell which I couldn't find a reason for so putting down to teething/growth spurt.

My daughter is EBF and slept through from 3 weeks until 6 1/2 months when she started waking up 4-5 times a night at least. We've just moved her into another room as she was still in ours and now she is sleeping through again.

Several things to try before CC

1. Check your bedtime routine and keep to that routine
2. Is your baby eating/drinking enough during the day and is it time for some solids if you haven't started that already
3. Is it teething pain causing the problem
4. How long has it been happening as sometimes babies hit sleep regression patches which is a stupid name for going through a growing patch be it physical or mental
5. Try the no cry sleep solution book to see if anything there is helpful to you
6. Lastly move onto CC but maybe just start gently, leave to cry a few minutes, go tuck in and very gradually increase the time. Hopefully it won't get to that though.

Dey83 Sun 07-Apr-13 05:10:02

Cc really isn't for us. There are other more sensitive methods of sleep training, and the no cry solutions book by EP is really good. I am currently in the process of sleep taining my 6m old who used to wake every 40 mins during the night for over two months- and refused to be put in her cot - I'm using gradual retreat. She does cry alot and the first night she cried for 1.5 hours, however she knew I was there and it was more frustration than the feeling of abandonment.

Good luck with whatever you choose. Although I am very against cc (I believe it's emotionally neglectful), it really is about what works for each family.

freetrait Sat 06-Apr-13 22:48:41

Booooo! Sleepless nights are rubbish. You definitely need to suss them. ARe you sure he is not ill? Is he having enough milk during the day? Do you go to him immediately, or leave him for a couple of minutes before you rush in?

Is he going through a growth spurt?

At 5 months he might still need a night feed, but not loads and loads. CC is best at a bit older- nearer 1 really. I did it at 8 months grin.

Yes, I think I agree with others that it could be a dummy issue. Not experienced with that.....

Karoleann Sat 06-Apr-13 22:40:05

I Agee controlled crying is much worse when they are older and more conscious.
Welovegrapes please post the journal article that show the research that babies have higher cortisol levels - I very much doubt that any in vivo studies have been done in relation to controlled crying.

I suspect that its a dummy issue, your little one needs to get used to self settling without the dummy.

We ditched the dummy with ds2 at about 10 weeks and it took a couple of nights of a bit of crying (never more than a few minutes) and then he slept well.

It could also be a bit of teething, but even with that both dc2&3 slept well.

Hope you have a better night tonight.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Sat 06-Apr-13 22:21:23

Hi - another recommendation here for Andrea Grace. We used her book "How to teach yourself baby sleep" and it was great. It looks at lots of different techniques and also has chapters on how sleep patterns etc develop as babies get older. Some great practical tips too, such as:

1. Agree your strategy in advance with your OH and write it down so that you can remind yourself at 3 am

2. Keep a note of how each night goes so that you can look back and see progress

3. Stick with your chosen technique for at least a week.

I think the choice of how you tackle sleep is incredibly personal and if you are not committed to it yourself then the chances of success are fairly small. But FWIW we used the disappearing chair method which is a bit like baby whisperer but without the lying them back down. Worked for us, took three days for some results and about a fortnight to sort it completely (until the next developmental leap of course!)

Lala29 Sat 06-Apr-13 12:43:38

Welovegrapes, my HV also asked me if I was getting rid of my dog when she came round, so I don't tend to listen to everything they say. All I know is that I have a healthy, happy, very affectionate and confident toddler, who has slept through the night from just a few weeks old.

Doing cc when they are older is far more cruel in my opinion, more distressing for all involved and takes longer.

ENSMUM Sat 06-Apr-13 11:57:15

Look up a book by Andrea Grace. Suggests ways to get baby to self settle without CC. Just starting using her methods with 5 month DS.

Fairypants Sat 06-Apr-13 11:51:41

I also used the 'no cry sleep solution' and would recommend it. It is easier on the parents than cc as you don't have the guilt. It was great!

Welovegrapes Sat 06-Apr-13 11:44:36

Lala, new research has shown that in the long term babies where cc has been done have higher cortisol levels. That's why NHS HV usually don't advise it any more for young babies.

Lala29 Sat 06-Apr-13 00:32:35

I disagree with the above posters. We used strict routines and did space soothing with our DD straight away and she has slept through the night from around 12 weeks. (Leave for a minute, go in, check there is nothing actually wrong, shush, go out, leave for 2 mins, etc. never longer than 5 mins and make sure you actually time it). And yes, if course it doesn't work when they are ill. Buy once they are better, they go back to sleeping well. Never had a problem with holidays either. It's really not a cruel approach that people like to make out it is. If it saves your sanity and helps your LO sleep longer and better, I really don't see the problem.

FSB Fri 05-Apr-13 22:15:00

I was (and still am) massively anti-controlled crying because of the abandonment issues/effects on bonding etc. my DD was like your DS and so we resorted to using the baby whisperer technique on her at 10 months... It was very successful, just as much crying, but you're with them the whole time so they are crying out of frustration rather than fear that you've abandoned them. It took us 3 nights (40 mins, then 15 mins, then 5 mins) and she has been a good sleeper since.
Good luck... I know how soul destroying it can be but there are other options available rather than cc... Also, the thing that cc mothers don't tell u is that it may 'work' but only until the child gets ill or gets another tooth, or if u go on holiday... Then u usually have to do it all over again sad

Welovegrapes Fri 05-Apr-13 21:37:01

We had this with DS when he went through the 4 month sleep regression: it will pass!

We also co sleep which really helps.

I would not do cc at all. But anyway way too young and the cortisol produced by the stress can affect babies badly, they now think. May also really damage baby's trust in you.

What Hhh and Gloucester said.

I co slept with my son til he was 8 months and occasionally do it when he's ill, but generally he wants his own space and bed to sleep in, so don't believe this rod for your own back crap. Just get set up so you can co sleep safely and on purpose

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