Sleep training

(36 Posts)
Summerdays2014 Tue 20-Sep-16 14:10:08

Hi,

I know this is a contentious subject but... Have you ever tried controlled crying with your child? Did it work? How long did it take? How old were they? What made you decide that you finally had to do it? Did you do it for naps as well as evening sleep? Are you pleases you did it?

Apologies for all the questions. I know lots of you will come on and say how cruel it is and how it will damage the child, but I'm now at breaking point with my 8 month old and I am thinking of trying this.

Cocolocos Tue 20-Sep-16 17:37:46

We did it at 7 months and it worked surprisingly well even within 2 nights. We had tried gentler methods such as sitting by the cot and patting/gradual retreat. These worked great at first but stopped working as she got older. They just ended up making her really pissed off and so we tried CC. In fact in our case CC lead to LESS crying. It also lead her to drop night feeds and she slept through the night for the first time. For us it was a lifesaver but I know it's not for everyone. Nap lengths are still a bit hit and miss as you know from our other thread, but at least she goes to sleep on her own without any fuss now (previously I had to hold her for naps). We started with getting her to sleep at night only, then once nights improved we started on naps.

beginnersewer Tue 20-Sep-16 17:58:54

We did it at almost 6 months. Feeding to sleep wasn't working anymore and for some reason ours hated being rocked/cuddled to sleep and just screamed when we tried it. We did the going in after 5 mins, 10 mins, 15 mins then every 15mins or so. The first night took ages (about 90 mins I think) then over the next few nights it got quicker. Because he was screaming anyway with the rocking/cuddling I didn't feel quite so bad about it.
I didn't bother for naps or for wake ups during the night because he was already ok for those, it was just the initial going to sleep at bedtime that was the problem.

Summerdays2014 Tue 20-Sep-16 17:59:20

Thanks coco. I've been trying the sit by the bed and pat and like you it seemed to work at first but it's now stopped working, So I am seriously thinking about CC. Tried it half heartedly when he was 6 months but I need to give it a proper chance I think. I hope that the naps start to become more considerate soon coco. I've given up on trying to do two a day as they were not lengthening and he was just getting more grumpy! Like I said on the nap thread I've just become obsessed with sleep and it's not healthy! Thanks for replying.

Summerdays2014 Tue 20-Sep-16 18:09:24

Thanks beginner. Good to know it worked for you.

Cocolocos Tue 20-Sep-16 18:17:43

We were the same beginner - she was screaming and inconsolable with being held as well, so the "no cry" methods were actually even worse for us. She cried very little with CC in comparison.

beginnersewer Tue 20-Sep-16 19:38:15

coco - it's good to hear someone else had the same problem, I felt terrible that I couldn't console him by cuddling him but he just hated it at bedtime for some reason

Cocolocos Tue 20-Sep-16 19:55:44

Everyone told me to cosleep and that she would sleep better. Not DD - lying beside me and not playing made her so cross! None of us got any sleep that way. You need to choose what works for you and your baby I think.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 20-Sep-16 22:09:09

I did CC under the guidance of a Sleep Specialist when DS was 9 months old. I had a huge number of issues surrounding his sleep (bedtime and naptimes) and lack of sleep was really affecting me emotionally and affecting my relationship with DS.

When we did CC we had intervals of 2, 4 and 8 minutes. The first night was obviously the worst and took about 50 minutes before he fell asleep but with every night that time lessened and by night 4/5 he was self settling and sleeping through the night.

Summerdays2014 Wed 21-Sep-16 05:35:59

Writer, did you do CC for bedtime and naps? I'm not sure if I should do them both at the same time or tackle bedtime first?

isthistoonosy Wed 21-Sep-16 05:44:29

We did it around six months with dc1 first night took about an 40min and we didn't need to go in the second night.
They already self settled for naps, but I think the advice is to start with nights as you have longer to get them to sleep.

Dc2 settled fine until around 19 months since so we've only just done this, crying / cross screaming was less then 5 min the first couple of nights and nothing since then. Although we've had to stop stories in bed, strangely it was dc1 who realised that was the trick.

Cocolocos Wed 21-Sep-16 07:03:33

Best to start with nights only as it can be too exhausting to try to do it all at once.

Summerdays2014 Wed 21-Sep-16 07:55:30

Thanks to everyone who has replied, I was so nervous about posting as I thought I'd be judged and have everyone tell me how cruel it is.

So we went for it last night. It took 28 minutes for him to fall asleep, then he woke at 12. But no real crying and he went back to sleep without us having to go in. He woke at 4.50 am (not unusual for him to wake this early) could smell he had had a poo (that is unusual for that time of day) so changed him. He then cried for 30 minutes with us going in every 5. We gave up at about 5.40 and got him up for the day-not sure if this was the right thing to do? He fell asleep on my husband at about 6.40 for 20 minutes.

So, all in all a good night. Just unsure what to do about the early waking and if I should still be doing CC at that time in the morning.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 21-Sep-16 08:19:01

I did naps and bedtime at the same time for consistency. I didn't think it would be beneficial to treat him differently during day time sleeps than I do night time sleep - it sends mixed messages.

Prior to doing the CC he never had naps or if he did they were for 20-30 minutes maximum and only if I fed him to sleep. By the end of the 5 days not only was he sleeping through the night but he was having 2x90 minute naps each day which he self settled for.

In terms of the early mornings I was told to treat each wake up the same until the time comes when it is actually time to wake up. So, if you get up time is 7am and he wakes at 6.15am then you use the same CC technique you do as if he'd woken in the middle of the night.

Summerdays2014 Wed 21-Sep-16 08:33:20

Writer that's interesting re naps and early mornings. Was this what your sleep consultant advised? My sons naps are the same as yours were, usually 30 minutes and I'd love that to change. I think I'm going to find it harder to do the CC during the day as I'll be on my own...

Writerwannabe83 Wed 21-Sep-16 08:42:25

Yes, and she was excellent. She changed every aspect of DS's daily routine.

She told me that when it came to naps the longest I should leave him is for 45 minutes in total, obviously doing the CC intervals during that time, but if he hasnt fallen asleep then to take him out his cot. She told me to praise him when I picked him up, even though he hadn't slept, in order for him to associate being in his cot as being a good thing.

She then said that if he hadn't slept in his cot then to take him out for a walk in the buggy or a drive in car to try and get him to sleep (if either of those methods worked) just so he didn't get overtired even if he just had a small 30 minute nap.

I had to do this for the first few days but then he started falling asleep in his cot within the 45 minute time frame. Initially it took about 20-30 minutes (where he did get upset and I had to do CC intervals) but it quickly got to the stage where he'd then happily lie in his cot gurgling to himself until he drifted off.

Summerdays2014 Wed 21-Sep-16 08:45:24

Thanks for sharing that advice writer. Can I ask which consultant you used? I have been thinking about using one myself.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 21-Sep-16 10:07:32

Her name is Nicola Watson and she has a website and Facebook page called Child Sleep Solutions.

I emailed her asking for help and she emailed me back within a few days and then emailed me a questionnaire, a really detailed one about DS's routines during the day, the type of parents DH and I were, asking about the problems we had and what we'd already done to address them and then she wanted a breakdown of the last 5 days bedtimes and naptimes (I.e how long it took him to go to sleep, the times he woke, how long it took to get him back to sleep etc).

She then formulated a plan based on the information I gave and a few days after sending her the completed questionnaire she phoned me and it was a 2 hour consultation. She discussed all the different sleep cycles, the need for sleep, all the methods of sleep training (I think there were 6 options) and then we decided which one would work best for me. She then spoke about that one in depth in specific relation to DS and gave me a step-step guide as to what to do when he wakes at night. And as I said before, she completely changed his mealtimes, nap times, bedtime routines etc - it was a complete overhaul of my day. She gave fantastic guidance and it worked perfectly.

Summerdays2014 Wed 21-Sep-16 11:10:28

Thank you so much. If I can't sort it myself I'll be getting in touch with her. Much appreciated.

Cocolocos Wed 21-Sep-16 13:32:22

We used one of the personalised email sleep consultant packages from the Baby Sleep Site and would highly recommend them too. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Summerdays2014 Wed 21-Sep-16 13:47:09

Thank you coco, good to have another recommendation. I've decided that if there is no improvement by the end of the week we will get a sleep consultant. I also think I need to be more consistent with whatever I try, might take a week off from all classes and activities and carve out a proper routine for naps and bedtimes and feeds etc.

Decided to go for naps at the same time as nights so I'm currently sat outside his door. 7 minutes so far... Crying but not screaming or sounding totally distressed so will try for 45 minutes as writer suggested.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 21-Sep-16 14:01:11

How did it go?

That's a good idea about taking a week off from all activities and just focusing on sorting out his sleep routines etc.

What specific issues do you have with his sleep?

Summerdays2014 Wed 21-Sep-16 15:22:45

Well, he cried for the 45 minutes so I did as you suggested and took him out for a drive. He fell asleep in minutes and slept for half an hour. Woke up as soon as the car stopped.

His sleep problems? Well... He can't fall asleep on his own. His naps are 30-40 mins max (longer if I'm holding him or in car) Nights change on a daily basis, sometimes we have an hour and a half of crying before he falls asleep, sometimes he wakes up every 45 minutes, sometimes every 2 hours, sometimes he is awake for hours at a time, I sometimes bring him into my bed to get him to sleep. He often wakes at 5 am. He has slept through so is capable.

I just feel so bad about him crying which is why I gave up last time. I felt as though he was more miserable during the day and that I had caused it by letting him cry.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 21-Sep-16 15:36:42

Your problems sound very similar to mine.

By the time it came to doing the CC I was about to crack, I was beyond exhausted and my emotional mood was quite low. I dreaded every day of fighting with him to nap and then I dreaded every night where if I was lucky I got a total of four hours broken sleep, there was just no way I could carry on as things were. I had stopped enjoying my son, I was arguing with DH all the time, I was crying all the time and I knew I had to do something.

It was hard at first but at the same time I kept the end goal in sight and knew I had to just stick with it.

Babies getting sleep is incredibly important for their health and development so it's a good idea to hold on to that as well because ensuring good sleep is just as beneficial to your DS as it is to you.

By the time our CC training was complete and sleep issues had been solved it meant that in a 24 hour period my DS was getting over 5 hours more sleep than he'd previously been having and that is a huge difference!

He was a much, much happier baby for it and it saved my sanity and most likely my marriage too!!

Summerdays2014 Wed 21-Sep-16 15:46:53

It does sound like a very similar situation, my son is grumpy in the day as am I. My husband and I are arguing all the time and he's come home to find me in tears on several occasions.

Thank you for your encouraging words, it's good to know that things can change and get better. I'm going to stick with it this time and hope we have an outcome like yours. I've also had a look at the sleep consultant you recommended and will be contacting her if things don't improve, it sounds like a good investment!

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