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AIBU to do CC with my 14mo who is FT at nursery

(40 Posts)
Belchica Fri 29-Nov-13 11:12:25

DP and I have been arguing the last few nights over how to handle DS's night-waking. He thinks IABU to go to and comfort him instead of leaving him to cry it out.

DS - 14mo - has been at nursery for a few months, since I returned to work FT. We are very lucky as he really enjoys it, has bonded well with his carers and has never cried at drop off (8am) (yet!). All that said, he is clearly delighted when I pick up at 445pm every day and is a bit more clingy to me since he started.

We did CC when DS was 7mo (the point at which we broke through lack of sleep) and it worked really well for us. After 3 days of CC he slept through, 7-7 and now settles himself off at naps/bedtime no probs. This carried on until around his first birthday/starting nursery. Whether its down to a change of routine, teething or constant bugs he catches at nursery, he has regressed a bit with sleeping.

He will wake at 11 or 12, sometimes again at 2ish and then around 5. At the 5am wake we give him his morning bottle in the cot and he takes it and goes back to sleep until 7. The other 2 wakes we reassure him and pat but recently he has been really crying and won't settle for up to an hr.

I feel that because he doesn't have his parents all day, I can't leave him to cry at night like before. I don't jump to him straight away but I can tell if its a whimper and he will go back to sleep or if a few mins in he is screaming and past the point of no return and cuddles are needed. DP has a much stricter approach and gets really angry at me for going to DS. To be fair to DP - he did all the hard work during CC and always has since when we need to get DS back in routine after illness/hols etc, so he feels i am undoing his hard work. I just feel that our circumstances have changed now and that DS doesn't have the security and comfort of us being around for him all day. I don't want to fuel insecurity in him by leaving him crying in his cot alone at night.

AIBU? Am I just feeling guilty at night for being at work FT? Or making a rod for my own back by being fooled by my now older and cleverer baby who is turning the tables on his parents?

Or is DP BU and a bit mean to DS?


Anydrinkwilldo Fri 29-Nov-13 11:34:11

Personally I'm not a fan of CC (I know that's not the question BTW wink). I think there is a reason babies cry and they are only so small. I would be in there comforting him.

Pearlsaplenty Fri 29-Nov-13 11:35:47

I wouldn't do cc with him if I was you, for the same reasons you give. No advise though sorry.

DoctorRobert Fri 29-Nov-13 11:36:08

I think cc is unreasonable no matter what the age and whether they are in nursery or not.

kinkyfuckery Fri 29-Nov-13 11:40:44


I've tried CC at times with both of my DC, so not against it in some cases.

However, same reason as you state. I'd feel the child is waking at night to compensate for not having you around during the day. (That's not an anti-work thing by the way, I realise people work because they have to)

VacantExpression Fri 29-Nov-13 11:41:56

I agree CC is unreasonable IMO but appreciate it seems to "work" for some.
I think you are right and your DH is BU. Personally I would probably bring your DS into our bed and have cuddles and sleep that way. I still do with my DC3 who is struggling with nightmares at the mo. We all get much needed sleep that way.
He's only little, and sometimes the rod for your back is actually the rod holding you upright in the first place. I suspect being there for him in the night helps settle any feelings of guilt you may have but shouldn't about leaving him in the day.
Do what works for you xx

WilsonFrickett Fri 29-Nov-13 11:45:33

he's 14 months - he really isn't turning the tables on you, he's just a baby.

I think you know why he's crying - it's all there in your post - changing routine, bugs, or teething. He could also be having a developmental surge, or having to deal with a lot of day-time stimulation - likely given he's in nursery (that so sounds like a criticism of nursery and it really isn't, mine was in from 6 mo. I more mean, there's a lot going on in a nursery setting and they need to process it).

I think if a child is unsettled, cc isn't going to work.

I would check how his naps are at nursery - is he sleeping well there? If yes, then maybe his naps are too long, if no, then that's part of the problem...

5inabed Fri 29-Nov-13 11:51:55

I wouldn't leave a child to cry anyway but I think in this case you need to feel reassured that DS is happy and he needs to check you are there if he needs you. Anyone would feel unsettled with all that change and he is just a baby with no other way to seek reassurance I would comfort him he is not manipulative he is just little!

themaltesefalcon Fri 29-Nov-13 11:57:56

Poor little mite. I'd co-sleep in those circumstances.

Your boyfriend is idiotic. What "hard work"? Closing the door and ignoring a screaming baby isn't some sort of Heraclean task. It might be useful or right in some circs, but not when the baby's not seen you all day. What's going through his little head? Poor little mite.

rabbitlady Fri 29-Nov-13 12:07:10

its just cruelty, isn't it? do you want something darling? let me ignore you.

Doingakatereddy Fri 29-Nov-13 12:15:40

Wow, there's some shitty responses.

Having worked FT & gone through the agony of multiple wake ups I'd suggest something different.

Talk to your DS's key worker & find out what settles him there - could be blanky, back rub or song, then try it yourself.

If there's nothing in place at nursery, perhaps agree on a method between you & key worker so it becomes familiar to him.

My view is co sleeping and working FT is hard work, and constant CC is cruel.

BUT, a regular settle method, a bit of CC and perhaps a little more special cuddle time before bed may work

Good luck

Helpyourself Fri 29-Nov-13 12:18:47

Another vote for co sleeping here. Settle him on his cot and then take him to your bed when he wakes.

Edendance Fri 29-Nov-13 12:48:38

I think there's more in between of crying it out and picking him up cuddles etc. There is a big difference between cc and crying it out, and as cc worked so well for you before- and only took 3 days, which is all it should take I would go down that route again. A little one who is tired through the day and confused due to mixed signals at night time will be far better off in a decent sleep routine where he knows that night time is for sleeping- as he was before.

Some of these responses are unnecessarily harsh, your boyfriend doesn't sound idiotic- cc is hard work when it's done correctly, it's not just about ignoring crying. If it was the other way around and it had been you doing it before, and him wanting to 'undo the work' there would be different opinions on it.

You all need your sleep, it can either continue with you all waking up several times a night to do whatever it is- co sleeping, cuddles, play etc and then be confused about what night time is actually for, and tired. Or you can do a cc routine, as you did before- for three nights and then enjoy unbroken nights of sleep where you get proper rest for the next day which will benefit all of you.

Belchica Fri 29-Nov-13 12:49:08

Thanks for all the responses.

Most of you are telling me what I already know. Now is not the time for CC.

He did recently start coming into bed with us and he would sometimes settle very quickly and then be put back in his cot after a while with no fuss. But he would often bolt up and start bounding round the bed, hitting us around the face, wanting to play (of course, he's missed us and is excited to be with us...even if its 3am!). Impossible to endure long term when we both work FT.

Naps are ok at nursery but Doingakatereddy I like your ideas about talking more with his key worker. We have parents evening next week so I'll focus on that then.

I feel a bit more reassured now for talking this over with DP.

Thanks all.

Belchica Fri 29-Nov-13 12:56:45

Edendance I have probably confused by used the terms CC and crying it out in the post. I mean CC. We don't leave him crying endlessly but go in at intervals and stick to the pattern (well, unless I crack like last night)...We have tried same tack for 3 nights and longer a few times over recent weeks and it isn't working.

Agree with you that DP is not idiotic. He is a fab parent and much softer than me on DS on many counts. He needs his sleep more than me and isn't as used to night waking (I bf'd for 8mths by which point DS slept through) which I think in part explains his determined attitude for us all to get a goods night sleep. He can remember those days....I stopped lusting after them a long time ago!!

puntasticusername Fri 29-Nov-13 13:02:16

I think you're having more trouble at nights now simply because you've changed your approach. I can understand why your DP is cross about that. To whoever said "cc isn't some Herculean task" - it bloody is actually, it's extremely difficult to stay away from your crying child, even when you're doing it because you firmly believe it's in their best interests.

I also suspect you may be feeling guilty about DS spending all day in nursery. Sorry if that's a "penetrative insight from random stranger" too far, but it strikes me as a possibility.

The only right thing to do is the thing that works best for you all - so do that, including co-sleeping if that's the right thing for you. I think you might find it hard to agree with your DP on this one, though.

cantthinkofagoodone Fri 29-Nov-13 13:02:27

I'm with your DH. Pretty standard to have to repeat the CC after teething/illness regressions. If there's nothing actually wrong and the wakings are just becaue of habit, I'd do the CC.

CC takes longer as they get older usually and you need longer intervals. Read Ferber's book if you have the time, it's really great and not just about CC.

Belchica Fri 29-Nov-13 13:21:43

puntasticusername - guilt is definitely playing a role here. Not to mention that I miss him as much as he misses me and actually enjoy our night time cuddles. But its not about me feeling better by getting cuddles at night, its about what's best for my son. I want him to have a good nights sleep and I also want him to know I am always there for him. And there's where I am currently conflicted.

cantthinkofagoodone We borrowed Dr Ferbers book originally but returned it...and we didnt read beyond about 2 pages because it all worked so fast! I'll maybe ask DP to revisit it and he can then balance out what that says against my view (which is leaning towards more of a nurturing approach at this stage).

puntasticusername Fri 29-Nov-13 13:40:19

Aw thanks I feel for you, it's no fun at all is it? Well my own view would be to restore the former, rigorous cc approach, but that's because it's what I'd do myself. It's very hard to do if you're unsure it's the right thing for you, though.

stopgap Fri 29-Nov-13 13:51:41

You could always do gradual retreat. Maybe it's just a fluke, but this was a one-shot deal for us at fifteen months. DS is now 27 months and has never regressed when it comes to sleep, unlike a lot of his toddler friends who were sleep-trained using CC or CIO.

We did the Sleep Lady Shuffle, which involved sitting by our toddler's crib the first night, patting his back, cuddling, singing--whatever you like, but not picking him up--whenever he cried, alternated with pretending to sleep on a mattress that had been set up right next to the crib. By night three, he wasn't crying at all, so we moved the mattress a bit, and by day ten, I was sat outside his door, so that he could hear me, but not see me, and he promptly lay down and went to sleep in about two minutes.

Strokethefurrywall Fri 29-Nov-13 15:09:44

I agree with the returning to controlled crying. We did exactly the same thing and have had to return to it a couple of times when DS is going through a period of unsettled times (mainly with jetlag, being on holiday for 2 weeks etc)

He's just over 2 years now and we had to revisit when we came back from a holiday back to the UK. It was far harder than when he was 1 year as he's much more persistent now. But I realised pretty quickly that when I went into his room at 2am and he stopped crying straight away and asked for a story, I knew it was time to grit my teeth and bear it. Thankfully it only took one strict night for him to get the picture that night is not for playing and has gone back to sleeping straight through.

It's not cruel if its done correctly - I know my son's personality is one that responds well to boundaries (he is pushing them constantly!) and he works well knowing what he can and can't get away with. If he was a sensitive little soul I probably wouldn't do the controlled crying but you do what works!

Mouthfulofquiz Fri 29-Nov-13 15:17:22

Not a fan of CC here, and deffo not a fan of CIO. But, you've hit the nail on the head with understanding the different cries / moans in the night. I came a bit of a cropper until I realised I was in fact waking my son up by rushing in to cuddle him when in fact all he was doing was turning over and having a bit of a moan and groan about it. Eventually I truly learnt the difference.
I hope the situation improves for you, and I would say just do what feels right. If you don't want to leave your baby to cry at all then don't do it. Good luck.

Thurlow Fri 29-Nov-13 15:19:38

Personally I would keep going with some form of sleep training, though maybe have a good read around and see whether a form of controlled crying or gradual retreat etc might be better. The difficult bit really is trying to work out why your DS is waking and crying. Sometimes it will be for a reason, but sometimes it will be just because he needs resettling.

If co-sleeping isn't something that will work for you or that you just don't want to do, then it probably is in everyone's best interests to try and find a way to gently encourage your son to sleep better.

hardboiledpossum Fri 29-Nov-13 17:37:16

I would not use cc in your circumstances.

jeansthatfit Fri 29-Nov-13 22:06:09

Please don't use cc.

You can feel it - he misses you and wants comfort when he wakes.

I'd look at spending as MUCH time with him as you can outside work and your nursery, for both of you. Your baby is only going to be this age once - yes, you have to work, but everything else can wait. Evenings, weekends, morning times - be with your son.

Forget ideas of what 'should' be happening too much. And encourage your partner to be realistic. Illness, emotional upset, just those random nights - you won't get a regular or predictable 12 hours sleep out of a child this young. Adults don't sleep like robots, I don't know why we expect babies to.

Please don't fall into the trap of thinking a child this young is being nasty, manipulative, or needs to be taught a hard lesson.

There are plenty of different ways of dealing with wakings and sleep deprivation - think as flexibly as you can, and look at making adjustments in other areas of your life to give yourself as much sleep as you can. Children aren't small for ever - if you go to bed two hours earlier every night for a while, so what?

Btw, I work full time (am main household earner) and have 2 dcs, one who is a very good sleeper and one who has always had multiple wakings, and at 3 yo still doesn't sleep through the night. It can be tough - sleep deprivation is awful - but adjust, adjust adjust what you can to give your child and yourself a chance. When they are this small, they love you and don't understand why you are away from them, or why you aren't as delighted to see them at 5 in the morning as they are to see you.

If he has settled well into nursery - brilliant. I wouldn't add any more pressure or difficulty into his life atm.

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