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To think controlled crying is the only thing that might work?

(44 Posts)
GingerMaman Wed 26-Feb-14 18:42:44

I would never have thought that I would come to a stage where I would consider controlled crying for my baby.

My 9 month old DD has been waking up at night every hourly since the past 5 months. I have no idea why. She has been teething since the past 2 months, but now all four teeth have come through, though the last one is still coming through but has cut through.

I am utterly exhausted and completely shattered! Thankfully I don't have PND but honestly I feel like it is coming and I really can't do this anymore I have no energy left and feel like my body is shutting down. I have no family nearby for outside help.

DD has milk allergy and sometimes when she wakes up is gassy. She wants the breast hourly and refuses to take a bottle or dummy.

Is controlled crying my only hope? It has been 5 months! hmm

Bumpandkind Wed 26-Feb-14 18:48:43

I hear you! My 8 month old wakes approx 3-4 times a night and always has done.

First of all, do whats right for your own situation. If CC is all that's left maybe its worth a go. I know the cons are well researched but the cons of a severely sleep deprived family are numerous too.

FWIW I have tried some 'light' CC which has enabled me to gain a 3 hour period of me time at the beginning of the night. After that he wakes and we co sleep.

harriet247 Wed 26-Feb-14 18:56:25

Is she having big enough meals? My dd is same as yours (milk allergy) and has to eat a big dinner to sleep through

GingerMaman Wed 26-Feb-14 19:10:01

Thank you both!

Harriet, she doesn't eat much at all. In the whole day, she probably eats if I'm lucky, equal to quarter or one eighth of a banana.

Bumpandkind Wed 26-Feb-14 19:15:21

Have you tried reading to her as she eats. We get through tons of books during meal times and he eats a lot more than if we don't.

learnasyougo Wed 26-Feb-14 19:17:51

ferber method was a disaster with my 9 times a night waker (slept 50 mins at a time), then at 7.5 months we did the pupd method, to variable results, so we gave up sleep training.

then at 10.5 months he suddenly GOT it. he is now 18m and bloody brilliant at bedtime. bath, pj, teeth, 2 stories, then we tuck him in and leave the room. he goes to sleep by himself, no cries. bedrooms are full laughter, games, tickles and still he settles. he likes bed time (normally 8-9pm)

this is WITHOUT sleep training, but I'm sure had we done a method, we'd be claiming it was that that did it (but we'd be wrong). I know of others who did 'sleep train' and still have bad sleepers. I think a lot of it is down to the baby and not anything you aren't doing or doing wrong.
I know you are desperate to get more sleep but I don't think cio is the way to go. I'm glad we didn't, now.

sleep training is overrated.

Penguin0fMadagascar Wed 26-Feb-14 19:22:39

Does she breastfeed as often in the day? If not, she may be reverse cycling - basically swapping night and day wrt to feeding. You could try offering her the breast hourly throughout the day and see if that helps.

Also, when my DS was waking at night, we used to give him a bowl of Weetabix as his last meal before bed so that he had something quite stodgy, and that seemed to help him stay asleep longer.

Lastly, are you having to get out of bed/go to another room when she wakes? I know lots of people don't like the idea of co-sleeping, but sometimes you just have to try and make sure that you maximise the chances of getting some rest so that you can function, especially if you don't have other support.

I hope things improve for you - tiredness is so hard to deal with.

curiousuze Wed 26-Feb-14 19:22:43

I had same thing as learnasyougo - my ds just started sleeping at 11 months. I did try various things before that and they didn't work. I tried a (wussy version of) cc but did eff all to stop him waking for a feed every couple of hours. Not saying you shouldn't try it though! It might do the trick, you never know. Every hour is awful you must feel desperate. I remember those days.

Marylou62 Wed 26-Feb-14 19:24:34

I so feel for you all. My DD was a very unhappy baby and with a dying MIL and an active DS I was at the end of my tether. The day she turned 6 months I did CC. Although it was horrible, (Still remember it tho she's 20 now), it was the best thing to do. took 3-4 days and she's been a great sleeper ever since (apart from normal occasional illness). And I still continued to BF, just not between 10-6. Good luck

EmmaLL25 Wed 26-Feb-14 19:27:40

We used no cry sleep solution (elements of) and my 9 month old has gone from hourly wakes ups to 3 or 4 a night. This includes stretches of over 5 hours at beginning of evening.

Big helps for us were no teething or illness (it's taken months for that to occur).

Then getting him to settle for naps in cot without feeding, rocking etc. It involved tears on attempt one, I was there with him ssshhhing, patting etc. Now he'll do it at naps and evening sleep without tears. Usually takes 15-30 mins to drop off - with some faffing in cot.

Now when he goes between sleep cycles he's settling himself back to sleep.

Next step is night weaning to see if we can reduce wake ups to 1 or 2 (dare I say it none).

We were like you - the sleep had been crap since 4 months but I was determined not to do CC. I really didn't believe it would work for my LO.

So we're getting there slowly with gentler methods.

Bumpandkind Wed 26-Feb-14 19:30:26

learnasyougo. You are giving us all hope. Thank you!

TheGreatHunt Wed 26-Feb-14 19:31:09

You've just said she has milk allergy. Er that's why she is yabu to do cc without making sure it is fully tackled. If she's gassy then that needs resolving.

I know it is horrible - I've been there twice with silebt redlux and milk intolerances but would never use cc when you're dealing with allergies unless you're 100% certain it isn't bothering baby.

GingerMaman Wed 26-Feb-14 19:36:49

Thanks everyone!

TheGreatHunt, the dietician and peadetrician said it is very unlikely that the night awakenings are due to the allergy. Why do you think it could be?

Deep down I don't think CC will even work with her. She is as stubborn as me!

hoppingElephant Wed 26-Feb-14 19:41:59

How about co sleeping? Dr Sears has a good book.

oddsocksmostly Wed 26-Feb-14 19:42:35

Hi. I agree with Penguin. It sounds as if she is getting all her calories at night. You must be exhausted! Does she self settle to sleep when you put her to bed or is she always breast feeding to get herself off to sleep?

GingerMaman Wed 26-Feb-14 19:44:16

I am co-sleeping and yes she always needs the breast to go to sleep.

Greypuddle Wed 26-Feb-14 19:46:27

My DS has only been sleeping through for a couple of weeks without waking hourly for a bf and he's the grand old age of 14m. I took a look at the Andrea Grace website and followed her tips. I was considering buying her book but realised I didn't really need to. I exchanged feeding to sleep for bf followed by a book followed by putting down awake. I didn't think it'd work but it did (45m, bit of hair-stroking, really v little crying and I didn't leave the room til he was asleep). After a week I stopped feeding him in the night and he's been sleeping 7-6 ever since. I'd got to the point that I had to do something, my nipples were so sore! He is a bit older than yours though which I'm sure helped - he was probably wondering why I was still hanging around when he was trying to sleep. I'd highly recommend her. I think of it as CC as such as I wasn't leaving the room, but yes, there was a little crying (really not much. I could cope and I'm a terrible wuss)

Greypuddle Wed 26-Feb-14 19:47:51

Ah, cross-posted with you saying you're co-sleeping. No Cry Sleep Solution? Has specific points that refer to co-sleepers. Does she go to bed at the same time as you?

Greypuddle Wed 26-Feb-14 19:48:57

didn't think of it as CC

SackAndCrack Wed 26-Feb-14 19:50:58

You poor thing. sad

My pfb was the same, he cut his first tooth at 4 months and never stopped cutting a tooth until he was 18 months old.

I tried everything. Co-sleeping, rocking, putting him in his pram, music, silence, pat and shush, the pick up - put down technique, white noise, and finally controlsd crying.

I did controlled crying for weeks.
I did controlled crying for months.

It never made any difference. It works for some but not for us.

If I was to turn back time, Id still do CC not because I wanted to but because to this day I have absolutely no idea what else I could have tried. I read every book, tried every technique and asked in every forum.

Eventually I just had and listen to him cry, it was awful.

I dont know the answer to your question, I just wanted to give you sympathy. You must be so tired.

ouchouchow Wed 26-Feb-14 19:51:59

We were in exactly the same position till my DD was 9 months. I was desperate. She is now 10.5 months and things are a million times better. She settles in minutes and sleeps through or maybe there's just one wake up. And naps, which were awful, are lots better too.

We have been helped by a sleep consultant called Ann Caird (google Nurturing Sleep). She has been AMAZING and worth every penny. She doesn't do controlled crying, it's more breaking the feed to sleep habit, gradual retreat, emotional well-being type approach.

Really hope things improve for you soon.

SackAndCrack Wed 26-Feb-14 19:54:18

Oh I didnt realise you were co-sleeping and breastfeeding.

That makes quite a big difference, she is probably waking and not yet able to self settle.

You might be able to fix this quite gently with No Cry Sleep Solution.

This worked well with my second who is breast fed and co-sleeping.

Unfortunately he has health issues so it didnt last but its a really good 'solution'.

Good luck OP x

intherainbow Wed 26-Feb-14 19:58:21

We co-sleep and I just allow DD (12months) access to the breasts at all times and I no longer wake when she latches on to feed. This means that even when DD is teething and waking hourly, I still get good stretches of sleep. We decided very early on that controlled crying was not for us and that we would cuddle and feed to sleep for as long as required. It needed a level of acceptance and constant reminders that everything is just a phase to get through it. DH also helps by taking over at 6am so that I get a solid 2 hours sleep then if we have had a particularly bad night and that makes a huge difference to how I feel. You have my sympathy though - sleep deprivation is just awful and makes you feel like a totally different person.

On the eating front, are you blw? Changing tactics and giving your little one some control might help on the day time food quantity. Having said that, my DD eats like a small horse and has loved eating since 6 months but that never changed her sleeping pattern or how much she breastfeeds at night.

TheGreatHunt Wed 26-Feb-14 21:24:13

TheGreatHunt, the dietician and peadetrician said it is very unlikely that the night awakenings are due to the allergy. Why do you think it could be?

Because there have been quite a few studies showing this. Also the better baby sleep guides acknowledge this - even Gina ford from memory!

Mine were much better when I cut out certain foods. No dairy, no green veg, no onions, no spicy foods etc. Once they got to 12 months, I introduced small amounts of "windy" foods. From 18 months, small bits of dairy. It was hard as I wanted them to eat everything but it was for the best.

If your daughter has a milk allergy, what are you doing to address it?

Also, a long shot, but have you ruled out tongue tie? This gave dd wind as she took down air when bf. So she would wake sometimes hourly. The best success I had would be winding her And making sure she burped after every single feed

girliefriend Wed 26-Feb-14 21:35:57

I think you need to sort out what you mean by 'cc' first esp if at the moment you are bfing her every hour!!

There seems to be a few issues here, I would be concerned by the lack of food during the day and I am guessing that is a big part of the reason why she is waking during the night. But it is prob a chicken and egg type situation so you are going to have to find away of cutting the bf down at night so that she will eat more during the day iyswim.

It may well be that co-sleeping is not helping, as with you right next to her it may be disturbing her sleep and preventing any attempt at her trying to settle herself. Would you consider having her in a cot right next to the bed to see if it helps?

If it were me I would make a decision about whether I can continue like this or not, if the answer was no I would make some big changes, including stopping co-sleeping and being much stricter on how often i would bf during the night. She only settles with the breast because she has never had to learn how to do it any other way!!

Once she has reduced the night feeds and upped the daytime meals then I would consider cc to get her to sleep for longer periods. Tbh it can't be doing her much good waking every hour either sad

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