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AIBU to do controlled crying

(183 Posts)
BergamotMouse Fri 07-Apr-17 07:52:40

I consider myself quite a 'gentle parent'. Controlled crying is something I said I wouldn't do as I don't want my daughter to learn that I don't respond to her cries but I feel like I'm on my knees.

DD is 8 months. Got through the 4 month sleep regression and was on about 2/3 wake ups. I breastfeed her back to sleep every time. For the past month or so she's been waking much more, could be every hour, she can be awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night and I no longer get an evening as keep trying to get her down until I give up and go to bed with her.

I'm just so tired. Will this pass soon or is my only option sleep training? Is there a gentler way?

Amockingjayhey Fri 07-Apr-17 08:00:56

I personally would never do it no matter how tired I was. I've had the same situation and my child eventually grew out of it but i would never leave an 8 month old to cry or do sleep training. I'm sorry.

coconutpie Fri 07-Apr-17 08:01:10

It will pass, she's obviously waking for some reason - hungry, teething, a leap in her development. YWBU to do cc, it's cruel to train a child to cry themselves to sleep.

Pinksink Fri 07-Apr-17 08:02:51

There will be plenty of people on here telling you you're awful for even considering it. I used controlled crying with all 3 of mine, with my eldest at 3 days old when he just wouldn't settle despite being warm, fed, dry etc. He fell asleep within 5 mins and I was in the room 'hiding' the whole time. All 3 slept through the night by 12 weeks and are now happy, well adjusted children aged 2-10. Personally I think a lot of sleep problems come from young babies just not being left alone to learn to settle themselves and I don't think there's anything wrong in supporting them to learn that skill. Like I said others will disagree with me. Good luck. Mine might sleep well but I'm still permanently knackered and there is nkthing worse x

Amockingjayhey Fri 07-Apr-17 08:05:00

Many parents will tell you it's cruel i am sure and i don't agree with it in the slightest.
But please don't sit thinking if you do do it you've scarred them for live. You won't have done. I don't think it is the right thing to do and never would. However for ever piece of reading that someone can throw at you saying you're damaging them if you do, there's another psychologist saying that it doesn't. Those who say it causes no harm also points out that in NOT doing it it is detrimental to the parent and that is equally important.
If you are on your knees and you can't carry on , although i will always stick to my guns and not do it, i wouldn't judge you, just as I haven't judged any of my friends who have done it.

Sisinisawa Fri 07-Apr-17 08:05:30

Yabu. Studies show it's damaging to their brain development and their relationship with you.
Look at Sarah Ockwell Smith's books and website for gentle techniques that work and online support on the Facebook group.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 07-Apr-17 08:06:01

I wouldn't think twice about doing it tbh.

If you read the sleep thread it often doesn't just pass and the parents put up with this for years just to avoid a few tears.

That's not to say your baby would be one of the ones that didn't but sleep is vital both for parents and for the baby and there are no prizes for martyring yourself just because some strangers think it's a bit cruel.

Nan0second Fri 07-Apr-17 08:06:48

No unreasonable but mumsnet hates it so you'll get flamed on this thread.
Gradual retreat is an option (with or without night weaning). There's a thread called what worked for us which outlines a not so gradual retreat technique.

Frazzled2207 Fri 07-Apr-17 08:06:50

At only 8 months hang in there, everything is just a phase at that age. Too young for controlled crying imo.

I did do it successfully with my eldest though, when he was 2.

RainbowsAndUnicorn Fri 07-Apr-17 08:06:54

It's something I would never do, it's cruel and all it teaches a baby is that nobody will come when it cries so there is no point trying to get someone. Ive seen it mentioned re attachment issues too.

Brokenbiscuit Fri 07-Apr-17 08:09:01

I understand how you feel. I think sleep deprivation is the hardest part of being a parent, my dd was awful for the first few years. Personally, I wouldn't ever have done controlled crying. I know it works, I just don't believe it's right. However, we all have to reach our own conclusions on stuff like this.

We ended up co-sleeping in the end, saved my sanity!

KidLorneRoll Fri 07-Apr-17 08:09:30

It's entirely your decision, don't let a bunch of armchair psychologists dictate. If it means you are able to get some sleep yourself, if it works and you are able to get through the worst then do what is best for you and your family.

MarcelineQueen Fri 07-Apr-17 08:09:53

Hell no YANBU! I could have written your post word when DD was 8mo. I strongly resisted controlled crying because I thought it was barbaric. However after exhausting all other options I relented and it worked within 3 days. DP had to take charge as I wouldn't have been able to do it on my own.

I'd also say, put her in her own room if she isn't already. I hadn't realised that we were waking her up every time we rolled over in bed or made any noise (she was in a Moses basket at side of the bed). Putting her in her own room really helped her to rest.

I hope you all get some sleep soon, there's a good reason sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.

Amockingjayhey Fri 07-Apr-17 08:10:08

I wish people would say "some people / studies say it is cruel / teaches babies no one will come"

NOT ALL psychologists think that. Many don't. Many have published against this.

Sarah Okwell Smith is lovely but frankly unrealistic and I would consider myself a gentle parent

OP PLEASE don't feel guilt tripped if you do

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Fri 07-Apr-17 08:10:26

Cc at "3 days"? shock

CMamaof4 Fri 07-Apr-17 08:13:44

I'm with pinksink on this, Controlled crying doesn't mean you completely leave them to cry there eyes out all night, Its that you leave them for short periods of time to learn to self settle, I actually think its kinder for a child to learn this if they can't already do it for themselves, as loss of sleep isn't good for them as well as you , Baby's need there sleep as much as you do, I would give it a go op, I've been there and it worked for my child.

MarcelineQueen Fri 07-Apr-17 08:14:40

Sorry so many arm chair psychologists are crawling out to give you a hard time. I'm a very highly qualified healthcare professional and my job is to assess evidence and develop guidance. Much of the "evidence" people refer to a lot controlled crying comes from dubious parts of the Internet. I'm not aware of any high quality study that shows controlled crying alone will damage your child's development, that's utterly ridiculous. Poor maternal mental health due to sleep deprivation (and other factors) on the other hand, will damage you, and you are the one responsible for your DD. so do what you need to do to stay sane and safe

TeddyIsaHe Fri 07-Apr-17 08:14:46

It's not that people think it's cruel, studies have shown that the stress caused by crying it out does actually harm a baby's development. When the baby cries and is not comforted by its caregiver, a stress hormone is released into the brain which can prevent brain synapses from connecting. You'd never know if it would or wouldn't just by looking at your baby, but I can't think why anyone would want to risk it. Babies need love and reassurance, and in all honesty it's a very short period of time when it I incredibly hard, as the saying goes, this too shall pass. And I say this as a single mother to a dd that wakes every hour or so for a feed and has done since birth. I'm shattered, but leaving my baby to cry so I can sleep more is just not an option.

throughgrittedteeth Fri 07-Apr-17 08:15:22

CC doesn't teach babies that no one will come, the point of it is that it teaches them you are always there somewhere.
My experience of CC is to do it gradually. Leaving them first for a minute, then two minutes etc etc, we did it for 5 nights with DS when he was about the same age as your DC and it improved us being able to put him down to fall asleep alone.
A blanket "leave them to cry until they fall asleep" is really difficult and I'm not sure I could manage hearing them cry for god knows how long.

I will say though that DS didn't sleep through until he was 2 and even now at nearly 6 he is an early riser - I really believe some children sleep and some don't. I know when you're sleep deprived that's not helpful but once I stopped thinking about it and accepted it was going to be like this for a while, I became much less stressed.
Also don't respond to people who ask about their sleep, those people are judging you before you even answer. Unless they're going to offer to come round and settle them each night for you, no good can come from asking about a baby's sleep.

TeddyIsaHe Fri 07-Apr-17 08:16:26

developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/the-foundations-of-lifelong-health-are-built-in-early-childhood/

A Harvard study showing the important evidence of early childhood experiences, and how negative ones can affect last adult life. Not dubious in the slightest.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 07-Apr-17 08:19:01

But babies who aren't sleeping are often crying anyway

And sleep is vital for their physical and mental development. No sleep makes them tired cranky tearful ivertirrd and even harder to 're. They don't eat properly or feed properly eye

Don't see how that is any better tbh and that goes on far lo her than a bit if c.f. would where the rest if the time all needs are met and baby is soo much happier

BeaderBird Fri 07-Apr-17 08:21:34

I couldn't bear to do it and won't with mine. Some will think that makes me stupid and soft but I think it makes me compassionate and natural.

Pinksink Fri 07-Apr-17 08:22:13

Yes at 3 days. My baby was warm, fed, dry and well aware that he was very loved just as he is now at 10. I was in the room with him and don't get me wrong I hated every minute of it but within less than 5 minutes he was asleep. I literally have never had another problem with his sleep. he was tired and needed to be left alone. I agree with everyone that you have to do what feels right to you but most babies over 6 months of age and usually a lot younger do not need feeding at night. Obviously medical conditions could be an exception here. Like I said before my children are amazing (not at all biasedsmile), happy, doing v well at school and very loving and loved. I am 100% certain that controlled crying has not 'damaged' them in any way and think suggesting otherwise is dangerous to already stressed and exhausted parents doing their best.

Trifleorbust Fri 07-Apr-17 08:24:42

Never trust anyone who recommends reading matter rather than making and explaining their point.

OP, it's clear even from this thread that this is controversial and divides people. I would suggest the application of common sense. Babies have been crying for thousands of years. If 'attachment disorder' will result from being left to cry for a few minutes so you can gradually learn to settle yourself to sleep, we've all bloody got it. As far as I can tell, we're mostly okay. Stop worrying!

Amockingjayhey Fri 07-Apr-17 08:25:12

At 3 days! That is cruel though! Sorry wow

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