Should I use control crying with my 12month DS?(7 Posts)
He wakes for boobie-time at least 4 times a night. When this happens I bring him to bed with us, give him the desired tit and then, depending on how tired I am, he either goes back to bed or stays with us.
Thing is, I will start working evening shifts soon and so, he needs to learn how to fall asleep without me.
How caI get him to go to bed on his own and sleep through the night without boobage?
Controlled crying worked an absolute treat for us. After much deliberation (I started off thinking it was cruel but soon got to the end of my tether and was willing to try anything) we decided to give it a try. DS was 6 months old at this point I should add. He was waking anything up to 6 times a night but not because he was hungry, it was just habit.
Night one: all in all he cried for around an hour, with one of us going in at intervals (5 mins, then 10 mins but never more then 15 mins). Once he slept, he slept the whole night (7.30 to 6.00am)
Night two: same as night one, only he cried for only around 20 mins before going to sleep. Again he slept the whole night.
Night three: no crying at all and slept the whole night.
So in 3 nights he went from waking every 2 or so hours, to sleeping 11 hours straight. It means he is in a better mood on waking in the morning, not to mention me!
Don't get me wrong, over a month later there are still (rare) occasions that he'll wake in the night, but now he is able to self sooth himself back to sleep. Our one rule is...once he is in the cot, he stays in the cot. No picking up! Of course if he was ill it might be a different story (that hasn't happened yet thank goodness).
Anyway it was the best thing we did.
I have a gentler method, which worked for me. I can't guarantee it will work with every baby, but it's worth a shot.
I have a playlist of relaxing music that DS seems to love (it's a video game soundtrack, but pick whatever works for you). Play this while you're feeding DS to sleep. He will soon come to associate the music with feeling sleepy. 9 times out of 10 now I can play that music and he drops straight off to sleep. If his music doesn't work it's almost always because he's teething or feeling unwell and in that situation only boob will do...
We are just night weaning our DS (17 mths). He was waking 2 or three times in the night and needing a bottle to go back to sleep (as well as his bedtime bottle; I stopped bfing at 13 mths). It was so easy just to do it as once he had had it you could just pop him back in the cot and he was quite happy to go to sleep.
But I think it was not helping him to sleep through and he was learning to feel hungry and wake a lot. And we were fed up with faffing around with bottles in the small hours.
We are on day 6 today. He has already forgotten the association with the bottle and now just looks for a cuddle and then (depending on how tired he is) someone to sit with him with a hand on his back until he drops off.
Results have been mixed. Last night he slept through! The night before he woke 4 times loads but settled v quickly each time within a couple of mins. The night before that it was a couple of wakings needing about 15 mins to settle each time. The night before that was an odyssey with three wakings needing about 40 mins to settle each time. So we have definitely made progress given that a week ago this was a boy who would howl for a bottle and would be waking three times a night.
Given you are bfing that adds a different element to the mix - could you get your other half to do it? At 12 mths too he is a bit young to understand "boobies asleep" or "bottle all gone". With my DS I could tell him I was going to sit with my hand on his back and he would understand, but I don't think your DS would.
So I think maybe the best thing would just be pick him up when he cries, cuddle, and put back down in the cot with your hand on him, talking softly and reassuring, then sitting there till he calms down. Keep repeating and repeating each time he stands up (does he stand up?) and eventually he will give up.
But be warned he will be very cross at first and it might take a few nights to get through it. And there is no guarantee he will sleep through, but at least you are breaking the association with feeding and putting him in a position where at least he is in a good position to start self soothing. That would be impossible while you still have the feeding association in place.
My daughter slept through reliably from about 20 months, they do it when they are ready. Before that, from about 15 months, we would have some great nights, some OK nights and some rough nights, with the general trend being towards things getting better. All I think you can do is remove unnecessary obstacles so that when they are ready they are well placed to do it.
I wouldn't do CC personally. It's just my own view but he is still relatively young (big difference between 12 and 18 mths in terms of what they can understand about concept of time and whether you are coming back etc). And using the gradual withdrawal method that I suggested above is probably no more time consuming to you or stressful than CC - you can either sit with him and comfort him or wait downstairs while he howls on his own, feeling terrible with your stress levels going through the roof. At least with gradual withdrawal you feel less anxious as you know that although you are taking away their prop you are not leaving them alone and are trying to do it as gently as possible.
PS I guess your DS is just walking or getting towards walking - a notorious time for terrible sleep!
Thank you all for the informative ideas. Muchos appreciatedos!
I will second LiloLils. I basically did the same for the reason with the same results. It seems to work by breaking a habit. You do feel awful at first, but after 3 nights it'd had worked a treat and now DD gets far less upset in the middle of the night and gets far more sleep.
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