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controlled crying - hand hold please!

(31 Posts)
LariyahSpen Fri 15-Apr-16 23:11:30


Just a hand hold really...going into my second night with a 13 month old doing controlled crying and just feel a knot of anxiety about the night stretching ahead of me and what will be in store sad

Have had a bad sleeper since she was born really but has been getting progressively worse since her first birthday I would say, to the point I've just spent nights crying so me and my partner decided two days ago enough is enough!

Had him here with me last night and it was awful, I just feel such a bad mum and want to cry hearing my daughter breaking her heart it's just awful. My partner is away tonight and I am actually scared I will give in!

She went down tonight after 20 minutes of crying but tonight is her first night where she won't get a bottle in the night so I am dreading it - I think she's been using it as comfort and not due to being hungry as she just cries after when I leave the room anyway.

Last night was our first night, she cried on and off every hour until she slept for two hours from 3-5am but it was pretty awful.

I hope we can crack this because none of us can go on and it's started effecting my partners work and my daughter is constantly over tired!

I'm praying it works.

Anyone got any advice or experience I would really appreciate it!

Thank you x

MangosteenSoda Fri 15-Apr-16 23:20:41

If you have decided that you really need to do this, then it's best to stick to the strategy.

My son is the same age and has always been a very difficult sleeper and I did some sleep training a few months ago. The biggest difference was that he started getting enough sleep and stopped being over tired and grumpy 90% of the time. That alone made it worthwhile.

In our case I realised that it was really difficult for him to sleep when other people are around. Trying to bring him into bed with us has been a total failure in terms of sleep, so in some ways that made it easier because there wasn't an easy alternative.

I hope it gets better soon!

LariyahSpen Fri 15-Apr-16 23:36:15

Thank you for your reply.

That's how I feel that there really isn't an alternative at this point because we are all just constantly tired and over emotional.

I have heard many positive things but know that persistence is key in it having a good chance of working

Fingers crossed

MangosteenSoda Fri 15-Apr-16 23:45:43

I really found it worthwhile for us, but still incredibly difficult even though the amount of crying was no different to the usual amount - as my son would be crying with frustration and tiredness anyway as I tried (unsuccessfully) to get him back to sleep.

A most unwelcome side effect is that I still wake a lot in the night because I've been conditioned so effectively to expect to get up x number of times brew

elephantoverthehill Fri 15-Apr-16 23:46:30

Are you timing it before you intervene? A long time ago, when I did this I think I was encouraged to leave it for 30 mins the first night, an hour the next night etc. But also to remove myself quietly from the bedroom or cot in stages,

LariyahSpen Fri 15-Apr-16 23:59:44

Thank you for your replies.

Yes I have been timing the intervals and then going Bk to her laying her down and just saying 'sshh' then leaving to which she screams the house down.

I read you should start at around five minutes then go in if the crying hasn't stopped then keep upping the time each time you go in which I have been doing.

I don't think I could leave her crying for 30 minutes at a time though. We did 4 mins to start last night then increasing the interval by 3 mins each time. Tonight I will start on 6 minutes and so on...

elephantoverthehill Sat 16-Apr-16 00:06:21

My timings might be out! DD is now 11. grin . i do remember doing the slow withdrawal from the bedroom though, sitting on the top of the stairs to assess the crying. It does work in the end smile

itmustbemyage Sat 16-Apr-16 01:00:45

This is such a hard thing to do when my DH and I had to do this with our DS when he was about 2 after months of his not sleeping well we planned a time when we were both there to support each other I even took a couple of days off work. We took it in shifts one of us would be somewhere in the house where we couldn't hear him and the other would listen then we swopped over. It took about 5 nights of pure hell, for us, but we knew it would help us all in the end and it did our DS was much happier during the day cause he was no longer so exhausted. If your partner is away is there a friend or family member who could stay over to help support you from personal experience I can say that it is much harder on the parents than the children my DS never remembered being upset the following day

ArriettyMatilda Sat 16-Apr-16 06:35:57

Do you think maybe withdrawing the bottle and controlled crying might be a bit much for her to handle? That's two very big changes for her. Have you tried Co sleeping? It's normal for a baby to wake in the night and want their Mum, but obviously that knowledge doesn't make it any easier dealing with it. I am afraid I can't get over the idea of leaving anyone to cry, you wouldn't do it to an adult and a child is unlikely to understand that you trying to do it to allow her to get more sleep. My dd has just naturally slept longer the older she gets. At one she was waking loads and we'd be in a constant cycle of feeding back to sleep. But gradually over the last year that has changed and she maybe wakes once or twice on bad nights. We also spent a fair few nights with her awake for a couple of hours and I can't remember the last time that happened. I'm just trying to explain that even if you do nothing this will pass!

timelytess Sat 16-Apr-16 06:47:51

'Controlled crying' is a way of teaching your baby that no-one cares. The way it is rationalised and made into a programme just shows how messed up our society is.

Babies cry because they need you.

JugglingBabies Sat 16-Apr-16 07:06:09

Reading this I totally sympathise. If this is the route you've chosen (I did with mine) then persistence is key. Can I ask does she sleep well during the day? When babies are overtired going to bed, it can make the process even worse.

WellErrr Sat 16-Apr-16 07:10:04

Why don't you leave her the bottle for comfort?

LariyahSpen Sat 16-Apr-16 08:28:19

Thanks for all your replies again

I took the bottle away last night because I didn't want to give a mixed message of giving her s bottle one minute then doing the controlled crying the next thought that was a bit cruel.

I can see both sides and I never thought I'd do controlled crying but I think it's something desperate families do when they can't take anymore no sleep so for now I will continue with it.

She isn't being left to get in a state and I've deliberately made the intervals shorter than is advised.

She doesn't sleep well ever! She's never been a great napper even though we put her down in her cot at 10:30am most days she will have 30 mins tops and that's it all day. She just isn't good full stop hence why something needed to be done.

My friend was over last night for a bit of support and has two kids herself even she couldn't understand how my daughter can't sleep. Our routine is very calm at night and as I mentioned has never changed. No tv after 5.30, classic fm on in the background while we get her ready, bath, pjs, story, milk bed but still she has never been a good sleeper.

Last night was better than night one even with no milk and she didn't really cry just had a whinge so I'm just hoping it will work.

Your comments have really helped thanks

ParsleyTheLion1 Sat 16-Apr-16 13:03:54

I did sleep training at 8 months, when I was at my wits' end. DS was still sleeping in the same room as me.....when he cried, I would lie stiff as a board hardly daring to breathe. The key I learnt was to listen out for the silences in between the cries....they really did get longer as it went out. It told me that he was shouting rather than crying in distress. And, miraculously, it totally worked. And it took only about 3 or 4 nights. Since then, he has slept right through (11.5/12 hours), unless he's ill.

ParsleyTheLion1 Sat 16-Apr-16 13:04:25

'they really did get longer as it went on'

ParsleyTheLion1 Sun 17-Apr-16 22:38:38

I got totally burned for writing what I did yesterday....last night DS woke for what seemed like no reason at all and didn't self-settle as he does normally! Took me an hour to get him back to sleep. But that is so so so rare. Punishment for blithely saying what I did yesterday!!

LariyahSpen Mon 18-Apr-16 09:16:10

Oh god!! Always the way isn't it!! I used to tell people how I couldn't believe how well my daughter ate a week later she started being the fussiest child ever!! confused

I'm on night 4 of the cc and she is still waking up but for shorter bursts so in hoping it soon sticks. She already seems much less crankier in the day but don't want to speak too soon lol!

I was actually wondering what happens once I think she's cracked it. If she happens to wake up in the night say in a months time to I apply the same principle as the cc and start going in at 5 min intervals again??
I wasn't sure how this would transfer from cc to say in a months time?

Thanks for all your help

Ciggaretteandsmirnoff Mon 18-Apr-16 09:27:37

It all goes out of the window if they get ill ect...

I think doing both is a bit too much.

Dd2 (3) still wakes up and asks for milk, toast if she hasn't eaten enough calories.

Ive done cc with dd and it did work but you really have to look at the picture as a whole. Are they sleeping enough during the day? Are they eating enough?

Once we nailed it with dd (who was a bit older than yours) we went on holiday and it fucked up. Then we did it again, it worked then she got ill and it fucked up.

She is three now and still 50% of the week she is waking through the night but I just can't ignore her when she is saying she is hungry. I wake up hungry sometimes and getting back to sleep is hard.

I'm pregnant with my third and resigned to the fact they are not robots and and its completely normal to wake during the night.

ParsleyTheLion1 Mon 18-Apr-16 09:29:45

Once she's cracked it but she wakes in, say, a month's time (as demonstrated by my DS, this does happen once in a while even when he's not ill), then I would wait and see for 5 minutes or so to see if she self settles, and if it's clear that she won't, I would go in to help her. It shouldn't 'break' what you've achieved. Last night DS slept right through and he does most nights; it's very rare that he won't self settle (god, I'm inviting disaster again!!)

BurningGubbins Mon 18-Apr-16 09:32:19

We did this when my son was 1. He was almost there but we needed to knock the waking on the head as he was so tired and grumpy. Took 3 nights and he was a much happier boy. After that if he woke in the night we'd leave him a few minutes to see if he was really awake or just grumbling and take it from there. He's been a 12 hours a night guy ever since and his daytime naps got better too.

ParsleyTheLion1 Mon 18-Apr-16 09:41:47

ciggarrette I don't think I've ever heard of waking up in the night because you're hungry.... doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Just that in my experience I would regard that as really really unusual! I didn't even realise it's a phenomenon (like I've never heard of family members doing it, or friends mentioning that they do it) Personally, I would be troubled if my DS (once out of baby stage) started expecting food/calories in the middle of the night

Tippytoes13 Mon 18-Apr-16 13:51:38

I used controlled crying with my son, he was waking so frequent, I was shattered and knew we had to do something, I nearly crashed one morning because I was so tired and lost concentration. My son was constantly tired, which meant we couldn't enjoy any baby groups, or activities together, I started to get depressed too, he was so over tired he couldn't sleep in the day either unless we were out walking in the pushchair or car. Stick with it, don't feel bad, I know it's hard not to!

LariyahSpen Tue 19-Apr-16 07:49:39

Thanks everyone I totally agree it's so hard but you definitely get to a point where you can't cope with the tiredness anymore.

Last night she went down first time without a sound but was worse in the night and was up on and off from 3.16am to 4.50am kill me now!!

I guess I'll just keep going with it and hope tonight she is better

Fingers crossed

strawberrybubblegum Tue 19-Apr-16 22:32:32

Hope tonight is better!

This is the perfect age to do it, and you are absolutely right that your baby and you both need sleep.

Here are a few guidelines I learned, which may help you:

1. As you know the really important thing is to keep increasing the interval. That doesn't mean increasing it from one day to the next, it means that within one 'crying session' you should steadily increase the intervals between going in each time until you get to your maximum, then make it that each time. That is really, really important otherwise you are introducing an 'inconsistent reward' (your presence is the reward!) which reinforces the crying instead of stopping it.

2. Once they have been calm for a significant time,if they start crying again then it's a new 'session' and you start again at your minimum and work up

3. The periods don't actually need to be long. We started at 2 minutes and went up in 30 second intervals up to a maximum of 5 minutes and that worked for us. Just make sure you time carefully so that you increase each time.

4. Don't touch them when you go in. Your touch is enough reward to keep them going! Just speak to them and reassure them, tell them to lie down. They might even do it.

5. If they are still crying after a couple of minutes - and even if they are still standing - then go out anyway and start timing again to the next interval.

If you are still struggling, I'd really recommend the Millpond book for detailed practical advice on various techniques.

Good luck, and hope it goes well flowers

skankingpiglet Tue 19-Apr-16 23:02:23

Hi OP, just wanted to say we were in the same boat in July last year (14mo, all of us at breaking point). We did CC, even though I had been dead against it until that point but something had to give. After 4 nights I was able to put her down 'drowsy but awake' and she'd go off to sleep by herself (we'd had to cuddle to sleep before that) quite happily. It improved the night wakings (note didn't cure!) in so much as there was one or two fewer (she had been waking every 1-2hrs for months and had been getting worse), and some of the remaining wakings she'd get herself back to sleep within a minute or two. The CC only improved our situation to a manageable level rather than had her sleeping through the night.
She first slept through when she was 16mo on the first night I took the bars off her cotbed and gave her a duvet. In fact she slept through every night after that barring illness for several months. Now she sleeps through 3 nights a week, the others she wakes once usually which is doable for us. It turns out she just sleeps better in a bed, plus the duvet (rather than the sleeping bag she had before) allows her space to move and to stick a leg out if she's hot. Might be worth a go switching up sleeping arrangements once you've cracked the CC? Not necessarily saying your DD needs exactly the same sleeping environment as mine, just worth try a few things to see if it makes a difference. I was kicking myself we hadn't tried it sooner!

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