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Help please! - how do you do 'controlled crying' and how long does it usually take? (sorry this is a really long one...)

(10 Posts)
Jan2 Wed 20-Aug-08 11:30:29

My 15 month DD has always been a brilliant sleeper with the exception of periods of teething - the last one lasted about 3 months but resolved itself so that the last couple of months she was getting herself off to sleep at 7.30pm and sleeping until 7.30/8am and also having a 1-2 hour nap late morning. All was fine and then last week more teeth started coming through and it's all changed!

She has also recently developed dry skin on her arms and we have started using a really weak steroid cream but the doctor says that this won't be affecting her sleep as it is so weak. Don't know if anyone else uses steroid cream and has had any bad sleep side effects??

Anyway she cries hysterically when put into the cot and won't nap at all in there in the day and isn't going to bed until about 11pm (after we've taken her out in the pram) only to wake a couple of more times during the night crying loudly.

The only way we can get her into the cot/back to sleep is to take her for a walk in the pram until she is drowsy/asleep and then transfer her into the cot and cross our fingers!

I don't really like us taking her out at all hours of the night but we do just walk up and down our road so we are near home and it seems to be the only thing that helps calm her down and get her back to sleep. We have also been giving her nurofen.

Last time she was teething I used to take her down stairs and put the telly on for an hour and she would usually get back off to sleep but now it just wakes her up more and she wants to start crawling around and playing!

One night last week when this all started she slept from 8pm-11pm and was then up from 11pm until 5am!! when my husband took her out for a walk up and down our road and she finally nodded off.

We've tried leaving her to cry and going in every few minutes but she just gets more and more hysterical and at 3am it's hard to cope with.

Don't think we can take much more! - has anyone had a similar experience with an 'older' baby that used to be a good sleeper and how do we go about trying proper controlled crying? - am reluctant as she does normally sleep so well that I think there must be something really upsetting her to wake her up - ie sore mouth.

Sorry this is so long. Would be really grateful for any advice.

muddleduck Wed 20-Aug-08 11:37:59

Personally I wouldn't go for controlled crying at this age - I think it will just really upset her and make her hate her cot even more. I would stay in the room with her and just keep putting her down every time she stands up. Maybe even put a mattress in her room (if there is room) so you can lie down in there with her. I think she needs to learn that her cot is a safe happy place to be. You need to reassure her by using your presence to comfort her and by always responding in the same way (i.e. keep lieing her down rather than taking her out). Consistency is the key.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


nowwearefour Wed 20-Aug-08 11:52:46

Hi. This is v weird. My dd2 turned 15 months today. I was just discussing with my mum this exact situation! Except when she goes hysterical when i put her in the cot i have taken the decision just to leave her. She does go to sleep- usually after only 10 minutes in the day and at 7-7.30 bedtime. Sometimes she cries for longer. I dont know why this has suddenly happened- she was a great sleeper before this. We did have a wobble when i stopped breastfeeding at 13 1/2 months but that only asted a week or so. I think for my dd2 it is simply temper. She is clearly tired and happy the rest of the day and is for some reason suddenly v fed up about being put into her cot. But with dd1 to worry about i simply cant have her whims gone along with or she will never sleep. I just dont know what has suddenly caused it (admittedly it could be teeth as she doesnt have many yet but there arent many other symptoms at the mo which she has had with the 6 teeth she does have!). V odd. V hard. I think the going back into the room just confuses them and doesnt give them a chnace to realise it is time to sleep- my approach is simply to leave her til she goes to sleep. Controversial i konw but it works for me as she (and dd1 too) are getting the sleep they need this way. Be happy to stay in touvch about how you get on though as ot does seem a really big and weird thing to be happening.

Jan2 Wed 20-Aug-08 13:36:58

Thanks for messages - Muddleduck - we have tried that and having her in the travel cot in our room but no go!! Nowwearefour - yes would like to know how things go with you.

She is also fine in the day if a little tired. However we have tried leaving her for up to 45 mins to get to sleep but she still cries and very loudly!! have apologised to the neighbours!

Don't suppose there's any real answer just trying things and seeing what happens but the last thing we want is for her to end up hating the cot when she's always been fine going to bed before.

Feel tired and fed up but know it will just be one of those 'phases' - hopefully...

pudding25 Wed 20-Aug-08 13:44:39

Maybe you should get her checked out by the dr to make sure she doesnt have an ear infection or something before you start thinking about anything else?

muddleduck Wed 20-Aug-08 13:46:34

How did she respond when you tried just repeatedly putting her down? DS2 hated it at first but gradually got the idea that there wasn't much point in getting up.
At the end of the day I don't think it really matters to much what strategy you choose, just pick one and be really consistent.

idontbelieveit Wed 20-Aug-08 13:51:12

my dd (26 months) has periods of this too, she's mainly a good sleeper but then has bouts of waking at night and being up until the small hours whatever we try. I can't bring myself to do controlled crying so I just ride out the bad times and touch wood she's been fine for the last couple of months. Sorry I don't have much advice but wanted to say you're not alone, hope it gets better soon.

meandmyjoe Wed 20-Aug-08 14:02:09

I wouldn't try controlled crying if she's teething. Like you said she was a fab sleeper before so there must be a reason for he sleep disturbance now, even if it's only separation anxiety, it is a very real fear to babies so I'd just try another way of soothing her for now. Perhaps just rocking her to sleep in the dark bedroom when she wakes. Or keep trying the pick up/ put down method. it will work if you are consistant.

tiredlady Wed 20-Aug-08 14:04:49

would she co sleep with you?

Jan2 Wed 20-Aug-08 19:33:04

Thanks for all the responses. If it was an ear infection would it also bother her in the day? - she seems generally OK in the day apart from not wanting to go in the cot for her nap but she will sleep if I take her out in the pram.

I don't think we can co sleep with her as she won't settle with us in our bed or in the travel cot with us in our room either.

It is definitely (I think) related to teeth as she has quite a few coming through at the moment and I think that teeth do bother them more at night when they're lying alone in the dark with no distractions.

But I also think it might be to do with development - she isn't walking yet but she is standing up a lot against the furniture now and has just started cruising along the furniture so am thinking it could be a combination of the two?

She is and always has been a very sensitive baby. I'm not back at work because she still gets hysterical if anyone other than me or DH holds her etc so it's all day and all night at the mo but I do feel better knowing we're not the only ones suffering so thanks for the advice and comments.

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