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Can't believe I'm posting this but can someone talk to me and controlled crying

(51 Posts)
ElBombero Tue 04-Feb-14 21:22:04

My DS is 5 months old. He has never ever slept well, not once slept through the night.

He's BF but for the past 3 weeks has had 1 bottle of formula at night. I then feed him throughout night. His pattern at night is so so bad, I get up anything between 8-15 times a night. He cries and the only thing that will settle him is my breast, he mainly takes 2-3 suckles then drops back off. So he is waking for comfort yes?

He won't take a tummy. I've tried leaving him for a few minutes but he gets himself (and me!) in a right state. Spoke to HV today, she said I should look into controlled crying as she thinks it would work for him...

Any advice?

breatheslowly Tue 04-Feb-14 21:23:52

I'd think 5 months was too young. Could you consider co-sleeping?

Fairylea Tue 04-Feb-14 21:28:20

Firstly are you sure he isn't suffering from silent reflux ? (Google it). That would explain the need to constantly feed and suck as both help to stop the acid from rising. It might be worth asking the gp to see if they can prescribe something you can try. Also put some books under the end of the cot to raise it slightly as being slightly elevated also helps as any acid doesn't rise so much (this is one of the reasons many babies with silent reflux like to be held as it's more upright).

Personally I don't agree with controlled crying at all.. I've always done pick up and put down when they're calm and keep at it. Even if it takes all night for a week.... but I feel your pain, you must be exhausted.

Flisspaps Tue 04-Feb-14 21:28:48

I'd co-sleep. I'd like to know why the HB thinks your DS would settle with CC. Waking in the night is normal for a baby.

What do you want to do?

Mojang Tue 04-Feb-14 21:29:59

I used controlled crying with DS1 and it worked like a dream after 2 nights, but he was 18mo, I agree 5mths is too young.

BarberryRicePud Tue 04-Feb-14 21:35:41

Cosleep. Feed lying down and go to sleep, he'll quickly learn to relatch himself. You will get massively more sleep.

Try the no cry sleep solution for gentle tips for the bf baby who suckles frequently.

I did PUPDCD with DS (my first). It failed. It made us both miserable. I tried for weeks. It is without doubt my biggest parental regret. I still feel guilty about it.

If you feel CC is absolutely right for you then good luck. But I honestly think 5m is far too young. I'm sorry, I know what it is to be so exhausted you're not sure how you're surviving. It will end, hang on in there.

Mamabear12 Tue 04-Feb-14 21:36:07

At that age he should feed max in the night once or twice! I agree w controlled crying. It will be very difficult at first...but worth it. They wake up and take breast a lot if you let them. It is used as comfort. My son was doing this bc I let him in the bed as a newborn and I moved him out of our room at two months. He would still wake a few times in the night. It took about a month...but now we have it down to two wake ups a night. I was bout to start doing controlled crying, but he improved his night sleep on his own. I suggest you try offering bottle only at night and only at let's say 11pm and 3am. Your baby will get the hint. He will stop waking so much and drink more during the day.

Bitzer Tue 04-Feb-14 21:40:17

It sounds really tough - I really do feel for you. I agree with what others have said about 5MO being too young but equally it sounds like the current situation just isn't sustainable. I sort of tried it when DD2 was older but I have to say I just found it too painful, hated to hear her cry etc. But you need to balance all that with how you're coping with so little sleep, if you're not coping then you need to find a way of improving things. Best of luck with whatever you do decide.

invicta Tue 04-Feb-14 21:44:09

Controlled crying worked for us. We did it when dc was 5 or 6 months old. It is tough going, but if you are prepared for this, it's not so bad. Be prepared for being very tired during the days, and have support in place for this. It's hard work, but works!

ElBombero Tue 04-Feb-14 21:45:48

Well my initial reaction was same as you lot!! He's still a tiny baby, I cannot bear to hear him cry for a few mins never mind the extent that control crying allows for. I can't co-sleep... We just don't have the room and my 2yo DD has a habit of creeping in during night just would be safe. I'm going to look up silent reflux

Teaandflapjacks Tue 04-Feb-14 21:57:00

God - poor you. have you looked at training with a dummy - I only mention as you say above you have tried but actually sometimes you really need to stick at it with the dummy to transfer the suckling over to a new 'tool'. Still if he loses dummy you might be in same boat. For us a dummy is great. also we found using white noise on low over nights to get her into a pattern helped. what it can do is keep them asleep for longer. It really, really helped us.

She also has her own room- have you thought about the exact opposite and putting him next door? as he is 5 months I know its not the advice but we did it earlier and it worked for us.

also we have a folded up towel under her mattress so its propped up a bit by her head. Agree silent reflux might be an issue to look at - and you are not that far off weaning (if you want that it) you might want to start thinking that through in conjunction, if you are moving into dream feed? Certainly talk through with a doctor. I live in germany where they wean at 4 months here for the most part.

I also cant cope with controlled crying. I read a book on it and it wasn't for me but for some it does work.

also is he sleeping enough during the day - I know that sounds a bit daft but once I made sure DD got proper naps during day she slept a whole load better at night.

If it is reflux you can get stuff to help.


VanillaCheesecake Tue 04-Feb-14 22:09:40

My 9 month old is exactly like yours!! She averages 10 wake ups per night (we keep a log).

She will only go back to sleep via BF or if she is picked up and rocked to sleep.

She has never slept through and has never slept longer than 3 hours at a time.

We too can't bare the thought of CC and won't do it.

She wakes up slightly less frequently when she co sleeps but not significantly so.

Don't know where I'm going with this really... I guess I just feel your pain. !!!!!!

HelenHen Tue 04-Feb-14 22:16:17

We did cc at about 4 months for his naps and it worked brilliantly! Took 2-3 weeks tho and was not easy but well worth it!

SquidgersMummy Tue 04-Feb-14 22:23:56

Cosleep - it's a wonderful, wonderful thing xx

stopgap Wed 05-Feb-14 02:04:22

Look up silent reflux. DS1 had it. It started at around 13 weeks. He would wake hourly with a sharp screech and would settle with just a few suckles, only for the horrid cycle to continue. Once we'd established that he was suffering from reflux, he slept slightly propped up and only woke once by four months, and then slept 7-7 by 5 months.

zuinthecity Thu 06-Feb-14 19:51:18

I feel for you, I really do. I've been in the same boat not long ago with my then 8MO. I did the controlled crying which I described in a different thread in Sleep section (and before I'd never even consider CC !). It worked after the first night and both us and our DD could not be happier, more relaxed and fun to be around now smile
However CC is not recommended for children younger than 6mo as there is a chance they still need to be fed at night. Still though, I'd go and consult your GP, ask about that reflux that's being mentioned here and if you get a blessing from them, go for it. After all, they know you and your DS and their opinion means a little more than all those opinions of random people on the internet.
Good luck with whatever you choose!

jen2014 Thu 06-Feb-14 20:18:50

Can't won't comment on CC but my BF son didn't sleep through until nearly six months and it was still several weeks before he slept through regularly. Up until then he would still wake up 2-3 times a night for feeds.
Have you considered weaning? A small amount of baby porridge at night may help get you a few solid hours.

waterrat Thu 06-Feb-14 20:22:05

Sorry but I disagree about co sleeping being the magic solution - I did it when I was going through multiple wake ups and it was he'll - feeding all night long which made the whole thing much worse - the baby never learns to settle on their own. Your baby is having small
Comfort sucks because you an your boobs are right there - if is not cruel at all to find a way to stop a baby of that age feeding so often.

Please don't feed bad op sleep deprivation is hell and I get a little annoyed with all the - oh just co sleep responses - it's really not always a good answer - of it works for you fine but it is not going to necessarily help

So - please also believe there is a middle ground - you basically need to stop feeding so often but that really doesn't have to mean walking out and leaving your baby crying

Decide that you are going to reduce your multiple feeds to a manageable number - say 3 a night - all other wake ups you pat/SH Or send your dp to deal with it - or offer water

I sat next to the cot patting my 7 month old - so a little older - and we improved his sleep in a single night from what you describe to sleeping for six hours

It's habit and its not at all unkind to break it - you are not night weaning even! Just stopping feeding at such n unsustainable level

Fine if people are happy co sleeping and feeding all night long but if u are not then I promise it's not that hard to break the habit

MrsOakenshield Thu 06-Feb-14 20:28:40

with CC the amount of time you leave before going in is entirely up to you. When we did it (around this age) we did 1 minute, then 2,3,4,5 and then stuck at no more than 5 minutes. Took 45 minutes night 1, less night 2, by night 3 or 4 sorted. With older babies you might start at 5 minutes but as I said, it's up to you. We also didn't wait till she was full on crying before we timed, but as soon as she started wailing.

This was at bedtime though, in general she slept well through the night, so I don't know how you're meant to tell when they really are hungry - maybe before starting you can work out over a few nights when he actually is having a proper feed?

Oh, and get a comforter toy, like a blankie, they really help - at aged 4 DD still has hers!

TheGreatHunt Thu 06-Feb-14 20:33:15

You must rule out silent reflux and tongue tie and intolerances before going down the road of sleep training

Plus there's a 5 month sleep regression to throw things into the mix.

KingRollo Thu 06-Feb-14 20:36:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingRollo Thu 06-Feb-14 20:37:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 06-Feb-14 20:56:07

There are many right ways to parent. CC works well for many. I used it with my DS2. He was a little older but I wish I'd done it sooner. He didn't sleep for more than 90mins.

I did 2 mins initially. Then first time cuddle and 'bedtime now darling'. Second time a firm 'its bedtime'. Third time 'bed' then fifth, sixth and nth time no eye contact - just cuddle, tuck in and leave the room. He kept it up for an hour then slept for about three hours then another hour of hell etc. the second night was a little better, the third far worse, it almost broke me. The fourth he woke once. Fed went back down within 20 mins.

He had one minor relapse after an illness and took two nights of CC to re-establish routine.

I think that people cringe at the CC suggestion because they think its leaving your child to cry for hours on end. It really isn't. Who hasn't, through necessity, left their child for very short periods crying like when you're on the loo, in the shower, finishing a phone call and they're vying for attention.

Which ever route you go good luck. Sleep deprivation is used as a torture for good reason, it depletes the soul.

toomuchtooold Thu 06-Feb-14 21:46:38

We did CC at 5.5 months with our twins. We found that on the nights they managed to fall asleep alone, they slept much better, so it was a short step to actually doing that deliberately i.e. staying out of their bedroom to let them fall asleep themselves. What I would say is regarding night feeding, there's night feeding and night feeding. One of mine still took a bottle at 3am up till she was about 9 months old - but that thing of just waking up every 45 minutes/90 minutes and taking a tiny amount, that sounds like comfort to me and not hunger.

I'd recommend the Millpond Clinic's book, Teach Your Child To Sleep. They have a whole thing in there about how to combine night weaning with controlled crying depending on the specific issues you're having. They also have stuff about softer methods like gradual retreat etc. And it was written by UK health visitors so the advice is similar to what you'll hear off your own HV!

HelenHen Thu 06-Feb-14 21:48:37

I'd agree with trying him in his own room too if you haven't already? Also keep the room as dark and quiet as you can, babies don't need nightlights and mobiles and dummies can be a distraction. We tried mobile and dummy but they were just keeping him awake. Although I guess they work for some babies.

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