Time for controlled crying?

(9 Posts)
MintSource Fri 12-Feb-16 13:31:45

DS is 17 months. He goes to sleep on me after his bedtime routine at about 7pm. It takes about two mins for him to fall asleep in a dark room on me - no rocking etc.

He wakes most nights, usually around 3am. Most of the time he will go back to sleep quickly after a drink but sometimes he 'gets up' for the day, leaving him and us exhausted.

DH has wanted to try controlled crying (Ferber approach) for a while now but I am too soft. He got up with DS at 3am today and feels we should do this now as we are all getting so tired.

I'd be interested in results (good and bad) and views on this please. We do need to fix it.

seaweed123 Fri 12-Feb-16 16:03:58

Rather than CC on the 3am wake, I'd try getting him to fall asleep in his cot first. This was the thing that made a big difference to sleeping through the night for me, and it will be much easier to sleep train at bedtime than at 3am.

Prior to trying it, I kept reading that falling asleep in the cot was the key, but couldn't believe that it would really make any difference. It did.

Saying that, I also started leaving water in a cup within reach. If he is waking for a drink, then maybe try that?

ODog Fri 12-Feb-16 17:04:53

If my 20mo wakes after 3/4am for whatever reason he often needs to come in our bed in order to settle. It's not for everyone (and we coslept from day 1 so this isn't a huge deal for us) but some sleep is better than getting up surely? And I would argue better than CC but that's my beliefs and it's each to their own as far as I'm concerned.

lighteningmcmama Fri 12-Feb-16 22:51:46

When you say he gets up for the day at 3am can you tell us more what you mean?

Have you considered other sleep training mmethods?there are many methods in between ferber and allowing baby to sleep on you, you might be able to find something gentler which still means sleep training but is less upsetting than ferber.

Hope you find a solutionflowers

Topsy34 Sat 13-Feb-16 00:44:47

Theres lots of reasons why he might be waking and IMHO i would expect at least one wake up.

Theres a decent list on this website to give you some food for thought, I haven't used her methods, but there are lots of better methods than CC. sarahockwell-smith.com/2016/02/03/toddlers-all-sleep-through-the-night-dont-they/

For me, the negatives out weigh the positives. Have a look at raised cortisol levels

Hope you manage to find a solution

knittingbee Sat 13-Feb-16 16:20:57

You're 'softer' for not wanting to leave your child to cry by themselves? I'd call that 'normal' TBH.

I generally leave my 20mo for a few minutes if she wakes - often she will self-settle. Sometimes she doesn't. Then she comes into bed with us, where she will cuddle up and go to sleep. It's not ideal, and DH and I don't sleep as well with her in the bed, but it isn't for ever. Would this be a solution for you, or is your DS wide-awake at 3am?

strawberrybubblegum Sun 14-Feb-16 08:00:47

Definitely work on getting him to fall asleep in his cot, staying next to him until he falls asleep if necessary. Imagine if you went to sleep in your comfy bed then woke up in the middle of the night in the kitchen. Of course you'd be unhappy and yell to go back to bed! That's what falling asleep on you and then waking in his cot feels like!

Also, you say he will sometimes have a drink then go back to sleep. Do you mean a drink of milk? I would definitely make a big effort to crack night weaning - give him a cuddle then back to bed. This will make a huge difference since milk is a big incentive to wake up! He really doesn't need it now.

Once you've made those changes, things should be much better. If they aren't, then I think you should consider sleep training. You all need to sleep! But your child's age means that you might want to think of different methods - it's getting more complicated than with a younger baby.

Age - or rather developmental stage - makes a big difference to how sleep training will go. I'd really recommend reading 'Bed timing' to understand the when/why. You're just coming into a bad period for sleep training (17-21 months is when they start understanding the social aspect to relationships and suffer a new bout of separation anxiety. You're about to have a bit of a rough patch, I'm afraid).

Your next window is 22-27 months, but they recommend a more 'rules/reward' based approach by this age.

strawberrybubblegum Sun 14-Feb-16 08:01:42

And good luck. Lack of sleep is so debilitating and awful. flowers

MintSource Wed 17-Feb-16 12:31:08

Well, talk about the power of Mumsnet....!

Firstly, thanks to everyone who replied - all very helpful and supportive and much appreciated.

Seaweed123 I owe you a huge bunch of flowers

On Friday night I put DS into his cot awake. Lots of reassuring words and shhhh-ing. He wasn't happy and got up to put his arms round my neck over the cot rail. He was very tired and lay down and got up a few more times. Lots of tears. After about 25 mins, with me trying very hard not to get upset or cave in and lift him out, he slumped down and went to sleep.

I also put a water beaker in the cot and when he woke at 3am I heard him call out, then slurp some water before he went back to sleep, waking up at 5.45am!!! My alarm is set for 5.48 each day.

I thought it might be a fluke or that it would be tough every night but each night since then has been really easy. No more tears at all and a sound night's sleep every time. He does wake and call out briefly at 3am or 4am but goes straight back to sleep and the earliest he has got up since we started is about 5.30am which is heaven compared to 3am.

We tell him what a good, clever boy he is every morning.

So, thank you so very much. It really does work and now Baby Mint and his parents are all happier and have more energy. smile

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