16 month old sobbing himself to sleep :-((26 Posts)
So two weeks ago we started controlled crying with our 16 ds; by night four he was asleep within 5 mins with a bit of crying once I put him in his cot and left the room. He has the same routine every night, bath, pj's, teeth, story and then into cot. As soon as we go in his room to read a story he starts sobbing and when I close the book it gets worse. I can calm him down with a cuddle but then as soon as I lie him down he crys. If I wait outside his room I can hear him sobbing for about 5 mins until he falls asleep. It's breaking my heart! Will this stop?? I feel horrible him going off to sleep upset!
Controlled crying shouldn't mean your child sobbing themselves to sleep and I speak as a nanny who uses it with the children I nanny for. They may cry out or whinge, they may mumble or murmur, they may be indignant that they're not tired but they shouldn't be sad or upset crying.
We did cc and didn't have this, angry shouting for a few nights but not sobbing. Could you try giving him a toy/book and saying he is playing there and you will come back, then check on him making the checks gradually further apart.
Also might be worth looking at his naps, maybe he isn't tired at bedtime.
Just stop doing it. He is crying in anticipation of you leaving him. He has no idea why you won't meet his needs at night but you will in the day. This can cause long term issues, please stop.
Pick him up and cuddle him. I hate CC. He will eventually learn to do this on his own without the need for him and you getting upset
Please don't leave your poor baby to sob. He is very little and he needs you- just cuddle him to sleep! Very soon he will grow up and won't need your help to sleep, right now he still does.
Why would you leave your poor baby to sob? You say so yourself it's heartbreaking.
I was total attachment parent, my daughter slept on me until 5 months old. She went everywhere with me, I breastfed until 2 years old. When she was 10 months I broke from lack f sleep - she was waking every 10 minutes.
She is the most loving, lovely attached little girl you could hope to meet.
You will always have people pro and anti controlled crying but only you know what's best for you as your baby. In my case my baby needed a mum who was able to function and not potentially leave her in a supemarket/crash the car/leave home if she didn't get any sleep.
You know what's best for you and your baby and not all of us have the kind of life where we can afford to have 15 months of little to no sleep. It's no one else's place to judge you.
Maybe you could try an approach where you sit with him til he falls asleep or try the 'shush/pat' technique (google it).
Just realised that in my post o failed to mention that I did controlled crying! 3 nights of a few tears then she got more sleep per night than she had in a week beforehand. Both of us became human again!
Reading your op actually upset me. Maybe it's time to try something different.
When we did CC we jiggled DS routine so he didn't get upset anticipating that it was bedtime.
I would say - it worked for a while but then it didn't. He's 2.5 years old now and still wakes up once a night for reassurance. I wouldn't do it again.
We had a similar thing when we did CC. Crying in anticipation of being left or sleep in general. I really regret ever doing it, I think it just left him with anxieties around bedtime which lasted until he was 4.
Awww no this isn't right. We did cc because he was bf and needing the boob every 15-60 for comfort. Wasn't manageable but my CC took one night before he realised that it was sleep time and I wasn't his dummy.
Have you tried gradual retreat as an alternative to control crying? It doesn't sound like control crying is working for either of you.
I did it to my son when he was about 18 mths. It was total separation anxiety and I got it wrong and left him to cry himself to sleep. It was fine, lasted a couple of weeks, but looking back I would never do it again. I wish I had just sat and held his hand.
He went on to have a few issues with being separated from me, and I just wish I had never let him down when he was stil that young.
I too found your OP upsetting. I understand why CC might have been an option for you to consider and of course you want the best balance between your needs and your child's but he is telling you very clearly it's not for him and his anxiety level must be very high for him to cry in anticipation of you leaving, which is exactly what neurosciences warn you against with that type of approach. You don't loose anything going back to him saying you're sorry this doesn't work and you're going to try something else, reassure him and move on.
CC is really emotive, so I think you're in for a lot of posts.
I know the depths of sleep deprivation, but I also know how quickly this stage of a child's life passes (even if you're still cuddling them to sleep when they're 5!), so my advice is don't let him sob himself to sleep.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Shall we have a guess as to whether the above poster (fucingfatslags, hysterical user name btw) is a sad 15 year old boy who has run out of manga porn for the night or a sad 39 year old man who has rolled in alone from the pub once more and decided to antagonise women by setting up a brand new mums et account and writing childish remarks on several posts.
I go for the latter.
When we did cc with ds we had one night of crying and one night of a bit of wittering but from then on he went to bed without crying. It sounds like your approach isn't working. If you carry on I suspect it will get worse as he learns to fear bedtime more. I'd stay with him holding his hand until he falls asleep, when he becomes secure that you won't be going anywgere then stay in the room until he drops off, working towards leaving him awake when he's not distressed.
I sleep trained my DD - if she whinged, shouted, chatted etc I would leave her. But if she ever cried, I always went back into the room. I meant a few nights of sitting with her until she fell asleep but that was better than listening to her cry herself to sleep. Have you tried that OP?? And then moving gradually further away from the cot, and then out of the room.
CC is an emotive subject that throws up all kinds of opinions - but I totally understand why some of us chose to do it. Sleep really is the most important thing on the planet sometimes for both baby and parents!
Are you sure it's proper upset crying and not shouting (the way you describe it, it does sound like upset rather than indignant)?
I only ask because my son (13 months) wouldn't be able to fall asleep after 5 minutes if properly upset. I do a similar bedtime routine to you and some nights he cries when being dried after the bath and dressed for bed, but that's when he's too tired. Sometimes he shouts for a couple of minutes after being put down, but if it's upset crying I need to go back in because it just gets worse.
I think it's so hard if you have a baby that finds it difficult to fall asleep and hard for others to understand if their child responds differently. In my son's case, he has not fallen asleep (for nighttime sleep) in my arms, or with me in the room since the end of the 4 month regression. I need to put him in the cot in his own room and leave him to it. When he's very tired he reaches out to the cot to signal me to put him down. That would be great if he didn't also complain about it- it's some kind of miserable self sabotage, he can't fall asleep when someone's there, but doesn't really want that person to leave. Some kind of instinct tells him that if an adult is in the room they must pick him up NOW.
Anyway, the point of that essay is that it took me ages (months) to figure out that I just need to leave him to sleep. If he does proper crying after being put down, I go back in and cuddle for a bit before trying again so I can check if he's too awake or for any other obvious reason. I do this three times max and somehow it always seems to work. I think it's usually caused by over tiredness. By the third time, he's knackered enough to drop off quickly. IME over tiredness causes a really dramatic sounding shouty sob, but it finishes quickly.
Good luck with whatever works for you. None of the sush pat, gradual retreat techniques worked for us. Nor would my son co sleep. Unfortunately, that doesn't work for everyone, so don't feel bad if it doesn't work for your child. I know lots of people say that sleep naturally gets better- it does, but it can happen incredibly slowly (I didn't sleep through the night until I was 6 and nearly broke my parents ). Maybe you can deal with lack of sleep, maybe not- parents need to be able to function. What prompted me to really stick to my strategy once I saw it working, was that my son was finally well rested and happy during the day instead of constantly being grizzly and grumpy. He was chronically shattered. Babies really need enough sleep.
We had similar when we tried sleep training. We were in a bit of catch 22 where he wouldn't settle if I was in the room but would get upset if I left. CC helped him learn to settle but left him crying as soon as I put him near the cot.
I stopped leaving him and started a slightly more gradual retreat style approach where I just sat quietly in the corner of his room so he knew I was there, which put an end to the tears. From there we gradually started leaving the room before he was fully asleep or going in and out a few times and he's got to the point eventually where most of the time we can leave him to settle on his own now.
I don't regret trying CC at all - for us it broke the catch 22. It's all very well everyone who comes sanctimoniously on to threads like these saying 'just cuddle him to sleep' - this just didn't work for us as DS just wouldn't switch off if I was in the room and used to get frantically overtired and a screaming mess.
However my advice would be don't feel you have to stick ridgidly to a method if it is not working for you both, you can adapt and find your own way.
I would start sitting in his room to reassure I think but then I do that now with mine and it is annoying. Sometimes I'm in there an hour! I really can't stand leaving him upset though so it is what it is.
He's happy to go to bed though (will actually go and get his sleeping bag when he's sleepy) so that's the upside.
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