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Alternative to Cry it Out method

(15 Posts)
RuByMaMa Fri 27-Aug-10 11:05:33

Hi there

I realise that there's alot of info on helping babies sleep out there, but I'm really looking for some advice from people who have tried and tested methods other than the cry it out method. Sorry about the huge blurb here too, but please, please, please let me know if you have any suggestions...

My daughter is only 8 months old and I am not expecting her to sleep from 7.30-7.30 7 nights a week, however, I would be so happy if she'd sleep for more than 2 hours at a time! Up until now I've tried to just go with it, however, I start back at work full time next week and really need to try and get some rest at night, as my job is pretty full on.

She goes down after her bed/bath etc and some quiet time and then, on a good night, will be down for 3 hours or so (on a bad night, she wakes every hour or so). When she does wake, it's usually just a grumble and need to pop her dummy back in and she goes back down. However, this continues on and off throughout the rest of the night, with her cries escalating when we don't go through. My husband works long hours too and so we've always been quite quick to try and settle her to minimise the disruption. I'm pretty sure she's not hungry, as she'll just use me as a dummy when I do try and give her a feed.

We co-slept for the first 6 months before she went into her own room (I was getting a really sore back from sleeping at weird and wonderful angles with her in the bed!) and her sleeping never really changed (ie. didn't get better or worse).

I spoke to my HV today to try and get some tips on helping her to stay asleep but she just started on about the controlled crying which I really do not want to use as I personally don't feel comfortable with it.

Thanks for bearing with me and reading this, I realise the situation's not as bad as that of some other families, however, I am already so tired and am apprehensive about what it'll be like when I'm back at work!

stargirl30 Fri 27-Aug-10 22:34:11

I don't believe in "cry it out" either, and my DD's sleep sounds a bit like your DD.
She's now nearly 2 and over the last few months things are have got better, so hang on in there.
I wonder if its worth trying co-sleeping again. If you put a bed rail on your bed then she can sleep right at the edge which will give you room and hopefully minimise the backache.
I assume she's sleeping in a cot at the moment?

lowrib Fri 27-Aug-10 22:39:35

Perhaps one of those 3-sided cots that come right up to the bed could help? If I have another one, I'm definitely going to go for one of them. That way you could give your DD the comfort that you're right there, without the weird and wonderful positions! Also you might get back to sleep quicker if you don't have to actually get up and go to another room, and so feel more rested (well relatively speaking anyway).

Maria2007loveshersleep Sat 28-Aug-10 07:04:53

What's happening is very simple: your DD enters into the light cycle of sleep, wakes & requires some comforting in order to get back to sleep. Very simple & understandable. BUT habits change with difficulty, not just in babies but with all of us.

I think, first of all, there's a big difference between 'cry it out' (=which means basically closing the door & letting your baby cry until they sleep) & 'controlled crying' (=which means you put them to bed, say goodnight etc, leave, and then go in at timed intervals which you increase progressively according to your tolerance / how much the baby cries etc).

Second though, to be honest I don't believe you can avoid SOME crying if you really want your baby's sleep habits to change. Even if you try the pick up / put down method (=very simple, you just pick up baby when they cry & put them down in cot once they've settled a bit, until they sleep) there will be some crying.

I don't think there's any way really to avoid some crying if you want your baby's sleep habits to change. It depends what you want to do, what you believe is easier / best for your family / for your baby... Personally I don't believe some crying is a problem, I actually believe not being able to self-settle is a bigger problem, on balance. But your baby is only 8 months & you may not be willing / able to do controlled crying (perfectly understandable decision too).

As others have said co-sleeping could perhaps work if you believe it's a good solution, but for some it doesn't work. In our case it didn't work after a certain point, particularly after our DS was 1 year old.

Good luck, I'm sure others will suggest some ideas, but to be honest, there's no easy answer to this, at some point you either take the plunge & let them cry a bit or you run the risk of the sleep difficulties to continue (and they might do, plenty of non-sleeping toddlers out there, including mine grin).

mummytime Sat 28-Aug-10 07:21:59

A little bit of crying isn't a problem, and you can tell when it does become a problem. A little grizzle ad then snuggle down and back to sleep is fine. A little grizzle getting louder and more anxious is more of a problem.

You want to try to arrange things so she can settle herself back to sleep. I used grow bags, as mine were bad wrigglers and lost their covers. They also had a snuggly from a young age, which they could snuggle into for comfort (I have heard that if it smells of Mum it can help). Mine also had leak proof cups with water in after a while.

The other key tip is to have at least one parent caught up on sleep so they can deal with the sleeplessness of the beginning of getting the child to settle by themselves.

If its not stressy crying, do try to take yourself away for a bit, maybe put the kettle on, then go and listen at the door again, if it hasn't got more stressy, then go and make a cup of tea before going back. You want to monitor it without disturbing them.

Good luck. She will sleep more than 2 hours eventually.

Maria2007loveshersleep Sat 28-Aug-10 07:25:47

Yes I agree with mummytime, sometimes babies cry in their sleep! Also, sometimes they just cry in order to get themselves back to sleep. You really don't want to be disturbing your DD while she does that kind of crying. Also: overtired crying/grizzling (again, needed in order to go back to sleep). You don't want to be going in to your DD during that. I would try to learn all these different types of crying & let them be.

RuByMaMa Sat 28-Aug-10 19:41:26

Thanks everyone! When we were cosleeping, we did use her cot pushed up against the bed with the side down, but she's like a little homing device and inevitably, I'd wake up with her pressed up next to me!! It's a shame as I really did love waking up next to her, just not the crippling back pain down one side!!

Her ears must have been burning yesterday as she slept better than she has ever done last night (how typical!), although I am taking it with a pinch of salt...

My husband and I are off for a fortnight soon so I think we're gonna try and let her cry a little longer at night and see how we go, and possibly hubbie will get sent in to settle her too, see if that makes a difference.

mummytime, I like the idea of doing something when she first starts fussing instead of just hanging around at the door anxiously...

oh well, we'll see how it goes, I just need to keep telling myself that it doesn't last forever (does it?!?) hmm

puddock Sat 28-Aug-10 19:48:39

There's a book called the No Cry Sleep Solution with lots of other suggestions for parents who don't want to do CC/CIO. I found it very helpful.

AngelDog Wed 01-Sep-10 09:45:19

I agree, the No-Cry Sleep Solution is good - I've had progress with my 8 month old. The author researched it after her youngest baby got to 12 months and had never slept for longer than an hour and a half at once.

There are good suggestions for different situations, including weaning off a dummy (which may or may not be contributing to the problem).

There is a very common sleep regression though around 8/9 months which makes many babies more wakeful and makes it harder to do any 'sleep training' (whether controlled crying or more gentle methods) - their brains are too busy working on a major developmental spurt.

bippyhippy Fri 03-Sep-10 18:52:47

I would try a baby comforter to help her reassure her . There's some info here on how baby comforters help little ones sleep through the night and this advice on baby sleep training is worth a read.

Whatever you do, know that you are making decisions for the whole family as the family unit is important. That always helps me to take the action i need to. x

InmaculadaConcepcion Fri 03-Sep-10 19:19:23

My DD is 7mo and has co-slept since birth (in a side-car arrangement to our bed). I've just started putting her down awake instead of letting her use me as an all-night human dummy and am having to tolerate a little crying. It is as mummytime says - the crying so far hasn't been big style screaming and stress increasing, more intermittent protesting. I pop in the room from time to time and she stops instantly when I do, which suggests to me she's far from inconsolable.

I found that doing ssh/pat, Pick Up/Put Down and Pantley Pull Off actually stresses her out more and results in far more hysterical crying than when I've left her (with a few very brief returns) to get through her frustration at wanting to suck something and settle herself to sleep.

It's only Day Two, but she's taken less than 30 mins in total to fall asleep at bedtime both nights - quicker and with less high-voltage crying than when I was trying the other "gentler" methods. [don't jinx it emoticon]

Last night she proceeded to self settle after each wake-up (a couple of which were more widely spaced than usual), each time with less complaining (although a fair bit of fidgeting).

It's actually proving less stressful to me and DD to do it this way, it seems. I'll let you know how it goes!!

Good luck with you LO - it's not easy, is it?

JoWr Sat 13-Nov-10 18:41:05

I have a two and a half year old who doesn't sleep through the night without coming into our bed at some point in the early hours. I don't really mind this, as I can sleep fine with him there, but my husband hates it and can't sleep with him in the bed. Also, I'm wondering how i will cope if/when the next one comes along!! I am strongly against leaving him to cry, and in any case on the rare occasion I've tried leaving him or sending my husband in, it's not so much crying as screaming the place down for a couple of hours! This isn't helping with the original request, is it, but at least if you get yours sorted before they reach two and a half you'll have done better than me!

mumtoalice Sun 14-Nov-10 06:58:21

My daughter would also cry out in her sleep and I was forever jumping out of bed to give her the dummy she wanted. One night I scattered 5 dummies around within arms reach and to my delight that same night I heard her putting her own dummy in her mouth. She was only very young, still unable to roll or sit up. Such a small thing to do, but boy did it make our nights blissful

amijee Tue 16-Nov-10 15:20:39

i would ditch the dummy and any other sleep props (like you) and she no longer needs a feed overnight.

the only way they learn to sleep thru is when they can do it alone - and they are so much happier children for it.

muslimah28 Wed 17-Nov-10 23:07:53

sorry to hijack post, my ds is EXACTLY the same, and i was wondering stargirl30 where i can get a bed rail from? i have looked and i canonly find the kind that goes on achild'sbed rather than one to go on an adult bed for cosleeping.

we have an amby hammock which helps get ds to sleep at first, but then he just wakes up again,on a bad night every hour....

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