Controlled crying/spaced soothing(21 Posts)
Hi i am trying to help my LO learn to settle to sleep without me feeding her to sleep or sleeping on me. We are 2.5 days in of me putting her down, leaving her to cry, going in to soothe, leaving it a little longer etc.
I have had differing advice as to whether to pick her up if she is getting really upset. she is getting overtired and running into her next feed time without getting any sleep.
I fully understand no pain, no gain and that this will help her in the long term but am wondering how to do this without missing out on valuable sleep for her (and me lol). hope that makes sense, am quite sleep deprived now!
4 weeks! Controlled crying isn't recommended for babies under 6 months. She's too tiny to be left to cry - she doesn't understand why you've gone or if you're coming back.
Yes, she is far too young to understand what you're trying to get her to do. All she wants is to be close to her mummy and daddy. Six months is a minimum from what I've heard, and actually 8 or 9 months is more appropriate. At four weeks she could well be crying from hunger - babies that age feed a lot. There is nothing wrong with feeding to sleep at this age; in time you can find other gentle ways to settle her to sleep.
You could try 'shh/pat' - basically, swaddle her up nice and snug so her arms and legs are contained, then hoist her up on your shoulder and pat her firmly (but gently) and rhythmically on the back, while saying 'shhhhhhhhhh' past her ear (not into her ear). Try a little gentle rocking or jiggling if that helps. When she's fast asleep you can gently lower her into her cot and leave a hand on her for a while until she's settled. If you want to encourage self-settling, try putting her down before she's completely asleep and shh/pat in the cot - but she may well not settle like that for a few weeks yet. Just try it now and again to see if it'll work, but if not, don't stress, just put her down asleep. There's plenty of time for her to learn how to fall asleep on her own.
Are you breastfeeding? After about 4-6 weeks you could think about giving her a dummy.
Have a look at The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. Lots of good ideas in there. I really would stop with the controlled crying, though. She is just far too little.
I wasn't aware that she has to be at least 6 months. Infect it was my midwife who suggested I try settling her awake rather than feeding her to sleep and it is her advice I was following.
I've also been recommended BAby Secrets by Jo Tantum and she says can start spaced soothing earlier than 4 weeks.
Motherhood is a minefield of conflicting advice!
4 weeks, she's not even had a chance to get used to the world yet!
Please do not leave your 4 week old baby to cry!
Aw, she's just a newborn - less than a month ago she was inside you getting all the comfort and food she needed. I really wouldn't leave her to cry.
You could try putting her down sleepy but awake to see if she nods off by herself, or put her down and ssh her and pat/rub her off - if she cries it's because she needs you though, so pick her up.
Are you breastfeeding? Little babies need to be fed often and on demand, and they have lots of little growth spurts at this age. I really wouldn't worry about feeding her to sleep, it's completely natural and normal.
actually even ferber himself has said 12 months now
If you're quite a routine-y person maybe try The Baby Whisperer? Ignore her breastfeeding advice as it's rubbish, but her sleep stuff is good and fairly gentle.
I don't think "no pain, no gain" really holds for a newborn btw - you don't have to put either of you through the distress!
doesn't need to be a minefield just go with yuor instincts, surely your instinct is to comfort her however much it is?
Controlled crying is really not suitable for a 4-week old. It is completely normal (at least in my experience and in the experiences of loads of people I know) for newborns to fall asleep while feeding and to prefer to sleep on or next to the parent. They are still getting used to being outside in the world and they do not see themselves as separate beings from mummy and daddy. But - it will most definitely get better with a bit of time. Perhaps even in a couple of weeks.
Things that might help now: swaddling, co-sleeping and naps in the sling during the day. I used to swaddle sprog, feed him lying down, and then quietly crawl off when he was asleep. Somewhere around 1.5 month - 2 month mark this stopped working. He just stopped reliably falling asleep while feeding, and also really minded the nipple being withdrawn if he did. So I addicted him to other sleeping props such as white noise instead. But it's a different story.
Just go with the flow for now. You baby is behaving like a totally normal 4-week old.
Your baby will change so much in the next few months and you'll look back and be amazed. Believe me, trying to "teach" anything at this age is madness. Your baby has only been in the world for four weeks and has a tiny stomach. She is vulnerable and relies on you for food and protection etc. So best thing is to respond to her needs now and later, when she's older, you can think about self settling methods etc.
You need to find a way of dealing with the lack of sleep - keep her close to you at night (co sleep or a bedside cot) so nights feeds can be quick. In the day sit down and let her sleep on you. Use a sling. After a while she'll get the hang of day and night and it'll become a little easier. Then she'll be able to self settle when she's older (DS did it around 5 months for the odd night waking by himself) and she'll go for longer at night (unless she's like my DS, might take a while)
My point is you need to work out how to survive each stage because I think it's a losing battle trying to get little babies to sleep through the night when they're young. Some lucky parents get dream babies and the rest of us tear our hair out trying different things which don't always work until the DC is ready!
Aw don't feel bad
You were following
crap professional advice that was wrong.
Complain so that stupid midwife is stopped from telling anyone else to leave a newborn to cry
I think because you've used the phrase 'controlled crying' you've hit a wall of criticism as it's a bit of contentious issue. But there's lots of threads along the lines of baby never settles and so mum can't go to the loo/shower/eat etc where the general consensus is it won't hurt the baby to cry for a bit! The two things aren't that different - although I'll probably be flamed for that!
You're not a bad mum and your midwife has an opinion that she is entitled to - there is no rule on age for controlled crying, just different opinions!
My DD would never go down asleep - she would fall asleep on us but however gentley we put her down she would wake so we effectively were doing cc on the basis that we couldn't carry her around all the time. It was very painful hearing her cry but DP was supportive and I'm now convinced that it has helped her sleep well ever since.
It's bloody hard - you have instincts and you have people telling you how you should do it! Follow your instincts - I know it can be hard but sometimes it can work and you'll feel more confident for it. If something doesn't work, ditch it. If it does, go with it and you can change it later if you need to.
I did CC with my DS at 4.5 months, well a very mild version of it (went in every 3 mins), it worked pretty well actually. Like you I got tons of conflicting advice. The only completely accurate thing ppl say is, every baby's different!
One piece advice I got which I do think is worth passing on is to listen carefully to your baby's cries. They have different cries and it's important for you to be able to distinguish them. For example a consistent monotonous cry is often hunger. A cry that goes up and down in pitch is more likely to be overtiredness and can be suitable for CC. If you hear your baby really sobbing in her breaths then that is an emotional cry and she needs to be cuddled till she calms down.
One other thing, babies are born with very immature nervous systems. Most don't feel comfortable in their own bodies till about 7 weeks, ish. So give your LO some leeway
My DD used to get hysterical the few occasions I tried CC when she was about 6 months old. Only now that she's over a year does leaving her (go in every 5 mins, she falls asleep after doing this two or three times).
I know for some people it works earlier than this, but I can tell you the reason why it was horrendous earlier on was because she was not ready. Now she understands mummy's coming back I can leave her to have a little shout knowing she will fall asleep quickly and independently.
At 4 weeks I think the only thing you should be trying to establish is the difference between night and day. How they fall asleep doesn't really matter yet.
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