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How do you do controlled crying when kids share a room?

(14 Posts)
pinkypig Mon 26-Sep-11 06:36:30

We have 3 DC, they all share one bedroom. Our youngest DD is 16 months old. She has never been a brilliant sleeper but for the last 2 months wakes in the night almost every night and is up for 1.5-2 hours.

We have been quickly going in to get her when she wakes (usually around midnight) because I don't want to wake the other 2 who are aged 5 and 3. So one of us sits on the couch with her until she eventually drops off sad

Added to this I have insomnia and am 6 weeks pregnant. Sometimes my husband just brings her into our bed but that just sets off my insomnia and I lie there awake for hours.

Can anyone suggest any options?

We will move house to a 3 bed flat in early 2012 as we will need it. I'm not sure though that I can wait until then with this sleep deprivation...

Any advice wanted. I should say that I have resisted controlled crying up to now as she seems very distressed and scared when she wakes and I hate to leave her feeling so scared. My other 2 children were never like this confused


whoneedssleepanyway Mon 26-Sep-11 06:42:23

I have 2 dds sharing the younger is terrible sleeper. Crying in the middle of the night had never disturbed her it had been early waking by DD2 when DD1 is in light sleep that is more problematic. My dh and i slept on an airbed in the living room for a month at one point so both dds slept alone while we did cc can u do that.

whoneedssleepanyway Mon 26-Sep-11 06:44:48

On her being scared u can adapt cc u Dont have to leave her crying for ten mins or whatever i listened to her cry and judged What i felt comfortable with.

MissyMaker Mon 26-Sep-11 06:53:50

How do you put her to sleep at bedtime? Is she cuddled/rocked to sleep then, or do you put her to bed awake and let her settle herself to sleep?

It could be that if you got that bit right, the night time waking will get easier and she's able to settle herself if she wakes. You could do this by making her bedtime before the others and employing some gentle cc. Then you can put the other 2 to bed.

I have found that my older child very rarely wakes if my younger one does. When your DD wakes in the night then you could try leaving her for a little bit longer and see if she settles herself...if you go straight in and then take her into a different environment she is going to believe that it's ok to be up playing for a couple of hours. If you cannot do cc because of the other children, then probably best thing would be to keep her in a dark room and if she starts playing/chatting/whatever then tell her simply that it is bedtime.

It's a killer. You have my sympathies.

pinkypig Mon 26-Sep-11 07:13:28

Thanks ladies. Re going to sleep at bedtime; that is no problem. She goes down awake and either cuddles her snuggly and goes off quick or cries for 20 seconds and goes to sleep. I should add that she goes to sleep in a portacot in our bedroom and then gets lifted to her bed in with the boys room at about 9pm. Occasionally I have put her down straight in her room and she still wakes; so it's not that she wakes in a 'strange' bed and starts crying.

When I have let her cry in the bedroom with the boys, my older boy wakes and starts yelling 'take xx out of here!'. The other one is dead to the world! They are just different sleepers like me and DH.

I think I have been hoping that she'll grow out of it. But as I am now pg again and have this bloody insomnia with pregnancy (which leads to PND if I don't work hard to manage it) I am going to have to sort it out sooner.

Any more thoughts?

pinkypig Mon 26-Sep-11 07:15:00

The first thing I am thinking of doing is putting the portacot in the lounge and doing ccrying in there...

MissyMaker Mon 26-Sep-11 07:22:50

I think that could be part of the problem - when your DD wakes in the middle of the night it is strange to her and not where she settled down to sleep as you have moved her from your room to the children's room whilst she was sleeping.

It has probably become habit for her now - she wakes and she gets cuddles for a couple of hours. What's not to like?! (for her at least!)

I think you should work on breaking that habit - either through cc or another method - which will be painful for a night or two so best done when there's no school or anything you need to be up I am thinking either a weekend or the next half term if you can last that long. Do it when you have the time and the will to see it through.

I guess the key is consistency, whatever you try to do.

MrsBlarney Mon 26-Sep-11 07:30:13

It sounds horrible, but I think you perhaps could take a look at why she is waking before you think about stopping it happening, you might find a better and simpler solution.

I don't like controlled crying because I think babies/toddlers have reasons for waking up, they're not just doing it out of habit/being annoying. They truly can;t help it and something is going on that means they need us.

have you checked her teeth - she could be getting her molars in and that's really sore. The main thing to remember is this WON'T be permanent. They nearly all have phases like this and it passes ,honestly it does and by doing CC you risk making a bad situation that will pass, into something worse that won't iyswim - it may not work, anyway, and if it does it could just as easily recur when something else happens like she gets a cold or the other children wake or whatever.

CC is rarely a solution, but cuddling her, waiting and making sure there isn't another factor going on - she could be not really awake but having night terrors or something - she could be in pain, she could be having nightmares, etc. is normally the way to go.

In any case if she is already distressed, as you say, when she wakes, that would indicate it would be a really bad course of action to leave her to cry at all - if you were going to advocate CC at all it would be for children who weren't actually distressed, just a bit wakeful/too tired/that sort of thing.

You would STOP if they became distressed so if she is waking very upset it's totally the wrong thing to do.

Sorry - I know you must be desperate. Is there any way you could sleep in wth the other kids while your DH has her in the bed to calm her down?

I co sleep with mine and he sleeps right through normally, though he wriggles - and this could be a great temporary solution, as she will get through this. GOOD LUCK but please don't do CC, it's not worth it, and might make matters worse.

pinkypig Mon 26-Sep-11 10:16:56

MrsBlarney, she is getting molars, which is why I have put off cc for so long as I feared that was part of it. Still, we can't survive like this so we will give some sort of low level ccying a go. I have 3 children, I am well read, I know the pro and anti ccrying debate and I respect all opinions.

We just need to find something that works for us. Co sleeping I have tried and neither myself nor the baby sleeps.

Missy there is that possibility. But now we have the problem and as you say it needs to be sorted (in our opinion anyway).

We have decided to move the older boys mattresses to the floor in our bedroom and will leave the little DD in her room. We will give some low level cc a go. Can't be worse than this!

Thanks folks, wish me luck.

whoneedssleepanyway Mon 26-Sep-11 10:21:06

Pinky good luck, I know how hideous this is, DD2 woke at 1am last night and wouldn't go back to sleep and did end up waking DD1 in the end, so I ended up in DD1's top bunk in the room with DD2 and DD1 in the bed with DH.

We have done CC a few times and it has always had quick results, thing is we always seem to revert back I think my DD2 is just a terminally bad sleeper, our house in now on the market as I am so desparate for another room to split them up.

I had the same experience as you with co sleeping.

MrsBlarney Mon 26-Sep-11 10:59:45

I wasn't suggesting you co sleep but perhaps that your DH does? then you would be able to sleep in the room with the bigger DCs and with any luck she might not wake if she was next to him.

You could go back to the original arrangements once she had started sleeping through again.

BTW I try to respect all opinions too. I just think CC may not be your only or best option if she is waking in distress, rather than just mucking about.

But it's up to you...just a few ideas I thought might be helpful.

MrsBlarney Mon 26-Sep-11 11:01:09

Also I don't know if you've tried any pain relief but when ds2 was very bad with his back teeth I did give him some baby nurofen once in a while. I think that's not against the rules, not sure, but it helped him get some kip.

pinkypig Mon 26-Sep-11 13:54:33

Thanks MrsBlarney, I am grateful for your posts.

I guess in order to go in with the older ones I'd have to buy a single mattress and kip on the floor (small room with bunks).

I have tried Nurofen and it does not lead to a consistent sleep through which is why I'm now certain she is not crying due to pain. confused

MrsBlarney Mon 26-Sep-11 16:38:27

No it;s Ok, I probably sounded very patronising. i didn't mean to.

Do you have any inkling what is making her so upset when she wakes?

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