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Sleep issue - leaving a baby to cry it out

(21 Posts)
Missymoojoo Wed 12-Sep-12 13:46:42

I am a first time mum to a gorgeous 6 month old. She sleeps like a dream at night from 7-5. She goes down at 7 awake and falls asleep with no fuss. During the day is another matter. She hates going to sleep in her cot and prefers to have her naps on the move in the buggy or being held by me. This has lead me to have no time during the day to do anything. I'm exhausted. My family convinced me to let her cry it out during the day which is something I never wanted to do. I felt awful but sure enough it worked and she was sleeping in her cot. What annoys me is that since then I have had so many Mum's tell me that they have done the same thing. Why do we deny we do this and why are we left to feel like awful parents for leaving them to cry? My baby girl is as happy if not happier during the day because she is getting proper sleep and Mum is happy because I've actually got some time to keep the house from looking like a tip and to have a break during the day.
I am keen to hear others experiences of sleep problems and whether they felt able to let their baby cry it out.

MILdesperandum Wed 12-Sep-12 20:07:31

We let our baby cry it out, I didn't like to tell anyone as people get quite emotive about it. We were all much happier after . I guess it's just not for everyone but why people have to make other mums feel shit about it I don't know.

LoopyLou06 Mon 17-Sep-12 01:00:54

I have an 8 mnth old girl and she doesnt sleep through...I couldn't contemplate letting her cry it out during the night- her crying gets louder as she goes on and i just assume she is hungry..Also, I wouldnt get any sleep!. Is a vicious circle no?.
I admire anyone who has the paitence/sanity to do this though!.
Any hints or tips if its worked for you?


LostItYearsAgo Wed 19-Sep-12 08:41:03

I'll never forget the first time we let DS cry it out. It was the middle of the night and we were both at our wits' end sad it ended up being the best nights sleep any of us had had for months!!
Not everyone approves but it's what works for you and baby that matters smile good luck x

boredbuthappy Thu 20-Sep-12 18:28:40

Hear, hear! We let our DS cry it out. It was an absolute last resort, but it worked and I wish we had done it earlier. i tell evryone we did it. It's really easy to tell people you don't 'approve' of it when you haven't had a child that is near killing you with sleep issues.

Fairylea Thu 20-Sep-12 18:38:38

Hmm. My ds is 5 months old and has never ever slept more than 20 mins in 3 short bursts the whole day. My dd aged 9 was exactly the same. They both sleep well at night. I just assume they don't need as much sleep and believe me I've done the dark room white noise thing etc. I don't agree with cio. Cc maybe. But cc is very different to cio. I wouldn't want my baby to learn I don't come when they are upset. Maybe some babies just don't need asmuch sleep. I just do the house when ds goes to bed at 6 or 7.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 24-Sep-12 11:35:08

Hello. We're going to move this thread to our Sleep topic now.

teacher123 Mon 24-Sep-12 14:12:58

My DS is nearly 5 months old and he will only go to sleep at bedtime and nap time if he's on his own! Won't co-sleep, feed to sleep, take a dummy or allow himself to be shush patted, hand held, stroked etc. I spent many hours in a darkened room trying to get him to sleep whilst we both cried in frustration. Now at bedtime he is usually asleep in under 5 minutes, nap times are still a disaster area although we did manage one this morning. I have come to the conclusion that he needs to be by himself at sleepy time. If he does sad crying rather than shouting I go in to comfort him, it's usually wind to be honest, or he's still hungry. I now leave him for 10 mins in the night before I go and feed him, and last night he went back to sleep twice! I read the Tizzie Hall book, which I know is very controversial and didn't agree with some of it, but it did highlight the distinction between crying out of tiredness and frustration and real distress.

Mandinga79 Mon 24-Sep-12 20:55:36

I'm toying with the idea of CIO/CC in a couple of months as my 4 mo DS is no where near to self-settling and he cries himself hoarse, and quickly gets beyond the point where he'll respond to anything I can do, when he's overtired, and can't use the usual 'crutches' I have in place (feeding, rocking, white noise) to fall asleep. I can't help but feel that a short, sharp shock of CIO or CC would actually lead to a lot less stress-inducing crying, for him and me, in the long term.

I'd be interested to hear from people for whom controlled crying or cry it out hasn't worked, as all of the 'gentler' sleep training techniques seem to have wildly inconsistent results from one person to another.

Missymoojoo Tue 25-Sep-12 22:08:25

They're all helpful and interesting responses. I really do wish that there was a right or wrong answer to some of the dilemmas that arise as parents but I suppose they wouldn't be dilemmas then. DD has been ill this week so CIO has been out of the question. Her sleep has been poor as a result of being sick and I know once her cold has passed we'll have to tackle her naps all over again. I'm dreading going through the cc and CIO methods again but shush pat, rocking, sitting in the room with her, white noise doesn't work. I know she cries out of anger that I'm not picking her up as when I go to her she immediately stops crying and beams me an all mighty gorgeous smile. My instinct tell me that I'm not actually helping her if I give in each time and in the long run it will help her to sleep and have more energy during the day. My heart on the otherhand breaks when I hear her cry and I know she's on her own. Which leads me to wonder am I really going to her to make her feel better or to make myself feel better.
My brother in law recently told me that he had found some research paper that had followed babies from birth to 3 half had used CIO and the other half hadn't. At age three there was no difference (emitional or otherwise) between those children who had been left to cry and those who hadn't. That gave me some comfort.

DuelingFanjo Tue 25-Sep-12 22:18:58

Are you asking because you need convincing it's ok or because you need support to cope with doing it? I think you're always going to get two very different sets of opinion on this one. Some people would never do it and some people either don't mind dong it or have done it despite feeling bad about it. Your last post makes it sound like you really aren't happy doing it but that you are desperate to get time back to yourself.

Personally I think you should never do anything which goes against your instincts so if listening to her cryig is making you feel crap then go to her an comfort her.

Notgrownupinmyhead Tue 25-Sep-12 22:21:38

I've just had to do it with DS2. Hes 11m and used to go to bed brilliantly but wake half an hour after that then every couple of hours after that. DS3 was born last Sunday and there was no way I could deal with the 2 at the same time plus a highly strung 4yr old DS1!!

It worked (so far) for me but only because I'd tried loads of other ways but a few nights of a short sharp shock seems to have worked.

Mandinga79 Wed 26-Sep-12 02:06:55

I found the Science of Mom blog really helpful in putting a perspective on the whole CC/CIO dilemma and, for me, put paid to the theory that it's somehow damaging, and that it has to be looked at a lot more holistically than just whether leaving a baby to cry is right/wrong. I would just really like to be very confident that it's going to work before putting him/me through it. My biggest fear, apart from the possible trauma for him, is creating more sleep problems than it resolves and the whole horrible experience will have been for naught...but then the overtired meltdown he had today was absolutely appalling...argh! confused sad where's the frustrated, torn and sleep deprived as hell emoticon

Notgrownupinmyhead Wed 26-Sep-12 06:55:08

I didnt intend in using cc on him but i had to sort the newborn out and him after. He'd only get sick if I left him to cio.

Tigresswoods Wed 26-Sep-12 07:27:32

I made the move at 4m. I knew he was fed, tired & safe. I'd put him down with a mobile to watch & then hop in the shower so I couldn't hear the crying. When I emerged he was asleep. It didn't take long for him to realise it was a nice thing to go to bed.

Good luck all.

WillSingForCake Wed 26-Sep-12 07:45:12

We were in the same situation as you, and let our daughter CIO at naps. Best thing we ever did. She started having much better daytime naps, and consequently was a lot happier during the day. Now she goes down for naps smiling & happy!

KatAndKit Wed 26-Sep-12 08:33:28

Hmm I disagree but then it is really a matter of personal opinion and what works for you and your family I suppose.
My theory is that I wouldn't send an older child to her room and let her cry herself to sleep if she was upset or frightened. So no way am I going to do that to my little baby.

Since yours sleeps from 7-5 with no fuss and no wake ups, perhaps she doesn't need as much sleep as you think in the day? It's annoying having little time to get things done - I wish my DS had read the book which says he should have a 2 hour nap, but he hasn't so I have just had to adjust my expectations.

Have you tried taking her for a push in the buggy and then when she is asleep getting the buggy back indoors and letting her sleep in the hall way whilst you have half an hour to do stuff?

LordFlasheart Wed 26-Sep-12 08:45:51

i Dont know whats the difference between 'crying it out' and 'letting them cry'? is it a technique like that pick up put down thing, or is it just leaving them to cry until they sleep?

Mandinga79 Wed 26-Sep-12 09:49:29

Kat I think it's a case of OP's baby clearly needing nap/s, otherwise she is fretful and grumpy, and not going down for them easily, rather than trying to follow what 'the book' says. I can't get my DS to have naps without a great deal of effort, but if I don't put the effort in he is in a terrible mood which escalates rapidly into an inconsolable tantrum. Therefore it seems pretty obvious to me that trying to get naps happening are the answer, and it sounds like it's the same for OP.

KatAndKit Wed 26-Sep-12 16:32:57

And the same for my baby too! he is a rubbish napper and sleeper and he is grumpy if he doesn't get enough sleep but I do things that work to get him to sleep with the minimum of upset and crying (sling, drive, buggy, feed to sleep) rather than leaving him to cry or attempting any other method of so called sleep training. Perhaps it depends on your baby's temperament. Mine just gets hysterical and ends up being sick if he is crying for more than a few minutes. I have to put a fair amount of effort into the naps thing too but I'd rather put in the effort in a pleasant way (nice walk outdoors in the buggy, bounce in the sling and then get on with jobs while he sleeps in it) than in an unpleasant way (both of us upset and crying)

jkklpu Wed 26-Sep-12 16:34:57

can you push her up and down in the buggy in the house so she goes to sleep and you can do chores?

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