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A diary of using Controlled Crying...

(119 Posts)
Hulababy Fri 02-Jan-04 10:03:59

After some recent sleep problems we have had to resort to controlled crying with our 20mo DD. Having always been anti CC when she was little and favouring co-sleepin it is a difficult but, I feel, a necessary thing now. THought I'd keep a kind of diary or record of how it goes so others wanting to try it can see how it works (or not) for us. If nothing else I coan always print it out to show DD when she is a teenager

This first post may be rather long (sorry).


DD was born in April 2002, 2 weeks late. Even in hospital she slept with me in bed and didn't like being in the hospital crib. When we got her home she had an instant dislike to the rocking crib and she spent the first 2 weeks sleeping in my bed. At 2 weeks she got a bedside cot and things were much btter from her point of view. At 6 weeks she started sleeping through in her cot from midnight to 6am, increasing this time till she was 16 weeks. We then broke her routine by going on holiday and from then on spent part of everynight sharing with me and DH. She would always settle herself to sleep on going to bed originally though but struggled when she woke later. At 15 months we moved house and DD had her own room for the first time. After a shaky couple of days she was able to go to sleep on her own again, but still came in with us during the early hours, after waking herself up hitting the cot bars.. At 18 months she went into a toddler bed. Again - same routine prevailed.

Recent Problems

This Christmas holidays she has had lots of breaks in any form of routine and then got a very heavy cold. Her cough was waking her up every hour or so and he really struggled for a few days. AS a result DH and I brought her in with us pretty much all of the night so we could at least get some rest and not be in and out of bed al night. Trouble is once she improved and we tried to put her back in her own bed problems have begun big style. She will not settles at night at all - getting out of bed, coming to the gate and crying and screaming. THis is happening whenever she wakes as well which can be 3 or 4 times a night.

Hulababy Fri 02-Jan-04 10:04:22

Night 1

No nap during day
Bed at 7:30pm after bath, play and then PJs, cuddle and story in her bed
She wouldn't settle properly so decided to leave her. Left door ajar and hall light on (hates dark). Stair gate on bedroom door.
Did the CC routine. The 5 min and 10min bit she pretty much cried the whole time and stood at the stair gate. HOrrid as she was asking "mummy/daddy I want a cuddie" most of the time. After the 10 minutes bit I went in and gave her a drink of water. I then put her lamp on, with a 15w night light, and shut the door (felt very very mean). AFter 5 minutes of crying it went realy quiet. DH went in after 15 minutes and DD was asleep in bed.

She woke 3 times - at 11pm, 3am and 5am. At 11pm and 3am I got her to sleep in her room but it involved me sitting by her bed patting her back and took about 20-30 minutes each time. At 5am we let her come in with us. Me and DD woke at about 9.45am (DH at work earlier).

Both DH and I felt awful doing the CC but had decided together it was necessary. Not too bad at bedtime but couldn't do the CC at night. So tired and felt really mean.

Hulababy Fri 02-Jan-04 10:04:35

Night 2

No nap again
New Year's Eve so never going to be an easy one; both sets of parents staying over and we had to sleep in her room on blow up bed,
Bed at about 8pm after same routine. Very tired and fell asleep almost before I had finished her story. No CC needed.
Woke at just before midnight. Alert.
We were using Messenger to talk to her uncle (BIL) and auntie in Oz. She hasn't seen them for 8 months and we let her come in to say hello, probably more for their benefit than hers I know. MInd she did like it and chatted to them well.
We all went to bed at about 12:30am. As we were in her room we couldn't do the CC and she spent most of the time in our bed. We woke at about 9.30am again.

Hulababy Fri 02-Jan-04 10:04:48

Night 3

40 min nap in car
Bedtime routine and in bed for 7:30pm
Shut door an left night light on in her room. First 5 minutes she screamed most of the time. WEnt in and resettled her and left again. Went quiet about 5 minutes later. DH checked on her after about 30 minutes and she was in bed asleep.

She woke at 11pm. CC again and she went quiet about 3 minutes into the 2nd bit of leaving her (the 10 minute gap).
She woke again at about 3am. This time fell quiet during the first 5 minute bit.
She woke at 7am and Dh brought in her to me. He was getting up for work so me and DD had a cuddle for an hour or so in bed; got up about 9ish.

Again I am feeling mean for doping this at the time and it feels so wrong to leave her crying and calling for us.But I know that in the end it will be better for us and , at the moment, it does seem that things may be improving. This is where we are now up to....

Hulababy Fri 02-Jan-04 10:13:10


If DD goes quiet during one of the 'stages' should we still go in at the end of that 10/15 minute bitto still check on her? Just worried that (a) might disturb her if she is only just asleep and (b) we will end up having to start from scratch again that night? What do you do?

melsy Fri 02-Jan-04 10:17:20

I normally leave my DD another 15mins then go and check. I will let her cry for 15mins max, before intervening, as now she seems to get herself to sleep within a few minutes.

Hulababy Fri 02-Jan-04 10:21:24

Thanks Melsy.

I hoping keeping this kind of record/diary will help me (and others) see that it can be done! Hopesfully I can stop altogether in a matter of a few days.

devilsadvocatemum Fri 02-Jan-04 10:46:34

Isn't your baby too young for Controlled Crying Melsy?

zebra Fri 02-Jan-04 10:48:59

Maybe Melsy is only doing the CC to get baby to go to sleep with full tummy, presumably not to skip night feeds altogether?

Hulababy Fri 02-Jan-04 11:45:10

I kind of wished I had tried a bit earlier than at 20 months though. Her vocab and language skills are so much more developed that her "mummy I need oyu/I want a cuddle/I no like it" type sentences seem so much harder to deal with than just crying

zebra Fri 02-Jan-04 11:47:33

I think Melsy's baby is only 15 weeks, though, why it's a bit early to cut nightfeeds.

Hulababy Fri 02-Jan-04 11:51:55

I see. Yes, I don't think I'd have been using CC then during the night. Mond at that age it was DD's best time for sleeping and she had given up night feeds by then anyway sleeping through from about 9om to 6am. No such luck now at 20 months though

melsy Fri 02-Jan-04 13:15:25

You girls r good at remembering , yes she is only 15wks. Its only to get her to sleep , still feed her during the night. Have I done something wrong ???, she is very happy smiley baby.

We did pu/pd for a few weeks first. The most she cries now is 2-3 mins before sleep. She goes to nap an hour after feed, so I would think she is satisfied.

StressyHead Fri 02-Jan-04 13:27:20

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zebra Fri 02-Jan-04 13:31:58

CC is classically associated with getting them to go through the entire night. Not advised to drop all night feeds before 6 months, that's the only reason for confusion.

Only a Swiss Cheese memory here -- I just worked your baby's approx age out from some of your previous posts to see if DevilsAdvocate was right to ask.

Hulababy Fri 02-Jan-04 13:33:40

Will CC stop DD from waking in the night eventually? Anone any idea how long this will all take us?

melsy Fri 02-Jan-04 13:34:39

She has started to sleep from 11:00 dream feed till 5:00 which is something. The odd night is 3 or 4:00, but not as often, She is heading in the right direction. Thanks for asking , how are you doing????

zebra Fri 02-Jan-04 13:42:25

I think up to 2 weeks is what I've heard for CC to work, but 3-5 days is more like 'average'. Oh, and it often only works so long before you find things get thrown out and you have to do it all over again (you can see why I'm not a fan!).

Hulababy Fri 02-Jan-04 13:46:01

Problem will be tomorrow as my parents are babysitting. We are going out with friends but should be in for 11ish. Leaving my parents with strict routine instructions but you know what grandparents are like ;O I hope this doesn't throuw us out completely.

Zebra - I too was so anti CC. It has just gotten to such an extreme this Christmas with DD that we have had to do something. I just hope it works as hate leaving her to cry so so much - it seems to go against all of my instincts completely. DH is as bad too so we don't really help each other.

zebra Fri 02-Jan-04 13:47:26

....and sleep is a precious thing which is why I would never tell somebody that CC is all wrong, just not everything it's cracked up to be, either.

Hulababy Fri 02-Jan-04 13:48:30

Sleep - can't remember what that is I think last time I had a whole uninterrupted night was when I was about 4-7 months pg!!!

ragtaggle Fri 02-Jan-04 13:50:08

Hi - bit confused. My dd is 12 weeks and stopped waking for a night feed at least four weeks ago. She usually wakes between 6-7 and goes down in the evening anywhere between 7 (on a good night obviously) and 11. On the nights she goes down early I stopped waking her for a feed at 10 as it seemed to make no difference at all to her waking. But should I be feeding her at this time anyway? Please advise!

Good luck with the cc Hulababy.

StressyHead Fri 02-Jan-04 13:52:55

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Cherubs Fri 02-Jan-04 13:53:23

I always trust my instincts with these things. If you feel awful then perhaps it isn't right for you. I agree with Zebra it will only be temporary anyway. I think children find their own way with sleeping through. But it is tricky using the right amount of reassurance and persistance.
Good luck and don't stress yourself too much.

Hulababy Fri 02-Jan-04 13:55:12

ragtaggle - My DD had dropped her night feeds then too. I never woke her up ever but I did up her last feed after her bath - she was having formula then.

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