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Support thread for sleep deprived parents doing or considering CC

(147 Posts)
babybouncer Mon 29-Oct-12 19:09:01

Seeing as our last thread got a little hijacked off track, a new one seemed a excellent idea.

DD is 7months old and I'm about to start night 2. Last night took 90mins to settle, including a longish quiet time. This afternoon's nap took a long time, but in both cases she slept week once asleep.

Fingers crossed for tonight!

Ps please don't post any anti-cc comments - it's not something a parent does lightly so I ask that you respect our decision.

houmousandcarrotsandwich Sun 25-Nov-12 11:41:56

This is what we are doing,
Baby cries, leave for 5 mins (have read between 2 -10 mins, but on here most seem to go for 5)
Go in, brief visual check all is well (no eye contact), shh for 1 minute, leave the room.
Repeat 10 mins later & 15 mins later. Continue at 15 mins until you reach 1 hour, then increase to 30 mins between shh's.
When I leave I turn off the monitor (cos I can hear the screams without the amplifier!), go down stairs & occupy myself with facebook, mumsnet etc whilst keeping an eye on the time.

We have just finished night 2, and it's going ok. DD woke twice last night, and I actually think I'm getting more sleep because I'm not spending ages trying to feed & settle her.
Both mornings so far I have had to wake her at the start of the day, which is massive progress for us.

I read in a book if you stick to the rules, it should work within 2 weeks. So I have put a big star on the calendar for when we should all get a good nights sleep as a goal to keep me motivated.

ElphabaTheGreen Sun 25-Nov-12 01:25:45

Drop the 'x 3' bit. In after 5 mins, then after 10 mins, then every 15 minutes thereafter.

Not that it's working a blind jot here. Still awake every 2 hours (at the longest) and I'm sitting here listening to him shouting for the third time tonight. Been going about 30 minutes this round so far...

rhetorician Sat 24-Nov-12 22:57:04

think we are going to go for it tomorrow - crappy constant pointless waking and can't see an end to it. So can someone go over the method again?

go in every 5 mins x 3
every 10 mins x 3
every 15 x 3
? that kind of thing. ANd when we go in just appear, say something reassuring/firm and retreat again, not attempt to calm her down? I get the broad outlines, but feel that I need chapter and verse if I am going to stick to it. Thanks

houmousandcarrotsandwich Sat 24-Nov-12 10:06:18

Ps. No feeds either!

houmousandcarrotsandwich Sat 24-Nov-12 10:05:47

Ok so night one went really well (to my surprise!). DD woke at first woke at 10 & I was prepared for 2 hours of CC, within 20 mins she was asleep! Couldn't believe it. Then she woke at 3 (an amazing 5 hours later) & took 45 mins of CC. Again I thought this was pretty good. But the ABSOLUTELY STUNNING part was that I had to wake her up at 8am as she was still snoring!
Was last night too good to be true? How have others found night 2, 3 so on? Do they improve or do they go up & down abit?
I really think the cranial osteopathy has helped. She's much calmer in general. Spoke to osteopath yesterday if I should start CC or wait. He said if I feel she's calmer then to give it a go.
Hope others had a good night too x

beyoglu Sat 24-Nov-12 07:06:06

Hi houmous, I've got 6 month twins who've just been through CC. They sleep from about 7.30 till 7.30, with a feed at 11 for both and sometimes a feed at 3 for DT2.

Just my 2p worth - if your DD is sleeping 3-4 hours between feeds that means she can self settle (their sleep cycles after 4 months are about an hour and a half long for night sleep, they wake slightly between sleep cycles, so she's self-settling at least sometimes). So CC might not make much improvement, as it's supposed to teach them to go off/go back to sleep on their own.

What about weaning her off the feeds, or at least the 3am feed? The Millpond book recommends gradually shortening the time you let them feed for, just by a couple of minutes each night. We did that with DT1 - our girls are bottle fed so we reduced the amount in the nighttime bottle by 15ml each night. When we got down to 30ml, DT1 slept right through the usual 3am wakeup time. While we were doing the weaning she started to increase what she drinks/eats during the day. (DT2 was harder - dropped the 3am bottle as soon as she started solids but often still wants it if she's not eaten much during the day).

teacher123 Fri 23-Nov-12 19:47:22

With regards to naps the only way I could get DS to nap for 4 1/2 months was to either walk him in the buggy or drive him round in the car. I was beyond exhausted as he was still waking 4 or 5 times in the night. To try and tackle this I used Gina Ford as a guide for when DS should be napping, and started taking a walk or a drive at those times everyday. Gradually he started to get used to sleeping at those times. I then read the Tizzie Hall book (as you can see I read two controversial books about baby training!) which basically tells you to put them in bed and leave them to it unless they become hysterical. We started this at bedtime, with mixed results, some days he'd settle in minutes, some days longer. Once he'd learnt to settle himself reasonably reliably I then transferred his naps to the cot, with a mini bedtime routine. So at nap time he has nappy change, white noise on, grobag on, kiss and leave him to it. I go back in if he starts to cry, if he's just whinging, I leave him to it. He is 7 months and normally has a nap at around 9.30 and around 1pm. His bedtime is 6pm. I make sure he still has naps in the car so he doesn't forget how to! Elphaba it sounds like you're at your wits end, I really hope it improves soon.

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 23-Nov-12 19:04:52

PS houmous My DS has had 2 sessions of cranial osteo in the past fortnight - no effect whatsoever. We've got another one next week but I couldn't face waiting on the sleep training any longer as I'm about to crack!

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 23-Nov-12 18:55:46

That's great about the day time naps, Alice - thanks! One less thing to feel sick about trying to tackle.

Thankfully, despite a horror night last night, DS was extremely jovial today which made me feel a bit better. He even ate something enthusiastically at nursery which is a first, and another issue which has been preying on my mind.

Hi there houmus. As you can see I'm not winning (yet) with CC so I'm not loaded with sage wisdom. There's a lot of posts here which might give you ideas/encouragement.

Here we go again, then. Night all...

Alicethroughthewineglass Fri 23-Nov-12 16:56:32

Elphaba - I've been reading this thread with interest as we are in the same position as you and I don't know what to do next.

We have even consulted Andrea Grace and the only progress we have made is that DD is in her own room. She still wakes 6+ times a night and wants me to breast feed her back to sleep. DD is almost 7 months and we have spent 8 weeks doing gradual withdrawal in her room, getting no further than the end of her cot. All we have is hours of absolute hysterics. Even prior to starting gradual withdrawal I was spending HOURS every evening upstairs trying to get her to sleep from about 2 weeks old.

Since birth she has fought sleep, and even the day she was born she didn't zonk out in that post-birth long sleep newborns are supposed to do! I think my problems started when I tried to force an early bedtime on her before she was ready, resulting in me creating the habit of feeding her to sleep.

We have ended up co-sleeping to get through this very busy week, but I am resolved to start again on Sunday when things have calmed down. I am going to start the gradual withdrawal again and then possibly cc after a few days. Andrea suggested this route, but the last time we tried CC all the progress we had made went out of the window. DD did not give in easily and reacted much the same as your DS. She also became very clingy during the day. CC goes against my natural instinct and I will hate every minute. I will try it again though as I am getting so desperate and want to enjoy the short time I have left of maternity leave.

One thing you may be interested in is that Andrea told me to concentrate on night time sleep and use any means necessary to get DD to nap. After night time settling improved I was to start on the morning nap as this is the easiest to settle a baby for. This did have some success. I think Andrea's methods have been very successful for lots of babies but she met her match with my DD!

The very best of luck for tonight.

houmousandcarrotsandwich Fri 23-Nov-12 16:10:25

Can I join?
DD is 6 months has never slept through & just seems to be getting worse. I don't know how much longer I cam cope on such little sleep. Also have a 2 year old, so don't get much rest in the day either. DS slept through from 8 weeks so DD is abit of a culture shock!

She always goes down well but wakes regularly (about every 3 hours although can be less, occasionally 4 hours). I think I have gotten in the habit of comfort feeding to get her back off (because it worked), but now it's starting to loose it's efficiency. It usually gets to about 3/4 am when I ve had enough & she comes into our bed for comfort feed (if only so I can lie down)

So I think it's time to CC. She started some cranial osteopathy yesterday and I'm not sure if to wait for her to have few sessions to sort out her probs before starting CC?

Also a few tips on how you keep yourself sane while they are screaming blue murder between going into them?
I'm thinking a timer might be a good idea to stop me going in earlier?

ANY TIPS & ADVISE WELCOME (positive only, I can provide enough negative ta!)

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 23-Nov-12 08:30:09

We've had a bedtime routine in place since he was about 2 weeks old. I do everything I can to get him napping within two hours of every waking. Since he almost never naps longer than 30 mins, unless it's on me, which might extend it to an hour, I get three to four naps in a day this way.

I just feel so demoralised because everyone else on here had a pretty noticeable change pretty quickly (and they've all been pretty quiet of late so they're all probably sleeping away merrily). I'm also feeling desperate because I hate letting him cry to try and sort this out, but the alternative is him waking hourly which is even more unbearable.

I've already got Millpond or Andrea Grace at the back of my mind in case we have ongoing problems. I've read the Millpond book but it hasn't really provided any new solutions, unfortunately.

I suppose I can only keep trying...

beyoglu Fri 23-Nov-12 07:01:09

Elphaba they do say it usually takes a couple of days and gets worse before it gets better - I wouldn't have expected it to get better tonight when he's alone for the first time but now he's doing the thing, learning to sleep alone. It's not easy but now he's in his own room he's at least facing the real challenge ahead of him IYSWIM.

I'm trying to think what else there is you could do to make it go better. He's probably well overtired by now. Could you for a few days just plan to do everything to let him nap, like wander the streets with the buggy or hold him whenever he looks tired, whatever works? If he's less wrecked at bedtime he should go down easier.
I read a bit of your back posts - your wee one's 6 months, about the same age as mine. How often does he nap in the day? Marc Weissbluth (my sleep guru of choice) reckons they should be taking at least 2, possibly 3 naps a day at this point - if they get up at 7 then one at 9, one at 1 and one at about 4 (the last one is a bit of a catnap by this time and some kids skip it). Total nap time should be about 3-4 hours a day.

Have you got a bedtime routine going on? I don't think it has to be anything fancy but just a quiet bath and a play with some soft toys or something for about half an hour before he goes in for bed.

I don't know if this would be anything but we booked a consultation with the Millpond Sleep Clinic - it's about £200-£300 (I think it was more expensive for us because we have twins) and they make you do a diary for a week, then they put together a sleep plan for you and they sort of hold your hand through it for 6 weeks. (We got as far as doing the diary but we also got a copy of their book and with the diary and the book it was so clear what we needed to change that we cancelled the appt). They get good reviews here on Mumsnet. It might be something as a last resort?

If you like, if you post or PM me your routine I could have a read through and see if there's anything that sticks out? Not that I'm any sort of an expert at all, but sometimes a second pair of eyes is helpful?

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 23-Nov-12 04:40:40

Mine was huge and bang on time, so I don't know what his excuse is!

Zero progress whatsoever after moving the cot into his own room. No reduction in length of crying time, no lengthening of sleep blocks. We're (well, I'm) doing proper CC now, leaving the room. He's been going for over an hour now, with possibly a 10 minute sleep somewhere in there, and I can say with reasonable confidence he'll probably carry on until 6am. Been awake every 1-2 hours since 6pm.

I really have no idea what to do next. sad

beyoglu Thu 22-Nov-12 20:04:50

Hey Elphaba,

my feeling is that if he's in his cot, day or night, then you need to use CC or else he'll get confused, but if he's napping outside his cot then any means necessary, because you want him to be as well rested as poss through the day to make it easier at night. So maybe just don't try napping in the cot yet?

I did CC for naps and night sleeps starting at the same time but our issues were different. My two were always happy to nap in their cots but only if I swaddled them and gently shook them till they fell asleep - same as at night - and they would wake after 45 minutes. So for us it was clearer that we needed to do CC for daytime naps as well, and it was also less of a change for them, it was just the way of getting to sleep that was changing.

I know what you mean about those baby dolls. Apparently I was like that - I slept through the night before my mum was discharged from hospital! Pity neither of my offspring inherited that from me... they were little and early though so not their fault I suppose smile

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 22-Nov-12 19:40:53

Thanks beyoglu

I find naps really, really hard. I ended up just giving up and going out this morning and he ended up having a nap on my lap while we were out. Napping on my lap after a feed is really the only consistently easy way I can get him to nap, although I can occasionally transfer him into his pram if heavily enough asleep. Out in the pram is another fairly reliable method if you catch him at the right time, but did you see the weather today?! He's so resistant to sleeping, especially during the day, that I'm worried that CC for naps just wakes him up more. He screamed for 1.5 hours this morning with no sign of let-up and he was a grump for the rest of the day then had to go to bed almost an hour earlier this evening. Apart from being horrible to put him through I'm not as confident that it's going to work for daytime naps...will it?

Those baby dolls they sell are a con. You know, those ones that you just make horizontal and their eyes close? Babies don't work that way. I feel duped.

beyoglu Thu 22-Nov-12 18:45:25

Hey Elphaba,

I keep trying with the CC if the girls wake up before 6 (they usually get up at 7). I've read that the last hour or so of night sleep is really deep so I always reckon if they get back to sleep I'll luck out and be able to eat breakfast in peace it's good for them to get it. If they do get up before 7 I adjust the start of nap times so that they gradually get back on schedule e.g. this morning they got up at 6.40 so I put them down for the early morning nap at 8.50, not 9...

On the cough I would first decide when to feed him in the night and then stick to that and do CC for other wakenings, but give him water once he starts coughing.

On the naps I do CC for naps in their cot. When we're out with the buggy or the car they tend to sleep at their nap times without any moaning so I don't need to do anything. When we were starting CC I used to take them out in the buggy for the afternoon nap so that they would get one trouble free nap - if there's a way he sleeps with no intervention like that, like if he likes the car seat or whatever, it might be worth just using that for a couple of days to make sure he's well rested in the day because that will make the nighttime CC easier.

Also, and I know I'm coming over like SWMNBN now, but I wouldn't touch him at all when you go in at 1/3/5 mins etc. With my difficult one, touching her makes her worse, and I only ever touch her at those check times if she's managed to wedge herself sideways in the cot or something. (With my easy one, doesn't matter at all, but then she had a 2 hour nap in her cot yeasterday afternoon and I went up at 2h 10 mins when it was still silent and she was wide awake and playing with her binky! On the other hand we were on a day out today and she slept about 30 minutes for each nap so go figure... )

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 22-Nov-12 09:45:11

Third question, sorry. Do you do CC for naps too, or just get naps into them any way you can during the day to optimise the night? I've been trying CC with his first nap of the day for an hour and a quarter now and he's still screaming. We've got to go out in 15 minutes and now he'll be cranky and tired, and probably scream more, the whole time we're out! confused

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 22-Nov-12 08:31:01

We had a slightly better night last night. His cot's being moved today so it was still in with me last night but I took a bit of a CC sensibility about it - I didn't sit there with a hand on him, but gave him a quick kiss and a pat/shh at 1/3/5 mins then every 10 mins. Crying was definitely a creaky moan rather than a scream and never lasted longer than 20 minutes, usually a lot less. He's also now waking every two hours rather than hourly, and it's amazing how much better I feel from longer stretches of sleep!

Two WWYD questions, though:

Firstly, he saves his loudest, longest wailing for 4am or after. This morning it was 5:45. At what point would you decide to discontinue CC and get up for the day?

Secondly, he STILL has a very lingering cough. I'm not worried as I've got it too and it's bloody irritating especially at night. I'm having to take pretty frequent sips of water through the night to control it. I'm sure most of his night wakings for feeding are habitual, not hunger, so I'd like to get him down to only one or two feeds a night. But if someone withheld my water at night at the moment I'd be pretty cross. Should I carry on with two-hourly night feeds for now while this fucking interminable cough persists, or start using CC to reduce the wakings? He's not usually waking up coughing, but it starts to go that way once he starts moaning.


Alfiepants Wed 21-Nov-12 23:00:08

Good luck for tonight. About to do dream feed and then gird myself for night ahead... Can't worse than night 1 can it ?????

AnyaKnowIt Wed 21-Nov-12 12:13:53

All the best for tonight, elphaba. I'm just thinking that if you stay with him then he won't be able to settle without you there iyswim? Saying that I'm no expert and you do know him best. ((hugs)) it is hard but it will be worth it in the end smile

beyoglu Wed 21-Nov-12 10:06:07

elphaba, best of luck for tonight - I think that having him in his own room is key because your presence will be stimulating him to stay awake. So hopefully you'll start to turn a corner. I really keep everything crossed for you!

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 21-Nov-12 09:42:11

beyo and Anya I know you're meant to go in and out with CC and then just leave them alone completely with CIO. I'm not comfortable doing CIO myself. The reason I'm not doing the in and out proper CC thing is 1) he's still in our room which makes it a bit difficult and 2) he screams unabated whether I settle him or not so I figure I may as well stay with him so at least I know he doesn't think he's been abandoned.

That said, last night was abso-fucking-lutely awful, although we did get a couple of stretches of sleep longer than we've had for quite some time - just interspersed with two hour blocks of screaming sad It's unbearable, but not as unbearable as the sick, sleepless, inescapable, incompetent haze I've been mired in for three months. I'm going to ask the inlaws to help me move his cot into his own room tomorrow and I think I'll start proper CC then to see if it makes any difference.

Alfiepants Wed 21-Nov-12 07:42:39

Just wanted to say thank you - haven't posted here before but spent from midnight to 3am reading these posts as we embarked on first cc with our 8 month old who has been an awful sleeper from day 1. Finally went to sleep at 3am and woke at 7.20. He couldn't even be bothered to drink 1 oz!!!! Hunger indeed!!!! I'm sure we'll have more of the same tonight but I'm committed now and can't wait for this to finally work. smile

beyoglu Wed 21-Nov-12 06:37:54

Elphaba, I see you've done CC before and so I know my 2p worth is probably surplus to requirements... but when we did CC we did just go out of the room and let them cry, going back in at 5/10/15 min intervals to say our piece, and then we got back out of there even if they were still crying. God I sound so hard writing that. The way I look at it though is if it's harsh but it works quickly, they actually spend less time in total crying, so that's better?

rhetorician, when we did CC on our 6 month old twins we took them out of their swaddling blankets, got rid of their dummies and started night weaning all at the same time (more or less - the swaddling blankets went a couple of nights before). We figured that if we basically weren't going to touch them all night then we'd better get rid of everything that needed maintenance in the night (by that time they were getting out of their swaddles).

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