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Controlled crying

(14 Posts)
Sappholit Wed 27-Mar-13 19:03:43


I have hardly posted here before, but I am desperate for some help with controlled crying. I am aware of all the arguments against this practice and have not gone into it lightly. In fact, I have always been very vociferously against it. I steadfastly refused to try it with my eldest child, despite the fact that she didn't sleep for longer than 40 mins/an hour at a time for the first year of her life. She is now three and has slept through the night four times. Almost every night, she will wake up and stay awake for a couple of hours. It has really taken its toll on me, my partner and our relationship and if I could go back in time to when she was a baby and resolve this problem with controlled crying, then I would!

Anyway, we now have a gorgeous 8-month-old boy. He is delightful in every way, except that he doesn't sleep. I cannot bear the thought of another three years without sleep, so I am taking charge here and doing controlled crying.

We started it on Sunday night. It was pretty awful. He woke up a couple of times and cried for about an hour each time. Very hard to cope with, but we kept checking on him, etc etc.

I was expecting the second night to be easier, but it wasn't. It was hardcore. And last night, too, was dreadful. I had to come downstairs and turn the monitor off and leave my partner to do it because I was going to crack. The only thing that stopped me going in to comfort him was the fact that it feels so horribly unfair to him to have put him through such distress for no reason. I also keep reminding myself of the dreadful sleeplessness.

So we are now steeling ourselves for a fourth night and I am dreading it. I don't want to give up, but equally, I don't want to do it, either.

Can anyone share with me their experiences of controlled crying? I mainly just want to know how long it took for people to see a significant improvement. I don't think I can listen to him in distress for very much longer.

Please don't reply to this post if you only want to tell me that evidence shows controlled crying is damaging and I shouldn't be doing it. I have been driven to this by an experience I had two weeks ago when my partner went away and I was up for five hours in the night for two nights in a row, with either one or both children. It was horrific. I cannot go through that experience again and as my partner has to work away regularly, I need to at least solve one child's sleep problems.

My daughter was nearly two when I conceived my son. Jokingly, I said, 'Right. We've got nine months to get her sleeping through the night.' I'd thought it would happen, but it hasn't and I am struggling with having had very, very broken nights for three years.

Thanks for listening. Sorry this post is so long. I think I've burnt the dinner. Bugger.

ScillyCow Wed 27-Mar-13 19:06:57

Sorry it is so hard.

I would not be able to do it - but even with twins it sounds like you are getting less sleep than I did.

Our rule was 'the most sleep for the most people' - but we never let them cry.

CO-sleeping? (this is what we did once they were hefty enough). More sleep for all. Now at 3 they sleep 12 hours a night in their own beds.

Hope it gets better.

JollyYellowGiant Wed 27-Mar-13 19:08:27

How are you doing the CC? Are you following the Ferber method? How often do you go in? What do you do when you go in?

JollyYellowGiant Wed 27-Mar-13 19:09:21

We did CC when DS was 7 months and it worked very well.

TheOrchardKeeper Wed 27-Mar-13 19:11:06

It is very hard & does tend to get harder before it gets easier if you see what I mean. Hope tonight's easier & just stick to your guns.

Sappholit Wed 27-Mar-13 19:16:48

JollyYellowGiant, I'm following the method from The Sleepeasy Solution. I go in at 2 mins, 4 mins, 8 mins, etc until 10 mins, then keep going in at ten mins, staying for no longer than 30 secs, talk to him without touching, then leave.

MrsHowardRoark Wed 27-Mar-13 19:20:54

Ok, so you're doing this and there is little point in me telling you that it may not be the best thing for any of you so I'll try and offer some of the help you've asked for.

We did a form of controlled crying that involved going in every 2 minutes for 10 minutes, then every 4 minutes for 20 minutes, 8 minutes for 40 etc. When we went in we comforted our DD in the cot until she stopped crying then immediately left.

It was pretty exhausting for the first 3 nights but more for us than her. She was never left to cry for too long and knew we would always come back. If she had been very distressed I would have stopped and waited for a better time. This helped her settle in the evenings but she still woke at least twice in the night and I would comfort to sleep.

However, she was over the age of 1 and had co-slept until 9 months so the issue was more one of settling alone than of sleeping through.

JollyYellowGiant Wed 27-Mar-13 19:25:37

Sounds pretty much like Ferber, except with the Ferber one you make the first wait longer on each consecutive night.

It really does work. It's absolute hell but if you're desperate enough to resort to it then it makes everyone happier and healthier.

You will be a better parent because of it and your DS will be happier.

Stick with it. You're doing great smile

ilovepicnmix Wed 27-Mar-13 19:28:07

I have a rubbish sleeper at 9 months so may be joining you in cc soon. I have no personal experience but have been told by various friends / relatives that they used cc and it worked within a few days. Good luck and keep us posted.

ElphabaTheGreenAndBlacks Wed 27-Mar-13 19:55:26

I'm afraid I did CC as a last-resort with no improvement whatsoever after a full week. I was devastated on every level. DS would scream for 1.5 to 2 hours, sleep for 45 minutes, then it would start all over again and it was like this every night for six nights with no change. Carrying on would have been pointless and even more barbaric. CC just doesn't work for all babies, unfortunately.

minipie Wed 27-Mar-13 20:14:13

no judgment here. I cannot imagine 3 years of broken sleep, poor you.

We did CC but we did not start with nighttime, instead we started with the lunchtime nap. DD cried for over an hour at lunchtime sad, then 25 mins at bedtime, however she then slept through that same night. (prior to CC she had been waking multiple times a night and needing rocking or feeding back to sleep). that was a month ago and she has slept through since then save for a handful of times. <touches soo much wood>

so for us it worked almost immediately. appreciate this may not be what you want to hear...

a question for you: what was DS like at night prior to starting the CC? was he going back to sleep fairly easily, but needing rocking/feeding etc to do so? or was he wanting to be awake for a while? I think part of the reason CC worked so quickly with DD was that she wanted to be asleep at night, she just hadn't learned how to put herself back to sleep. once she learned that, the change was immediate. if however your DS has got his days and nights mixed up a bit, and wants to be awake at night, then CC alone may not work.

Can DS self settle for naps or at bedtime?

JezzaJ9 Wed 27-Mar-13 20:34:13

Hi there is another thread scout Jo Frosts controlled timed crying on here have a look at it lots of success stories and encouragement. I'm watching it and bidding my time as still nurse my DS2 who is 8.5 mo and wakes 3 times a night and currently struggles to self settle. He has 8 teeth though so it's been hard to find a time when he is "normal" to give it a go smile.

MrsHowardRoark Thu 28-Mar-13 13:07:26

How did you get on last night?

cerealqueen Thu 28-Mar-13 22:46:54

Hello. Well done for getting so far, its hard and I completely empathise.

We did controlled crying and DD2 (13 months at the time) was sleeping through in a week (starting point of never having slept in her cot, waking 3/4 times in night wanting the breast). I say sleeping through in that she woke, but cried for two mins tops and then self settled. Three months on she hardly ever wakes.

We did five, then ten minutes to return. We were told going in after two minutes doesn't really give them enough time for learning how to settle (in between the tears). Five minutes seemed an eternity to me, but we went with it.

If you hear any lull, don't go in, even if it is coming up to the time for checking.

We did gradual retreat with DD1, which also worked but took longer.

Good luck!!!

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