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Controlled crying - how long did it take?

(31 Posts)
Posey Mon 09-Feb-04 20:28:51

Dh and I have decided its time to bite the bullet and do cc with ds who's 13m. His sleep pattern has deteriorated and I need to sort it out.
Anyway I'm off to parents for a few days at half term, so don't think we should do it before we go as I think it will be a waste of time starting then changing his routine.
My question is to you that have done it:
how many nights til you felt you'd cracked it?
how old was your child when you did it?
was it hell at the time?

Thanks a lot

Mermaid2 Mon 09-Feb-04 20:33:53

We did controlled crying with our DD and I think it lasted in total for a week. Well worth the effort as she loves her bed and sleeps very well. It was very hard to leave her but as the nights passed each got better and then there was no crying at all.

kiwisbird Mon 09-Feb-04 20:41:19

did it ds now aged 10, he was hideous sleeper and controlled the entire road never mind the household.
Took 5 days from being nightmare to angel, did Dr Chris Greens one from toddler taming
Oh and took up knitting its the only thing that kept me from running into his room every night
He got a dead nice cardigan out of it.
And avoided foster care and adoption too

Hulababy Mon 09-Feb-04 20:45:09

DD was 20 months when we finally gave CC a go - was spectical about it before though. I kept a diary on MN too - here it is .

By the 3rd night things were much improved, and since then we have never looked back. It was a bit distressing for me and DH the first night or two but you have to stick to it and for us it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be.

hermykne Mon 09-Feb-04 21:01:19

my dd was 9/10mths when we did it and over a period of about 3 weeks, doing it when we didnt think teeth were making her cry, it worked, initially after the 1st 3 nights it worked then teeth, then did it again, intermittedly.
now at 16mths she goes to bed religiously (since about 14mths)upon the word "bed e byes" with a kiss for whoever stays downstairs and a kiss from her cot for whoever puts her in it and
seems to love bedtime. lights out, door closed, bit of mobile music, bingo.

it was hard doing it and i felt terrible but once it worked you really felt relief rather than anguish.

Posey Mon 09-Feb-04 21:07:45

Hulababy - just read your link with much interest and encouragement. Never could do it with dd and she was an appalling sleeper. Just didn't have the resolve to do it. But this time I'm going to.
Will be back from parents Tuesday so will do it the remainder of half term That way, if dd is disturbed at least I won't feel so bad as she won't have to go to school tired.
Thanks for your help all

suzywong Mon 09-Feb-04 21:12:19

good luck posey
we missed thw boat with ds1 and had to get a sleep coucellor in to help us draw up a strategy (she's local and v good so if you get desparate email me and I'll gve you her details)
First night was 52 minutes and 2 vomits
All fine by night 6,

bunnyrabbit Mon 09-Feb-04 22:44:51

We did pick up/put down as per the baby wisperer. Worked very well and a lot less stressful for mummy and daddy bunny as well as baby.


susanmt Tue 10-Feb-04 03:45:52

We did it with dd1 and with ds.

With dd1, having read all the stuff about it taking only a few days, we were up in the night for 10 nights with her. One night dh was on call away from home and we spent an hour and a half on the phone with me threatening to take her into our bed and him threatening never to come home if I did (he was joking but it kept me going till she quietened down)
Ds on the other hand was sleeping through within 3nights and we have never looked back. DD2 is already sleeping through at 10 weeks so hopefully we will be spared it this time!!

cathncait Tue 10-Feb-04 05:43:18

Hi Posey
We did cc with dd when she was around 8 - 9 months. We too tried to avoid teething times - difficult as that is I know! It took probably 2-3 weeks of 2 hours crying in the middle of the night many of those nights. i got quite stressed about it thinking it would nevcer end...but it did!!! shes 18 months now and sleeps very well except for teeth (not as bad though) and sickness etc. 7.30pm to 7am. And we were all so very much happier after all the hard work. i thought it would happen quicker than it did which made it more difficult, but I think the theory is it takes not as long as the child gets older. ???
Good luck ..hang in there.

Jennay Wed 11-Feb-04 13:54:06

I don't know what to do i am in a dilema, my son is two and does not go to sleep at all without me being by his side. The problem is sometimes it can take up to an hour for him to sleep but i have had enough, i have no time to myself at all and when i have left him to cry in the past he just does not give up. This results in him throwing up and eventually, i know that i shouldn't but i lose my patience and do shout at him which i know is totally worng but when you have had this ongoing for two whole years, i have never slept through the night, he wakes up for bottles three times per night without fail. I had tried just giving him water but he still wakes up. My major problem at the moment is that i am five month pregnant and need to have a well established routine before this one comes along otherwise i have had it. I will be waking up with two kids obviously my partner helps but my two year old won't have his dad taking him to bed or attending to him at night. I think i am going to crack up and i don't like shouting at my son when it really is not his fault. He is only a baby. What do i do, controlled crying has been tried to no avail plus my partner hates to hear him cry and makes me feel like i am a bad mother especially when he throws up and he does not settle at all no matter how long you leave him. He has been known to cry and scream for two hours but do i leave him all night or give in which i do. All suggestions welcome.

CountessDracula Wed 11-Feb-04 13:56:31

3 nights at 8 months to settle herself to sleep without a peep

I don't do it in the night as she hardly ever wakes in the night so I figure there is something wrong if she does.

As for early mornings, I think that took a bit longer eg a week and now she wakes between 8am and 9.30am depending on how much crashing about dh does getting ready for work. At weekends it's generally 9.30am

charlieplus3 Wed 11-Feb-04 13:57:50

so sorry to hear about your sleep problems. My dd is exactly the same, wakes crying up to 5 times a night and cant controll cry because of her voilent vomitting.

I am going to try suzys sleep counsellor as this cant go on. It will be harder on you once your baby is born.

Good Luck

CountessDracula Wed 11-Feb-04 14:01:05

Sorry Jennay, posted that without reading your post.

I don't really know what you do aged 2 as the sleep pattern is probably better defined by then. Re the waking in the night I would really ignore that for a few nights, get your dh earplugs if he can't bear it!

Re the vomiting, do you have a very calm and ordered bedtime routine eg bath, play, story, milk, teeth, cuddles, bed, give favorite toy, maybe put on some soothing music, lights out and don't go back in! If you follow this routine for a while, and say to him "now you must go to sleep, mummy is going downstairs now" and try the cc then ie go in after 10 mins, then 15, then 20 etc. If he vomits clear it up and put him back to bed calmly after a cuddle, give him toy and follow routine again.

I have no scientific basis for this, it's just what I would do!

charlieplus3 Wed 11-Feb-04 14:10:18

My Doc told me to leave her in the vomit. Im sorry but cant agree with that. For one it causes more work for me and it stinks.

i will take any advice cos its hardgoing but cant leave her in it.

Posey Wed 11-Feb-04 20:20:49

Jennay - I borrowed the Gina Ford sleep book from the library just to see what she said on the subject before embarking on cc next week. I haven't done the GF stuff before but found some of it really interesting. Apparently a lot of people say that older babies and toddlers can't be hungry in the night but she says they may be. Its a viscious circle of milk in the night so they don't eat properly in the day so they don't fill up enough to get through the night. She does a few case studies about how they weaned them off night feeds. I really thought she'd be a hard line person, no nonsense leave them to cry so was quite surprised by what I've read so far. It may be worth your while looking at a copy of the book.

BTW, ds slept a solid 8 hours last night, first time he's gone so long. Maybe he'll do it himself before we have to resort to sleep training!

AussieSim Wed 11-Feb-04 20:30:42

12mth old DS started sleeping through at 4.5mths without CC but I have found that teething, having a cold, being on holidays, jet lag and eczema, have all at different times caused him to wake in the night again, which of course I just roll with till I think he has run out of excuses and then I do cc.

I did it this week, now he has gotten over his 7th tooth coming through and the first night I visited him after 5/10/15minutes crying (with picking up, as there is no calming down otherwise which I find important - I actually walk around the house with him) and then he went to sleep. The second night I visited him at 5mins and picked up and then he went back to sleep. Both evenings I gave him some diluted juice to drink out of his cup as I figured he had gotten used to having a drink (from the breast). On the third night he slept just over 12hours. So Yippee! And this morning he woke up after 11hours but with a fever and has a cold, so I think I'll be up tonight and probably back at square one with CC next week sometime. HTH

bunnyrabbit Wed 11-Feb-04 22:04:26

May be try PU/PD rather than just leaving him if possible. Maybe if you can calm him down, he may not be so sick.... then put him back to bed before he goes to sleep. May not work on a 2 year old... just an idea....


bloss Thu 12-Feb-04 11:53:11

Message withdrawn

psaltey Thu 12-Feb-04 14:32:39

Yes I found this worked. When my child was under 1, I used to sit by the cot until child was asleep,and then gradually withdrew further out of the room each night. After about 1, I did the controlled crying but only left him for 30secs then 60secs then 90secs etc, couldn't cope with 5 minutes at a time. This seemed to work after 2 or 3 nights. I did have to do this again at various stages, after hols. or after illnesses etc, but it always seemed to work. My child is now 5 and is very rarely a problem with going to sleep or waking in the night.

Davros Thu 12-Feb-04 19:44:29

Have done it with both but before it got desperate and out of control. If baby is hysterical I would still pick up and check her over. Sometimes one little pick up is all it takes. If I think she's fine and there's nothing wrong I leave her. I found that both of mine cried anyway when they were tired so you have to allow for that as normal. Have also gone through patches when we've had to do it again after disruption/illness etc. If you ARE going to go back, go quickly as the longer you leave them and then go back, they learn that if they cry more you'll come iyswim and they'll keep going for longer. Good luck!

Posey Thu 12-Feb-04 21:04:01

Well last night he went from 7pm to 5.30am, had a breastfeed then straight back to sleep til 7.30.
This is just by talking about cc
Tomorrow off to the parents for a few days so will be interested to see what happens then.
Thanks to everyone for all your shared experiences. On the whole it sounds not as bad as I thought and worth it in the end.

suzywong Thu 12-Feb-04 21:07:56

that's pretty impressive

Quimble Sat 14-Feb-04 09:16:29

Jennay, i really felt for you reading your post. No wonder you shout, you must be desperate. I recommend you get a copy of Dr Richard Ferber's Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems which deals will all kinds of sleep irregularities in babies and children (including how to eliminate night bottles). I used it for both my children, although they were a bit younger than yours. I found that having a "handbook" to refer to when you were trying to stick to some regime or programme was very encouraging and reassuring (otherwise you feel full of self-doubt, especially if your partner is not really supportive about hearing a bit of crying). Eg Dr Ferber says they are likely to be sick, not to worry, they won't damage themselves etc. Good luck.

inkstigmata Fri 23-Apr-04 17:18:40

We tried CC with dd1 at 8 weeks and dd2 at just a couple of weeks. With dd2 (now 5 weeks) thinghs are still not sorted out - we have the complication of a cold which disrupts her feeding, so we will often give her the benefit of the doubt that she needs a top-up, and won't go cold turkey until all traces of cold are gone.

With dd1, from memory, the first few days/nights we tried it (she was a mess with no routine beforehand) absolutely nothing changed and it was hell. Then there were significant improvements over the next week - first her morning nap (9am)was OK, then evening settling (7pm) improved a lot. However, I think we had some crying down at 7pm, some days not others, for some weeks, but it was not the really troublesome sort.

She continued to wake up from 2hr lunchtime nap after 1 hour, about half of the time, for more than a month.

From about 4 months old she was a model sleeper and still is at age 3.

I really hated reading everywhere (from cc proponents) that it takes less than a week because it made us feel we must have something wrong. Also, sometimes we just had to intervene because more than 45 mins of screaming was too much to bear.

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