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Controlled Crying has ruined bedtime

(12 Posts)
ConeyIslandBaby Mon 19-Jan-15 19:17:19

Since starting CC nearly 3 weeks ago, bedtime is an absolute nightmare. As soon as we go upstairs 1yr old DS goes into hysterics. The whole process is one long shitfight and its really stressing me out. Once he gets into the cot he settles within a few minutes but the whole nappy change, into PJ's bit is bloody awful. He is also now refusing milk at bedtime as he knows he goes into the cot after that. I can't get him to take milk downstairs either (still BF).

Thought the CC worked well quite quickly, he cried for 20 mins the first night, then 10 mins, then a few mins each night. Granted now he is a bit poorly with a cold but the hysteria at bedtime started before that. He seems fine during the day, not clingy, confident to go off at toddler group etc.

Prior to CC I was going mental with sleep deprivation, he was waking up several times a night, sometimes staying awake for a couple of hours. Tried co-sleeping, we just seem to keep each other awake, doesn't work for us and makes me even more stressed.

Up until this point also, I was feeding to sleep, rocking etc.

I don't know what to do next... any ideas anyone? Please? <desperate face> Just want a bedtime that doesn't involve screaming.

Patilla Mon 19-Jan-15 19:28:53

I've not been in this situation but it seems to me that on the face of it you've got two options;

1. Reverse the control crying, change what you do upstairs to make it seem different and hope it all blows over; or

2. Move some of the bedtime prep downstairs so you go up further on in the process and hopefully bring back a more relaxed approach.

I've not done full cc but understand it works for some people. That says it seems your little one is basically quite upset by it and the idea of bring left to cry to sleep potentially so I'd work on bringing as much comfort and love into the bedtime routine as possible.

ConeyIslandBaby Mon 19-Jan-15 19:41:58

Thanks for your reply Patilla. I think you're right, the cc has upset him, but we got results so quickly (sleeping through) that I wanted to continue with it. My DH is also very keen to continue as the sleep deprivation is really starting to get to me after a year of crap sleep.

But I also don't want my son to be unhappy and I certainly don't want bedtime to be so upsetting for either of us.

I think I'm going to have to quit the CC. I feel destined for another year of no sleep sad

Patilla Tue 20-Jan-15 08:53:24

If it's any consolation I'm in a similar position in terms of my DD waking. And I was with DS but he is now a great sleeper (apart from the occasional nightmare bless him). These things do pass so, whatever you decide to do, it will most likely get better.

If it's important to you then could you do a "soft" version of cc. So you don't cuddle to sleep but don't just leave the room, so come back every few minutes or so to pat your little one and say something like "there there it's nighttime, time for sleep, I love you" and then go out and come back again to do the same thing a few minutes later and slowly extend the time between visits if it's going well.

We did that with DS when he was closer to 20 months. It worked well but to be honest we found that he "reset" every time he got ill and needed more comfort in the night. Which is why we've not bothered doing it with DD who's 21 months. To be honest she seems to be slowly improving all by herself.

ConeyIslandBaby Tue 20-Jan-15 10:52:19

Thanks Patilla. Feeling a bit rubbish again today after a 5.15 start.

I think I need to wait until he is over this cold and then I'll re-assess the options of 'soft' training, or if I'm going to bother at all.

I'm also really pissed off at myself that I've made bedtime so stressful for him. And now I need to work on undoing that. Don't think I can introduce another training method until he's happy going into his cot again. What an idiot.

Cheers for the words of support.

HoggleHoggle Tue 20-Jan-15 11:00:35

We did a few days of cc for naps and it buggered bedtime right up. It triggered separation anxiety at 9 months so really unfortunate situation, especially as ds had always gone straight down without a fuss for bedtime before then.

We got it back on track with gradual retreat. Only took 3 days and if ds is having an iffy night we still do it now. It's really worked for him - he knows crying won't get him taken out of cot etc but at the same time we're there with him while he's crying so he feels comforted.

I know different techniques with for different babies but I would really recommend trying it.

In terms f making his cot a happy cot again, I played lots of peek a boo in there and put him in there during the day and read to him, played silly games etc. Over the weeks it definitely worked and obviously being happy in there at night helped too.

Hope things get better for you.

ConeyIslandBaby Tue 20-Jan-15 11:22:48

Thanks Hoggle, that's really helpful. Never thought I would do cc but was getting so desperate, and under pressure from DH to be honest, although I think he was worried about me as I was getting so stressed out at night.

Did you start gradual retreat while he was still worried about his cot or did you spend time making it nice again first?

You've given me some ideas, thanks. Was really struggling in my sleep deprived state to come up with ideas.

Glad things worked out for you. Fingers crossed in a few weeks things will improve for us too.

HoggleHoggle Tue 20-Jan-15 11:25:52

I think I did it all at once - daytime play and then the same night we started gradual retreat. It took 10 mins solid crying first night which I actually thought was fairly good, 2 subsequent nights much less than that, then sorted. We started standing by his cot and then retreated every 3 days. Now we go straight out of his room but hover by the door to shush if he's being a bit unsettled that night.

Patilla Tue 20-Jan-15 12:59:17

Oh coney don't feel you're an idiot. We're all bumbling along trying to find the best way of doing things, and is often different for each child.

And sleep deprivation is just so incredibly hard. It leaves you broken inside when you can't even find the opportunity to be broken because you've got to carry on working or looking after a child.

You're not an idiot. You're not a failure. You're a mum. Which means sometimes we can try what we think is best but it turns out wrong.

You've not done anything stupid and I strongly suspect that the cold is exacerbating things and that with a little tlc it might even pass within a few days as the cold passes.

As an aside, I'd really encourage you to trust your instincts, most of the time something goes wrong ice listened to someone else (usually DH but that's not his fault just that he's around more than anyone else) but the key is that I've gone against my instinct.

You know your child so so well and better than you think. Trust yourself. What do your instincts say?

If they say hug a little child who is poorly, then do it. Take it one day at a time and while there will be things that go wrong, you'll be doing more things right than you think.

My eldest is six and while the sleep deprivation from toddler DD can be a killer it helps to remind myself that far far too soon she won't need me in this way and I'll miss that intimacy.

ConeyIslandBaby Wed 21-Jan-15 08:58:56

Patilla, thanks for your words of support, they did make me weep a bit in my sleep deprived state smile

Feeling a bit more normal this morning after a slightly better night, he only woke once. Took a while to get back off to sleep again but as long as he does, that's fine by me at the moment! Cuddled him to sleep both times.

He's really chesty which is obviously making him feel ropey. He also had a sore bum so likely to be teething again... fits in with the feeding refusal too which he has done before. All this is adding to the upset at bedtime no doubt.

We had some playtime in his cot yesterday afternoon and he seemed quite happy in there so I feel more confident that I haven't ruined the cot for him and this is more about feeling poorly/teething. Having said that I think when this passes I'll consider the gradual retreat method if I feel the need to do something.

Thanks Hoggle for the info, helpful to hear from someone who's come out the other side!

HoggleHoggle Wed 21-Jan-15 09:39:31

Glad you had a better night and cot time went well.

It's so difficult to know what to do! And for us it's a constant work in progress, ds isn't one of those babies who once he sleeps through, that's it. Every illness etc derails it to some degree. It's bloody hard work!

Hope your ds feels better soon. Chesty coughs really are the pits so I feel for both of you. Ds had one a few weeks ago and we put snuffle babe on the soles of his feet at bedtime for a few nights - I was sceptical of whether it would work but it really did help with the night coughing.

ConeyIslandBaby Thu 22-Jan-15 15:46:31

Hi Hoggle, I will try the snuffle babe trick, thanks for the tip! He's doing well considering his cough sounds so bloody awful, bless him. Now me and DH have got it too. Such fun!

Yes, the ongoing lack of sleep is hard work. Nothing quite prepares you for it, does it?!! Its certainly making me think twice about trying for a second! smile

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