Q re controlled crying(29 Posts)
am not trying to spark a huge debate, this is a genuine question as I've been reading lots of sleep training threads recently (looking for inspiration on how to tackle my 7mo beastly sleeper...)
What is so bad about this method? When I read threads on here, lots of people comment about leaving the child alone to cry can have a lasting negative effect on them, letting them pass out from exhaustion is cruel, about the children only sleeping through because they know noone will come to comfort them etc
But it seems to me that with CC you DO comfort them when they cry - you keep going back into them don't you? Presumably you can also set the time limits to something you're comfortable with.
Am I missing something? are people who make these comments mistaking it with crying it out?
For what its worth I've never done CC but have no problem with anyone who does. Your baby, your life.
I don't have anything to add about the ethics of it, all I'll say is it really really worked for us. We used 1 minute increments (ie, let him cry for 1 minute before going to calm him, then 2, then 3 etc) (We only ever got up to 6 minutes of him crying before he fell asleep, and it only took 2 nights for him to stop crying at all and to self settle).
I'm not saying it will be that easy for you, but I'd say just make sure whatever you do you are consistent.
It hasn't done my 6'2" fifteen year old, and my 5'7" thirteen year old any harm, and probably benefitted them, as instead of having sleep deprived parents, they had parents who could cope with having young babies.
What lasting negative effect are they talking about ( and how can they tell)?
My eldest son takes after me and sleeps like a log. My youngest needs less sleep, but sleeps well.
If you are considering it, go for it! It helped us a lot.
Yes same here...best thing we ever done. We prepared ourselves for the worst when we decided to try it as she woke almost every hour in the night wanting her dummy that had fallen out! We binned the dummy and went for it, it worked within 20 mins. We also went in after 2 mins, then 4 and just increased the gaps, she would go mad when we left the room (think she was getting cross!) but we knew she was really tired and she soon fell asleep, the next nap the following day was much the same then it gradually got better, within 3 days she was self settling for naps and bedtime and therefore self settling if she woke in the night so sleeping through for us! Yay!! Done the same for all DC's and they are still great sleepers now. I can't see how it can 'damage' them in anyway, like you say as long as you keep going in to check and comfort. I think you are doing something good for them in the long run, years of interupted sleep aren't good for anyone! (she was 6/7 months btw) Good luck if you decide to do it.
People are often conflating cc with cio or referring to studies that have shown long term damage when babies are usually and routinely left to cio and not having their needs met. In a loving home sleep training such as cc will do no long term damage whatsoever. We did cc with ds when he was 11.5 months old, waking every 2 hours and needing up to 45 minutes rocking. The first night he cried on and off for two hours (which was horrible), the second night 20 minutes and the third night (and pretty much every night since-he's now 18 months) he slept through.
If it's so important to be consistent can you use it for St naps and bedtime but not at night? What I mean is I'm not ready to nigtwean yet but I would like my evenings back.
Is it an all or nothing approach?
We did it with DD1 with 1 minute increments and never got beyond 6 min. It worked in less than a week. My only regret was not doing it until 14 months as we had been rocking her for about an hour each evening. We agreed that we would review it after a week if it hadn't worked.
However some instructions suggest 5 min then 10 etc. I'm not sure whether we were lucky that 1 min increments worked for us, but with longer increments it must be more likely that you will end up with a baby crying for hours while sleep training. I wouldn't be comfortable with my baby crying for long periods.
You comfort them based on the clock, rather than when they start to cry, no? So you must leave them to cry for a period of time, else crying wouldn't be in the title. Not sure if you're genuinely asking, as I'm sure I'm stating the rather obvious.
We never went over 4/5 minutes- 10 minutes felt far too long for us too Pico, i think you can adapt cc to suit your own dc and needs.
With regard to consistency: I've got a feeling it's most fair to take an all or nothing approach. I just think it would confuse them if you are willing to milk them back to sleep at some wakings, but they're not allowed milk at other wakings. To them this would just feel confusing and random.
I think what helped him learn to self settle was knowing when he woke in the night 'well if I cry I'm not going to get anything anyway so I might as well just go back to sleep'. But how will he learn this if sometimes he DOES get milk when he cries. What do you think?
I night weaned at 6 months when I first did CC, but just gave a dream feed when I went up to bed about 11pm which kept him going through the night so I knew he wasn't waking from hunger. Because he didn't wake or cry for this I don't think he got any confused messages from it.
That's just my take on it anyway.
I do think there is a lot of confusion about CC. I've done some reading about it lately and really can't make my mind up about it tbh (and haven't done it either FYI).
Some of the "please don't leave your little baby to cry" comments I read on here I find a bit unhelpful. They also led me to believe (probably my fault for making assumptions) that CC involved leaving "little babies" for longer periods of time. 1 minute increments sounds a bit less harsh than what I thought fans of CC were advocating.
My issue with CC is that I don't think timing how long a baby cries for is all that helpful. If my baby is screaming there is no way I would wait for the interval to pick her up. Although if she is just grizzling a bit I would have no problem in theory leaving her for shorter amounts of time if I thought this would help her get to sleep.
I think the people I know who do CC are the same (ie they would return quickly to their DC if they were audibly upset). I think some of the anti CC comments I read on here to CC are a bit strong at times and wonder if those who make the "please don't..." type comments are perhaps making assumptions about what CC entails for most people who do it? Of course maybe there are people out there who fastidiously let their DC scream their heads off till the next interval but I don't know any of them (I think).
I have read articles recently about the psychological damage which may be caused by CC and read about something called "total extinction" where the baby just gives up and stops crying. This is hugely damaging according to the article. What is less clear, (to me anyway), is what damage is done by less harsh forms of CC. Offset this against the damage caused by sleep deprivation in childhood (I read this can be hugely damaging to their development too) and I really can't say that less harsh forms of CC sound like "child abuse" as some
very measured individual called it on another forum.
I am no expert but just trying desperately to get a balanced view based on evidence. Still can't make up my mind on it.
We did it and it worked a treat. one gruesome night. 3 minutes, then 5, then 7...
You need sleep and peace and an evening . It worked for us.
Struggling to do it with our ten month old just now but am very pregnant and not very resilient.
So enjoy how well our 2.5 year old goes to bed.
I found these articles quite interesting.
I'm beginning to think that in itself CC, especially with short intervals, is probably hard work and a bit distressing for both baby and parents but that over all it's probably fine if it suits you.
The thing I struggle with most is the sudden change in approach. So for example in my case going from baby napping in sling/on me, bfeeding to sleep at bedtime and in the night and cosleeping to suddenly expecting him to "get it" and fall asleep on his own with a lot of crying along the way.
Having said that, as a second child he's had to be left crying on and off from day one as the demands of a toddler often take precedence. The other day I was putting DS1 to sleep (2.10) and he still wants me to sit outside his bedroom so I was doing that while DS2 screamed for me in his cot. So essentially I was doing CC as i'd creep in to soothe him at which point DS1 would notice i'd moved and call me back.... And I think I thought I'd never be able to do this for real.
But last night when he woke for the third time in the evening I did think "maybe CC is the only way..."
It's all definition isn't it, but i thought the 'controlled' bit of cc was the clock thing, so no you wouldn't go in at other times if they were crying (and yes people do do that). If you're responding to their crying, rather than the clock, they by my definition it isn't CC.
It isn't CC or nothing of course. Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution is as it says on the tin, techniques to aid sleep without leaving them to cry.
Thanks chazzer. You're probably right about the controlled bit being to do with time, but do most people not normally deviate if they think it's necessary?
I think "no cry" (if it is what it says on the tin) might not work for us as there are inevitably times, as with the OP, when my DD does grizzle for a few minutes before we get to her. I don't think I would like to leave DD when she is very upset though. I don't think that would achieve anything in our case either as I think she would just get more and more wound up. That said, if she was really upset, it would normally take longer for her to get worked up like that than the small periods of time suggested above (1 minute increments). Maybe there's a wuss version of CC I can read about... Still not decided but have just bought some sleep manuals (a CC based one and a gentler one). Might just read both and see what convinces me the most and what might suit DD the best. She's quite a strong willed little thing so can't imagine her wanting me to rock / feed her to sleep for too much longer! We'll see.
The impression I get is no people don't deviate. I read lots of once you've started don't back down, undoing what you've done, keep battling on, resist your desire to soothe type stuff. I think the ethos is once you've started you keep going, as stopping and starting prolongs it. I'm sure people give up as they decide it's not for them, but then they're not doing CC any more. But then that article you posted said there was ambiguity in the use of terms.
Well I think we're on the same page really chazzer. What you described there is not for me and is frankly a bit bonkers... Resisting your "desire to soothe" is mad. If I felt comfortable leaving DD to grizzle a bit I would do it, but the moment I felt she was too upset or I felt uncomfortable I would obviously stop. That's common sense to me.
At the same time (and this is 100% NOT a dig at your really kind recommendation chazzer, this is directed at other posts I have read on here); I think expecting a baby not to cry at all without being picked up straight away is not for me either. Obviously when DD was tiny that was different, but now she is older I would consider leaving her to grizzle as she goes to sleep.
At the minute I always feed her to sleep (it just happens, it's not by design really but it's fine for now). But she sometimes wakes briefly and wails at me for a second when I sneak her into her cot and then drifts back to sleep again so that is definitely not "no crying".
I think some posts on the Sleep discussion boards actually put a great deal of pressure on parents to ignore their own crippling tiredness, stress and basic needs. I read a lot of "that's normal - put up with it", "I went back to work 3 jobs when my quadruplets were still waking every 20 mins and I never let them cry ever" type posts. True statements maybe, but I suspect there is sometimes one-upmanship involved too.
To clarify "leave her to grizzle" does not mean shutting the door and leaving her to it - I mean leaving for short periods, returning regularly to re-settle.
We night weaned and got ds self settling for naps before we did cc at night so I knew he wasn't waking for food and that he could self settle. Ds also slept on me for all naps until around 6/7 months and I did a much more gentle approach to get him to nap in his cot then (it involved me napping alongside him in bed then putting him in his cot then to-ing and fro-ing up and down stairs a lot!). We did night weaning by replacing feeding with rocking, then had to get rid of the rocking with cc- we perhaps should have by-passed the rocking but I wanted to be sure he wasn't hungry.
It was the best decision ever and actually recommended to us by DS's consultant (severe reflux and milk refuser baby) when he was 7 months.
5 min increments and he was never awake for longer than 15m. In fairness, I didn't do this for night wakings as he just wasn't ready to sleep through but I would only go in to replace his dummy. Three sketchy nights and it was done.
The most beneficial thing has been the effect on naps-he went from never napping to going down willingly for between 1-3 hours every day.
He's 17 months and such a happy baby. He goes to bed every night without so much as a grumble (sings himself to sleep) and actually runs to his cot when he wants a nap.
It's not the nicest process but as long as they're dry, well and fed, I genuinely don't think it's harmful. At least I hope it isn't!!!!!
raapberry if you didn't do it for night waking a was it just for bedtime and naps? Did you just do it for bedtime and the napping was a welcome side effect or did you try anything for naps too?
My two main 'problems' at the mo are naps (always on me) and bedtime - takes hours and he's up on and off all evening. I can deal with the night wakings if he just bloody gave me a break for his naps and at evening!
Once bedtime was sorted, nap times just followed suit naturally. We have always done a condensed bedtime routine for naps anyway (stories, cuddle and bed) so it was close enough to his bedtime routine that he made the connection himself.
Night wakings continued until DS was 14 months, largely because he was hungry/wanted a chat. He simply wasn't ready to sleep through. I did, however, change how much attention I would give him if he woke in the night. I'd go in, shhhh him, replace dummy and stroke his back for a minute. I'd then leave. The first few nights were tough but after about 3-4 nights he'd wake only because he couldn't find his dummy. Once I'd replaced this, he'd go straight to sleep with no complaints.
We went from all out sleep refuser waking 2-4 times a night for 30-45m at a time, to him going straight to sleep and waking up 1-2 times for 2-3 minutes (dummy) in about 7 days all in.
We've obviously had set-backs (sickness/teething) but he's never gone back to the hell of the early days.
I have yet to hear of or meet a child who is emotionally disturbed as a result of being left to cry a little to get off to sleep. I know lots of people who have done this, including myself, and all the DCs are perfectly happy, healthy, emotionally stable kids. What the anti crying experts choose to ignore is the effect long term sleep deprivation has on parents and children, which is far more damaging IMO.
Yes shebird-Kids just aren't damaged by it. I also have yet to meet a parent who has said it wasn't worth it, the vast majority wish they'd done it earlier as it's so often a last resort.
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