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Controlled crying- how long does it take?

(71 Posts)
albazavi Wed 23-Nov-16 19:41:28

I'm looking for some advice on CC from those that have been there as I'm on day 8, and getting ready to throw in the towel!

DS is 7 and a half months and from 3 months has been a terrible sleeper. We decided to try CC, after seemingly trying everything else and both of us being utterly exhausted.

The first 3 days works brilliantly- 1.30hr, first night, then 55mins and 45 mins and got it down to 20mins of crying after about night 4 and 5. Far less wake ups that before and most he's able to put himself back to sleep. He even slept through on night 5!

But the last 3 nights have been getting increasingly worse not better, 40 mins to settle, then an hour, and I'm currently on 45 minutes and he's not showing any how of settling.

I though after a week, the screaming would be down to a minimum but it's just getting worse!

I know a lot of people hate CC, but please don't berate me for it. I've fully researched the effects and we were at the end of our tether.

But any advice for how long it takes? I don't know how many more nights of this I can do?

Mummamayhem Wed 23-Nov-16 19:43:43

If it's getting worse, self settling to sleep through probably isn't the issue. At 7 months he's probably hungry/uncomfortable.

LittleBee23 Wed 23-Nov-16 19:45:01

We did rapid return with dd1 and I know it got better then worse then much better. We went in after 1 min then 2 then 3 etc and it seemed to reassure her we were still there but we wouldn't be staying.

I would keep going for another week before throwing it in. If u see now improvement then I would stop. I hated it too but after 5 months of night wakings every 45 mins all night every night I had to do something.

FATEdestiny Wed 23-Nov-16 21:20:23

Have you established some form of alternate comfort for the child to access if you are giving none?

Children need comfort to sleep.

There are plenty of independant comforting methods. Most notably the dummy. It's a bit young for a toy/blankie/snuggly to be bonded with at 7 months. So maybe thumb sucking?

albazavi Wed 23-Nov-16 21:36:27

Thanks all-

Little- glad to hear you made progress. Will try a few days longer.
Once he's asleep on this method it's much much better. It's just the getting to sleep that's a killer!

Fate- we've tried everything. Dummy refuser, Muslim cloths, my pillow case, white noise, music. He currently has a soft blanket that he's slept on for ages and a teddy that's always been with him. He tends to run his face in the blanket. What he wants is to hold and cuddle my hand and it's just not possible all night!

FATEdestiny Wed 23-Nov-16 21:48:37

7 1/2 months old, why can't you give him your presence (and a hand hold) to reassure him.

I can't see how dangling your hand through the cot bars while you sleep in your bed is going to cause any great hardship?

albazavi Wed 23-Nov-16 22:01:17

FATE- I didn't ask for opinions or criticism on using CC. It's not as simple as being next to him in the cot. If it was, I'd sit there for 12 hours! It's taken a long time to get to the point of needing to do something about his sleep and unfortunately this is what we need to do for us as a family.

I'm looking for advice from people that have tried CC and come through the other side.

FATEdestiny Wed 23-Nov-16 22:16:57

You are projecting, i wasnt criticizing. You are hoping your child will not need comfort to get to sleep. He will. I'm not being judgmental in that. I've used CIO myself, much worse than CC. I didn't try that until I knew there was alternate (independant) comfort in place though.

CC has taken a backward step because in the first few days you have broken her reliance on you providing comfort. That worked. It's gone backwards though because there's no adequate independant comfort in place.

You're going to have difficulty establishing any form of independant comforting at 7 months because most babies this age do not yet have the physical manual dexterity skills to coordinate adequate self comforting.

This isn't critism, it's a biological fact. It's not terribly convenient to a knackered mum. I know that. It doesn't change it though.

The manual dexterity (and so stronger bonding to snuggle toys etc) usually comes somewhere around 9-12m.

Cocolocos Thu 24-Nov-16 09:24:51

I'm sure that I read that after a few days it often gets worse again, but if you stay consistent it should improve again. I would give it another few days I think, and check that you have been absolutely consistent. Our DD also rejected other comfort objects, and went mad if I stayed in the room/stroked her etc. It's so hard, but I hope you all get better sleep soon brew

LalaLeona Thu 24-Nov-16 11:01:13

Could your baby could be teething? My son wakes all night every night for about 3 weeks before each tooth, he really suffers with it. So hes teething most of the time. It's difficult at this age to know if they are in pain or not so if you could hang in there til he's one maybe..I think then they get more used to the pain. If he's in pain the CC won't work

scaredofthecity Thu 24-Nov-16 11:11:20

Maybe he's just too young. We've done cc a few times and it does work when they're ready but the first time we did any kind of sleep training DS was about 10 months.
When it works it literally only takes a few nights to get over the worst of it.
Your son is still so young and just needs you at the moment.

LalaLeona Thu 24-Nov-16 11:11:34

But I really feel for you sorry if my post sounds patronising. I've had really bad depression from sleep deprivation before so know what it's like to be desperate, just wondered if it's right time to do it, hope it all works out for you good luck

Highlove Thu 24-Nov-16 11:24:40

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but maybe he's just not ready?

I honestly know how tough sleep deprivation is (have a nightmare sleeping nearly three year old) and I'm not anti-CC in the right circumstances. (We did it with DD at about 11 months having tried everything else - it worked but for a short while, no long-term gain and certainly not a magic bullet.) But I think it's unusual for it to take quite so long to settle the first few nights - 90 minutes is an awfully long time, and still to be taking three quarters of an hour a few nights later...I know lots of people who've resorted to it but usually a bit later (10 months +) and its normally much quicker than this. That it's still not working over a week later would tell me he's just not ready or there's something else bothering him.

I really do know how tough no sleep is (my eldest was doing max 45 minute stretches all night when we did it - grim) but in your shoes I'd be going with your instinct to throw in the towel, as you put it! Perhaps try again in a couple of months and keep trying with all the gentler methods in the meantime?

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 24-Nov-16 11:33:25

FATE is right about your baby needing support to sleep at 7.5mo, and I don't read her posts as being critical at all.

CC isn't the guaranteed fix people say it is. It doesn't sound like it's working, so stop, and do whatever it takes to get as much rest, if not necessarily sleep, as you can then try again when she's older. After multiple dismal failures with CC and even CIO myself, all of which I deeply regret, I'm definitely a fan of very gradual withdrawal over several weeks, but not until well past a year.

Sleep deprivation is survivable. I remember feeling especially defeated by it at 4mo and 7mo with both my DSs, but it passes and they all sleep eventually.

Timetogrowup2016 Thu 24-Nov-16 11:41:50

Cc often gets worse at night 5
Keep going . It'll get better again

MadgeMak Thu 24-Nov-16 11:44:55

Would you consider co sleeping if she wants to hold your hand? My now 2.5 year old was and is still a hand holder (I've pondered many nights about buying a prosthetic hand to replace me!), so we co slept until he was around 12 months old. He still needs me to lie with him and hold his hand to get to sleep but I can withdraw once he's asleep and he then sleeps through. It's so hard when they won't sleep, the best advice I can give is to just do whatever they need and they get there in their own time. I speak from bitter experience with my eldest who I fought and fought to get to sleep on her own, making myself and her miserable in the meantime, which is why with my second I just went with the flow by doing what he needed and he got there in the end without any misery at all. Good luck.

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 24-Nov-16 11:51:01

Cc often gets worse at night 5 Keep going . It'll get better again

She's on night 8, and no, it won't necessarily get better again. This marketing of CC as a 'sure fix' is so unhelpful.

crayfish Thu 24-Nov-16 11:52:50

I know you don't want to hear it, but i think she might be a bit too young still. DS was one when we went down this road, but by that point he was able to find and put in his own dummy and had a snuggle blankie thing that he was (and still is) very attached to and used for comfort.

Have you tried co-sleeping? It's not for everyone but it might help.

Ellieboolou27 Thu 24-Nov-16 11:56:15

Took about 2 weeks for us but dd was a year, I don't think I could do cc or cio at 7 months, I feel it's too young, I co slept with dd1 for 3 years as cc and cio never worked no matter how long we tried, dd2 is just a good sleeper / settler I think it depends on babies personality too. Good luck, sleep deprivation is a killer

InTheDessert Thu 24-Nov-16 12:02:11

Sorry, it didn't work for us. DS was a year. We were at our wits end, and in the end DH talked me into trying it. 2 horrendous weeks later, we were no further forward. It's not always the solution - but don't ask me what the solution us. Unfortunately some kids just don't need sleep - looking at DS1 here hmm

missyB1 Thu 24-Nov-16 12:05:10

We did CC at six months (some people on here no doubt think i need shooting). So you are on night 8 is that right? How long are you leaving the intervals between visits? Are you starting from scratch each night? I would be inclined to leave a decent interval from when you first put baby down.
Also have you looked carefully at your daytime routine? Does anything need tweaking there?
Good luck!

Timetogrowup2016 Thu 24-Nov-16 12:12:27

Well it worked here.
My 9 month old dd csn go in her cot at night . Whinge for 2 minutes and fall asleep with no comfort as long as she's had good naps .
She can go to sleep with no comfort . So not all children need comfort .
Yes day 8. That's barely nothing . It csn take a while .
It's up to her to choose .
Why people so get pissed off about this method is beyond me

basketofironing Thu 24-Nov-16 12:12:38

We did CC at 6 months and it seemed to work like a dream. Within 5 nights she was self soothing through the night. She's now just short of 8 months but around 3 weeks ago she got a horrific cold and would not settle so ended up co sleeping for 2 nights for comfort.
The 3rd night we decided to put her back in her cot was the worst night we have ever had with her. 2 hours of screaming and in and out of her room before she settled. It got less each night and after about 4 days she was settling without any crying at all.

However, over the weekend and this week she's regressed again to about 10 minutes of whinging and crying. And she won't even tolerate this for nap time!!!

Like PPs have said, CC is not a sure thing or a quick fix like everyone seems to say it is. So many factors go into how well a baby will settle and sleep that some days you get it just perfect and others it'll take time!

Stick with it if you can bear it but there are other ways of encouraging self soothing if it doesn't work.

basketofironing Thu 24-Nov-16 12:14:38

Meant to add, are you quite rigid with the time that you put DS to bed? We found that if we were more flexible with DD and really paid attention to when she was getting sleeping it became a lot easier than saying "right, 6:30pm you're off to bed now" when she wasn't at all ready.

albazavi Thu 24-Nov-16 18:48:43

Thanks all- sorry I haven't replied I've been out all day.

I'm quite happy to take advice if it isn't the right thing to do and it is too early, but everything I read said after 6 months. That's why I asked, my instincts are saying it's not working, DP says to keep going as it is improving sleep!

We've tried co sleeping and all sorts of other methods. Basically he wants me with him and if I leave when he's asleep he wakes up 5-10 minutes later and won't settle unless I'm there. By the time it gets to 10pm, he's so overtired that I normally put him into bed with me but he won't settle at all and screams for 2 hours.

We've been to the doctors and ruled out anything physical.

Before trying this, he was so exhausted and grumpy that we needed to do something different. Daytime naps arent brilliant but had been advised to do one at a time, rather than change everything at once.
Today I think I feel some movement in the top teeth so will hold off until they come through and maybe try again a few months later if I can hack it!

Thanks to everyone that replied. I really appreciate all the advice.

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