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Give me your controlled crying stories (sucess or otherwise) please

(13 Posts)
tootiredtodoanything Thu 31-Jul-08 13:25:53

I don't just want "He cried for 40 minutes then went to sleep", I need more detail!

I haven't decided yet if I am going to use controlled crying. I have always been against in in principle but now think it might be the only way to get any sleep.

At the moment I am surviving on 2 or 3 hours of broken sleep a night, I have to rock my baby to sleep at the beginning of the night and for naps and then breastfeed him when he wakes in the night. We cosleep for most of the night (He comes in bed with me when he wakes after I've gone to bed)but he still doesn't sleep. He is very restless, refuses to feed lying down and fusses a lot.

So tell me your stories, what was your babies sleep like before you used CC? How did they react to being put in the cot awake (eg did they lie still as if trying to go to sleep or thrash around/claw at themselves etc). What was their crying like (waaah waaah or chokey sobs etc)? How long did it take? And did you have to do it night after night before you saw results? Anything else? The more detail the better really, I know I'm not ready to do it yet but I am now looking at it as a possibility.

tootiredtodoanything Thu 31-Jul-08 13:28:03

I have tried shushpat and PUPD, have tried staying with him holding his hands/patting his bum/hand on his chest...

He is 8 months

PerkinWarbeck Thu 31-Jul-08 13:42:01

DD was 6.5 mo and waking up 5-6 times nightly, in 2 hourly intervals. She was rocked to sleep, and had a dummy, which we had to replace regularly.

The first night we did CC, she was angry. Her cries told us that she was not scared, or heartbroken, but angry. She seemed to be finding it difficult to get comfy, and responded well when we soothed her. Not really thrashing, but tossing and turning.

1st night - 40mins crying at bedtime, and 1 hour at 4am
2nd night - about 20mins crying at bedtime
3rd night - about 20mins at bedtime, once in the night as well, but stopped before I had got up.

She was fine from then on, although she sometimes grizzles for not more than 5 mins before bed if she's overtired.

The most marked difference was during the day. Her disposition was so much sunnier afterwards, and in hindsight I think she was chronically overtired.

CC is undoubtedly a pretty heart-wrenching experience for all involved, and I don't think you should do it if you have doubts, as at the end of the day it is something of a battle of wills. But we all feel better for it here.

(BTW, I am a mental health professional, and the literature about the damage stemming from prolonged crying relates to days and weeks of unattended crying, not a few days of CC with regulatr comforting.)

justaphase Thu 31-Jul-08 13:52:02

Mine is not so much a CC story, more of a general sleep story.

DS was also 8 months, never slept through, was waking 3-6 times per night, for 20min - 2 hrs at a time. We tried everything - I stopped BF so as not to give him the wrong sleep associations, had a sleep consultant, took him to a cranial osteopath. Nothing worked.

He refused to come into our bed.

When we tried to do cc, it was not possible because he would scream histerically when we left the room, and then even louder when we walked back in after 2 mins or whatever. Seeing one of us around really seemed to upset him a lot. So never really managed to do more than 5 mins of this.

One day we were in the park and he was screaming his head off because he wanted to be carried rather than sit in the buggy. I had a lot of stuff to carry so could not take him too, all I could do was let him scream and stop every few minutes and stroke him and tell him it was OK. It took about an hour to get home and he fell asleep in front of our door.

That night, he woke up for the 4th time at 2am and would not go back to sleep. I tried for 3 hours, he just screamed and screamed in my arms. Eventually I was so tired I thought I would die so just put him back in his cot and left him there. He was very tired too so he cried but in a whiney sort of way, on and off, for about 40mins. Then he fell asleep and slept until 9am - unheard of!

The next night I put him to bed and left him there. He screamed histerically for about 5 mins, then moaned for another 5 and then went to sleep. And slept all night. And that was that.

He became a decent sleeper from then on (except now that he is 2.10 we have a whole new set of sleep issues).

I don't know if this helps at all, I guess not but I think the moral of this story is that children are very very different. I did not sleep-train mine, I just followed his lead out of pure desperation ... and he sorted himself out eventually.

tootiredtodoanything Thu 31-Jul-08 14:00:24

Perkin did you also get rid of the dummy?

Justaphase, that is partly why I think controlled crying might be the only way for us. Everything else just seems to make him more unsettled. One time I had to put him in his cot and just pop back in every few minutes because my daughter was being sick and he screamed and screamed but fell asleep after about 45 minutes. I didn't continue with it because at the time I knew I wouldn't be able to listen to him cry for that long (unless otherwise occupied with sick or similar). Also I think I could do it for naps and at bedtime but my resolve would crack in the middle of the night...

PerkinWarbeck Thu 31-Jul-08 14:43:13

We ditched the dummy at the same time.

Re: resolve. You do have to be desperate for it to work. If you're worried about how long the crying will go on for, you can set a deadline eg try for 4 nights and if you don't see big improvements, jack it in and try something else, or have a go another time.

We started on a Friday night when DH and I both had the weekend off. We both sat up together the one time DD cried in the night, which helped. Oh, and we had plenty of wine, chocolate and crosswords to hand.

tootiredtodoanything Fri 01-Aug-08 10:26:53

Any stories from anyone else? You can't be the only two people on MN to have used it!

tor74 Fri 01-Aug-08 14:23:06

I did it with my DS when he was four months old which some may say is too young. But, he was a big baby (10 pounds when he was born) and was only waking once or twice a night anyway.

He'd started sleeping through about once a week around this time so I knew he could do it and I also knew that he didn't need a nightime feed as he was gaining more than enough weight.

So, the first night was utterly horrendous. He woke at 3am and I went in a patted him for a minute or so until he calmed down. I walked out of the room and he went crazy, screams of utter rage! I went back in after 5 mins, then 10 mins and then 20 mins. The crying in total lasted for 45 minutes I think. He then slept until 7.30am!!!

The next night he woke again around 3am but only cried for 30 minutes then slept until 8am. The third night he whimpered around 3am for 5 minutes and then slept until 7.15am.

After that, job done and one happier baby and one happier set of parents. No one was sleep deprived and we all had the sparkle back in our eyes.

He is now a very jolly, well adjusted 3 year old and still sleeps until exactly 7.15am every morning. (apart from when he's ill or had a change of routine of course)

However it was really really tough and I couldn't have done it without my DH. There were several times when we were doing it that the guilt almost made me physically sick. But looking back it was for such a short space of time and the benefits to both him and us far outweigh the short term pain.

Good luck and stay strong.

Lawrene8 Fri 01-Aug-08 14:27:59

We did CC for DS when he was about 8 months old. He'd been a good sleeper up until then but suddently decided he'd rather be downstairs with us, rather than in bed. We tried for ages to compfrt him, pat him off, sing ect and in the end we decided to leave him to it. It took 4 nights, 1st night was the worst with 40 mins screaming and it got shorter and shorter each night. On 5th night he moaned and then went straight to sleep.

DS now 2 and still a good sleeper.

claireybee Mon 04-Aug-08 16:56:27

Am very interested in these stories and hope other people will add their experiences too.ds' (lack of) sleep has me at breaking point

ChairmumMiaow Mon 04-Aug-08 20:01:03

Have a look at this thread for my story so far. I've gone from "I really don't want to let him cry" to the end of my tether to "wow, this seems to be working". We're not there yet but it really seems to be working, and quickly.

My DS is only 6 months but it seems like the right time. I really don't think I could leave him if he was calling for Mummy instead of crying!

However, I think if I'd recognised a problem earlier, I would have been able to do some of the no-cry style techniques without wanting to scream/cry

annaje Tue 05-Aug-08 18:52:56

With our first DS, at eight months we decided to try the controlled crying, this was more to get him to go to sleep at bedtime rather than night time waking. The first night we left him in his cot for about 25 mins crying before he settled down and went to sleep by himself - the second night it took only 10 minutes. After that we never had a problem. Second DS was completely different - it never worked on him, and it is only in the last 6 months (he is nearly 5 now) that he has stopped waking in the night.

I think it depends on the child - I must admit we never tried as hard with DS2 because he we worried about disturbing DS1 too much.

The Dr Christopher Green book called "New Toddler Taming" is very good - it is the method we used and there are plenty of examples and variations.

annaje Tue 05-Aug-08 19:00:37

With our first DS, at eight months we decided to try the controlled crying, this was more to get him to go to sleep at bedtime rather than night time waking. The first night we left him in his cot for about 25 mins crying before he settled down and went to sleep by himself - the second night it took only 10 minutes. After that we never had a problem. Second DS was completely different - it never worked on him, and it is only in the last 6 months (he is nearly 5 now) that he has stopped waking in the night.

I think it depends on the child - I must admit we never tried as hard with DS2 because he we worried about disturbing DS1 too much.

The Dr Christopher Green book called "New Toddler Taming" is very good - it is the method we used and there are plenty of examples and variations.

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