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Controlled Crying - is it working or not?

(13 Posts)
ready2pop Mon 15-Sep-08 11:23:18

My DS is nearly 7 months old. From birth he was a good sleeper only ever waking once a night to feed. From 4 months he slept through from 7 to 7. Then at about 5 1/2 months everything went wrong and he started waking every hour throughout the night. He would be inconsolable and the only way I could get him back to sleep was to breastfeed him. This made things worse and in the end he could pretty much only sleep whilst latched on so I was lucky if I got more than about an hour's sleep a night.

In desperation and against my own isntincts we started trying controlled crying 10 days a go.

In some ways it has worked really well, DS is no longer fed at night and wakes only briefly when he grizzles for a few minutes at most and then puts himself back to sleep. The problem is that we are still having quite a bit of crying when we first put him to bed, usually around 10-15 minutes or so.

The thing is I thought the cc would help him to settle himself and that by now he would go happily into his cot with no tears at all and simply fall asleep. Am I asking for too much? I feel awful that his last experience everyday is of crying alone in his cot and am not sure whether to continue or not.

Also, he still seems to associate sleep with feeding as even before naps he will try and get at my boobs shock but if I do feed him doesn't really suck and just drops off.

Will the cc sort this out or should I give up and go back to rocking him to sleep? My worry is that if I stop the cc, DS will fall back into his old habits and stop being able to settle himself at night or at all without the help of a nipple.

Sorry for long post, could do with some advice!

Sorry for long post but could do with some advice.

Stefka Mon 15-Sep-08 20:07:00

What about feeding him off to sleep at first and then not doing night feeds which no longer seem to be an issue for you anyway? That is what I do with my DS. I feed him to sleep at seven and then I won't feed him to again until the morning. He used to wake every hour or so. Once I cut out night feeds he started sleeping through until the morning.

ready2pop Mon 15-Sep-08 21:34:52

Thanks. That is what I used to do and he did sleep through. The problem was that after a while he forgot how to fall asleep without feeding so that if anything woke him in the night (and we live on a very noisy main road so he is often disturbed) then I had to feed him to get him back to sleep.

Stefka Mon 15-Sep-08 21:50:12

Yeah my DS was like that too and it was so so hard. How often are you checking him at bed time with the CC? What are you doing at bed time exactly - feeding him but not letting him go to sleep? I did five mins, then ten then fifteen and if he was still crying then I would breastfeed him or rock him but that only happened once. My DS was ten months when I did this though - it might just be that he is too wee for it yet. I hope you can get some sleep soon!

PuppyMonkey Mon 15-Sep-08 21:55:25

Sorry to sound harsh, but I would leave him crying for the 10/15 mins...

CarGirl Mon 15-Sep-08 21:58:14

I would not go back to letting him feed to sleep that is what got you in that situation in the first place. Has he got a small comforter type toy, I would give it to him when you bf him and give it to him at bed time and encourage him to get attached to it. I think the 10/15 mins will get less over time.

Sariska Mon 15-Sep-08 22:41:24

Don't go back to rocking. It takes almost no time at all for bad habits to return. Try and stick with the CC. It's hard, I know but should be worth it. Also, some babies do cry themselves to sleep - sometimes for longer than 10 or 15 mins. Does your LO's crying sound rhythmical or musical? That's typical of a crying-myself-to-sleep cry. That said, your LO may just need more time to learn to go to sleep so try and be patient. If it's any encouragement for you, after 7 days of CC my LO was down to only a couple of minutes grumbling before he went to sleep. (Slightly different story in the middle of the night at times but, like yours, he's still very young and sometimes these things come with maturity.)

Re the feeding: can you try reducing the time you spend feeding him at night so that eventually it's not worth his while waking up?

Good luck!

Stefka Tue 16-Sep-08 07:35:50

I bought my DS a taggie blanket which he really loves and uses at night.

ready2pop Thu 18-Sep-08 10:06:48

Thanks for the replies.

Really, helpful and have made me feel less evil about leaving him to cry. I know it is only a short time really but it feels like ages to me!

He's been much better in the last few days so now we are down to just a few minutes crying when we put him down. We go in at 5, 10 then 15 minutes but haven't had to go in at all in the last three days.

Good idea about the taggie blanket though. I've been meaning to get him one for ages as he plays with the labels on every toy he has anyway!

mehdismummy Thu 18-Sep-08 10:19:46

i fed my ds to sleep because i would never do cc as i just think it teaches the child that if they cry that nobody is gonna come to get them. my ds has a feed before he goes to bed, settles himself and sleeps through the night waking maybe once for a couple of mins it was hard work and there was alot of times it annoyed me to stay with him whilst he fell asleep but it has worked well and he is a very happy secure toddler now who knows if he cries for me i will be there. read tracy hogg the baby whisperer i found her amazing

Stefka Thu 18-Sep-08 10:50:35

I tried Tracy hogg - didn't work for me. I didn't believe in CC either but my DS was waking up every hour or so and after months of this I was really run down and getting depressed. Now we both get sleep and we are both better for it. I don't think it taught him that I wouldn't come as I always went to him when he cried, I just didn't feed him back off to sleep when I went to see him. Having said that I did feed him in the night last night - I think he wasn't feeling 100%.

Sounds like you are doing really well ready - glad you are seeing some progress! I know how you feel - I felt awful to when I was doing it but it has made life so much better! I honestly felt I Was heading for some kind of breakdown before. Now I can actually function and my DS doesn't have a mum who spends half the day in tears!

ready2pop Fri 19-Sep-08 19:46:50


I'm nervous about putting this down in print in case I jinx it but he has gone smiling into his cot this evening and has then settled himslef to sleep with no crying and last night he slept from 7pm to 7am without waking. I feel like a different person!

Mehdismummy - I was more than happy to feed him to sleep it didn;t annoy me at all. As I said in my original post, the problem was that as soon as I unlatched him he woke straght back up so he would only sleep with my nipple in his mouth which meant I could never sleep myself.

I had also tried the baby whisperer pick up/put down but he just got so annoyed he wouldn't stop screaming so we could never put him down.

I didn't want to do controlled crying but turned to it in desperation after nothing else had worked and because I had not had more than about an hour's sleep at night for over a month.

It's not easy but it has worked brilliantly so far. I don't think my little boy is any less secure, in fact he is noticeably happier now that he is getting a good night's sleep.

Stefka Fri 19-Sep-08 20:46:15

Yay!!!! I know how you feel - I just felt soooo much better once I was getting some sleep. My DS was so much happier in the day once he was getting better sleep too. Of course he has off nights which is fine and sometimes he gets up a bit too early for my liking but I don't really mind because most nights he sleeps well. Glad it has gone well for you both

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