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Controlled crying - what am I doing wrong????!!!

(21 Posts)
chelseamorning Tue 23-Sep-08 13:05:40

Okay, this is what we're doing:

Lots of cuddle.s
'Night night. Have a good sleep'.
Leave to cry for 2 mins.

Go in and cuddle until calm.
'Have a good sleep'
Leave to cry for 4 mins.

Go in and cuddle.
<no eye contact or speaking>
Leave to cry for 6 mins.

Go in and cuddle.
<no eye contact or speaking>
Leave to cry for 8 mins.


It's now Day 5 and DS (nearly 2yrs) still cries, sobs, throws his bed toys out, etc. We manage to get him to sleep anywhere between 12min interval and 14 mins. We thought we had a breakthrough last night when he slept after the 6min interval but now, during his lunch time nap, he's still crying and we're on the 18min interval.

What am I doing wrong??? Please help if you can.

I thought it was supposed to get easier after Day 3 but he doesn't seem to have calmed down at all. sad

ConnorTraceptive Tue 23-Sep-08 13:15:42

Have never done controlled crying but I would imagine that at the age of two your ds is going to be a bit more resisiliant than a younger baby.

justaboutlikeshomebrew Tue 23-Sep-08 13:21:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

neolara Tue 23-Sep-08 13:24:41

I'm probably not going to be much help, but I think it seems to be working rather well for you. When I tried your version of CC with my DS, he was still screaming for up to 2 hours, 3 weeks in! (I feel terrible about it now, but I was seriously sleep deprived at the time and desparate.) I think some kids are just a bit more determined than others and won't fit into the "everything will be completely sorted in a week" box.

For what it's worth, when I eventually went to speak to someone from our local sleep clinic, they recommended going in every minute to calm them down (or even every 30 seconds if necessary). When I did this with my DS he was bloody cross with me, but I really truely did not feel that he felt abandoned. It made me feel much easier about doing CC and it was a darn sight more effective for us.

chelseamorning Tue 23-Sep-08 14:40:02

Thanks for your comments.

Yes, I know he's a bit old but he's been ill a lot recently and we seemed to have got into bad habits with cuddling him to sleep. We want to get him back on track before we take the sides down on his cot.

Thanks, Neoclara. When you went in every minute, did you say anything to him or make eye contact etc?

My DS stops crying immediately when I walk in the door and becomes calmer after a few seconds of cuddling.

It seems to be more the lunch time naps that are harder. I've had to resort to keeping him awake as he seems to fight it every time. By the evening, he's so tired it only took us the 6min interval time to get him to sleep.

justaboutisverydull Tue 23-Sep-08 14:53:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maveta Tue 23-Sep-08 14:56:45

They DROP THE NAP??! shock shock

I can't even bear the thought.

justaboutisverydull Tue 23-Sep-08 16:38:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chelseamorning Tue 23-Sep-08 16:42:27

Also, Neoclara, did you lift your DS out of his bed when you went in there every minute or so, or just comforted him in bed?

chelseamorning Tue 23-Sep-08 16:44:14

Yes, I feel I may have to drop the nap so that he goes down easier at night. shock

The thought of losing the 'time to myself' which I then spend ironing, making dinner, cleaning toilets... grin

neolara Tue 23-Sep-08 20:00:16

My DS was normally standing up wailing when I went in, so I would picked him up to lay him down. I didn't cuddle him. If he was lying down already, then I would pat him quickly on the back and say something like "It's night time now. Go to sleep", then make a quick exit. It was dark so I didn't really make eye contact.

Hope that helps.

neolara Tue 23-Sep-08 20:01:26

My DS was normally standing up wailing when I went in, so I would picked him up to lay him down. I didn't cuddle him. If he was lying down already, then I would pat him quickly on the back and say something like "It's night time now. Go to sleep", then make a quick exit. It was dark so I didn't really make eye contact.

Hope that helps.

OonaghBhuna Wed 24-Sep-08 13:02:12

Dd1 dropped her nap at two even though she needed it. However it meant that she went to bed much earlier at night often 6.30. I have never done cc but you need to be careful that your child isnt ill. I know someone who did cc for months and then discovered her child had ear nose and throat problems and she actually needed surgery. She was crying because she was in pain.Sometimes they just need cuddles.

Annabellemary Wed 24-Sep-08 17:41:56

I'm on day three of cc. last two nights it's been after two sets of 2 mins and two sets of 5 mins that my dd has drifted to sleep. Day three is supposed to take "significanly less" time to fall to sleep but we will see. DH is away tonight so no moral support!

Annabellemary Fri 26-Sep-08 10:18:54

Day 3 DD was asleep after two minutes, day 4 DD was asleep after four minutes. It seems that it is true that first two night are worst and day 3 brings an improvement.

Annabellemary Fri 26-Sep-08 10:20:54

Oh just looked at first message again and my instructions have strict guidelines on not cuddling when going in to check. No smiles, cuddles etc. just check, say "go to sleep" and leave. I think the cuddling isnt helping.

springerspaniel Fri 26-Sep-08 18:24:47

I did it my own way. I would open the door and unless he lay down in his cot, I would not tuck him in. The 'tuck in' was very quick but it seemed more a pyschological battle rather than an actual battle for cuddles (yes, I know he was only 2.) I didn't do the 'no eye contact' but I did my 'firm but loving' voice!

Whatever you do, my opinion, is to keep it short and keep it consistent. Stick to your guns. Also, don't go in to soon.

You seem to be doing well.

For what it's worth, mine dropped the nap himself at about 2 and was often pretty cranky at bedtime for a month of so.

maximama Mon 29-Sep-08 09:23:21

I did controlled crying from 7 months. At first I was everynight starting with a 2 minute wait, then a 5 minute wait etc, because i didn't want to leave ds crying for a long period. After a month he was still crying every night and I went back to feeding him to sleep. I thought cc was just not for him.
At 9 months I was at my wits end - he was not settling at night or for naps, was feeding several times a night and frequently getting up at 4am and both of us being grumpy all day...
I read dr. richard ferber 'solve your childs sleep problems' which explains the science of sleep which really helped me to understand what was going on. i decided to stop night feeds and be very strict in not feeding him to sleep. Following the plan in the book i left increasing intervals before going to ds for the first time each night (ie. first night 2mins, then 5 mins, then 10mins, second night 5 mins, then 10mins then 12 mins etc - if they are still crying you stick to the 3rd time interval until they go to sleep) I didn't pick him up and cuddle him at all after putting him to bed, but if he was standing up when i went in i layed him back down again (if he then stood up straight away i left him standing until the next visit - but he'd often lie down on his own in between times). Within 2 days he was sleeping through (major amazement!) and within 2 weeks or so he was happily going into his cot and quietly going to sleep for both night and naps. He has had a minor relapse where he cried at night for about a week, but he has now gone back to easy bedtimes.
I think the reasons for my success the second time were consistency (being really strict to not feed him to sleep ever - stopping night feeds helped), the increasing time gap, because before he knew i would come in after 2 mins every night so there was no incentive to settle himself because he knew eventually i would help him. Also I moved him into his own room so he wasn't disturbed by me and dh, and got a blackout blind. Strict (as in always the same) but fun bedtime routines v helpful too.
Hope this helps - good luck. (sorry for the super long post blush )

whoisdoingthedishes Mon 29-Sep-08 15:53:16

I'm not expert in CC as I haven't done it myself. But I think you should set a maximum time for your intervals, say, when you get to 10 min you go back every 10 min until he sleeps. Otherwise, its just like leaving him to cry it out.

NatLex Tue 07-Oct-08 07:29:01

you are doing quite well with 15 mins I must say, so just carry on and it will happen eventually. Things to bear in mind is that at 2 it is a lot harder to do than when they are babies, so you might have to carry on for longer or put them into their own bed or try dropping daytime sleep. At that age they should start either cutting it out or shortening it.

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 07-Oct-08 07:37:49

I would second maximama's endorsement of 'Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems' - it's a brilliant book because it helps you to understand sleep and how to encourage better habits for your child.

It sounds to me as if your problem is the cuddling. Your son associates going to sleep with being cuddled, whereas you are actually trying to encourage him to go to sleep on his own, without being cuddled to sleep. But what you're doing is reinforcing this, by going into him and then picking him up for a cuddle.

Lots of cuddles before you go to bed, then straightforward message - 'it's bed time now' - and when you go into him, don't cuddle him, but reassure him that you're there and repeat 'it's bedtime', etc.


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