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How do you do controlled crying?

(15 Posts)
ja9 Thu 17-Mar-05 12:45:31

I've had a good look through this topic and can't find details of what to do - only lots of chat about if it works or not. I've picked up that there is something about leaving them for longer spells at a time, but would anyone be able to tell me specifically?

My 6mth ds is unpredicatcble during the night. In the last week we've had everything from 7-7, to waking 4 times. He's reallg good at getting himself to sleep when he first goes down for a sleep, but not when he rewakens.

Please help!


Chandra Thu 17-Mar-05 12:57:41

Don't know really but this is what has worked for me:

1. Calm him down, feed him and place him in his cot, night kiss wave bye, bye.

2. IF he cries wait for a minute.

3. If after such time he is still crying enter the room (don't turn on the light) Hug him, tell him you love him to pieces but it's time to go to sleep. Go out of the room).

4. If he continues crying, wait for three minutes then repeat step 3.

5. Increase the time to 5 min and repeat step 3.

6. Repeat step 4 until he goes to sleep.

He may cry a lot in the first night... or not, but it is important that if you decide to go ahead that your are COMPLETELY sure you will do it properly, otherwise (if at the end you take him out of the cot and start playing with him) he will learn that he only needs to be a bit louder in order to do as he prefers.

It is important then to be sure you are convinced that is the right thing to do; and second, to make sure your DS understands that you are there, that you have not abbandoned him but you are just helping him to learn to go to sleep by himself. It may take several nights but it's well worth it. Best of luck.

wordsmith Thu 17-Mar-05 12:57:59

ja9, you put your child down in his cot awake and if he cries you leave him for increasing lengths of time, ie: leave him for 5 minutes, then go back in and stroke him/conmfort/reassure him (apparently not supposed to pick him up but I do/did); then leave him after 5 mins (crying or not), then wait 10 mins, go in, repeat, leave the room, leave him for 15 mins, go in, repeat, leave the room.

I think you're supposed to escalate up to about 45 mins but in my view that's too harsh. I stop at about 20 mins.

When you're doing it you feel horrible and cruel. But it WILL work if you keep it up (unless child is ill - rule that out first). With DS1 it took 1.5 hours on night 1, 20 mins on night 2, 10 mins on night 3 and then he miraculously went to bed and fell aspleep on his own. And has continued to do so for the next 4.5 years!

I'm not QUITE as stringent with DS2 but he shares DS1's room so i don't want to wake him up.

It works and it's amazing how much happier and less depressed it makes the parents (and kids)feel. I dont think it's had any detrimental effect on my boys, but will let you know if and when they become mad axe murderers in adulthood due to lack of maternal love.

wordsmith Thu 17-Mar-05 12:59:18

Agree with Chandra btw, you need to be convinced it's for you!

Chandra Thu 17-Mar-05 13:11:52

Well.. not only for you but for your DS as well . DS is far happier when he has slept properly at night.

I have also read that the growth hormone is liberated during deep sleep. So I had this in mind when feeling as an awful mother while letting him cry.

tassis Thu 17-Mar-05 13:32:11

Hi J, I can lend you my Christopher Green book - he explains it perfectly. Also Feber's Solve your child's sleep problems which is slightly technical and taxing, but also explains it.

I thought your ds had cracked it, sorry he's been wakening. Hope you're not too shattered.

Gwenick Thu 17-Mar-05 13:34:21

Here's a link to something I wrote just after doing it with DS1


Toothache Thu 17-Mar-05 13:34:38

J9 - My dd is a bit like that. A few wonderful nights then a few of hell!!!

I tried cc with ds and it was even more hell. But if you ds is already able to settle himself at the beginning of the night then it should work quite well.

It is stressful though so make sure you've got a couple of bottles of wine in the fridge before you start!

charleepeters Thu 17-Mar-05 14:05:45

Hi my ds is 6 months to and we have the same thing sometimes he sleeps 10 - 6 but sometimes he wakes at 3 or 4 or whenever! but im going to use controlled crying to see if it helps!

ja9 Thu 17-Mar-05 16:33:48

thanks so much everyone. Gwenick, i found your link really helpful - thanks.

Tassis, i should have asked you about those books before..... i would love a look if you don't mind.

My dh is away for a couple of nights and i thought i'd start with him away cos he finds it much harder than me to listen to ds crying. Having said that, ds has a cough and is really snuffly just now, so perhaps its not a fair time to try it on him.... i'll see how the rest of the day / evening goes before deciding for definite if we start tonight.

Chandra Thu 17-Mar-05 16:43:52

I would postpone it until he is OK, is very important to be sure that he is crying because he wants to be with you and not because he is unwell.

ja9 Fri 18-Mar-05 07:58:10

Ok, so I didn't do it.


he slept from 7pm right thru until 5:30am. At this point i tried settling him with a dummy, but to no avail... he really wanted up to play. I took him into my bed where he lay pulling my hair and making noises while i dosed on and off forthe next hour.

What SHOULD I have done? Surely the CC method would take me through to getting up time and then he would have felt like i was getting him up because I was giving in...

Please help!

Chandra Fri 18-Mar-05 12:37:31

I have tried to mark a difference when it's time to wake up so he doesn't think I', giving in. I open the curtains, then he understands that it's time to get up because is not night anymore not because he was crying. But I have to confess that from time to time things go pear shaped and he ends in my bed

SBailey Sat 19-Mar-05 17:56:21

I started trying cc on Tuesday night as my DS goes to sleep no problem buts wakes after 1 hour and wants company or cries for up to 2 hours.

I left him for 5 minutes when he started to cry, went in for 2 minutes, left him for another 5 minutes, went in for 2 minutes, then left him for 10 minutes. It took about 45 minutes for him to settle. I did the same on Wednesday and Thursday then last night I didn't hear a peep.

I didn't find it that stressful as I knew I wasn't doing him any harm. Fingers crossed I don't hear a peep out of him tonight.


kbaby Sat 19-Mar-05 21:20:47

I wish cc had worked for me. We tried when DD was 7 months old and she cried for 2hrs every night for 5 nights b4 we decided it wasnt going to work. DD's started wakign at 11 and staying awake until 3am and no amount of cc seems to work.

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