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Desperate and struggling with CC - if it's worked for you can I have some advice please?

(6 Posts)
fleacircus Thu 04-Jun-09 12:45:34

(And if you are totally opposed to it please sit on your hands instead of posting to tell me so - I am too sleep deprived to cope with a telling off.)

Background is I'm 26wks pregnant, DD is 17mths, was being fed to sleep until 13mths, then cuddled to sleep, then we were sitting with her but that just seemed to take longer and longer and I felt that we were actually keeping her awake, so we started leaving her to get to sleep on her own.

First night, dreadful, I was going in every three minutes to comfort her but not picking her up (I got this from Penelope Leach). Second night, DP put her to bed, she took a long time to go to sleep but hardly complained at all. Third night, me again, total nightmare as before. So we agreed that DP would keep going with it until DD was used to the routine and then I'd try again. All went well, that weekend we went to stay with PILs, both nights she went to sleep fine, no fuss, although it did take a long time. BUT the second night she woke up at 11.20pm and because we were in a strange place and surrounded by sleeping GPs we didn't want to risk leaving her so DP got her out of cot to cuddle her, every time he went towards the cot she started crying again, even when she seemed to have been asleep, and in the end after hours he brought her to bed with us (at home we have a nursing chair which he has in the past sat in with her sleeping, but there was nowhere comfortable enough to do this).

Since then she's been waking up in the night, crying every time we try to put her in her cot, beside herself every time we try to leave her in bed, we tried to stick with the 'every 3mins' plan but just seemed to be making everything worse and eventually gave in and cuddled her to sleep. But that's the pattern for the last fortnight and now we know we need to try something else and I'm convinced that 3mins is too often, we're not giving her a chance to get to sleep.

My question is, what do we do now? I think we need CC but don't want to start something I can't see through. Feeling desperate determined but also confused!

BlueChampagne Thu 04-Jun-09 13:08:02

CC has worked for us but I'm only strong enough to do it in the evening, not in the middle of the night. That's partly because we live in a terraced house and it doesn't seem fair on the neighbours at 3am!

Every now and again we have to 're-boot' and go through a couple of evenings of CC. We put DS (now 21 months) in his cot with the usual bedtime rituals, bid him good night and leave him to it. The we will go in after 5 min, if he's still wailing go in after a further 10, then 15/20 min. Never been longer than 20 min (and I don't think it's recommended). Sometimes we don't actually go in but just shhh and say good night again from outside the room.

A couple of things to check before you start: 1) that there isn't a problem that needs addressing first (teething etc) and that both you and your DP are agreed on the plan.

I hope this helps, and am sure that other people will be along with further advice.

jellybelly25 Thu 04-Jun-09 23:23:38

Can you not take the side off the cot so you/dh can lie with her when she wakes in the night? it's a compromise between leaving completely and bringing her into your bed...

neolara Thu 04-Jun-09 23:46:31

I was advised by our local Sleep Clinic to try an even gentler version of CC on my ds. They suggested:
I go in every minute, or even 30 seconds if my ds was hysterical.
Not to pick him up but to pat him quickly on the back if necessary.
If he was standing up wailing (which he often was), to lie him down again.
Say something reassuring e.g. Go to sleep darling.
Beat a hasty retreat.

I had previously tried a more traditional CC approach of leaving for 5, 10, 15 mins. I know it works for others, but for us it was a total nightmare. After 3 weeks, he was still screaming for up to 2 hours a night. In hindsight, I'm pretty sure this hadn't worked because my ds had terrible pain from teething.

The going in every minute was much more successful for us. Not only because I think the teething problems was largely resolved by the time I tried it, but also because he never got into such a completely hysterical state as he did when I left him for longer periods of time. The first few days were horrendus (3 1/2 hours of screaming one night!), but I honestly felt he wasn't distressed about being left (which I had felt with the traditional CC). He was just bloody cross.

I have every sympathy with you for your situation. Lack of sleep is horrendus. I think the problem you are going to face is convincing your dd that you really mean it and you are not going to cuddle her eventually. I think it might be worth having another go at CC (albeit in a slightly different form). But if you go for it, I think it will only stand a chance of working if you can definitely resist cuddling her, even if she has been crying for a long, long time.

Good luck!

fleacircus Fri 05-Jun-09 12:18:27

Thanks for suggestions and advice. DP is on board and we're as sure as we can be that there's nothing actually wrong, just that after that night at PILs she rediscovered the joy of being cuddled to sleep (fair enough, really!). I put her to bed last night and went in after five minutes the first three times, then after ten minutes - I was planning to do 5mins x 3, 10mins x 3 and then 15mins x 3 but she fell asleep after 40mins, some of the time crying but some just complaining, some chuntering away, some silent, so it wasn't as bad as I'd expected.

But now I have another question; if she's been fine for a bit but then starts crying, does that reboot the clock entirely (e.g. back to 3 x 5mins) or should I stick to the timings I'm at and start that again - so leave it a whole ten minutes - or go straight in and then start the process from the beginning? Any suggestions?

fleacircus Fri 05-Jun-09 12:19:48

Sorry, that's not clear, I meant after initial 45mins of 5 and 10min checks to go to every 15mins and stick with that. I've decided 15mins is probably as long as I'm going to be able to bring myself to leave her for!

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