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crying on way to sleep; do you think this is OK?

(11 Posts)
drivingmisscrazy Tue 16-Jun-09 19:49:02

I've posted on here several times about our difficulties getting DD (5mo) to sleep. It seems (fingers, toes and eyebrows crossed emoticon) that things are better (teething notwithstanding), with a wake-up between 7 and 7.30 am, naps at about 8.30 (45mins), 11.30 (getting to about 1h30m) around 3 (30 mins) and a quick one late afternoon, with a protracted bedtime routine usually ending about 8/8.30. So far, so good/

The thing is, she's OK at settling herself earlier in the day (naps 1 and 2), but finds it harder as the day goes on. Crying (sometimes quite hard) is one way that she goes to sleep - I time it meticulously and NEVER let her go for more than 10 minutes before going in. She is usually asleep in 6 or less - if it goes over 10 then I give her a hand in the form of patting or putting my hand on her chest. I know there are strong views on these matters, but this is neither CC nor CIO nor no-cry, but simply based on observation that if she is left to cry for a bit she usually goes to sleep. There's a difference between her sleep cry (the mantra) and an escalating distress/hunger cry, although I can't always claim to be able to distinguish them. Is this too much for a 5 mo? I assume as she gets older she'll be able to do the chatting and chuntering off to sleep that she can do when she's rested (i.e. in the mornings). Btw spacing between naps varies from 1.5h to 2.5 hours.

Just curious what you think (please no flaming as we've had 5 months of difficult sleep and finally seem to be getting somewhere shock)

herbgarden Tue 16-Jun-09 21:09:49

My DS (nearly 3) and now my DD (she's 5 months) usually did/ do what I call "whingeing" themselves to sleep. I don't know that many babies of that age who will happily get in their cot give you a big grin and turn over and nod off. I think they all find their way to get off but mostly I reckon it involves a bit of a cry/whinge. DS would whinge in a tired way - you just know your child and what seems right and what doesn't. If I put him down just a bit too late the cry would be a bit different but I knew they'd go off. With DD in the early weeks, I'd leave her and go back to comfort her every 5/10 mins (having no 2 meant I couldn't focus on her entirely) but now she likes to suck on a muzzy (another post) and her hands and sort of moans a bit but can self settle really well and calmly.

My DS would cry for a similar time to yours at that age Now at 3 he asks to go to bed. Tonight we had a story, a snuggle down in my bed and he then said "Mummy can I go to bed now" he's fine !....

Not sure if I've been in any way helpful but just wanted you to know that mine were cryers too and and both are fine !

weaselm4 Tue 16-Jun-09 21:14:56

My DD (4 months) often has a little whinge before she goes to sleep (not always). Sometimes I can't go to her immediately (although not I'm not leaving her for big amounts of time) as I've got a 3.3 year old as well. She seems to be half asleep while she's doing it, so I wonder if she's just letting out a bit of frustration or something if she's been feeling overstimulated/overtired?
I seem to remember DS doing this a bit too, and he goes off to sleep happily by himself now.

Skimty Tue 16-Jun-09 21:31:09

My mantra is 'Would you stop the pushchair?' In other words, if you were walking them around to get them to sleep would you carry on or get them out?

Pendulum Tue 16-Jun-09 21:39:20

Both of mine regularly cried quite hard before going to sleep. Like you, I wouldn't leave it ages but held back from intervening because I knew they were on their way. Attempts to use no-cry type methods just resulted in no-sleep!

Even now, my 21 month old DD will wake in the night occasionally, cry hysterically for 30-40 seconds then zonk out again. We don't usually go in. She's always bright as a button and unaffected by this in the morning.

My 5 YO is a champion sleeper, never wakes in the night or cries herself to sleep.

If it's working and your DD is getting into a regular sleep pattern and not appearing upset in any way, I would stick with it!

Grammaticus Tue 16-Jun-09 21:41:41

A bit of whinging is fine. Even a bit of full on yelling, IMO! Both mine managed with 3 naps at this stage, I wonder whether you could cut out the last one and get a less protracted bedtime by doing so?

drivingmisscrazy Tue 16-Jun-09 21:43:39

thank you all - much reassured by this. Instinctively it seems like the right thing to do, and the Happy Sleep Habits Happy Child book makes the point that 6 minutes of crying followed by sleep is better than continually postponing sleep. Skimty I like your pushchair test - you could probably write a whole sleep book around that concept and make yourself a fortune. You heard it here first!

seeker Tue 16-Jun-09 21:45:41

If you pat shush does she go to sleep without crying or does she cry while you're doing it then fall asleep? I really think if there's any way for her not to fall asleep crying it would be better for everybody (especially you as you sem to be worrying about it!) If she cries whatever you do, then let her get on with it - if patting/sushing sends her to sleep without crying, then do that. In my opinion.

MrsHappy Tue 16-Jun-09 21:46:20

After months of trying to stop my daughter crying on her way off to sleep I eventually concluded that some babies need to cry to sleep. She's just turned 3 and for the last year probably has sung or chatted until she nodded off. Perhaps the whinging was the forerunner of that!

The other thing is that your DD is having a fair few naps. Are you certain she needs the 2 in the afternoon? Of course they are all different, but at this age my DD had a big nap at lunchtime, ending at 2/2:30 and then didn't sleep again until bedtime at 7pm. If yours is having a hard time getting to sleep for those naps, maybe she doesn't need them so much anymore and is trying to drop them?

CurryMaid Tue 16-Jun-09 21:49:35

We did pick up put down which worked really well at getting her to sleep through.

She still always cried before going to sleep though and one of us was always in there shushing and patting.

Then when she was about 8 months old I walked out of the room after about 40 mins of her crying whilst shush/patting and she fell asleep instantly. We've left her ever since because 5 mins (tops) of her crying on her own seemed less cruel than 40 mins of her crying with us next to her.

She does it in the pushchair too, and I don't stop, just absorb the evil looks from people as she screams bloody murder as I know she will be asleep in minutes!

drivingmisscrazy Tue 16-Jun-09 22:10:37

a couple of you have commented on her afternoon naps - I think she's playing catch up a bit having really struggled to sleep during the day more or less since she was born. She didnt have the late one yesterday and was totally overtired by bedtime. We'll see - ideally it would be one slightly longer one mid afternoo, but this is new territory for all of us. I think she just wants to keep trying out her new-found skill. But I do take the point tho she seems ready for bed by about 7. Her daytime naps have only been 20-30 mins until the last few days!

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