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I am doing controlled crying, if anyone's curious

(24 Posts)
tenacityflux Wed 09-Sep-09 20:50:43

I've always been against it, but now DD is 11 months and has turned into a nightmare, waking at 9 and staying awake until 3, then up again at 5 - we were trying to keep her quiet by sitting up with her, trying to bounce her to sleep, all sorts of crazy stuff, just so one of us could get some sleep.
I ended up taking her to the doctor who said she was 100 % fine and to go away and stop bothering him, and I as I left I saw a copy of a baby sleep book in his waiting room so I borrowed it. Along with that we had a long talk with our osteopath who is also a health visitor, and she recommended an approach we felt we could handle.
So, last night, having not slept for more than 1 1/2 hours at a time for the last three days, we decided to let her cry for 5 mins, go in and sit quietly in her room with a hand on her cot, not making eye contact; then go out after a little while, then back after ten mins, going up to 15 mins and then sticking there.
She woke at 9.30 and we started; she screamed and it was awefull, she was standing up in bed and shaking the cot bars; she even started saying what sounded like 'mama' - but then when we were half way through the first 15 min gap, she went quiet. We paniced and were both hiding out for site by her door, nudging each other to risk waking her to go in and see she was ok; but then we heard her breathing so that was ok. Then, after ten mins the crying started again, so we went back to 5 min gaps; when I went back in she was sitting with her back to the door playing with her music box and screaming; but this time the crying didn't go on as long; and we had an half hour of her crying out every few mins, and we were unsure as to if we should go in or not, I think we did once, which made her cry more; but eventually at 11 o'clock she was quiet and sleep through until 5.30, which is when my DH gets up for work.
Today she has been so much happier, I was determined to give her loads of cuddles and we had our usual bf in bed from 5.30 till 6.30 and she was laughing and happy in the morning. She was fine having a nap in her bed at 9 for 45 mins, and had a long sleep in the pram in the park, longer than normal.
Let's see how we go tonight, still finding it hard to relax as every possible cry noise makes me jump and an suffering from insomnia as I am on edge; but at least we had 6 hours sleep last night. It's bound to be bad again before it gets better, but I have to hold on to the fact that we are trying to help every one get sleep and function better.

ChocOrange05 Wed 09-Sep-09 22:35:21

Hi tenacity how is tonight going? There are lots of differing opinions on CC but if it works and means you, DH and DD are a happier family then I think you are doing the right thing.

Good luck!

tenacityflux Thu 10-Sep-09 08:31:49

I feel a bit shell shocked as she went to sleep at 7.45 and wok at 5.30 without a peep inbettween, she always used to sleep through so is it possible she didn't need that much encouragement to do it again?

thighsmadeofcheddar Thu 10-Sep-09 08:42:13

Oh that's great Tenacity. Makes such a difference when everyone is well rested.

stubbyfingers Thu 10-Sep-09 08:47:01

Just wanted to offer my support.

I started off against CC, but then got to the point of absolute sleep deprived desperation; our DS would only sleep on our shoulders whilst we walked up and down his room. We must have walked miles in there! After speaking to people who tried it with success, we decided to give it a go. The first night was the most difficult for us (though I know it can last a few nights) but we are really glad we did it - we are all getting much better quality of sleep and are happier for it. Of course, we sometimes had to do it again, for example after they've been ill or on holiday, but both our DS's have learnt how to to settle themselves to sleep and this is the long term gain from the short term pain.

I know many people are not comfortable with this method and it isn't right for all families, but it was right for us. good luck and I hope your nights continue to improve smile

zoejeanne Thu 10-Sep-09 10:15:39

Great news on night 2 tenacity. Please keep us updated on progress (as I'm thinking of considering some form of sleep training myself)

tenacityflux Thu 10-Sep-09 20:01:29

Tonight she was still awake at the end of lullabye time, for the first time in ages, so I decided to give it a go and said 'good night' and left, that was half an hour ago and so quiet. We also got a night light for her room as we realised we have a black out blind to keep the street light out but that does make the room really black, and maybe that has helped as well?

Leenie Thu 10-Sep-09 22:34:55

Hi tenacityflux, i really really want to try this too, my 12mth DS, just wont go more than a couple of hrs without waking and wanting to be BF, so i usually end up with him in our bed cos i have to be up for work and am knackered, where did you get information on controlled crying from, smile

5inthebed Thu 10-Sep-09 22:40:52

Just wanted to say well done so far! I had to do CC with my then 8 month old last month, as he was waking every few hours. The first few days are hard going, but the benefits are so worth it.

Fingers crossed she stays asleep for you smile

stubbyfingers Fri 11-Sep-09 10:21:36

Tenacityflux, how did last night go?

tenacityflux Fri 11-Sep-09 10:21:55

Hi Leenie - My main source of information was from my osteopath who is also a HV, I took DD to her incase the sleep problems were due to teething and she's a cranial osteopath. She said that DD was fine but that she really reccommened CC, but the more gentle approach - it's laid out in the book Solving your Childs Sleep problems, only I can't remember the authors name, it's where you don't just shut the door and leave them but you go in to them after gradually increasing intervals, you don't pick them up but sit quietly and let them see you and that they aren't abandoned, and then go out again.
I was thinking about it, and although you may have to pardon my analiagy and my spelling, it's a bit like if you have a phobia of dogs, and a dog comes up to you people always say don't flap your hands around and panic because the dog will see that you are frightened but it won't now that you're frighten of it, it will think that there is another reason to be scared and start looking for it and getting aggressive - in the same way perhaps if one constantly responds to a child waking by giving comfort and attention, then you're telling them there is a reason they need comfort, that there is something 'wrong' in being asleep.
Mind you, I wouldn't have been able to do this when she was younger, certainly I wouldn't have tried it until she was over 8 months also, and certainly not as the HV is had when she was born told me to do it at 2 weeks!!!
I also don't think it would work if your baby is still in your room, because they won't have any time away from you to get confident in there own ability to go to sleep, so that might be an issue.
I am amazed it's happened so fast, but I also imagine she will do her usual trick of being ok for a month then reverting again to wakey wakey baby, but at least I feel now I have a method to use to deal with it, and as you keep going in and seeing she is ok, it makes it so much easier to reassure yourself they are ok.
My DP has a friend who advocates shutting the door on them at 7 pm and not opening it again till 7 am no matter what, I would never ever do that, and I must say that her son, who is nearly 4, barely speaks and cannot make eye contact with adults - that in my book is not cc but neglect!

Thanks 5inthebed - it is tough but I kept saying that it was for her as much as me, and it wasn't as bad as I had feared, and my DD is happy, laughing and bright all day now she's getting 10 hours sleep again.

tenacityflux Fri 11-Sep-09 19:50:43

Ok, I new that it wouldn't continue perfectly, tonight I got to the end of lullabye time and said good night but she began crying pretty much straight away, and we're gritting our teeth and are into the 10 min gap of crying all ready, I think I can hear her banging and the crying is awefull, really pitty full. DP is definately weakening and I hope I can keep it going, it's very hard when she sounds so sad.

gallery Fri 11-Sep-09 20:11:49

well done- i have tried it and it worked for me. I might need to try it again on no2 soon so will be watching your posts to see how you do. it is heartrending when they cry but as you say, you can go and reassure them.

tenacityflux Fri 11-Sep-09 20:42:42

She was asleep after about 20 mins, then after 40 mins she cried again and just as I was about to go up after the 5 mins, she was quiet again but I went up anyway and she was asleep.(8.40)DP has taken Monday and Tuesday off as it's my Birthday, so even if we have bad nights we can cope, we can do this, we can help her to sleep, even if it's tough.She has slept through for three nights and Friday is our baby group, which always gets her over excited and leads to a restless night.

tenacityflux Sat 12-Sep-09 10:50:45

She slept mostly, woke at 12 for five mins but was asleep when i checked. She was sleeping on her front and in what looked to be a very uncomfortable position, I couldn't decide if I should move her or not but decided not to, sleeping dogs and all that!

HelenaBonhamCarter Sat 12-Sep-09 10:54:21

Just read your OP and from the waking pattern it occurs to me she might be hungry?

Ds wakes like this when he hasnt eaten enough, just a thought.

Or teeth.

I don't like CC at all so will just throw those into the mix and bugger off! smile

tenacityflux Sat 12-Sep-09 21:45:14

Ok, well, I don't think she's hungry as she has 3 meals, 2 snacks, three breast feeds and a bottle before bed, and her gums aren't soar and red, no flushed cheeks, dribbling or anything, but I ran through the check list to see if it might be what you suggest.
If you don't like CC, and I never wanted to either, and I don't think I Like it, what would you do?I can't live on 1 1/2 hours sleep a night, my DP can't as he might fall asleep at the wheel; I have read the NCSS and really wanted to make her ideas work, but she dosn't cover what to do when your baby is screaming for hours unless bounced on your knees, when she is apparently fast asleep until the second you try and move her; I would co sleep happily, but she doesn't like it, she is restless, cries out in her sleep all the time, and wakes every hour. I would sleep in her room, but that didn't work either.
So, if anyone has tried something else which worked, please do tell me!

Tonight she has fallen asleep before the end of lullabye time, so no CC thus far, we'll see how it goes.

HelenaBonhamCarter Sun 13-Sep-09 06:18:23

I don't know what I'd do, but I hope I haven't offended you.

It's trying to find the reason I suppose. Does she have those meals etc at set times?

I have never had any idea how much ds had to eat/drink. But then he was happy to co sleep.

Sorry not to be more help. I'm glad she fell asleep without being asked last night smile

HelenaBonhamCarter Sun 13-Sep-09 06:20:30

What I mean is if you set all the times for everything, they might not be totally in tune with her changing patterns, all the time...if there's one thing I do know about babies, it's that as soon as you think you have their patterns sussed, they go and bloody change it again. That's why I have never instigated a routine - pointless ! grin

HelenaBonhamCarter Sun 13-Sep-09 06:26:27

My main objection to CC is the bit where it is heart rending. I don't think anything described as heart rending is usually necessary or for things like medical procedures and so on.

If it hurts you and makes them cry, it is probably not the answer.

if you don't do CC...what then? Will she keep doing the wakeful thing for a few more weeks? Another year? I doubt it. She didn't do it last night. She isn't that consistent!

Do you see what I mean. It is horrible not getting any sleep but it might just stop by itself if you roll with it. And it would hurt less emotionally, maybe, for you. Or it might not. But i don't think it's possible to make a baby sleep by whatever method, they will always do it eventually themselves.

Again, hope not to sound horrid or mean. Just my feeling on it. 9mind you I didn't manage to kick ds1 out of my bed till he was 5...but he slept great grin

zoejeanne Sun 13-Sep-09 07:42:25

Hi tenacity, how did last night go? Did she wake after the lullaby?

tenacityflux Sun 13-Sep-09 22:33:57

HBC (My brother has a desperate wish to discover that Helena Bonham Carters missle name is Susan so her initials would be HSBC) I'm not offended, I know it's possible she might have just reverted to sleeping through without any intervention but 10 days of it and I think I might have collapsed!Perhaps it was just coincidence, that's always the thing, you can't do two different things at the same time and see which works, unless you have a time machine!
I wish she would sleep great co-sleeping, that was my plan, but she stopped enjoying it after 6 months, indeed, you can never count on them to play ball!
I also thought I wasn't a routine person, only to discover I might be,life just seems to have fallen into one, oh dear, full body tattoos aside am I a hidden GF!No, please no! Can I offer in my defence that DD has a really lovely hippy name and I hate organised sing a long baby stuff and teach her our own made up songs?
Anyway, last night she slept beautifully and tonight was asleep before I had finished my 1940's swing/caberet music re-mix of 'There were ten in the bed' which I was so involved with I didn't notice she was asleep for a while.

tenacityflux Mon 14-Sep-09 20:05:11

Tonight, still awake after lullabye time, so I said I was going downstairs and I'd be back in a little bit to see how she was. 15 mins on and.........silence.

gallery Mon 14-Sep-09 21:44:59

that is good news- it seems to be working smoothly for you. I have not had to start the CC bit yet as my little one so knackered he has just fallen asleep the last few nights. But will keep looking

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