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Feel bad...but it seems to be working!

(22 Posts)
cardiganlover Thu 05-Nov-09 20:32:03

Hi all,

New member and first time poster! My daughter is 17 weeks and she's always found it difficult to go to sleep. I used to rock her until it gave me terrible backache. We then put her in her cot and patted her to sleep....only trouble is that since she hit 16 weeks, this hasn't really been working. Plus, I;m the only one who can do it, she screams for dad or anyone else. Backache has returned being hunched over her cot...

...anyhoo, last night (after an argument with my mother-in-law who said I should just let her cry) she'd been screaming for 1 1/2 hours. DH is working away and I needed a break, so I decided to leave her for 15 mins max while I took some time out. Lo and behold she fell fast asleep after 10 mins of crying.

Soooo today I tried this at naptime, 12 mins. This evening, 15 mins.

Now I feel like a guilty wreck, I am sooooo anti controlled crying, but it seems to be working. DH tried this a few weeks ago ( iwas so mad at him!) and she screamed the house down. This is different crying however, it's more than whining, but not her worst either.

What do you all think? Should I keep trying it? I can't believe I'm even asking this!!!

redrobin Thu 05-Nov-09 20:39:25

you keep on going. you're not hurting her, i promise! sometimes they cry jsut to unwind themselves...or so i keep telling myself as 28 week old son squalled for half an hour this evening. keep going, it will work, i promise (i have 3). you might feel guilty, but you need to rest your back, i so know how you feel, but dont feel bad.

redrobin Thu 05-Nov-09 20:42:07

sorry, i sound like a bit illiterate in that post, am knackered! just wanted to give you a bit of support.

anjlix Thu 05-Nov-09 20:43:40

As a mother of twins I would say I have done this a lot. But there are a few things I made sure of. Hunger, thirst, dirty nappy, illness must be ruled out. Also the crying should be a cry down and not cry up. Lastly if the baby is overtired then this may not work. I have had to rock one or both babies in the buggy on many occasions when they were over tired. I think after about a month they settled themselves without crying 95% of the times. Now at nearly a year I read a book and give lots of cuddles at bed time and then in to the sleeping bag and in bed. Not a moan. So yes it works but there have been a lot of tears (both sides) and self doubt.

morningpaper Thu 05-Nov-09 20:44:05

I don't think you should be letting a four-month-old cry it out, no, sorry.

I would recommend reading some books about sleep-training before you make this sort of decision.

CharCharGabor Thu 05-Nov-09 20:47:38

I agree with morningpaper

callmeovercautious Thu 05-Nov-09 20:51:08

This is a very sore subject with alot of people, I hope you find some support - I am with you on this, you need to be fit, well and happy yourself and I remember those long nights all too well sad

If it is any consolation my DD was the worst sleeping baby but she is a fantastic sleeper now and other Mums are envy at her 12 hours a night grin She is 3 now but has been this good from about 18m and improved from 5m when we did CC as a very last resort.

Good Luck smile

callmeovercautious Thu 05-Nov-09 20:51:55

I should have said welcome too smile

cardiganlover Thu 05-Nov-09 20:52:05

Thank you for your comments so far everyone

I read a few books on sleep, which is why I was so anti crying and argued with my MIL. But this seems to be working so much better, I think I'm going to stick with it. Tonight it was little bursts of crying, not constant for the 15 mins, so I think it's more like crying down. As a mum, you get to know your LO's cries and I would have been up there like a shot if it was what I deem to be a "big" cry.

I'm going to go with the flow for once in my life! I've been sitting here stressing all night because I let her cry a little bit, reading yet more books. I think it's time I calmed myself down!!

cardiganlover Thu 05-Nov-09 20:54:20

PS She's always slept well in her own cot from day 1....you should've seen HV's face when we told her that one!! She only struggles getting to sleep in the first place.

Oh and thanks for being so welcoming everyone

callmeovercautious Thu 05-Nov-09 20:55:12

Well done smile put the books away now (well until it is time to wean grin)

cardiganlover Thu 05-Nov-09 20:57:20

Thanks callmeovercautious!

Oh, started reading the weaning books ages ago, but already stressing about that as it will mean cutting down on BF ("I'm not ready!!" she cries!) But that's another story!

redrobin Thu 05-Nov-09 20:57:55

i think that if she's falling asleep after only ten or fifteen minutes, you've nothing to worry about. as you say, you know if she's crying down rather than up. go with the flow indeed and trust your instinct.

and welcome to mumsnet...you'll spend (far too) many happy hours here no doubt!

cardiganlover Thu 05-Nov-09 21:16:04

Thanks redrobin x

Orissiah Fri 06-Nov-09 11:00:31

The key is that your LO is "crying down" - if you are going to do CIO (as this is) then "crying down" is critical - but you already know this. Your baby will be much better rested for just a few minutes crying - keep going - you have found a way that works for you (it worked for us too in DD's early weeks).

NeedaNewName Fri 06-Nov-09 11:10:51

She's sleeping don;t stress about it.

This subject (amonst many others as you will find) really divide mumsnetters.

With DD1 we did the whoel rocking to sleep thing and it was exhausting, in the ned Dh took her from me (whne I could no longer cope) into a different room where I couldn; here and let her cry. At first he carried onthe whole rocking thing but came o realise she was absolutely fine, she wasn;t hungry, thristy or had a dirty nappy - she jsut wanted a cuddle! Nothing wrong with that, exceot it was studip o'clock int eh morning and she needed to learn how to settle herself.

We also realsied that the poor little love had been cuddled and rocked to sleep, and trhen when she came into her lighter sleep pattern realsied she was somewhere different and not being cuddled - think I'd cry at that too!

With DD2 we of course cuddled her lots and gave her attention but at sleep time we put her in the cot awake and she learnt to settle herself very quickly, though there were tears at time but if she was ever distressed we of course would go to her.

Now I know many people who think I'm cruel for doing it this way but it worked for us and you must do what is right for you.

Letting your daughter cry for a few minutes will not damage her and is not cruel so do not feel guilty. The books can tell you some great things in theory but that are not there with you at 4am when you;ve had 1 hours sleep all night and both you and DH are grumpy and rowing from lack of sleep!

Enjoy the peace!

MegBusset Fri 06-Nov-09 11:18:43

I think it's fine, tbh I have done this with DS2 since basically day one. I can tell when it's pre-sleep grizzling and when he needs attention -- he soon escalates to extreme crossness if he needs attending to!

countrylover Fri 06-Nov-09 12:51:21

we call them the pre-sleep grizzles too - in my view nothing wrong with that at all.

trust your instincts and within a matter of days the pre-sleep grizzles will be seconds rather than minutes i promise.

MrsJamin Fri 06-Nov-09 18:41:52

Won't comment on the CC bit but just wanted to say that 4 months is one of the biggest growth spurt times - so this may be the thing that's changed her sleep in the last week.

cardiganlover Sat 07-Nov-09 08:41:17

Little update...

....felt horrible last night as she was screaming, so I went to see her straight away, picked her up....giant burp! After that when I put her down, she cried literally for 20 seconds then went straight to sleep bless her! I feel sooooo lucky now!

NeedaNewName Sun 08-Nov-09 15:07:36

Well done Cardigan - when they're screaming there is gerenally a reason which is why I wouldn;t condone leaving a baby screaming, however you seem to be doing something right as when she burped she happily setteled herself. Give yourself a pat on the back.

thisxgirl Thu 12-Nov-09 20:28:35

As many have said: if I know my DS is full of milk/not interested in milk, in a clean nappy, at the right temperature, burped and not displaying symptoms of illness, then I am happy to see if he can soothe himself within a couple of minutes. I leave the room and wait outside the door and maybe it's not even "controlled crying" that I'm doing because if he doesn't stop crying or if it becomes more intense, I do return to soothe him - but very, very rarely do I need to do this. Within three or four minutes max., he's accepted the sleep his body craves and needs.

Since very early days, when necessary, I have been able to put him down in his cot for a nap or bedtime, awake but silent and content, and he just goes to sleep - so I wanted to see if the same ability to independently reach sleep could be achieved when he was having one of those winding down, needing-sleep-but-fighting-it cries, when there is seemingly nothing I can do for him and soothing or rocking seem to agitate him more!

Is it better for my DS to fall asleep after five minutes of grizzly crying or for me to spend an hour or two patiently rubbing his back and shhhing him only for him to fall asleep on my chest and then start up again upon being placed in his cot, and so he is picked up again and the cycle continues until he finally, finally tires himself out with his crying anyway?

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