View Full Version : What Are The Options Aside From Controlled Crying/Comforting?
My beautiful 7-month old DD has unfortunately always had a bit of a time getting herself off to sleep. Just as a bit of background, here's a quick run-down.
Started sleeping through the night from around 6 weeks
By 3 months, was regularly sleeping 12+ hours at night
While she was a great sleeper once down, she would scream & cry hysterically for every single nap - day & night
At around 4 months, her sleep patterns changed & we started doing a sort of controlled comfort technique, involving her dummy & her mobile, which worked wonders
At around 5 months, she refused her dummy & the mobile only served to wake her up more
At approx. 6 months, she started teething & at the same time got a bad bout of gastro. Ever since, she has been waking and/or stirring throughout the night & can often be very difficult again to get to sleep
She needs to be fed to sleep & put in her cot asleep. I have had very occasional & rare instances where I have been able to put her in her cot tired, but awake & calm & she has been able to put herself off to sleep, but we have not been able to replicate these moments successfully
I would dearly love to be able to say right, 7.30 - time for bed. Tired or not, in you go & for her to drift quietly off to sleep, but that seems like such a distant place right now!
During the day, she pretty much has a nap routine, but this can be disturbed if we are out & about doing things. These days I find it even more difficult to get her to sleep.
We also stick to a bedtime routine as much as possible. Once she starts slowing down a bit (usually around 6pm, depending on how long ago her last nap was), I give her a bath & let her play around until she's ready to get out, then she gets in her nice warm jammies, has her bottle & hopefully goes off to sleep without any dramas. Some nights this is what happens, but not all - not by a long shot!
Is there a happy medium between controlled crying & rocking & feeding her off to sleep every night? The controlled comforting thing which did work 3 months ago, just won't work any more. I have no idea why!
What other options do we have?:confused: :sleeping:
Alas, I do not have a solution for you Mrs Miggins as Amelia an I are in the same boat....I'll be very interested in any responses.
I have just started my own version of 'control crying'. With my 11, nearly 12 mo old daughter, she is in daycare every day, all day. They don't have time to rock her to sleep, which is what she has always had done. So they wrap her up and let her drift off to sleep while they are still in the room.... I can't do that! I have started feeding her dinner, then giving a bath, letting her play again for a short while until she gets fussy. Then i make up a bottle, and give it to her in the lounge, I then give her a kiss and walk to the bedroom, put her in her cot, put her covers on and tell her mummy loves her. I sit in a rocking chair in her room, or on the floor with her, not looking at her. And after maybe 5 minutes of sort of crying, she drifts to sleep and sleeps all night. It's so great, because she is teaching herself to sleep without all the pain of crying...for both mum n daughter! Good luck!!!:thumbsup:
Have you tried controlled comforting with patting? I had good success with that when my DD was 3-5 months and it set up good sleep patterns until she hit 2 and a big bed.
There is also a pick-up put-down technique that I've seen described on here previously.
Thanks for the good responses!
Milliesmum, I hope we can both get some help with this!
Tegansmamma, that sounds good what you have been doing. I hope it continues to work for you. I have a problem in that if Claire knows I am in the room, then she won't go to sleep because she wants to play. Doesn't matter how tired she is! I did try something similar tonight, just to see how we'd go (before I'd read your response actually!) and it didn't work at all, unfortunately!
MarthaM, I haven't heard that "pick-up-put-down" technique before. I might have a bit of a scout around to see if I can find that thread. I'll try anything at the moment!!
Tonight was a huge drama yet again!! She went to sleep at 3pm, which I thought would not be too bad considering she usually only has little naps during the day. Big sleeps are becoming the exception rather than the rule during the day now. However, today it seems, was not one of those times!! She didn't wake up til nearly 6pm! Even then, I didn't think it was going to be too bad. We had a few things to do, so we packed her up in the car & were gone for a couple of hours doing various things. I thought that'd do a good job of tiring her out.
When we got home, I gave her a bottle as she was a bit stroppy not having had one as soon as she woke up, but she only had a few mouthfuls before deciding she wasn't all that hungry afterall. Then we had a bit of a quiet play as she was still wide awake & (now) happy. Around 9pm we had dinner & she sat up at the table with us in her high chair and had a mouthful or two of solids (not very interested in the solids so far) then into the bath. After bath & PJ's, I gave her a big bottle & wonder of wonders! She actually fell asleep without any problems. I sat there with her for a while, then popped her into her cot & before she even touched the matress she was wide awake again! :banghead: Not crying or anything, just wriggling around & grinning up at me. So I kissed her goodnight, walked out & shut the door. Before I could take 2 steps, she was screaming! So I left it for a minute or two, but it was only getting worse, so I went back in & she stopped crying immediately. Over the course of the next hour or so, I managed to get her back to sleep about 4 times, only to have her wake up as soon as I tried to place her in her cot.
I also tried the controlled comforting technique (which we have also tried in the past with no success), but she refuses to stay on her side facing away from me & patting her doesn't really do much to calm her down. She only gets frustrated because I won't pick her up and ends up crying even more.
During this time, I tried putting her mobile on, I tried leaving her to cry, I tried sitting in the room with her. All of which it was blatantly clear were not going to work right from the start. In the end, she fell asleep having another bottle while I sat holding her in the rocking chair. (Mind you, it still took me a few attempts to actually get her down without starting her crying again, but after everything else, I think she was just plain exhausted!!) I finally managed to get her asleep & in her cot by about 10.45.
I do actually manage to remain calm throughout, so I don't think she's picking up on my stress or anything, but I'd really just like to be able to have her go to sleep without quite so much effort & drama!!
Thanks for listening!!
I'd recommend getting a TOMY Starlight Dream Show,or a similar ceiling light show.I use this with 15 month old DD at night,and she happily watches it until she drifts off to sleep.It seems to keep all thoughts of crying/standing up in the cot etc out of her mind,because she's too busy watching the shapes move across the ceiling.
Mind you,I still have to rock her to sleep for her day sleep because you need a dark room to be able to see it properly.
But it's been a lifesaver for me,nothing else would work,and I'm not into CC.Might be worth a try.
Funny you should mention that actually, Emerald!!
I had considered something similar a while ago & quite forgot all about it!!
I actually think that might be worth a try. That's exactly the kind of thing she'd be interested in. My only issue was that the Tomy one which I looked at had 2 settings - 5 minutes or 10 minutes. I don't think 10 minutes would be long enough. Her mobile goes for 15 & she's often still wide awake when that stops.
Hmmm.... definitely food for thought though! :thumbsup:
Yes,it is a pain in the bum only going for 10 minutes,thats definitley not long enough.When I bought it I didn't look to see how long it went for.
I've seen a few different types available,so hopefully they go longer.
I am also in the same boat. I have no idea when things got so bad.
I am with you Mrs Miggins, nothing works and you know from the start that it is not going to work.
The Cha out of sopolicha has decided she can not sleep at night unless she is attached to me. Needless to say, it was becoming very tiring. This child of mine could scream for Australia, and add to the fact that I can not fully commit to controlled crying, things were getting a bit desperate.
Two friends of mine have recommended the use of a local 'Baby Whisperer'. They have used her and reckon that babies who don't sleep are her specialty. I made the decision at the beginning of the month to ring this woman to see if she can sort us out. I was gutted when I heard her voice mail that she is on holiday until the 27th.
Out of tiredness etc. etc. I moved her cot into our room next to the bed. It is not a solution by any means. But it has provided some relief for the short term until I can get professional help.
I know how you feel MrsMiggins, and will also be interested in any response you get. Bring on the 27th.
Isn't that crazy that those things only tend to run for such a short time!! Whoever invented them obviously never had a baby! At least, not an unsettled one! :laughing: I'll let you know if I find one that runs for longer, Emerald.
Sopolicha, I'd be very interested to hear how you go with the baby whisperer. I'd imagine that kind of service would be way out of my budget though. Do you know what sort of fees she charges? Let us know how it all goes after the 27th!!
It is frustrating when things change hey- I have twins- one is happy enough (most of the time) to go to bed by herself- whereas the other is always rocked to sleep. Both don't sleep through the night- they weren't like this when they were younger- I think as they get older and they realise they want mummy- they really want mummy.
I'm not into controlled crying as I believe it has negative emotional consequences- but it is such hard work the other way. But I know it's only for a small season of their lives. I guess as mother's it breaks our hearts to hear our little ones cry- and I've learnt the short time I've been a mother, that following my heart helps me not to feel guilty (though I do feel tired) and I try to remind myself of that when I'm rocking my boy to sleep again!!
I hope you find the answers that suit you and your baby- just remember, it won't always be like this- enjoy cuddles while they still want to give them!!;)
The other options are Attachment Parenting & Co-Sleeping.
Keep her with you until she's ready to sleep. Make the area you're in safe for her to crawl about in, with toys and things to play with. You probably won't even have to give her any attention and can get on with whatever you want to do (post on BubHub! :D ), and when she's ready to sleep she'll let you know (or you can let her fall asleep on the floor, and move her to her bed after 20 minutes).
For the night waking, try bringing her into bed with you, feed her, go back to sleep! If you can't make your bed safe, put her to sleep on a mattress on the floor, and when she wakes, climb into bed with her, feed as needed, go back to sleep!
I'm by no means a perfect parent, but... At 7 months they are only little. Co-sleeping is a a win-win situation for all and also alleviates my guilt... so a triple win!
Isn't that crazy that those things only tend to run for such a short time!! Whoever invented them obviously never had a baby! At least, not an unsettled one! :laughing: I'll let you know if I find one that runs for longer, Emerald.
I can thoroughly relate, dd2 is now 9 months and has done the same thing since 6 months, with an added complication, now she can stand.
I went to a sleep clinic, because of the standing she managed to cry for 2 hours before she slept, both i and the nurses agreed that that was not on. so we adopted this routine
7 am wake up, breast feed
8 am breakfast ( make sure she eats her food
9.30 into bed with sleep associations, give her 5 minutes to self settle, if crying, go and lay her down shush her till calm( i have to hold her down for about 5 min until she stops crying cause she doen't like her cot(sometimes))
give her 5 more minutes to self settle, aafter ahlf an hour of leaving when she is calm i sit beside the cot and pat her till she is asleep( can be quick or take quite a while) i continue to resettle every time she wakes up until11.30
11:30 get up have lunch
12:30 milk feed
2:30 second daytime rest same as before, not allowed out of cot until4:30 unless she slept really well for 1.5 hours
4.30 up milk feed
5.30 dinner make sure she eats well
7pm milk feed
7:30 into bed
at night i pat her to sleep without letting her settle herself as i like the peace.
I have found that she is quite willing to go to sleep if i pat her in her cot as she has realized she is not getting out. it didn't take real long and although she will wake even up to every half an hour the sleeps are getting longer and its not taking as long for her to sleep sometimes i only have to hold her down and dont have to pat. but this would not have worked earlier because she knew that she wanted me to get her up. that is no longer an option.
I'm not sure what this would be called i don't think it is controlled crying , controlled crying as it was explained to me was a bit too harsh. But without that small chance to try and sleep herself she would not have responded to the comforting so well.
tonight she went straight to sleep, she has woken a couple of times but i can easily resettle her without getting her out of her cot(except for feeds) i'm naughty and still give her a roll over feed, and even a 2 am feed sometimes.
i'm feeling pretty positive about my routine tonight but who knows what tomorrow will bring.....
and remember they will eventually grow out of it.:fingerscrossed:
That sounds like a pretty good schedule. Unfortunately I go back to work next month, so it's probably not going to be much good for me!
Claire has a bit of an issue in that when she starts crying, if she doesn't get what she wants/needs, then it can work up into fully-fledged hysterics, and once it gets to that point, there is absolutely no chance she will be getting to sleep. She also doesn't really respond to the patting to comfort her. If I tried to lay down with her, she would just wriggle & squirm & there would be no getting her to sleep then at all. I could sit holding her, but that would kind of defeat the purpose I guess!!
She has also this week started pulling up (after only 2 weeks of crawling! :eek: I was soooo... not prepared for that!!) but will only pull up in her cot at the moment if I come into the room. I don't think she's done it yet when I'm not there, she seems happy enough to lie there rolling around, playing etc. I guess it won't be much longer before she's standing up in her cot every time by the time I get there!
I don't really have anything helpful to say - but I do want to send you a :hugs: . I know how exhausting it can be when everything goes haywire - we have good and not so good weeks with Will and I just do whatever I can to get through the not so good ones. I find it especially hard when I know that he can sleep through!
I am impressed with your patience. Sometimes my hubby takes Will and does the settling thing because he can sense I am getting frustrated and so we take turns. I am sure your persistence will pay off!
I think you are a wonderful Mum with a beautiful girl. You are doing lots of things right because look how clever she is already!
For anyone interested, Pinky McKay is about ot release her new book called "Sleep like a baby". If you are in Vic/Melbourne she is launching the book on Saturday 8th July at 2pm at Borders bookshop in Chady. i met her today at the Parenting Expo and was a wee bit star struck!:D
Sorry, Fiona, I just relalised you were in QLD but you may find the book to be of some help-although it isn't release until July-so I don't actually think I have been of any help to you at all!:o
Thanks Tania!! :hugs: You are spot-on right there!! It is hard to take when you know they can sleep through & things go haywire!!
Sal008 - thanks for the book tip!! I'm going to have to keep an eye out for that one!!
Hi, I am posting here cause I have just found a solution that might help you.
I have my own thread under Pro Controlled Crying.
I tried it with my 10 month old for 8 days and had a disastrous result.
Then rang Ngala sleep centre who recommended Controlled Comforting but it was a disaster too (that is when you come back not at timed intervals but when cry gets to a certain leveland later come back in when crying starts after it has stopped).
Anyway - have a read of that thread to see all background.
10 months of continual night waking. I am a single mum.
What I have just started doing is I have put a chair next to his cot, room dark,
then placed him face down in cot. Screaming started and I put hand in through cot slats, started tapping gently on side of forehead, if he got into inaccessible position, I tapped on side of body, under armpit. I say every 30 seconds "mummy is here". Did some Internet searching on EFT tapping which is what it is called and got some background on it, including other body tapping sites. Anyway he was asleep in 20 minutes and woke up once at 4.30am.
I am a total skeptic when it comes to this stuff. I am sure the tapping is just the same as patting and the mantra is just the same as voice settling.
It varies from Ngala method in that you stay in room and pat.
I have been doing it 3 days now. Each day sleep he is asleep within a few minutes and nights only take less than 10 minutes now. He still wakes once between 3.30am and 4.30am and I give a bottle and he stays asleep til 7am.
A midwife friend of mine used the same technique for her little terror who was worse than mine; first night patting took 35 minutes of crying, continuing to return to prone position, hand through cot and patting. When he was asleep she left room and returned to patting if he started crying again. It took her a week to get him to go to sleep within 5 minutes but that was fabulous from her point of view. Good luck with finding something that works for you.
Wow!! That sounds like a good method to consider!! I'll defintely have a read of your thread & might try giving that one a go. Thanks, mumat46!! :thumbsup:
has anyone hear what happened to the aust baby whisperer tour ? have been told she is great
i highly recommend 'sounds for silence' cd
while the noises make dh and i laugh hysterically at how horrible and ridiculous we seem, our son is snoring to the white noise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it works miracles.....now he hears the sounds and is instantly comforted
good job too...the exxy philips dreamshow does not run long enough!
I need help to. My darling daughter is 20 months old. She was breastfed up til the age of 14 months, and has never in her life been interested in or taken a bottle. At 10 months i knew i had started something i was regreting i use to nurse feed her to sleep....silly me. I stopped that and tried contol crying after many long nights she finally got it and began to put herself of to sleep, and only woke once through out the night rather than 4 times. We then moved house and when she was 17months old i put her into a bed. She was fine for 2 months went to bed on her own and slept thru. Then about a month ago she had a earinfection and the only way i could get her to sleep was to lay beside her and stroke her forehead. she is well now but wont go to sleep on her own and is waking thru out the night again. I have tried control crying again but she is older and more stubborn and louder and just wont give in.................HELP ME PLEASE desperate for sleep as i work as well. anyone have any thoughts
Sorry, wish I had answers but I'm trying to get it sorted too! I have just ordered a book by Elizabeth Pantley called the No-Cry Sleep Solution which I'm hoping will help.
My little girl has just turned one and has never slept through the night and will only go to sleep being breastfed or rocked. I am not interested in trying controlled crying which I'm afraid might mean resigning myself to exhaustion for the next few years (number two will arrive in April).
We don't co-sleep all night, but usually do from about 2am - sometimes (much!) earlier as being pregnant I'm finding I'm too tired to stay up with her while she goes back to sleep in her own room. I won't be able to put her in our bed when the new baby arrives as he/she will be in a cradle in our room and my daughter would wake up with each feed.
I'd love to hear about ways anyone has gently encouraged their little ones to fall sleep/stay asleep alone. I'll check out the EFT tapping and other ideas on this thread - unfortunately CDs and light shows haven't helped at all.
Hi, we used to feed to sleep until maybe two months ago we stopped for the day sleep and about a month ago now for the night sleep. My son is 18months and I didnt want to try and get him self-settling in just a week or so - I saw it as a gradual process that may take a few months as I'm not into CC and only like to use gentle methods. I started out by creating strong sleep associations before I dropped the feeding. I also dont go by the clock but by when he is showing signs he is ready for a sleep. I would sing him his lullaby, then lay him in his cot and sit beside the cot with my hand on him so he knew I was there. After a while I could sit beside the cot without touching him and he would gradually go off to sleep - sometimes he would stand up repeatedly and I would just calmly lay him back down over and over and over. After a while he was used to that and I could sit in a chair in the room but not next to the cot, still ocassionally needing to lay him back down. We have just now this last week gotten to the point where I can put him down and walk out of the room and close the door. Sometimes he will cry out for me, and if he does I go back in, lay him down and walk back out again.
Sometimes it's hard to find what works for you, though the gentle techniques will often take a lot longer - depends on your own beliefs about what is right for you and your family I guess. Good luck!
Hi there this is my first thread (so might as make it a good one) Anyway I have a 3 and a half month old beautiful little girl (except when she is unsettled) Anyway its funny how some have mentioned the sleeping cds. I have never used the sleeping cds so I cant give my experience however I strongly recommend playing your own cds. It doesnt matter what type Jazz classical rock pop hip hop etc your baby will get an education in music and will find their own style. It has been proven (somewhere im sure) that music also stimulates the brain). Im interested to know if you have tried this and it worked for you?
:wave: everyone - boy can't these babies drive us mad!
Jaidevsmum, just wanted to say thanks for your post - ATm our big problem is that since ditching her wrap, DD just keeps standing up and won't lie down! So you've given me hope that if I just keep calmly lying her down, and work on our sleep associations, we'll get there!
I think it's the feeling you're going to be doing this forever that's such a downer!
I know this may not be what you want to hear but it's worth remembering that any habits you create now will have to broken in the future..such as feeding off to sleep and being cuddled or rocked, and it is SO much easier to break them now than when they are 6 years old and still wanting to sleep with you and be cuddled to sleep, at this baby age almost any behaviour can be learnt and changed in a matter of about 3 or 4 days usually, my son was a good sleeper at an early age but did go in and out of phases of being unsettled and waking in the night, we came through it for a few reasons 1) if i knew he didn't need feeding i didn't feed him, not even for comfort, i gave him some water in a bottle so he figured out it wasn't worth waking for. And if they do still need feeding in the night, try really hard to still put them back to bed awake 2) i kept to a fairly rigid bedtime routine of tea, bath, story, cuddle, music on softly (which may be worth trying? CD's last longer than mobiles, a nice classical or lullaby CD wokrs wonders!) then being put in his cot AWAKE which is crucial, a child will not sleep well if they do not know how to get themselves to sleep, this may be why she is waking after 45 minutes because she has come to rely on being fed or cuddled off to sleep, she has forgotten how to get herself back to sleep when she wakes. 3) persistence, even if there were a few nights where he did cry at bedtime, i did controlled crying but never got him back out of bed to cuddle him to sleep, i would just ride it out which is horrible at the time but always worth it as it would stop after a few night.
He's 4 now and has been a good sleeper from an early age, which i put down to partly luck, it just being the way he is and partly the fact that i wasn't afraid to let him cry for a while if it was for the long term good of his future routines. I know a lot of parents are not comfortable with their letting their children cry but it doesn't harm them, they will still love you every bit as much as if you don't do it, my son has no attachment or security issues so i'm as sure as i can be that it did not harm him in any way and only benefitted him in giving him the ability to get himself to sleep at an early age.
Crying is normal for babies, so although i respect everyones right raise their children however they want to, i think you have to accept things like unsettled sleep patterns if you are not happy about using certain methods to help change their routines and behaviours. I'm really sorry if that sounds harsh, i don't intend it to, and i'm not criticising your parenting as you sound like a really devoted and loving mummy, i'm just making the point that if you don't find a non crying method that works then i think you have to decide which you like the least, letting her get upset for perhaps a few hours for probably a few nights..versus long term poor sleep patterns.
I hope that may have given you some useful advice or insight, and i am sure you will get through this one way or another, and your baby will be sleeping like a ..baby again before long!
Good luck, and remember that rant above was just my opinion, you are perfectly intitled to disregard it as we all have the right to do as we want with our own children, i just wanted to tell you my opinion in case any of it helped in any way.
Take care :hugs:
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