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Thread: Crying to sleep. What do you think??

  1. #1

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    Default Crying to sleep. What do you think??

    I am having a major moral dilemma here! My 6 week old will cry/grizzle for about 4 hours at a time during the evening when I try to put him to sleep. I believe that he is not hungry, windy or wet, just tired. Over the past 6 weeks I have gone into him (almost) straight away to sooth him by rocking, using dummy ect. but he continues to cry, or may only stop very briefly, then start up again. I feel that he is very tired and really needs to sleep but can't "nod off" even though I am tending to him. So, over the past 2 nights I have allowed him to cry (more like scream) for 8 minutes before going into him. Then I go in, give him a cuddle, put him down and leave again. It makes me quite upset to do this but he will fall into a relaxed deep sleep in under 20 minutes if I do, instead of grizzling for 4 hours. He will then sleep for about 4 hours (until next feed). He falls asleep without crying all other times.
    So, what do you think I should do - let him cry to allow him to fall to sleep reasonably quickly or go in and comfort him for several hours??? I don't want to cause any psychological damage by letting him cry but nor do I think he should be sleep deprived. I would love your opinions.


  2. #2

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    Jac, while I don't agree with CC I hear what you are saying. Matilda had bad reflux (sounds similar to Callam actually) and would cry for hours and hours. She would cry whether or not she was in my arms or in the cot. I found positioning to be a great benefit. I would make sure that everything was on an incline & she was never laid flat. She was sat upright after every feed for at least 30 minutes. These things helped her because when she was laid flat she was in pain. Matilda would scream for hours if we tried CC (which we did do in desperation). I think there is a definate difference in cries though. Jovie will complain & protest for maybe 2 minutes before going to sleep. She starts her protests when we walk into the bedroom but then she rolls over & goes to sleep. Matilda would just get more and more worked up & would fight it every step of the way.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is that every child is different, and during different stages of development they do different things. If you read the wonder weeks book you will see that 6 weeks is an important time for development

    *hugs* you are doing a great job.

  3. #3

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    Have you tried putting him in a sling and letting him sleep there?

    Jo

  4. #4

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    Hi! I think bubbas at that age just don't have the skills to put themselves to sleep and need some help...we did cc with Louis but not until he was older than 6 months when they can have learnt how to put themselves to sleep iykwim...I know how hard it can be - Dylans starting to have a really unsettled time at night now as well...I'd say to stick it out and it will get better and at least you know bubs is happy with some cuddles etc to sleep....

  5. #5

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    Hi Jac ,

    When Kaitlyn was about 4 weeks old and I was suffering serious post natal depression someone gave me the advised to CC Kaitlyn as she would not go to sleep . She was SERIOUSLY sleep deprieved..and I mean to the point where she was pale and ill looking ( which I didnt realise until she did sleep and woke up looking refreshed and pink!)

    I took the advised to control cry (4mins)...and have regreted it ever since. I so wish I had just bought a sling and carried her around. I wish I had not listened to everyone that was of the older generation telling me not to spoil her or let her sleep in my arms.

    Sorry ..just close to my heart this one as I have been where you are now!.

    The other option is perhaps getting in a private nurse. This is what we did when Kaitlyn was about 6weeks . She stays with you and helps you with techniques that are specific to your baby.

    It is such a short period in their life... I say lots of cuddles :-)

  6. #6

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    6 weeks is way too young. Bubbas haven't even fully established feeding patterns by that stage. He's still learning, just as you are. Definitely try a sling or something else. It doesn't matter where bubs sleeps as long as they are getting some and so are you. Have you thought of a baby hammock? Heaps of people here have used them with great success. Around 6 weeks we invested in a swing (motorised) and it was the only thing that helped us. I think bubs tend to get unsettled after around this time.

    Now this is my personal opinion so please don't flame me but I think CC at such a young age interferes with a mother/baby bond, you are fighting your natural instinct. You are learning your babies cues and if you aren't responding to them its harder to learn what each one is iykwim? Bubs is also learning how to communicate to you their needs. Its very hard, its very tiring but it is absolutely essential.

    You are doing an ace job. And those first few months are the toughest but they do get better and you are both setting the foundations and its perfectly normal. I think the more we expect our babies to be "good babies" (ugh I hate that term) and sleep the harder it is when they don't. But TBH it sounds like bubs' sleeping patters are more normal than not. Its the sleeping babies that aren't as common.

    I hope I haven't said anything to upset anyone.

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  7. #7
    paradise lost Guest

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    DD went through this too - she cried every evening for weeks no matter what i did.

    We just put her in the baby sling (a kari-me, like a hug-a-bub) and went about our business until she nodded off, or sat and cuddled her while she grizzled if we wanted to sit down for a bit. A walk round the block in the sling worked wonders and is something Daddy can do if you're exhausted. Sometimes i let her cry in her cot while i patted her and stroked her and sang to her (if i was in bed when she cried) but i never left her alone to "cry it out".

    IMO CC is not a useful tehnique especially at this age - you're having to FIGHT to leave him to cry - why are you putting YOURSELF through that? Never mind bubs. It sounds to me like you've got a good bond and good mothering instincts - follow them. Your son crying makes you want to try and comfort him, don't fight it.

    Babies are just small people at the end of the day. If i was hurt or confused or over-tired and upset it would make me feel better about the situation, the world and myself to know people were TRYING to help make it better, even if it didn't help, i would know they loved me and cared.

    You're doing a brilliant job, don't second-guess your instincts.

    Hana

  8. #8

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    Thankyou so much for your replies - no offence taken at all. I am torn between wanting him to get adequate sleep and not being left to cry. It seems wrong to have him be upset for hours on end when he could just be upset briefly then go to sleep. It's almost like by responding to his cries quickly, I am prolonging the amount of time he cries for. Even when I go to him quickly when he cries, it doesn't mean he will stop crying - he just cries in my arms. I have tried a baby carrier but he doesn't like going in it at this time of day. In fact, he seems to settle best when put in his bassinette and I leave him alone. Go figure!

  9. #9

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    Ahhhh ok. Well my kids preferred their space. Seth & Paris both preferred cot settling as oppose to attached settling. I never CC'd in that I never left the room. I did alot of stroking and shushing and talking to keep them calm and they would eventually fall asleep. Thats how it worked for us. Sometimes I'd be in their rooms with them for minutes other times up and down with them for up to an hour. We tried attached settling techniques and they both took longer (up to 2-3 hours) to settle and got more worked up so your little man could be the same. Every baby is different so listen to their cues, it sounds like you already are So yes I totally get what you are saying, but you can still comfort him without CC'ing iykwim?

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  10. #10
    paradise lost Guest

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    Hmmm. I know what you mean about the staying upset if you're there. But maybe he's feeling something - pain, tiredness, general overwhelmingness of life (which i still get now after 27 years out of the womb!) whatever it is, when you come to him, he's comforted (not screaming any more) but wants to tell you about his woes (as you would if there was something wrong and a friend came to comfort you). If you don't go he screams himself to sleep quite quickly because he becomes so embroiled in his distress, if you do go he is less distressed but still needs to "tell" you about it. I don't know when we learn how to tell people our problems or share emotions but surely babies are learning from the moment they can hear inside the womb?

    Somehow, this is only my opinion, it seems better to me to be tired because i was up talking something out and being listened to by someone who loves me than being well-slept but bottling my feelings up because there's no-one to tell. It could well be that i over-empathise with babies! LOL. They just seem so helpless on every level to me.

    I said a lot of "i know, i KNOW, baby" and "You tell me, tell mummy" while DD was grizzling and it really seemed to help her. I still do it now when she's upset or chatty, i never felt listened to as a kid...

    Hana

  11. #11

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    I think CC was first developed with babies over 18 months in mind (I read that somewhere??) so I wouldnt' even use it after only 6 months. It is sooooo common for babies to be wakeful and need help sleeping for up to 2 years. I resigned myself to this fact and as a result haven't been distressed by DS's sleeping 'habits'. If I was constantly on a mission to make him self settle, we would have had such a miserable 14 months so far.

    I think sleep training at 12-18 months isn't recommended either due to that being the the time where separation anxiety is at it's peak. So it really is best to comfort our little ones from early on and help them feel safe with sleeping from the beginning.

    So I guess you can tell I don't like controlled crying! hehe. But truly, if it distresses you, and it distresses bubs, then it's obvious that it's not a natural thing to do. It's just a matter of finding the right thing to help comfort bub and help him to sleep.

    I hope you can both get some restful sleep soon.

  12. #12

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    Ok, I'm going to go against the grain here. DD#1 was waking every hour on the hour without fail. I had an unsupportive husband, I was suffering from a severe case of the blues and was close to snapping. I HAD to do CC for both my sanity and for DD's sake - I didn't want to cause her any harm whatsoever, but I was scared I might hurt her because of the state I was in. For me, CC was the best thing I ever did and she started to sleep through at 9 weeks.

    As for creating problems with bonding, well I don't agree. DD is now 9 years old and we're extremely close. She tells my mother how close we are and how she can always tell me anything. She has grown up to be a wonderful, well-adjusted affectionate little girl (even with now divorced parents!) and I wouldn't have things any other way. She is a wonderful sister to Bella too.

    I would only let her cry for around 2 minutes before going to her, then gradually increase the length of time by a minute, with the max being around 5 minutes. I never let her get to a state where she was really upset either, as I didn't think that would be good for her and I just didn't like her getting too upset.

    With DD #2, I do let her cry, but it's more a whinge than a cry, for a few minutes before going to her. She's been sleeping through at night since 4 weeks and rarely sleeps in the day, although I attempt to get her to (we're slowly getting there)!

    As someone else said, she's very likely going through a developmental stage right now (Wonder Weeks), so things should get better soon. All the best!

  13. #13

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    At 6 weeks old personally i wouldnt be doing the CC thing... they dont know any different. They need you to just be there for them and they need to build their confidence in you.

    Jesse would do something similar for the first 2-3 months. 3-4 nights a week we would go through this. He would just cry and cry and cry. Nothing DH or i could do would help him. In the end DH would just sit with him and pat him until he eventually fell asleep. (I didnt have the patience to do this as him crying would just make me upset). He eventually just grew out of it and stopped. We have no idea why he did this.. as to this day he has never been sick, had an ear infection or anything..

  14. #14

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    S won't go to sleep at night without needing quite a bit of reassurance. We don't even sleep him in the bedroom until later in the evening - he goes down around 6ish downstairs in the loungeroom so that I can go to him while I'm cooking tea (up and down the stairs while you're trying to cook gets kind of dull after a while!). We recently got him to take the dummy and that helps him settle himself to sleep as well. Also I put on a CD or the radio or even the TV very quietly when I'm getting him ready for bed, even when he's in the bedroom on his own. He's used to the noise during the day and it seems to calm him if he wakes up and we're not there.

    Good luck. Hope all of you get some sleep soon!

  15. #15

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    Sorry I think I need to clarify. I don't mean bonding long term, the one time we tried CC with Paris (I feel guilty too don't worry) she hated it and she and I have bonded perfectly. What I mean is when we did do CC I wasn't able to read her cues as well, because I was basically told not to listen to them. I noticed the difference when we stopped. Its more the communication than bonding sorry for my poor choice in words. I hope I haven't offended anyone I would never mean to do that.

    I hope I'm not making this worse Jelvie you are an absolutely awesome mum and I hope my comments haven't made you feel worse in any way.

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  16. #16
    Taia's Mum Guest

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    I had the same thing when my bubs was about 3 weeks! Turned out she had reflux and colic! We have her on medicine now but she still requires rocking/sucking/movement before she will nod off - it can be quiet hard sometimes. I now take her for a drive when she is really unsettled.
    Goodluck!

  17. #17

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    Ah, the struggles of getting baibes to sleep. We are still struggling with Logan at 5mths although he is HEAPS better than in those early weeks.
    I would have to agree with the majority consenus on CC. I just cannot see how it could be ok for babies or mums to go through that suffering - instinct tells us that
    Jac, I am assuming he is settled at other times of the day? You would just want to be sure it isn't a medical issue such as reflux etc.
    If not, then probably the typical "arsenic" time of evening which most babies seem to have. There is a theory that its to do with winding down after a full day of stimulation and their poor little brains just need to "vent". My boy is very easily overstimulated so I do partly believe this theory - nights after a "busy" day are defnitely worse.
    I get what you say about him still crying even if held but I still think it would be best to ry and offer comfort. if you or I are upset, someone cuddling us may not stop the tears but sure beats crying alone.
    Are you BFing? I used to lay down with Logan in our bed and BF him until he calmed down and/or fell asleep. We did have him co-sleep at night but if you didn't want to do this you could transfer DS to the cot. Would not like to tally up how many hours i lay with Logan but it was sometimes the ONLY thing that worked.
    I think someone else suggested a hammock and I would 2nd that. Did not "fix' our sleep/setling issues but certainly helped. May be useful for your son especially if he actually fights being held (my son is like this sometimes too - prefers not to be handled)
    You can just bounce the hammock and lull him to sleep and at least still be a presence in the room to calm him.
    I also found music to be helpful - calmed me a bit too!
    Oh, and have you tried massage and a deep bath? Always good to calm babies prior to bedtime
    Hope you find a solution soon that sits ell with you - don't do anything you are not comfortable with.
    Last edited by MeredithD; May 8th, 2007 at 03:45 PM.

  18. #18

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    DH has suggested letting DS cry it out on nights when I just want to scream from sleeping frustration - I always said no and made DH try for two minutes while I had a drink and calmed down. I'm lucky to have a DH who will accept my parenting and help even when he thinks I should try a new approach. It previously took up to six hours to get DS to bed, now from the start of bathtime to sleeping is about 75 mins, if that. As soon as I got a firm routine on place that DS liked it suddenly all clicked! Depends on how much time you are willing to devote to this really.

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