Monday, 15 December 2014

Controlled Timed Crying Technique | Our Experience

Sleeping has been a bit of a touchy subject for Logan through his first few months. He's always been a good sleeper, once he was asleep. Once he was out of the newborn stage, for the first 6 months of his life he would not nap. We tried a lot of different things, changing the time of his naps, changing his routine and even controlled crying (to an extent, but at the time it wasn't the right thing for us, and by that I mean I hated it!) Eventually we found a routine that worked for us, he now naps around 9am for an hour or two so we thought we had cracked it, until suddenly he started fighting his sleep at night.

As I've said before, I have always fed Logan to sleep, its a routine we got into and its one that we couldn't get out of because we had no reason to. Up until now it worked for us, so although we knew it was silly we kept going with it. However, for no obvious reason, Logan decided falling asleep was not fun and he would stay awake through his whole feed and not go to sleep. So after a few nights of being up until 00:30 and 1AM feeding and rocking and feeding and rocking him to sleep we decided enough was enough and now was the time to teach him to fall asleep. 

When trying to get him to nap in the past we had tried to let him 'Cry It Out' but I just couldn't do it. I could not bear to let him cry and cry and cry until he was red in the face with a sore throat. So this time I thought we would try something different. When looking for other methods of controlled crying I came across Jo Frost's CTCT, Controlled Timed Crying Technique. You follow your usual bed-time routine and put your baby into his cot, tired but awake. When your baby starts crying you do not go to them for 2 minutes, after the 2 minutes, go into their room, lay a hand on their stomach and shush them but don't pick them up. If they have moved around in their cot place them back in the right place and leave the room. When they continue to cry double your time and go in after 4 minutes and repeat the process, doubling your time each time and you keep going until your child has settled themselves to sleep.

Night One: Was not easy. If it hadn't been for Gavin I would have given up after 4 minutes. My natural instinct to comfort my child when he started crying was very hard to ignore. Which is completely normal. But the long run benefits much out-weigh the few nights of crying. After an overall 40 minutes and going in to sooth him just 4 times, he eventually fell asleep.

Night Two: Was very similar after 35 minutes and 4 trips in to soothe him he fell asleep.

Night Three: Less than 6 minutes. I thought it must have been a fluke!

Night Four: Clearly no fluke because he went into his cot, we said goodnight, he rolled over and went straight off to sleep and that's the way its been for most nights since.

Not only can Logan fall asleep himself now but the quality of his sleep is better too. He is getting a minimum of 11 hours sleep a night and only once in the past 2 weeks has he woken up during the night (10pm so hardly during the night) and when he did wake up, we applied CTCT and he fell back asleep himself after 20 minutes of whimpering.

Napping has since taken a nose dive though. In the past 2 days we have attempted Controlled Timed Crying to help him nap during the day and although he has fallen asleep fairly quickly he only slept for 30 minutes yesterday then 4 minutes today. Still a bit of work to do on the napping but we will get there.

Have you tried a similar technique? Have you seen the same benefits or have you seen no changes at all? I'd love to hear of your experiences.

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