Friday 6 April 2012

Your Baby's Cry...

When Leo starts to cry, I can not help but jump straight into action and be right there by his side. The reason for his crying may only be trivial, but at that moment in time he needs me...

Sometimes when he is fighting off his impending sleep, he will scream, shout and cry, making his intent known. Leo has made the deciding decision...and he is not going to sleep without a fight! I try and fight the urge to run back in and snuggle him up into a warm embrace, but I know the result will end in a hysterical situation if I do not do this.

Yes it does get frustrating at times, but no-one ever said that being a Mummy was a easy job, it is my job to cuddle him and love him, even more so when he cries. It is my job to put a big smile back on that beautiful face of his...

I have tried to leave him to settle himself  when he is crying, but it always ends in hysterical dramatised crying. Once the cry gets that angry...Sleep is never going to happen, So I run in and comfort him, wishing I had come back in to him sooner. Only a few moments...mere minutes have passed but I still feel immense guilt for letting him get into such a state.

It is then back to square One, repeating the whole process of settling him back down again...

You could say, I should be harder on him and he needs to learn to go through the night or down for a nap without making such a fuss. You could say that I need to grow a back bone and let him cry it out, so he knows he cannot kick and scream to get his own way.
That is something that I cannot do. The strength to do this is just not in the make up of my DNA. It is not how I operate as a Mummy, and it is not how I was brought up. The thought of leaving him to cry it out, makes my heart sink until it almost hits the floor.

It makes me wonder how people perfect the 'controlled crying' scenarios, and how their beating hearts don't burst at the sound of their baby crying hysterically? How can they just let them cry?...

Of course I am not judging anyone who practises the controlled crying route, I think that it is each to their own and what is good practise for one parent is not the same for another.

For those of us who have heard about the controlled crying method, but don't know the exact procedure, we should have a little look into what is actually involved.
 Basically you gradually reduce your involvement and reassurance...

You start by putting your baby down in their cot and tuck them in for the night as you would usually. If your baby does not settle, you leave them to cry for five minutes in the hope the baby will self soothe. The parent will go back in and re-settle the baby after this time period, before putting the baby back to bed and leaving again.

The parent will then wait 10 minutes before going back in. The duration will gradually increase after each intervention, before the parent goes back in to re-settle the baby. The 10 minutes will then lengthen to 20 minutes, then 30 minutes and so on. By gradually reducing your involvement you are hopefully paving the way for the golden baby who will self soothe.

In the mean time though, in between each interval the baby will be crying. Wanting his Mummy and Daddy...

Once controlled crying is in place, I am sure it is very rewarding for both parent and baby. For me though, I could never consider this as an option. Leaving my baby to cry for a few minutes is one thing...But leaving him for 10 minutes? 30 minutes??? That just seems insane to me. I would be a blubbering mess on the floor, and within 2 minutes I would be back in there, cradling my boy and drying those tear stained cheeks.

When Leo cries out, I have to be with him. For me, getting up and giving my 9 month old a bottle at 3am for a few minutes, is no skin off my nose. I sleep much more soundly knowing that he is fed and contented, rather than miserable and screaming the house down for hours on end.

That is just my personal opinion as a Mummy. We all have our own ways of dealing with a baby's bedtime and we all have our own routines in place. Like I said 'it is each to their own, and what is good practise for one parent is not the same for another'.

What are your views on controlled crying? Do you practise it and have personal experience with it?

I would love to hear your views on this controversial subject that, often causes heated opinions from each side of the playing field.



  1. I am like you, just the thought of letting my baby cry makes me well up! The way I see it I have slept for 32 years so a year or two of broken sleep is not going to hurt me. There is a worry at the back of my mind that Sofia will be clingy when she is older but we will cross that bridge when we come to it, when she can verbally understand our reassurance

    1. I agree, I don't think they will be clingy just because we have comforted them in their time of need. I think they will just associate crying with 'here comes Mummy' which I don't think is a negative.


  2. I've done the controlled crying thing with my son. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do but it didn't last long before Joshua realised that sleep time is for sleeping, not cuddles. While he was learning it, I would sit and sob outside his bedroom door, listening to him cry but I made sure I stuck to my guns and within no time he had accepted it, which is one of the reasons he's been going through the night since he was 3 months old. I love, cherish and cuddle him as much as any other mum, maybe more in the day time because I know at night time we don't get cuddles! x

    1. :-) I am glad it worked for you lovely. I can imagine it being heartbreaking wanting to run back in. How long did it take him to settle into it?

      I mean Leo will wake up for a bottle not a cuddle as such, and then he will go back down and without a problem (unless he is poorly).


  3. I'm so with you on this. It makes my heart leap into my throat at just the thought of letting little ones cry. We only have them depending on us like this for a short period and baby feeling loved and happy as you say, its the best thing to do.

    1. You are so right about the time they depend on us. I am scared to blink in case he grows up there and then on the spot!

  4. I tried the controlled crying but in a slightly different way. I left him for 5 minute intervals and would go in and put my hand on his tummy and tell him it was ok and I was there. I had to do it in the end, I'm a single mum and my son has never been a good sleeper. Waking every hour in the night for the first 5 months and then roughly every 2 hours after that. He's now 8 months old and goes to bed at 8 gets up at 11 for a bottle, 3.30 for a bottle and then up from 6. We would never have got into this routine without controlled crying. The first week of doing it was hard but he always settled within 20 minutes. Now when I put him down he's asleep within 5 minutes.

    I can understand why a lot of mums can't or won't do it but for me it really was a life saver. I wouldn't have been able to carry on with the little sleep I was getting. I waited until he was 7 months to do it as its not recommended for babies under 6 months. I don't agree with leaving them for 20-30 mins without going in.5 minutes is enough in my eyes.


    1. Hi Rachel, I think 5 minutes is a good time frame :-) different methods suit different parents/babies. I don't think there is a right or wrong situation.

      I am glad you found a solution to your babies sleep pattern, as I can relate to sleep depravation and it is not pleasant.


  5. Personally, I could never do it but as you say it is a parenting decision for each family make.

    I just wish more people knew the truth about babies and sleep, such as;

    It is NORMAL for babies and toddlers to wake in the night and that the MAJORITY do.

    That sleeping through is actually 5 hours, not 10 or 12.

    That it is not considered safe to use cc on babies under 6 months.

    That the modern proponent of cc didn't use it on his own children!

    That cc doesn't teach your child to sleep through, just to not disturb you.

    I think this recent focus on sleeping through and "good' babies is fuelled by gurus trying to glove books etc to parents but that is just my opinion.

  6. Thanks for the comment :-)

    I do think it is down to each family, and I think that to a certain extent it can be a positive. It is not for me and I would much rather put Leo back down settled and come back to bed.

    It is important for a child to learn the art of self settling at some point in the future, but it is each parent's decision on when.


I love hearing your thoughts, so please feel free to leave me a comment :)