|I am at the point where I will do anything to get my baby
to sleep! But I do have a fear of causing her to be insecure.
Is controlled crying cruel?
There will probably never be a consensus on this issue.
For many mothers, controlled crying has been a complete
life saving strategy, producing babies who sleep very well,
and mothers who cope because they are not short of sleep.
These mothers will tell you that their babies are not at
all insecure because of the controlled crying, and are happy,
well adjusted children. But you will also meet many parents
who contend that it is wrong to leave an unhappy baby to
cry. This is not a method to use on a sick baby, or a baby
who is teething. If your baby is unhappy, she needs to be
comforted by you, and sleep isues are secondary to that.
This is a method for a baby who is content, well fed, and
has no other reason not to sleep.
You will need to have a strong will in order to try this
technique. Before you embark on it, think carefully about
anything that may be unsettling your baby or causing her
to wake up. Set up a nice bedtime routine, and stick to
it rigidly. Make sure it is a gentle and happy time, so
that baby is calm and content when she goes to bed. Make
sure she is warm enough, but not too warm. Make sure her
room is dark and quiet. Give her a good feed before bedtime,
and experiment with nappies until you find a night time
arrangement that suits her. Even if you are in favour of
cloth nappies, it may be worth investigating the superabsorbent
night time disposables, to see if having her dry for longer
aids her sleep.
Once you are sure that you really have made every effort
to ensure that she is not unhappy in any way, you put her
in her cot, tell her to sleep well, and leave the room.
If she cries, wait for five minutes before going back in.
Do not pick her up. Settle her back into her cot if she
has wriggled out of her blankets. Use the same message as
you did the first time, so that she starts to understand
that when you say it, you are serious about her going to
sleep. Wait a few minutes longer every time, before you
go in, settle her without picking her up and say the same
bed time message. She will eventually go to sleep, but how
long this will take varies from baby to baby.
If she wakes in the night, you will have to repeat the
process. For this reason it may be worth embarking on this
programme on a weekend when you can sleep late.
You may need to do this for a couple of nights, but know
that this method does work if you can stick it out and if
you are rigid about the system. It is not uncommon for babies
to go to sleep straight away when you put them down on the
If you are concerned about this method making your baby
insecure, then ask yourself, are you there for your baby
every day? You know that you are a good mother and make
every attempt to bring your baby up to feel loved, and valued.
So teaching your baby to sleep is something you are doing
in order to make life easier for both of you.
Baby Sleep - Compromise
Baby Sleep - Cot in parents’ room
Baby Sleep - Doing it your way
Baby Sleep - Overtiredness
Baby Sleep - Own Room
Baby Sleep - Position
Baby Sleep - Sharing Mother’s Bed
Baby Sleep - Teaching baby to sleep