Get Your Child to Sleep Through the Night
Ever since Molly was three months old she has pretty much slept through the night. I think it helped that she was in my room right next to me and she loved her dummy, which meant if she did wake, she was happy to have her dummy and settle back down. When her Dad and I broke up I went through a stage of letting Molly sleep in my bed. I didn’t mind and loved waking up to her, as by this point she was in her own room and I missed her being with me. When she was around nine months old I felt she was a bit old to still be in my bed and I could tell she was getting very used to it which left me with very little ‘me time’. She was starting to move about and so being in my bed was getting unsafe and she needed a more secure sleeping environment.
When I tried putting her in her own cot in her room, it didn’t go so well. Needless to say after months of sleeping with me she didn’t like being on her own. The nights started to become very hard where she wouldn’t go down, would be awake during the night and then rising early. I was so tired and fed up of letting her fall asleep with me and then transferring her to her own bed.
I started to think about a sleeping technique as having a bed time routine wasn’t enough of it’s own. There was no way I could just let her cry it out. The more I thought about it the more it upset me. I felt like even though she would be crying and there would be nothing wrong, it was still mean to just let her ball her eyes out. It may start like crying for attention, but as she just doesn’t have the capacity to understand I am downstairs, the tears would turn to those of really being upset and scared that mummy has gone. I just couldn’t do it. The thought of my baby going to bed upset because of me broke my heart. She didn’t understand so I wasn’t going to let her cry and get herself into a mess. There had to be another way.
I have always been a massive fan of Supernanny so I looked to her for some help.
And I found the answer:
This is the Controlled Crying Technique. And it works!
You start by following your usual bedtime technique, may it be a bath, a book or a cuddle. Put baby to bed and say goodnight.
Now obviously the chances are if you are looking for a sleep technique your baby won’t settle. They will be crying out for you in seconds. Wait one minute then go back in.
Key Point!! Limit talking, just say ‘it’s bedtime’ and either place baby back on their back if they are standing or just stoke their head briefly so they know you are there. Then leave the room.
Molly seemed like she was trying to jump out the cot for me to pick her up but just having me there I noticed a change in her cry.
But now it gets a little tougher! This time wait two minutes before entering the room again if baby is still crying. Then go back in and repeat the same process.
I have a video monitor which I found really useful so I could see that Molly was okay without being tempting to go back in to the room early.
If baby continues to cry, wait four minutes before going back, then eights minutes, etc, just double the amount of minutes each time.
Day one of Molly using this technique it took under half an hour and she was fast asleep. Being consistent is key. The next night she knew what was coming and was asleep before we reached 16 minutes. Night three was unbelievable and she was asleep in two minutes! Ever since then, to this day, Molly goes to bed and goes straight to sleep, no crying no fuss. It’s a miracle! We have even moved house but nothing has affected her bedtime routine. Starting this technique let her sleep from 8pm to 8am every night. The only time she stirs in the night is when she is teething but even then she goes down at night. Recently she has started waking a little earlier but I never have any trouble at night. I always make sure she has her favourite blanket with her which smells of me which adds to the reassurance.
I really do think it is all down to the technique and sticking to it. It gave Molly the understanding that I would always come back and she was not just left. This comfort enabled her to self-sooth.
It works with naps too. It is aimed at babies over six months old and I would highly recommend it to any parent looking for a sleep technique which allows their baby to learn how to self-sooth and sleep through the night.
I changed the technique listed ever so slightly to suit my baby, like giving Molly her milk in her room as I felt that put her in a sleepy mood and downstairs was full of toys and distractions. As long as you keep the main ideas the same, hopefully the technique will work for you too!