Wednesday, 29 April 2015


So this is a bit of an interesting, maybe controversial subject but one I felt I had to get down into words.  My husband and I started the controlled crying method to get Oscar to sleep when he was around 6 months old. To be honest it was getting to the point where I couldn't go another night with only a few hours sleep!  Don't get me wrong, Oscar went down most nights like a dream, I'd feed him and he'd fall asleep in my arms, I'd put him to bed and he would sleep a good 4 hours before he would wake, he continued this for months and months and never broke the cycle, however at 6 months he still wasn't sleeping all night and it was getting really exhausting, he got into the routine of waking up at around 1am and I'd take him into bed with me (anything for an hours sleep) and he'd instantly fall asleep, as soon as I put him back in his cot he'd wake up again, and I'd repeat the same thing over and over and so on and so on. Eventually enough was enough.  I didn't want him sleeping in our bed, mainly because I was paranoid that I'd squish him to death and secondly because I wasn't getting any sleep myself from being so paranoid.  I needed a plan and quick.  After talking with some mummy friends I decided to try the controlled crying method.  My health visitor had also recommend the controlled crying method, she advised that after his last feed I put him to bed awake, that way he would learn to self settle and so when he woke in the middle of the night he would know to settle himself back to sleep again (unless something was seriously wrong).

Sounded like a dream to me!  Oscar was going down around 8.30-9pm, he was having a 5pm nap, so we switched up his routine and it now goes like this... Dinner at 4.30-5pm / Bathtime at 6.15-6.30pm / Bottle 6.45pm and bedded at 7pm.  Now I know that not everyone agrees with this method, but after only five days of starting the routine Oscar was sleeping all night, 7-7 and we were elated.  Don't get me wrong there is still the odd night where he wakes up and has a little moan but he usually settles himself back to sleep, and of course there are some nights when I need to go through and settle him, reassure him I am there and comfort him.  I had planned to write a post on this topic, but more of a how to, however, last night I became part of an online discussion around this very subject and I have to say when I woke up this morning I was left feeling a little upset and angry about the whole thing.    I was questioning myself and the decision I had made.  I wasn't angry that I had used this method but I was angry that I had been judged by other mothers for my choices.

I was following a feed on Facebook where a girl asked for some advice on how she could get her little boy to go to bed at night without having to sit with him for hours until he fell asleep.  Well as you can imagine this opened the flood gates of advice, however the body of the thread was based around said controlled crying method, there were many ladies who also used the method and found it useful and of course many other ladies who were against it!  Each to their own, but what followed was a barage of shit aimed at us mummies who had used it.  We were made to feel like bad mothers, like we had abused our children and some of the comments were just utterly ridiculous (in my opinion of course).  Now as I said I am all for this method, I found it to be extremely effective, however there were others on the thread who were not in favour of the method and found it all a little sad, upsetting, cruel and one person even posted an article which said that this method was so bad that it made your child distrust you < WTF to this statement, anyway I can fully understand how some parents may find this process upsetting and unsettling for both them and the child, no one wants to hear their child upset or in distress, however I personally feel that in a few years time your/my child won't have any recollection of you ever establishing a bed time routine, nor will they distrust you.  Another poster wrote that the method negatively affects the child's physiological wellbeing?! again WTF?.  To be honest I found the whole discussion a little distressing to read after a while, it really did feel like those mothers who hadn't used/were against the method were really going to town on us, to make us mothers who did use it feel really awful about our choice.  My son is happy, healthy and enjoys a goods nights sleep.  Those women who commented about how they disagreed with the method were all still settling children to sleep, and all of their children were older and well into their toddler years.  I personally do not want to spend hours of an evening trying to get my son to sleep, nor do I want to be spending years on end trying to get him settled at bed time.  But again each to their own!

Each and every child is different, each and every parent is different and everyone has their own way and style of doing things.  Controlled crying for us was exactly what we thought was best for our son, when we started this method I left Oscar crying for only a few minutes at a time, then I returned and reassured him, I repeated this process until he stopped crying and fell asleep.  The first night it took 15 minutes, the next few nights it took 10 and by the last night it took only minutes, now he doesn't even cry and he actually looks for his bed by 7pm.  At no time during this whole process did I leave my son crying for hours, at no time was he left to get himself into a distressed state, and to be honest there were no tears, just a disgruntled baby not getting his own way!

This is just my opinion and I am not here to judge anyone, I had kept my opinion to myself for a good few hours, whilst keeping up with the feed, that was, until I was so angered by fellow mummies and their wicked opinions, and before I knew it my inner rage exploded and I had voiced my opinion.  I have said it before, if motherhood has taught me anything it's taught me not to judge other mothers for their choices/parenting style (something I admittedly used to do - pre baby).  I was interested to hear from those parents who didn't agree with the method and what they thought they gained from using other methods ( I was genuinely interested)  but instead my opinion was ripped apart and I was left feeling like my opinion wasn't valid!  The whole thing has genuinely left me feeling really disappointment in a community of women that I thought should have be there to support one another regardless of their opinions.  There is no right or wrong to parenting, it's a learn as you go kinda business and in my view it's a bloody tough job, a rewarding one but a tough one!

So the moral of the post is this, lets not judge each other for our parenting choices, or bring one another down just because you don't agree! Instead listen, encourage, care and support your fellow mummies as we are all DOING OUR DAMNED BEST!

Kirsty x


  1. I used the controlled crying method too and it worked really well. I had a lot of people (my in laws mainly!) saying I was cruel and nasty but I had to try and ignore it. I find the 'mum' world very judgemental, I went on a forum asking for advice once and the abuse I got made me never visit the forum again. For some reason everyone feels like they have a say on the matter. I left Facebook because of comments when I was pregnant about me being too small and 'm actually dreading taking my son to school as I'm terrified of all the judgment. I'm hoping it gets easier in time!
    The way I see it though, as long as what you're doing isn't hurting the baby and it works for you - then go for it.


  2. Well my moral is i have a 4 year old who never slept and i put him in our bed ..... and he is still there !! I have a 1 year old who i put in her cot awake , bit of controlled crying , sleeps like a dream now !!!

  3. This is such a refreshing post. We did a bit of controlled crying with ours when they were 11-12 months: eating well and generally well. At six months I felt it was too early but you know your children best. They aren't great sleepers but they are better than they were, and my eldest sleeps well. I couldn't cope with a baby who was in my bed every night or needed sitting with for hours to get to sleep.


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