Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Tough Love (kind of)

Last night was the first night of tough love (aka controlled crying) for Sam. After about a month of sleepless nights (and I mean sleepless) the final straw came when after sitting in his room for hours holding his hand trying to get him back to sleep he stood up and threw his dummy at my head and then laughed....in my face. I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to controlled crying generally but there is a limit to how little sleep you can survive on so we decided we had to do somthing. Sam just seems to have lost the ability to settle himself back to sleeep when he wakes up. Jon and I decided that we would not let him cry for more than 5 minutes at a time but we would NOT pick him up or stay in the room if he woke up. We would lay him down, stroke his head and leave quickly and quietly each time he cried.

So night 1 - Sam woke at 4am and started crying. I spent about an hour going in and out lying him down. He would often settle for 10 mins before crying again but eventually managed a longer period where I could hear him chattering away to himself before he eventually fell asleep at about 5am. Not for long. He woke up again at 5.15am and stated screaming. Jon took over and spent the next hour doing the same - going in every 5 mins or so and then leaving. I have to say Sam certainly knows how to crank it up when necessary and I realised that he tries different cries when he doesn't get the attention he wants. Last night Sam's repertoire included

1) The normal 'give me some attention' cry
2) The slightly louder 'where are you guys??' cry
3) The screaming 'get in here right now' cry
4) The 'ok I'm going to scream and cry until I make myself cough' cry
5) The 'I'm coughing so much I'm going to retch and be sick' cry
6) The 'I am so angry and cross because you are ignoring me' RAGE cry
7) The 'lets try a different one cos thats not working sobbing heartbroken cry - this one very nearly broke me. I was desperate to go in and pick him up
8) The whimpering wounded animal cry - also very effective.

I must just say that we did go in every 5 mins and inbetween these cries he would settle and smile at us as he threw his dummy on the floor in a bid to get us to stay so we knew he was ok. He finally fell asleep at 6.15am and slept until 8.30am when he woke up in a really good mood (unlike me!)
Who knows what tonight will bring???

On a brighter note the lovely Sharon from Bliss Knits very kindly sent me a gorgeous crocheted sunglass case for my 70 presents challenge. It is beautifully made in a coral pink colour and lined with soft matching fabric. My mum will love it as they go away on holiday all the time now they are retired as my mum suffers from severe arthritis and the sun really helps. Not only that but Sharon also sent some seeds too for my mums garden. Thanks so much. It really cheered me up. Check out her gorgeous Folksy shop.

I also won 2 giveaways yesterday from Kitschy Coo and Mad about Bags (So going to do the lottery this week). Will blog about them when they arrive but I was really excited about both so thank you both so much.

Finally another giveaway that might interest people?? Japanese fat quarters - need I say more?? Check it out....

Rae Gun Ramblings: GIVEAWAY: Japanese Fat Quarter Fabric Bundle


  1. awww, it does not sound like you are having fun :-( I remember being there - my "little one" is now very nearly 5, and since starting school in Sept has started getting up in the night again - so I can sympathise!

    I did the controlled crying with her when she was small, and it did work eventually... One night, when I was on the brink of a break down and sitting on the floor in the hall outside her door listening to her crying, her dad barged past me, picked her up and put her in bed with him. Needless to say, Rianna and I are getting on great now (without him). It def does help if you are doing "whatever" in child raising terms together, and not battling each other, but supporting each other!!

    I hope you get there soon, because being constantly tired and getting no sleep is not fun at all!

    Rose XXX

  2. Good luck on the controlled crying. It worked very well for both of ours at about six months. When Jamie started having sleep trouble at three, didn't work at all. So my advice is to do it before it's too late!

  3. I really do sympathise! I had a terrible time with my youngest, now three, from about 12-18 months. It was pure hell. All health professionals were involved with sleep remedies, and everything we tried failed. We tried controlled crying, but going in every 5-10 mins started it all off again. So, in the end we had to do what we thought would work the best, that everyone said not to, and let him cry without going in. Just listening at the door. As long as he wasn't sick and just crying we left him. He cried solidly for an hour and a half the first night. I felt like the worst mother in the world. Half an hour the second night, and 5 mins the third night. He went down with no cries on night four and slept right through. It really was tough love but he learnt quickly that he wasn't in charge and so didn't even bother! He does it now every now and then and we have to be strong again, but agin after a few days he is back in a routine for months at a time. You have to do what you think works best for you and your child. Sleep deprivation is the worst, especially if you have other children too. I feel for you and hope things improve. xxx

  4. I have every sympathy, it's horrible to have to go through, but sometimes there really is no choice. It makes you feel absolutely miserable though, and so guilty. I'm a bit of a wuss myself like that, and still find myself sitting with my 2 year old when he goes to sleep in the evening. However I refuse to do it in the middle of the night!

  5. Hang in there! I have every faith in controlled crying - it worked for us. Hope you are keeping sane! It'll be worth it - just think of all those blissful peaceful nights you'll have once this is cracked!!! If all else fails straight down Boots for some ear plugs :-) xxx


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