Baby Sleep Problems and Controlled Crying - Looking Back
I have just read the article that I wrote back in 2005 about my baby's sleep problems. It is amazing how much one forgets about these enormous issues as time goes by and your child gets older!
The memories came flooding back as I remembered the terrible hours involved as I tried controlled crying to get our little baby to sleep. I did have some de ja vu last year when my second daughter aged about 9 months went through the same sleep problems. Even though controlled crying didn't work for our first baby and I swore it was an awful method to get a baby to sleep, desperation drove me to try it on our second born, and I am pleased to say that it actually worked with her, and within about 4 nights we were having no more sleep problems.
I am also pleased to report that our first baby (now nearly 4 years old, and not a baby anymore!) eventually went on to become a very good sleeper. We have of course had our ups and downs, but on the whole she sleeps for a good 11 hours now.
Baby Sleep Problems
It felt like we had no longer resolved her sleep problems when we moved from the UK to Australia just after our baby's first birthday - and oh boy did the fun and games start all over again! Let me tell you that if you think dealing with your own jetlag is awful, try dealing with that and the jetlag of your baby or toddler! Then of course there was the settling into a new home and new way of life, meeting new relatives and missing the ones left behind.
Much to our joy though our baby moved into her "big girl" bed without any fuss at around the age of 18months and never looked back. We still had numerous nights where we had to "sing it" (which meant to sing her special song) before she fell asleep, but to our amazement, she did not become a "crawl into mummy and daddy's bed at night" child! Thank goodness!! (however we are now getting our share of this from our second born!)
The only other hitch that we have had to overcome recently with our first born's sleep is dealing with monsters, dragons and dinosaurs in her room at night! After about a week of being woken by her just so that she could use the toilet I had had enough! I finally found out from her about her fears and then we dealt with it. I consulted my aromatherapy books for oils that were good for inducing sleep in children, and we made a vaporizer spray which is called "monster spray". We spray this around the room every night before she goes to sleep and it keeps the nasties away - and thankfully has worked in settling her!
So to all of you who are struggling with a baby who won't sleep I know wholeheartedly what you are going through, and I hope this article will help you through because it can get better!
By Happy Tired Mum
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"My son was a terrible sleeper for quite a long time. He didn't sleep through the night until he was 10 months old. I read a number of books, searched the internet high and low but nothing worked. Then my health visitor suggested I tried controlled crying approach described in Sarah Woodhouse's book Sound Sleep. I wasn't too keen on the idea as it just seemed so cruel. However, in the end I thought I had no choice but try it as nothing else had worked. My son cried non-stop for 2.5 hours the first day and I felt horrible. I thought I wouldn't be able to go through with it the following night. My husband virtually had to force me to do it. But to my surprise my son only cried for 10 mins and 2.5 mins on the third night and since then we haven't had any major problems with his sleep (he only has sleep problems when he is ill). To sum up, I would definitely recommend this approach. But one word of advice - prepare yourself mentally for the battle and once you've decided to do it, don't give up in the middle however hard it seems. Stopping makes the situation much much worse. Good luck!"