Friday, September 19, 2008

Controlled crying

After a very tough week at work (it's not been a good week to be a banker) my tolerance of Eve's night waking has reached its limits. After the rather nice, but never to be repeated, middle of the night drive on Monday I have decided to take matters in hand.

After scouring the internet and baby books for ideas, the Boy and I have come across something called controlled crying. The theory is thus. A baby needs to learn to settle themselves to sleep. If they won't sleep, and it is time for them to sleep, let them cry for 5 minutes and then go back to settle them. Then increase the interval between going to settle them by 5 minutes each time. They will eventually go to sleep.

From what I can see from the internet, controlled crying is a bit like Gina Ford and breastfeeding - you either love it or hate it. As many studies as you can find saying it is horrific and will emotionally scar your child, there are as many saying that it increases independence and fosters good sleep habits for later life. As with anything to do with your child, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't, or do, or don't...

At 4am last night the Boy and I were not at our most rational. We were both incredibly tired, had not had a great evening involving that sort of intra-couple sniping that extreme exhaustion and stress tends to bring. So, this time when Eve would not go to sleep, we ignored her. I don't quite know how we made the decision to do this, only that as I looked at the Boy and said "If we start this we have to be consistent, it could take a couple of weeks" and he nodded in the darkness we both decided to give it a whirl.

Within half an hour Eve was asleep.

However, this half hour was horribly hard. The Boy put in ear plugs, I tried to muffle the crying by covering my head with the pillow. We held hands at one point and I wanted to cry. It was horrible. I felt like such a nasty, evil mother.

But, it worked. I am not counting my chickens and expect a return to the 2 hour wail of Monday, but I at least feel we are now heading down a path and at the end of it might be a whole nights sleep.

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