Controlled Crying – A technique to help your baby self settle
Controlled crying is a technique to help your baby learn to self settle. This method can help them move on from depending on you to get them to sleep to them learning how to fall asleep on their own.
Is Controlled Crying Safe for baby?
It is not recommended to use this technique on babies under 6 months old. It is safe to use from 6+ months, as long as your baby isn’t hungry, thirsty or unwell. Basically you can use this method as long as you know baby does not need anything. It is often used by parents who’s little one just will not settle on their own, this could be due to just being over tired or if they have come to rely on mum or dad to rock, pat or feed them to sleep.
I have successfully used this method with both of my children. We started controlled crying when he was 10 months old, he is now nearly 2 and goes to sleep on his own, and sleeps through the night. My daughter was 7 months when we started controlled crying, she took a little longer to sleep train using this method, but by 8 months she was going straight to sleep at night, she is now 1 and sleeps well through the night.
Want to hear more about parent’s experiences using this technique? Check out my Interview on Controlled Crying with Laura…
The Controlled Crying Technique
After doing your usual bedtime routine, put your baby in their cot awake, say good night, then leave the room.
If your baby cries wait 2 minutes before going back in. Stay with your baby for a few minutes to reassure your baby. Then once again say good night and leave the room.
If your baby is still crying after 5 minutes, go back in and repeat the process of settling and gently reassuring. Then say good night and leave the room once more. Wait for 10 minutes this time before going in to check your baby is he/she is still crying.
The table below explains how long you should wait each time before going back in to settle and reassure your baby.
benefits of using Controlled Crying
The idea is that your baby learns to fall asleep on their own. Controlled Crying frees you from the need to stay with your baby until they fall asleep. There are two aims to this method, the first is that your baby will learn to self settle on their own and then to fall asleep at nap and bedtime on their own.
This controlled crying method should be used over a period of week, as suggested by experts. However, with my two children I saw an improvement in self settling after just a couple of days. By day 6 I was able to put them down in their cots, kiss and say good night and leave the room, without having to go back in. I was really impressed with this method and I will be using this method when baby number 3 reaches a similar age.
I also noticed in the day if they became ratty or bored, they were able to quickly self settle. Although there are some days when they will just cry and whine all day for no apparent reason, but on days like these I am grateful that they sleep through the night since using controlled crying!
If this method doesn’t work for you, or you don’t feel comfortable leaving your baby to cry then there are a few other methods you can try. I tried a few of these before using controlled crying.
Check out my interview with Laura and her experiences with using controlled crying. Just click the button below!
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