Baby Hints & Tips

Controlled Crying in Toddlers

sleeping toddlerAfter advice from a sleep consultant, we are preparing to try cry it out with our nearly 3 year old. I am exhausted from getting up to her 4/5 times a night. She doesn’t need anything she just calls out for me to go into her which I’ve been doing but have ruin out of steam. Looking for mums who have used this method with success. How did you manage the process? Please withhold judgements on the CIO method, clearly this is a last resort for one exhausted mama.

Helpful, non-judgemental advice only.

  • Jo Frost super nanny technique works for us including looking at your day time interactions with your kids e.g. Does the child get their own way all the time and does the child get enough regular quality time with caregivers? Karyn
  • At 14mo my son was waking every hour for feeds. He wasn’t hungry, i knew that. But I just fed him because I knew it was the only way he would go back to sleep. He was also a pretty bad day sleeper, only napping for about 2 hrs a day (in 2 seperate naps). I was a zombie, I was mentally, physically & emotionally exhausted. I wasnt enjoying breast feeding anymore which was something i had really loved. I was so angry with him everytime i went in to feed him & it was that feeling that made me realise i had to do something, fast. The CIO method was my last resort. I had tried sleep school, mchn advice, everything. Nothing was working. I tried controlled crying to begin with but each time I went back into his room to resettle him, he would just think it was playtime. So, I started CIO. I’m not going to lie, it was the hardest thing, as a mum, that I’ve ever had to do. The first night my son cried for 4 hours. In hysterics. For it to work, you can’t go in. You just have to leave them to cry to teach them that you won’t go back in. Each time he woke, he cried for less time. He woke an hour later but only cried for 2.5 hours. Each subsequent night, he would wake less and again, when he did wake, he cried for less time. After 4 nights, he was sleeping through. I couldn’t believe it. It was honestly the best thing I have ever done. His day sleeps then improved as well. he would nap 3-4 hours in the morning and most days another hour in the afternoon! For us, it worked just as we needed it to. 3 months later, we moved into my inlaws as we were building a house. My son had to sleep in our room due to no spare bedrooms. He started waking again. I did the CIO again and this time it only took 3 nights. People will tell you its awful etc but in my opinion it’s a lot more awful not being happy to see your child when they wake, and that’s how I was feeling each time he woke in the night. If this is what you have to do, then do it. Wishing you the world of luck. Stay strong x ps – sorry for the novel! Amanda
  • You could also try an option like rooming in. Pop a mattress on the floor of their bedroom so they know you are there. You can shhh, if they cry out so they know you are there but don’t talk or interact. This has worked well for me. Good luck. Tanya

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