The minute that you announce that you are expecting a baby, everyone and their aunt Mable is prepared to throw eighteen years of parenting advice and opinions your way, often without even asking if you’d like any.
Since becoming parents, Jack and I have received a lot of advice, some not so great and other things that have changed the game for us completely. The piece of advice that I wanted to share today is singlehandedly the best piece of advice I’ve received since becoming a mother.
There will be some people who do not agree with what I am going to talk about in this post and there will be others that also swear by it. This post is by no means an attempt to force my opinion onto you and your parenting journey or to suggest that there is only one way to parent, but it really is the best advice that I have received and has made my life so much easier and structured.
“Don’t give up on the controlled crying”. There I said it. Phew. I can already hear the sound of people clicking back on their browsers.
If you’re not familiar with the term controlled crying, here’s what the internet says:
That is essentially the gist of it. Then, once you leave the room it is likely your baby will cry for you. It is then up to you to chose when to return to the room. Most parenting articles that I have read have suggested anywhere between 2 and 10 minute intervals but what worked best for us was starting at 1 minute and then increasing the interval by a further minute each time.
Don’t get me wrong, this process was not easy to begin with, in fact it was hell. Pure hell. Standing outside your babies nursery whilst they cry for you and not going in instantly requires a hell of a lot of willpower, so much so that we tried this a couple of times and failed within the first two days, but since we decided that we needed Tyler to learn to settle himself and really stuck at it for a week or so, he’s been a champion sleeper!
I have read many success stories with regards to controlled crying in the last year or so and initially, I was totally against it. I thought it was barbaric. But, as time went by, you could say I became desperate and after a few nights of controlled crying at bed time, I realised that Tyler was in fact only crying because he wanted me to come and pick him up. There was nothing wrong with him, in fact, he wasn’t even crying tears, just shouting!
Now our evening routine and our nap time routine are perfect and hardly ever include a crying session from either parties! At around 7pm every night, I take Tyler up to his room, give him a big kiss and a cuddle, tell him I love him and pop him into his cot, pull on his sleeping bag and adjust the blankets and Tyler will often be cuddling his teddy with his eyes closed before I’ve even left the room! Now, that’s a result if you ask me!
Sure, sometimes he will cry, but honestly it’s only ever for a couple of seconds and then he’s off to dreamland, or at least on his way.
The same goes for nap times, at 10am and 2pm we go through the same process and Tyler will now nap anywhere from an hour to three at a time! That’s a million times better than the ten minute power naps he used to have!
There were a few hiccups within the first couple of weeks, because obviously things can’t go smoothly 100% of the time when it comes to babies. For example, there was one night a month or so ago where I thought I would never be able to get Tyler to sleep as he was just so restless and unhappy, but there are other contributing factors to remember, things like teething will reek havoc on your household but it will pass and the sleep will be resumed!
By no means am I a baby expert, but if you’re reading this because you’re looking for a way to get your little one to sleep and sleep well on their own, then please give controlled crying a go. You’ll hate me on day one but by day seven at the very latest, you’ll love me, I promise!
So there we have it, the best advice I’ve received since becoming a mother! If I could turn back the clock, I’d have tried it sooner because the peace and time that Jack and I now have in both the day time and the evening is like heaven!
What’s the best advice that you’ve received since becoming a parent? I’d love to know! I’d also love to know if you’ve tried this method and what you made of it?
Please note, controlled crying isn’t recommended for babies under 6 months old.