Sign up now to receive The Tale of Mummyhood newsletter!


A Controlled Crying Diary

A Controlled Crying Diary

I have a six month old baby who throughout day eats like a horse.

I have a six month old baby who despite said eating habits, consistently wakes at 12am, 3am and 6am insisting that she be fed.

I have a Husband who works crazy shift patterns and is absolutely cream crackered.

Then there is me. I have two under two, I have no more than four hours broken sleep – on a good day.

Something had to give. Controlled crying – welcome to our lives.

Before I go on, I know that controlled crying is not for everyone.  It is a very personal choice.   Some will like it, some won’t.  This method was thoroughly researched and discussed before it was implemented.  This is not an advisory post, it is a diary post.

Night 1:

Little E ate so much all day.  She took her full amount of milk and has weaned successfully onto four meals a day.  She napped well, but not too much.  Bedtime arrived and we had everything crossed.

She became unsettled at 10pm, 12am, 2am and 3am.  Finally at 5am she settled down and slept until 7:30am.  Each time she was unsettled we followed the standard controlled crying guidelines, but returned to her within significantly less time.

The morning after I was one tired mummy.  I hoped the next night would be better.

Night 2:

I have the daytime routine with Little E down to a tee – throughout the day I am super mum (ha, yeah right!).  When bedtime arrived I felt sick to my stomach.  I was absolutely exhausted but I wouldn’t give up.  It’s not fair on Little E, I wouln’t stop the process half way through just because it would be easier for me at that point.

I am not exaggerating when I say that 5am arrived before I got any sleep.  The toddler was up at 7:30, and our day began.  By this point I was ready to throw in the towel, sleep was all I could think about.

Night 3:

I held out no hope.  I didn’t feel like we had made any progress, if anything it felt worse than before.  I crawled into bed at 10pm not expecting to get any sleep.  Then the crying started and I looked at the time, 2am!  The longest stretch we’d had in a very long time.  Little E settled back down around 5am and slept until 8am.  I could not believe it!  Maybe it was a fluke?

Night 4:

Hubs is on shift, so I have no moral support.  Fully expecting the night from hell I went to bed early, those first couple of hours can be precious.  I heard crying but from the toddler this time.  Sheepishly I looked at the clock.  The toddler only cries at breakfast time – she is an amazing sleeper and rarely wakes in the night.  6:30am!  Ladies and Gentlemen we have a sleeper!


My baby continues to sleep more than she ever has.  She gets far less broken sleep and is herself much better for it.

I am getting good stretches of sleep – something I never thought I would get again.

Hubs is going to work on a full nights sleep – something that has become alien to him.

This week has been an incredibly turbulent week.  For the most part I didn’t think I would get through it without caving in.  I have learnt a lot.  Mainly that controlled crying, with our own twist, is not the devil it’s often made out to be.

After one of the hardest parenting weeks we have had over the last eighteen months, as a family we are moving forward.  That feels AMAZING!


The Pramshed



Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday



My Petit Canard


My Random Musings


Pink Pear Bear



3 Little Buttons


Run Jump Scrap!


Cuddle Fairy
Diary of an imperfect mum
Share Button

66 Replies to “A Controlled Crying Diary”

  1. Well done on getting your little one to sleep through. My little girl is 2 now and wakes several times a night, for hours at a time. I have considered controlled crying before but she gets herself that worked up when she cries that she makes herself sick, so that was never really an option for me unfortunately.

    1. Ah bless you, it can be such a difficult time. They are all so different, it’s just finding what works for them. Thanks for stopping by x

  2. Good for you for giving it a go. We never had to, and I’d heard loads of bad press about it, but I have a friend abroad who did it and it worked after just a few nights. I am of the belief don’t knock it until you’ve been in those shoes. As much as I hope I’d never have to I wouldn’t dismiss using it if I felt i really had to. Hope the sleep continues! #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. It’s good that you never had to, my first was the same. She slept through from 7 weeks, which seems surreal now we have had this experience! It’s true when they say you never get two the same 🙂 thanks for stopping by x

  3. well done! I’m glad you seem to have cracked it! We’re 3 days in and I’m drained. Piglet stays asleep once he’s down, but just getting him to sleep in the first place is hard. 2-3 hours every night of torture. Like you though I know I need to keep going and we will crack it……. wont we?!?! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

    1. The middle bit was the worst for me too, I didn’t feel like we were getting anywhere. You will get there!! Good luck! x

  4. So happy for you this worked! Well done for sticking with it, it really is the hardest thing ever!! I also was left with no option than to try the controlled crying and it worked wonders! I have a baby who rarely wakes at night now too!! It makes a huge difference in everyone’s lives once everyone is getting some sleep!! Well done #KCACOLS xx

  5. Well done! Controlled crying was the only thing that worked for us and still now with a 2.5 yo we use it when she’s being a pickle at bedtime! #MarvMondays

  6. I’m so happy for you!! We used it with my daughter, well, our version of it, I think it was shush patting or something, either way, we left her to cry for periods and I would put the timer on and sit in the kitchen feeling like a witch but actually, it was only a few days, and it was better for all of us! Thanks for joining us at the #bigpinklink

  7. That’s brilliant and I really do believe perseverance pays off. We had the same with the older one getting out of bed and wanting to come in our bed when she was little. We had a couple of tough nights but she soon understood. I hope it lasts! Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays

  8. We did semi-controlled crying and it worked a treat, the judgement and the sanctimonious memes on Facebook are the worst – we’re all just doing what works for our babies! Well done x #KCACOLS

    1. Tell me about it – I saw one just before I published it! It’s honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made! x

  9. So tempted to try this – we’re at 5 months and he’s still up every couple of hours. It’s exhausting! If we make it to 6 months and still the same, I’m giving this a go! Well done on your perseverance!! #twinklytuesday

  10. You know what hats off to you. We did something similar with our daughter when she was 10 months old. We just reached breaking point. But like you I was a bit unsure and felt a bit bad, but didn’t want to just give up because it was the easy option. Low and behold about 3 days into it, sleep improved massively. Now I have a 21 month old who is an excellent sleeper (usually – currently coming to an end of unsettled patch of sleep due to that pesky pre-2 year old seperation anxiety/sleep regression). Hope things are still going brill for you! #dreamteam

    1. It’s horrible when you reach that point isn’t it? Life is so much easier when we’ve had some sleep! So glad it worked for you, I hope your little one settles down again very soon x

  11. I’m so glad it worked for you. It’s not for everyone and it’s really tough emotionally isn’t it. After many different attempts with L, we found controlled crying to be the only thing that worked for him. Even if I really didn’t enjoy it. But it has to be about what works for you all as a family and for me feeling guilty but having a happy sleeping child was so worth it #bloggerclubuk

  12. Yay good for you. I did controlled crying with my first at just the same stage as you with the same result. It killed me on night one and two and then I felt we were making progress. By the end of the week it was done and I could work by day without being exhausted. I was sold on the concept and quite prepared to do it with all the rest of my children – but never needed to! #BestWorst

    1. It makes such a difference when you can get through the day without being totally exhausted. It’s true when they say you never get two the same! Thanks for stopping by x

  13. Well done. You have to be consistant, trust in yourself and not care what everybody else thinks. If it works, great, if it doesn’t you adjust, for only a parent knows what their baby needs..

  14. We have been extremely lucky with Peachy. She has been sleeping through the night consistently from around 2 months of age. It was a bit of work to get her on a good routine, but totally worth the effort. Good job on bringing some order into your life! #BloggerClubUK

    1. Ah thankyou! My first slept through from 7 weeks too, but number 2 decided she was going to give us a run for our money! So glad you have a sleeper, it makes all the difference x

  15. Good going!

    Like everything with parenting you find what works for you and your family.

    Thankfully I’m lucky to have a baby who likes his sleep but I do give myself a little credit for implementing a bedtime routine and sleep training.

    Sometimes its hard for parents to hear their little ones cry but over time you learn the difference between ‘I’m grumpy and tired’ crying and ‘help me I’m stuck’ crying.

    Fingers crossed the sleep continues for many nights to come

    #coolmumclub xx

    1. I totally agree, the different cries are a giveaway! My first has always been a good sleeper too, so this was completely alien to us. Like you say, I think a good routine is key! Thanks for stopping by x

  16. Well done!! I’m so impressed it only took three days (although I am sure it felt a lot longer). We may adopt this if My four month keeps waking at 4am…I’m sure she isn’t hungry. Well done for cracking it and long may the sleep continue! #bloggerclubuk

  17. Yay so happy to hear it has worked and your getting some sleep again! We did it with Leo when he was about 8months and it was so hard but really the best decision we ever made..5 days of hell but then we had a baby who slept 7 until 7! Was definitely worth it. Long may your sleep continue!xx #anythinggoes

    1. Brilliant! I wasn’t sure how this post would go down but so many people have success stories, here’s to many more night of sleep! x

  18. We have tried controlled crying too…it’s worked for us at times but our youngest is just not a sleeper! She’s two next week and we are pretty much still where you were at the start of this post. Sob.
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub, long may it last for you! xx

    1. Oh no, if only it was a given that it works. No sleep can be so difficult, especially on those days when it really catches up with you. I hope you get a little sleeper soon x

  19. OMG I want to weep with happiness for you. We have literally started the exact same journey and last night was out first night of sleep training. It was just getting too much with all the night wakings for the past 6 months, often with my now 2 year old also piping up with screams in the night. I know a few people question the cry it out method, but I’m taking this approach as I know my baby can get through the night without a bottle. I normally give his last one at about 3.30am and then he doesn’t want much in the morning when he wakes me up at 5.30am and then just ‘snacks’ until about lunchtime. I need to get him out of this habit. The crazy thing is, the first night I did 3-4 pick ups and put downs, in the end he went to sleep after 5 minutes (the whole thing lasted only about half an hour) and then he slept all the way through. Of course it was only day one and tonight may be a totally different story. But I’m really wondering why the heck I didn’t do this sooner. Long may it continue my lovely. Bring back sleep! #BloggerClubUK

    1. Thankyou! I know what you mean about the feeding in the night, then just snacking for half of the day. It really made me feel like we were all over the place! It sounds like you first night went really well, heres hoping it carries on for you! Thanks for stopping by x

  20. What a cutie, I love the photo! I know how you feel, I remember feeling like such a bad mummy but I was desperate and my little girl needed sleep. It worked a treat and much quicker than I had thought with Aspen, it didn’t work as well with April, but it is worth trying because if it works it is alive changer! #bigpinklink

  21. That must feel like a huge achievement, well done! I have no problems with controlled crying, as long as it’s controlled. We had to exercise the same thing with our daughter as she was so used to waking up every hour being fed, that set in. So after 2 months of barely any sleep, we changed things. It’s worked she now sleeps through. I hope that your daughter continues to sleep and that you are also feeling better. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  22. Yay! Well done and thank goodness that you will be getting sleep now. We opted for the softly softly approach and in general, it was only the actual getting to sleep bit that was the issue. I am crossing my fingers that this will last for you. Thanks so much for sharing with the #DreamTeam! – A perfect post lol. xx

  23. Oh well done you! I tried controlled crying once, very briefly with our first as she was a terrible sleeper but didnt have the heart to see it through so stopped rather than start and stop as it wouldnt have been fair to her. Eventually she learnt to sleep properly through the night around 8ish months or so. Looking back now that doesnt seem that bad, but at the the time it felt like forever. We’ve been luckier with our second who sleeps for good stretches of time at night and has got himself into a routine, but isnt sleeping through yet. He’s only 4 months old but im holding out hope he wont keep me waiting so long! I do think controlled crying does work and has amazing results, I cant imagine how relieved you must all be 🙂 Emily #DreamTeam

    1. It is so, so tough and definitely not for everyone. I could have thrown the towel in numerous times over. I’m not sure I would be able to do it again. I hope you little one soon starts sleeping through x

  24. I’m a fan of controlled crying. Is ‘fan’ the right terminology to use – probably not lol! Thing is what works for one kid might not work for another and you’ve got to try it all out and figure out what works. It worked for my son, he’s slept through since six months and rarely (touch wood) mucks about after he’s put to bed and he’s three now. BUT I’m mindful that it might not work if we were to have another child. Well done, get some sleep #stayclassymama

  25. well done. i couldn’t do it. Firstly I didnt have the stamina to hold out and secondly she would make herself sick when crying so I had to switch to something else. However this is slowly killing my back so i may have to rethink this.
    thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

    1. It’s so hard to get it right sometimes isn’t it? I hope you find you way with it soon, thanks for stopping by x

  26. Well done and Yey for a full nights sleep! It’s so difficult but you have to do what you have to do! We were lucky that we never had to do it in the night, a little in the day to get him to sleep in his cot for naps but nothing major. Saying that he didn’t sleep through the night till 10 months old and at that point I was about ready to implement it! A brave post to write because everyone has an opinion on it. You’ve done a great job xx

    1. I was a little hesitant to publish as I wasn’t sure how people would feel about, but it really was the best thing I could have done. Thanks for stopping by x

  27. Thanks so much for this, it was a brave thing to write about. We did controlled crying with our first when he was 10 months old, now he’s 2.5 and he still sleeps 12 hours at night and 2 hours during the day (a huge blessing because he is super energetic all day long!) We have a 5 month old who doesn’t sleep nearly so well. I think we’ll try controlled crying when he’s eating lots of solids. It’s an unpleasant process but better for the whole family in the end I think. More rested mummy equals more patient and fun mummy (at least in my case anyway!)

    1. Thankyou! It definitely wasn’t easy but I’m glad we did it, was the best thing we could have done. I’m so glad it helped, I hope you soon get a sleeper! Xz

  28. Thank you for sharing this – we have a 6 month old who sound similar – waking at 11, 2, 4, 6… all i can do to get him back to sleep is feed him which i can’t keep doing – was she in her own room? We still have Dougie in our room and I think thats exacerbating the problem…
    Hope everything is going well for you still! x

    1. Hi, it’s so tough when they don’t sleep! She was in her own room by this point. I’ve never look back, it was really tough at the time but worth it now. She sleeps through from 7-7 most nights xx

Let me know what you think...

%d bloggers like this: