Author Topic: 8 month old working on crib phobia after CC  (Read 2810 times)

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Offline MsMischief

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8 month old working on crib phobia after CC
« on: December 13, 2018, 23:34:07 pm »
DS just turned 8 months old and we’re trying to move forward from an attempt at controlled crying that was rough on the whole family and unsuccessful—poor LO continued to cry for approximately 45 minutes each night even after an extinction burst came and went.

Our first steps are working on regaining trust and overcoming a crib phobia due to the CC. It’s been about three weeks and I think we’re making great strides on regaining trust. DS is much happier than he was during the CC. He’s back to feeling fine playing independently and fine if I leave the room for short periods. My questions revolve around working on his crib phobia before we begin pu/pd. We have been putting him there to play during the day and i’ll usually read to him while he’s in there. That has been going really well. He does not get upset at all at this point until he starts showing usual signs of being ready to move to a different activity. I also have laid down with him in the crib while we’re going through our current night time routine (back to rocking him to sleep until ready to begin pu/pd) and he has done well with that. He laid quietly and still next to me but hasn’t been able to fall asleep like that (close but not quite).

So my questions are:

1) are there any additional steps we should take at this age to help with the crib phobia? I read the note on regaining trust on the sleep FAQ and it listed a pillow routine for kiddos under 8 months. Is there something similar for babies 8 months and up?

2) How do I know that we’re an on ok place with the crib phobia and can move on to pu/pd?

Thanks for any insight you can provide!

Offline creations

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Re: 8 month old working on crib phobia after CC
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2018, 08:28:21 am »
Hi there and welcome to BW forums.

First off I'm happy to hear you have turned away from CC.
Second, it sounds like you are doing the right things to regain trust and reconnect with your LO.
The thing to remember from here on is that with increased trust your LO will be able to slowly gain the skills and confidence to sleep alone BUT that confidence comes from knowing that Mummy (or Daddy) will always always return whenever he calls for you.
I think just continue what you are doing.  Laying in the crib to help support and sooth him is a great idea (and no need for the pillow as this is a method to get LO off your lap and onto a firmer surface).  if you can add a little rocking motion as you lay with him (as your LO is used to rocking) then you might be able to get him to finally nod off in there.  I wouldn't even aim for him to sleep alone yet but rather to learn that it is okay to sleep in the crib with support from you...and later on to move yourself outside the crib but stay right next to him with as much hands on as needed to sooth and reassure.

I would avoid any sort of timed PUPD to be honest.  it can involve lots of crying and could remind him of his prior experience of CC.  In any case PUPD is a last resort method when other methods have been exhausted.  So instead I would suggest always having a full wind down and soothing in arms then when in the crib put hands on firmly/reassuringly  and give him that little rocking motion in the crib, use shush if he likes it or introduce a key phrase (you can introduce this right away and he will eventually associate it with soothing and sleep) which you can repeat like a mantra.  Much later when you are working on him nodding off with your hands off him you can continue the key phrase to reassure (and hands back on/off to help when needed).  Key phrase can also be used from outside the room once it is fully established to reassure your LO that you are there and still ensuring his safety even though you are not actually in his room - in ALL cases if your LO cries for you or calls for you then you respond with whatever level of support and reassurance is needed, ie if verbal reassurance from outside the room is not enough then you go in, if being in the room is not enough then you put hands on (and key phrase), if hands on is not enough you pick up.

After his experiences of being left I would take things slowly now.  Keep reminding yourself that his confidence comes from you proving and demonstrating that you will always return, no matter what.

As I am suggesting more of a gentle withdrawal rather than PUPD you do not need to know "when" he is ready to start.  Each step towards sleep training is small and with every step you take you can always go right back to full on cuddles.  Even a fully independent sleeper has times when they need full on support, it doesn't ruin their ability to sleep alone or self sooth instead it re-confirms their trust in you that you will always return.  As example, my DS was so independent with sleep that he didn't even want me in the room after his goodnight kiss but at times of illness or teething or tricky developmental leaps he needed lots more attention and at times I would need to stay until he was fully asleep, stroking his head but once the phase was passed he would return to falling to sleep alone again.

I hope this helps.