Jo Frost 'Supernanny' method controlled timed crying
Her ‘controlled timed crying’ is unrelated to ‘controlled crying’ or ‘Ferberizing’. The idea is that it teaches your child to self-soothe so they fall asleep on their own, and therefore will self-settle when they wake in the night.
Here’s how it works: After your usual bedtime routine (bath, milk, story etc) lay your child in her cot, give him a simple goodnight message, such as ‘night night, sleepy time now’, and leave the room. If (or more likely when) your child cries, wait for two minutes before returning. After two minutes, go back in. If he’s lying down, simply place your hand gently on his tummy to settle him, say ‘ssshhhh’ and leave again. If he is standing up, lay him back down before settling him, gently saying ‘sssssshhhh’ and leaving. The next time he cries, leave it four minutes before returning to settle him, then leave again. Repeat the process, doubling the number of minutes you are out of the room each time.
Jo says you should expect crying to peak during the second minute and expect the loudest yells right after you leave the room. However, if you stick with it, she claims it should work within seven days.
Might suit parents who: Want quick results that last and an easy-to-remember plan.
Might not suit parents who: Are feeling fragile. You’re actively listening to your child’s cries, rather than ignoring them, with this method, but if you’re the type of parent that just 13 can’t bear to listen to their child crying, this might not be for you. Jo also points out that this method shouldn’t be used if your child is ill, teething, or is an adopted child with abandonment issues.
Best age to try it at: From six months.
Mums say: ‘Having tried loads of methods, we’d fallen into the trap of rocking Violet to sleep. But by 19 months, she was just getting too heavy for that. ‘I saw a Jo Frost programme demonstrating Controlled Timed Crying and it sounded like it would suit us. I liked the fact that I could reassure her that I was there, but still teach her the skill of soothing herself to sleep. Feeling empowered by this new tool, I decided to give it a go. It was heart-wrenching at first, when she’d call out for me, but within three nights Violet was falling asleep on her own. ‘Now if we ever fall into bad habits again, we just revert to this technique and get back to restful nights.’ Melissa Loveday, mum to Violet, now three years old.
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