Controlled Timed Crying Technique (CTCT)
Let me set the record straight, this technique is not the Controlled Crying Technique that is known in American as the "Ferber Technique." My technique does not suggest letting your child cry without any contact. Nor does it apply if your child is younger than the ability to consume milk and solids throughout the day, or is sick, teething, or adopted with abandonment issues. This technique is to help you, as parents and caretakers, teach your infants to self soothe, so that they may obtain the sleep that is critical for them in their health and development. You helping them helps the whole family from sleep deprivation…as we know it is nobody’s best friend. Babies need to feel secure, safe and familiar in their sleeping surroundings, with a sense of knowing that knowing their parents are there at all times. But as we know growth is not always easy and once we have taught our child this milestone we will begin to see the rewards.
1.) After bath, milk, stories, kisses, cuddles, and fresh diapers/nappy place your child into their cot/crib. Say to your child, “night-night time for sleepy’ and walk out of the bedroom.
2.) When your child cries; you are going to actively listen, but take no action for 2 minutes. (At this time I want you to become aware that your impulse to respond to your child’s cry will be very natural. So responding is likely to make you panicked anxious and edgy to get back into that bedroom ASAP. This is because this is what you have done over the last 6 months. However you know that you have had a fun and stimulating loving day with your child and that tonight is about you teaching your child how to self soothe and sleep by themselves.)
3.) After 2 minutes go back into the bedroom. If your baby is just laying down crying, put your hand on their tummy, look at the bridge of their nose, and just say, “SHHHHHH” in a soothing sweet sweep and walk back out of the bedroom. (If your child is old enough to pull themselves up from the cot, just lay them back down and as you are laying them back down you make the “SHHHHH” noise and return back out of the bedroom.)
4.) Double the time from when you last went in. So now it will be 4 minutes and you will repeat the same exercise as above. Continue to do so until your child has settled themselves off to sleep.
Here’s what to expect…
- • Your child will start to cry and by the second minute will go up to full throttle so you respond
- • When you walk out of the room they will immediately cry and you will hear a peak in their crying and a temper cry that will ring familiar.
- • Your heart will beat faster, your adrenaline levels will increase, you will feel like you are screwing up your kid and immediately feel like you are being a bad parent because emotionally you are reacting, and your body is too.
- • Expect noise.
- • Expect the urge to go into the room right away.
- • Know that you are not screwing your kid up you are not a bad parent and that you are being a parent that constructively, in a positive way is teaching their young one how to self soothe.
- • Know that this will last no longer than 7 days
I have used this technique for over 24 years with parents that have instilled this technique and have successfully crossed this milestone. I am still in touch with the young men and women who were taught how to self soothe using this technique. They are very well adjusted sane young adults. I have sat on the end of beds of mother’s who have dried after succeeding with this technique after 5 days, whom have told me that not only have they saved their child from sleepless nights but their marriage too. Parent it truly isn’t about reinventing the cart horse here. It is merely understanding what is important in our children’s lives and instilling that.
*Photo courtesy of Deborah Copaken Kogan