Up until 6 months, we didn't try to train our child to sleep to any particular routine; fed her on demand through the night. At about 6 months we started to cry it out, and after one unpleasant night of howling, she quickly adjusted to sleeping around 6 hours at one go. Lucky us, I thought, having heard many stories of people taking weeks to train their child to sleep.

However, in the last two weeks she's begun to crawl, sit up and stand, and this has coincided with her struggling to go to sleep; whereas she'd been going to sleep in ten minute or less, without crying much, she's now back to bawling for up to 45 minutes. She'll sit up, lean back, bang her head on the side of the crib, then crawl around, sit up, bang her head again, ad infinitum, while continuing to howl.

Is this normal? Should we adjust our approach now that she's more mobile?

  • 1
    A personal opinion: I dislike the CIO method. Limited crying sleep training seems much better for the child. Also, maybe your child is early in its 8,9,10 month sleep regression?
    – Dariusz
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 11:39
  • Thanks. I wasn't aware of limited crying sleep training - are there any resources you'd recommend on that?
    – JamesF
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 8:16
  • There are lots of variations. The genearl idea is based on Ferber's method. Googling it will yield lots of results.
    – Dariusz
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 8:30

1 Answer 1


This sounds totally normal. I assume you mean that she repeats the "head bonk" cycle for 45 mins then goes to sleep. Basically, she's now got the ability to move, and this corresponds with a heightened brain activity (if for no other reason than she's excited to move).

The answers to this question cover most of the same ground about what to do, but the main victim of just ignoring her till she sleeps (which, as she was fine with it before, shouldn't be a problem) will be your nerves as she howls. Turn on the TV or stick in some headphones. Assuming the cot's correctly set to the deepest setting possible (once they can crawl, they can climb), she's not going to hurt herself, and nothing you can do is going to make her go to sleep that won't wear off the second you try and leave the room.

If the crying's constant, going in at regular intervals as in this answer helps a lot, but if every leaving just leads to louder crying (and that crying stops immediately once you enter, so it's not "I need food" or "I have nappy rash"), not going in at all is fine.

One thing worth confirming, is she teething at all? If so, a small dose of Calpol or teething gel just before bed makes a huge, huge difference.

Hope this helps, and remember, it gets better!

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