Childhood Diseases

Question
Posted by: Rosy | 2008/09/15

Q.

Not sleeping

Dear Dr,

Please help. I have a little 7month old owl in the house! She' s teething, but I' m not sure if this is the problem. Her 1st tooth came out a week back, but for the last 3 weeks she just doesn' t sleep. She has 2 daytime naps of anything between 20 mins en 1.5 hour. If she sleeps only 20 mins she' s obviously grumpy all day long driving the poor nanny nuts. But she falls asleep no later than 7pm and all goes well until 9pm. Then she starts rubbing her nose &  eyes and wakes up. Or she will be fast asleep and sudden pull herself up from lying down to sitting upright in her cot, screaming. This goes on constantly all the way until about 2pm, when she finally just cries and then she' s wide awake. She will lie in her cot babbling, playing etc until she' s bored and then start crying for attention. She just stares at me with big eyes and a huge smile. I can sit next to the cot holding her, I can rock her, sing, anything, but she will not fall asleep again. Usually I get her rocked to sleep at 04:30 but as soon as I put her down she' s awake again. It seems more like she wants attention rather than something being wrong. She also does not want milk / water. I took her to the paed 2 weeks back who checked everyting. Nothing wrong with ears, chest, nose, urine, etc. He said it' s most probably just teething, but I am almost not convinced anymore. I have used saline for her nose at night, I tried the humidifier, pansoral teething gel. I' m really starting to worry. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Rosy

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

It is difficult to be sure exactly which is the chicken and which is the eggg in this situation. It seems as if your baby's problem was started off with her teething as she was fine until her teeth started to come through.Then she realised that she has a captive audience in her room. All she has to do is give a cry or two and you appear.She is obviously not hungry and no longer in pain because she is full of smiles. So she is now putting on a nightly performance for your benefit.She needs to be moved out of your room to her own room. If she wakes up you are going to have to start the very difficult controlled crying technique. Allow her to cry for 5 minutes initially before going to her. Only reassure her when you go to her, kiss her and leave the room.Add on a minute each time she starts to cry again. Eventually after quite a difficult period for you she will simply become so tired that she will fall asleep. It usually only takes one or two nights to get her over this phase.

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