Posted by: help | 2004/01/28


Naughty child or is insecure

How do I know if my child is just naughty and looking for attention or if something is really wrong with her...
She is 5 months old. She wakes up every hour at night... doesnt sleep well at all. She often doesnt want her bottle..she just wants to see us soon as she sees one of us she stops crying..
I have tried leaving her at night in the hope that she sleeps on her own..if she cries i go check and then leave her to try sleeping again..
some night we only sleep for 2 hours in total
i have taken her to the clinic they checked everything..they say she is growing fine..nothing physically wrong with ..they checked her gums for teeth and there was nothing..
She is not wet or hungry ... Is she insecure? She wakes up the whole night regardless of wether she sleeps in the cot or between us

Expert's Reply



What you describe is not naughtiness, but a wrong sleeping pattern. This is extremely common and the curse of most first time parents. What you describe sounds like a perfectly well baby, who needs to settle into a better routine. At this age it is perfectly acceptable to give only one bottle at night if required and to remove any other reward for waking in the middle of the night. These rewards include taking her into your own bed or spending excessive time to cuddle her etc., once you have established that she is not unwell. It will take a week or 2 to settle into a new pattern.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Belle | 2004/02/02

Dear Shocked

Quite obviously we have different views on how to raise our kids. You are not going to be able to change my views and I am not going to be able to change yours so lets just leave it at that.

Reply to Belle
Posted by: shocked | 2004/01/30

Hi Belle, I am the mother and my baby is the baby. I am the adult and she is the "dependant". I cannot possibly expect her to understand or be concerned for my well being as she is a tiny little dependent person. I too am human and feel tired at times but being a mother is a full time job that requires working 24/7 365 days a year. I am committed to this role and relenquish certain privaleges that I took for granted before. Life has to change as a parent and to be a good parent you have to be completely unselfish and give most of yourself in ordefr to raise a confident child which will lead to a successful adult. I am sorry to say this but I believe that it is you who is selfish in some regards and stringency is not neccessarily required in all aspects of raising children. Look at Dr Spock - he first said that you must not spare the rod, children must been seen and not heard. Later he withdrew all those techniques and admitted that he was wrong.

Reply to shocked
Posted by: Belle | 2004/01/30

Maybe you have misunderstood me when I say selfish. The meaning of selfish in the dictionary is "seeking or concentrating on ones own advantage, pleasure, or well being without regard for others." When I read this I think small children and babies. You cannot tell me that your small baby is concerned at all for your needs or wants. If it was then it would let you sleep during the night and give you a break when you are sick etc. A babys natural survival instinct makes it selfish, else most of them would not make it past a few days. I am not saying that it makes them bad but it is a fact that they are only concerned with their wellfair. Sure, they do love you I am not saying they dont but their main concern is what they want.

Reply to Belle
Posted by: SHOCKED | 2004/01/30

I am just outraged at the fact that you believe that babies are the most selfish things on earth - that they don't care what the parents want etc etc... That in itself makes me wonder about your motives regarding sleeping patterns. Whilst I agree that routine and boundries are necessary, there must also be flexiblity and children esp babie thrive on human love and touch. My daughter is 13 months and sleeps all through the night. When she does wake, I go into her room and stroke her head, put her dummy back in and off to dreamland she does. I shudder to let her cry longer than 10 minutes let alone for 30 minutes. Imagine if you were a tiny baby dependant on your mother for every thing ? They are also people and need their needs to be met in order to be secure. You need to realise that being a mother is a demanding job and if you are not fully prepared to do it then rather refrain.

Reply to SHOCKED
Posted by: Belle | 2004/01/30

Dear Shocked

You are 100% entitled to your opinion, but my kids are happy, healthy and very secure children. They know where their boundries are. Sometimes they still act up but thats just to test if we have decided to give in. If you read up a little about this then you will realise that it is actually a recomended method of getting your children to sleep through the night even if it is hard to do and sounds a bit harsh. Sleeping patterns formed now are sleeping patterns that they will have for the rest of their life and the longer you accept their performance at night the harder it will be to break the pattern. Babies do not need to be cuddled and fed every hour during the night, they do need boundries. They should not be running your life you should be teaching them what is acceptable and what is not. Such behaviour during the night is not acceptable in my house. I value my sanity and my marriage. I tried for 3 years with my first child to do the getting up and feeding and cuddeling during the night. The more often I got up the more often she cried the more I cuddled the more she wanted to be cuddled. There is more than enough time during the day to give your child all the food and cuddeling that it needs but because we work we feel guilty and so give in during the night.

Reply to Belle
Posted by: Shocked | 2004/01/30

Belle - you should be had up for abuse and neglect... U should NOT be a mother

Reply to Shocked
Posted by: Belle | 2004/01/29

Babies and children must be the most selfish things on this earth. They dont care if you need to do something or need some sleep, they only thing about what they want. Your child wants your full attention day and night and unless you make her realise that she cant have it she will continue to demand it. Decide on a bed time and put her to bed then ignore her until the morning. It is pointless letting her cry for 30 minutes and then going in. You just teach her that if she cries for 30 minutes you will come. Dont let her cry one night and the next night decide you are to tired to put up with it and go to her. It also confuses them if you keep letting them cry and them suddenly go in. Leave her to cry and expect at least a week of almost no sleep. After the first few nights she will start to realise that no one is coming and will eventually start going to sleep. If you realy cant take the screaming go and sit on the pavement for a while. The screaming wont do her any harm, and the extra sleep you will be getting in a week or two will do you wonders as well as your marriage. If you suspect that she is dirty wait until she falls asleep again and go and check without waking her up.
It worked for both my kids who are extremely active children. My husband and I had to take turns at night with my daughter to walk with her to keep her quiet so that the other one could get a little sleep.

Reply to Belle
Posted by: mom | 2004/01/29

Maybe there is something in the house that is bothering her, or she just wants more attention from you, maybe you gave her alot of attention when you were pregnant with her and now not as much as you did. My son cries if he sees me, just so that i should pick him up. The one minute he'll be playing and talking with his dad (baby talk) and if he just sees my face he start crying, he gets over exsited. Maybe she doesn't like the formula, my son didn't like his formula so i gave his formula with a little bit of yoghurt so that it has a flavour now he drinks it. My son is on infacare Nutricia, have you tried feeding her an hour or two before she goes to sleep. I feed my son about 6 pm at night then he goes to bed about 8 pm and he sleeps until around 2 to 3 o'clock in the morning i give him his bottle of milk and he will go back to sleep until about six when his dad wakes up for work. Always rember never give them attention at night when you want them to sleep or when they just woke up during the night for a bottle don't smile or talk, you have to have no facial expressions they react on that and won't go back to sleep.

Reply to mom
Posted by: help | 2004/01/29

She breaks the winds herself.. She uses her dummy...but is often disturbed if the dummy falls out... ..i have tried to prop it so that it doesnt come out but i am scared of leaving things in front of her nose.

Reply to help
Posted by: Carol | 2004/01/28

She may be sufferring from wind. Does she break wing easily? Perhaps dip her dummy (does she have a dummy?) in some gripe water?

Reply to Carol

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