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Childhood-diseases

Question
Posted by: Desperate Mommy | 2005/07/26

Q.

Please help - my baby does not sleep

My baby is 6 and a half months old and still not sleeping through, in fact, he wakes every hour, sometimes every half an hour without any reason. He has a milk feed at 9pm and again at 5am in the morning. (Has another at 1pm and eats well) I've tried giving him an extra feed around 1am, but it does not make a difference. Nothing I've tried made a diffrence. He still wakes up. If I leave him, he starts crying, so I have to lull him bact to sleep. At his 6 months check-up I explained the situation to his paed but he found nothing wrong, he simply fell into a habit of waking and the only way to break the habit is to let him cry it out. How long does that take- a week, a month? I just don't have the nerve for that. My husband and I are exhausted beyond words. Can one not use some sort of medication for a few days to get him into the habit of sleeping through? Someone gave the advice to rub Lennon's Entress Drops into his hands and feet, but it contains a high volume of alcohol as well as Valerian, which is a central nervous surpressant - is it safe to do that? How much is absorbed through the skin? Another recommended Vallergan Forte? Any opinion on that. I'm am so terribly desperate and would appreciate your advice. Thank you in advance.

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

Yours is a very common problem. Part of which may be that he is not getting enough calories during the day and at the vening feed. I hope that you are giving him solids by now, rice or maize cereal and finely mashed fruit such as apple and pear.
I dont like sdatives in infants as they usually have the opposite effect and make children miserable the next day. In particular I dont like Vallergan forte. You may have one or two nights rest but then the irritability and difficulties occur during the day. I would not advise using the alcohol based drops either.
Speak to a good maternity or primary care nurse in your area. You will get the best advice from her.

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5
user comments

C.

Posted by: Nöntokozo | 2014/08/05

I also hve a cry bby. Ma daughter,she iz only two mnths old nw. I dnt slp at nyt,she wuld slp maybe 30min thn wakes up cryng.sm1 suggstd dat i use entress drop bt that thng iz writtn "do nt use in chldren".......

Reply to Nöntokozo
Posted by: Kippie | 2005/07/26

You will see that I also responded on the Parenting forum.
My son was sick at 11 months and since then did not have a sleeping pattern. He would wake anything from 5-9 times a evening - almost on the hour.
I then phoned the pead and she had prescribed Vallergan forte. We started with 3.5ml and brought it down by .5ml every evening - this was taken for 5 nights.
Utter bliss I tell you! He slept right through! With the lesser doses he woke only at about 4 am and slept again.
However, he is off the medication now and we are back to square one.
This is really weird.

Reply to Kippie
Posted by: TMH | 2005/07/26

I had exactly the same problem. And off course the best thing for me to do when baby wakes up was to put him in my bed and breastfed him back to sleep. It got so bad that it felt like baby was drinking the whole night. My hubby was not very impressed and demanded that we do something about this ... To break this routine was terrible .. but can be done. This is what worked for me. I had to teach my baby how to sooth himself without picking him up or breastfeeding him. One must break the habit and teach him alternative ways to fall asleep. They have to learn this just like learning how to crawl or sit. The more you practice the better he will get. It took me 4 nights and now he will only wake up once early in the morning at about 4. I still have to get him to sleep to 6 ... but i'm so tired at that moment that i pick him up and we sleep till 6. So we are getting there .. slowly but it's much better than it was.

I could not do the controlled crying. I have tried it but when i got back into the room he would be standing or sitting up. I knew that this way he would not fall asleep .. he does not know how to lay down by himself. Maybe this would work with smaller babies.

What worked for me ...
1. Get him into a routine. Eat, bath, read a story, breastfeed, and off to bed.
2. Put him into his bed when he is calm and almost asleep. You can even try to put him into bed like always and try these steps when he first wakes up.
3. Sit next to the bed on a chair. When he tries to get up i would hold him down (or just push him down softly so that he can not sit or stand up). Keep him in a laying position. He will not fall asleep when sitting up or standing. At first he was very angry with me and screamed allot. Then he was very sad and would call for me. After he came out of the crying fit ... he settled down ... and i would give him his blanket. I could not take it anymore the first night and picked him up just to calm him down ... but i put him back into bed when he stopped crying. Off course the crying started all over again. But i kept on going and sure enough ... after almost giving up .. he fell asleep.
4.My little one loves to suck or play with labels. Find something that your baby can sooth himself with. Might it be a toy, blanket, dummy, or sucking on his fingers. Give that 2 him. This might take up to 1 hour at first, and then the time would reduce as he learns how to sooth himself.
3. Don't pick him up. (This was very hard to do ... but it worked.) When he cried i would just talk softly to him and reassured him that i will not leave him alone.
4. I also used a flash light to get him out of that crying fit. He loves to look at lights ... so that helped me.
5. Keep calm ... and don't make eye contact or speak to him when he is settled down. He might get the impression that you want to play or pick him up.
6.Follow your instincts. If you feel that your baby needs you .. pick him up. Check if something is wrong (take his temperature, check his nappy, check if his clothes are not irritating him, check if he is not 2 cold or 2 hot, maybe he really is hungry)
7. Don't think that any medication would get him 2 sleep better. He must learn 2 do this on his own. You would not want to give your little one medication every night.

With smaller babies you could try 2 wrap a blanket tight around him ... so that he would feel secure. The sooner you start to teach your baby to fall asleep .. the better. It's only going to get worse with time.

My baby is now 9 months old and he loves to sit and stand up. This has been hard for me to keep him in a laying position. We still have our moments but it's certainly improved. I have also noticed that he would start to lay down all by himself so it's getting better.

Good luck!!!

Reply to TMH
Posted by: sambinoct | 2005/07/26

I am currently having the exact same problem with my 4 month old. If you find something that works please let me know! Just started working again and lack of sleep is really getting to me. I get about 3 hrs a night! Someone please help us "Super moms"

Reply to sambinoct
Posted by: Jumbo | 2005/07/26

The crying of the baby especially at that stage it's quiet common and I would be honest to you there is no medication for that. If you feed him too much at night he ofcause can cry out the whole night coz the stomach is too full and now cramps are assailing him. I would also advise to take this post to the Parenting Corner Peer Forum for further suggestions.!

Reply to Jumbo

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