Best Position For Baby To Sleep
If the sleeping problem is severe and you are at the end of your tether, your GP may prescribe drugs for your baby.
Most doctors only prescribe sleeping drugs to babies when the problems are severe, have gone on for a long time and you are close to breaking point. This is because sleeping drugs do not solve sleeping problems. They will only offer you a few nights respite. Your doctor will probably only prescribe drugs sufficient for two or three nights, and no more than two weeks at the outside.
The two most commonly prescribed sleeping drugs are trimeprazine, under the brand name of Vallergan, and promethazine, which is sold as Phenergan. However, your doctor may be reluctant to prescribe either of these as they are not recommended for use with babies under two.
It is important that you give your baby the stated dose, rather than try a small amount first, as sleeping drugs have a hyperactive effect at low doses, and your baby may simply stay awake longer than usual. Some parents find that a drug prescription is reassuring. It says that their problem is serious and that if they can’t cope, there is something they can do. Often parents then decide to treat the problem another way. A lot of sleeping drugs are prescribed and never used.
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When you get to the stage where you need to use drugs you are desperate, you’ll try anything. You’ve got to get some sleep. I was feeding James every two hours night and day, and because he was a slow feeder it took me an hour each time. I slept for an hour and fed for an hour. Because he was my first, I was expecting it to be a wonder drug – it wasn’t. First of all I was given the wrong dose of Phenergan and it made him hyperactive. Then I was prescribed Vallergan which knocked him out and gave me more than two hours at a time. But it didn’t break the habit. It didn’t solve my problems. He was tired in the mornings and a bit dopey in the day, and then of course, he wasn’t tired enough to have an afternoon nap until late, and by bedtime he wasn’t tired enough to sleep and you’re not supposed to give it to them until they wake for the first time in the evening. ’
Teresa, mother of James, nine, Emma, six, and Mark, four