How To Get Your Baby To Sleep In Crib
Some parents set up their own support group. This is a particularly good idea if you don’t want to leave your baby to sleep alone. Whatever you opt for, the important thing is to find yourself someone who listens well, is available in times of crisis and can support your choices.
Just occasionally a sleep problem may be the result of pain. Babies express pain in many different ways including being clingy, excessive sucking and screaming when laid down flat (if your baby is in pain he may prefer to sleep in a semi-upright position). If your baby has any of these symptoms, consult your GP. Some parents have found that an alternative treatment has unearthed the root cause of their baby’s sleep problem.
Hyperactivity and Allergic Reactions
Hyperactive children have difficulty sleeping and often wake early. There is a lot of controversy about the causes of hyperactivity. Some doctors claim that diet is at the root of the problem and some that diet is only a small part of the answer.
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An allergic reaction to food and additives, or to materials, washing powder or dust, can keep your child awake in many ways, depending on the symptoms that it causes. Your child may have frequent ear or chest infections, be hyperactive or cry, have an abnormal thirst and/or a poor appetite, have eczema, dribble, head bang or rock his cot excessively. None of these symptoms conclusively proves that your child has an allergy; but if several of them occur continuously, you might consider an allergy test. An allergy clinic will test your child on an enormous array of known allergens: foods, fabrics, perfumes, dust and hair to name a few. But you may have to pay. Your health visitor or GP will have details of services in your area, or contact the Hyperactive Children’s Support Group (address on page 151).
The most likely causes of food-related allergies are dairy products, sugar and chocolate, additives (particularly tartrazine or E102), oranges, orange juice and eggs.
Anna had undiagnosed allergic reactions as her mother, Janet, remembers:
Anna had colic when she was little, and I used to sit downstairs until 2am to stop her sister waking up. When she went onto solids, the colic got worse. She became constipated and would only poo every four to five days. When she did poo it was really painful for her and she’d cry out and hold on to it. I used to sit in the bathroom for an hour at a time, just waiting.
The night after she pooed she would sleep through the night, but every other night she would shout in her sleep and go rigid.
At 22 months she was allergy tested. She is allergic to potatoes, rice, tomatoes, egg and peanuts. If you think what all the baby food is made up of, it’s not surprising weaning made her worse. We took her off all the foods she is allergic to and that night she became hyperactive – asking for all sorts of foods and tearing the wallpaper border off her wall. She still only poos every two or three days because she’s used to it hurting her, but her sleep is a lot better – although now I have to stop her going to bed with a bottle, a habit that we got into when the doctor told me to help her constipation by giving her more fluids – the only advice he ever gave me.’