By Jodie Lynn
Our five-month-old still does not sleep through the night. It is exhausting and we both have to get up to go to work the next day. What are we doing wrong? How can we help him go to sleep and to stay asleep for at least eight hours?
ANSWER FROM READER:
Our daughter was a very light sleeper until she was around two, so I certainly understand the exhaustion. We could not figure out what in the world was going on, especially since her pediatrician also seemed puzzled. My mom suggested have her hearing tested. One inner-ear was way below average and the other one was over compensating for it. For whatever reason, she always slept on her right side and this was the ear that was not normal. As she fell asleep, apparently the good ear picked up any kind of noise, since it was exposed to the surroundings. Once we got the correction on the poor hearing side, it just took a few more weeks before she started sleeping through the night. Our main complaint was that her regular pediatrician didn't find this problem nor suggest having her hearing tested. You might want to ask your doctor about this or maybe just do it on your own, as we did. - E.B. in Coral Springs, FL
There are many factors to consider; some of which could be medical and others simply learned behavior. If everything checks out at the pediatrician, then you need to start by focusing on his day-to-day habits. For example, if he goes to a childcare facility, find out when he takes his naps and the number of hours he is sleeping each day. If he is sleeping too many hours there, he will not be tired enough to sleep through the night at his own house. He may also be used to the sounds and smells of the childcare center and this can also inhibit him. Once you get the details from his childcare, they should work with you to help change the learned behavior. Remember, babies make some type of noise for the first ten to twenty minutes that they are laid down. This is normal and is considered a "settling" mode. However, this is but one of several scenarios to try to remedy. To help you further, you might want to check out the book, "The A to Z of Children's Health," by Dr. Jeremy Friedman, (Robert Rose Inc), available at Amazon, $20.95. It has many contributing authors and covers topics of all sorts from birth to age 10. It is truly amazing.
CAN YOU HELP?
We have eight-year-old twins. One is doing well in second grade while the other is really struggling. We were hoping to plan a small, fun getaway trip for the family and just relax from our busy days. However, it looks like it's important to spend extra time catching up and reviewing with one of the kids. How is the best way to do this and not make her feel picked on and perhaps guilty for ruining our free time? Or, should we just cancel the trip?
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