Problems with sleeping can occur in 15 to 20% of cases. If you are able to recognise at least some of the small health issues that causes your child’s bad sleep you prevent a lot of misunderstandings.
Why the tears?
It’s not at all easy to differentiate the sobs for attention of a child that does not want to sleep or even a child that wants to share parent’s bed to the a cry that indicates that he or she is hungry or has some anxieties or even physical pain. Thanks to your experience you might be able to recognise these in time. Trust your instincts. If are not able to sooth your baby with a bottle, cuddle or gentle rocking it might actually experience physical pain. Even though we have some inclinations to deny that an infant can be in pain, we have to admit that it is possible.
The origins of restless or bad sleeping can lie in chronicle ear infection. If you are not sure consult your ORL specialist.
At what time does it cry – nights difficulties?
The time when the child is crying is usually a good indicator. Crying in the second part of the night is usually connected with natural awakening in the sleep cycle. If the child is not able to fall asleep again it calls its parents for help. If the child cries at the first part of the night and it stays away for long periods, it could be a symptom of illness. A child in deep NREM sleep should not wake up. Possible cause could be a pain.
Teeth as the accused!
Teething certainly belongs among the most painful events of child life. Cutting through is always connected with several bad nights. To soothe your child discomforts do not hesitate to use an anaesthetic cream or a gel on the red-oversensitive gums to numb the pain. Well known homeopathic Chamomilla 9CH works almost miraculously.
The following simple calendar should help you to forecast the difficult nights to come.
- First two lower jaw incisor teeth start to appear about the 6th month.
- Next are the two first upper jaw incisors and second lower jaw incisors.
- In the 9th month the second upper jaw incisors are ready to come out.
- Then between the 10th and 20th month first molar teeth are coming. The canine teeth are ready to come out between the 16th and 18th month.
- An at last between the 20th and 30th month the second molars appear.
Right after teething, the ear infection and the skin problems are the naughty colons. Of course they have no mercy on any one! How can a child have a peaceful sleep if his or her belly doesn’t let it sleep because of crumps or pain? Some symptom helps to diagnose a colic which is always on the cards when caring for a baby. The child has usually swollen belly, stressed and bloated and has irregular stool, that is of solid consistency, or too runny. It has a surge of needs to go to the toilet; its face gets bright red while trying to push. Because it feels pain it keeps crouching or pulling its legs toward its body.
If you would like to soothe your baby’s pain you can massage its stomach which will release some of the gases. Massage the belly clockwise to copy the peristalses. Do put warm hands on its belly or cover it with warmed up (no too hot) cotton blanket.
Different custom, different approach
In Africa mothers help their children from colic by carrying them on their backs.
Infant suffering with colic in Algeria is covered up by warmed up cotton strips. The fabric, a kind of safe and calming second skin, warms it up and relieves the pain.
Majority of children meet with more or less intense problems in their 1st to 4th month of life. There is not much relieve that can ease the problems. We don’t know the exact causes of colic but it seems that the immaturity of the digestive system might take the blame. The colons are not prepared to process some sugars contained in mother milk and they cause agitation and gases in the intestines. These problems with colic will one day be only an unfortunate flashback when your child grows up.
The ‘traffic’ in the digestive system is not perfect and ‘one way street’ does not stop the ‘traffic’ coming through in the opposite direction. It happens sometime that the stomach content decides to return to the gullet. The stomach acids irritate the mucous membrane of the gullet which is very painful. It happens mostly at night in horizontal position while the child is asleep. It may not necessarily cause vomiting and sometimes it is hard to detect it. However the child suffers intensely. In this case an appointment at the surgery is necessary.
Child difficulties at nights are normal. Every parent can say that. And it is sure they will stop. When child will grow up.