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Sleeping Problems
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 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My daughter constantly keeps daydreaming, and at night she has disturbed dreams. She looks afraid while sleeping. She once woke up shouting for her mother. She doesn't like to watch television, as it frightens her. What should we do? Please help.

Kamla (Ludhiana, India)

A: This is called night terror. This condition vanishes when the child gets older. Try giving her something sweet to eat or drink just before she goes to sleep. She should empty her bladder before turning in. Whenever you feel like she his having a nightmare, wake her up immediately, hold and comfort her. Talk to her, sing a song or tell her a story and she will fall back to sleep. Has she been told horror stories? Or has she been threatened to make her behave? Is there any tension in the family or a change of routine? These could be reasons contributing to her disturbance. Let her watch only cartoons on television.


Q: My son used to go to sleep on his own. Once he started standing up in his crib, he would cry and not go to sleep. We have tried to let him "cry it out" which worked a few times but now he cries until he vomits. What do we do?

Savitri (Birmingham, U.K)

A: Your baby is still very small. If he cries at night and has difficulty falling asleep, pick him up and hold him till he falls asleep. Don't let him cry it out.


Q: My son is 6 months old. He wakes up every half an hour or so at night, but sleeps soundly after sunrise till noon. The sleeps for a couple of hours during the rest of the day. How can I get him to sleep through the night?

Natasha (Birmingham, Singapore)

A: Your child's sleep pattern is perfectly normal. As your child grows, his sleep pattern will regularise.

Dr. Balasubramanian


Q: My month old son sleeps just around 9 hours a day. Is this adequate, keeping his age in mind?

Mandira (Shimla, India)

A: There are no hard and fast rules regarding the sleep patterns of small babies. There is no need to worry.

Dr. Balasubramanian


Q: Our darling little girl does not sleep well at night. She still wakes up for a bottle and fusses, not cries, for her plug when she loses it. The baby is very happy, calm and healthy. I think she should be sleeping through the night. She is seven months old. Any suggestions?

Caroline (Shimla, Norway )

A: I think you are doing very well. Sleep patterns of small babies can be quite frustrating. Have patience.

Dr. Balasubramanian


Q: My child still breastfeeds. When she was 9 months old, I started giving her milk in a glass. She has also started basic solids. The problem is, she wakes up in the middle of the night, every night. She then starts crying and breastfeeds for a long time. She also wets her bed. She doesn't sleep throughout the day - she only sleeps at night, and wakes up at around 7:30. She is around 15 months old. Is this okay?

Shubhani (Dehra Dun, India)

A: Your child is the most perfect child I have heard of! She is too young to be toilet trained. Her sleep pattern is also normal and will regularise on its own. Give it some time.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: Our newborn baby does not sleep at night. While he sleeps comfortably off and on through the day, he is awake nearly the whole night. What can we do to make him sleep through the night? Also, his head appears flatter on the left side as he tends to keep his face turned towards the left side all the time. Do we need to be concerned about this?

Himani (Ooty, India)

A: When the child is in the womb, it does not know the difference between day and night. After delivery, the child is in a kind of 'jet lag' situation. When it is day for you it is night for the child. It takes about 3 months for the child to get over this 'jet lag'. The best solution would be for the mother to try and sleep whenever the child sleeps. There is no need to keep any pillow underneath your child's head. The head shape will become normal as the child grows.

Dr. Subba Rao


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