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Posts for tag: insomnia

March 01, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: sleep   insomnia   not sleeping   sleeping  

30 Totally Ridiculous Reasons Your Baby Isn't Sleeping

Just a few of the many reasons it feels like your baby will never, ever just go to sleep.

1. She’s too hot. 

2. She’s too cold.

3. It’s too quiet in her room.

4. The white-noise machine is keeping her up.

5. The white-noise machine is set to the wrong noise.

6. The white-noise machine you bought doesn’t have the noise that would actually make her sleep.

7. She is teething.

8. She isn’t teething.

9. Your baby was switched at birth and is actually sleeping great. Who knows why that baby you brought home isn’t sleeping?

10. She is having a “Wonder Week.”

11. She is having a “Wonder how many times I can get my parents to come into my room week.”

12. She ate too much.

13. She didn’t eat enough.

14. She didn’t eat what that woman in the grocery store told you she fed her babies 30 years ago, back when babies never woke up at night.

15. She had a bad dream.

16. She had a good dream and wants to tell you all about it, but she can’t really talk yet.

17. She needs to go to bed earlier.

18. She needs to stay up later.

19. She needs a sleep schedule.

20. She needs to sleep on demand.

21. She needs to sleep on 1,000-thread-count sheets decorated with baby chinchillas.

22. She wants you to play with her.

23. She is glad to finally have a few moments to play alone.

24. She doesn’t think you really cherished every moment during the day

25. She is getting sick.

26. She is getting sick of you trying to make her sleep all the time at night.

27. She needs her arms swaddled.

28. She wants her arms free.

29. She is trying to figure out what her arms are.

30. There is no real reason. She is just messing with you.

January 30, 2017
Category: Sleep

I recently had an opportunity to help a mother whose happy, healthy six-month old changed from a baby who awoke every 3-4 hours through the night for a nursing to a baby who wakes up hourly through the night, crying, requiring parental soothing and suckling even when not hungry. What to do? What to do!

My first suggestion is The Period of Purple Crying,, authored by Dr. Ronald G. Barr, MA, MDCM, FRCP(C).

Of special noted is Dr. Barr's Information for Dad's.

Dr. Barr and I share some history and as a result a common approach to many issues. Dr. Barr was a Fellow in Ambulatory Pediatrics at Boston's Children's Hospital Medical Center when I was Chief Resident in Ambulatory Pediatrics at the same hospital. I highly recommend your reading The Period of Purple Crying if your infant is troubled with bouts of crying or interrupted sleep overnight.

He makes these basic points:


  • There is nothing physically wrong with most infants who wake and signal parents in the night;
  • Except for continued sleeping problems, most infants who wake and signal in the night are normal in their long-term development.

He advises:

  • Quiet a baby thought to be sleepy in a crib or similar place, and avoid feeding or cuddling the baby to sleep at night-time.
  • Reduce light and social interaction at night, but make social interactions enjoyable in the day-time.
  • Once the baby is healthy, putting on weight and developing normally, begin to delay feeding for a few moments when the baby wakes at night. The short delay means that waking is not immediately rewarded by feeding. This is done gradually, using handling or diaper changing to add a short delay, but this does not involve leaving the baby to cry for a long time.

He notes two important principles of soothing crying:

  1. Some soothing behaviors work some of the time, but nothing works all of the time;
  2. Soothing can work preventively if the soothing activities are applied when the infant is not crying rather than just in response to crying.

Secondly, there are many books on troubled sleep and crying infants. This one, The Happiest Baby on the Block, by Dr. Harvey Karp is highly recommended.

Thirdly, I recommend Laura Swartz's website or her Facebook page, Healthy Happy Sleep, as a good source of basic information and sound principles.

And to help keep some sense of humor about this common area of parent sleep deprivation, I recommend that you view the episode "The Conversation" from the TV sitcom, "Mad About You" starring Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser on YouTube, You will laugh in empathy at this episode.


Lastly, many parents can be very creative as to how they exit the bedroom of their sleeping infant so as not wake the little sleeping "nitro-glycerin" crier:


Dr. T