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What can I suggest to help my friend... she's really struggling.

(15 Posts)
HeadFairy Fri 19-Jun-09 11:16:11

My friend has a 16 month old boy and he seems to have real problems sleeping. He's never slept through apart from a period of about 6 weeks back in October. He wakes up at usually around 3am and is awake from then on. He rarely naps during the day but from the look of him he's really tired. He looks absolutely shattered to me.

My friend says her ds seems uncomfortable, but they've tried all the usual options, he's not too hot, too cold, hungry, wet. He's got normal bowels, so he's not straining or anything like that. She says he just seems really fed up. He's only just started walking, and I thought that might help him sleep but it hasn't helped. He's really really whingey all day long, totally exhausted and fed up and yet he won't sleep.

Is it worth following up with a GP? Can they actually help? It's starting to affect her health, her relationship with her dp and with her ds, she's always fed up with him because she's so sleep deprived. She's had to leave him screaming on occasions because she was scared of what she would do to him.

posieparker Fri 19-Jun-09 11:18:22

He's probably fed up because he's exhausted.
I would keep a sleep/food diary for a week and then see what's going on. I would definitely see my GP and HV.

Lots of fresh air and routine.

HeadFairy Fri 19-Jun-09 11:32:58

I've said to her she should see her gp, but she says her gp's rubbish and he says that if her ds doesn't have a temperature and isn't obviously ill then there's nothing he can do. Is there such a thing as sleep clinics for small children?

Would a cranial osteopathy session be worth a try? He had quite a tricky birth, ventouse and forceps, he was quite stuck. Or would it be really obvious he had something that could be fixed with cranial osteopathy? Is he too old for it now?

posieparker Fri 19-Jun-09 12:15:47

I just think it's routine.... nothing major. Never getting enough sleep....
Has she thought about his diet? Is he eating enough?

ButtercupWafflehead Fri 19-Jun-09 12:18:09

My HV pointed me in the direction of NHS sleep clinic, and yes it did help. Sleep deprivation ruins your life, so shout for all the help available. (IME)

EffiePerine Fri 19-Jun-09 12:21:53

There are private sleep clinics - Millpond springs to mind. I'd try her GP first though.

posieparker Fri 19-Jun-09 12:24:08

NHS sleep clinic, sounds great to me.

EffiePerine Fri 19-Jun-09 12:28:16

also it is suprisingly common for older babies to have sleep problems but people don't talk about it

HeadFairy Fri 19-Jun-09 12:47:49

Posie, he eats really well. He's in a really good routine, always in bed at the same time, she follows the same wind down routine in the evenings before going to bed. But just about every night he wakes up agitated and frustrated.

I think something like the NHS sleep clinic sounds ideal... I did wonder if cranial osteopathy might help. My friend is really at breaking point, she's at the point where she's negative about everything, and she said she thought cranial osteopathy was only for newborns. I have heard people say that if it's going to work, you'll see a difference almost immediately, so I'm going to try and persuade her to follow that up as well. I'll also have a chat with her to see if she can find a more sympathetic gp who might help refer her to the sleep clinic.

I think there comes a point where you're so tired you can't think straight, and she's most definitely at that point. She came to my house the other day and she didn't have a nice word to say about her ds, she kept saying what a pain he was, how irritating his constant whingeing was. She really has lost all perspective because she's so tired.

Penethea Fri 19-Jun-09 13:19:00

Hello there - I was going to post a separate message about how to find professional help with sleeping - the NHS sleep clinic sounds like a great starting point. How do they work, and how do you get in touch, do you know? Thanks.

HeadFairy Fri 19-Jun-09 14:13:26

Effie, thanks so much for suggesting Millpond. I texted my friend with the details earlier and she's just called me back in tears - of relief. She had a good long chat with them and she's signed up. It's the most positive I've heard her be in ages.

EffiePerine Fri 19-Jun-09 17:14:04

I hope it works for her

ches Sat 20-Jun-09 04:57:25

Has she also tried pain relief for those nasty molars which are probably coming through?

HeadFairy Sat 20-Jun-09 10:03:11

She has been giving him calpol if he seems really uncomfortable. She didn't realise she could give him 10ml now he's over one, so I told her to try that, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't....

ches Mon 22-Jun-09 03:33:49

I found calpol did nothing for DS's teething pain, but ibuprofen worked a miracle. The dosage does NOT go by age, it goes by weight. The packaging should give a dosage by weight and if not, she can use this link. (Acetaminophen = paracetamol)

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