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Advice needed - LO making himself retch

1 reply

dimples76 · 23/01/2015 13:30


My little boy (19 months old) has been home for five weeks and things are generally going really well. However, one thing that I'm really struggling with is that he sucks two fingers to comfort himself (he's never had a dummy) but occasionally he pushes his fingers too far back and gags on them. Once he made himself vomit.

His FC warned me that he had done this in the past and she would remove his fingers from his mouth and tell him to stop. I've tried doing that a couple of times but he just giggles or shouts at me (depending on mood) and does it again. I asked the HV what the best thing to do is and she said distraction (which was my natural instinct). The HV said it's v common and not to worry - it just seems that I'm finding that advice rather difficult to follow.

During the day it's not really a problem as it happens very rarely and I can easily refocus him something else but night times are different. He hadn't done it for a couple of weeks but last night he kept on doing it. I'm going in every time he cries but I'm not sure what to do when he gags - I have been going in to check he's okay but not addressed it. It's hard not to do anything though when I see him going bright red in the face.... On general parenting discussions the advice seems to be to ignore as it's seen as an attention seeking behaviour but that doesn't feel right with a newly placed baby. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated - after spending from 2-4 going in and out of his bedroom last night I feel that I'm definitely not getting this right!

OP posts:
Kewcumber · 23/01/2015 14:16

You don't have to ignore him, just ignore the behaviour. It might be a way of him getting attention but if it works I don't blame him!

I would just take his fingers out of his mouth and give him a kiss on the head and say "night night, sleep tight" or whatever you say at bedtime. And either leave again or sit in his room until he goes back to sleep whichever you prefer. If you really want to stop him sit and hold his hand until he goes to sleep. DS lost his self soothing mechanism pretty quickly (rocking) but I think finger sucking is more common and probably more persistent with many children.

I wouldn't bother addressing the retching. DS was placed aged 1yr and made himself sick almost every day for about 3 months by eating too much. It was hard but I just ignored it and it did eventually settle down.

I feel that I'm definitely not getting this right! Ha! Join the club.

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