Struggling to Sleep

Q: “Our 18-month-old has had a long series of sicknesses: runny nose, cough, croup, ear infections and constipation. She’s better now but still not sleeping well. She wakes up every 2 to 3 hours for a bottle and has trouble getting back to sleep. We’re all exhausted.”

A: It is possible that your daughter’s string of illnesses has made it difficult for her to establish mature sleep patterns. Certain developmental milestones (such as walking) can also disrupt sleep patterns.

Temperament also plays a lifelong role in how well individuals sleep. Too much napping during the day can also affect nighttime sleep. Talk to your pediatrician about the problem and steps you can take to resolve it.

Recommendations may include conditioning your daughter to an object (a favorite stuffed animal), sound (a music box) or other environmental element that she can rely on to help her get back to sleep.

The goal is to help her find a soothing way to fall back to sleep on her own so that she can develop a healthy pattern of restful sleep.

This service is not intended to provide medical advice about your individual condition, which should only be obtained directly from a qualified physician or healthcare professional. Your personal information will never be used for any purpose other than to help educate and support you. You may opt out, with no effect on the delivery of your care or health benefits, at any time.

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