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Infant crying at night. Is it advisable to comfort him every time?

I have a client who has a 16-month-old child that screams at night. She states that she cannot tolerate his screams, and so she picks him up to prevent him from awakening the other family members. I have attempted to encourage her to simply stand next to his bed and comfort him verbally, and to try other things such as nightlights, comforting white noise machines, etc., but she insists that it is cruel to allow him to scream, and she picks him up and cradles him. I think it is actually her issue, not the child's, and that it is now behavioral, and she is actually making it worse. What do you think?
Asked On : Sun, 21 Apr 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  39
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Pediatrician 's  Response
Thanks for your query,
Babies move through a sleep cycle every one-and-a-half to two hours, where they briefly wake before nodding off again.
When mothers tune in to these night time awakenings... then he or she may not be learning how to self-soothe, something that is critical for regular sleep.
If you've tried everything and your baby is still upset, consider letting your baby cry it out. Crying won't hurt your baby — and sometimes the only way to stop a crying spell is to let it run its course.
Maternal sleep deprivation is also very stressful & can exacerbater her depression if there is any.
If there is genuine screaming & prolonged sleep interruptions she can try giving the baby pedicloryl syp in appropriate doses at bedtime for few nights , just to break the cycle.
Hope I answered your query.
Best wishes for mum & the baby.
Answered: Tue, 23 Apr 2013
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