16mo still wakes rubbing face - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-19-2013, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I bf my now 16mo son who has been waking 3-6 times a night maybe even more on some nights.  I've read a few other posts regarding somewhat similar matters but nothing about face rubbing.  My son since newborn would rub his face in the nose area while sleeping and try to go back to sleep, then rub some more until he seems so totally irritated and wakes crying.  I've asked the Peds time and time again about what could be his problem and they only blamed BFing, or teething, or eczema or whatever else they can think of.  He does it NO MATTER WHAT.  I've steamed our mattresses, dust well, use free and clear detergents, and we even purchased a nice air purifier.  He does it whether his eczema is irritated or not, whether he's teething or not, whether his nose is cleaned or not, whether its hot or cold, if he does or doesn't bathe, on vacation in a completely different environment and the one thing for sure is that Most of the time (not all the time) BFing will soothe him.  He's done it since I brought him home from the hospital.  Because he has eczema I've given up dairy and gluten and that seems to have helped his eczema very much.  Its practically gone except occasional flares.  I've read that children with eczema tend to be itchy but it doesn't seem to differ according to the severity of his flare-ups.  

I just wish I could figure this out.  I could try to night-wean but he is SOOOO ATTACHED that if I refuse him he has a meltdown.  He doesn't calm down either.  It just gets worse and worse until he eventually falls asleep and I don't wish to do that to him again.


Has anyone experienced this?  Any ideas?  

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#2 of 5 Old 05-19-2013, 07:10 PM
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could it just be a comfort habit for him?  I dont see how it is associated with nursing at all.

SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)

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#3 of 5 Old 05-19-2013, 07:38 PM
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Does he ever do this face rubbing-or anything similar-during the day?

I also don''t think it sounds like something related to breastfeeding, but I do think it's not just for comfort.  I think something must be bugging him.


I have eczema and I have it really bad in my ears sometimes, to the point that the roof of my mouth itches and it's not from yeast; it's very unusual.  Dairy makes no difference.  Have you spoken to an ENT and dermatologist? I don't quite understand what the rubbing looks like, so I don't know where the itch or irritating sensation is and that is the question.


Night weaning is soooo hard.  I hope you figure out something; he's bound to grow out of it and find his words as needed pretty soon though.

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#4 of 5 Old 05-20-2013, 01:23 PM
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Is his face damp? Perspiration may be irritating him.
We co-sleep and my son begins to rub his face when he is sweating, sometimes enough to wake.
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#5 of 5 Old 05-22-2013, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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He's been to a reputable ENT and Dermatologist. None of them can really say what the night waking is from. I am starting to think that it might be habit for when he wants to bf at night but it must have started as something completely different I imagine. If it is associated with Bfing, I wonder how I can get him out of it cuz he wakes himself frequently and often everyone else wakes too.
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