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Old 01-21-2004, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't posted here in a long time. I mostly just lurk. I have a question about allergies, though. Lots of people suggest that frequent night-waking might be caused by allergies, but I'm wondering what the likelihood is that night-waking is due to allergies if the only symptom is the night-waking. Am I making sense?

My DD is a frequent night-waker. I've posted here before to get some suggestions. Some things help & some don't, and everything has worked only temporarily. So, people suggest allergies. But, my DD has no other symptoms of allergies...no respiratory stuff, no dark circles, no anal ring, no rashes, no crabbiness, no runny nose. (For those of you who remember my original post, I finally got the face rash to go away by treating it with peroxide & antibacterial ointment & it has not returned... I'm sure that was related to a banana allergy, but we're done with that now. And we don't eat bananas.)

So, do you think it's allergies or is this just a thing with my DD? I saw someone else's post about lotion massages & I'm going to try it. It IS ungodly dry in MN this time of year. And it seems that her night-waking was really bad last winter, too. (We can't run a humidifier...seems to promote mold growth & stuffy noses for all of us. We all feel better with it off.)

Sorry if this is diojinted. I'm writing fast while DD sits on her potty in the middle of the living room floor.

Thanks for any insight!

Amy (w/ DD, Aurora - 20 months)
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:48 AM
 
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Yes, wheat and or dairy can cause nightwaking in your baby with no other obvious symptoms. It can be in baby's diet or yours, transferred through breastmilk. It can take weeks to eliminate any wheat or dairy from either of your systems before you can see results of whether or not the elimination works. Try dairy first, then wheat if diary doesn't work - bc dairy gets out of your system faster (about 4 weeks I think; maybe less).

I think I have the same problem with my ds. I'm also trying the massage and after a week or so of it his sleeping has gone from hourly waking to waking every two hours. It could also be that he finished cutting molars. Or it could be dairy. Or wheat.

HTH! Good luck.
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Old 01-22-2004, 01:37 AM
 
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I posted last week in Life with a Babe about the same thing! My 7 month old DS has always been a light sleeper but within the past few months has been a frequent night waker - I mean frequent. Most nights he is up every hour. But - that is his only "symptom" of food allergies. Which is confusing to me - because it could also be his teeth!?

Even though - I started eliminating dairy from my diet yesterday. Even trace dairy. Dr. Sears has some good information on his website and in THE BABY BOOK. Other possible foods that cause allergies are caffeine, wheat, corn, grain and nuts, broccoli, cabbage, and so on. I started with dairy because it is most suspect.

Sorry I am not really answering your question - just wanted to let you know that I am working through this too!
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Old 01-22-2004, 07:16 AM
 
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Personally I'd be a bit dubious about an allergy when night waking is her only symptom. Surely if she were allergic to something it would affect her 24 hours a day, not just at night?: But I might be missing something.

It is so hit and miss with these little creatures - no-one really knows what their problems are half the time. And when they are able to tell you what it was, they won't remember. I virtually emptied my wallet to a paediatrician who could give me no answers about my dd's unhappy behaviour. And he wasn't the only professional I saw during this time. We tried elimination diet after diet with no success. Like you, various things worked for a time then stopped being effective.

I stayed off dairy for about 5 months and that did seem to help. But I'm back on it now, and dd has it in her diet so if that was a problem, she has grown out of it.

I honestly think that some children are more prone to waking than others. Mine has phases where she'll only wake once or twice, and others where she wakes every hour or so At this age they are developing so quickly that what started out as the problem may have resolved and another has taken its place.

I'm sorry I couldn't give you any practical advice, but I hope it settles soon for you.
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I should have mentioned that DD has been off dairy since August. I have been off dairy (since she is breastfed) totally & completely for 2 weeks. Please don't harrass me for not doing it sooner. My dairy intake did not affect her at all before starting solids. So, I wanted to see if eliminating dairy from her diet first would help.

We took her off dairy for a few months & then tried it again to see if it made any difference. It doesn't really seem to matter. She had this sandpapery belly rash for a long time that wouldn't go away (since we gave her a banana in July). We thought maybe eliminating dairy would get rid of the belly rash. It didn't, but it sorta seemed like when we added dairy back it got a smidge worse. So, we eliminated again (months ago now). A week ago I discovered that the tooth gel we're using with her has natural banana flavoring. Since we tossed the tooth gel, the belly rash has gone away. So, now I don't really think it was related to dairy at all, and it was probably just coincidence that the rash seemed a tiny bit worse a few days after trying dairy again. Still, I eliminated dairy 2 weeks ago from my own diet. No changes so far.

Does this help with anyone's thoughts on this?

Really, now that the rash is gone, there are NO other symptoms...other than waking at least every hour all night. We should eliminate wheat, too. Ok, we can do that, just to see. Does anybody know how long you have to eliminate wheat to see if it makes a difference?

Thanks for all your replies so far. I really appreciate you taking the time to read all this & help me out!

Peace!
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Old 01-22-2004, 01:41 PM
 
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Has your dd always been a night waker? Are you co-sleeping? I am and my ds nurses frequently throughout the night, still. He has always been a night waker. Lately, tho, he has been cutting molars so his night waking increased. It is natural for an infant in the first year or two of life to wake frequently to nurse, but that does not mean wake totally up - just enough to latch on and fall back to sleep again (you should be able to sleep, too, while nursing, and you don't even have to wake up all of the way). The breastmilk is most nutritious at night with the highest content in fat, which makes sense bc as a baby grows and becomes more active, he might nurse less during the day and make up for it at night, when he is actually growing the most. A baby's sleep cycles are much shorter than an adults, which accounts for a baby waking every hour or two; an adult prob wakes every three or so hours, but doesn't realize it (unless you get up and go to the bathroom). If a baby is cosleeping and accustomed to nursing throughout the night, then he/she is more likely to want to nurse than a baby who does not cosleep and soothes himself back to sleep.

Other reasons for night waking: developmental milestones, such as learning how to crawl, walk, talk, etc. can disturb a baby's sleep. Teething, of course (especially molars; my ds has been affected for months by his molars coming in). Allergies are very tricky, but it has been proven that milk and or wheat can cause only night waking. You have to completely eliminate one or the other - not even a teaspoonful of milk in your coffee - bc the milk proteins hang around in your system for weeks. Milk proteins are very hard for humans to digest (especially babies) and are not even meant for humans to consume. Human milk is for humans. Goat or sheeps milk is easier to digest, if you want to try those. (That said, I am still putting milk in my coffee and eating yogurt! Oh well, easier said than done...)

I've never tried the wheat elimination diet. But if you do a search on the MDC boards I'd bet you'd find a lot of good information on allergies, dairy, wheat, and other potential allergens.

I personally am just "going with the flow" at this point and nursing ds back to sleep whenever he wakes. He sleeps very well as long as he knows I am there.

One other thing I just remembered: someone mentioned that a chiropractor helped their baby with sleep - the baby had a traumatic birth experience and the chiropractic treatment helped to release the stress toxins and aid the baby in more restful sleep.
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Old 01-22-2004, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gosh I hate it when I'm trying to help somebody & they keep saying, "I already tried that...I already tried that...I already tried that...", but I guess that's what I'm doing! It IS good to know that someone else has been dealing with molars coming in for months (not that I think it's good - just good to know I'm not alone). Here's my original post about sleep back in October:

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...threadid=94797

Things have not changed much since then. I DO think DD is getting molars. We have continued to treat her as needed with Hylands teething tablets.

I *have* decided to just go with it....well, because I don't really think I have any other choice. Yes, we basically co-sleep. I don't think I could survive otherwise (and I almost bit off someone's head a month ago, who suggested that maybe if she wasn't sleeping in our room she'd stop waking so much - remind me to never talk about sleep to anyone other than the people I know will support co-sleeping). Aurora has a twin mattress/box spring pushed up against our bed, which makes her bed just about 6 inches lower than ours. She sleeps there by herself or I sleep with her or she sleep up with us w/her mattress just serving as something to catch her if she rolls off the side, or I sleep there & she sleeps up in our bed with DH. You get the idea! Sleeping location is kind of fluid, and usually changes at least once over the course of the night.
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Old 01-23-2004, 01:54 AM
 
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Exactly what is eating dairy or wheat doing to cause nightwaking? I mean, what happens in the body after eating dairy that causes a child to wake more frequently during the night? Is it pain? If so, why is there no pain during the day?
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Old 01-23-2004, 03:14 PM
 
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My DD was a success story for ending nightwaking by changing my diet. As an infant I cut out dairy because she had colic -- the colic stopped right away. So I knew that she had at least one food sensitivity. From about 3 months on she woke at least every 2 hours all night long, often every hour. I finally decided to try the allergy elimination diet and cut out (in addition to the dairy) soy, wheat, nuts, shellfish, corn/corn products and eggs. Within about 2 weeks she started sleeping in 3-hour stretches. After 3 weeks she was sleeping in 5-hour stretches. She now sleeps 11 hours at night and wakes twice to nurse. I have since added eggs and corn back into my diet with no problems. I really miss peanut butter so I am going to try that next week and see if she has a reaction.

My understanding is that the reason the allergies cause waking is that it is more of a discomfort than pain, and during the day baby is distracted. Kind of like when you have a headache and it's in the background while you're cooking dinner and cleaning up, but as soon as you lay down in bed it starts throbbing.

I have also read that babies can't distinguish between stomach pain and hunger, so they think they are hungry when they are really in pain.

Anyway, it is worth a try for people who can't take the sleep disruption any more!!

Kimba
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Old 01-27-2004, 10:12 AM
 
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Have you considered having the baby tested for allergies? I took 11 month old ds to a pediatric allergist back in November because I had read of a study that linked allergies to recurrent ear infections. Anyway, he did a skin test on ds' back - ds didn't seem to even notice that it was going on, so it seems that it wasn't painful or irritating. It was a special skin test for babies. We found out within 20 minutes that ds is allergic to dairy and dust.

I was just thinking that this might be an option if you feel that you need to know for sure whether your baby has allergies or not.
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