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Gina offers a personal telephone consultation service to parents of young babies and toddlers who are struggling with feeding, sleeping and behavioural problems. Over the last twenty years Gina has helped over 10,000 parents resolve serious sleeping and feeding issues.

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Jacob aged three months - refusing to nap without the dummy

I am writing because I am getting desperate with our three-month old son Jacob. I have used your techniques successfully when my daughter was 4½ months old (almost 4 years ago). She suffered from silent reflux and used to scream 24 hours a day. When medicated and on the right formula and I knew she wasn't in pain, I tried to get her to sleep on her own bed... after 4½ months of being constantly held you can imagine it wasn't an easy task. It paid off though as from about 8-10months she slept through the night on her own.

Jacob also has reflux, although not as bad. He is on lactose free formula and Gaviscon, but despite throwing up a lot I don't think he is in pain. Because he was always a very sucky baby (and because we didn't want him waking up her sister) we gave him a dummy. It was a godsend, and kept him content (I think helped with settling his reflux). However, this is now a nightmare when trying to get him to nap as he wakes up every 30min and even though I put the dummy in (as don't mind doing it during the day) he will spit it out and then not actually get enough sleep in the day, which makes him tired, cranky and throwing up more. I have removed the use of the dummy during the day and he only gets it for sleep/naps. At night he is generally fine. He will go down to sleep with it but stays asleep when he spits it out, and even after his 10.30pm feed, he will generally stay in bed until 6-7am. He fidgets but manages to settle himself.

I am having trouble with the naps though and these are now all over the place. If I leave him to cry more than 3 minutes he will throw up and I end up changing him and the bed etc. But if I keep going to put the dummy in that also does not help him sleep as he stays awake and spits it out. With my daughter, I used a sling to help her to settle but my son hates being held tight, literally the dummy seems to be the only thing to settle him, as even holding him in my arms and rocking him doesn't seem to do the trick. He has occasionally fallen asleep without the dummy but I think out of sheer exhaustion. Do you have any helpful advice to how I could remove the use of the dummy and help him to settle without continuously changing him and the whole bedding? I am getting absolutely desperate now... and I worry that at some point he will start to do this in the night!


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