The Boy Won’t Eat!
We have not slept much, in like 3 months now. Oliver continues to wake up in the middle of the night screaming his head off. Unfortunately, there are no taking turns dealing with him either. Both of us have to get up and work together to calm him down and it usually takes about 30-45 minutes before we can get him back to bed. In this time, we normally have to distract him by playing with toys, and midnight feedings, but if that does not work, he may just have to wait for him to get tired from crying so long. Unfortunately, this has been going on for weeks now and it occurs about 2-3 times a night.
After about three weeks of dealing with this, we finally hit a breaking point and took the kid to the doctor. The reason for the delay was because he saw the doctor about 4 weeks ago for his one-year well child exam and we did express some of these concerns with his pediatrician. At the time, her suggestion was to get him to eat more so we simply encouraged him to eat all day long. However, this strategy obviously was not working. So, after three weeks of living life as sleep deprived zombies, we saw the doctor again and explained to her the difficulties we were having. Before this visit, I will admit that I was not entirely convinced on this doctor, but at this visit she really shined by listening to our concerns and took a real interest in why the our little boy has not been eating or sleeping.
Having a child that does not eat or sleep is somewhat typical, but the reason for our concern is that Oliver is underweight in accordance to the growth chart. He started in the tenth percentile when he was born, moved down to the fifth percentile around six months, and fell off the growth chart at the last visit. He has not really gained any weight in over three months. Although he is meeting all of his developmental milestones, which as parents working in the field of Special Needs and Developmental Disabilities, we keep a close eye on, he continues to fall behind in his size. This failure to grow and gain weight is causing the not eating, not sleeping, and severe constipation to be more significant than that of a child with a “normal” stature.
At this visit, I really shared my thoughts with the doctor because Oliver’s lack of growth and our lack of sleep. We really want the boy to gain some weight and sleep through the night so we can stop going to work looking like zombies. So, after our discussion, we came to the conclusion to put him on a scheduled eating routine instead of giving him food all day long. Now, he has scheduled meal times with nothing in between. The scheduled meal times will hopefully allow his belly to empty and teach him what it feels like to have an empty stomach, thus having hunger and the desire to eat. Also, through out the week, we have been instructed to maintain a log and bring the log in with us next week when we see the pediatrician again. If the routine works, he should have gained some weight and the routine will continue. If the routine does not work, the pediatrician at least be able to get idea on what his food intake is per day, how many dirty diapers he had, and how long he is sleeping. At this point, we just have to sit back and let the week take its course and see what happens. We are hoping the new routine works, he gains weight, the constipation goes away, and he starts sleeping through the night. We will just have to wait and see how it goes.