A baby who has trouble sleeping and—usually—also cries excessively can put a tremendous strain on his or her parents. Not only are the parents worried about their child, but they are also suffering from sleep deprivation themselves, not to mention tortured ear drums.
I understand how stressful this can be because my own daughter started crying excessively and not sleeping within hours after birth, for no apparent reason. I could not find the right homeopathic remedy and almost lost my mind. Fortunately, we both found help from an energy healer when she was six months old.
Years later, I realized that my daughter might have been affected by an ultrasound late in my pregnancy. I came to this realization after I helped a very restless child who had been exposed to multiple ultrasounds in utero. This girl had insomnia and could not sit for any length of time. A homeopathic remedy made from ultrasound helped her dramatically.
MULTIPLE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS
Over the years, I have learned that there can be multiple reasons for insomnia and excessive crying in babies and children, which can be broadly classified into four categories.
- Inherited factors (mostly epigenetic or miasmatic)
- Events during pregnancy
- Events during labor and delivery
- The baby’s early life experiences
Each category includes emotional stressors and traumas as well as toxic stressors related to medical interventions and environmental toxins. Usually, more than one cause is at play. More importantly, early excessive crying and insomnia in babies can be an indicator that the child may be at risk for developmental disorders.
A BOY WITH AUTISM, SLEEP PROBLEMS, AGGRESSION AND OCD
When I first met eight-year-old Oliver (not his real name), he had been diagnosed with autism and severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which was focused on ripping and tearing things into small pieces. In addition, Oliver could not sleep without his mother next to him nor with the lights off. He suffered from pica (an eating disorder), eating copious amounts of sand, rocks, dirt, grass and paper. He was not yet toilet trained and still wore diapers. His language development was delayed. He used about one hundred fifty words for objects and people.
The most distressing problem for the parents at the time, however, was Oliver’s intense irritability and aggression. His mother reported, “He will attack us if he’s frustrated with something. He’ll go for our faces and claw at our mouths; this happens daily.” The irritability and aggression had gradually increased over the years, especially over the previous year.
Oliver had received his first round of vaccines at four months old. A month later, he suddenly developed insomnia and night terrors. “It was horrifying,” his mother said. “He looked right through us with his eyes open, but he was gone. This went on for quite a few months, every single night. Before, he had slept very well. In addition, his engagement with us dropped and he became very irritable and fussy.”
At seven months, he received his second round of vaccines. At eight months he developed eczema on his cheeks. At ten months, Oliver got another round of shots, in spite of the alarming changes after the first two rounds. His mother reported, “Suddenly his eczema flared. He was found allergic to soy, dairy, dust, grass, trees, even turkey. He reacted to absolutely every thing. We bought a new mattress; we were constantly cleaning. Then we took him off formula and his eczema got better.” But the worst was yet to come. By the time Oliver was thirteen months old, he had lost all of his words. By sixteen months, he had a badly bloated belly. And just before he turned two, he was diagnosed with autism.
As Oliver’s mother described it, “I had intense work stress during the better part of the pregnancy due to ongoing conflicts with a superior at work. I had to do a lot of extra work and felt totally unsupported. I felt angry and cried a lot; however, I felt pressure to continue working until just five days before his birth.” Oliver’s mom also had four or five ultrasounds due to some concerns with the placenta.
Labor and delivery were a nightmare. Labor was induced with a vaginal tablet three days before the due date because the mother had developed high blood pressure. “Twelve hours later, I was induced with an IV drip of Pitocin, even though I did not want to be induced. I totally felt pressured into it. Contractions then came hard every few minutes. They hooked me up to monitors. The whole situation felt chaotic to me and was not at all what I had wanted.”
Dilation of the cervix stalled for many hours at eight centimeters. Oliver’s mother received a morphine shot, slept for a while and was given nitrous oxide, which made her feel irritable and aggressive. “I’ve never felt that aggressive in my entire life. I could barely control myself. The nitrous oxide also caused projectile vomiting.”
Finally, after twenty-eight hours of labor, “the baby’s heart rate went down. They gave me an epidural and prepped me for a C-section. But the epidural made me feel freezing cold. I could not stop shaking. Here I was, lying on the operating table, and nobody did anything about it. I felt almost violated, certainly not honored.”
ASSESSMENT AND PLAN
Here was an eight-year-old boy with a likely history of delayed reactions to routine childhood vaccines, with initial night terrors, insomnia and irritability, followed by the onset of multiple allergies and eczema, developmental regression and an autism diagnosis. Also of note was the emotionally intense and stressful pregnancy, as well as the complicated and stressful delivery with adverse reactions to anesthetics, including severe aggression and shock-like symptoms.
Oliver received the homeopathic remedy Stramonium for the history of night terrors and fear of sleeping alone and in the dark as well as for his aggression. Stramonium is a common remedy for neurological problems in children, especially when they are associated with aggression and violence. I have seen this remedy come up frequently after vaccines, as well as after emotional traumas, such as frights.
Many years ago, I saw a four-year-old boy who also had sleep problems from birth and was overly clingy with his mother. The boy was brought in because he was suicidal and kept asking to die. His mother had been stalked and threatened with death while she was pregnant. A few doses of Stramonium cleared the slate.
Oliver did very well on Stramonium. Over the next few weeks, his aggression drastically diminished, and he completely stopped attacking his parents. It also became easier for him to fall asleep, and his pica as well as his OCD symptoms diminished somewhat. We then added a homeopathic remedy made from a mixture of vaccines, which greatly helped his speech and cognitive development. His obsession with tearing and cutting did not change much.
A PREGNANCY IMPRINT?
Three months into his homeopathic care, Oliver suddenly developed what seemed like bladder pain when urinating. He had to urinate frequently and was crying out in pain. After he got a couple of acute remedies for this, he developed a new symptom of compulsively spitting and urinating on everything. “He is refusing to wear clothes and is peeing on the couch and his clothes on purpose. He rips off his diaper and pees a few drops into it. Then he spits into the diaper and licks the urine and spits up in a very obsessive way. He gets extremely agitated when we try and stop him, yelling, screaming, hitting.”
I recognized the remedy, Hyoscyamus. The day after his first dose, this strange and disturbing behavior completely stopped, much to everyone’s relief. The emotional situation Oliver’s mother was in during the pregnancy might have contributed to this layer. Hyoscyamus is one of the more common remedies in children with insomnia when the mother has suffered wrongs during pregnancy, such as in a work or relationship situation, or for patients who feel like they are not good enough, which may cause great agitation. It is always very important to understand the mother’s state during pregnancy when a child develops problems in infancy or early childhood.
A MIASM REARS ITS UGLY HEAD
By our next appointment a month later, Oliver had developed another new symptom. He was lining up everything in the house—toys, shoes, furniture—and became obsessed with smashing rocks with a hammer. Moreover, he was now obsessed with water and with washing his hands. “He constantly has to go to the washroom to wash his hands. We’re lying in bed at night and he has to get up and go to the washroom to wash his hands a few times; in fact, the behavior is much worse at night.”
This was an interesting turn of events. Yet another layer appeared to have come to the surface, a miasmatic layer. In homeopathy, we have recognized for two centuries that children can be born with various predispositions that may be linked to a family history of infectious diseases as well as cancer, a phenomenon that homeopaths commonly refer to as a miasm. The new science of epigenetics has provided much needed scientific confirmation of these clinical observations. Interestingly, the link of cancer with infections is also increasingly recognized.1,2
Homeopathic remedies prepared from infectious materials may often be indicated and helpful in such instances. For obsessive handwashing and a worsening of symptoms at night, most homeopaths will recognize the needed remedy as Syphilinum, a homeopathic remedy derived from syphilis. (Not to worry, the remedy is made from the sterilized product, and one cannot contract syphilis from it.) The obsessive symptoms can be linked to a family history of syphilis and often to a family history of alcoholism. The mom confirmed my suspicion: “My maternal grandfather and his father were severe alcoholics.” Oliver got Syphilinum and almost immediately the handwashing obsession stopped. He also continued to receive the homeopathic vaccine mixture remedy, every dose of which improved his speech further.
HOW SWEET IT IS
During our next appointment, Oliver’s mother reported that her son had developed yet another new habit. He was running around wildly, licking his fingers and touching everything. If the family went to a store, he wanted to touch all the items in the store. He was also obsessively asking for sweets. At this point Oliver got Saccharum officinale, a fascinating remedy made from the juice of sugar cane.3 Children who need this remedy may obsessively ask for sweets, put everything in their mouths and exhibit behavior that is hyperactive and overly clingy. They may also have an underlying feeling that they are not loved, even though their parents are giving them ample attention and love.
Sometimes this pattern is also a type of miasm or epigenetic imprint. I have seen and read about several children who suffered from extreme crying, insomnia and clinginess from birth whose parents had histories of emotional abandonment by their own parents, or who were adopted.4 Even though these babies were attended to nearly non-stop by their parents, they could not be soothed. They needed to nurse or suck constantly and be carried or entertained continuously, and they could not sleep without attachment to a parent. They also suffered from excessive separation anxiety. Saccharum officinale was helpful in several of these cases.
Interestingly, sugar is often a symbol or substitute for love. Mother’s milk—the first food a baby receives—is by nature sweet. Loved ones are called “honey,” “sweetie” or “sugarpie,” and sweets and chocolates are ever popular as Valentine’s Day gifts. Saccharum can be a great remedy when a child does not feel loved and just can’t get enough attention.5
Oliver’s mom told me that Oliver had gone through a phase of intense separation anxiety from age two to four, to the point that she could not be out of his sight. At that time, another homeopathic practitioner had given him Pulsatilla, and the next day the separation anxiety was gone as if by miracle. With the Saccharum remedy, Oliver may have been going through a phase of clearing out some ancestral imprint. The poor boy seemed to be processing every trauma and infection in his family history.
MORE LAYERS TO COME?
Oliver’s case is ongoing, and I would not be at all surprised if he soon needs a remedy made from the anesthetics his mother received during labor. After all, she suffered intense reactions, with acute aggression in response to the nitrous oxide, and shock-like symptoms of freezing in response to the epidural. Oliver may also need a remedy made from the pregnancy ultrasounds or the Pitocin he had during birth, as well as other constitutional remedies.
In children such as Oliver, their miasmatic backgrounds and various stressors during the pregnancy and birth process damage the vital force and provide a fertile ground for adverse reactions to vaccines, medications and other stressors. However, with careful homeopathic management, all of these layers can come to the surface to be healed. It is really quite incredible. The symptoms are the guide to the next remedy.
Oliver’s case shows why babies who suffer from excessive crying and insomnia should always be carefully evaluated and monitored, as these symptoms may be early signs that the child is susceptible to potentially very serious developmental disorders. If the symptoms are present from birth, the homeopathic practitioner should thoroughly assess stresses or traumas the mother suffered during pregnancy, labor and delivery as well as medical interventions received during that time. I have seen a single vitamin K shot cause years of insomnia and excessive crying in one child.6 Vitamin K shots contain, among other ingredients, polysorbate 80 (a controversial emulsifier) and propylene glycol (a synthetic food additive in the same chemical group as alcohol).
Ultrasounds are probably another common contributing factor to sleeplessness and restlessness in some babies. As mentioned, my own daughter’s intense restlessness and crying may have been linked to a late-pregnancy ultrasound.
Vaccines, too, can be a major trigger. Most babies in the U.S. receive a hepatitis B shot at birth, along with the vitamin K shot. Symptoms of adverse vaccine reactions are typically delayed by several weeks to months and can build on one another, as Oliver’s case illustrates and as I’ve described in another article for Wise Traditions.7
Fortunately, homeopathy has the wonderful potential not only to heal these children on multiple levels, but also to help identify the many contributing factors to these imbalances, liberating the little ones from ancestral burdens as well as chemical imprints to become fully and gloriously themselves!
- Quillin P. Is cancer an infection? Getting Healthier, April 28, 2019. https://gettinghealthier.com/is-cancer-an-infection/#_edn7.
- Smith E. The link between cancer and infections. Cancer Research UK, February 26, 2014. https://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2014/02/26/the-link-between-cancer-and-infections/.
- Smits T. Saccharum officinale. Inspiring Homeopathy. http://www.tinussmits.com/3870/saccharum-officinale.aspx.
- Kolenová J. Separation anxiety: a case of Saccharum officinale. Interhomeopathy, May 2014. http://www.interhomeopathy.org/separation-anxiety-a-case-of-saccharum-officinale.
- Panchal M, Panchal P. Mummy does not love me: a case of Saccharum officinale. Interhomeopathy, April 2013. http://www.interhomeopathy.org/mummy-does-not-love-me-a-case-of-saccharum-officinale.
- Zimmermann A. Successful cases: Chronic insomnia, restlessness and excessive crying in a baby. May 22, 2018. https://www.ankezimmermann.net/successful-clinical-cases/chronic-insomnia-restlessness-and-excessive-crying-in-a-baby-linked-to-the-vitamin-k-shot-at-birth.
- Zimmermann A. Understanding and healing vaccine injuries. Wise Traditions. Summer 2020;21(2):61-65.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2021🖨️ Print post