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My 2.5 year old has a bad habit of making herself vomit

I have two beautiful girls, a 2.5 year old & a 4week old. My 2.5 year old, Jazmin, has a bad habit of making herself vomit. We noticed she did this for attention. We`d go in her room clean her up and put her back in a clean cot, when she did it a few nights in a row, we realised it was for attention and after she vommitted on the third night we let her sleep in it. We felt awful but she hasn`t done it for about 6mths, until recently - about a week after i got home with our new baby girl. She has now done it 6-8 times in the last week and a half. What can we do? I hate leaving her to sleep in her own vomit, and hearing her make herself sick. But we have a monitor that is a TV aswell and we see her do it then put her blanket over the vomit and lay down and go back to sleep. She is a very smart girl and i don`t know what else i can to do.

Answer: Hi, you are both really caring parents and this makes it truly difficult as you are trying to be firm in an area that also makes you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes this is part of our job as parents. It sounds like you are working this out your own way which is really great as it will help you to feel more confident (and hence consistent) with your parenting strategies. Regarding the vomiting, if you are feeling it is for attention, how else can you meet this need. She may still try vomiting as a way of expressing her disappointment and upset, but how can you help with the underlying issue. Can you spend time involving her with the new baby, or being with her whilst you are with the new baby - eg playing with her using your toes and her toes whilst you are feeding the baby. Can you ask her what she would like to do with you when you are with the baby? Ask her how she feels about the baby? Imagine being Jazmin (really visualise it) and share these feelings with her and check if she shares your experiences (eg, "Jazmin, if mummy was a little gril like you and there was a baby like ours I know I would I want to play with mummy but I am always saying `in a minute` and you would probably really not like that what it is like for you Jazmin?". Write a list or draw a picture of all the things you can do with Jazmin and the new baby whilst you are changing nappies, feeding, doing dinners etc. eg, play I Spy, read a story, play dough with our toes, toe chasey, watching a nice movie together; having a nice drink and chat together....I know how difficult it is to do all of this when you have young children but I have a strong feeling that you will be able to put these ideas easily into place. Also spending 1:1 time with Jazmin can help if you can spare the time -even 5 entire minutes! Well done. Betty
Answered: 22 Nov 2007