Right from the day she was born, my third child was a difficult baby. The sisters at the hospital commented on day one that she was acting like a day three baby - all unsettled because of the milk coming in and hormonal changes. At 6 weeks she was diagnosed as having reflux and was given suitable medicine, not enough, at 8 weeks she was prescribed a herbal medicine to have in between doses (peppermint base), at 9 weeks she was diagnosed with colic as well and we treated her with all three medications to no avail.

By 12 weeks somebody suggested she will be fine once she starts on some solids (she is obviously just one of those really hungry babies). She cried all the time, she would not go to sleep, she would not stay asleep, and she was only happy if she was being nursed, if you could call it happy. I feasted on my saviours, champagne, burritos, curries (well, Indian babies survive!), and treated myself to a strip of licorice just about every day. I knew she did not like me drinking champagne, but I joked about being in denial about it, thinking I deserved it.

Our new baby had a fine rash covering most of her body, we all thought that makes sense, her big sister has eczema. Her irritability was I thought lactose intolerance maybe, I am slightly lactose intolerant. She had 7 ear infections in 5 months and had grommets put in at 8 months, but I had ear problems, sinus problems, and grommets as a child as well. We went to a sleep clinic to try and get her to learn how to go to sleep, we thought that maybe she did not read the book about how third children are supposed to fit in to our routine and lives. FINALLY after many trips to the doctor and an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, my clever doctor suggested a salicylate- free diet for our baby (not me though because the sensitivity was not really the problem just another thing to try).

Things improved, sleep was achieved when she rolled over on to her stomach, and crying was reduced from 50 minutes of controlled crying to now 20 minutes of controlled crying, every night, every sleep, 4 to 6 times a day. Hell hath no fury like a mother of a child who does not sleep, if baby is woken up. She was still waking up at night like a clock-watcher, and was usually unable to be settled without a breastfeed and then not usually under an hour.

12 months old... still having problems. We have now discovered she is allergic to milk, eggs, bananas, peanuts, Keflex, BBQ spices, and is still on her salicylate free diet (well low salicylate anyway, because it's not really a salicylate intolerance it just makes us feel like we are doing something). She is still waking up at night, but getting better to settle. Some nights she actually sleeps through.

After 12 months ( plus the 5mths I suffered with indigestion during pregnancy) of sleep deprivation, the rot had finally set in and I have succumbed to many illnesses that I could not fight off, so, I gave up breastfeeding.

Well you could knock me down with a feather. The child sleeps. Goes to sleep. The rash disappears. Her first plasticine poo ... 14 months old ... where do we go now? It seems that her new food allergies are becoming more frequent and more aggressive since I stopped breastfeeding.

This brings me to you. I found your book!!! I sat down and started reading your book, not in order, and found her symptoms all over the place. I also found my 8 year old, who scored 3s on eczema, growing pains, restlessness, difficulty falling asleep, night wakings, anxious, vague, concentration, unmotivated, disorganised, easily distracted (she scored a 5 here), moody, irritable, and 2's on fidgety, "jumpy" behaviour. … What I have benefited most from so far is the relief that I am not crazy, nor the only person in this situation. Thank you for taking the time to write your book.

P.S. Can you tell me if McVities Hobnobs biscuits are okay? The ingredients are: Rolled oats, wholemeal flour, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil, vegetable oil, partially inverted sugar syrup, raising agents(sodium bicarbonate, ammonium bicarbonate), salt. [There are probably antioxidants (310-321) in the vegetable oil, so you would have to limit the quantity].  - reader, email