51 - Feeding and sleeping disorders in infancy and early childhood  pp. 755-774

Feeding and sleeping disorders in infancy and early childhood

By Heather Carmichael Olson, Nancy C. Winters, Sally L. Davidson Ward and Matthew Hodes

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Editor's note

This chapter includes separate sections on treatment for feeding and sleeping disorders. These are disorders that truly do apply to the youngest of patients in child psychiatry, though some eating disorders such as rumination as well as some sleep disorders, such as limit setting sleep disorder and perhaps night terrors can extend into late childhood and perhaps, in rare instances, to adolescence. These are disorders for which behavioural treatments, particularly behavioural treatments such as reinforcement, punishment and graduated extinction, often play key roles in intervention. In both of these groups of disorders, parent training and education are important interventions. While medications can be used in both these disorders, they are certainly not the mainstay of treatment, and because of the young age of the patient population, are rarely used except for a very short time. As in much of child psychiatry, there remains a paucity of methodologically sound trials of the various treatments, though there are randomized controlled studies for both of these conditions that support primarily a behavioural approach.


This chapter includes separate sections on treatment for feeding and sleeping disorders. These are two common, yet complex topics important in child psychiatry as the field applies to infants and young children (American Psychiatric Association, 2000; Anders & Eiben, 1997; Linscheid, 2004; Manikam & Perman, 2000; Mindell, 1999; World Health Organization, 1993).

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