23 month old son drinking at least 1.5ltr milk per night and not eating during day how to stop this?

(45 Posts)
GTLH Mon 17-Jun-13 19:40:36

My Son has started drinking cows milk at night, I tried giving him water he just screamed for milk and spat the water everywhere and wouldn't sleep. So I started giving him milk, he is now going through approximately 1.5ltr of milk per night and filling himself up, this in turn has stopped him being hungry for breakfast and only grazes throughout the day until about 5.30pm when he is hungry enough to eat a proper meal...

(I currently only give him water during the day to make sure he gets enough water, he used to have water at night and milk & water during the day, until he kept waking me throughout the night for milk, incidentally this started when his little brother arrived.)...

Is this just a phase and can someone tell me how I can wean him off this?

motherofvikings Mon 17-Jun-13 19:46:04

That's 3 pints! shock

I would give him milk during the day- day for breakfast and before bed. An then at night I'd be tempted to go cold turkey on the milk. It'll mean you have a period of screaming and at first he'll be all out of whack with meals etc but he should be able to work through it within a week.

You could start by watering down the milk each night so it's less and less nice milky if you want to try easing off gradually - but then you might just replace the milk with water.

Good luck! smile

Bambi27 Mon 17-Jun-13 19:53:26

Not sure how helpful this will be but my daughter (now 2 half) went through a stage of waking up to 3 times for a bottle of milk around that age...I kept giving it for an easy life. I then watered it down but as the other person said its probably more of a ha bit of waking for drink rather than the strength of the milk...anyway she just stopped doing it herself after a couple of weeks and now every now and again (about once a week) she will wake and have one in the night. How long has he been doing it for?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 17-Jun-13 19:57:31

Start watering it down and half the amounts in the bottle.

heidihole Mon 17-Jun-13 20:03:12

I would water the milk down over time so he was hungrier in the day, ate more and in turn was less hungry for milk at night.

Splatt34 Mon 17-Jun-13 20:33:50

1.5 litres!!!
How often are you changing his nappy?

girliefriend Mon 17-Jun-13 20:40:15

Thats a crazy amount of milk at night! I am quite shock

He is nearly 2yo right? So theoretically should need no milk at night. I would say to him he can have milk at bed time and then only water if he wakes. If he screams he screams <strict mummy emicom> I wouldn't pander to him tbh.

If he wants milk in the day after food then thats o.kay as a drink but he should also be getting his nutritional needs met through a varied diet.

Seb101 Mon 17-Jun-13 20:48:08

I'd just stop cold turkey. He'll cry, scream and make a fuss for a couple of nights, then he'll give up because he knows he won't get it. I tried watering down milk and when we got to about half/half he'd scream blue murder and refuse it. We ended up having to deal with the same level of distress as if we'd gone cold turkey! Ended up treating it like a behaviour issue; which is what it is really. If your lo suddenly decided he wanted choc biscuit every hour of the day, you'd just say no and deal with the tantrum. He'll be hungry the first night, but will prob eat/drink more during the following day to make up for it: the cycle will then be over. It won't take long, I'd nip it in the bud! It's hard cause its during the night and you just want to sleep. But it's so worth the few nights of hell, to get your lo sleeping through with no milk. Good luck x

silverangel Mon 17-Jun-13 20:50:52

That is an astonishing amount of milk!

JewelFairies Mon 17-Jun-13 21:07:50

Agree with Seb101. Watering down will lead to more stand offs. I'd also stop giving him milk at night and no negotiation. It's pretty likely he'll get the message after one night of protest. As said above, you wouldn't go along if he wanted to eat only chocolate biscuits all day. This is no different.

Jenny70 Mon 17-Jun-13 21:13:04

When my youngest was having a failure to thrive assessment the paed said firstly to cut all milk drinks - on cereal was ok, other dairy great, but no milk drinks... she said that helped about 50% of her patients that failed to eat/grow.

I think realistically you know it isn't a healthy balance for him, it is too much of one food group, over a time that isn't socially appropriate, and is setting a pattern that will only get harder to break. You need to change it, he won't like it, but you are the adult and if this isn't a healthy eating regime, then changes need to happen.

Not easy, but parenting sometimes is hard.

Just stop. Cold turkey. They can make themselves anaemic filling up on milk and not eating. And how is he not suffering tummy aches?

It will be tough but for his health u must stop it. Toddlers can eat little enough as it is.
I wish you luck op you can do it x

Bambi27 Mon 17-Jun-13 21:17:25

Out come the perfect parents...

phnarphnarphnar Mon 17-Jun-13 21:17:25

Just stop giving him it. That's an obscene amount!

No amount of crying and screaming would persuade me to hand that over, sorry.

phnarphnarphnar Mon 17-Jun-13 21:18:28

It will also rot his teeth.

Justfornowitwilldo Mon 17-Jun-13 21:20:19

What poster phnarphnarphnar said.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 17-Jun-13 21:23:16

my ds was also like this, he is 2 1/2 now. We just watered down the milk instantly to half and half and thats still what he gets now, although he only has one cup of half and half at bedtime and then maybe one cup of half and half throughout the day. He just drinks juice throughout the day mostly.

JewelFairies Mon 17-Jun-13 21:25:44

Bambi27 Care to explain?

Threewindmills Mon 17-Jun-13 21:29:01

Also, need to wean off a bottle at this age

I'd stop the grazing too. Offer breakfast if he doesn't eat it then tough that's it til lunch. (When he's back eating u can offer snacks again, one mid morning and one mid afternoon)

Bambi27 Mon 17-Jun-13 21:31:32

Just thing the poor person posting this genuinely wanted help not judgement such as 'no amount of screaming would make me do that'...not helpful!

girliefriend Mon 17-Jun-13 22:40:52

Bambi27 hmm whats your suggestion then?

piprabbit Mon 17-Jun-13 22:50:02

I think you might have two separate things happening here.

First your DS might just be a daytime grazer. My DS is a grazer, really not very fussed about food and I found he ate best if I made small amounts of food available to him very frequently throughout the day, so that he could pick and nibble as the fancy took him. As his older DSis has always been a 3-square meals a day sort of person, it took me quite a while to stop worrying that DS wasn't eating properly and to just accept his preferred eating pattern (I think being sat in front of a plate of food was a bit overwhelming for him). What I'm trying to say in a roundabout way, is may be your DS prefers little and often during the day and this might continue even once you sort out his night time milk drinking.

Second is the huge amount of milk drinking. I think there might be strategies that work to reduce the volume of milk. Could you agree that he has (for example) 5 bottles and 5 bottles only, maybe even do a little chart where you tick off each bottle together as he drinks it, or count the fingers on your hand. Then gradually reduce the amount of milk in each bottle so that he is getting less, but hopefully he is still focused on getting the 'right' number and less on the volume. My DCs always responded quite well to 'rules' and liked being in charge of making sure mummy stuck to them too.

piprabbit Mon 17-Jun-13 22:52:12

Or treat him to a new grown-up sippy cup (with solid sides so he can't see the level of milk inside) and start reducing the quantities. Could you try a new bedtime distraction technique, maybe a cheapy CD player and some audio stories? So one bottle and then a special story?

Threewindmills Mon 17-Jun-13 22:52:31

I would definitely try to get him to eat more in the day

Gradually start diluting the milk at night with the aim of ending up with just water

Start using a cup not a bottle at night

Go and see HV they will have suggestions

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