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To not want to keep feeding DD after bedtime?

(27 Posts)
Natsku Mon 27-Jun-16 08:43:27

Every single night, after she goes to bed, I hear the shout"I'm huuuuungry". She goes to bed after eating a decent supper (sandwich/toast/leftover dinner) but once she's in bed she's suddenly starving and will eat several pieces of toast/crispbread but if I give her leftover dinner or the toast she doesn't like it doesn't get eaten.

So surely she's just wanting the food because she's bored, right? So I should cut it out because it can't be healthy to eat late at night, right before sleeping, right? But she won't stop shouting and crying if I don't give her something - she can keep it up for hours. I'm at the point that I just want to say no and then ignore the screaming.

She's 5 in case that's relevant (too young to be expected to go all night without eating? Surely not?)

Iguessyourestuckwithme Mon 27-Jun-16 08:45:11

Seriously. That's a Delano G tactic if I've ever heard one. If shes eaten her dinner then she needs nothing. If you want to why not offer 1 piece of toast and warm milk 15 minutes before bed but that's it then until the morning.

livinginabox Mon 27-Jun-16 08:52:12

No way word I ever offer food in bed. If she hungry, she eats more dinner. If not, then she's not that hungry. I would just explain it to her then ride it out. It must be bad for her teeth too surely?

Natsku Mon 27-Jun-16 09:21:43

Yeah can't be good for her teeth either. I give her xylitol pastilles after what she eats but that's not the same as brushing teeth.

Every dinner time I remind her that she needs to eat more dinner or she'll be hungry in the night, even if she eats it all though she still wants more. Like a bottomless pit until its something she doesn't like.

girlywhirly Mon 27-Jun-16 09:22:46

I think it's attention seeking behaviour as well.

If she has a meal two hours or more before going to bed, you could offer a warm drink and a piece of toast, then she goes and brushes her teeth before getting into bed. Make sure you tell her this is what will be happening from now on, and if she rejects the toast there will be nothing else, take it or leave it. Nothing but water after that.

I don't think eating before sleep is necessarily a problem, but getting away with it otherwise she will scream constantly is. You could try a behaviour reward chart or some sort of incentive for settling down/no screaming or crying/no begging for more to eat, where she gets a sweet after breakfast the following morning. You will have to stick to your plan and not give in to the screaming.

Usually rewarding the good behaviour is the better way forward, but you might consider if it doesn't work, sanctions such as limiting TV or DVD's, games devices, or any other privileges. To get them back she stops the screaming and food begging.

StrawbRhi Mon 27-Jun-16 09:24:39

My 5 year old DD has been going through the same phase natsku, and I think we're finally out the other side.
She would also demand baths (after steadfastly refusing to have one after dinner), Daddy cuddles, songs and stories so we knew food was just another delaying tactic. It's finally stopped after she started to not eat her dinner just so she could justify having food after bedtime and I put her to bed genuinely hungry. She hasn't tried again since 😁

Natsku Mon 27-Jun-16 09:27:15

She has a sticker chart for going to bed without shouting and screaming and begging for food, its been up for nearly two weeks and she only has one sticker. Don't think its incentive enough - a morning after incentive sounds like its worth a try though.

Sanctions don't seem to work either, it starts with no tv in the morning, she continues so then its not tv all day, she continues... ends up with no tv for several days which is starting to get ridiculous.

Thebookswereherfriends Mon 27-Jun-16 09:56:42

It sounds like attention seeking behaviour, so tell her before getting ready for bed that there will be no more food after her evening meal. She can have some warm milk. Then give extra cuddles, stay up in her room with her for a bit longer, read an extra story. If she asks for more food, say no more til breakfast but you can have another cuddle. It might take a while as you have been giving in to the screaming, but might be worth persevering with.

BarbarianMum Mon 27-Jun-16 10:00:11

Our kitchen shuts after dinner smile. I tell mine that they can fill up with a big breakfast in the morning if they claim to be hungry later. Generally they are trying to put off bedtime but honestly, it won't hurt a child to occasionally go to bed peckish if for some strange reason they haven't been satisfied by a proper evening meal.

BathshebaDarkstone Mon 27-Jun-16 10:03:35

DD 8 did this after a tummy bug where she hadn't eaten for 5 days. I pre-empted it by giving her a huge bowl of coco pops 10 minutes before bed. Could you give her something right before bed?

ZigZagIntoTheBlue Mon 27-Jun-16 10:03:45

Same here, all of a sudden he's fussy at dinner then moaning about being hungry later. I'm a mean mum though and he gets nothing until breakfast! Stick to your guns!

WellErrr Mon 27-Jun-16 10:05:31

You don't need incentives and sticker charts, you just need to stop giving her food after bedtime. Sorry to be blunt.

Laiste Mon 27-Jun-16 10:11:37

It's a war of attrition with kids sometimes. Seriously. Your resolve has to be stronger than hers and at 5 you can virtually explain this. ''DD, i'm not going to feed you at night anymore. You can have one bedtime snack and that is that. The screaming and shouting is just making mummy cross''. The hard thing is sticking to it. I'd go up at intervals perhaps, and give a hug and reiterate. Bit like a grown up controlled crying almost!

You will get there in the end though. As a pp has said, you have to undo what you've done by complying so far - which could take a few days, and then a few more to prove you mean it probably. Good luck smile

Pimmmms Mon 27-Jun-16 10:40:05

You need to ride it out, and let her scream. She will keep screaming because up until now its worked for her. It will take a few times of you ignoring her behaviour until she realises its not worth the effort.

TheRealAdaLovelace Mon 27-Jun-16 10:42:29

yes tell her the kitchen is shut after bedtime.

Kenduskeag Mon 27-Jun-16 10:46:22

What's a Xylitol pastille? Whatever it is, it's not taking the food off her teeth which you're leaving there to erode the enamel all night.

You've gotten into one of those baffling, awful Supernanny-esque traps, and yes, nip it in the bud now. Let her scream.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 27-Jun-16 10:46:38

Ds used to eat at 4 so by 8 he was ready for a little snack. After that any requests were seen as delaying tactics!

Tell her in advance it won't be happening tonight as it's bad for her teeth.

Natsku Mon 27-Jun-16 11:15:47

Its stuff that neutralises the sugar acids so helps a little to prevent tooth decay but definitely not as good as brushing teeth kendus

You're all right - I need to stop this now and just handle the fall-out. Started off when I thought she was going through a growth spurt and genuinely hungry but its just become habit for her now I think. And no surprise that she's not hungry at breakfast so barely eats anything in the morning.

God, its going to be horrid tonight - we live in a tiny house (only a toilet between the lounge and her bedroom) so no escaping the screaming. Need to get OH to be firm too, he tends to give in to screaming a lot easier than me.

Natsku Mon 27-Jun-16 18:25:54

Going surprisingly well actually, I explained I'm not giving her anything and so far she hasn't asked (been in her room an hour)

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 27-Jun-16 18:26:24


ButtonBoo Mon 27-Jun-16 19:35:57

Fingers crossed OP! My DD would do similar. My Mum told me a lot of children confuse tiredness with hunger. In the same way that DD says she's hungry but she's often actually thirsty. Must be a gnawing type feeling in the stomach. I stopped pandering to the 'im hungry' calls at bedtime and she soon stopped.

Iguessyourestuckwithme Mon 27-Jun-16 20:36:56

How did it go?

Natsku Tue 28-Jun-16 10:22:25

Went ok. She asked once around 10ish, just reminded her that she's not getting anything until morning and left her to vent her rage in her room. She eventually came into our room to sleep but I can live with that. Thanks for pushing me to do this!

icanteven Tue 28-Jun-16 10:23:51

We've just finally managed to stop this. Both children were WAILING that they were hungry, when they had just completely ignored their dinner (or had eaten it!). We banned food in the bedroom completely, and they have a slice of toast downstairs right before bedtime, and all other requests are completely ignored.

MrsHardy1 Tue 28-Jun-16 13:59:11

Does she go to bed at 5.30 then?

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