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How do I stop 21 month old DS drinking vast quantities of milk during the night?

(26 Posts)
Loueytb3 Fri 05-Apr-13 20:31:54

I am seriously sleep deprived.

DS3 is drinking silly quantities of milk. It started off when he was teething and I put it down to the pain waking him up and being more thirsty as he was drooling a lot and possibly being more hungry. Now I think he's doing it out of habit. But I don't know how to stop it and we're in a vicious cycle...

He will wake up once or twice a night. There is no pattern to when he does it. He will often then take a bottle of milk to go back down again. Once he's had enough he goes straight back to sleep. Some nights he has 2 9-10 oz bottles before he goes to bed at 7 and then another 1-2 during the night.

I wondered whether the bottle was soothing him - but haven't switched to a cup yet as I thought it would take hours to get the milk down him if I did. He is very loud and will not stop crying if I don't go into him/give him milk. Basically once he wakes up, he will wake up the whole house.

He won't have much breakfast because he's having so much milk but otherwise he eats pretty well and I'm trying to get more food down him to fill him up before bedtime.

Any suggestions as to what I can do before I lose the plot?

AugustaProdworthy Fri 05-Apr-13 20:52:33

If its any help I had similar problem but we now give DS supper before bed and a lot more physical exercise like playing in garden to make sure she's really tired and full. It has helped and shd sleeps through most nights now.

colditz Fri 05-Apr-13 20:56:10

Stop giving him milk. It really is as simple as that. Give him water instead. He will cry and be cross, because he will feel hungry as he has trained his stomach to expect milk. You now have to train him out of it"

StitchAteMySleep Fri 05-Apr-13 21:00:57

What Colditz said. My dd1 did this (bfed) around 20 months I said enough is enough and sent in DH to offer water only when she woke. A week later she was sleeping through. You have to be firm, even if they cry for half an hour, but it is worth it.

krefty Fri 05-Apr-13 21:10:16

Hi I had the same with my DD and I started to wean her off bottles during the day and at night start watering down the milk and over a week or so reduce the amount of milk in the bottle. Also try giving him some milky warm porridge about an hr/half hr before he goes to bed. It took me about 2 months to get my DD off milk during the night. Stick with it and be strong. Remember the end target u want x x

gloucestergirl Fri 05-Apr-13 21:14:06

My friend did it with her DS. She just stopped giving milk in the middle of the night and after 2-3 nights her son slept through. The first night there was a lot of angry crying for about 45 minutes twice in the night. Second night there was less.

I keep meaning to do it with DD but I crack every night. Maybe just before I go back to work, I'll toughen up. Good luck :-)

Loueytb3 Fri 05-Apr-13 21:18:08

So cold turkey??? I had a feeling that might be the only way.

MelanieWiggles Fri 05-Apr-13 21:23:11

Nothing to add except sympathy as I am having the exact same problem and am trying to steel myself for the cold turkey approach (and DS can SCREAM. For HOURS.) Watching with interest...

TranceDaemon Sat 06-Apr-13 12:19:14

We had this issue, we had to stop as DS was waking for more and more bottles so ended up going cold turkey.

It took about 3 nights, then he went from 4-5 wakings a night to usually sleeping through!

Loueytb3 Sat 06-Apr-13 14:51:50

So I steeled myself to go cold turkey last night and took up a beaker of water and he slept through until nearly 10am!!! DS2 still woke me at 1am so I didn't get a full nights sleep but still an improvement on what it has been. I don't think it will last as he's eaten very little today so far but it's good to know that it will (hopefully) only take a few nights to sort it out.

StitchAteMySleep Sat 06-Apr-13 17:00:16

Great news, if he doesn't each much for dinner consider giving him some porridge or cereal before bed to hold him.

Bumpsadaisie Sat 06-Apr-13 17:23:48

We are doing the same with our DS (17 mths). He always wants a bottle if he wakes but goes straight back off once he has had it. Its been so easy to just let him have one.

Last night was the first night of cold turkey. He woke once for 40 mins and was fairly upset. Then later for 30 mins and was upset. Then finally at 5am it only took 5 mins to settle him.

I settle him by picking him up, cuddling, then putting down in cot and sitting by him with my hand on his back. At first he complains and stands up and shouts. But eventually he gives up. He can also understand "bottles all gone" and "Mummy's here" and "I have my hand on your back, pat pat pat".

Wish me luck for the return match tonight folks! Will watch this thread with interest!

Radiator1234 Sat 06-Apr-13 19:06:25

Yes unfortunately the answer is to just stop feeding them at night. At six months the hv told me I was "making a rod for my own back" by feeding her in th night so I just stopped. Cue a terrible night if crying but then the next night no crying and the added benefit was then that my partner could attend to her in the night too as no boobs needed!

freetrait Sat 06-Apr-13 22:42:19

Be strong! And yes, cold turkey, way to go. I quit BF at 18 months- only 2 feeds left, and had gradually reduced night feeds from 8 months as I was going mad. Sooooooooo much is habit, and of course if you ate a big meal during the night you wouldn't eat during the day either would you?

Loueytb3 Sat 06-Apr-13 22:48:37

DH has just given him a bottle. I've told him that's it for the night. I'm sure it's habit now.

freetrait Sat 06-Apr-13 22:50:44

Make sure he gets offered enough milk during the day. Sometimes they can be off their food for various reasons, but if they have milk then that fills them up and they don't get any at night- you need to train DH grin.

Loueytb3 Sat 06-Apr-13 23:21:53

I definitely need to train DH grin

yousankmybattleship Sat 06-Apr-13 23:24:48

Stop giving milk. Simples.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Sat 06-Apr-13 23:29:50

Train DH first or DS is going to get confused. No milk after bedtime.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Sat 06-Apr-13 23:30:59

(DS doesn't know if it's 10 or 11 or 2 or 4... no milk after 'last drink before bed' otherwise it's not fair on him to cry for milk and not know whether he's going to get it or not and he will cry for longer and that wont be good for you either!!

yawningbear Sat 06-Apr-13 23:36:26

We had a similiar problem with DC2, ironically I had once posted asking for help getting him to take a bottle as he was BF and a persistent refuser of anything other than boob. Obviously Mumsnetters advice so good that he then became addicted the the milky bottle or 'milty' for short. I couldn't face all the crying involved with going cold turkey, hideous, so I reduced the amount very gradually and also watered it down, over about 2 -3 weeks until it was water tinged with milk. Then as if by magic, he stopped waking up screaming 'Milty' and now wakes up shouting 'mummy' instead.

babySophieRose Sun 07-Apr-13 10:22:39

I just give my DD 17 months a bottle of milk before I go to bed ( she is sleeping and not yet hungry) and she sleeps through. If she wakes up during the night I offer only water. She used to wake up around 3 am for milk, but not any more.

Loueytb3 Tue 09-Apr-13 17:23:30

We seem to be having progress. The last 2 nights he's only had 1 bottle of milk. He's woken up crying once each night but we've told him milk has finished and he seems to accept it after a few mins of crying and then switches his mobile on and goes back to sleep. I so hope it carries on...

freetrait Tue 09-Apr-13 17:28:02

Well done. It will if you stay strong. Stay strong smile. Short term pain= long term gain.

Chubfuddler Tue 09-Apr-13 17:28:30

I had exactly this problem with DS but with boob not bottle. I broke him of it by going cold turkey - couple of horrific nights but soon cured. Didn't quite switch straight to sleeping through the night but stopped asking for boob.

Like a lemon I have sleep walked into exactly the same problem with dd, who is 21 months too. She now settles down for the night without boob but wakes anytime between 10 and 1 crying and then to get some sleep I end up letting her into my bed where she sleeps on boob, having a suck at will.

Am scared to address as now live in terraced house and scared neighbours will complain. Need to bite bullet...,

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