DS and I co sleep from when he wakes at night (random times) usually until the morning. He normally breastfeeds for a couple of minutes and then turns over and drops back off to sleep. This suits us both for now, so no probs there.
However, last night he woke at 12.30am and fed on and off until finally at 4.30am he started wailing that he was hungry.
The logical thing to me at the time seemed to be to give him something to eat, but in my 4.30am foggy brained state, decided that no, he would think it was a big laugh and would then ask for food every morning at 4.30am for ever more. So, he then fed on and off, until I could stand it no more at 5.45am when I sent him downstairs with DH to eat breakfast. He had some ready brek, then the two of them came back to bed for another couple of hours.
Can you not stop bf and give him mily cereal before bedtime. Maybe it is not htat he is hungry maybe he is just needing comfort at that time of night. can you give him your pj top to hug when he wakes rather than feeding him???? Hope you get it sorted soon you can cope with anything if you have had sleep
when he wakes at 1230 or whatever, id give him a set time to feed, 10 mins eg, then he goes in his bed and you go in yours. if he gets up -> back to bed. ahundred times if necessary. hes not hungry MB he just wants a cuddle and a comfort from mummy
im a bit frightened saying all this to you btw as you are a bit scary on subjects like this!
If I knew he had eaten well the day before then no I wouldnt let him eat in the night.
My DS1 is nearly 3 as well. If he wakes in the night (ocassionally does) and says he is hungry Itell him it is night time and we eat in the morning. If he persists and I know he hasnt eaten well the night before or he has been poorly/growing lots, then I will let him have 1 cup of milk and thats it.
i'd try very hard to avoid giving him food at that time of the morning because as you already sussed, it could be one of those things that he repeats night after night. offer him a drink of water and tell him he can eat as much as he likes *first thing in the morning*.
[also i don't really think the late night feeds are needed and may well be part of the reason he wakes.]
Well, tbh I'd rather give food (something boring eg rice cake) than bm at this time (FWIW I will often grab a biscuit at 4ish if I wake - blood sugar and that, hard to get to sleep if hungry.
We often co-sleep witrh our two yo like you describe (she in our bed at moment because of nw baby)- she has water and cuddles but not milk (altho is not bf). Think 2 and 3 year olds can learn new sleeping skills and accept new 'rules' if you wanted to change things and be firm but nice (shame my newborn can't yet!)
Mawbroon, my ds is 3yo, we still co-sleep & bf - sounds much like yours in that he will feed at random times during the night (but I often don't notice, he may be sleeping through some of the time!)
Going against the grain slightly here, but I would give him something to eat at 4.30am if he was really hungry and bm wasn't cutting it. Obviously I would try to settle him first (sometimes my ds talks in his sleep and says things like he wants to play / go downstairs, but he's just babbling and I lay him back down) but if he was very insistent or getting upset then I would believe that he was hungry. I don't believe that doing things like this necessarily sets up bad habits - when this kind of thing has happened to us in the past it has been one-off incidents. The fact that he came back to bed happily after his ready brek says to me that he was just hungry. Sometimes I wake up hungry and can't get back to sleep until I have got up to eat something so I imagine it is the same for children...
I would have fed him. If he eats well normally and had a huge tea the night before, he must be going through a growth spurt or something. Imagine waking up hungry and not being able to get anything to eat!
I'd probably have given him something. I sometimes wake up hungry in the night, and I can't go back to sleep until I've had something to eat. I wouldn't have taken him downstairs though, just given him something that could be eaten upstairs without any fuss or mess (e.g. a banana).
I'd give him something, I do give my own 3.5 DD something if she wakes in the night and asks.
We go very quietly downstairs, we sit together on the couch and eat with just a low lamp on, and then we go right back up to bed.
If she comes up straight away then she can quietly look at books in bed while she settles again.
If she makes a fuss about coming back up then there is nothing fun - I just sit in silence until she is ready to come back, that usually lasts about 3 minutes at the most before it sinks in that it isn't going to be playtime if we stay up and that looking at books in bed is going to be more fun.
I don't always sleep through the night without needing to get up for something, why would I expect a child to be any different?