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Would you give your nearly 3yo food at 4.30am if he said he was hungry and breastmilk didn't seem to be cutting it for him?

(245 Posts)
mawbroon Thu 28-Aug-08 12:10:37

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.

What would you do?

Going out soon, so will check back later.

mawbroon Thu 28-Aug-08 12:13:41

BTW, he had a huge tea at 6pm before going to sleep at 7.30pm, so I am thinking he must be having a growth spurt or something.

nailpolish Thu 28-Aug-08 12:13:43

NO i would not give him food at 430am

id put him back to bed with the explanation that it is still night time

nailpolish Thu 28-Aug-08 12:14:33

he should be sleeping through, mawbroon
like, 730pm til 6 or 630

nickytwotimes Thu 28-Aug-08 12:15:13

What nailpolish said.
I wouldn't want to give ds food in the middle of thehight either!

mawbroon Thu 28-Aug-08 12:15:43

naily, I spent from 4.30am until 5.45am explaining that it was night time.

mawbroon Thu 28-Aug-08 12:16:37

Yes, he should be sleeping through, but he isn't.

nailpolish Thu 28-Aug-08 12:17:18

but you didnt put him in his own bed and do it

i know you are having a hard time, MB, i do sympathise

mawbroon Thu 28-Aug-08 12:18:59

Yes, he was in his own bed. We co sleep in his bed.

nailpolish Thu 28-Aug-08 12:19:48

oh MB sad

maybe you should go to your own bed

singyswife Thu 28-Aug-08 12:20:52

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

mawbroon Thu 28-Aug-08 12:21:00

Have tried doing that too, he either just howls (for over an hour sometimes) or else comes through to my room.

mawbroon Thu 28-Aug-08 12:23:04

right, am away out now, back later

nailpolish Thu 28-Aug-08 12:23:44

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!

bozza Thu 28-Aug-08 12:24:08

no I absolutely wouldn't. TBH with the breast milk he got more than most children of that age would do in the night. Mine are allowed water and that is it.

2point4kids Thu 28-Aug-08 12:28:12

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.

Mimsy2000 Thu 28-Aug-08 12:29:06

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.]

good luck

Umlellala Thu 28-Aug-08 12:38:43

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!)

Tatties Thu 28-Aug-08 13:05:59

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...

Umlellala Thu 28-Aug-08 14:04:38

Yes, what Tatties said (is what I was trying to say...).

JoyS Thu 28-Aug-08 14:13:40

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!

morethanasong Thu 28-Aug-08 14:26:18

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).

anastaisia Thu 28-Aug-08 14:59:06

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?

nailpolish Thu 28-Aug-08 16:00:01

you wake in the night to eat? hmm

Pruners Thu 28-Aug-08 16:05:14

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