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7 month old suddenly starving at night - any ideas?

(5 Posts)
belinda31 Mon 15-Jun-09 18:16:30

I posted this on the 'behaviour' area but was recommended to put it here too as apparently there are lots of experts! All expert help gratefully received!

My 7 month old was sleeping through the night pretty well (waking at 6am, having been put to bed about 7/7.30ish but not waking in between) until about 3 weeks ago. It was warm where we were and he started waking up very very hungry/thirsty at 4am ish (or 2 or 5), and downed up to 10oz of milk (unheard of, he normally takes maximum of 6oz) and eventually fell back to sleep. Since then he's doing it more and more and more - last night he woke at 4am and yelled for milk and we eventually got back to sleep just before 6.

I tried giving him water, which he did drink but it didn't stop him crying. He's never greedy/hungry during the day, but at night he goes for the bottle teat like he's desperate for it with his head shaking frantically and then downs it in about 2 minutes.

During the day he eats three meals, and has milk four times, but eats very little food (normally drinks 20-25oz milk) - I weaned him early-ish (about 20 weeks) on the advice of a health visitor, because he would never take enough milk. It helped and he increased his milk intake and was pretty keen on food initially but since then it's waned a lot. Most meals he takes about 5 spoonfuls happily then gives up and then it's a battle to get any more into him - and he's very fussy, only likes things from packets and only very wet purees. He does like finger food, but mostly he just pulps it up and spits it out!

It's throwing everything into disarray, this midnight feasting - he's then not hungry for breakfast, and then lunch is a battle as he just wants milk, and then supper is fraught as I'm trying to load him up to last the night...and then we're exhausted during the day (i know it's not as bad as some/most babies, but when you've had it all sorted and then it goes wrong, it's awful!)

Do you have any advice?

- Am I making a rod for our backs by feeding him in the night?
- What could I do instead of feeding him, rocking/singing/mobiles seem to do nothing, and I feel that if he's hungry surely I ought to just feed him!
- is this something that happens a lot? (he's not crawling yet but is changing a lot at the moment, babbling frantically and trying to stand up all the time. He has got no teeth yet but has been 'teething' for months!)
- In the last 24 hours he's drunk almost 40oz of milk, and had three very small meals. My book says 20oz is enough!
- How can i get him more interested in solids and less in milk - or shoudl I just not bother and hope it's a phase!!

Thanks in advance!

xoxo Mon 15-Jun-09 19:04:06

Going through exactly the same thing with our (also teethless) 7 mth old.

I'm upping her food - we weaned her late (3rd child - not much consideration went into weaning, and the boob is soooo convenient when juggling 3 small kids), so introduced a third meal in the day, and then dessert with each meal(petit filou, puree fruit with rice), and calm has been restored- for now.
I'll let you know if it changes!

The food is the key. You have got to cut back on the milk (you know that already)and get finger food/ mush introduced. Today I made baby beautiful little star pasta, really really tiny. She ate them, and stuck her hand out to her sisters bowl and grabbed a little fat fist full of 'normal' pasta, so I'm scrapping the teeny weeny stars! Maybe peer pressure would help (older siblings/ friends kids?).

I'm no expert but suggest not night feeding - def rod for yr back.

Good luck. Hope it picks up for you soon.

belinda31 Mon 15-Jun-09 19:21:28

I wish he'd eat more food - he's got the pursed lips and the swiping hand down to a T!

But maybe if I offered less milk he'd eat more food...

Will give it a try!

Thanks

Belinda

MrsJamin Mon 15-Jun-09 19:26:06

It's soooo early to be expecting a little one to be eating that much to affect sleeping. A 7 MO is still a baby - some babies feed at night. It's not a rod for your own back, for goodness sake, it's what the baby needs at that time. DS fed at night until 11MO.

Definitely don't let sleep issues make mealtimes stressful, then you will both get in a tis. To the OP - are you sure it's not a growth spurt, if there as previous sleeping through? Offering less milk won't solve your problem IMHO.

GruffaloMama Mon 15-Jun-09 21:12:25

Hiya - my (also toothless) 8 mth old went through a phase at 7mths for about a fortnight/three weeks of waking for night feeds and has just dropped them again. (He didn't wake habitually for feeds before this.) Maybe as MrsJamin says it's a developmental or growth spurt.

Hope you get a more relaxing night soon.

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