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Am I 'babying' my 3.7 year old...?

(45 Posts)
Nancery Sun 07-Feb-16 00:18:56

My DS is 3.7 and I still give him a cuddle and milk in a bottle before bed, and he still wears a nappy at night (he's dry in the morning about 3/4 nights out of 7 so its not something I want to risk just yet!) He also has a dummy at night but absolutely not during the day (basically he seems to revert once he is tired / in the night.)

We have also, and I agree this is a bigger deal, ended up co-sleeping - this is just how its ended up due to various reasons (he kept moving sideways in the night so waking constantly in the cot, DH is in the spare room due to snoring and, besides, we have only just converted the loft where DS would be sleeping if we weren't also meant to be moving house, a plan in itself which has dragged on for nearly 18 months - so basically he was meant to be in his own room next to ours since 2 but we have had a nightmare with house sales falling through and chains collapsing so it's been put on the back burner.)

We now are talking, with enthusiasm from both sides, about when he has his own room in the 'big house' (which will also be next to ours rather than upstairs) which he is very excited about so I am planning on tackling that properly when the time comes rather than putting him upstairs next to DH's office, and having DH and his snorey ways back in with us with no option of a spare room!

In every other way he's a very confident and happy little boy but I do feel a bit conscious that most of his peers, admittedly most who now also have younger siblings, are fully out of the bottle, milk, dummy etc stage.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sun 07-Feb-16 00:24:48

I suspect you're going to get some very strong replies here so I'm going to leap in and say that my dd is 3.11 and has a dummy at night. However, she has a feeding tube and terrible reflux still and the dummy helps.

I had a dummy until I was SIX (!)

Isn't the bottle bad for the teeth?

And your child can't help night accidents - is hormonal.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sun 07-Feb-16 00:25:20

Oh and we co sleep too, my DH and I take turns to sleep next to my dd

CousCousDefinitely Sun 07-Feb-16 00:26:03

Yes probably but. Sometimes it just easier. The bottle at bed and nappy go hand in hand. Dropping the bottle should help to increase number of drier nights.
I'd start by moving the two of you into his room. You on floor beside him, then gradually move out over a few nights.
The bottle will be hard to break. Have it in living room and brush teeth, toilet after. Then bed. Put a plastic in sheet on bed in case. Maybe with those padded pampers pads if wet is inevitable. It's practically a nappy but not.

Wolfiefan Sun 07-Feb-16 00:29:52

Being dry at night is a hormonal thing. You can't rush it or force it.
Co sleeping? If it works for you then why not?
Dummy not ideal but if it helps sleep (and especially if you want to stop co sleeping) well one thing at a time!
Milk. Change to a sippy cup?
Do what works for you. I wouldn't worrying about babying. (I thought your post would be about feeding him mush from a baby spoon or trying to cram him in a highchair!!)

Nancery Sun 07-Feb-16 00:48:41

Thanks everyone. To try and be brief, we have been supposed to be moving for ages which is why he has never, yet, been in his own room. I think we will, and I am pretty sure he will be both ready to and it won't be as big a deal when i am in the room next door (instead of a corridor and then down the stairs away) but, at the moment, it would prove harder work than we need (and also leaves the issue of not having the spare room.) Hence, I will be doing that the second we finally move!

I won't ever let him have a dummy in the daytime but do put it near the bed just in case in the night. Sometimes we are fine, sometimes he wakes up and it puts him to sleep instantly, and at 3am anything goes! And, I love the cuddle before bed, and do think that one day it will be the last time we do that. Hence I don't want to force it, although I think most of my friends with children the same age (albeit with younger ones too) don't do that any more

Nancery Sun 07-Feb-16 00:52:31

He's very good with dressing, washing, eating, putting on shoes etc - its just the bedtime stuff really!

SpecialSnowflake Sun 07-Feb-16 01:18:20

To be fair my 4.5yo is still in pull ups at night, some extenuating circs and we're working on it, but night nappies at 4 seem quite common among his peers, and I wouldn't be worried at 3.

I'd get him a special cup, maybe one with a wiggly straw or similar coolness, and start giving his milk in that. When Ds1 was 3 he was barely drinking until DH got him a special Lego tumbler. It just helped break the habit, simple tricks really can work.

Sleeping arrangements sound fine, just do what you plan when you can, as long as you're all getting to sleep it's not a problem.

The dummy is the only thing that isn't great really, just for his dental development. Would he maybe give it back to you when you say goodnight, so he has it for settling but doesn't keep it in?

SpecialSnowflake Sun 07-Feb-16 01:19:50

Plus who are these crazy people who don't cuddle their kids at bedtime?! shock Bedtime hugs are the best!

ArriettyMatilda Sun 07-Feb-16 04:58:53

For me the co sleeping is definitely not a big deal, totally natural and normal. I'd be concerned about the bottle and dummy damaging teeth, but appreciate he probably gets great comfort from it. You could try a week or so with waterproof sheets, it may help him learn to get up in the night if he's actually weeing during an awake stage or first thing in the morning, but if that doesn't work then he's probably not ready and is perhaps weeing in his sleep still.

Fairylea Sun 07-Feb-16 05:18:50

He's still very little. I don't think having a dummy at night or a cuddle co sleep with mum is any issue at all smile (my son is 3.8 and still has a dummy at night, he has autism and global delay though so I do a lot of things people would frown at anyway but who cares). I would always go with whatever gets the most sleep for everyone!

JoandMax Sun 07-Feb-16 05:32:20

I would maybe start to think of trying to stop the bottle and dummy but if he's happy and you're happy then it's not a big deal at all.

My nearly 6 year old has only been out of pull-ups for a few months, still regularly co-sleeps, had a bottle and dummy til gone 3 - he's a perfectly happy, confident, socialable little boy just needs a lot of help with sleep!

Allyoucaneat Sun 07-Feb-16 06:21:54

Bedtime nappy is fine you can't force that until he is ready but the rest I'd say yes you are babying him. He'll start school next year? With a bottle, dummy, nappy and sleeping in mummy's bed?

My 16month old doesn't have a bottle, he gets a drink if milk in a cup before bed. It's recommended to get them off bottles at 12months? He's been in his own room for a while too, but I realise your circumstances have caused the cosleeping.

winchester1 Sun 07-Feb-16 06:35:26

Tbh I also think you ar babying him. I would stop the bottle and dummy as he seems too old for those. And to be honest I'd want to get him use to sleeping in his own bed even if its in your room.

Lovelydiscusfish Sun 07-Feb-16 06:40:49

Agree with many others, it all sounds well within the normal range, although bottle and dummy may be things you want to think about moving on from.
I think the real positive here is that, at his age, he will be fully capable of understanding your reasons for wanting him to stop things - so, for example, if you wanted to stop the bottle, you can explain it is bad for his teeth now he is getting older. And you can also use a reward/bribe for compliance, if you wanted to. I used to feel like my dd would never stop having a bed time bottle - I think she was getting on for 3 - but dh allowed her to pick a reward on eBay (she chose a microwaveable heat-up penguin) and she stopped instantly with no complaints! More recently (she is now nearly 4), we have started a star chart to encourage her not to keep shouting for us with spurious invented excuses once she is in bed (real problems are fine, obviously), and after 28 stars for a good night, she can pick a My Little Pony or a Ninja Turtle. It works like a charm.
I wouldn't worry about the nappy, though it sounds like he is having lots of dry nights,so may be on the way with this. If you stop giving him so much liquid last thing at night it may help, but it really is one of those things. I think I've read on here it's considered within normal range not to be dry at night till 7?
And yes, who are these people who don't cuddle their child at night?

waitingforsomething Sun 07-Feb-16 06:47:20

The nappy thing is totally normal - if he's not reliably dry in the morning then he should wear a nappy.
I would probably look at putting the milk in a cup and gently getting rid of the dummy over the next few months but it's not the biggest deal ever.

redcaryellowcar Sun 07-Feb-16 06:47:25

I'm not sure if I'm mis reading your post, but I don't think you were asking for advice on how to stop any of this, just thoughts on it? I think the best thing a hv said to me re sleeping and feeding was 'does it bother you?' So I would say, if you are ok with how this is all going then little point ( or motivation) changing it? As far as I understand the reasons for dummies not being a good idea is partly related to speech development, which if not used during the day I suppose isn't the case. I think the bottles/ milk before bed might be a worry because of the milk which apparently leaves sugars on the teeth? After finding this out I give milk, clean teeth then we snuggle up for a few stories, still getting lovely snuggles!!
As for bedtime dryness, I read that it's a hormone thing which suddenly they will just be dry and pull ups won't be needed, apparently it's not unusual to be needing pull ups until age 7, just rare that people admit it!
I think your co sleeping plan sounds good, new bedroom, etc sounds lovely and you could always do a gradual retreat, so you sleep next to him for first couple of nights, then in the four way, then out in the hall and then into your own bed?

cookiefiend Sun 07-Feb-16 06:56:00

Does what you are doing work for your family? Is everyone happy? If the answer to those two questions is yes then I don't see much of an issue, except the milk without brushing teeth- but it can be hard. I a number of times after teeth brushing DD has asked for a cup of milk or needed calpol and we just ignore the teeth. Do what works fur you.

Ifiwasabadger Sun 07-Feb-16 07:01:20

My 2.5 year old has a small bottle of milk every morning. She eats like a bird and is tiny so I feel at least she has something in her tummy. My SIL likes to comment on the bottle...I ignore her. Do what works for you!

TheBakeryQueen Sun 07-Feb-16 07:02:45

I think it all sounds absolutely fine, as long as teeth are getting brushed after the milk.
There are so many benefits to co-sleeping, it is definitely not 'babying', and at 3 who cares?!
How are his teeth? That'd be my only concern with a bedtime bottle of milk.
Nighttime wetness is normal up until about age 6.
Your boy sounds very loved.

Booboostwo Sun 07-Feb-16 07:47:00

Worrying about babying him is the wrong thing to worry about - forget about that. Instead think of the behaviours individually.

Night time nappy is perfectly common and normal.
Bottle of milk, make sure he has it before brushing teeth.
Dummy can cause problems for teeth so try to wean him off that.
Co sleeping not an issue but I co sleep with my nearly 5yo.
Cuddles, anyone who thinks that cuddling their kid is a problem has other problems.

Jw35 Sun 07-Feb-16 08:12:17

The only thing I would lose is the bottle. You can stop co sleeping if you want but if it's not an issue then it's fine! The nappy will be a thing of the past when he's not having a bottle at night within a few weeks/months.
The dummy is a habit that can be broken later but I wouldn't do it at the same time as the bottle.

lornathewizzard Sun 07-Feb-16 09:37:20

Bottle I think you could deal with fairly swiftly, assuming he drinks during the day out of supply or straw cups. No reason why he can't have milk in a cup before teeth/bed.
Dummy would be on my short term list of things to deal with, you'll need to do it eventually anyway.
Nappy should solve itself in time.
Co-sleeping I don't think is an issue as long as you're all actually sleeping and you have a longer term plan for that anyway. Sorted!

lornathewizzard Sun 07-Feb-16 09:38:09


poocatcherchampion Sun 07-Feb-16 09:42:40

If my child was dry about halfva week I would wonder whether they were weeing when they woke up and would probably try without nappy at night.

However no way would I do that if they were in my bed grin

I think you know you need to do a few things,so it is just a matter of choosing where to start and moving on with it. (I'd start with bottle tbh)

What do you mean by cuddle? Do you mean lying with until asleep?

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