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14 month old middle of night tantrum-type behaviour, only milk works. Rod/back etc etc help!

(9 Posts)
southfacingpuddles Sun 28-Apr-13 22:52:06

My 14 month old used to sleep all through the night about 70% of the time, occasionally waking for a cuddle and put back down with the dummy. Then winter came and various hideous colds, followed by constipation, not eating well, midnight thirst/hunger, etc, and now she is well, cheerful, and I often feed her six ounces of formula at 2am and 5am. Massively worse! On some nights she sleeps from 7.30-7am... About 1 night in 10. But i am working and I cannot chance a 2/5am wake up every night...

What can I do?

When she wakes she is completely inconsolable. Totally unlike my son for whom patting/shhing worked eventually, she screams at full volume and thrashes about so much I have had to put her on the floor for fear of dropping her...she is livid! The only only thing which works is milk. If I leave her to cry (admittedly haven't tried for v long) she works herself into a sweating, can't breathe for sobs rage, and even if i rush straight in, when I pick her up she continues to yell and thrash till the milk comes.i have tried water, she settles and then wakes up 20 mins later still enraged, and I've tried holding singing, rocking but no luck. The dummy, which she likes sometimes, is met with wild batting away and louder screams.

She settles so easily at bed time, I just pop her in the cot and she rolls over and goes to sleep (she's totally unlike my son was in that respect too!) but when she wakes in the night it's like a different baby.

She naps once or twice, often for 1.5-2hrs between about 10-12, and sometimes again around 3/4. She's really sweet and generally smiley during the day.

Any ideas what I can do to get out of this (self created, I'm sure) mess?


YoniBottsBumgina Sun 28-Apr-13 22:59:53

Have you tried teething gel etc when she wakes in the night? She's probably not properly awake but can't sleep because of something that's bothering her - could be teeth or wet nappy or something or hunger - DS was definitely hungry at this age. In fact call me ridiculous, but I used to take bread and butter up to bed with me and when he woke in the night I'd give him that as a snack - supervised obv - and a drink of water and he'd go back to sleep. Wake ups reduced from 1 hour+ to under 5 minutes. I'd tried milk previously but he'd just keep latched on for about an hour and then sit up and say his word for breakfast/food.

I doubt it's anything you've done. It's just a need that she has at the moment that she can't communicate to you. I think the fact she's thrashing around and totally hysterical implies that she is basically asleep, DS is 4 now, but if he wakes up for some reason like being in pain or needing a wee/poo he is similarly hysterical and thrashy and nothing calms him down at all - it's because he's not fully awake so he doesn't really know what's going on.

If you don't want to try food in the night I'd go for some slow release energy type food (porridge or non-sugary cereal) before bed as a first resort. But I wouldn't rule out food in the night (even though I'll get shot down for suggesting it!) as it worked for us and he just grew out of the phase - I can't remember now how long it lasted.

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 28-Apr-13 23:02:12

Having read your post more thoroughly I'd say hunger or pain if she only wants milk. Most likely hunger.

southfacingpuddles Sun 28-Apr-13 23:10:09

Thank you! I would have thought hunger too but she eats like a horse...more than her 4yr old brother. I am ace at making quick bottles-my record turnaround is 8 mins! But still, if I know she can sleep through, I wish she would do it more...and it takes me ages to get back to sleep... Maybe bread is worth a try! Thanks

RawCoconutMacaroon Sun 28-Apr-13 23:14:25

Sounds like she's hungry - is she eating enough calorie dense food during the day? Enough fat? Lots of wee one have such small appetites that they fill up quickly on a few bites of something without actually getting enough calories. Adding a little grated cheese to meals, a little olive oil, or butter helped a lot with my toddler.

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 28-Apr-13 23:14:28

1 year is a huuuge growth spurt time and it's definitely normal for them to eat more than a 4 year old. They're doing the most growing and development that they will do in their lives! If she's hungry often in the day it follows that she might be hungrier in the night too. I suppose it might be worth trying that night time milk they sell which is supposed to be more filling? I know it isn't safe to add baby rice etc to bottles directly.

cassell Sun 28-Apr-13 23:17:46

Have you tried Hipp organic night time milk? It's got added cereals and although ds1 was still bf at that age I did resort to it as his before bed milk and once I did he started reliably sleeping through within a week (he was 15mths). In fact I'm tempted to get it again for ds2 who is still waking several times I night to bf and he's 12mo.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Mon 29-Apr-13 11:07:35

DS done this too, that age is a major growing time. I just gave him the milk and he eventually dropped it on his own.

I find leaving a bottle for him in his bed sorts any problems as he just wakes up, drinks it and goes back to sleep. We used cartons for this as it stays fresher for a bit longer.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Mon 29-Apr-13 11:08:30

Oh and the suggestion about HIPP night time milk is a good one too, DS really liked that and it did seem to keep him happy for longer.

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