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My nearly 3YO addicted to milk at night

(11 Posts)
Dragonball Fri 19-Jun-15 15:12:37

hi there, my DD (3 in september) wakes up at night and can't get back to sleep unless we give her a beaker of milk. She screams blue murder, and we're so tired - and she shares a room with our 6YO DS, that we give in, she drinks it on our lap, then we cuddle her and put her back to bed (awake actually, but soon drifts off..). It all started when she was having night terrors and we would give her milk to calm her down. It's now a well-ingrained habit and I wondered if anyone had any advice…we've tried cold turkey and she literally screams and screams - for as long as an hour (with us in the room trying to give her water which she just refuses), and inevitably wakes up DS too...

FATEdestiny Fri 19-Jun-15 15:43:31

Really I think cold turkey is your only option.

Do lots of planning with her beforehand. Pick a day when the 'no milk at night' rule will start - say a week ahead. Count down every evening so she knows it's coming.

Take her to buy a new beaker for bedtime to have water in. Get her to choose it, lots of chatting about the fact that this is to replace your milk beaker/s - which will be thrown away.

On the final night, ceremoniously throw away the beakers you normally se for night time milk. Offer her a reward if she has no milk overnight (a toy, or to go somewhere special, or special breakfast). Expect screaming, but that won't stop her having the reward if she has no milk overnight.

Then just stick to your guns and don't give in. Not at all. She screams because she assumes if she screams for long enough you will give in and fetch her milk. She needs to know and see that you will not be giving in - within a couple of days this will mean the screaming reduces (and stops) when she knows that milk will not come no matter what she does.

You need to consider DS in all of this. Could he have a sleepover at grandparents house? Or maybe camp out in your bedroom on a blow-up bed for a few days?

Iwonderif Fri 19-Jun-15 15:48:02

Wish I had known you in real life FATE when I went through this with DS that advice/tips was outstanding!!!! Me & DH struggled so much with that. He's now almost 5 but I look back at certain times one of which was the whole milk at bedtime/during the night and shudder.

Hope it all works for you Dragonball I'm sure it will with such brilliant advice.

nowttodowithme Fri 19-Jun-15 16:16:21

Water it down gradually over a week, doubt she'd want it then.

Put your other daughter in your bed and then go cold turkey with her sister, probably take two nights.

Good luck!

Dragonball Fri 19-Jun-15 16:23:37

Thank you, great advice... I know it has to be done...

girliefriend Fri 19-Jun-15 16:28:07

I think at nearly 3yo they are old enough to understand that no means no.

I would go cold turkey and not be very sympathetic to tantrums in the night tbh! Maybe tell her very clearly at bedtime that big girls do not need milk over night and screaming and waking her brother up is very naughty.

I have zero tolerance for this sort of thing though grin

Misty9 Fri 19-Jun-15 22:33:57

We had this with ds when a bout of illness had led to him having night time milk regularly. In the end we did just do cold turkey by allowing him bedtime milk and then taking his beaker away and leaving a water bottle. We had a few screamed "milks! " but luckily before dd came along it didn't last long.

Good luck!

Greenstone Fri 19-Jun-15 23:09:53

Great advice from fate especially the talking and planning countdown. Do not underestimate the power of bribery at that age!

Zzzsnatcher Fri 19-Jun-15 23:22:37

Just go for it it's not as bad as you think it will be.
I would do a sleep training technique though. When it kicks off leave her for one min then lie her down then2 min...up to 6 then start at 1 again until she's asleep. Will take 2 nights max.

Babymamamama Fri 19-Jun-15 23:34:56

Definitely cold turkey. But make sure she is really full in the evening. We have dinner and then dd will have another plate of fruit, cheese etc while we read stories. She can now sleep 11 hours straight at night. I'm convinced she has nothing to wake for cos she isn't hungry. When she was still on bottles or worse even breast she woke all the time. Good luck. Also keep in mind all that night time milk isn't good for the teeth so another reason to cut it out.

Kennington Fri 19-Jun-15 23:40:11

I keep a bottle of milk next to my 3 year olds bed and she has it every night. I don't see it as a big deal. I often get thirsty at night and drink water. It is the same for her I guess.

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