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Could I ask your advice again pls Fate

(11 Posts)
c737 Sat 28-Jan-17 21:31:21

Fate,

Hope it's not too direct to request you personally but your advice was helpful a few months ago when I posted about 14 mo Ds wanting milk in the night.

He now wakes up for milk two or three times and we go in each time (with a previously warmed up bottle or three that we've taken up with us when we go to bed so that we can get in to him quickly before he wakes 2.10 yr old).

He usually settles after these bottles but fusses a lot from 4.30/5 onwards. No one is getting a decent sleep any more.

Just don't know what to do. I don't think he'd realise there was a bottle in his cot if we just left it in there as he just stands bold upright in his dark room and cries out until we go in.

He gets ill a lot with colds and hacking coughs (doc thinks asthma) so the few times I have tried to be tougher with him and things have improved, they have just gone back to square one when he is hacking away coughing all night and I give up and go in with a bottle which just sends the situation back to square one.

Apart from a couple of week period when he was 7/8mos of sleeping 7.30-6 he has never slept through. He has, however, slept through 5 quite a bit previously so I think if we somehow managed to crack this habit he would still wake at five for the morning and then gets so tired he needs to go back to bed by 8.30am (not really possible with toddler in tow and nursery days).

Sorry this message is so muddled but what I'm trying to ask really is that do you think it is every possible to get a bad sleeper doing 7-6 or 7-7 or will we always have to accept a crappy night or extreme early waking resulting in overtired toddler?

Also he is just so hungry/bottle obsessed all the time - I can't ever imagine him going past 5am without milk and I just don't know how to go about it or even if I should try as perhaps he just needs it.

Hellllppp!!

c737 Sat 28-Jan-17 21:33:36

Just to add he is 16.5 months old now, forgot to say in my previous message.

FATEdestiny Sat 28-Jan-17 21:45:51

At 16 months he doesn't need milk in the night at all. You'd get a different answer from me if you were breastfeeding because bf babies often do wake for feeds past 12 months. But if you are giving bottles, your baby doesn't need them.

Firstly make sure baby is having enough food, fluids (ie water, squash, juice) and milk (morning, bedtime and naptime milk should be enough). Then if it was me, I'd go cold turkey on the over night feeds and comfort to sleep instead.

There is one school of thought that suggests watering down the milk. You could try this. I'd just stop completely and offer a beaker of water instead (which I'd expect to be refused and never drank).

The question then becomes - how do you get baby back to sleep without the feed? Short term pain for long term gain - I'd resign myself to sittibg next to the cot, lots of care, comfort, compassion. But ultimately not pick baby up, so all the settling leaning into the cot.

Tons and tons of time, attention and patience. Keep lying him back down, firm hand on chest to keep him still. Shushing, patting, singing, tickling, whatever it takes. I'd just wait it out, always there being reassuring, just waiting until baby eventually gives up and goes to sleep.

It might be a long time initially. It might be several times a night at first. But if you are consistant it should get easier and quicker.

FATEdestiny Sat 28-Jan-17 21:47:51

Oh - and establish an independant form of comfort. Snuggle blanket, special toy, dummy, muslin.

c737 Sat 28-Jan-17 22:01:31

Thank you for your quick reply, I guess you've just confirmed what we need to do. So tired and run down at the minute that I feel like I can't face it but I know I have to or I will always feel like I've been hit by a truck every morning.

He relies on a bottle so much, wants one a lot during the day that I feel this is part of the problem. Do you think it's a good idea to try and switch to a beaker of milk from now on? Feels a bit cruel for some reason but it feels like he just constantly wants a bottle of milk during the day or night.

He has three of the same type of comforter bunny that he snuggles during the night so we definitely have that part sorted!

FATEdestiny Sat 28-Jan-17 22:17:46

Do you think it's a good idea to try and switch to a beaker of milk from now on?

I would probably leave the bottle for now, given the amount of change he'll have to go through. But limit feeds in the daytime and defiantly at night in quite a strict way.

I'd allow one bottle in the morning, one before lunchtime nap and one at bedtime. But the lunchtime and bedtime ones - do them downstairs and seperate to sleep time.

Then any other milk drinks in the daytime, I'd give as "drinks" rather than "bottles" - so in a beaker. Or swap for squash.

Then none at night. You'll only crack this if you bite the bullet and stop giving him night feeds.

c737 Sat 28-Jan-17 22:28:22

Thanks, I know, I'm just scared of the hard middle-of-the-night work and I'm also scared that we will crack the night wakings and feedings but as a result go back to him waking at 5 for the day which I bloody hated too.

Am I expecting too much to expect him to sleep through and also to wake at a reasonable time in the morning?

FATEdestiny Sat 28-Jan-17 22:51:36

Entirely reasonable to expect 11 hours sleep a night at this age. So 8pm bedtime should give you a 7am wake up.

You're early morning issue is the same as your night wake issue - your DS can't settle himself back to sleep when he goes through a light sleeping phase. Teach him to do this and it should resolve both problems.

Short term pain (yours, not babys) for long term gain. It will be hard work and knackering in the short term, but worth it in the long term.

FATEdestiny Sat 28-Jan-17 22:52:05

Your* blush

c737 Sun 29-Jan-17 13:03:28

Thank you for your help, we will be working on this over the next few weeks so fingers crossed we crack it.

TooMinty Sun 29-Jan-17 13:22:29

Does your 2 year old still drink milk? I agree with Fate that you should crack the sleep problem first, then worry about getting rid of bottles. But when you get to that stage, can you sell it as being "grown up" like the older sibling? I weaned DS2 off his evening bf by offering him a beaker of milk to "be a big boy like DS1" - worked a treat as DS2 idolises his big brother and loves to be just like him smile

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