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3 year old has never slept through...

(23 Posts)
BelleBoyd Wed 22-Mar-17 09:43:47

My DS-just turned 3, has never slept through. He was a reflux baby and could only go to sleep sucking a bottle-which I let him do as he was in so much pain.
But now he is 3 and is still addicted to his bottle. Can only fall asleep sucking on it and wakes 6 or 7 times a night for his bottle. He hardly eats as he has so much milk. I've tried watering it down gradually but he still wakes for it. I've tried going cold turkey and he screamed and fought me and tore up the room in a rage till 4am when my DD(7 years old) begged me to 'just give him the bottle!' And I gave in.
I know I need to take his bottle away but I just don't know how to cope with his rages-he's very physical-punches/throws things etc when he doesn't get the bottle. He will go looking for it and tear up the kitchen..What should I do? Should I just let him rage all night? He managed a solid 7 hour tantrum last time I tried which was just mind blowing..

FATEdestiny Wed 22-Mar-17 10:10:26

I would go cold turkey and sit in his room with him (sleep on a mattress on the floor if needed). Then do rapid return. Insist he stays on his bed, lying down, quiet. He doesn't have to sleep (although he probably will, but you can't force this) but he has to lye down in bed quietly.

Keep these boundaries and expectations really tight - any attempt to get up, and noise, go to him immediately (The "rapid" but of the process) and tuck him back in ("return") calmly repeating the same mantra every time: Sleep time now. We lie down quietly to sleep. Nan night.

BelleBoyd Wed 22-Mar-17 10:14:36

I'll give it a go. Very worried about his raging tantrums though..they are so explosive and go on for hours. His voice went from screaming last time and he makes himself sick..
Still I will try. Not massively optimistic.

InsaneDame Wed 22-Mar-17 10:28:02

Well there isn't much you can do about the tantrums initially - he is just doing what has got him his own way in the past. As soon as you deal with it calmly and consistently as outlined by Fate for as long as it takes he will stop tantruming, because there will be no point. You will have a rough few nights but you will be there helping him through it and if you stay calm that should (hopefully) rub off on him. If you are worried about your other DC then maybe do it in the holidays or over a weekend or maybe they could have a sleepover at a family members house?

The alternative is to carry on as you are.....

BelleBoyd Wed 22-Mar-17 10:42:59

They share a room although DS always comes into mine after an hour or two. I'm thinking I could put DD in my room whilst I try and sort it. I've tried that before but he went into my room to wake his sister. I guess I'll just have to shut her in my room and try and stop him when he tries to get out of his..

laulea82 Wed 22-Mar-17 11:05:08

I feel for you. We have the same situation but my ds is much younger. I agree the only way is cold turkey. The longer you leave it the harder it will get. I would also speak to him in he daytime about it. Set a date when he will say bye bye to bottles and throw the all away / give them to the fairies or whatever.

laulea82 Wed 22-Mar-17 11:12:24

Our kids share a room too. The short term pain for you all will be worth the long term improvement. You can't not do this because your ds will wake his sibling. You're in charge. (I'm telling myself this too).

BelleBoyd Wed 22-Mar-17 11:14:08

Yes have thought will say the bottle fairy came and left a gift for taking the bottle?! Am worried though as he will be so tired during the day from not sleeping and will end up napping in the car etc...
Also really worried as he's never fallen asleep in his own bed..I know terrible thing to have let go on so long. His sister goes to sleep first and then he falls asleep either on the sofa or goes to bed with me. I've tried getting him to sleep in their shared room but he disturbs his sister and then they are both up tantruming..

laulea82 Wed 22-Mar-17 11:16:58

Personally I would tackle one issue at once. First job is to bin the bottles. It doesn't matter what you have to do to get through the night. But no bottles! After this gets easier and he stops asking etc. Move on the getting him in his own bed by doing the raps return etc.

laulea82 Wed 22-Mar-17 11:18:05

And I would make it an exciting thing that he's now a big boy. No bottles. Babies need them etc. Then never go back.

Tweetinat Wed 22-Mar-17 11:32:50

I don't know if this will work, but we've had success in weaning 2.5y old DS off (breast) milk by gradually lengthening the time before I gave him milk. For example, 2am was the cut off. Wakes before they just got a cuddle and kiss and an explanation that it wasn't time yet. Then eventually he just woke but quickly resettled. Then moved the time to 2.30, then 3 and so on. The first week was hell, but v soon he learnt that his first waking wouldn't get milk so he went back to sleep and gradually, he also started to sleep longer before waking. We also introduced a gro-clock to reinforce that there was no milk until the sun was shining. This more gentle approach has taken a few weeks but it's been so much less stressful for all concerned, than going cold turkey. I don't know whether you could try similar to ease stress?

BelleBoyd Wed 22-Mar-17 13:05:11

Yes might work but I think would take a long time and I might relapse in the meantime! I doubt tho he would accept not having the bottle right then if he knew it was available later iyswim? I breastfed my first till she was 2 and just told her one morning that the milk had all ran out! She accepted that really well-woke v early for years tho but anyway... The bottle seems much more of an attachment thing and security/comfort object. He also has a comfort blankie so hope that'll help a little.

laulea82 Wed 22-Mar-17 14:45:06

If you think you may give in I wouldn't try it until you're ready to.

BelleBoyd Wed 22-Mar-17 18:09:56

I've told him now the bottle fairies been and taken the bottle and has given him a gift. He wrapped it back up again and threw it at me! Has now asked if we can go to fairyland and get his bottle back! Don't think I can back out now..will see how tonight goes...

laulea82 Wed 22-Mar-17 18:50:47

Oooohh good luck!!
He thinks he can get what he wants. Stay strong and he will respect you for it in the long run. Have you binned them?

laulea82 Wed 22-Mar-17 18:51:40

My ds is having a bottle now before bed then I will NOT give him one in the night (must stay strong!)

BelleBoyd Wed 22-Mar-17 18:53:52

Yep I thought about that option but this way it's the fairies fault and not mine! Plus we can't go to fairyland and get it back. I haven't quite had the strength to bin the bottle-hidden it in the back of a cupboard but I really hope we both get through the night! Fingers crossed.

laulea82 Thu 23-Mar-17 14:54:18

My ds is only 14 months but I feel he's getting more addicted to it so might stop the bedtime one soon.
Sooooo how did it go? Randomly my ds slept through last night. He hasn't done than for months.

LapinR0se Thu 23-Mar-17 16:20:25

You need to bin it. In the bin, lid closed, bye bye bottle. Otherwise it's there as a crutch for you.

BelleBoyd Thu 23-Mar-17 19:21:47

That's great he slept through-shows he can do it! It went really well-he went to sleep around 9 and slept till 5!!! Never done that before. Woke at 5 and cried for his bottle, begging me to find another one..but then fell asleep again for an hour.
Has been asking all day if the fairies have brought his bottle back but I think he's more or less accepted it. I hope anyway. See how it goes tonight. But I'm hopeful this it it.

BelleBoyd Thu 23-Mar-17 19:23:52

Only thing to consider is my DS won't take milk from anything but a bottle so may never want milk again.
My DD after stopping breastfeeding at 2 never has had a drink of milk since and she's 7 now...

FATEdestiny Thu 23-Mar-17 20:19:24

You can easily make up for it by increasing the dairy in his diet. Milk in cereal, yoghurt, cheese, cream, milk in food. etc

laulea82 Fri 24-Mar-17 11:48:04

Excellent! He is getting it. Yes my dd was the same. Never drank milk from 15 months. It really doesn't matter they get plenty from other sources. I bet he's happier having slept better! My ds will drink milk from anything lol but likes his bottle a LOt!

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