Help! Toddler still waking for drinks in night

(13 Posts)
Razorb96 Sat 10-Oct-20 20:53:33

Hi mumsnet folk, could we get your advice please? We have a two year old who still wakes at least twice a night for a drink! Any ideas how we can break this, ideally without going cold turkey and all night crying?

A bit more context on the current situation... We give him a bath and read before giving him a 9oz milk at 7pm in bed lying down together, as this is what we've found works best (I cosleep as wife dealing with newborn in other room!). He then wakes 2-3 times a night, but can usually go back to sleep with water from a teat bottle, but occasionally demands milk, which we give watered down. He won't take dummy as a substitute currently.

In terms of solutions I know that we will need to take a consistent approach and be perserverant, and somehow decouple drinking milk and sleep. But the question is which approach (es) should we pursue?! I've listed down options I know of, and maybe best to do all the below combined? Do you have any advice which of those below or others you recommend doing?
1. For any approach, pre-warning, explain what doing over a few days before bedtime
2. Change to giving milk in sippy cup (both day and night) to break habit of sucking on teat
3. Change evening routine so have milk on sofa then read in bed after and hopefully break association of milk/teat with sleep
4. If wakes in night Persist with dummy instead of bottle so in time he can self soothe with dummy over time

OP’s posts: |
Loubylou9162 Sat 10-Oct-20 20:58:58

Hi, I think if I were you I’d ditch the bottle and give milk in a cup. We went cold turkey with dds bottle when she was about 14 months old. Just swapped it one day for a cup and threw all the bottles away. She took to it quite well.
I’d be tempted to say to not give milk at all in the night but others may not agree with that.
The rule in our house is milk then teeth cleaned And then if dd wakes asking for a drink she can have water but she doesn’t need milk over night.
It might take a few nights of tantrums before he accepts it though

lighthouseinthesnow Sat 10-Oct-20 21:18:13

I'd do as @loubylou9162 suggests.

Both my kids have had dummies but from a much younger age. I wouldn't introduce one now if I were you as it's just another habit you'll have to break in the not too distant future.

Lockdownseperation Sat 10-Oct-20 21:20:47

How old is the toddler? (Someone on MN was claiming their 6 year old was a toddler the other week). A newborn is already a lot of change in the house so I would be tempted not to change too much just yet.

Disappointedkoala Sun 11-Oct-20 06:40:54

I'd get rid of the bottle and break the milk/sleep association. We do a cup of milk with a story followed by teeth and bed and have done since 1yo. I wouldn't add in a dummy either, as it's another habit to break. I think it's probably a few nights of pain and not much sleep but then you should see more self settling at bedtime and throughout the night.

We binned the dummy for our 2yo over lockdown and we had tears for a few nights and she asked for it for a couple of weeks afterwards but actually it was much better than I expected.

FourPlasticRings Sun 11-Oct-20 06:42:38

Our two year old gets no milk of any sort after her teeth have been brushed and knows this. She gets a non-spill cup of water to take to bed with her every night and helps herself if she gets thirsty. Works well for us.

Indecisivelurcher Sun 11-Oct-20 06:47:51

Agree with the others, no milk and no dummy, especially if he doesn't have one now, in which case I doubt he'd want one. At 2yo I would explain and take them to the shop and let them pick their own cup for their bedtime milk. My ds used to wake for a drink of water so I left a non-spill sippy cup of water in the cot with him.


Indecisivelurcher Sun 11-Oct-20 06:49:36

My ds used to get the rage about milk in a sippy or straw cup, eventually worked out that he was finding the flow too slow and getting frustrated. We got an oxo tot cup with a fat straw in the end which was good. Then moved to an open cup.

mintich Sun 11-Oct-20 07:04:03

We also leave a water bottle in our kids beds/cots for them to have if needed in the night

CostaCosta Sun 11-Oct-20 07:29:04

My 2yo still wakes up a few times a night for bm. We co sleep and it's usually because i've disturbed him. Could it be he's waking because he's being disturbed by newborn?

IWantChocolates Sun 11-Oct-20 07:32:24

Same: no milk for our two-year-old after teeth brushing so just a non-spill cup of water.

MindyStClaire Sun 11-Oct-20 07:56:50

We also have a two year old and a baby. Milk in a sippy cup during the day, water in a sippy cup after teeth brushing left in her room to help herself overnight.

How new is the newborn though? That's a lot of upheaval for them, so I personally wouldn't be removing any comforts for the first couple of months while things settle down.

Razorb96 Tue 13-Oct-20 14:25:26

Hello everyone, thanks SOOO much for the advice. Great to hear you all have similar approaches which has given us confidence to break the habit and use sippy cup and no milk after teeth brushed. He is 2 years old now so with some explaining hopefully not too painful. He has adapted well to having a newborn brother so fingers crossed this isn't as bad as we fear! Bengrin

OP’s posts: |

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