Sleep - the age-old question!

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

Sleep - the age-old question!

Postby Monochrome » 01 May 2015, 09:17

I've come on here for some moral support more than anything. But do any of you have any bright ideas how to encourage my 16-month-old to eat enough during the day not to need milk at night? Every so often we finally manage to get him through the night without milk and it lasts a few nights before he next gets ill and we're back to square one. Now it's been two weeks since he got better from his last cold so he has no excuse but the past week he's been getting up at least once, sometimes twice, during the night for milk! We offer him plenty of food during the day (three meals and two snacks plus milk whenever he wants) and he generally eats ok but not masses. Anyone else in the same predicament?
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Re: Sleep - the age-old question!

Postby junglewonderland » 01 May 2015, 13:00

I got to a point where I would just offer water at night. If Koala was thirsty he would drink it (hardly ever), for us the milk at night was more about comfort, which we gave in other ways instead.
Mama to Feb boys, Koala (2012) and Taz (2015).
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Re: Sleep - the age-old question!

Postby Fish&Chips » 01 May 2015, 19:24

I'd also offer water at night. This is how I night weaned my boy at 11 months and he took it pretty well really. Just water whenever he woke instead of boob and few nights in he stopped bothering all together as it was obviously not as attractive to him as bf with cuddles...
Mummy to gorgeous boy since Dec 2012
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Re: Sleep - the age-old question!

Postby Treeb » 01 May 2015, 19:40

I agree with the others - it sounds like you might be ready to night wean.

I never night weaned with L and he continued nursing 1 or more times in the night until we weaned completely when he was 2y3m. I started by cutting back the length of his feeds and then telling him he could have water if he was still thirsty, then eventually just offering the water without any offer to nurse first.
Mama to big boy L born Sept. 2012, and baby girl A born June 2015.

http://treemama.wordpress.com/
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Re: Sleep - the age-old question!

Postby Monochrome » 02 May 2015, 01:09

Thanks everyone. You are all right, he is definitely after the comfort of the breast! I just managed to deal with a wake-up without feeding him. I offered him a bottle (of milk) which he refused most vociferously and I eventually settled him with cuddles and singing.

I will try to keep it up and report back.
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Re: Sleep - the age-old question!

Postby Monochrome » 03 May 2015, 07:11

Update. The night before last he was great, lastng until 6:30am before having milk. Last night not so good. I'm sticking with my plan not to breastfeed at night and he has bottles at 12 and 4. I think he was genuinely hungry because he didn't eat that well yesterday, whereas on Friday nursery reported that he'd had all his lunch x 2.

Yesterday I decided that we should have proper cooked lunches because lunch is often sandwich-type things and I've noticed that he usually doesn't eat well at dinner because he's too tired. But we didn't have lunch until 1pm because we were out and about and he'd got up quite late (9am). But interestingly he was a bit impossible during the morning, which I thought was because I'd taken him shopping (which I hardly ever do], but now I think maybe he was hungry. By the time we had our (cooked) lunch he was irritable and didn't eat much of it, preferring instead to play with the cutlery and pointing at things he wanted to play with and getting upset when I wouldn't give them to him (eg the sharp knife.)

So today's resolution is to make sure I feed him enough early on in the day. Decent snack not too long after breakfast and lunch no later that 12. I will report back.
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Re: Sleep - the age-old question!

Postby Monochrome » 08 May 2015, 20:56

Another update. I have taken your advice and given him water for night feeds for the past two nights. To my surprise he happily guzzled a 100ml bottle of warm water. Each to their own. I guess I'll continue doing this until either he decides tepid water isn't worth getting up for, or I work out a cunning plan to move him towards not needing it.
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Re: Sleep - the age-old question!

Postby elaruu » 09 May 2015, 10:51

Maybe you could try just normal temp water and from a cup or sippy cup/straw cup? Then maybe he won't see it as a comfort thing.
I'm trying a similar thing with my almost 17 month old. But he generally wakes up every hour or two from 10ish onwards, ie a LOT! I've been trying seriously to not bf him in the night for about a week. When he wakes I offer cuddles and a sip of water from a drink bottle. It hasn't reduced the number of times he wakes up yet but I generally get to about 4am before I have to give in and feed him. And I also have to co sleep with him from any time between 1 and 3 because he will.not.go.back in his cot and sleep otherwise, but I am persisting. Last night was a bit better actually. And he had an excellent day time sleep today too, so hopingit wasn't a fluke and he's finally learning how to sleep!
Mummy to two lovely Scottish-born boys - A 27/1/09 and J 9/3/11.
And an Aussie version - M 16/12/13 :).
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Re: Sleep - the age-old question!

Postby Monochrome » 18 May 2015, 09:43

Another update. He has been sleeping much better the past week: some nights he's slept right through until 7, some nights he's just had a feed at about 5 or 6 then gone back to sleep for another hour or so. One night last week I gave in and breastfed him at 2 because I was shattered and just needed to get back to sleep. Last night he woke at 2 and I settled him with water. It took quite a while, but not masses longer than if I'd breastfed him. But generally he has at least been sleeping better, and I notice that he's been eating better during the day too. So work in progress, but your advice about water has really helped. Thank you!
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Re: Sleep - the age-old question!

Postby Lily » 18 May 2015, 13:01

Good going Monochrome! As an aside, lots of littlies seem to eat more earlier in the day, even as they get a bit older. At age 3, my son often eats a massive breakfast, a decent lunch, and maybe just a couple of spoonfuls of tea; at nursery, he has tea at 4.30pm and barely eats after that. He often sleeps till 7.30 or 8am, which amazes me as I'd be starving by midnight! But I've noticed lots of people posting on here that their LOs are hungriest in the morning, too.
Izbiz, May 2012
Bee, April 2015
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Re: Sleep - the age-old question!

Postby Monochrome » 28 Jun 2015, 15:39

Another update. His sleeping pattern seems to have settled down into some nights where he sleeps through until 7 and some where he has an early morning feed at 5 or 6 then sleeps for an hour or so afterwards. I feel so much better now that most nights I get a long stretch rather than being woken up every 3-4 hours for more milk. If he wakes up in the night I always settle him without milk. Re Lily's post above, yes, he definitely eats more earlier in the day than later on.
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Re: Sleep - the age-old question!

Postby lesliedale » 11 Jul 2015, 00:02

I am so happy to find this thread! I was just about to post the exact same question as the OP. I will definitely be offering water in a cup tonight when my LO wakes up instead of BFing. Thanks all!
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