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Old 10-07-2007, 07:06 AM   #1
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Unhappy Help/advice needed re toddler eating & night sleep

I'm at the end of my wits, mamas!

DS was never the best sleeper and only at ~ 20 months he started really sleeping 12-13 hours through.
Well, that didn't last too long and he started waking up 3-4x at night, wanting a bottle of milk. (He's not the best eater so I always gave in )

Last week it simply got out of hand and I decided to take the bottles away. So now he's refusing to drink milk, with lots of coaxing he drinks maybe 3oz with a straw, but that's it. (He used to drink 5oz in the morning, 5 at nap time and 7oz at bed time.) At the same time he still refuses to eat, he's not only very picky (he only eats noodles, yogurt, raisins, cheese and apple slices -which all of those only very little and not always, most of the time he requests noodles ) but also eats very, very little.

My big problem here now is this: Ever since the bottles got taken away, he started coming into our bed (which is fine with me/us) but instead of sleeping well, he tosses and turns and still wakes up ~ every hour and asks for milk! I tried giving it to him in a sippy, doesn't work. With a straw, doesn't work. Then he starts really to fuss and cry to the point where he's running around the upper floor where our bedrooms are, crying hysterically...
Putting him in his room doesn't work as he's got a convertible crib that turns into a toddler bed, so he can get out on his own now and doesn't stay in bed..
Speaking calmly or stern with him, none of it works and these past days it was DH who gave up and got up with DS at ~ 5am. (Luckily he's got 2 weeks off, so he can do it and catch some sleep during the day, but latest after next week that won't be possible anymore!..) Somehow DS listens to DH better than to me

DS naps for 1.5-2 hours. Now with the early waking time his nap time shifted a little forward again, of course and he wakes up after 1.5-2 hours on his own. (Another prob here, he now only naps in our bed with one of us being with him... ) Bed time is between 7pm/7:30 pm.
Weirdly enough he really sleeps good the first hours after being put in his bed but latest midnight is the time where he starts this waking pattern...

I don't know what to do! What am I doing wrong??? Do I need to cut out his nap completely??? (I know, DD stopped taking naps at 2.5 years)

I've heard that when kids don't get their calories in during the day, their body requests it at night.. but how on earth am I going to make him eat (more)??

Sorry for the long story I just wanted to give as much background info on this as possible.

Please help me out here, mamas, and give me some advice badly!!!

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Old 10-07-2007, 08:26 AM   #2
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Re: Help/advice needed re toddler eating & night sleep

I would say stick to your guns. (In reality I am a softie too, this is a hard one for me). I wouldn't cut the nap though. Kids need their sleep. Marti did this too when she was about 2.5-3 years old. We just kept offering her the sippy. It took a long time. Lilly was a terrible sleeper and it seemed that no matter what we did every change (in anything) was soooooo hard on her sleep schedule, but mostly we just had to ride it out.
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:59 AM   #3
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Re: Help/advice needed re toddler eating & night sleep

Thanks for your input, Amanda!
Yeah, this is really tough on me and if it wouldn't be for DH taking over so often lately, I'd not be able to stand up straight anymore!
So I guess I just give in to Mason's wish to nap in our bed with one of us? Ugh, not that I don't like to sleep for a bit, but that's my only 'free' time.. Oh well.. I guess I'd really just do it and hope he'll grow out of it, huh?
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:05 AM   #4
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Re: Help/advice needed re toddler eating & night sleep

Deffinitly stick to your guns, DONT GIVE IN! It's gonna be hard the first few days but the bottle part should smooth out. Since he's not eating alot at a sitting can you feeding 5-6xs a day small things? So he would be snacking throughout the day and getting his calories since he doesn't eat big meals? My kids are super picky eaters too! (pbjs, mac n cheese, cereal that's their kick so far), tho they eat alot at the sitting. They say kids will eat when their hungry (ie: they wont go to bed hungry), so maybe his cry at night for milk is really just a ploy to get his bottle. So sticking to your guns for the next few days may break that. ((hugs)) it's hard, we have yet to take away the paci from DS2 *blushes*
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:24 AM   #5
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Re: Help/advice needed re toddler eating & night sleep

Have you tried giving water in the bottle at night instead of milk and just letting him keep it with him during the night?
It may be he's just thirsty and also need to suck.
Although I'm BFing my DD 26 months still wakes up every 2 hrs on average to nurse.I wish she'd take a bottle at night or a pacifer.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:29 AM   #6
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Re: Help/advice needed re toddler eating & night sleep

See, I guess I'm the opposite. Ds has a lot of solids issues, and wasn't consistently eating solids until about 29 months when he HAD too (I was pg with dd and my milk was running out). He didn't night wean until then either, because he just NEEDED the calories. I can't refuse my kids food. Even now at 4 he wakes up sometimes in the middle of the night hungry, and we always get him food. Have you ever woken up hungry in the middle of the night? Its nauseating, and almost impossible to get back to sleep. If it were ME, I would definitely keep giving him bottles, and try to up his food during the day. But it seems apparent that he is not ready to get all his nutrition from solids. You might want to talk to his ped and see if he can get eval'd for any oral issues. Ds has oral issues, and we're just now seeking out therapy for them-he likely has Asperger's, and food issues were our first major clue.

ETA, I just read the responses better, and even though people say kids will eat when they are hungry...its not necessarily true. Again, my son will NOT tell us he is hungry or seek out food until he is starving...and sometimes not even then. Grumpy, low blood sugar, sick feeling. He's just starting to tell us, but he's learning slowly. We try to make sure he eats something every two hours. He won't eat much at one sitting either. And he eats first thing in the morning, and RIGHT before bed. If he doesn't eat right before bed, he will almost assuredly wake up hungry.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:35 AM   #7
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Re: Help/advice needed re toddler eating & night sleep

Thanks for your replies, mamas!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kattayanna_mom View Post
Have you tried giving water in the bottle at night instead of milk and just letting him keep it with him during the night?
It may be he's just thirsty and also need to suck.
Although I'm BFing my DD 26 months still wakes up every 2 hrs on average to nurse.I wish she'd take a bottle at night or a pacifer.
Well, see, he always had/still has a sippy cup with fresh water for thirst and he also has a paci. I guess the sucking from the bottle had a soothing effect, but unfortunately IMO also a function of a 'crutch' to fall back asleep..
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:41 AM   #8
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Re: Help/advice needed re toddler eating & night sleep

Quote:
Originally Posted by mengmommy View Post
See, I guess I'm the opposite. Ds has a lot of solids issues, and wasn't consistently eating solids until about 29 months when he HAD too (I was pg with dd and my milk was running out). He didn't night wean until then either, because he just NEEDED the calories. I can't refuse my kids food. Even now at 4 he wakes up sometimes in the middle of the night hungry, and we always get him food. Have you ever woken up hungry in the middle of the night? Its nauseating, and almost impossible to get back to sleep. If it were ME, I would definitely keep giving him bottles, and try to up his food during the day. But it seems apparent that he is not ready to get all his nutrition from solids. You might want to talk to his ped and see if he can get eval'd for any oral issues. Ds has oral issues, and we're just now seeking out therapy for them-he likely has Asperger's, and food issues were our first major clue.

ETA, I just read the responses better, and even though people say kids will eat when they are hungry...its not necessarily true. Again, my son will NOT tell us he is hungry or seek out food until he is starving...and sometimes not even then. Grumpy, low blood sugar, sick feeling. He's just starting to tell us, but he's learning slowly. We try to make sure he eats something every two hours. He won't eat much at one sitting either. And he eats first thing in the morning, and RIGHT before bed. If he doesn't eat right before bed, he will almost assuredly wake up hungry.
Oh my.. your post certainly got me thinking!.. The problem is, I already threw all of his bottles away (mainly because I was afraid I might cave in otherwise ) and those were the NUK bottles that you can only buy in Germany/Europe, not the ones you buy here in the US...

I'll have to do some thinking about this and will talk to a ped (we're military, so it's most of the time always a 'new' doc, rarely the same and most of them suck..)

ETA: I just came back from Wal Mart as I went to get DS a bottle (yes, I caved in) and imagine this: They now have the orthodontic bottles/NUK nipples here as well! So I got him 2 and he already drank 6oz down. I can't believe how happy he is now!

Yes, it might not be the 'wisest' thing to do in regards to being 'addicted' to his bottle.. But you know, it's like mengmommy said, I can't have my child 'starve'! This was exactly my concern these past days as I did indeed have had times where I didn't eat enough during the day and woke up in the middle of the night, starving!..

So, again, I thank you all for your replies and though most of you might not agree with my actions, I can't express how much better I feel! Let's hope it'll all work out better now and we'll soon get peaceful nights again!
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:56 AM   #9
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Re: Help/advice needed re toddler eating & night sleep

Ahh--kids are so good at testing their mothers, arn't they (mine certainly are) I would stick with the nap, and stick to your guns
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:15 PM   #10
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Re: Help/advice needed re toddler eating & night sleep

DD#1 has bee bad about eating lately too. By breakfast she's ready to eat. If she refuses to eat what I give her she has to wait until the next meal. I had to cut out most snacking to get her to eat. No more goldfish and cheese whenever she states she hungry, and no more letting her have her all time favorite of peanut butter sandwich all the time either. We're still battling this one.

As for sleeping... she doesn't take a nap during the day normally. Unless she's been running hard all day and goes to sleep on her own, or when we're in the car. We have our little bedtime routine of hugs and kisses and my boyfriend tucking her in, we exchange "I Love You's and Good Nights", and put the baby gate up. If she gets up we tell her to go to back to bed until she finally does. She gets no sippy cups either because she had been opening them and dumping them out. If she wakes up after getting to sleep and is hurting or asking for her sippy cup then we know something is up because she doesn't do that normally. Like the last few nights she's been having what I assume are growing pains because she wakes up crying and pointing towards her ankles and knees. But if she's throwing a fit over her sippy cup before she's gone to sleep we just let her pitch her fit. (Hi, I'm a mean mommy).
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