General Question

limyh's avatar

What should I do to prevent my 2-year-old from waking up in the middle of the night for feed?

Asked by limyh (48points) July 10th, 2008

I heard some babies stopped waking up for middle of the night feed when they reached 1 year old. However, my 2-year-old still wake up, at least once, for feed.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

syz's avatar

What kind of diet is he getting? Is he still on a bottle? Are you including cereal in the formula? You need something with a complex carbohydrate that is slowly and evenly digested. The he won’t have the glucose drop that makes him feel hungry.

(Granted, this is from an aunt, not a mother.)

robmandu's avatar

At two, the kid better not be on formula. That kid’s got a full set of teeth.

sndfreQ's avatar

Take a look at the feeding times and how much you’re feeding your little one. We had to wean our boys off of night time bottles very slowly; it was a combination of things, but in my memory some things that stuck out:

-Changing the number of bottles at night (lessening them), but giving one full bottle at bedtime (with cereal mixed in);

-Eventually watering down that mix of milk/cereal, adding water then eventually very ‘skim’ milk/water; to eventually water only (bottle); also, go from the large bottle to the smaller (1/2 size) bottle;

-From water bottle to sippy cup (the covered kind that doesn’t leak);

-Eventually dinner a little closer to bed time (6–6:30), bath, bottle before bed, water cup at bedside;

We’re talking about a progression that spanned a few months. If your little one is already two years old, maybe check with a pediatrician to see if the nutrition he/she is getting before bed is sufficient; maybe your little one’s dinner habits could be better (eat more);

We also left them graham crackers with the bottle (on a saucer), as the hunger can eventually be replaced by hard food; later we replaced with a cereal bar (multi-grain) so they could eat it early in the morning.

Gradual change is what it took though…good luck-I’ve been there!

fabulous's avatar

A great way to get a child to sleep through the night is to take them for a walk by the sea or on the beach the sea air helps them sleep I know it helped me to get my daugther to sleep through the night. Its worth trying to see what happens.

Wine3213's avatar

Rum! Just kidding. :)

SuperMouse's avatar

Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

These are two great books on helping your child to sleep through the night.

cheebdragon's avatar

really? I can’t remember the last time my son used a bottle, but he had a full set of teeth by the time he was 1 year old. So we had to get rid of the bottles pretty quick.
I really don’t think feeding in the middle of the night is a good idea, it can’t be good for his teeth I’m sure….you really need to speak to your pediatrician about this problem.

babygalll's avatar

First of all, if he is still taking a bottle get him off of it. Children at that age should be sleeping through the night.

It’s going to be hard, but you have to do it. When he wakes up let him cry and don’t go running. Wait a while to see if he will go back to bed on his own. If not then give him water and water only. Sometimes they are just thirsty for water. He will them realize he’s only getting water and won’t make a fuss and will eventually fall back asleep on his own. If will take a few nights, but you have to be consistent and quit the milk cold turkey.

Also, keep a sippy cup of water near his bed where he can reach and show him that it’s there. If he wakes up thirsty he will drink himself and go back to sleep.

Try it for a few days. If may break your heart to hear them cry, but at that age they should be sleeping through the night.

sndfreQ's avatar

Folks, remember that all kids are different, and It’s not uncommon for little tykes to have milk bottles that late in age, and there’s no documentation that states that giving milk that late has any ill effects (other than the dental decay from sleeping with milk in the mouth-the sugar in the milk (lactose) wears down the enamel); the issue is one of habits that need to be modified-more behavioral than anything.

I know as an adult that quitting something “cold turkey” is really hard to do; must be equally as difficult for kids…I just know the “slow and steady” weaning method worked for both of my kids, and they both stopped at different ages.

The sleeping through the night issue is also different for each individual; I have friends whose kids slept through the night from birth, and some friends with kids who are in elementary school that still wake up…it’s not a cut-and-dry thing. Along with the milk thing, another thing that has had a major impact on my kids’ sleeping is the way they end each day-routine is key.

No TV after dinner (dinner by 5:30pm), homework (when they reach that age), bath, reading books with them, lights out with soft music in background (or my singing to them with guitar), sleep by 8:00pm. Set some goals for yourself and your kids and gradually mod the schedule to make those goals.

spendy's avatar

It’s different for every child, but every set of parents also has a different set of habits. Children learn what to expect at a very young age, through repetition. If you child is accustomed to a midnight bottle, he’ll wake for it and cry until you bring it. The longer it continues, the harder it will be to discontinue.

Both of my children (5yrs and 9mo) were sleeping through the night by 2 months old. Of course, initially it was only 5–6 hours, and now it’s closer to 11hrs (for both of them). If your child is well-fed (and I trust that you are still keeping track of exactly what he eats/drinks throughout the day), there’s no need to offer food in the middle of the night. This is something that you’ve taught your child to expect and likely has a great deal more to do with comfort than hunger. Now you will simply need to go through the process of re-training. I’m not suggesting that it will be easy to listen to your child cry for a few nights (or more, depending), but part of parenting is realizing that sometimes children do like the transition from one stage to the next. We just have to comfort them the best we can, knowing that we’re doing what’s best (and that’s not often what’s easiest).

My #1 Rule for childrearing is this: Don’t do one day for your child what you would want to do every day thereafter. In other words, choose a method of soothing that won’t be ridiculous and don’t offer feeding options that you wouldn’t want to continue well into the toddler years and beyond. Every stage has its necessary changes, but be reasonable. Some people choose to sooth their baby to sleep by buckling it into a carseat and driving for 15min until it’s fast asleep. This isn’t something you’d want to do every night, so don’t make it an option…ever. And when it comes time to 86 the midnight bottle…do it. Soothing a baby back to sleep is much easier (when the time for transition has come) than it is to sooth a toddler back to sleep who is, for lack of a better word, addicted to the feeling of comfort that comes from falling asleep with a full belly. Just buckle down and make the change. You’ll be glad you did.

spendy's avatar

(Sidebar:) Sorry for the multiple typos…got a phone call and couldn’t edit when I got back to the computer. You get the point though…

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther