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two year old with sleep issues since birth

  1. #1
    bagel is offline Registered User
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    two year old with sleep issues since birth

    Hello Ladies,

    My son is 2 years old and since his birth he has been waking up every
    1.5-2 hours at night. Some pediatricians I consulted said that this
    could be a result of sleep immaturity (basically they wake up during
    the transition from light to deep sleep) which resolves itself between
    0-3 years. Usually, he wakes up, cries a bit, soothes himself back to
    sleep with milk and this cycle continues through the night. Needless
    to say I am frequently sleep deprived.

    Every night before he goes to bed around 10pm, he drinks milk but
    lately, my son is throwing up his dinner on a daily basis after he
    drinks milk. I am wondering if he drinks too much milk which causes him to then
    throw up everything. It is time to start withdrawing the milk bottle through the night too, me thinks. Any insights/ideas that could make this manageable is appreciated.

  2. #2
    shwetakhanna is offline Registered User
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    Hi bagel, i can very well understand your condition as i have also been through this same situation for almost two and a half years. My daughter, she'll be turning three next month, used to wake up every 45 min to one hour and cry , have a little bit of milk and then go back to sleep. All the doctors said, it would change ina acouple of months. But i felt as if i had not slept for ages.
    And one day, i just could not handle this anymore and decided i will not give her any milk at night, beacuse she has had enough before sleeping and secondly, what's the point of struggling to brush her teeth everynight when again she will be having milk in her mouth in an hour.
    Believe me, she cried for only 3 nights, first night as per the same routine, second and third night improving gradually. And now since she sleeps thru the night , occasionally she cries when she is scared, but then that is totally different.
    So you just have to make your self firm that no matter how much he cries, no milk during the night. Keep his sipper close and offer a sip of water, but nothing more than that.
    Good luck

  3. #3
    bagel is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Shweta, let's try this.

  4. #4
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    If your 2-year-old is throwing up the milk--I would check about allergies to milk.

    Just remember, whatever behavior you reinforce (by allowing it) is the behavior you're going to get. So this waking up thing is clearly a habit that your son has established with your reinforcement. Totally agree with the above poster that you just have quit allowing the milk drinking and attending to his cries every time he does--this reinforces the behavior. You'll have to put up with a few days to even a few weeks of screaming and crying as he transitions into a new habit of doing things but just as the above poster said, for your own sanity, you have to be firm and just tell yourself that he will adjust--and he will. At 2-years-old it's really time for you to both be getting better sleep at night.

    And if the issue doesn't clear up this way, I would take him to a doctor who specializes in sleep issues and have him properly examined as there may be some medical issue at hand that is preventing him from sleeping well.

    Hope that you get some sleep!
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  5. #5
    southside852 is offline Registered User
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    total agree with the above posters. by letting your son have the milk when he cries, means it's ok and he will expect it every time. now he associates crying with milk to make him feel better. by having the milk there, you're telling him it's ok to do and thus the cycle will not end until you take away the milk. i would suggest doing it cold turkey. it might take a few nights, but he will get over it. if you son drinks/eats well through out the day, he doesn't need anything at night. he actually doesn't need anything starting at around 8 months+.

    i can only imagine how tired you are...you definitely need to regain your sleep back so you can be the best mother you can be! ;) we all need rest including your son too who i know will be happier with a good night's sleep.

    my son at 2 years had sleep issues as well and we contacted the baby sleep fairy here in singapore (i've recommended her before). she was great!!!

    http://www.babysleepfairy.com/

    i highly recommend her if all else fails! good luck!

  6. #6
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    You know what I'd do, I'd start watering down the milk gradually. He's probably less likely to wake for water than milk. And if he does, it's not going to really "fill" his tummy, plus it's better for his teeth as well. Just an idea if you want another alternative to cold turkey...

    When my daughter was about 8 months, she started waking for a night feed, and that's kind of what I did with her - and once I got her onto water instead of milk, she started sleeping better too.

  7. #7
    bagel is offline Registered User
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    Just wanted to update everyone that I watered down the milk and after a few days I quit giving him the bottle altogether after a few nights and there has been significant improvement in my toddler's sleep quality. These days he wakes up a couple of times, sips a bit of water and goes right back to sleep. I am sleeping so much better these days because he sleeps for longer stretches. Thanks everyone for sharing your solutions.

  8. #8
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagel View Post
    Just wanted to update everyone that I watered down the milk and after a few days I quit giving him the bottle altogether after a few nights and there has been significant improvement in my toddler's sleep quality. These days he wakes up a couple of times, sips a bit of water and goes right back to sleep. I am sleeping so much better these days because he sleeps for longer stretches. Thanks everyone for sharing your solutions.
    Excellent news! We took our son's bottle away "cold turkey" when he was about 18-month-old and never looked back. Did the same thing with his pacifiers (dummies) when he was about 2 1/2-years-old. Some of the best choices we ever made. Glad you are sleeping better.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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