R.B. asks from Racine, WI on July 22, 2008
3 Year Old to Stop Wanting Milk All Night Long
how do i get my 3 year old son to stop drinking from his sippy cup all night long? he has speech problems and there is a possibly of autusm and i dont know what to do i have to clean my couch like everyday cause he pee's through his diaper even if i change him and he wont sleep in his own bedroom. i am going crazy and need some help to where maybe i can get him off the cup and not have him wake his sister.
N.L. answers from Minneapolis on July 23, 2008
Please try not giving him milk, as this will eventually rot out his teeth, and he'll have to have his baby teeth pulled. this happened to my nephew and he had his teeth rot right down to the gumline.
I always used a comfort toy as the thing the kids had to have with them when they went to bed. You make a big deal about the toy, like a stuffed animal they can cuddle, as being their friend they get to sleep with. Don't have any others there, just the one special one. They start to bond with that toy and look for it is their sleep and cuddle with that. What they really want is comfort and feeling they are not alone.
There might be some crying for a while, but you just tell them that they aren't going to have a drink in bed, but they can cuddle their animal. You must be diligent for about 2 weeks, putting up with the fussing, and soon they will be weaned from that. It isn't easy, but it is best for him.
S.K. answers from Rochester on July 22, 2008
R. - sounds like you need some help in your home with establishing a routine that works for everyone!! Please contact your local social service agency for help with getting your son assessed, if he hasn't been already. There should be county funding to help provide a professional care attendant to teach him and give you guidance on getting a handle on this. Please know that I too had a bit of a shock when my son was 3 years old - I remember saying "Why do they call it 'terrible twos?' Three years old is so much more difficult!" I hope that you are able to set boundaries for your child - it's going to be a rocky road for each of you! I could go on and on with suggestions, but it will be so difficult doing it alone - especially with having to attend to the baby's needs. Please keep in mind that the 3 year old most likely sees the attention you must give to the baby and may be jealous of that. GOOD LUCK!!
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S.G. answers from Rapid City on July 24, 2008
It is simple to stop him from having milk in the sippy, he doesn't put it there himself. Put water in the sippy and if he argues or cries, just tell him he is a big boy now and don't give in. I use to do this with my daughter when she wanted a bottle. I would offer a glass of water and she would tell me "no" and I would tell her this is what she gets. She argued but it wasn't long before she gave it up and started sleeping through the night. She was 10 months old at that time. She still got her bottles during the day and before bed. I only cut out the middle of the night one. My ped. told me that if a child could drink from a cup, it is best to get rid of the bottle to help their teeth. She gave them up pretty easy during the day after sleeping all night without one.
With your son, he is plenty old enough to be sleeping all night. If it is before bed, then I would still give him milk, but early enough so you can still brush his teeth and nothing but water after that.
C.K. answers from Minneapolis on July 23, 2008
Without knowing what your son's nap schedule and diet are like, it's hard to make suggestions. If he's still napping a lot during the day, don't let him. Avoid naps over 2 hours, or late in the day. Keep bedtime and wake-up time consistent, even on weekends.
IMHO, a kid should be done with a sippy cup before they are 3--I would just take it away. Tell him you are going to do so beforehand. "You're a big boy now, and big boys drink out of regular cups." Get him a special blanket or soft toy, and tell him he can take this to bed instead of the sippy cup. Before bed, have him sit down and drink out of a regular cup if he is thirsty.
If he gets up in the middle of the night, just keep bringing him back to his bed. Don't yell, don't make a scene, just grab his hand and lead him back. If you stay firm and consistent, he will eventually get the picture. You may go through some sleepless nights, but in the end, it will be worth it. You, and your son, will be getting the sleep you need, and your son will learn to respect your authority.
Of course, if your son DOES have autism, really anything I've written here won't apply. You've got to clear up that question first, before you know how to proceed.
V.L. answers from Minneapolis on July 23, 2008
Let him sip but let it be a transition to a water cup. First night or two, have it only 3/4 milk & 1/4 water; then move to half and half; then to only 1/4 milk and after that to just water.
He will probably loose interest as you move towards just water. And if he still likes sipping, water is not harmful to his teeth as milk or juice is.
As for his diaper, put a sanitary napkin in the center of his disposable for extra absorbancy.
You may have to move his sister to another sleeping place for a while as he adjusts to the new conditions you ARE going to be setting for him which will also require letting him cry it out as part of the process. (There are a variety of ways to do this. They are all going to be hard on you but they do work! Hang in there.)
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B.H. answers from Minneapolis on July 22, 2008
My daughter was on the bottle with water at bedtime til almost 3.
Been there and it sucks! Especially peeing through the diapers and waking up to give them refills.
Take it away cold turkey, let him scream it out for a few nights. After about the 3rd night it's not a problem anymore. This was the only thing that worked for me. I'm so glad I finally did the tough love and put my foot down.
T.L. answers from Minneapolis on July 22, 2008
if I was going to take the sippy cup away this is how we did it. Start watering down the milk like a 1/3 water to 2/3 milk for a week and then 1/2 & 1/2 and so on until you get all the way to water you may also try putting a little less in his cup every time you fill. Also is he needing milk because he is hungery or because he needs to suck if you think it is because he needs to suck you may want to look into giveing him back his pacy or getting something called a chewy tube so he can suck on that rather than the sippy. good luck I know how frustrating it can be to be a GOOD mom at times hang in and thingd will get better.:)T.
E.Z. answers from Minneapolis on July 24, 2008
Hi R.: I have a son who always would pee through at night and my daughter would too - we would let them have their sippy cups with milk before bed and they would both wake up wet (Daughter 2 and son just turned 4) - what we did with my daughter since she is still in diapers is we use the Huggie's Nighttime diaper -- they are a little bit more expensive and we only have to use 1 per night since she doesn't pee through during the day, but maybe give those a try to use as a regular diaper. My son wears pull up's to bed, but they have to be the night time ones or he wakes up wet.
Since he turned 4 and went for his well child exam, i have told both of my kids that the doctor said no more milk at bedtime only water. They both are really good about it (thank god) but they are waking up hardly wet most nights because they aren't drinking the whole cup of water - only a couple of sips.
Good luck and i hope this helps!
V.B. answers from Minneapolis on July 23, 2008
Hang in there! Sounds like you have your hands full right now. I looked online a little and found this website- it's the Autism society of Minnesota. I bet they can get you in touch with other moms who went through just what you're going through, and can listen tell you about how they got through it. There might be a group that meets in your area.
I hope this helps! My brother-in-law is autistic and I know my in-laws had a tough time getting him through the toddler stage. He didn't even walk until he was 4 years old, they grow up slower than other kids. But he's 24 now, and he's a great guy, just like your son will be in 20 years!