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  1. #1
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    Default Can a baby or toddler ever just be hungry?

    A conversation with a friend today got me thinking, can a baby or toddler ever just be a hungry child and not have it mean anything 'bad' in relation to not being a great sleeper?

    I think DS (13 months) is a pretty good eater but as most of you know, a horrible sleeper. Obviously I've never known how much milk he actually takes since I've only been breastfeeding but he has a good breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks but still feeds enough overnight that I definitely need to change his nappy around 1 or 2am or he'll be wet through by 4. I can also hear him drinking, not just sucking.

    So he's started refusing breastfeeds but definitely still wants milk overnight, just not from me right now.

    Yesterday he had:

    -Porridge with apple and a couple pieces of toast for breakfast plus some milk
    -some raisins and a couple mini rice cakes for snack
    -chicken casserole w/couscous for lunch and a handful of blueberries and sliced banana
    -rice cake w/ cream cheese for snack
    -a lightly floured & fried in butter fillet of cod w/ mashed potato & carrot sticks (ate all of the cod and carrot, threw the mashed potato so gave him some pasta), Greek yogurt and a few more blueberries (had forgot to grab more fruit while out).
    -about 50mls of cow's milk before bed, didn't want anymore.

    This is a pretty normal day for food for him.

    Are some kids just hungry kids? DH is tall and lean and seriously a black hole/garbage disposal in regards to eating and apparently was worse growing up.

    This post is probably a bit of a ramble, I'd just been thinking about it today. Maybe there's nothing to be 'trained' out of him in regards to sleeping. Maybe he's just a hungry little guy.
    Last edited by HollyGolightly81; 12-03-2015 at 06:32.

  2. #2
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    My dd (19 months) is exactly like what you have described.
    She eats 3 good meals plus two snacks a day, and still breastfeeds a lot overnight. I have almost weaned her off day feeds except to go to sleep, but so help me if I take her nighttime milk away she screams for what can be well over an hour. Not cool in the middle of the night.
    So I'm left wondering- is it purely comfort or is she genuinely hungry? In the last couple if weeks she will also ask for her juice (water- juice is just easier for her to say so that's what we call it) in the middle of the night an have great big drinks from that too. So then after all that I wonder if I even have any milk left?!
    Idk. It's very confusing!

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    HollyGolightly81  (12-03-2015)

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    I know!

    The past couple nights he's been completely refusing breastfeeding and I was hesitant to replace those feeds with bottles, worried about more 'bad habits.'

    Last night:
    -first wake up very obviously in pain from teeth, no breastfeeding or bottles would help, had to resort to tv until the pain relief kicked in and he calmed down enough to resettle to sleep.
    -next wake up only offered water. Nice big drink, restless for a little bit but seemed to fall back to sleep. Woke up 20 minutes later, tried a small bottle of milk (still refusing breast) drank all and fell back to sleep for about 3 hours.
    - next wake up same as above, woke at 6.
    - acted like he was starving to death by 6.30/7 for breakfast.

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    Yeah apart from the teething it definitely seems to be hunger!!?

    I would pay so much money for a baby translator a la Herb from the Simpsons!!

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    He probably is hungry. I imagine the night waking for breastfeeding was initially for comfort, but now he is used to getting those calories overnight. Feeding him more during the day probably won't make much difference unless you cut out the night feeds. Kind of like someone saying to you, you can eat as much as you want for breakfast and dinner, but you can't have anything for lunch - you would still feel like eating something at lunchtime for a while.
    I would slowly reduce the amount of milk you give him until it is none overnight and hopefully then he will sleep through for you.

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    Could it be thirst? My son is a similar age to your DS and also eats very well during the day. At night he has a non-leak sippy cup in his cot with him. During the night he usually drinks the whole thing (about 200ml). He still BF during the day but hasn't at night for some time. Lately I have been wondering if I hadn't found these great cups that don't leak at night then what would we be doing? Probably still be waking to feed him a few times I guess. I was pondering this myself the other day especially cos I realised that I wake a few times a night to drink water. No wonder kids want a drink at night!
    Anyway I think you know your child the best. If you think he is hungry and doesn't have a 'sleep problem' then I think you are probably right!
    Good luck


 

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