How can I get my almost 3 year old son to stop drinking so much overnight?

Amanda - posted on 09/01/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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My son is believes he has to have milk of some sort or applejuice when he goes to bed. He also gets us up about twice a night for refills. Mind you, he will be three in October! We have to buy overnight diapers for him because he pees so much overnight, and sometimes that's not enough! We have tried to just give him a small sippy cup of water and tell him thats all we have, but he still fights us. I'm hoping we aren't the only ones with this problem and hopefully someone can give us some options! Thank you so much!!

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Amy - posted on 09/03/2009

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Ok, you may not like what I am going to say, but here goes...

He is making all the rules and you are the parent. I know it's hard when they are screaming at 3AM, but you absolutely have to be more bullheaded than he is. After about 3-4 nights of sticking to your guns, this usually subsides. Don't cater to him either when he's upset, ignoring unwanted behavior is the key here. If you respond in any way to an unwanted behavior it signals to him that he got your attention and he will do it again and again in the future.

Pull on the hip boots, cause this isn't going to be fun or easy for any of you, but you MUST be harder headed than him.

If you don't he will most likely have cavities early and forget potty training through the night.

Here's a tactic I used when my son was 2. He thought he had to have a bottle every night. I refused but my husband gave in every night. There was not a united front and even at 2 he figured out how to get his way. So he went to stay about 3 days with my parents and I just didn't send the bottle and they didn't know at the time he took one at bed so they didn't offer it to him. In a new place, with new rules, he didn't ask for one and never took one again. Thank heavens he was my first and I didn't make that mistake with my other two from the start. Live and Learn.

Now I am a parent educator for birth to three year olds. I use the Parent as Teachers Curriculum that is nationally accredited. I'm teaching all those things I needed someone to tell me 10 years ago. If you give in now, he will always think you will give in, even at 10 and 15, etc.

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Cathy - posted on 09/09/2009

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You might want to try to water it down so it might not be so appealing to him.. it might slow him down a little.. if it doesn't taste as good, he may not want to refill it as often.. I did this when my kids were small.. They didn't drink quite as much as your son, but it helped..

Terry - posted on 09/05/2009

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If he insist, I would at least advise to start changing what he drinks. Milk and especially apple juice, with acids, eats the teeth because it sits on the teeth all night. I would replace it with a favorite toy and use a game such as ,,,,the toy gets one sip and you get one. And then the drink needs to be removed from the room. When he cries again for a drink switch to a sip of water for both he and the toy. Let me know if this works. I just made it up....but sounds like a plan. remove the milk and juice though for his health. Talk to the dentist and he will tell you too.

Terry - posted on 09/05/2009

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Quoting Amanda:

How can I get my almost 3 year old son to stop drinking so much overnight?

My son is believes he has to have milk of some sort or applejuice when he goes to bed. He also gets us up about twice a night for refills. Mind you, he will be three in October! We have to buy overnight diapers for him because he pees so much overnight, and sometimes that's not enough! We have tried to just give him a small sippy cup of water and tell him thats all we have, but he still fights us. I'm hoping we aren't the only ones with this problem and hopefully someone can give us some options! Thank you so much!!


 

Nicole - posted on 09/04/2009

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Personally, I would set up a cut off time for when he is allowed to have his last drink of the night and stick to it (that's the key!) It will be tough to break the habit (as all habits are). Start slowly by only giving him 1 drink in the middle of the night, then after his last drink, don't let him have anything else, then you can slowly push back the time he is allowed his last drink of the night, until you get dry diapers. You will love not having to get up to give refills and in the long run, if he doesn't get up to have a drink or go to the bathroom, he will get a more sound sleep. Boys do tend to be a little harder with potty training (especially @ night) so don't be discouraged. I have several nephews and it's not uncommon for them to wet the bed occasionally (I have had several people tell me that their boys were still wetting every once in a while as late as age 6).

Kim - posted on 09/03/2009

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Take your son to the dentist and have him/her talkto your son about how really bad it is for him to drink anything besides water after brushing teeth. All beverages besides water should only beserved with meals. That helps kids develope healthy habits for their whole lives. I am sure your pediatrician will help you too. Good luck breaking the habit. It is hard but you have to keep fighting. Remember you are the boss. It also isn't good for him to be getting up so much during te night for a drink. He isn't getting enough good sleep. Your doc may want to test for diabeties.

Eugenia - posted on 09/03/2009

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Try not to give him anything with caffene or anything with red in it. Boys do take a little longer than girls. Give him more during the day, then by 7 or 8 just little sips.

Eugenia - posted on 09/03/2009

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Quoting Amanda:

How can I get my almost 3 year old son to stop drinking so much overnight?

My son is believes he has to have milk of some sort or applejuice when he goes to bed. He also gets us up about twice a night for refills. Mind you, he will be three in October! We have to buy overnight diapers for him because he pees so much overnight, and sometimes that's not enough! We have tried to just give him a small sippy cup of water and tell him thats all we have, but he still fights us. I'm hoping we aren't the only ones with this problem and hopefully someone can give us some options! Thank you so much!!


 

Christi - posted on 09/03/2009

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I tend to agree with Toni. I do not believe in tricking children just to avoid a tantrum - no means no & if that means I have to listen to a tantrum from my son...well I guess that's what I have to do. That would be when I close the door & let him cry it out. We too are having issues with nighttime potty training & he is now cut off at dinner time. I make sure he gets plenty of fluids throughout the day & once dinner is over - if he's really thirsty still - he can have a small amount of water only. I also make him use the potty before we lay down for bed. It was hard the first night or two - but once you set a schedule and stick to it - well let's say "Super Nanny" has it right - it's amazing what a schedule does for a toddler's behavior! Good Luck - I hope you don't think I'm criticizing - it's just that you should know it's okay for your child to throw a tantrum. They cannot hurt themselves - it's really only annoying to parents. If you manage to get past a couple of nights - it WILL stop, as long as you stick to it. Good Luck to you!

Maggie - posted on 09/02/2009

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Make sure he's getting plenty of fluids throughout the day. When it gets close to bedtime and you give him his last drink (I do mine about an hour before bed) let him know that there won't be any more. Be firm! If you give in and get him a drink he will think that if he throws a big enough fit he will get what he wants. I hate doing it but sometimes "tough love" is all that works.

Veronica - posted on 09/02/2009

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My son turned 2 in March of this year and since he is daytime potty trained, I just recently (this week) decided it was time to start nite time potty training. He too is used to going to bed with a glass of milk or water. I let him have his milk with me in the livingroom before bed and then put him to bed without his cup. This week has been difficult and it is taking him longer to fall asleep, but every day is getting better and he has been dry the last couple of mornings. So while I don't have any real suggestions, just wanted to let you know your not the only one dealing with this and I wish you well.

Toni - posted on 09/02/2009

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Quoting Sam:

hi,
My daughter used t be like this.At first she had a cup of milk half hr b4 bed,then tuk a cup of milk to bed with her and now she likes a cup of tea.I give her a cup of tea just b4 bed and she goes down reall well without havin a drink in bed with her or thu night.
I just told her that she couldnt have her drink in bed anymore and that she had to sit downstairs with me to have it.I said that after she went to the toilet,there was no more drinks and it worked.Hope this helps


Hi Sam



whilst I don't think that there is anything wrong with giving kids milky cups of tea. I noticed you said that you let your child have one before she goes to bed. Did you know that tea is a diuretic and will make her want to urinate more often? If she has no problems then that's fine. But if she does that might be someting to look at.



What about a milky cocoa or Horlicks instead?

Toni - posted on 09/02/2009

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I would tell him he can have a small sports bottle or similar, of water in his bed, but that's all. My daughter is 7 and she still has a sports bottle of water in her bed. She doesn't always drink any, sometimes only a sip.

If he kicks off about not having any juice...let him. It may take a couple of nights till he gets the message but it isn't the end of the world if he gets upset about it.

Apple juice is especially bad for him to be drinking through the night. All of the natural sugars will be sitting on his teeth.

I'm afraid I'm a little old school when it comes to children being upset over something that they can't have. It's a lesson that they have to learn and 3 isn't too young to be learning it. By palming him off with excuses and tricking him isn't teaching him this lesson.

It's just my opinion and I know many mothers won't agree with it. But I think we set our kids up for a fall if we don't teach them these basic disappointments in life, because we trick them or pacify them so that they don't get upset or kick off. Let them kick off....but the answer still remains the same....NO!

Anne - posted on 09/01/2009

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When will he be 3, you can now start talking to him about not needing the drink of milk or juice when he gets to be three. Then as much as you are comfortable with and can afford, make a BIG DEAL of his turning 3.



The other thing you can do is to start to dilute the juice and milk a little each week until he is drinking all water.



I am wondering and your post does not mention if he drinks a lot during the day. If he does have you talked to your doctor or health care professional, to make sure there is no underline health issue involved.



The bottom line is as long as you continue to get up with him the longer he will need the drinks. Oh I need to tell you that our oldest daughter took a bottle to bed every night with about an ounce of apple juice and 7 oz.. of water until she was almost 3. I am telling you this to let you know I am not criticizing you on this issue, only offering suggestions.

Anne - posted on 09/01/2009

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When will he be 3, you can now start talking to him about not needing the drink of milk or juice when he gets to be three. Then as much as you are comfortable with and can afford, make a BIG DEAL of his turning 3.



The other thing you can do is to start to dilute the juice and milk a little each week until he is drinking all water.



I am wondering and your post does not mention if he drinks a lot during the day. If he does have you talked to your doctor or health care professional, to make sure there is no underline health issue involved.



The bottom line is as long as you continue to get up with him the longer he will need the drinks. Oh I need to tell you that our oldest daughter took a bottle to bed every night with about an ounce of apple juice and 7 oz.. of water until she was almost 3. I am telling you this to let you know I am not criticizing you on this issue, only offering suggestions.

Anne - posted on 09/01/2009

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82

625

When will he be 3, you can now start talking to him about not needing the drink of milk or juice when he gets to be three. Then as much as you are comfortable with and can afford, make a BIG DEAL of his turning 3.



The other thing you can do is to start to dilute the juice and milk a little each week until he is drinking all water.



I am wondering and your post does not mention if he drinks a lot during the day. If he does have you talked to your doctor or health care professional, to make sure there is no underline health issue involved.



The bottom line is as long as you continue to get up with him the longer he will need the drinks. Oh I need to tell you that our oldest daughter took a bottle to bed every night with about an ounce of apple juice and 7 oz.. of water until she was almost 3. I am telling you this to let you know I am not criticizing you on this issue, only offering suggestions.

Sam - posted on 09/01/2009

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hi,

My daughter used t be like this.At first she had a cup of milk half hr b4 bed,then tuk a cup of milk to bed with her and now she likes a cup of tea.I give her a cup of tea just b4 bed and she goes down reall well without havin a drink in bed with her or thu night.

I just told her that she couldnt have her drink in bed anymore and that she had to sit downstairs with me to have it.I said that after she went to the toilet,there was no more drinks and it worked.Hope this helps

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