My baby keeps us awake at night

Does your toddler still wake up in the middle of the night and won't go back to sleep? Check out some of the tips from our parents.

Parents need some proper sleep? We'll tell you how

Parents need some proper sleep? We’ll tell you how


Mum needs help:
My 18 months old has a habit of waking up in the middle of the night for milk. Recently, it got worse, waking up at times as many as 3 times per night! We tried many methods to quit this habit – carried him, offering water to him, delay the time to give him milk but nothing works. He screams, struggles and kicks vigorously. I am sleep deprived and frustrated. What should I do?

Here are some suggestions and replies from our readers:

Mei: Feed more in the day, not just dinner time. There’s only so much a tummy can hold so you can’t stuff the kid with food before sleep. I noticed with my son if he doesn’t eat enough during the day he will be hungry and wakes up for milk. Later if I know he doesn’t really need the milk then I’ll tell him to wait until the sun is up.

Elaine Chua: S
erve him more dinner. My kids are like that too, whenever they don’t eat much during the day especially dinner time then at nite I will have to wake up many times….. if not before he sleep let him eat some bread or biscuit with a cup of milk or milo….but don’t forget to brush his teeth after that.

Yvonne Ho: Mix milk with cereal to make him feel full so that can last longer..

Arlitaharianty Sayrol:
Sometimes when a child wakes up in the middle of the night and ask for milk, the child could be insecure and milk is the only thing that can somewhat “secure” the child and “pacify” him/her back to sleep. Maybe can try playing some soft lullaby songs for the child thru out the night? And making sure that the child had a very full dinner (milk) and clean diaper before going to sleep. Just my 2cents worth. I have 3 kids aged 5yrs, 27mths and 5mths. They usually sleep thru the night (9pm-5am) and ask for milk when they wake up at about 5.30am.

Ratna Surekha Seethepalli:
18months child.. you may want to try these. I assume that you might have already introduced solid foods to the kid. Hence, give some solid food in the evening for dinner and some milk before going to sleep. At least 2-3 hours gap between these two meals. Let the kid not sleep in the evening. … Physical play would tire the kid to sleep. A warm water bath followed by gentle massage would help the kid to sleep normally. My son is 4 years now, but I do massage every night before he is off to sleep. Massage helps the kids to relieve the stress and make them relaxed. Check if the kid got any colic/reflux problem. Finally, check the mattress if it has any bedbugs which is a common problem in Singapore. It’s a passing phase.. will go over soon.. but I know, it is easier said than done..:-) good luck

Florence Bernet:
Mine has been the same, especially when we moved from Tokyo to Singapore. Around 16 months I stopped breastfeeding him and my husband has been put on “night duty” for a week instead of me… somehow my son didn’t find him as indispensable as I am ! It had to do also with the fact that we only put it in his bed in his pyjamas, when before that in … Japan he was sleeping in a sleeping bag. I bought a light sleeping bag and let him sleep in his body suit, which helped him sleep through the night again. He still wakes up at night around 11 pm for a bit of water, but rarely in the middle of the night.
Hang in there.. I know how frustrating it can be

Nanthini Kanaswaran Yeary: u may not like this idea but it worked for me on both my boys. they are now aged 17 mths and w yrs. let the child cry it out. the child wld eventually learn mommy is not coming n learn to fall back asleeep by themself. its hard as a mom but for me it worked. after 2 weeks my sons sleeps a good 12 hr sleep.

Donnie Tian Shek Lee:
If your child has not sprout all his teeth, it might be teething too. A little teething gel might do the trick.

Mindy Tan:
Actually, i mix his milk with cereal (brown rice) since he is 6mths old. Till now, he still drinks like that. Before he sleeps at around 10pm, he always drinks 150ml – 200ml. However, he still wakes up for milk, sometimes as early as 1am! and drinks another 150ml! I’m worried that he will be too full… by the way, there isn’t such thing as overdose with milk, right? Will it be harmful to the child if he drinks too much milk in a 24hr cycle?

Khaw Lin:
try 1-3mths old teat for 12mths old toddler…. he will take very long time to drink, by then, his mouth is too tired to suck, he will fall asleep b4 he finishes….i know is looks cruel… but it works on my niece..

Chuyan Kwek:
I had the same problem previously and I try using 1-3mth baby teat as someone suggested. It does help abit.

Kelly Kc:
DO NOT entertain after bedtime. No toys. Lights off. Do not respond – even if he screams the house down. TOLERATE – or use ear muff but be alert! You may have to keep carrying him back to his bed. In time to come, your child will learn to drink his milk when awake. Good luck!