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Thread: How can I wean my 4yrs old from using nappies during nighttime?

  1. #1
    New Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    How can I wean my 4yrs old from using nappies during nighttime?

    Actually the question would be how can I wean my 4 yrs old from using feeding bottle in drinking her milk during nighttime?She does not anymore drink milk during daytime, and refuses to drink milk using a glass because it is not delicious. When she was 3 yrs old, I did not put her nappies but I felt bad because every now and then she awakes because she is wet all over. So my husband and I just decided to put back her nappies and wait until she is ready.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Marrickville, Sydney, Australia
    Hi Jhoan

    I'm an early childhood educator originally (a lecturer now) and am a mother of two. There are a few issues in her. In terms of bed-wetting, as the ads say 'children become dry in their own time.' At 3 years old, wearing a night nappy is age-appropriate. However as you point to in your email, the drinks during the night will not help your little girl to reach the no-nappy-at-night-stage.

    There is another issue in here though. Is your daughter using a sipper cup or an infant feeding bottle (I can't tell which in your post). Particularly with an infant bottle, there is a risk of dental caries (tooth decay) if the bottle sits in her mouth at night for long periods.

    Do you brush you little girl's teeth at night? At 3 she is old enough for the first level of toothpaste (the kind intended for 2+) and a soft bristled tooth brush. It is important that after her teeth are brushed, she does not have any more food or drinks (other than water) to minimise the risk of tooth decay.

    Ultimately you want to get away from your daughter having milk at all at night, both to facilitate a dry night and to prevent tooth decay. However you need to approach this gently so my first step would be to get rid of the bottle. One way to do this if it is a baby feeding bottle she is using is to slowly graduate her from the bottle to a glass.

    Start with a soft-spout feeding cup - the kind intended for children about one year old. Take her with you to buy it and let her pick the colour and style. Accept whatever she chooses and ignore the age rating. Your daughter is far more likely to use it if she picked it! The idea here is a soft-spout cup will have a similar feel in her mouth to the bottle but slightly different. Let her use this for a while then suggest going shopping for a new one.

    This time point her in the direction of the hard spout ones. These often have characters from Disney, Pixar and other movies on them so this is your in-road to encourage her to choose one. Go on your own first to the stores and see what they have and then take her to the store that has the characters she likes most. Same process - she picks it, so she owns it and wants to use it.

    At this point I will bring in some bedtime rules. She can have her sipper cup of milk but it needs to be drunk before teeth brushing. If you don't have lamps in your home, buy some cheap ones and place them strategically between her room and the bathroom she will brush her teeth in. Sit on her bed with her and read her some stories (lets say 2) while she drinks her sipper cup of milk. Then take her to brush her teeth and fill the cup with water while you are at it. Keep the lights to lamps only so that it has that sleepy feel. Then take her back to bed, tuck her under the covers and read one more story. Stay with her if you normally would while she goes to sleep.

    Now she may resist this at first and I am not of the opinion that your daughter working herself into a lather because she needs her milk is a good thing. So I would work on a 'deals basis.' If she becomes upset after teeth brushing saying she needs her milk then you make a deal. She can have a little more milk but then water after that. Talk to her all the time about being a big girl, having lovely strong teeth etc.

    I'm going to stop here because I know I am probably bombarding you but the key is to move slowly and work with your daughter to get rid of the bottle.

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