This blog could have been written about several little cuties that I know. The problem often starts at around 6-8 months. I can even see the writing on the wall and predict which of the early morning risers will continue to do so!
Most of this behaviour is down to their strong temperament and is not due to any underlying medical problem or physiological issue. The babies with a very fixed view on life are the ones to keep on a very short rein.
You may remember reading about the baby who wouldn’t sit in his high chair and the parents had resorted to feeding him in the bath?
The baby who would only eat yoghurt
Well I’m adding a new one today, I’m naming him the baby who would only eat yoghurt! His name is Keanu. When Keanu was 6 months old I went to help his parents teach him how to sleep through the night. I remember he had an addiction to yoghurt. If he could just eat yoghurt he would of. Mum was tearing her hair out getting this little 6 month old to entertain other foods. I knew straight away that if mum continued with yoghurt this little one wasn’t going to sleep.
Babies need a balanced diet in order to promote sleep inducing hormone – melatonin. And yoghurt is a disater for sleep as it has too much tyrosine which undoes all the tryptophan that promotes a good nights sleep.
Keanu is now 15 months old and is still demanding yoghurt for breakfast. He also likes fruit. But not much else. He demands a breast feed 6 times a day and wakes at 4:30 am and demands a breast feed and to get up and start his day!!
You might remember a blog I wrote recently about limit setting? Boundaries and limit setting start with babies, not with 15 month olds or even 3 year olds. By the time they are toddlers a lot of these habits are well and truly entrenched and are much more challenging to change.
The time to have put your foot down was at 6 months and not now at 15 months. However we have no choice as time has now lapsed and the mini-dictator is well and truly in charge in this home!
So what can you do to rectify this situation?
- Reduce all the breast feeds down to one just before bed – toddlers only need 2 servings of dairy a day. And a serving of dairy is equivalent to 40g or a matchbox of cheese or 2 slices or 200 mls ful cream milk or a breast feed or a small tub of full fat yoghurt
- Tell the toddler that ‘booby’ is broken, cover your nipple and breast with a dressing plaster such as duoderm to make booby far less attractive.
- By day 5 his appetite will improve
- The toddler is most probably iron deficient so either an iron supplement or chicken liver pate on the menu on alternate days. Iron deficiency can cause sleep problems
- Re-settle him at 4:30 am when he wakes using my technique, Magic Presence until 6/7 am whenever you’d like your day to start
- Expect tantrums when he doesn’t get his own way, tantrums are helping him learn to emotionally self-regulate so are actually a good thing
- Make sure his room is pitch black to help reduce early morning waking
- Offer foods high in tryptophan to help promote melatonin
- Plenty of good nourishing fats
- Make sure he’s warm enough at 4 am as body temp can drop at this time
- This will take 2-4 weeks to resolve and 2 months at the outside!