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How do I get my two-year old to eat? And go to bed at a reasonable time?

He only eats chicken nuggets, fat free hot dogs, meatballs, french fries, graduates ravioli, pretzels, bananas, peaches, grapes, cheese slices, ice-cream and graduates cereal bars. And, he only eats when he feels like it. Most of the time, he will only eat fruit for lunch and MAYBE a hotdog for dinner (no bread, hates it). He would rather have a cup of grapes for dinner.

I am concerned that something is wrong. I see all the other kids in his daycare eat anything they put out for them. Mine child, would rather skip meals. And for someone who doesnt eat to often, his belly is always big and protruding. I asked the doctor about his belly, she said it was fine.

Then there is the sleep issue. My son will not go to sleep til 10:30. I've tried so many different ways, bath, then bed around 8:30. He has so much energy that he never falls asleep til 1o:30. He wakes up daily around 7:30.

Any suggestions???????

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Asked by Theresa2674 at 8:09 PM on Sep. 16, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (4)
  • Put a meal in front of him. If he eats it great, if not....then he doesn't get anything else until the next meal. Do not be a short order cook, he eats what you eat, what you put in front of him. It seems as though you've catered to him until now and NOW want to break that habit. There are set meal times, set snack times. He doesn't eat a meal, he doesn't get a snack.

    Bedtime, you can't make a kid sleep. You put him into bed, turn out the lights, shut the door and leave. If he lays there in bed quietly talking or whatever...fine. If he's up and trying to play, NO. If he's in bed but playing, then take away what is on is bed (if anything) and lay him back down. You don't mention how long of a nap he takes or how late it is. That has a HUGE effect on bedtime.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:20 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • PP is right on. He will eat when he is hungry and he will eat what you serve him. I know it feels awful to have him skip a meal. My LO did that tonight. I made her a dish she normally likes, but tonight she ate nothing. She is in bed now. I hope she is not hungry, but I bet she will eat a good breakfast. Check out the book "Guide to Your Child's Nutrition" put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Great advice on how to get your child to eat.

    Bedtime: Write down the routine you use during the day. He should have regular meals and nap times. This will help him regulate. Not everyone needs a schedule, but since you are unhappy with how things are, you may need to use one. At 2 he should have one nap in the day, after lunch. Then after dinner, wind him down, a walk, quiet games, no TV, no sugar or caffeine - be boring. Use a bedtime routine. Set bedtime 15 to 30 minutes earlier until the right time. Good luck!

    Answer by Drewlove at 8:40 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • My two-yr-old ds is having the same sleep issues that your LO is. I have 3 dss and they have all gone through this phase. They are dealing with their new found independence. They can now get into and out of their beds on their own. If my son takes a nap, he might not go to sleep until midnight. Pretty soon, he will settle down and just stay in bed until he falls asleep. It will get better.

    Answer by dustbunny at 11:34 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • First with the food issue you have to be tough. I started having this problem a few days ago when my DD was sick. She is feeling better and is now trying to play us for dinner. Last night she went to be w/o dinner and had a good breakfast this morning. I don't give in for food unless she has eaten what I have deemed that we are eating. Cut out the snacks or cut them back and just keep offering the same foods until they are eaten. If the meal isn't eaten then no snacks until it is.

    For bed you have to be consistent and just stick to it. My DD is also going to bed at 8 and just lays in there and talks until she falls asleep close to 9. Just be consistent. It will get better.

    Answer by coala at 10:35 AM on Sep. 17, 2009

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