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Juice at night

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

 Lately, if I don't give my toddler a little juice during the night, he screams and fully wakes up. I have to get up and walk him back to sleep.  It's pretty much torture to be up at 2 am walking back and forth through the house for 30 minutes...   If I give him some apple juice, he drinks a little and then falls over and goes back to sleep.  He never sleeps with the juice in his mouth-- it's only a brief drink before going back to sleep.  He hates water, and if I try to give him water (or milk), he just screams to be picked up and walked back to sleep. 


1. Do you think a drink of apple juice in the middle of the night can cause cavities?


2. Any ideas for some type of drink I could give him other than water that would not cause cavities?


Side note:  Thank God I don't have to worry about being attacked by the cry-it-out crowd on here!

post #2 of 14
I have one idea. Does he like lemonade? If so maybe try lemon water at night. Its not sugary but has some taste to make him happy. I also heard of moms having luck with cucumber water to get kids who don't like plain water to drink more. If it's really the sweetness he craves then maybe try homemade lemonade sweetened with stevia - an alternate sweetener which as far as I know isn't nearly as nasty as aspartame or sucralose. I don't have much more to offer since my DD is a water fiend and so sensitive to sugar that a little juice would guarantee party time at 2 am.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you-- that is definitely worth a try.

post #4 of 14
I'm afraid that could definitely cause cavities. Apple juice has a lot of natural sugar in it, and sadly our teeth don't know natural sugar from artificial sugar.

You don't say specifically how old he is. How verbal is he? If he's an older toddler, in the 3-year-old range, you might be able to talk to him about how having apple juice at night without brushing teeth afterward causes holes in teeth.

Does he have a lovey? Maybe if he got a special new stuffed animal to help him transition out of getting juice at night, the transition might be easier? There might be tears with this transition, but that doesn't mean he has to cry it out. You can stay and love him through it. I would personally find this worth the transition, because if he ends up needing dental work, that'll be harder for him than transitioning out of having juice at night. But good luck whatever you choose.
post #5 of 14

Maybe try diluting it slowly over time until he'll take plain water.

post #6 of 14

Have you tried a fruity herbal tea?  My daughter loves tea, and a fruity one might be similar enough to juice to make him happy.


Also, why do you think the juice helps?  Do you think he's thirsty, or is he getting hungry and needs a little sugar at night?  Maybe a good snack before bed might help him push through. 

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the good ideas. Fruit herbal tea sounds like another great thing to try (and I have some I can try tonight).  I do believe he's thirsty-- I myself wake up every night with a dry throat needing water.  I looked into Stevia, but I'm a little concerned about giving it to such a young child.  I need to read more on that.  

post #8 of 14
Stevia isn't a chemical. It's just an herb that happens to be sweet. If it's sweetness he wants, that might be a good choice. People have some good suggestions here- I hope something works out for you!
post #9 of 14

this is a case that yes, for the sake of his heath, you need to do the hard things for a while. your son will need to figure out how to drink water at some point. even the most diluted juice has the stuff that feeds nighttime bacteria and should only be a stop gap measure. I would worry that the acidity in lemonade would cause some teeth enamel issues too?


he is old enough i think you need to talk to him about it, ask him what need really is for, ask him for suggestions on how to fulfill that need in a way that wont hurt his teeth. help him be a part of the solution, maybe he will take to it easier.


i have heard some fun ways to get kids to drink water , including a special cup, sparking water, cucumber water, ice cubes. 

post #10 of 14

Yes, the apple juice at night can cause cavities.

post #11 of 14

I would try substituting it for this:



It's about $2.50 a box, and you could make it before bed and chill it just like apple juice. It seriously tastes a lot like apple juice. 

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Adaline'sMom-- thanks SO much for the recommendation!!  



On a side note, I happened to take a look at your blog.  What an amazing person you are to be on here helping others after what you've been through.  My heart goes out to you.

post #13 of 14

i sometimes wake up in the middle of the night feeling like i MUST have a cup of OJ, or milk. i can't just let it go, either. it's like a pregnancy craving but i'm usually not pregnant lol

post #14 of 14

I would try some cooled chamomile or sleepytime tea, with no sugar.

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