Night weaning an 8mo- any tips?

(15 Posts)
snoozed Thu 04-Oct-12 21:15:01

DD is almost 8mo, and at long last is eating more in the way of solids.

She has bf'd pretty much every 2hrs since she was 3mo (before that about every hour)

This includes the night times - she is up at least 3-4 times to feed.

I would love to get a bit more sleep....DP can sometimes settle her back to sleep when she wakes but if I try she claws at my top.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how o night wean, or even drop to 1-2 feeds a night?

She is a big baby, 90th centile, so I think she doesn't need it as such.

She sleeps in a cot in our room still (1bed flat) and often finds her way into the bed in the night.

Thanks in advance

lorisparkle Thu 04-Oct-12 23:50:01

We were recommended a book called 'teach your child to sleep by the Millpond Clinic. It has some fantastic step by step suggestions on how to night wean and get your child to sleep all night! (eventually). We did a very gradual withrawl/reduction with DS1 and although it took quite a few months (with pauses for holidays/illnesses etc) it did work with very little distress for us or him.

Basically you go from feeding to sleep to rocking, then holding, then holding hands, sitting next to, sitting in room, sitting by door, being outside the door. You move from one step to the next every three days (although we decided when we were ready rather sticking rigidly to three days and you can add slightly more steps into the process)

In addition you gradually increase the times between feeds adding 15 minutes every few days (again we judged when DS was ready). If he woke for a feed before the time I would hold him on my lap and rock / sing etc to get him back to sleep but if he woke soon after that I would feed him. Again we tried to keep to the general pattern but used our hearts as well as our heads as to when to feed him!

I used to sit with DS on my lap facing away from me and hugged him so that he could not get to my top! Often his cries would be more crossness then upset.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 05-Oct-12 09:47:16

Personally I wouldn't recommend complete night weaning at 8 months, just because if they are actually upset or ill you need something you know will get them to settle. I do completely know what you mean though about wanting to reduce the number of night feeds.

Have a look at 31 ways to get your baby to sleep and stay asleep, Night Weaning: 12 alternatives for the all night nurser, Sleeping Through the Night and this rather tongue in cheek one called Got Sleep? smile.

You might also like the No Cry Sleep Solution or Sound Sleep.

Chocchip88 Fri 05-Oct-12 09:55:30

Hiya,
I night weaned DS1 at 7 months - once he was on 3 solid meals a day and plenty of milk. Whenever he woke in the night DH went in instead of me, I think the first night it took him a good half hour to settle him back to sleep each time, the second night 15 minutes and the third night he slept through! After this if he did wake up in the night I could go and settle him without him expecting a feed. There were periods of teething etc where he really wanted the comfort of bf to settle at night and I happily obliged but it was always easy to get him 'back on track' after this by just sending DH in for a couple of nights.

snoozed Fri 05-Oct-12 11:09:50

Thanks for all your advice!

Like the sound of the Millpond clinic approach- the more gentle and the less crying the better... I did buy the no cry sleep solution but was too tired to read it properly- like her approach though.

I think we'll start by getting DP to settle her and persevere more with that. Even at 4am when feeling desperate and worried about the neighbours- thin walls.

Can't help blaming myself for not tackling this earlier, but I did feel until recently that she needed the night feeds as she wasn't eating solids.

snoozed Fri 05-Oct-12 11:12:25

JJJ thanks for the links - had a quick glance and some good advice there, will have a read later when dd naps (ha!)

EauRouge Fri 05-Oct-12 11:26:54

Please don't blame yourself! Sleeping through is not a skill that you can teach- some babies do and some don't. Night waking at 8 months is perfectly normal. Also a lot of parents lie about sleep so you often don't get a real picture of what's normal.

This is a good information source about sleep.

Asmywhimsytakesme Fri 05-Oct-12 21:55:33

Op first of all just wanted to say how great it is that you have fed to this stage - will have been so lovely for your baby and beneficial to their health.

Just wanted to say waking at this age definitely is completely normal and they only gradually move over to getting most of their nutrients from solids.

I had lots of feeding and night waking from my dc but stuck with it and they started sleeping through the night smile

I am still bf and wouldn't miss it for the world - great when they are ill as you always have something ultra healthy they can keep down. Also bf to a year has really significant health benefits associated, including better development of speech and fewer dental problems.

Asmywhimsytakesme Fri 05-Oct-12 21:56:33

Pressed go too soon - wanted to add that just when I was thinking of reducing feeds the sleep thing sorted itself naturally and hopefully will do for you too!

snoozed Fri 05-Oct-12 23:59:26

thanks for the reassuring and kind words!

love bfing and plan to carry on as long as dd needs it, am just starting to worry about how I'll cope when I have to go back to work.

It's just hard not to doubt yourself when everyone else goes on about their 7-7 wonder sleepers.

But it turns out they're all liars anyway! I've been telling DP this must be the case for months - now there's proof!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 06-Oct-12 08:54:28

Agree with Eau on the lying. DS was a terrible sleeper for a long time. MIL and SIL used to never shut up about what a good sleeper DN was from an early age. Discovered later that she did wake up and then went on to wet the bed until she was 6 and still wakes at least once at 7.

What people tell you isn't always the truth!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 06-Oct-12 08:57:44

Great article too Eau smile

Asmywhimsytakesme Sat 06-Oct-12 09:53:08

Yes - people def do fib - glad you are going to carry on smile

snoozed Sat 06-Oct-12 22:45:02

People are strange- lying about baby/child's sleep habits strikes me as so odd- I've always found solidarity among the fellow sleep deprived which wouldn't happen in that case..

Btw JJJ I love the Dr Sears article - specially as he lists bfing to sleep as a positive thing. Must show MIL.

KD0706 Sat 06-Oct-12 23:11:39

I agree with those saying don't blame yourself, and that waking in the night is normal. My dd2 is seven months old. I think she's a fabulous sleeper, but she's up twice a night for feeds. Dd1 was a blooming nightmare, every two hours till she was about 10, 11 months old.

I honestly didn't do anything different with dd2, she just has such a different personality. I bought a co sleeper cot thing for her and she's never been in it as she likes her own space!!

Hope you get more sleep soon.

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