My DH and I are slowly using the NCSS approach to getting our 8.5mth old DS to sleep better. Although he has been known to sleep 5 hours in one go at the moment he's not going much longer than 2 or 3 hours.
DH and I have split the night between us so that I can bf so me night feeds and get some sleep. So I bf him when he wakes up between 10pm and midnight and then DH takes over wake up duty until 3am when I will, if he wakes up, will feed him.
So, last night I bf him at 11.30pm and then again at 4.45am - great for me but my husband was awake with him from 1.30am until 3am where he didn't sleep for more than 15 mins.
I don't want to bf during that time as I'm trying to slowly discourage night feeds.
I was wondering whether it might help if DH offers him some water, or will we just confuse him as he's still getting bf before midnight and after 3.
Does anybody else have any experience of trying to discourage night feeding through the offer of water? Has it worked?
I can't help I'm afraid but would also like to know this! My DS is 7 months and after a brief spell of only waking up once a night is now back to at least twice. He won't settle if I don't feed him but I don't think he's hungry. A friend has suggested giving water but I can't see how it would work?
Yes, I did this - on the advice of my HV - but DD was 12 months, so definitely waking out of habit not hunger. Her suggestion was to water down the milk, and gradually increase the ratio of water to milk, until it's just water. Because DD was so old (!) though, I decided to tweak that a bit. The midnight waking, I just went straight to offering water or nothing - because I knew she absolutely wasn't hungry then - took 2 nights, 3rd night she slept through till 3. The 3 and 5 o'clock wakings took a bit longer, and I tackled them 1 at a time. I offered 2oz of milk, and then water, rather than mixing them. Took about 2 weeks to get rid of both wakings, but interestingly, it didn't take any longer to settle her after a feed?
I think the theory is that if they are waking through habit not hunger, then this teaches them it's not worth the effort. Definitely worked for us.
Would it work if you're breastfeeding though? I think he just wants the comfort, so if I offer a bottle of water I imagine he'll be quite cross! He is teething though so he's getting the benefit of the doubt for now.
I started offering my DD water instead of a breastfeed at about 9 months. I knew for sure she wasn't hungry as she started refusing the first feed of the day in the morning. The first few nights she was most put out as a bottle of water was not at all what she was expecting! But she very quickly adjusted, so I think it was the right timing for us.