Dropping night feed for 9mo

(8 Posts)
jki1 Fri 12-Jun-15 11:12:14

My HV has advised us to drop a night feed for my 9mo DS. He currently has (and has been in this routine for months):-
180ml at 7pm
180ml at 11pm
200ml at 2.30/3am
That's all the milk he has - daytime is just meals and water.
The HV says (and I know she's right) that he is not hungry but just wakes out of habit and in order to get a better night sleep then we should drop the 11pm feed. She suggests upping the 7pm feed to 210ml (7oz) and then going cold turkey - trying to settle him in his cot when he wakes without picking him up at all. I know that is going to be really hard and I am dreading it but I am also confused as I would have thought the 2am feed would be the best one to drop as the 11pm is like a top up dream feed. Do you think she is right and I should drop the 11pm feed? Any advice from people who have done this would be appreciated as I am scared as I know he will cry a lot as he likes his own way and can get stroppy if he doesn't get it. Also is going cold turkey best - what about reducing the amount of milk until he doesn't bother waking for it? Does that work? Any help would be great please!

dementedpixie Fri 12-Jun-15 12:04:43

I would get rid of the middle of the night one first and would do it by gradually reducing the amount in the bottle.

would your lo take a cup of milk during the day alongside a snack?

cantseemtohaveitall Fri 12-Jun-15 12:06:37

With my first we started giving water instead of milk.
I would also start with dropping the 2-3am feed

FATEdestiny Fri 12-Jun-15 12:42:36

Firstly, do you want your baby to drop a night feed. Lots of parents are perfectly happy to do night feeds until way past 9 months old. Your post says about your HV wanting this and that to happen. What about you? Because you don't have to do this, the feeds will not be causing any harm if you are happy to continue.

I would recommend dropping the dreamfeed first.

In saying this I am assuming that baby is being woken up for the 11pm feed, whereas baby is waking you up for the 3am feed.

So firstly stop waking baby and see what happens. The probable outcome will be that he will sleep through to 2.30-3am and wake for the feed as normal.

The dreamfeed will be the easiest by far to drop. Maybe he will wake a little earlier for the night feed, but you don't lose anything since you would be getting up anyway. But DS will be having one less night feed, which can be replaced with a daytime bottle.

While on the subject - aim to replace the nighttime bottles with daytime bottles since your DS will still need the same amount of milk he is having at night, but in the daytime. Milk is still very important for older babies, so don't look to stop all milk along with night feeds.

In the daytime aim to give three bottles a day (morning, lunchtime nap, bedtime?). Him getting him milk intake in the daytime (without decreasing water and meals, milk is on top of this) may itself stop him waking for that 3am feed.

jki1 Fri 12-Jun-15 16:43:00

I should have said that he is a big baby and is in a high percentile so the HV suggests he needs less milk so that his weight will be better. I was under the impression that he should be having 500-600ml of milk a day but she said as his daytime meals are good and he's having lots of water then he doesn't need as much milk and can supplement it with drops. FATEdestiny you are right about doing what I want but I do worry that he is big so reducing a bottle would be good and I would appreciate a bit more sleep! I don't wake him for the dream feed - he wakes but is sleepy during feeding and usually goes straight back down after that bottle. He can sometimes go straight down after the 2.30am bottle too but is more usually restless then and I often end up bringing him into bed with us rather than standing over the cot for an hour. He would definitely love a cup of milk in the day dementedpixie - he loves milk! In selfish terms I would prefer to drop the 2.30am feed so that I could get more uninterrupted sleep. Would it work if I reduced the amount of milk and gave water if he wanted more?

FATEdestiny Fri 12-Jun-15 18:59:23

If your DS is likely to be reasonably OK with settling without milk, then I can see the sense (in terms of your own sleep and well being) is dropping the 2.30am feed rather than the 11pm feed.

But what if you have yourself a sleep battle and he takes a lot of settling without his bottle of milk? In terms of your own sleep and wellbeing, would you be better having the 'battle' at 11pm before you go to bed and then an easier time in the wee hours of the morning. Or would you be better going to bed earlier and so be able to have the resolve to do the settling battle in the middle of the night? It's a personal preference thing, but worth thinking about.

You realise you don't have to choose. It is perfectly reasonable to mix-and-match the feeds, sometimes doing the dreamfeed and sometimes the night feed, depending on how knackered you are when going to bed.

Personally my DD wouldn't have accepted watered down milk, since it tastes 'odd' and neither would she be happy with not a full bottle if I was giving her milk. I'd go straight to milk if you intent to keep feeding.

Better still, see if you can find some techniques to get him to settle without any bottle at all to improve his ability to self-settle when he wakes in the night.

FATEdestiny Fri 12-Jun-15 19:01:52

I'd go straight to milk water if you intend to keep feeding.

jki1 Fri 12-Jun-15 20:15:44

Having a settling battle now :-(

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