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Best time for last milk feed without sleep association?

(14 Posts)
lottytheladybird Sun 12-Jun-11 14:30:03

My DS is fast approaching a year old. At the moment, he has his dinner at around 5pm, goes to bed at 7pm, has a dream feed at 11pm, then sleeps through until 6:30am.

I'd like to drop his 11pm dream feed, but just don't think he could go from his dinner at 5pm till he wakes in the morning at 6:30am without nourishment in between.

However, I don't want to feed him just before bed, as I don't want him to rely on milk to go to sleep.

When would be the best time to give him his last feed? Can babies last from dinner at 5pm till the next morning without another feed in between? I'm really interested to hear your thoughts.

Seona1973 Sun 12-Jun-11 14:37:14

mine always had milk before bed and didnt use it as a sleep prop. You could give milk at 6.30pm and then brush teeth before bedtime.

AchtungBaby Sun 12-Jun-11 14:41:41

As I understand it, as long as the baby doesn't fall asleep while they're drinking their milk, then they won't develop a feed:sleep association.

DS (9 months) BFs, then he has his teeth cleaned and is read a story, before he is put into his cot while still awake.

Tinker3 Sun 12-Jun-11 17:47:27


There is no need for a 1 year old to have any food during the night at all, providing they are having 3 full meals a day, of all food groups (protein at lunchtime, and carbs at breakfast and dinner mainly). Try making his evening meal at 5.30, and make it carb heavy - he should go through from 7-7.

I agree with previous posters - give last milk feed at 1830, then a story so awake when in cot when you leave.

Try reading some Gina Ford - love her or hate her, the woman talks so much sense it's untrue.

Hope this helps.

SharkSkinThing Sun 12-Jun-11 18:08:58

My 10.5 month old DS also his tea at 5pm, then wind down, bath at 6pm, then stories and milk at 7pm (we feed downstairs then carry him up, he's always half-awake) - he then goes through (usually) until 5am, and has his morning milk at 6am.

DP felt the same as you, that DS wouldn't be able to go that long without a feed, but I put my foot down at 9 months and weaned him off over a week. DS hasn't cared a jot about it!

Maybe try weaning slowly and see how you go?

My motivation was that I did not want to making jam sarnies for a 2 year old at four in the morning! grin

HTH, and good luck!

lottytheladybird Mon 13-Jun-11 10:54:48

Gave DS a milk feed at 6:30pm last night, after his bath. However, he fell asleep at the breast, so he was put in his cot asleep. He then woke at 3am and after DS was unable to get back to sleep for half an hour, I breastfed him.

So my attempt at a new routine didn't work, so I'll need to rethink it again...or keep giving DS a dream feed at 11pm...

Seona1973 Mon 13-Jun-11 11:11:58

why not try gradually cutting down the dreamfeed rather than cutting it out all at once. I gave up on the dreamfeed with my los so I could go to bed earlier - I then just fed them if they woke in the night.

RitaMorgan Mon 13-Jun-11 11:18:58

We do:

6pm - dinner
6.30pm - bath
7pm - breastfeed

Then DP takes DS to brush his teeth, puts him in his cot and reads him a story.

If he starts to fall asleep on the breast I swap sides to keep him awake, then when he goes to brush his teeth obviously this wakes him up a bit.

When I dropped the dreamfeed I brought it earlier by 30 minutes each night til it was only an hour after bedtime and DS wasn't taking very much, then dropped it completely.

SharkSkinThing Mon 13-Jun-11 18:25:29

Don't give up! I was the same - BF at 3am for what seemed like ages, I just kept pushing it bit by bit (3.05, 3.10 etc), until he stopped waking up. It took a while, a few weeks, I think, but it did work!

Going from 6.30pm - 3am for the first time is brilliant! Set yourself a time for when you are happy to feed him (3.30am, or whatever), and just keep at it.

Rita's is a great idea, too, in fact, Rita's advice is generally fab - she's given some great advice on BF and feeding! smile

Keep posting, and hang on in there. Weaning off the night feed is sooooo hard. xx

lottytheladybird Mon 13-Jun-11 19:29:52

Breastfed DS at 6:15pm today and he didn't fall asleep at the breast, which is good. I think that was due to the fact that he'd had an afternoon nap, which he often doesn't have these days.

DS then went into his cot awake and after a bit of pulling up, he's settled himself to sleep.

Let's see what the night brings us!

Thanks for all the advice so far! smile

SharkSkinThing Thu 16-Jun-11 13:20:26

How are you getting on? Any results?

lottytheladybird Thu 16-Jun-11 16:35:43

Results, so far:

Day 1: Breastfed DS after giving him a wash and getting him into his sleepsuit. DS fell asleep at the breast, so he was put in his cot asleep. He then needed a further feed at 3:30am.

Day 2: Breastfed DS @ 6:15pm, then let him have a bit of a play before his bath. DS didn't fall asleep at the breast and didn't need a night feed!!! DS woke at 6:45am, when I gave him his morning feed.

Day 3: Same as Day 2, but needed feeding again at 3:30am.

Day 4: Same as Day 2 - no night time feed! Wahoo!

I feel I'm getting somewhere and I now know that DS can last 12 hours without a feed. smile

SharkSkinThing Thu 16-Jun-11 18:12:57

Way to go!!! That's brilliant news!! Well done.

The weening off at night is bloody hard - I held on to it for ages, went back and forth, but once I'd done it DS def slept longer at night and in the day.

Plus if he does wake up, feeding just isn't on offer, ever. Means you can also identify some other issue (illness, teething etc!).

Really brilliant news! xx

lottytheladybird Thu 16-Jun-11 18:53:29

Thanks SharkSkinThing! smile

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