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Breastfeeders, when did your DC drop their nightfeeds?

(29 Posts)
ChasedByBees Tue 09-Oct-12 07:26:21

DD is 9mo, goes to bed at 7pm and still wakes at 11pm and 3am for feeds. I then wake her at 6.30 so I can feed her before I go to work. The HV said she should be able to go through the night now and I should stop night feeds and offer water or just try and resettle her but I do feel she still needs the food. I might be wrong though.

She wakes in between these times and we can restyle her with a pat, but not at 11pm and 3am. She will barely drink water (which is another problem with her being a bottle refuser and me going to work sad ) so we've not tried that. It would end up with her being drenched so I'm a bit reluctant.

When did your babies stop their night feeds?

llamallama Tue 09-Oct-12 07:31:04

My 12 month old still wakes around 2/3am for a feed. My HV told me a similar thing to you but I think my DD still needs this feed, she takes a good amount. I'm happy to continue and am hoping she gives it up on her own at some point. I'm in no rush.

llamallama Tue 09-Oct-12 07:32:01

Also will she drink water out of a beaker? My DD always refused a bottle but would drink water out of a beaker from 6 months

YouBrokeMySmoulder Tue 09-Oct-12 07:32:06

I night weaned my both between 7 and 8 months when I knew they were having enough food during the day and they were consistently waking at the same time every night. IMO its much harder after a year and only a few self night wean.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Tue 09-Oct-12 07:33:13

I was also going back to work at a year and knew that I couldn't cope if still feeding in the night.

I night-weaned at 15 months using Dr Jay Gordon's methods. Personally I think if a 9 month old is still waking at night and taking food then they need the food. Their nutrition is supposed to come from milk until 12 months so I do wonder how you can possibly know your baby 'must have had enough' during the day. IME babies are distractable from around 4 months so make up at night what they don't have during the day. It's a very personal thing though, I'd say go with the baby's lead

EleanorBloodBathsket Tue 09-Oct-12 07:40:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

megandraper Tue 09-Oct-12 07:46:27

My nearly-16month old still feeds every 2-3 hours during the night. I think it's just a sleep habit (getting herself back to sleep) rather than for food. Am considering going cold turkey like Eleanor, or probably a slightly softer version of that and doing Dr Jay Gordon.

Am waiting till half term though, as don't want to disturb my older ones during school week.

Trazzletoes Tue 09-Oct-12 07:50:21

DS night-weaned at 6 months, DD around 8 months. She would sleep through for a few weeks but then get back in to the habit of feeding during unsettled nights. In the end, feeding wouldn't settle her anyway so HV advised sleep training and we are back to full nights' sleep.

pigsmightnevercease Tue 09-Oct-12 07:51:51

I tried night weaning several times (at 6mo - against my better judgement, on the advice of a sleep counsellor, then every couple of months after that IIRC) and it either didn't work or only worked for a bit. Did it again at 18mo and it worked very easily and right away (DS was having a feed around 3/4am). I genuinely don't think he was ready before then.

He's 2 now and still often wakes in the night but only wants/expects a bf if it's after about 5am. He is a crap sleeper, though.

Indith Tue 09-Oct-12 07:53:21

ds1 6 months old
dd 21 months when I stopped feeding completely because she was driving me mad with her night feeds.
ds2 is 7 months and still feeds lots at night.

Jojay Tue 09-Oct-12 07:54:49

DTD was 11 months. No sleep training, it just happened.

DTS was 13 months. When he woke I cuddled him back to sleep. Took an hour or so the first couple of nights, then only a few mins for a week or so. Now he usually sleeps through but if he doesn't, a quick cuddle usually suffices.

I can't leave them to cry as they share a room and would wake each other up.

blackteaplease Tue 09-Oct-12 08:04:55

We had 4 attempts at night weaning, starting at 9 months on the advice of a HV. We had a few months success at 18 months but basically everytime dd was ill/ teething she upped the night feeds and was still having 2 or so in the night when she turned two and went cold turkey due to ulcers.

She still doesn't sleep through.

I was a total softy, couldn't bear to hear my pfb cry so would give her bf for comfort and so that I could go back to sleep quickly

PetaO Tue 09-Oct-12 08:05:04

Ds was about 6months. He'd slept through the night quite a few times (inconsistently) and we decided that instead of automatically bf-ing when he woke up we'd try to settle him first. Probably took a week for him to sleep through from 8on-7am. He still wakes up v occasionally about 3/5am, so we try to settle and only feed if he's really hungry.

Curtsey Tue 09-Oct-12 08:09:46

DD is 8.5 months and for the last six weeks or so has woken just once at night, between 4.30 and 5.30 am. She seems quite hungry/thirsty at this time and I don't mind feeding her then. She eats loads by day and lots of water too. Recently she has slept through a few times which has been nice. To be honest I'm still in shock that she's turned into such a good sleeper, she was so horrendous for so long - one night feed feels like a breeze.

Baaartimaeus Tue 09-Oct-12 08:17:19

DS is 12.5 months. BF only in the evenings, night and some mornings (I went back to work when he was 6 months and he takes formula and milk in a sippy cup during the day - never a bottle).

I've never tried to wean the night feeds but he is slowly taking less at night of his own accord. During the hot summer he was drinking more but I didn't want to wean him because it was so hot and I needed a drink in the night too!

Now he generally wakes once in the night, feeds for less than a minute and goes back down no problem. So I don't feel the need to force him to wean. He also occasionally (read three times in the last month!) sleeps through so I think he'll self-wean eventually.

BF is still the quickest way to get him back to sleep at night (is essential now I'm at work), although he doesn't fall asleep on me, only in his cot.

I find that keeping the BF at night (if needed) is the easiest way to know if he's going through a growth spurt and needs more food during the day (without wasting food by offering more which he won't eat IYSWIM).

DefiniteMaybe Tue 09-Oct-12 08:18:37

dd is almost 14 month and tends to feed at 11 2 and 4. Sometimes more very rarely less. For me, its easier to feed her back to sleep than cuddle or rock her back to sleep. I won't leave her to cry. My ds was ff from 4months and didn't reliably sleep through until he was almost 3. I'm not about to give up my best sleep weapon yet!

EauRouge Tue 09-Oct-12 08:22:17

Hmm, you HV seems very keen to tell you what you should be doing. I'd love to see what evidence she's basing her advice on. Waking up at night for a feed is NORMAL for a 9 mo. Lots of them do it! For whatever reason, some babies need breastfeeding in the night more than others. You are the best judge of whether your baby needs it. You are not wrong, your HV is.

If you are happy with the way things are going then there is absolutely no need to change anything smile

If you want some information on what is normal sleep-wise then this is a very good site.

If you feel up to it, would you be willing to discuss this further with your HV? It's not on for them to give out inaccurate info in the form of instructions, it's confusing and undermining to mothers.

ChasedByBees Tue 09-Oct-12 08:30:45

Thank you all so much for your advice and experiences, it's really useful. I'll reply more later, am at work now.

TerrorCottaPumpkinPie Tue 09-Oct-12 09:49:50

Although it seems I've been really lucky up to now with when my DCs dropped their night feeds I do agree that it's pretty common for a 9mo to be needing them. We're you happy with how things were before the HV said anything? If so I wouldn't be worrying.

ChasedByBees Tue 09-Oct-12 13:19:13

Thanks again for your replies. DD was feeding every 4 hours day and night and not yet eating much solid food (although we were trying). The HV said I was feeding her too much milk but it would sort itself out when I went back to work. Since I've been back at work she eats more but won't drink any milk when I'm not there. In fact, she hardly drinks water; we've tried sippy cups, doidy cups, retried bottles (although didn't want to go there), normal bottles with sports caps (most successful, she drank 40ml one day from this) but nothing works well.

She was really distressed and hot on Thursday when I got back, she actually looked ill until she fed. it was awful. DH is now her primary carer but she's not used to him providing any sustenance IFSWIM.

This is another reason I think the night feeds are probably neccesary at the moment, but it is quite hard with working almost full time. I think I'll wait till she's 12m and then try some of the methods here (in a gentle way). If she's not ready we'll carry on. I've also been a softy, cosleeping, feed on demand type mum but I think that might have been cruel to do that then go off to work 4 days a week. sad

Eaurouge I'd like to (and I tackled them about trying to persuade me to sleep train when she was in pain from eczema) but my work hours means I can't go now.

Jakeyblueblue Tue 09-Oct-12 13:47:43

I still feed ds in the night and he's 15 months. We co sleep and its the best way of ensuring we both get a good nights sleep.
I stopped going to the health visitor a couple of months ago as their attitude to extended breastfeeding and co sleeping annoyed me. I weigh ds myself now. I got sick of Being given a lecture about it all in front of a room full of ff mums who all looked over like i was a bad mum!
If you were to look at those societies where there has been very little intervention and people live in a more natural state, you'll find that they still bf their children in the night right into toddlerhood.
There's no right or wrong answers on this one, if you are happy with feeding in the night, then carry on and ignore the HV. You know far better about what's right for you and your children than she does smile

megandraper Wed 10-Oct-12 10:51:28

Good point Jakey. And I don't think there's any need to weigh older babies unless you have a particular concern. I've never seen an HV or gone to any weighings after about 6 months, and I am on my 3rd DC now. Sometimes pop them on the scales at home out of interest or when checking weights for car seats etc.

Baaartimaeus Wed 10-Oct-12 10:53:25

DS ate loads of solids at 9 months but still BF lots.

I would recommend doing whatever feels best for you. For me that means BF evening and night if necessary and to be honest I even did an afternoon feed everyday during the holidays this summer and sometimes at the weekend. Sometimes DS really wants the comfort of a feed (really noticeable when we were away on holiday in a strange place) and I want to comfort him.

For a different medical view, at the 12 months check-up our paediatrician was very pleased to hear I was still BF (and I'm in France where that is rare!) and said that I shouldn't drop the night feeds if DS still needs them (and she strongly advocates co-sleeping).

I still find that feeding DS in the night is the best way to guarantee the shortest intervention time possible, which as I said in my earlier post is even more important when you have work the next day!

When we first put DS onto formula in the day (aged 6 months) I was told we should be making up 210ml bottles (i.e. 210ml of water). He has never ever drunk that much in one go! The most he ever did one day was 150ml, usually he'd drink 60ml, 90ml if particularly hungry/thirsty.

My friend's DD refused all bottles/cups from 4 months to 9months. They ended up adding water to everything she ate, even yoghurt. Could you try this?

Baaartimaeus Wed 10-Oct-12 10:57:10

BTW I found adding a book in between the evening feed and being put into his cot was brilliant at making DS sleep better. A couple of times I have had to stroke his hair to stop him falling asleep on the boob but as soon as he sees the book he's wide awake and happy to then go into his cot. Has reduced night wakings dramatically except for the last 2 nights when he's been teething

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