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How to reduce night breastfeeds

(4 Posts)
melonribena Tue 09-Apr-13 19:43:48

I am trying to reduce my 8mth olds breastfeeds at night. He would feed all night and not at all in the day if I'd let him!

Bedtime live suggested gradually reducing the milk in a bottle over a few nights until the baby drops that feed.

That sounds fab but how does it work with breastfeeding? Has anyone successfully reduced night feeds without the need for cold turkey? Do I just pull ds off before he's finished and try to settle him?

Any experiences or advice would be gratefully received!

mamij Tue 09-Apr-13 20:15:37

It depends how many times he wakes up. Mine were up every few hours or so, bed at 7pm, up at 10pm, 1am, 4am, 6am (roughly).

About 10 months, I knew she had enough in the day from bf and food so I stopped feeding her at 10pm and held her hand to sleep. After a few nights she stopped waking at 10pm. Then I did the same for all the other feeds. She's now 17 months and only wakes up for the 6am and ready to start the day!

melonribena Tue 09-Apr-13 20:54:48

He goes to sleep at 7pm then generally wakes at 8pm, 9.30pm, 1.30am and 5.30am before waking for the day at 7.30 ish.

I don't mind the 1.30 or 5.30 ones so much, I'd just like to lose the evening ones.

I try to hold his hand and resettle him. He will go back to sleep but rarely stays asleep for long.

I will persevere though! Thanks for the idea!

GraceGrape Tue 09-Apr-13 21:57:02

I've been trying this with my 6 month old as she was feeding several times a night (although she was settling for the early part of the night). I always give her a dream feed around 10.30/11 then she was waking consistently at 1.30 then again at 3.30, 5, 6 etc. I decided to pick one feed (1.30) and then reduce it gradually. I fed her the first night for about 7 minutes then made the feed one minute shorter each night. I just unlatched her after the "time limit". Usually she wouldn't fuss when I did this, but if she did I just settled her by rocking etc. By the time I got down to about 2 minutes I decided not to feed her and just settle her with a cuddle and after one night of that she no longer woke at 1.30.

I've started working on the 3.30 feed now and after 2-3 nights of limiting the feeding time she woke up last night at 3.30 and went back to sleep by herself for another hour! I have found it's important to make sure she goes in her cot awake at the beginning of the night - this really made a difference. If she fell asleep feeding, I roused her a bit before she went in the cot. Also, I was co-sleeping as I was so tired but have been making the effort to put her back in the cot after a feed now as I think the proximity to the milk source was encouraging her to snack.

There were a couple of nights where I unlatched her and she wouldn't settle so I just fed her a bit more. It turned out she was cutting a tooth, but she got back on track once it was through.

Hope you find something that works for you.

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