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Offering water at night

(9 Posts)
Toizzy Fri 14-Mar-14 15:15:08

I'm still bf my 9 month old and plan to do so until his 1st birthday.He is still waking up quite often at night,usually two times sometimes more , rarely less.When he wakes at night i usually always feed him back to sleep although i know he doesn't need it because the alternative is spending an hour or more in his room trying to soothe him and i just haven't got the energy!
I have been thinking about trying to give him water to make sure he's not thirsty but stopping night feeds.I know usually someone other than the mother should do that so the baby can't smell the breast milk but I'm wondering if that is an absolute necessity. Basically my question is, can i offer water to him or would that be really to confusing/upsetting for him?

thanks smile

tiktok Fri 14-Mar-14 16:07:35

By nine months, babies are well able to recognise you as the breastfeeder....I don't think they need to smell you to think that smile smile

I am not sure of the logic here - giving water will make what? Satisfy his thirst, and not need the cuddle, closeness and contact of a breastfeed? So his little nine-month-brain thinks 'mum's right....I am only thirsty, and I don't really need a breastfeed. I was just playing up. I think I'll not bother waking up now, now I only get water.'

It is a pain to keep getting up in the night, for sure. But I really, really don't get how a bottle of water will stop it smile

GreenGoblin0 Fri 14-Mar-14 19:06:07

My DD is 21 Months and still BFing. When we weaned her off night feeds we offered her water instead of milk she doesn't always have it but sometimes she gulps it down. She also often clutches onto the beaker like a comforter. It definitely helped with the transition and reassured me that she didn't go thirsty.

Toizzy Sat 15-Mar-14 06:18:09

Tiktok stopping night feeds or at least cutting it down to one (?) doesn't mean that i'll be ignoring him if he wakes up and cries! Offering water may not be the best idea but it's one I've heard and read about.Im very open to any other suggestions as I'm a first time mum and haven't really got a clue wink
You are saying that basically yes it sucks but that i should just bear with it ?
But if i stop bf when he's a year old it will have to happen then anyway won't it?How does that work?

Toizzy Sat 15-Mar-14 06:20:28

Greengoblino and did you take her the water or was it always your partner?

GreenGoblin0 Sat 15-Mar-14 08:52:07

Intially we tried to gradually cut out the night feeds one at a time. So I would give her her 11pm feed but after that not feed her until 6am. In between when she woke up we would both offer her water, but it was definitely harder for me to do it.

When then stepped it up to total night weaning my partner took over as she was much more likely to settle for him as she knew she wouldn't get milk from him. We had a few nights of him having to bring her in the bed with him and me sleeping in spare room.

Now that she is off night feeds and has been for 2 months or so we take it in turns to settle her if she wakes and so both take water into her if necessary.

It def easier for your partner to do it but either way your baby will get message eventually.

How is your DS with eating food and how much milk does he have during the day?

JustLetMeSleep Sat 15-Mar-14 09:11:24

We've been doing this for the last week with our 10mo. She was waking every 3 hours, and I just couldn't cope any more. I am also weaning her so now give her cup of formula before bed, she settles in cot, I bf at 10pm ish, and then offer cuddles and water if she wakes up until about 5/6am. Her sleeping has improved a lot, I'd say. First night horrible, lots of crying and awake for over an hour, second night 40 mins, some crying but more cuddly and happy lying in cot (I had my hand on her, and got her out if upset), third night about 20 mins, no crying. One night she went through until 5am, last night she slept until 8am (although had trouble settling as has a grotty cold). I would try it if you need a change. I just got to the end of my tether with the feeding, and this helps me feel a bit of distance, she's a child waking for comfort, just like 5yo DD1, and not dependent on me for sleep. DH now also successfully settles her.

tiktok Sat 15-Mar-14 09:28:07

Toizzy I wasn't thinking you would not comfort her if she wakes. I was and am sceptical as to how water 'makes' a nine month old decide not to wake smile

There are ways to help a baby manage to get back to sleep by themselves and not need a bf. They tend to work better with rather older babies of a year or more.

But trying the water thing won't do any harm at this age. Worst that can happen is it doesn't work!

Hope things improve whatever you do.

Toizzy Sun 16-Mar-14 19:42:07

thanks for all your input smile
Green he is a great eater and is a big baby (over the 97th percentile! ).I introduced solids at around 6 months but he only started being interested at around 7 - 7 1/2 months, he now eats 3 "meals a day". He breastfeeds about 6 times in the day and a couple in the night.

I think we'll try offering water but not just yet as we've both come down with a cold.

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