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Best way to drop night feeds?

(15 Posts)
Stefka Thu 14-Aug-08 08:38:01

I want to drop some of DS's night feeds. He is ten months and was feeding 7, 9, 12, 3 and 5 before starting the day at 6 and it is exhausting me. Touch wood this last week I seem to have managed to get rid of the nine feed. I am currently not feeding him between the hours of 12 and five so he gets his 12ish feed and then he gets one at five. He wakes up at threeish and cries a bit. I check him and then leave him. First night he went to sleep after fifteen minutes of on off crying - I checked him a couple of times to reassure. Last night he went to sleep after a minute and a half of on off crying!

I am wondering if it is confusing to offer him a feed sometimes when he wakes and other times not to. The first night he didn't wake for a feed at five - or rather he did wake but was back asleep before I got to him. Last night he did wake up for it and I gave it to him. Should I not give him that feed now because he didn't take it the first night ? Am I making things harder because he might think that he can have a feed because he gets one at 12 and at five? Is that too mixed a message?

Any advice welcome - I am not sure what is for the best but I do know I need more sleep!

Roskva Thu 14-Aug-08 09:05:57

If your ds wakes at 3 wanting a feed, see if you can gradually push it back (and possibly the 5am feed too). However to make sure he is full enough to go longer through the night, I would consider reinstating the 9pm feed. There is a theory that lots of evening feeds, or cluster feeding, help babies feel full enough to sleep longer at night.

Once he is going midnight to 5 or 6, then think about moving the last feed forwards, until it merges with 9pm feed, then start bringing that one forward until it merges with the 7pm feed.

Stefka Thu 14-Aug-08 09:16:04

He hasn't woken up for that feed for the last couple of nights and there is no way I am about to wake him up - getting him to sleep that length of time is a bit of a miracle! The nine feed made no difference to him waking later on - he was still up every couple of hours.

Roskva Thu 14-Aug-08 09:27:05

Have you tried dream feeding, ie feeding him a bottle without waking him up? I did that for a while with dd, and it worked for us.

Stefka Thu 14-Aug-08 09:50:04

Not tried that no - can you do it with breast feeding? You do it at about 11 right?

DonDons Thu 14-Aug-08 09:55:39

I dream fed DD (BF) for about a week - she lost interest in it quite quickly and then dropped the feed. I was doing it at 10pm and she was about 11 weeks old IIRC. She sleeps 7-7 now

Roskva Thu 14-Aug-08 19:25:57

I don't know about bf a dream feed - I suppose it depends on whether your ds will latch on without waking up. Dd was bottle fed. It can be done with expressed milk in a bottle.

ChukkyPig Thu 14-Aug-08 20:16:13

At ten months he is probably capable of going through the night without a feed I would have thought.

How you persuade him in that direction is up to you - so many different ways but I think it depends on whether you can leave him to cry, and if so for how long. Also depends on the baby, some sleep like a dream with a slight nudge, others will wake up and short of leaving them screaming all night there's not a lot you can do!

What we did was book DH a week off work. In that week when the baby cried he went in and comforted her. There was no way I could go in and not feed her (BF) - she would've gone nuts! By the end of the week she was sleeping through. If she wasn't being fed she just wasn't interested.

So that's how we did it.

I did try dream feeding, I think it works for some people but for me it meant going in and hoping I could do it without waking her and it made no difference to her night waking. Worth a try though is has helped with some of my friends.

HTH!

caramelbunny Thu 14-Aug-08 21:04:53

Agree with Chukky about not going in yourself. My daughter at 10 months was still feeding at about 3am (BF) and I was due to go back to work. Only took 3 nights of husband going to her in the night instead of me before she seemed to give up on waking up, couldn't believe how quickly and easily it happened.

I also had success with dream feeding (BF), just sneaked her out of her cot when I went to bed a 10ish and sneaked her straight back in as quietly as possible. That way managed to get decent sleep from about 11 til 6.

Good luck.

Stefka Thu 14-Aug-08 23:29:02

He woke up tonight at half ten - normally I would have fed him back to sleep but I gave him a kiss and left him. He cried for a minute and a half and went back to sleep. I am surprised actually - I thought he would go nutso. I am not sure how the rest of the night will go but at least I now know I don't have to feed him every single time he wakes up.

caramelbunny Fri 15-Aug-08 08:15:11

Glad to hear that Stefka, guess that's the major turning point when you realise they don't need feeding that often. Here's to you getting more sleep!

Stefka Fri 15-Aug-08 12:33:26

He had one feed in the end at about half 12. He woke up at half three but I didn't feed him and he went back to sleep after about five to ten minutes of grumping. Now I know that he can do that I am going to stick with that one feed in the middle of his sleep for a while and take it from there.

caramelbunny Fri 15-Aug-08 12:57:28

Good luck!

ChukkyPig Fri 15-Aug-08 19:52:11

Brilliant!

Stefka Sat 16-Aug-08 09:56:14

Had to do two last night. Well I didn't have to I suppose but I gave in to one. He woke at half four - didn't feed him then. Took half an hour to get him to sleep then he woke again half an hour later so I feed him then. I had hoped to stick to the one for a few days but I will just have to keep trying.

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