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Really want to stop the night feed now, but how?

(10 Posts)
singsong Wed 20-Jul-05 18:46:02

Ds is one is a couple of weeks. Eats loads through the day and drinks loads of milk and water or juice though the day, but he still wakes every night for a bottle of milk. I’m sure that at this stage it’s more to do with habit than need for milk. I have tried leaving him for a short while to see if he will settle back to sleep without a bottle but he gets very upset and we end up giving him the milk. Is there an easier way to break this pattern of night waking?

hunkermunker Wed 20-Jul-05 18:47:05

Water the milk down gradually over a period of several nights until it's just water. Not worth waking up for water

That's the theory anyway...

singsong Wed 20-Jul-05 22:19:15

Good idea, I'll try it starting tonight

hunkermunker Wed 20-Jul-05 22:40:41

Good luck!

jessicaandbumpsmummy Wed 20-Jul-05 22:42:14

jeez - glad im not the only one who's 1 yr old still wakes for milk!

havent got the guts not to give it to her - tried last night and boy did she scream!

might try the watered down routine - can you do it with cows milk though?

Caththerese1973 Thu 21-Jul-05 10:58:35

In the end I had to get tough with my dd (then aged 18 months ) and let her cry herself back to sleep. This method (if you can call it that) takes three nights on average and after that baby will sleep through. First night : go into baby's room, reassure but do not pick him up. Then leave watch TV or read (in bed you'll only feel terrible). Expect him to cry for up to three hours. Next night : same deal, except he will probably only cry for about half as long. Third night: same again, he will probably cry for 20 mins or so. Fourht night: he will sleep through and continue to do so unless he is sick, teething, or you re-introduce the night feed.
I know this sounds harsh. But controlled crying (going back in every five-ten mins to soothe) is crueller in my opinion - gives the baby false hope. And it never worked for me.
The local toddler helpline people who persuaded me to let my dd cry it out insisted that crying it out really does work, and nearly always babe will sleep thru after 3 nights. Don't try it if babe is sick or teething or upset for any reason. You can tell by the way he cries if he really needs you, or is just mad as all hell! And if the latter is the case, you are not going to harm or traumatise him by leaving him to put himself back to sleep.

singsong Thu 21-Jul-05 21:31:46

OMG, cry for up to three hours. I don't think I could manage to stick it out. I see your point and I'm sure it works for the long term but in the short term I wouldn't be able to leave him screaming so long.

collision Thu 21-Jul-05 21:34:21

The idea is to only offer a sip of water as they wont wake for water.

As your child is a year old it def is a habit IMHO, and I think the watering down is a good idea and maybe only offer 1oz of watered down milk instead of a full bottle. As he is fully weaned and on solids I dont think he can be really hungry.

Caththerese1973 Sat 23-Jul-05 08:18:59

Singsong I understand your reluctance, but beleive me he won't scream his head off three hours! What happened in my dd's case was about 15 mins of full on enraged screaming, then dwindling to grizzling that continued on and off for about 2 hours (I think 3 hours was a bit of an exaggeration in retrospect!).
Of course don't do this if you are not comfortable with it. But keep it in mind if you have no success with other methods. Remember: he needs his sleep too and as he gets older he will feel pretty tired during the day if he can't put himself back to sleep (not trying to take you on a guilt trip though).
Maybe you could try it one night and say okay, I'll let him go for 15 mins. If you can't stand it then, okay, go in and give him his bottle! If you are handling it, then just keep going as long as you can and see how long it takes for him to drop off.
Does you think he understands much of what you say yet? I guess my dd was a bit older when I tried this method, so when I said kindly but firmly, 'time for sleep, I'm right outside the door', she knew I was there for her even if I wasn't giving in to her demand for a breastfeed.
She was completely untraumatised by this by the way - was all smiles the next day and seemed to have forgotten all about it. And she is the sunniest child you can imagine now. So don't worry about psychological damage to child or anything like that. But I guess ideally he should be old enough to grasp that even though you are saying 'no', you are not abandoning him altogether. If you think he has this concept already, I reckon you could safely let him cry it out.
But as I said, whatever you are comfortable with!

singsong Sat 23-Jul-05 13:50:22

Thanks Caththerese1973, yes leaving him to grizzle I can do (in fact did this to teach him to go to sleep in his cot in the first place and not in my arms) it’s just that when he screams he really goes for it with great rage! Three hours of that I couldn’t take. To be honest I’m not worried about it causing him psychological trauma as much as I am about the trauma it causes me! I know that in the past he has had some screaming sessions in the night and been difficult to calm down but first thing next morning he’s full of smiles again.

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