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Stopping night breastfeeding(37 Posts)
Looking for some advice. DD2 is now 6 months. Has been ebf. I've just started (last week)introducing a formula feed at bedtime and some solids. She has not been a great sleeper since birth and wakes every 3 hours for a feed. She still sleeps in our room. She wakes when we go to bed.
I was hoping the formula feed at bedtime would reduce her night time waking but hasn't.
Last night when she woke when me and partner were going to bed we tried letting her cry it out but she just keeps on crying and getting more upsets ( this went on for 15 mins) until I eventually gave her to feed her. I don't want her waking DD1 up.
I'm at the end of my tether with the broken sleep and feel she doesn't need any feeds at night. She won't take a dummy. How should we approach this without waking my other daughter up?
I'm considering moving her into her own room very soon to help her sleep better.
My plan is to stop breastfeeding during the day too over the next month and replace with formula.
Your child still needs feeding during the night. If you don't want to breastfeed then don't but your expectations are unrealistic.
Yes the tiredness is exhausting but that's not as exhausting as trying to get a six month old to sleep through who still needs milk.
In my opinion cry it out is never appropriate. Babies cry because they need something, in this case your baby was hungry so of course they were not going to just go to sleep. I would never leave an adult crying so I would never do it with a baby who lacks strategies to cope with things by themselves eg get up and get some food. There are other forms of sleep training if you want to go down that path but your baby is very young and still needs feeding night.
Walking every three hours if horrrible as a Mum but it is pretty normal as baby and my formula feed baby woke for milk more often. Formula may help you baby sleep longer but it may not.
6 months is a massive time of change, weaning which can impact on sleep, developmental leap and large sleep regression/progression.
A six month old is too young to go through the night without milk, formula or otherwise - they don’t cry from hunger for fun! Sorry that’s probably not what you wanted to hear though.
I stopped breastfeeding DD2 overnight at 24 months. She was able to understand what was going to happen. She bedshared with DH and I slept in the spare room.
6 months is still too young if they need the feed. Yes some babies sleep through by now but they aren't the majority. I stopped at 10 months with sheer exhaustion and still have a pang of guilt that I was perhaps a bit too hasty. It's hard but it's not forever
Thanks for all the advice. I don't claim to be an expert but babies of 6 months shouldn't generally be waking every 3 hours to feed. My other daughter didn't do this though I do realise not all babies are the same. She should be doing at least one 4-5 hour stretch during the night. I'm going to move her into her own room and see what happens.
You're right you no expert because waking every 3 hours is typical normal behaviour for an infant.
Crack on with the room move if that's what you want but you'll just be up more rather than less. I'd rather get a bigger bed and make everyone comfy.
It's really hard - you're exhausted and drained, and have an older child to care for too. It's normal for a baby this age to wake and need feeding in the night. You might find some reassurance/tips here on KellyMom:
It's not a linear process. Sometimes they sleep, sometimes they don't. Around 18 months, DD1 was up every hour for a feed like a newborn. It was just a growth spurt/developmental leap.
My 15mo has done stints of 4 hours, 6 hours, all through, 2 hours, 30 mins depending on how he's feeling, where he is developmentally, etc. It's all well within the normal spectrum for a BF baby.
Personally I wouldn't night wean a BF Baby until at least 12mo but if you're switching to formula anyway, that might work. But be prepared that it might not. And that's normal too.
I’m interested in this thread harribeau100 as it sounds exactly like my situation. Didn’t think people would be so judgmental and quite cheeky though. Every baby is different! Just because one baby wakes every 2hrs doesn’t mean every baby needs to wake every 2hrs to feed. It’s frustrating when your older child had a different feeding/sleeping pattern too. My lo can feed anywhere between every 1.5/3hrs and have been told by both gp and consultant that this isn’t the norm at this age. I’d do what makes you comfortable and ignore negative comments
Hi Harribeau, maybe a gradual approach would help with not disturbing your other little one? Less crying that way, hopefully (but TBH I think a certain amount is inevitable). We started this at 7 months and it went ok. Initially decided not to feed before midnight, then gradually reduced further. Some people suggest leaving 20 mins at least between last feed and putting your baby in the cot to break the sleep association with feeding. Good luck.
Also, obviously not relevant if you want to stop breastfeeding for other reasons, but if it's because of sleep, for what it's worth I kept feeding for a long time after night weaning.
I have 4 babies, all were different but at six months all fed several times through the night. I stopped breastfeeding them between 18 -24 months and at this stage they all were feeding at least once or twice at night and nightfeeds were the last breastfeeding session to go. Sorry, my advice is to keep responding to babies needs and let baby feed when they want to. I know it's hard and tiring! It's not forever though.
When she cries comfort her. Carry, pat, etc. Even better if your DH does it. If she’s genuinely not hungry she’ll fall asleep and calm down. If she keeps trying then feed. Around that age I did no feeds before midnight unless baby was really crying for it. All wake ups before then were dealt with by patting or holding.
Sounds like you’re either just going straight into BF or trying cry it out. Try something in between!
harribeau100, I agree that by 6 months, they can go longer than about 3 hours. But you'll never get support for that view here, as there are a lot of people that are happy/at least content with giving night feeds until we'll into toddlerhood. Some babies undoubtedly need night feeding longer, but it's not as if you're expecting 12 straight hours - just some longer stretches, and I think that's reasonable.
Why you stopping all ready ? My dad was still feeding every hour at this stage !
I have an 8 month old who still wakes 3 times a night for a breast feed.
I breast fed my first son and decided to stop night feeds at 10 months old but that was only because he was on a good three meals a day and having snacks.
I would not be stopping night feeds in a 6 month old baby.
I don't claim to be an expert but babies of 6 months shouldn't generally be waking every 3 hours to feed.
Could you inform my 18 month old please? He missed that memo I'm on my knees here.
If you can channel the zen and wait another month you might be surprised. Both my dd's improved once they were on 3 meals a day.
DD1 started sleeping without feeds from 7mo and dd2 is at least down to 1 feed which is amazing vs 5.5 months.
Think 6 months is too young to stop nihjtfeeds.
DD2 didn’t stop til about 14 months.
DS1 has stopped the last month, he is 10 months but he really just stopped himself.
Also just to add I’d say DS1 was at his worst around 5/6 months! Hang in there!
OP I feel for you. Not only are you tired and at the end of your tether but you're getting some pretty unhelpful replies on here too for those claiming to be experts on what is a normal amount of night waking for a 6 month old - they are no more expects that you. In fact, she is your baby - therefore you are the expert. If you feel she has had enough feeds during the day, then there is no reason why she then needs feeding every 3 hours at night. My 3 children all slept significantly better when I moved them into their own rooms, especially as you say she woke when you went to bed. I also used to really hesitate before a night feed by trying to settle back to sleep or checking the nappy etc to rule out all other possibilities before resorting to a feed. That's my only advice. Good luck
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