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How did you get rid of night feeds? Bottle fed, 5.5 months(14 Posts)
Just after some advice on how you managed to night wean your baby/child. DC2 is 5.5 months and I think ready to night wean. DC1 has a bottle overnight until 15 months and needed it (drank a full 7oz) but DC2 currently has a feed around 10pm and again around 2:30 but each time only has a few oz and has slept through twice (!) which makes me think they probably don’t need it and it’s more habit. In the morning they don’t have a proper bottle until around 9:30/10 (have maybe 2-3oz at 6/6:30 when they wake). I’d be happy with one night feed between bedtime and wake time and rather they took a ‘proper’ feed and have a proper feed in the morning then.
How did you do it successfully? Cold turkey and crying? Gradually reduce how many oz offered? Water down milk until just water? For the dream feed especially I always try to settle without feeding and have offered water but they cry until they have an oz or 2 of milk then go back to sleep .
For anyone thinking 5.5 months is early I know I don’t plan on doing any sleep training as such and I don’t expect them to sleep through it’s just they aren’t taking a lot and I’m sure would sleep better and more solidly without them.
I just waited until she stopped waking for milk. 5 months is very young and just because she doesn’t really need much mil overnight now doesn’t mean she won’t need in a couple of months times.
A couple of things to have in place before you night wean. Firstly, that you have an established way to get baby to sleep (ideally in the cot) that doesn't involve feeding. And secondly, that you've separated feeding and sleeping at naptime and bedtime - so feed before bath time rather than after, for example.
Assuming you have both these in place, 5 months is not too early to night wean. Perfectly possible.
My suggestion would be to move feeding up your 'ladder' of settling methods, rather than refusing feeds full stop. So have an established set of things you do to settle baby and apply these consistantly. It means you give baby a much greater chance of settling without a feed, if at all possible. So you give each stage 5-10 minutes or so, before moving up the ladder to the next settling method. It depends on what your established settling methods are, but one exams is:
1) put dummy in, tap dummy to encourage sucking. Wait
2) Hand on baby's chest, dummy taps if needed. Wait
3) Patting/shushing in the cot
4) Feed and wind
That means you have 15-30 mins of trying to settle without feeding and while it might not work every time, it may do occasionally and the times you can settle without feeding get more and more often over time.
This can only work if your settling methods before feeding are effective. If they rarely work anyway, then this isn't going to be a way to night wean because it won't work.
Also - increase the number of milk feeds given during the day, by giving feeds mire frequently. You need to ensure the bottles you drop at night are taken up during the day instead.
I just reduced the 2am feed and pushed it later until it merged with the 6am feed. 10pm feed didn’t get dropped til about 9 months once on 3 good meals a day.
If your LO wakes during night try dummy for a bit first? It may just be the comfort of sucking. Was for my ds. I just gave extra milk through the day when he didnt wake often in night.
5 months is much too early to be thinking about this.
It just happens when they either sleep through or are eating enough solids that they aren't hungry during the night and won't drink any milk.
This was at 9 and 13/14 months for both of mine. A 5 month old is ideally not having any solids during the day, but certainly not enough calorie dense food to keep them going through the night.
I just waited until she stopped waking for a feed. Luckily for me that was 5 months, but I don't think I would have even considered night weaning until she was over 6 months and on 3 meals a day.
Saying that, I don't know what it's like to have to deal with lots of night wakings for months and months, so I'm not judging anyone who chooses to night wean if they think their baby is ready.
I think you should revisit this idea when your baby is 9 months. 5 is quite early.
Thanks for all your responses. And I agree to an extent to those saying it’s early- it is it’s only I don’t feel she really wants milk is just waking out of habit IYSWIM. As I said I have an older DC who had night feeds for aaaages (although didn’t have a mad toddler to entertain in the daytime then so perhaps why I wasn’t as bothered about it...)
Will see how it goes @SandieCheeks I think your suggestion sounds good in that I’ll offer whatever she wants at dreamfeed but perhaps less at middle of night feed over time.
Last feed about 11 and then dummy if she woke or stirred around 3 then bottle when she woke. My daughter hasn't had a bottle since she was 12 weeks old though so don't know how it would work on older babies.
We had always been waking baby for feeds (she was small so never fed on demand, always on routine as instructed my doctors)
When she was nearly 4 months they agreed we could feed on demand through the night and see how she went. Took a week for her to sleep through. Every night she pretty much pushed her bottle back another hour and that was it... then she slept through. We always let her have a full bottle when she woke
Is baby crying at the 10pm feed? I'd try and push it later so they take more and hope they'll sleep longer. We do bottle and food at about 6ish and then dream feed at 11.30ish and that usually works. If not its more of a 6 am wake up
My DD dropped heres at 5 months by essentially refusing her bottle! She stir around 3ish, I’d make her bottle & she’s take two sips and fall immediately back to sleep! After a week of this annoying routine, I just went cold turkey and tried a dummy and/or cuddle and she went back to sleep. We did wean at 4 months due to severe reflux & on consultant advice. By 5 months, she was having a decent chunk of solids & we gave her porridge as ‘supper’ so I think that just pushed her through!
DD2 is 3 months currently & much like your DC, does a really annoying 1oz feed at 3am.. Obviously, she’s very young & I’ll keep feeding her for now but I’m hoping she’ll eventually drop it! She’s not a dummy lover though so I have less settling devices to hand!
We night weaned at 6m on the advice of the pediatrician. We did cold turkey and comforted him- dummy, patting, shushing etc. After one night he slept through and there's been a handful of times since where he's woken for milk (he's 2.5).
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