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How do I wean my 6 month old off the breast at night?

(5 Posts)
legalbunny Mon 30-May-11 16:47:49

Hello, can anyone help? - my son was prematurely and had growth deficancy- he also has severe reflux. I was told to feed him a minimum of every 2 hours round the clock to ensure he obtained a safe weight, after much pleading this was eventually lengthened to 3 hours due to me not sleeping at all (He was fed by expressed milk and is now breast fed). He is 6 months old this week and has for the first time obtained a healthy weight - hurrah!!! I can now finally stop the night feeds- the only thing is my son does not want to. He is so used to being fed through the night he cries for hours and hours until I feed him. I have not been given any medical or any other advice about how to stop the night feeds. How did anyone else stop feeding their baby at night?

baileyslover Wed 01-Jun-11 19:31:28

My DS is just over 6 months and only dropped his 2nd feed in the night at 3 am. I haven't really done anything different, couldn't face controlled crying. We have started weaning but can't believe he is eating enough at 5pm to make him feel full, he has just grown out of it. I guess your options are controlled crying for night wakings, esp if your DP can help at night, or go with the flow and hope he grows out of it soon! Good luck!

kathandfinn Sat 04-Jun-11 08:00:15

There is a book I have read called The sleepeasy solution jennifer waldburger and Jill spivack which talks a about how to wean off feeds and you have to time how long each feed is for a couple of nights then you start to wake them an hour before each feed is due and each night you reduce the time you take to feed them by 2min the theory being they get used to having less and less until they sleep through. I have to confess I have been a bit lazy and haven't got round to doing this for my 6mnth DS but I have been thinking about trying it again. The book is a good read (I got it from the library) although for getting the DS to sleep it does use a form of controlled crying where you go into them at 5/10/15min intervals.

My big problem is that DS only likes being fed to sleep so I need to try and sort that one out so may start reading the book again

jaggythistle Sat 04-Jun-11 08:49:13

Jeez kathandfinn that sounds like more work than just getting up and feeding when they wake! grin.

CountBapula Sat 04-Jun-11 09:54:55

Depends how often you're feeding really. Some babies still need night feeds until they're 9 months old or more. But if you're feeding every hour or two he's probably using it as a sleep prop.

Andrea Grace's book has a method for this, similar to the above but simpler. You start with, say, 10-min feeds. Do this for a night or two. Time the feeds then unlatch, and put down awake but get baby back to sleep by comforting in the cot (cuddle/shh/pat/sing/whatever) - you don't have to use CC. Then reduce to 7mins. Same for a night or two. Keep reducing feeds until one night you stop and just comfort in cot.

At 6 months he might still be hungry at some point, so the way I've approached it is to pick a time during which you'll do the shortened feeds (eg 11pm-5am). Also, unless you're hellbent on dropping the feeds ASAP you can also just try settling without boob as a first tactic (maybe send DP in for this) and if it doesn't work just try again next time. Won't work as quickly or consistently but might give you a bit of a break, especially if you get your DP involved.

None of this will work unless your DS will settle in the cot at the beginning of the night (ie not being fed or rocked to sleep) so might need to sort that first - again, we used the comfort in the cot method. There was a lot of crying, but we never left him alone and he got the hang of it within a day or two.

HTH.

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