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Does reducing length of BF sessions during night help?

(5 Posts)
MsSampson Tue 05-Feb-13 14:51:17

So, DD is 6.5mo. Sleep regressed at 4 months, and never really picked back up. We have stopped feeding to sleep, which has definitely helped - the days of 8-10 wake ups per night are behind us, but we are still at around 4, with v early mornings, so I am considering some kind of night weaning, but I'm not sure I've got the mental resolve to withhold all night. And I sort of feel if you don't withhold all night, you might as well not bother, as it must be confusing - why does mummy shh pat me sometimes, and pick me up and feed me for others? So, I am trying to just reduce the length of time I feed her for each time I go in. I'm now down to 3.5 minutes per time. She's not waking up more often as a result of shorter feedings, and she's not at all hungry when she wakes in the morning, so I am pretty convinced she is not waking for hunger reasons (although who knows?). But, how short should I eventually get to - 2 minutes per waking? Does it eventually make a difference? Or will I still need to go down the route of shhh patting her through a few awful nights? Has anyone tried the gradual time reducing thing to great success?

NaturalBaby Tue 05-Feb-13 14:55:25

I did this with ds1, it took a very long time to cut right down to feeding for a few seconds. I also had to make sure he had a big dinner and supper just before his last bedtime feed so that he was full enough to wait till morning. He was in a bedside cot so I got to him before he woke up fully, and he had a dummy which I always offered first. In the end I did sleep training as he just couldn't self settle and I was sitting with him for over 1/2hr to get him back to sleep several times a day/night. It got a lot worse but then he slept through.

MsSampson Tue 05-Feb-13 20:14:00

Thanks, do you think the cutting down length of time thing helped make the eventual sleep training easier? I'm clinging on to the hope that I will manage to night wean her without any tears, but I think that is a bit naive! Did he keep sleeping through (more or less) once you'd done the sleep training?

NaturalBaby Tue 12-Feb-13 16:13:31

My hope was that by cutting down how much milk went in, he got used to sleeping without a full tummy so wouldn't wake up for more milk. It worked with ds3 but ds1 had got used to falling asleep in my arms as well which is why I needed sleep training. Hope that makes sense!

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 12-Feb-13 19:09:13

6.5 months seems a bit young for night weaning. I contacted the Breastfeeding Network in desperation over DS's 1.5-2 hourly wake-ups through the night for a feed when he was 7.5 months and they said about three feeds per night are about average for that age. How much is your DD taking in during the day?

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