Please what can I do to stop my baby drinking milk through the night?(24 Posts)
I''ve found this wonderful website and I'm hoping please someone can give me some advice. I've looked on youtube and haven't found anything and I am on my own with my baby as my husband works long hours and I don't know how to do this. My little girl is almost 7 months old and she wakes up constantly during the night to drink milk. At one point a couple of months ago she got to a point of waking just twice and each time I gave her 150ml of formula. Then someone suggested to my husband to try to cut down on the amount of milk we give her during the night so we started giving her just 30ml of milk each time she wakes up. The problem now is she wakes up every 2 hours now for 30ml so what I've done is gone from her waking twice for 150ml a time to now waking every 2 hours for 30ml. My head is spinning, obviously I am doing something wrong but I don't know what. My baby sleeps from around 8-9pm to 7-8am, she gets to sleep fine and barely wakes when she drinks her milk, she just cries and cries, I give her milk and she goes back to sleep and so on. I don't know what I'm doing wrong please help me! Someone suggested to my husband to let her cry the whole night through and after 3 days his baby was sleeping through the night. Is that good advice? I don't know and don't want to make any more mistakes. I feel like I'm messing things up worse.
I'd go back to the larger amount of milk and see if that stops them waking so often. when cutting down on milk through the night it may be better to drop it gradually rather than go suddenly from 150ml to 30ml. I dropped 30ml (1oz) at a time over the period of a few weeks so it is not such a big jump
I wish I knew, DD is 13 months and I'm still trying to completely stop milk during the night .
Is she getting everything she needs nutritionally throughout the day? Have you tried offering water instead of milk?
Do you give her a big bottle/boobfeed just before bed? shes obviously hungry when she wakes up, so id be tempted to fill her right up before bedtime.
Also, she is still very Young and what you are describing is normal. My ds is now 21 months and only stopped waking for a feed about 2 months ago. We offered water instead a few times but that made him so angry we ended up with quite a few 4 am starts. In the end he dropped them when he was ready.
The other thing to bear in mind is that if she's draining the bottle, whether 30 or 150, you should offer more. We still offer ds 8 oz at bedtime because he'll often take 6-7, and I'm so over getting up and faffing with bottles in the middle of the night!
So that's my advice: offer enough to fill her, be aware that she may also be waking for comfort, that it's normal at this age, and ride it out.
1. make sure she eats lots in the day with protein at supper to keep her fuller for longer. Make sure supper is at least an hour before bed time.
2. give her a large bottle of milk at her normal bed time. When I say a large bottle, I mean as much as she can drink. If you need a second bottle then so be it. DS2 went through a phase of needing 12 oz at bed time, which meant 2 bottles as ours only really hold 8.
3. wake her up properly for another large bottle ( or two as I say above) of Hungry baby milk just before your bed time. Hungry milk is the same calories as normal formula, but the proteins are a different balance making it slower to digest. Waking her properly will ensure she takes the milk properly. If she is usually good to settle after milk (it sound like she usually is) then she will go back to bed fine. Change her nappy though as she may leak after so much milk.
4. If she wakes in the night give water. You may well get some crying with this. If you are happy to let her cry it out then do so. If not there are other ways of getting her to settle. There are books on it, pick up put down is one. I found CIO best. Controlled crying where you go in every few minutes just wound my babies up more.
5. Make a decision as to how early you are prepared to get up for the day. Treat this wake up differently to any night time ones, so she is clear what you mean. I personally have "wake up" time any time after 6am, and make it different by it being the only time the light goes on (other wakings I just use the light in the hallway).
I second water during the night.
I breastfed my 2, after 8 months went back to work so gave water at night instead of milk. They stopped waking after 2 nights. Not worth it!!
I never let mine cry, by the way.
Thank you all so much for the messages, really I am so happy to get a response. I am a bit lost I think. You've all given me fantastic advice, there's some good point there, thank you. May be 7 months is still too young to expect sleeping through the night, I didn't think of that.
Bonzo77 when you mentioned protein at supper what did you mean? I've only just started her on banana and carrots which she has once during the day around 12. Should I be giving her an evening meal as well? I normally just give her milk the rest of the time.
I think I will try the water, I didn't think of that. My baby most of the time doesn't finish all her milk before bed at night. I may try hungry babies then at night before sleep then water. May be it is too soon to be hoping for more sleep, I'm just really tired but I think that's normal too
Aaah, maybe you could be giving her some more solids too. By 7 months my 2 were on 3 meals a day (they often didn't eat much, but some days they did) plus 4 or 5 milk feeds.
Protein at dinner could be - cheese on toast to chew, scrambled eggs, cheese sticks, a bit of chicken to chew on, or a mushed up chicken dinner if you are doing purees...
Hi GoldfishSpy that's another good suggestion, she only eats a little. I am going to try then to go to 3 feeds day, I was only doing purees. This might sound silly but the protein meals you mentioned is it ok for her to have it even though she toothless still? she has her 2 bottom teeth coming out now that's why I was doing just purees, can she eat more solids then like cheese even though she doesn't have full teeth yet?
I think at 7 months they can have animal protein. I did purée weaning. They used to have cooked lentils pureed with some grated cheese, mackerel/ salmon / tuna blended with cream cheese, spaghetti bolognese where I'd pureed the sauce and served with couscous instead of pasta, cottage pie where i had pureed the meat bit. I've got a mini blender which did a tiny quantity, and froze anything left over.
In terms of timings I took my lead from gina ford, though adapted the bits that didn't suit me.
Used water with all 4 of mine and it only took a couple of nights.
from 6 months they can have meat, cheese, yoghurt, fish, pasta, bread, toast, all sorts of fruit and veg, etc. You should avoid whole nuts (choking risk), honey (botulism risk), high salt/sugar foods but everything else is pretty much ok to give.
Finger foods are fine from 6 months even with no teeth as their gums are very hard and they can use them to chew foods.
I would wait until your lo is more established on solids before cutting out milk. At 7 months mine had 3 small meals plus all their milk feeds plus a variety of finger foods.
Thank you all again, I've learned today that 1) I'm not giving her enough food during the day at all 2) I need to try and get her to drink more milk during the day, even offer her a second bottle 3) I need to read more, this website is great Can I ask another question?...Tomorrow night I'm going to try the water at night, do I need to buy bottled water Evian? or can I give her tap water put through a water filter? Sorry if it's a silly question I'm not sure that's why I'm starting tomorrow and not tonight..
Also...I didn't know she could eat all those new foods, I presumed wrongly that because she didn't have all her teeth yet that it wasn't possible so I'm definitely going to try new things now thank you
Don't give bottles water - mineral water isn't good for babies.
Try cooled boiled water. So put fresh water in kettle, boil it then let it cool. It needs to be new/fresh water in the kettle as water that has been repeatedly boiled will have a different mineral make up.
Tap water is fine as a drink from 6 months and only needs boiling for making up formula
In terms of food, our health visitors did a good session on weaning, which said to mash food rather than puree and to use finger food straight away. There was a good leaflet on it all that might be worth you trying to get?
Or is it in the 0-5 book? I'm not sure.
With finger food you need to be brave as they can gag, but that's not the same as choking.
Anyway, I'd be trying to fill her with fingers of cream cheese on toast etc before bed, lots of milk. I'd also be happy to give one big bottle of milk at that age in the night.
Ok thank you I'm going to try this all now! thanks x
Assuming you are in the UK and on mains water I'd just give water from the tap. No need to boil. If it's very cold i'd let it stand at room temperature as babies often don't like very cold drinks.
We are having the same problem with our 10 month old. He goes to bed at 6pm (early I know, but another prob to sort), and wakes approx 11.30pm and 2.30am for milk. Wondering if a dream feed at 10ish might help the night wakings at least? He's awake for the day between 4.30am and 5.30am and with a three year old too, I'm nearly dead on my feet by lunch
I reached same stage as you by 7 months and was worried DS would never sleep through. By 9 months he did. Sounds like you know what to do now but just to echo others that you can give her almost anything you're having and no need to puree at her age. But don't get obsessed with how much she actually eats. Offer her a range of things whenever you're eating - she may just lick them and drop them, doesn't matter. She's learning about food. At 7 months she still gets most of her nutrition from milk (until she's 1, when food takes over). Good luck!
Hi all, I wanted to give an update really on my progress..may be it's too soon...as was suggested on here I started and now give her only water during the night, I hoped she would eventually not want it but it seems I've just replaced her waking for milk every 2 hours to waking for water every 2 hours...she doesn't notice any difference, she drinks the milk as if it was water and doesn't refuse it or anything and there has been no change at all..I've also been giving her more foods than before as suggested proteins and more frequent meals, she's not that much of an eater just a couple of spoons here and there and nibbles but she is eating more. The sleeping is the same and I'm exhausted. One thing I forgot to mention is that she's very active during the day, she was fully crawling at 6 months and during that same month she also learned to stand up on her own...she learned to sit on her own at 4 months too...a few people told me that was strange..now all day long she just wants to stand everywhere and I've even seen her practising steps already...I was thinking do you think maybe this over activity is somehow linked to her waking through the night? I'm just so tired, I've tried the water thing and feeding more in the day and I feel like it's just never going to happen.
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