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When did you drop your baby's night feed?

(16 Posts)
ZarinaCG Thu 07-May-15 21:51:05

Hi there,

Myy 9 month old daughter has refused milk since 4 months old and weaning has been a nightmare. Long story. As it stands she will usually accept a 4 oz bottle at 10pm via a dream feed and when she wakes up at 4am I will always offer her another bottle, which she tends to only drink a little from.

My question is that I can foresee that I shall have to continue with the dream feed for the foreseeable future but I am getting pressure from my mum, MIL and HV to drop these feeds as a 'normal' baby doesn't need them. My little girl has a relatively small appetite and will sip on water during the day. Am I doing the right thing in continuing with these feeds? Are there any parents out there with older babies who continue to need/demand a night feed which isn't detrimental to the baby?

Advice gratefully received.

Zarina x

FATEdestiny Thu 07-May-15 22:23:44

It is not detrimental to your baby to continue night feeds for as long as you are happy to Zarina. Don't feel pressure to stop unless you feel it is right for your child.

Not really in direct answer to your question, but an indirect comment. One of my sons started to refuse milk from 6 months when he was weaned. He's aged 9 now, so this was a while ago. Because he was milk refusing we made sure his diet was very dairy rich - yoghurt after every meal, milky breakfast, milk added to meals whenever possible, lots of cheese etc etc.

As he got older it because clear that my son did not like milk as a drink. While he doesn't mind milk as part of food, he still would not choose to have milk as a drink - including things like milkshake and hot chocolate.

So just because your DD is refusing milk now does not mean you must insist on her taking bottles of milk. It may just be that her personal preference to not drink milk is showing through now she is older.

SweetAndFullOfGrace Thu 07-May-15 22:34:06

My DD has a feed at 7ish when she goes to bed, another one at 10ish when she wakes up, another one sometimes at 12ish, another one at 3ish (sometimes she skips this one) and another one at 5ish. She's 16 months.

She seems fine with it (growing, happy, healthy) and honestly I really don't see any other option as she screams if she doesn't get it and she continues to scream (she is not the most pliable of children). We've recently switched the night feeds after midnight to water to try to ensure she gets more calories from solids during the day, but we only did that about a month ago.

omri Thu 07-May-15 22:56:10

Sweet and full of grace- I have exact same routine as you! Not happy about it- dd is 13months and used to sleep through up until 4 months old then totally regressed! She screams and screams until we give her bottle. I've tried to let her cry it out good few times but she simply makes herself throw up everywhere from all the screaming so you end up going in and picking her up anyway to clean her, the cot etc. painful!!! Also she shares room with 3 yr old so I have to try to keep him asleep too . I've simply tried to reduce the amount in the bottles... So down to 2oz or 3oz bottles now. Just wish she'd drop at least one of the bottles!
Watching this thread with interest as I'd love to get some tips and see what others do.
I'm back at work full time so exhausting still having to jump up 3 times a night ��

omri Thu 07-May-15 23:00:30

Zarina- sorry if I hijacked your thread! I don't think there is any such thing as a normal baby. Do what suits you and baby best smile

SweetAndFullOfGrace Fri 08-May-15 08:29:38

I think some babies are just like that, they need to be fed regularly - DD has always been a snacker and a catnapper; as a newborn she fed (ebf) 20 times a day, it was exhausting!

I've yet to see a sleep training thread that didn't include parents saying "nothing we've tried works" (or to say that it worked on one and was a disaster with the other one).

My conclusion is that sometimes a sleep training method coincides well with a development phase and baby starts to sleep better but often you just have to let them lead you as they will not be forced.

Our solution to the resulting sleep deprivation is a terribly romantic one - we alternate nights and we cosleep with DD while the other sleeps in the spare room - this way every second night is a full night of sleep and on our "DD night" we can blearily shove a bottle at her and go straight back to sleep.

We've been doing this since I stopped night bf when DD was about 10 months (I went back to work full time when DD was 5.5 months) and we're surviving!

flanjabelle Fri 08-May-15 08:34:40

I have only just stopped the night time milk and dd is 18Months. She has one at bedtime and one first thing now.

ZarinaCG Fri 08-May-15 11:52:47

Thank you for your replies. Fatedestiny, I try to include as much dairy as I can but I often have a battle with my daughter at feeding time. I'm not sure what it is but she rarely seems to be hungry and after 5-6 mouthfuls feeding becomes a real challenge so I guess I see the night feeds as valuable calories although there is a good point you make - she maybe just dislikes milk sad

Sweetandfullofgrace - you must be exhausted but I think I'd probably do the same as you - feed on demand. That said, you say your little one is happy and healthy so I suppose you could seek advice on how to drop a feed or two.
Co-sleeping has been the only way my husband and I can get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Omri, I feel you as my little 'un will cry until she has a bottle - not a dummy, nor a cuddle but a bottle and even then she'll only want a few oz. What if you were to give her a large feed during one of the instances of a night feed - will she be more likely to sleep longer? Say a larger bottle at 10pm? There is so much emphasis on weaning infants off their night feeds but I just don't always think it is practicable. You mention you started full time work? That change of routine I imagine is having an impact on baby hence the regular wakes ups - maybe over time her sleeping will begin to improve?

Whilst it isn't ideal, it is good for me to know that you all, including flanjabelle, have continued with the night-feeds way past your baby's early infancy. At local baby groups I keep my mouth shut whilst the other mothers talk about how well their babies have taken to weaning, how much milk they drink, and most annoyingly for me how they have weaned their little darlings off their night feeds at only a few months old. Grrrrrr. I am going to continue offering the feeds whilst I have the energy to do so (never been one for sleep anyway) and not let others worry me. I just have to close my ears to my mum and MIL ad limit my visits to the Health Centre. Thank you all!

higglepiggle1 Sun 10-May-15 16:15:11
If you skip to number 4 now you can reply to the "helpful advice" that it's just because your baby is super intelligent :-) Can I ask a slightly off topic question. I want to carry on a morning bf and a dreamfeed bf during the night but I'm back to work soon. Did you need to pump at work during the day to keep up supply or did you find night time and morning was enough to keep it going? Thanks xxx

Brandysnapper Sun 10-May-15 16:22:30

If it helps, my ds is almost three and still has a feed most nights.

Brandysnapper Sun 10-May-15 16:23:57

Higglepiggle I work full time and found I could keep feeding just when at home without expressing (I think I did express for the first few weeks but then realised I didn't feel full enough to need to). This worked with both my dcs.

tinymeteor Thu 14-May-15 15:02:53

DD is 12months and still has one night feed, and up to 3 during a recent growth spurt (knackered is not the word). She can settle off to sleep without a feed, so it's not part of her sleep associations, she just gets hungry. With a feed, we get to sleep to 7.30 or later. Without it, she'd be restless from about 3am and up by 5. I blame her dad - he quite often wakes up starving in the middle of the night, and he's 35...

Sod whether it's "normal" at that age. You know your baby; if she needs the feeds and you're happy to do them, cross it off your list of things to worry about.

TarkaTheOtter Thu 14-May-15 15:07:44

Zarina have you tried offering water in the bottle instead of milk. Sorry if you've already said and I missed it.

Brandysnapper Thu 14-May-15 21:45:05

The water thing works for a kit of people, not me though - Ds flung the bottle across the room in disgust!
At 9 months I really would feed her, especially as she doesn't drink much during the day.

badg3r Thu 14-May-15 23:21:55

If you're happy feeding her as you are I wouldn't worry about changing things, you know your baby best and everyone is different!

higglepiggle1 Fri 15-May-15 20:26:42

Thanks Brandysnapper that's good to know

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