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When should we stop the night feed?

(9 Posts)
Sufi Mon 11-Aug-08 21:43:04

My 9mo DS has never been a good sleeper but since we did PU/PD at 6mo things have become much more manageable. On a good night he wakes just once for a bottle, drinks the lot and then goes back to sleep.

He wakes any time between Midnight and 4am for this feed, and because it's not at the same time every night and because he guzzles the milk, my feeling is that he still needs the food.

However, he does very occasionally sleep through and now I'm getting pressure to cut out this feed.

All this coincides with some sleep regression - up to 3/4 wakings - but I have been putting this down to him starting to crawl and walk and am prepared, though I'm knackered, to ride it out.

But MIL and CM see this as evidence that the night feed is encouraging him to wake up more than once.

Any advice? When is 'normal' to stop night feeds? Have other mums experienced sleep regression around this age?

I'm still using PU/PD on bad nights and he can self-settle.

rookiemater Mon 11-Aug-08 21:48:18

Have you tried watering down the feed by gradually reducing the amount of formula in each bottle.

It may or may not help with the repeated wakenings but the fact that he is downing the bottle at night means that he is using it to get his full calorie intake. Therefore if you gradually reduce it the theory is that he will end up drinking/eating more during the day.

I wouldn't go cold turkey, as you say it sounds like he is hungry, so is unlikely to go back to sleep without getting something in his tummy.

emskaboo Mon 11-Aug-08 21:49:04

No advice I'm afraid but I'm v interested as this is exactly like my son (8 months) smile

Just wanted to say - what business is it of your MIL and CM anyway - are you asking them to get up to him? Interfering nonsense.

Just lie grin and do it your way, which will be right for your son

I'm still feeding DS at bedtime, around 11, and then again at least once in the night, and then on wakeup between 5 and 6. He's recently turned 1. So don't feel like you have to take any advice from me grin

NellyTheElephant Tue 12-Aug-08 13:32:23

It is entirely your decision of course, (not your MIL!!), but I think most people generally agree that night feeds are not really nutritionally required once weaning has been well established, so maybe it is time (for your sanity too) to start trying to cut it out. I think the advice of watering the bottle down is worth a try (start with say 8 oz water and only 4 scoops of formula)and continue to reduce until you give only water when he wakes. He'll make up any additional calories in the day.

What happens in the night when you do PU/PD without giving a bottle? Does he settle again fairly quickly? With my DDs, once they were regularly sleeping longer periods my first reaction when they woke was always to make a big effort to resettle without feeding and I was surprised by how often that worked - and once I'd started resettling without feeding I found it got easier and easier as presumably they came to expect it. Both then ended up sleeping through the night quite quickly.

Sufi Tue 12-Aug-08 21:47:15

thanks all, much appreciated x

objectivity Tue 12-Aug-08 21:49:20

He will not need the night feed in nutritional terms but there is nothing wrong with continuing it if you/he enjoy it.

If primary concern is getting yourself a full night's sleep then drop it, now!

zuzkah Wed 13-Aug-08 16:06:58

Im going through the same with my ds, nearly 9 months. He's bf and what I do now is expressing and watering the feed as described above. First I try to settle him without it and if that doen;st work I offer him the bottle. We've been doing it for 3 nights and it's not as bad as I expected.
The most important thing is though, ARE YOU ready to give up his feed? Sometimes mums need to let go off the night time cuddles first and then the baby follows.

ten10 Wed 13-Aug-08 16:14:56

I stopped the night feed after he was getting three solid meals a day (so approx 6months)

the first couple of nights were difficult as he woke crying expecting a feed but instead i went in cuddled him and/or patted his back and sang to him until he went back to sleep,

the next couple of nights he woke but went back to sleep either on his own after a couple of minutes of crying or after a short amount of patting his back,

now if he does wake during the night he settles himself down without much fuss, often no fuss

and he has only woken crying during the night if he is teething or ill

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