Ahh night feeds…a magical time for you and your little one to bond. But, it sure takes its toll and I don’t blame you if you’re wondering if now could be the time to drop night feeding.
Between 3 and 6 months of age, your baby will need 1-2 feeds a night – one before bedtime, or even a dream feed, and one in the early hours of the morning.
By 6-7 months, your baby will likely be around 12 to 13lbs and can probably sleep through the night (6 to 8 hours), meaning night feeds can be dropped completely!
Chances are, your little one isn’t going to wean themselves off that nighttime feed on their own, but they may show signs such as shorter overnight feeds or waking less often.
So, how do we nudge them in the right direction?
Check out my 5 top tips…
1 | Make sure they’re getting enough calories during the day
To do this, you may have to shorten or even change their nap times so that extra feeds don’t get in the way of their usual feeding times.
Older babies should be feeding around every 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours during the day.
2 | Keep baby awake for the last feed before bed
You need to ensure they get enough of a feed to see them through the night.
3 | Transition slowly
Going cold turkey probably isn’t going to work – your little one will wonder what on earth is going on if you suddenly stop feeding during the night!
If you’re breastfeeding, suddenly stopping night feeds could lead to painful, swollen breasts and can even increase the risk of mastitis.
Gradually reduce ounces, or spend less time feeding over the course of a week by one ounce or one minute each night, or;
Stretch the time between each night feed by 15 – 30 minutes every other night until your little one stops waking to eat altogether.
4 | Resist a feed if baby wakes up
If your little one wakes up during the night, don’t rush in with a feed. Your baby isn’t necessarily hungry, so give her a chance to settle back to sleep first.
If your little one absolutely won’t settle, give them a feed but keep interaction to a minimum and keep the lights down low.
5 | Be consistent
Don’t I always say this? Babies don’t like change!
BUT, they will get used to it so stick with it and don’t give up – they’ll get there eventually and you’ll start to get some much needed sleep.
If you’re still struggling to drop that night feed after following my suggestions, you can contact me on 07581 410015 to have a chat about how to figure things out together.