K.L. asks from Brighton, CO on September 01, 2010
Weaning Night Feedings - Brighton,CO
My son is 4 1/2 months old and still eats about 3 times between 10ish pm and 7am. How do I know if he is ready to drop those feedings? During the day, he eats every 2.5 hours. During the night, MAYBE sometimes he goes 3 hours. Once in a blue moon he has miraculously gone 4.5-5 hours between feedings. But never consistently. In fact, not much is consistent about him! Lately, he does consistently wake around 7:10am, but from there on out, the day is different every day.
I'm reading the Sleep Easy Solution, and I also have Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, though Dr. Weissbluth doesn't seem to address the fact that some babies still need to eat at night. I may have missed it....
Any suggestions Moms?
J.P. answers from Boise on September 02, 2010
My daughter is almost 4 months and is sleeping through the night now (8:30-6:30 for feedings, she goes to sleep about 9:30/9:45). We only ever had 2 night feedings with her, and I would side lie in the dark to feed and she pretty much feel asleep at the end, and I would put her back to bed. She seemed to get up at the same time each wake up, so it seemed more habit than need to me. I started "weaning" by letting her cry for about 3 minutes before going to her. I would then soothe her and if she was still upset, I would then feed. I went longer with the crying and soothing, and she eventually went back to sleep, or just stopped waking up. Now, in the mornings, I have to wake her up and even though she isn't always interested in eating right away, so I know that she isn't starving. Plus, she has the right number of diapers, and is roly-poly and happy.
J.V. answers from Chicago on September 02, 2010
Weisbluth does address it: he says at one point that some babies need two feedings a night till 12 months.
I have an almost 9month old. He is still getting up because he is hungry!
At 4.5 months, he is too young to night wean. You have to wait till 6 months, and then you can try, but at 4.5 he is too young if he is only going 2.5 hours during the day. When he gets to around 4 hours during the day, you may be able to get a good 8 hour stretch at night. Some babies need the food. Just hang in there, adn then at 6 months, give it a try.
This is how you know if they need it or not: gradually reduce the time you feed at one feeding at a time. So, during the first feed, go one minute less tonight. Then tomorrow night, go another 30-60 seconds. If he is OK with the less time, then you know he doesn't need it, and within a week of reducing the time, he will stop waking. Once you've eliminated one feed, you move on to the next one.
You can use this method to move feedings. So, my son currently wakes between 2-3. I'm weaning him, and now he is waking an hour after I feed him (he is still hungry, like I said). My hope is that in a few more weeks, he will just wake at the later time. Then, I will try to move him to just nursing when he gets up for the day, but right now, he needs food about 8-9 hours after waking.
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W.D. answers from Chicago on September 02, 2010
All babies are different. At 4 1/2 mo yours is obviously telling you hes hungry. At that age I would continue to feed when they want to eat. Heck, even if he's waking up to just be soothed.... I would soothe him. Again, at that age.....you can't spoil him. He needs his mom. Either cause he's hungry or he just wants to know you are there. I know it seems like there is no end in sight.....but there is. This won't last forever! He'll be sleeping longer stints before you know it. Is he needing a diaper change? Is it too dark? Too bright? Too cold? Too hot? Too quiet? Too loud? All these things could be factors in helping him go longer between waking too!
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A.R. answers from Denver on September 01, 2010
I had a similar situation with my first. He would nurse every 2 - 3 hours all day and night. He's 4.5 now, but I distinctly remember having to cut him off from each of those night feedings or I would lose it. The first was the midnight (I would feed him around 9 pm). At about 5 months, I was starting him on some solids during the day, I stopped the midnight feeding. It was rough the first night, he cried about 30 minutes. I would go in the room every few minutes or so. The second night he only cried maybe 15 minutes, and by the 3rd night he was sleeping through to the next one, around 2 or 3 am. I cut that one out about 9 months, same way. He was never a good all night sleeper, but after I stopped nursing him during the night, whenever he woke up, he wouldn't try to nurse. My daughter was completely different, she just started sleeping longer on her own through the night.
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J.K. answers from Phoenix on September 01, 2010
My son is 4 1/2 months also and he sleeps for 10-14 hours at night. My fourth child did too (this one's my fifth). My son isn't a napper or will just cat nap so he's tired at night. Plus, I breastfeed him every hour or two during the day.
R.Y. answers from New York on September 01, 2010
My kids were mostly on formula and we got to only 1 night feeding around 3-4 months. 2 things that help are a feeding right before your go to sleep (wake the baby up and feed, even if they eat less) and cluster feed in the evenings (add an extra feeding and make them closer together). Good luck
J.P. answers from Denver on September 02, 2010
All babies are different. My oldest ate every two hours around the clock until he was 11 months old. My youngest would sometimes go 4 hours stretches even as a little tiny guy--totally different. I would say that he probably still needs the nourishment at night.
T.L. answers from Columbia on September 01, 2010
I dont think theres really a way to wean them. Ive heard a couple mommy's talk about putting their kids to bed and go get them in the morning refusing a night time feeding or anything, i dont agree with that, i let my daughter tell me when she was ready. shes 9 months old and has been sleeping aprox 13 hours a night for the past 3 months, sometimes waking up for 1 feeding between 4 & 6am. shes always been a good sleeper though but she needed 1-2 feedings for the first like 6 months. I say give him time, he will eventually quit waking up for the feedings.
J.C. answers from Anchorage on September 01, 2010
I tried other comfort techniques rather than going straight to food when my boys woke, and they both started sleeping through the night (from 8 until around 6) shortly after one month. They were both breast and formula fed, so the formula may have helped them sleep earlier, I am not sure about that.