Why does my 10 month old eat more at night than during the day?

Tiffanie - posted on 03/17/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I have exclusively breastfeed my son since he was born....I wish to continue breastfeeding him until he is at least a year. During the day he will eat between 3 and 4 times, but at night it seems like he constantly is eating! He still sleeps in my bed and some nights he will sleep through the night and only wake up once or twice, but most nights he will wake me every hour or two. How long is this going to last? I have introduced foods to him and he is extremely interested in them, however, he doesn't seem to eat much. He makes a pukey sound while he is chewing the foods. He will play with all the food I set in front of him and attempt to pick it up and put it in his mouth but he wants to nurse after dinner. I am comfortable exclusively nursing him and would prefer it. But what if my milk isn't enough for him? My main concern is his health, but I want to sleep at night again! What recommendations do you other nursing mothers have for me?

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Minnie - posted on 03/17/2010

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Ten month olds are notoriously distractible. The world around them is FAR to interesting to spend much time sitting still at your breast. So he tanks up at night, when things are nice and quiet, cozy and non-stimulating.



Good for setting finger foods in front of him. Don't worry about him not eating much. And don't worry about your milk. Best way to get more nursing sessions into him during the day is make it priority- offer your breast rather than waiting for him to ask to nurse, and when you do, take him into the bedroom to lie down to nurse. Keep the room dark. That will likely result in longer more efficient nursing sessions.



I do remember at ten months my daughter waking very frequently to nurse at night, despite her nursing several times an hour during the day. This was likely due to a growth spurt and her meeting more developmental milestones. Things settle down eventually.



Offer your breast frequently and your supply will be fine!

Tania - posted on 03/27/2010

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If he is gagging while eating, he is not ready for those foods. Like the others said, 10 months is a very easily distracted age. Offer the breast often during the day. He is nursing more overnight to make up for what he is missing during the day. As long as he is urinating and having bms, don't be concerned about your milk not "being enough". Children can thrive off only breastmilk for two years. It is the only nutrition he needs.

Rachel - posted on 03/29/2010

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theyre all different. i remember this all night nursing with my son too. i think he was so busy during the day that he would nurse all night to make up for it. he didnt sleep through the night until he was over 2. my daughter slept well (right through the night at just a couple months old) and still does. They were both in our bed for the first couple of years, but i do remember being much more tired with my son. Just keep offering lots of finger foods, eventually he'll start actually eating more of that and nursing less. it seems like its going to last forever but it really doesnt.

Carrie - posted on 03/27/2010

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I can't explain why they eat more at night except to say that they are very active during the day so they don't nurse as often my 15 month old only nurses at night now cause she wants to go all the time now and she's been this way since she was about 10 months old!!

Amy - posted on 03/27/2010

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I think it might be the co-sleeping. He can smell the milk laying next to him. All of my friends who co-sleep feed their children multiple times in the middle of the night. You could try after the feeding to push him closer to your husband. do what is right for you and your family. As long as he's gaining weight I'm sure your milk is enough. The two friends i know also exclusively nurse and their sons don't eat many solids and are very chunky.

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There's two issues going on here as far as I can see, he smells you so it makes him want to feed more whilst sleeping with you and also the body makes more prolactin at night which is the milk producing hormone, I think it was my midwife that told me that.
I have a 2 and a half year old that I am still feeding, he went through a stage of wanting alot more feeds at 2 then I found out its because they have a growth surge, especially in brain development. I felt better when I understood why. If you feel you are needing more sleep you may have to distance yourself from him at night but that depends on whether you feel comfortable doing so and what you feel he needs too. I am sure if he has less at night then he would feed more during the day.
My other children weaned at around 1, but this one doesnt want to give it up so they are all different. As well as upping your calories make sure you drink enough water, that helps alot too.

Rachel - posted on 03/29/2010

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oh yeah, i definitely remember some nights when he did the 50 times of nursing routine and i woiuld just be so worn out- passing him over to the other side of papa - and this seemed to settle him down, almost like smelling the boobs made him restless, and then he would snooze away the rest of the night with papa. that always made me mad since i felt like i was just the milk truck and never got much actual snuggling. now they only want to snuggle when theyre contagious with something. ah, the joys of motherhood. oh yeah, dont worry about having "enough", your body will make exactly the right amount of milk for your baby. I never heard that night milk was more nutritious, but know that at the end of the day it seemed like my milk supply would get low and then when i would lay down and relax it would recharge. i think moms who are usually too busy busy busy all day and who arent eating enough calories have trouble with supply. you should be eating about 3000 calories a day - or add another 1/2 the amount to your normal caloric intake you would eat if you werent nursing.

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Most babies need more than just breast after 6 months and you may find your little man will eat less and sleep more at night if you can get him to eat some solids. The gagging may be because he is still learning how to swallow. I found my baby loves yoghurt and will eat it when she's not eating anything else. keep the food simple and offer the same thing over and over and he will get used to the flavors. Are you breast feeding and then giving him the solids straight after? I find that if I wait too long after a breast feed, my baby has a smaller appetite.

April - posted on 03/27/2010

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my 15 month old is still like this....we nurse between 4 and 7 times a night! only once or twice during the day! he doesn't eat much in the way of solids. he plays with it mostly but he doesn't gag...he's just not as interested in solids at the moment.

Tania - posted on 03/27/2010

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Night milk is not "more nutritious". The body makes more milk at night, however, and the fat content may be higher. Breastmilk is not more or less nutritious at any given time of day.

Anne - posted on 03/26/2010

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My baby was always very distractable too and ended up 'reverse cycling' very eary on. Some mothers encourage their babies to do this - it is the term for feeding most at night. My baby still takes most of her milk at night and she is now 13 months old. We don't seem to be able to get out of the habit. On the milk being enough issue, it's all he needs until he is one.

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