How do I eliminate nightfeedings?

Erica - posted on 04/09/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone! My daughter, Juliette, is not the greatest sleeper, but she's doing a lot better than she was at 2 months. Beginning at four months, my husband and I are going to "Ferberize" and try sleep training. Before that time (about 3 weeks) I would like to get rid of 1-2 nightfeedings so she's only waking once during the night. She's demonstrated once or twice that she can go 7 hours without eating at night, so I know she's ready to stop feeding. However, I have no clue how to get her back to sleep when she's rooting and crying. I know she's hungry, but sometimes she'll only eat for one or two minutes and then fall right back asleep. I've tried having her suck on my finger, but she knows it's a trick and gets extra frustrated. Any ideas?

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Trisha - posted on 04/11/2010

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If you are nursing, the important part is making sure you still get enough feedings during the day to make up for those missed at night, this is also important for you milk supply. Remember though every baby is different and has different needs for nutrition. My first daughter slept through the night by 6 weeks but whenever she would go through a growth spurt she would wake up during the night for additional feeds 1-2 nights a week.

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Please have a read of the following research before you decide to Ferberize or sleep train:

http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/sleep-tra...

If your baby is upset at night, she needs to be parented and not ignored. Babies don't know that they are actually safe when they are left alone by their parents - they cannot conceptualise that you are not far away and will be back. The usual reason why they stop crying is because they have gone into a 'defeat response' akin to shock, not because they have 'learnt' to go to sleep. Listen to your baby - she still needs you. And remember - 'you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being'

Erica - posted on 04/09/2010

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Just to clarify...I ALWAYS pick up my daughter the second I hear her cry. If she's just fussing, though, sometimes she just falls back asleep.

Jessica - posted on 04/09/2010

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My Dr suggested adding 1tsp of rice cereal to my LO's last bottle (4oz.). I know many people are totally against this, but guess what? I know SOOOO many people who's kids have turned out just fine. My LO slept 8 hours last night. I can handle that!

Myra - posted on 04/09/2010

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Just because she has gone once or twice without milk for 7 hours doesn't mean she's ready to do it all the time. Before you go doing someone elses method, have you tried waking her every 2-3 hours in the day and just letting her sleep through the night? With both of my daughters, that worked great because they are still getting plenty of milk, but it builds the recognition of day for waking and night for sleep. Both were sleeping through the night by 6wks old. With my Jan 2010 baby, she wakes up about once a week or so and wants to suckle, but not take milk (after being asleep for 7-8hrs), so I give her a pacifier and she lulls herself back to sleep in just a minute or two; sleeps another hour or so. I don't use pacifiers any other time during the day.



She's a baby and just wants you to give her loving attention and cuddles. As wonderful as a full night of sleep is (for you both), she will not sleep through the night until she is ready. Not responding to her needs in a timely manner can cause her to actually fear sleeping later on. As a general rule, when mine do wake, I let them make all the noise they want before responding...any noise but a cry. Once I hear the cry, they are tended to immediately. You'd think it would spoil them, but my girls (22mo old and 9wks old) rarely cry. They know that's like screaming "fire!" because they've always been tended to promptly.



Sorry, I just don't agree with anything that goes against my own instincts. If your instincts tell you that "Ferberize"-ing is right, more power to you. But my instincts tell me to hold my child when they need comfort.

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