Night Feedings ??

Erin - posted on 02/03/2011 ( 327 moms have responded )

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My almost 8 month old wakes up every 2-3hours at night for a bottle still. What are some tips or techniques to help wean him from night time feedings or will he eventually outgrow this?

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Martha - posted on 02/13/2011

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Check with Pediatrcian - he is probably old enough to not need feeding during the night. If so, you need to put him back to bed and let him learn to self-soothe. (crying is not necessarily bad for a child)

Hayley - posted on 02/13/2011

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my son is alomst 9months old and still does night feeds i just think if they r asking for it he must need it, as he doesnt have a dummy or anything i think its a soother as well to get him back off to sleep but i would say if it is affecting your sleep the last bottle u give your child feed them hungry baby formuler as its thicker and fill them up for longer hope this helps

[deleted account]

.....And yes, babies ARE meant to sleep through the night at this age. Babies do not need night feedings past 2-3 months. Your pediatrician could tell you that if you ask for an honest answer.

[deleted account]

I completely agree with Kerry Heavisides. I have not read the book she is suggesting, but my husband is a physician and we have has so many discussions about healthy sleep habits (mostly due to older adults in our family and their sleep problems--but it applies to children also) and I believe this is a learned behavior 100%. According to what I have learned, babies go through the sleep cycle many more times during the night than adults do. As a result, they reach that point where they wake easily several times during the night. The key is teaching them how to put themselves back to sleep. If we walk in, pick them up, rock them and feed them, then they have no reason to put themselves back to sleep. Who wouldn't want all that wonderful time with mommy? My first two children slept through the night at 2 months. With my third child, we were making a lot of transitions, (moving, staying in other people's homes) and due to guilt on my part about all the upheaval in her life, I didn't push her to learn the same habits of my other two. I finally realized when she was 10 months old, that she was TEN MONTHS OLD AND NOT SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!! How crazy is that? So I immediately began teaching her to sleep through the night and after a week, she was doing it. I did it just as suggested (though I didn't give water-that's a good idea) and didn't turn on any lights, didn't pick her up and tried to soothe her in her crib until she went back to sleep. I intentionally spent less time each night doing this (and she would cry, but it got shorter every night) and by the end of the week, she was sleeping through the night. I wish you blessings as you start down this path. It is so worth it for both you and your baby. You will be a different mom once your baby is sleeping through the night. God Bless.

Cheryl - posted on 02/13/2011

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Cereal in the last bottle at bedtime. A wise lady. With 8 children also told me once to give water in the middle of the night-very shortly, they will quit waking up for it!

Kimberly - posted on 02/13/2011

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Babies aren't meant to sleep through the night at this age!!! My 7 mo still wakes every 2-3 hours to nurse...

LINDA - posted on 02/13/2011

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babies should be sleeping thru the night by 6-8 weeks of age! If your child is still getting u up for feedings at 8,9+ months of age, it's NOT the baby, it's Mom! Sorry, not to rustle feathers here, but it is. I have 4 kids. They are all grown up now. I had my kids very close together, so when my twins arrived, a good nights sleep for me, was non-negotiable, or i surely would have been in a white padded room.. lol
ALL of my kids slept thru the night by 6 weeks of age.. they went down at 9pm, and woke up at 7am.
This was my routine, hope it helps
Last feeding around 8:30
Bath right before bed
If they woke during the night, i did not go running into their room. All it takes is for Mom to do that once, and Baby has u all figured out.
Mom and Dad have their own room/bed, and that's where we sleep..
Baby has his/her own bedroom/crib, that's where they should sleep.
Now there could be extenuating circumstances around baby not being able to sleep thru the night.
For ex., if you're baby is premature and very tiny, the rule will change.
If you're baby is sick and for some reason falls below the weight percentile for that specific age.
Anyhow, i hope i haven't offended anyone... cause i know it's very difficult for young mom's to hear baby cry etc.
But its not going to kill them to cry a little. As i said my kids are all grown up now, and they are all extremely well adjusted young men, and very affectionate towards Mom..
Good luck ladies
The trick too is to be persistently consistent ON EVERYTHING

[deleted account]

It's a habit that needs broken. Your baby may stop this on his own but maybe not. There is no physical or medical reason he needs midnight feeding after 6 months old so you may need to focus less on the bottle and more on the sleep. Cut out a nap or wake him up 30 min. early from each nap. Let him cry it out for the first couple nights if you need to. He's not hungry he's just not tired.

Saira - posted on 02/13/2011

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My son is 1 (well in 2 days) and he goes to bed at 700pm, gets up at 12 for a diaper change and then at 330 for water. Then sleeps til 8am. When he was arounnd that age he was growing and needed more food. But my son has always been a fatty. (9lbs 8oz at birth)

Also if you havent started with food you should. Our ped told us that my son was ready at 4m by 8m my LO was eating 2 meals, 3 snacks, and 2 bottles. I think thats why he started sleeping better. After he started getting real food the botttles werent as appealing and he was staying full

Sarah - posted on 02/13/2011

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I have heard water works because they do not enjoy that near as much as milk. SO eventually they will not wake up anymore. It is proven that babies can go 11 hours in the night without having to be fed.

Susan - posted on 02/13/2011

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I say he'll outgrow it. I have an 8 month old nursing in my bed every 3-4 hours. She's my third and all I can do is shrug my shoulders and remind myself that, for better or worse, this time is fleeting.

Pam - posted on 02/13/2011

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babies need to be taught that they don't need to eat in the middle of the night. my kids ate solids and nursed before i did the water at night, and it worked like a champ. only in the middle of the night like at 2-4, but around 6 if they would wake, i would nurse them b/c they had gone "all night" w/out eating. never go more than 6 hrs b/c 6 straight ours is considered sleeping threw the night. wasn't suggesting water to replace a meal, just the night feeding.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/13/2011

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I wouldn't offer water to avoid the night bottle feed unless I was offering him food at some stage.
Keeping in mind that to be healthy there is no point replacing a "feed" with nothing. Without knowing how much he is drinking each bottle..
So it might just be time to introduce food and see when is best, and whether you start with basic cereal or fruit/veg/meat. (Never liked custards, think they're too sweet, and who eats custard! lol) I've been advised not to introduce cows milk until after 12months, so I never have. It's too harsh on their stomach (so with mashed potato I just take some out before I add milk for everyone else and use formula or water). Which is why i've always started with the plain cereal but they're suitable from 4months up. I think I start around 6months.
But if first you don't succeed, try and try again!

AnnaMarie - posted on 02/13/2011

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My 7 mo old started doing this at around 4 months. I was still nursing and was exhausted. It didn't matter when his last bottle was, when he last ate solid food, whether I gave him formula or nursed. I was exhausted, cranky, and it was a good thing this boy was cute.



Finally (I really strugged with this) my husband stayed in the room with him and I went to the couch and we let him cry. My husband would make sure he was dry, wasn't in any danger, and would pat him and tell him it was ok. After about 5 nights, he was sleeping through the night. I never thought I would recommend "crying it out" but it really worked and I'm much happier for it.



Good luck!

Pam - posted on 02/13/2011

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both of my babies, around 8 mths i started giving a bottle of water instead of nursing. it took a few nights, but it worked. they are just used to getting up to eat and they just need to be taught that they don't have to eat in the middle of the night. won't last forever!!!

Mary - posted on 02/13/2011

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Every child is different; I never had children that slept through the night until they where 18 plus months...but I nurse. Could be going through a growth spurt...every child is different it's hard to say sometimes.

Alyssa - posted on 02/13/2011

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All the other posts talk about if he got enough food or that this is learned behavior. Buthave you tryed shortnening his naps during the day or have him sleep less during the day? After doing this for a week consistaly keeping him awake more during the day he will always be more tired at night and stop waking up at night.

Jessica - posted on 02/12/2011

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eliminate one feeding at a time usually starting with the middle one (therefore making it 4-6 hours in between), and go about 1-2 weeks or more between when you eliminate the first and when you eliminate the next one. the first few days might be a bit rough, but in the long run, you will be much more rested and much happier!

Gillian - posted on 02/11/2011

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Nanny friend of mine says that you should pacify the child by whatever means other than lifting them from their cot. Reassure the baby, place a hand on their tummy or chest, talk gently to them but do not lift them. They will cry but it will be shortlived, and it may take more than one or two nights!

Bridget - posted on 02/11/2011

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Definitely start feeding her more during the day and a big bottle before bed. my doctor also suggested putting a little cereal in the bottle before bed so it gives them more calories and not needing to wake up to eat!

Cynthia - posted on 02/10/2011

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I forgot to mention I did do a little bit of what Terri & Laurie did too. Try what they mentioned too & you'll both be in good shape in no time :)

Katherine - posted on 02/10/2011

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Haha, I give my daughter water and it doesn't deter her one bit. She still wants her bottle.
I am having a huge problem.

Melissa - posted on 02/10/2011

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re Dixies post I had friend who let her kid have bottles til much over 12 months I got frustrated when she told everyone they were lucky her kid still woke up in the night for bottles. I told her once look thats your choice to fed your child over night he doesnt need a bottle you are just making him over wieght so dont complain your tired. She didnt respond and I felt bad but it had to be said. You just have to give them a bottle of WATER no formula

Laurie - posted on 02/10/2011

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I had the same issue, my daughter loved her bottles!! I switched to water for maybe a week or less (she was mad) then switched to just picking her up to soothe her, then just soothing her in the crib and then not going in at all. It's not easy but it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. Good luck!

Terri - posted on 02/10/2011

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What I did at 6 months was let my baby cry for 5 minutes, then went in to calm her down but did not feed her, then let her cry for 10 minutes went in again and if that doesn't work do 15 minutes. It only takes a few nights of this to work. My kids never made it past ten minutes. My pediatrician suggested this to me and it worked like a charm

Cynthia - posted on 02/10/2011

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Make sure he gets enough food during the day like for example 3-4 meals a day with 2-3 snack times in between like puff snacks & a 2-3oz bottle of formula. With all that taken care for the day time then your baby well off to Ferberize him during the night meaning letting your baby cry it out. I hope this helps because that is what we learned & did & we've been able to all sleep through the night for maybe 5 months now. Google it if you want more details. Let me know if that helps. It's only a habit that needs to be broken. Takes less then a week to get it down. Might be tough but it's totally worth it.

Charlie - posted on 02/10/2011

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Hiyahmy boy was wakin the same but until he ws 14munths old try swapping his milk for water then after few days he will realise its not worth wakin for then he should sleep through xx

~Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2011

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Ladies,

Let's not bicker over breastfeeding - it's not the subject of the post.
Please stay on topic, or this thread will be shut down....and that won't help the OP with her question, now will it?
Thank you.

Jenn
WtCoM Mod

Carolyn - posted on 02/10/2011

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..and BTW I DID enjoy breast feeding my babies. It is a wonderful feeling to nuture your child.

Tiffany - posted on 02/10/2011

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He probably isn't even hungry he is just so used to the feedings that he is on a routine. He needs to learn how to soothe himself back to sleep. Just let him cry. In a week he should be sleeping through the night. The older he gets the harder it's going to be.

Carolyn - posted on 02/10/2011

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Read what I said! (I only breastfed unto she was just over 2..)..what I said was that she didn't sleep through the night until over 4. I would sometimes get in her bed with her...and end up going to sleep myself! But she is a very well adjusted adult now.....and that is rather a rude remark!

Christy - posted on 02/10/2011

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Reading these posts makes me appreciate my own mother. She would get up to change my (cloth) diaper, nurse me and rock me back to sleep. I'm so glad that she was still nursing me when I was two (in part due to my own persistence). Because of that decision for 'extended' breastfeeding, she had milk for me when there was none available (my Dad was stationed in a remote part of South Korea as an Army chaplain). Also, because she allowed me to sleep in their bed, I am now alive to post this. Because I was near my parents (further away from the exhaust) and my mother woke up with a bad headache, I survived a potentially lethal circumstance. If I had been sleeping by myself in another room, the one closer to the heater, I very likely would have died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Thanks for keeping me safe, Mom. 

Sara - posted on 02/10/2011

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Sometimes babies have thyroid problems or a condition where they always feel like eating or it could be attention seeking if you are really concerned talk to your pediatrion hopefully you can get some answers there some areas have nurses you can call or guide to a service that can help. My area has several parenting service I don't know what I would do with out and alot of them are free. Sometimes it is nice just to get out of the house.

Dixie - posted on 02/10/2011

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I never let my little boy cry himself to sleep. He was the most loved child on this earth. At 52 years old now....he still is. Cuddle the baby close to you, pat his little back until he goes back to sleep. I gave him a pacifier, that way he didn't get too much to eat at night, didn't burp it up, and wasn't overweight. Don't get into the habit of putting him in bed with you or he will be there when he is going to school. Breast feeding a child that is four years old is disgusting. Who liked it most, her or you?

Carolyn - posted on 02/10/2011

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I have 5 children, and all of the them woke for night (breast) feeds until over a year old...the 5th didn't sleep through until she was about 4 years. Co-sleeping is the way to get sleep yourself. ALL kids grow out of it eventually. Enjoy the cuddles and being needed while you can. When teething or unwell, babies go back at least one stage, and need extra comfort during the night. If they don't learn they can trust and rely on Mum to comfort them...what does this teach them about life? My opinion is that it is cruel to leave a small child to cry itself to sleep.

Dixie - posted on 02/10/2011

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Waking up for a bottle is a habit that won't be broken until you stop giving him the bottle. That is like wanting to stop smoking, but every time you have the urge, you smoke a cigarette, then wonder why you can't quit. It doesn't take a genius to figure this one out.

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2011

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After 4-6 months, there is no reason you should be getting up for night feedings. My pediatrician would state just as most, let them cry it out. You can slowly wean them from the comfort of it as well if you cannot let them cry it out but if you know they ate before bed and were changed and safe, your baby will soon enough realize that it is time to sleep and he will learn to soothe himself back to sleep instead of crying and waking you.

Lu - posted on 02/10/2011

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I used the book "On becoming babywise" by Gary Ezzo and my three kids were sleeping through the night by 2 months. I know there are some people who disagree with it, but for me it was a life saver.

Sabine - posted on 02/10/2011

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Hi, I always see that people want to know what is right or wrong instead of "asking" their kids what they need. When your baby cries at night then it clearly says that it's hungry or needs you otherwise - what else do you need to know?
I always see that education menas manipulation - but why? I udnerstand that you want to sleep, okay ... did you ever try to sleep with your baby?
In nature babies are dependent of the near mother or being on matoher's arms to survive. That means that ba bies come to the world with an instinct that they must be on mother's arms EVERY time the whole day - or s.o. else's arms. Our education means isolation that menas death to the baby from their origin when they had been made or planned or how you would say that. So normal life of a baby would mean being 24hours together with mother or other people of the famlily or groul where they've been born. But this simple truth is forgotten by all people who think about education. Perhaps it helps and baby's only hunger is being near to you to feel sure and SECURE acccording to natural instincts! Have fun with your little one and don't forget to ask your baby what it needs :)

Christy - posted on 02/10/2011

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Eventually he will be asking for the car keys. Enjoy the time when he still wants to cuddle. Also, you could give co-sleeping a try... :))

Connie - posted on 02/10/2011

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One thing that could impact it is if they are eating solid food yet and how much they eat before going to bed. My 7 month old is nursed before 6 pm, has 2 tbsp of pureed food and 2 tbsp of infant cereal, then i nurse her again around 7:30 (after bath). She is asleep before 8 and sleeps through the whole night. Before i started the pureed food she was waking up during the night because she was hungry. But eventually they do just stop taking a bottle during the night. I would even consult with the pediatrician.

Melissa - posted on 02/10/2011

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@ Christine babies can have dairy, they make baby yogurts from 6 months I buy them for my girl and we have never heard otherwise with the first either who was told what to be fed by her dietician :) Im not too sure where people get this idea about dairy but Ive seen it a few times on here

Mary - posted on 02/10/2011

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sounds like he is hungry... my oldest was too... i would pump my milk so that i could add oatmeal and banana cereal to it. he was satisfied for 8 hrs... we both felt alot better!! good luck

Christine - posted on 02/10/2011

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@Meredith Harrell - about the yogurt. Babies should not have dairy until at least 1 year of age.. they can't digest it.. it can cause their stomach to bleed according to my pediatrician.

Christine - posted on 02/10/2011

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Every night we wake up throughout the night, it's part of our sleep cycle. I think it's like every 1 1/2 hours. We don't remember it because we fall back asleep but if your baby doesn't know how to get himself back to sleep then he will wake up. If he's waking up in regular intervals (ie every 2 hours) then I think this is what is going on and the solution is to teach him how to self soothe to get himself back to sleep. It sounds like right now his method is to eat. I'm not really sure if they just naturally outgrow it or if you need to help encourage it. I think at some point it just becomes habit/expected so I would think you would need to make a change to get him to sleep through the night. There's lots of different options/methods. I read some in What to Expect the First Year though I'm sure there's lots of places you could check for advice at.

Melissa - posted on 02/09/2011

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they dont need a bottle from 6 months its reccomended you just let them have a bottle of water.

Pam - posted on 02/09/2011

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Ever see those baby clothes that say "Party, My Room, 3 am!"? Don't make it a "party." No fussing, just enough light for you to see (I used a night light pointed at butt to change em), no talking, singing, noise, rocking, make sure nothing else is wrong (or if they just want attention) before feeding. And some kids just have high metabolisms (a good thing when they're older).

Kelly - posted on 02/09/2011

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My son is the same age and hardly ever wakes at night (hasn't for about 5 or more months). Whenever he woke at night i would hardly speak to him and if i did speak it was in hushed tones and it was simply feed, change and back to bed - never had him cry in the night after going back to bed - he has always known that night is for sleeping not being awake and playing or socialising with us. Night is always a relaxed, quiet time..

Lisa - posted on 02/09/2011

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Your baby is expecting the feedings since you keep giving it. I think you should drop one feeding at a time, and unfortunately he will cry but will have to put himself back to sleep. You could possibly try water, but I think if he's eating and drinking well during the day, at this age he shouldn't have to drink at night.

Sara - posted on 02/09/2011

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My eight month old does the same thing he has two new teeth, but still drinks abit during the night. I feed him and change him them put him back to sleep he usually does pretty quickly. He eats during the day three meals along with his bottles in between. Homemade blended babyfood meals include for example fruit with his cereal (he started after the cereals where completed through there stages,some meats and vegies first) then lunch would be chicken,with squash,sweet potato fallowed by a cookie mum mum, supper pretty much the same sometimes I would add plain baby cereal to thicken things up. Milk products should wait until babies are a year or so ask your doctor also a site called caringforkids.cps.ca has a list on what ages stages to feed and so on. A few more sites that I have read from said that it is normal at this age to wake up also sometime between 6-7months they go through a seperation stage. See what happens and good luck

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