Should I be trying to wean nightdress or will she just do it herself?

Emma - posted on 08/15/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I am new this site so I hope I am using it right!! My little girl is nearly 7 months and exclusively breastfed. She wakes twice a night and I beeastfeed her. Some people ( you know the ones!!) have said I am making a rod for my own back by continuing to feed her at night. Will she stop this on her own or should I be doing something? She goes straight back to sleep after so this is the best way no to disrupt the rest of the family. I am not very good at leaving her to cry partly because I just don't like to leave her upset but also don't want to wake her brother. I guess I would love to hear that she will wean herself but maybe I am not being very realistic!! Would love some advice

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Janice - posted on 08/23/2011

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At 7 mo my daughter still ate 1-2 times a night too. At that point we were co-sleeping so it wasn't an issue. We did night wean between 9-10 mo. because she was no longer sleeping well in our bed and I knew that physically she did not need to eat at night. The transition was tough. Her ped. said that all babies should be able to sleep through by 9 months and that if they are waking to eat its out of habit.

First I just stopped feeding her at night by cuddling her but not offering her my breast. She was a little upset but it took only a few nights before she stopped trying to eat. The hard part was when we started making her sleep in her crib because she was getting up wanting to play in the middle of the night. It took less than a week of sitting by her crib verbally comforting her while she cried. It was tough but so worth it. As soon as she realized she could comfort herself she started sleeping on her own thru the night.

So, chances are she will not wean herself from night feeds but if you dont mind them it is really your choice whether to continue or not. I wasn't ready when my daughter was 7 mo. but was by 9-10 and as terrible as those weeks were I'm glad we did it because I hear the older the child the more difficult the process. Good luck :)



Oh, and other mothers who say that that older babies (over 6 mo.) only wake to have their needs met are wrong. Babies can learn to wake out of habit even though they are not hungry. Of course I don't think you should just stop responding to your child's cries one night but habits can form and when you are ready to help your child break the habit you shouldn't feel bad.

Anna - posted on 08/23/2011

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You're doing everything right!!! Trust your instincts. Babies don't cry to be annoying, they cry because they need something - food, change of diaper, or comfort. If you let your baby cry it out, you'll be ignoring her basic needs. Put yourself in her shoes, she's alone in her crib, helpless to get out, and can't express her discomfort. She cries because she needs her mommy to come and make things better. Here's some interesting info http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-p...

My son is 16 months and he still wakes up many times a night and I nurse him right back to sleep.

Katrina - posted on 08/22/2011

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It is whatever works for you. I wish I had night weaned at 9-10 months, but I was also getting up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I had to cut my son off at 1 year for my sanity. He dealt with it way better than I thought. It has to be right for you.

Emma - posted on 08/22/2011

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Hey don't worry about being blunt as I appreciate honest advice. I feel a lot more relaxed now about feeding in the night and just going to continue nursing her when she wakes and cherish those moments rather than worrying about bad habits. As you say I am sure she will stop when she

Vicky - posted on 08/21/2011

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7 months? sorry if I sound blunt (not meant to but not sure how else to word it) but that's still really young. My son fed on demand until he completely weaned himself at about 20 months. If he woke in the night then I would offer him a feed. The thing to remember is that they've obviously woken up for a reason, and if breast feeding is still her main food (no idea when you started her on solids but I didn't start my son until 6 months so he was still predominantly on milk at this age) then she's likely to be hungry over night as her stomach is bigger now. Also remember that she could be thirsty so if you do decide to wean her off the milk then you may still like to offer her water or something else instead, especially over the summer when it's so hot (my son fed a lot more in the summer).

[deleted account]

No advice, but I can share my experiences. Take what you want from them....

My twin girls were schedule fed from birth. At 3 months they were only waking once in a 12 hour night. I was waking them (so that my now ex wouldn't have to get up and help and he could get enough sleep). I 'weaned' them off of that by waking them closer and closer til morning. They slept 12 hours nights at 6 months.... for a month. Then they were up once or twice a night on their own til we started weaning. They slept through the night on their own at 14 months.

My son was fed on demand.... and he demanded it a lot. ;) He only slept through the night (10-11 hours) on a handful of rare occasions until he was 2. I gently nightweaned him by talking about how he was a big boy and didn't need to nurse at night anymore. I started that around a year and a half and it took 6 months to start working.

Those are my experiences and I'm content w/ both of them. :)

Emma - posted on 08/17/2011

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Thanks for the replies and interesting to hear different opinions. My son slept 12 hours at 4 months but he was on the bottle at this point. I too can not let her cry for long and it is just easier feeding her. She has a great routine in the day and falls asleep easy without feeding so when she wakes screaming I just feed. Fingers crossed she will wean herself

Bernadette - posted on 08/17/2011

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eventually she will stop by herself. My daughter had night feeds until she was 17 months. By the time she was that age, the night feeds were the only feeds she was having and it was the only way she would go back to sleep. If she asked for a feed any other time I could offer her a drink of milk instead, and she would usually take it. But during the night, if she woke up, it had to be a breast feed. She simply WOULD NOT go bback to sleep without it. For my own sanity, I had to continue with it - it was either that or listen to her scream all night and, apart from not wanting to do that to her, I also had to feed her back to sleep for my own sanity! It would have meant sleepless nights for me too. Instead, I would just pick her up and put her in bed with me and we'd both go pretty much straight back to sleep while she fed. So rather than building a rod for my back, it actually helped with the sleep situation because we'd both only be awake for a few minutes rather than several hours. And one night, she just didn't wake up and therefore the was no need to nurse her back to sleep. And then the next night she didn't, nor the next and then I realised that she was simply done with it. She never asked again except for one time a couple of weeks later when she was sick and wanted comforting more than anything. I comforted her with cuddles instead, and that was it. Done.

Emily - posted on 08/16/2011

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My son stopped nursing at night about a month or so ago, and he is five months old. I dropped the late evening feeding first because he started to sleep through it, and then he would wake up around four am to feed. Then after a while, he was sleeping longer and longer and now does not wake up until seven or eight in the morning to eat.
A lot of stuff I've read says that by 3 to four months old, babies can go all night without eating as they don't physically require it, and that by continuing to do the late evening and middle of the night feeding, you are training them to wake up at those times. Of course, if she really takes in a full feeding at those times, she may really need it at this point.

This is my second baby, and both my boys were sleeping through the night at 3-4 months of age. I did the Babywise thing and made sure they did the eat, awake, sleep thing during the day to order their eat and sleep cycles, and it seemed to work pretty well. I don't subscribe to everything in the Babywise book, but it has some great ideas for feeding and sleeping.

Emma - posted on 08/16/2011

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Thanks for the replies. It is good to hear your views. I feel happy with the night feeds and pretty used to broken sleep. As you say I really should cherish the night cuddles and hope that she will stop when ready. Alrjough i have a two year old also i only bf for 3 months so this is faurly new to me but i do feel very happy to still be feefing her. Thanks again.

[deleted account]

Many breastfeeding experts recommend holding off night weaning until at least a year old. Breastfed babies get about 25% of their nutrition at night. Does her waking bother you? If not, then don't worry about it. My first daughter started showing signs of being ready to night wean. She was 18 months. She would nurse for a second then be done with it and I would rock her, cuddle her or rub her back to get her back to sleep. So I stopped offering the breast and she was fine with that. I always responded though with cuddles, etc. when she woke. Not long after that she was sleeping through the night on most nights. Now she's just over 2 and is still nursing. She no longer nurses to sleep and she sleeps all night. They do outgrow these phases (really fast!) so enjoy the nighttime cuddles.

Amy - posted on 08/15/2011

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I wouldn't stress too much, I always fed on demand and some nights my daughter would sleep 7 hours before feeding and other nights she would be up 4 times. Like your little one she always went back to sleep after she are so my feeling was why am I going to listen to her fuss all night because she's hungry when I can just feed her and get back to sleep! All babies and kids sleep habits are different my son is 5 and a HORRIBLE sleeper even still to this day will wake up and get into bed with us. My daughter who is 16 months old sleeps a lot better then her brother but like I said there are some nights she frequently wakes and I just drag my butt out of bed. I would ignore those moms who tell you what to do and keep doing what you feel is right, unless you want to night wean.

Emma - posted on 08/15/2011

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Sorry I have just seen I put nightdress rather than night feeds!! Sleep deprivation!!!!

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