To Night Wean or Not to Night Wean?
Updated: Mar 10, 2020
Are you ready to have fewer night feedings or completely night wean? Or perhaps the question should be "Is your baby ready?"
I am not here to tell you when your baby should be ready or what age you should no longer feed at night but there are some steps I'd like to tell you to help you know when your baby could be ready.
*Please note: these steps DO NOT apply for a newborn*
The VERY first thing you should do is... TALK TO YOUR BABY'S DR/PEDIATRICIAN
Ask them if it's time to cut back night time feeds? Are there any weight concerns? How often should they be feeding? Can you increase daytime feedings?
If he/she says they are ready to cut back night feedings or completely night wean then here's what you need to ask yourself next...
HOW is your baby falling asleep? Are they falling asleep with a bottle or while nursing? If YES, then you will need to teach them to fall asleep without those props and you will see a HUGE change in the amount of times they are waking. Your baby will start to cut back those feeds naturally and as needed.
If NO, are you giving them a chance to fall asleep on their own before you resort to feeding? Many parents feel that if their baby is waking in the night it must be because they're hungry. So the go to is to feed right away. If I knew that every time I woke up someone would bring me my favorite meal I would not hesitate to let them know when I woke up and I, of course, would not need it! Baby's are a lot smarter then we know and if they love that mom or dad comes to them with some milk when they wake up, they will let you know every time they wake up. Depending on their age you can first check their diaper, offer them a soother, check if they are too hot or too cold, maybe they just need a quick little hug to know everything's alright (but not to fall asleep during the hug), or simply they just need some time to learn how to fall back asleep without mom and dad's help.
Now if you have done all these things and your baby is still waking, then of course FEED them. Your baby just may not be ready to drop that feed.
Ever wonder why my moto is to help your baby sleep better and not just to sleep through the night? This is exactly why! I want to help you teach your baby to sleep better so that they sleep through the night when they are ready. Although 95% of the time, parents will successfully have their baby sleeping through their night during a consultation with me. The other 5%, still need at least one feeding during the night. And that's ok!
This is NOT medical advice, please always do the first step FIRST and seek medical advice from a DR prior to night weaning.
If you have more questions about whether your little one is ready to eliminate night time feeds, and you've talked to your doctor who has given you the go ahead, come join "Baby & Toddler Sleep Support for Tired Moms" Facebook group and get support from myself and other moms!