Raising your baby is tough, there’s absolutely no denying that. When some of the first motherly tasks fall upon your shoulders it can be overwhelming. You’re gonna have so many questions on your mind almost constantly. However, at the same time you’ll be on top of things. The important thing is not to worry, because you can handle it. One of the main concerns, of course, is the baby’s health. The second concern is feeding. The third concern is sleep. Many challenges await every mom when the time comes to deal with baby’s feeding and sleep patterns. Things can even get complicated when things like sleep regression occur. As soon as the baby gets a little bit older, you’ll be facing a very important question. That question is: when is it a good time to wean your baby from nighttime feedings? Night weaning is a process, but it swiftly becomes a priority for every parent, because no matter how much you think that your baby is content with the food its getting, both you and your partner will be yearning to get back to normal and uninterrupted sleep.
Another priority is to make sure the baby is still not hungry. Now, that goes without saying, but let’s make one thing clear right away; when it comes to night weaning, every baby is unique, so they will each be prepared to wean from night feedings at various stages, according to their own habits. It is also often very difficult to determine when the baby is ready to spend the entire night without feeding. It’s also hard to know the best course of action here, and the fact that expert pediatricians are divided on the subject doesn’t help either.
So, how do you truly know when the little one is ready for night weaning? There are a few simple steps and questions you can go through, in order to determine this. Meanwhile, you must Of course, growth spurts, illnesses, and teething will be factors to consider; during those times, your baby may need a night feeding, even though she would not need one under normal circumstances.
The Right Time for Night Weaning
Before you go through the process of night weaning your baby, you have to take the baby’s age into account. Again, similarly to feeding and sleep in general, babies have their own habits, so there is no one rule or exact step you can take here to be 100% certain if your baby is actually prepared for night weaning. What you can do is set yourself a few ground rules for your baby’s night feedings, and you should know that this particular system should be very effective for most babies.
First thing’s first, you need to consider the baby’s age:
• 0 to 3 months old: try feedings every 2-3 hours, according to baby’s needs
• 3-4 months old: 2-3 feedings during one night, and you can try every 3-6 hours, according to baby’s needs
• 5-6 months old: 1-2 night feedings
• 7-9 months old: single feeding, or you can still give two during one night
• 10-12 months old: occasionally a single feeding during the night
• 12 or a few months older: remove feedings completely
What to Look Out For
If you want to go through the process of night weaning your baby, here’s what you need to consider as well:
- Gradually give the baby a chance to find comfort in objects other than mom’s breasts. These objects can be anything from blankets, plush toys and such. Again, this has to be done slowly, and at first, the baby needs to see the object is as something that is also close to you so they can cuddle up against it.
- Going ahead with night weaning should happen at the best possible time. So yeah, you need to time it right. Important note: Do not make the mistake of moving the baby to their own bed/room before you have a night weaning system set up.
Why Are You Even Considering Night Weaning?
The answer to that is very simple. Sleep is very important for babies and for toddlers. However, sleep is also extremely important for parents. When you become a mom, during the first 5-6 months the chances of you getting some proper sleep are slim to none. At at certain stage of the baby’s development though, it will be time to get back to your own regular sleep patterns. That’s where night weaning comes in.
What Does Science Say
No matter what kind of advice you mean to follow, it’s always a good idea to know what science has to say on the subject. According to a particular scientific study, when babies start to wake up at night more often that is indeed related to breastfeeding. Of course, that’s other scientific research has shown that to suggest that baby wakings are is less present in breastfed babies, and that has led to the conclusion that moms who breastfeed get more sleep at night than those moms who use formula to feed their babies. The obvious must be stated, which is that it is hell of a lot easier and faster to breastfeed a baby than to get up warm up and then cool down formula milk. In other words, it’s logical that mothers who breastfeed are less active and may get more sleep.
What Else Can You Do?
Looking for more advice or help with night weaning your baby. Check out this pretty cool video below: