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When to Stop Night Feeding?

  1. #1
    Graham's Avatar
    Graham is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Tai Po

    When to Stop Night Feeding?

    Just wondering when is a good time to cut out night feeding?

    Baby Jeffrey will be 5 months old on 11th November 2004. At the moment, he usually has a proper feed at about 8.30 or 9pm, then goes to bed.

    He'll usually wake up at around 1am and 5am to feed. However, the last few nights he has only drunk a couple of ounces at each feed before falling completely back to sleep. Sometimes he can even be rocked back to sleep without eating anything! This has only recently become possible, as in the past he would be too hungry and have to eat his normal amount before we could get him back to sleep.

    We hadn't really thought about cutting out night feeds just yet, but one of the formula sales reps called my wife today and mentioned that at his age babies grow the most at night and there is a lot of brain development at this time and said that it is best for the baby to sleep rather than eat and that we should try to cut out the night feeds.

    Is this true?


  2. #2
    lynn cheung is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Tsuen Wan

    not true

    My son is now 12 and 1/2 months, he still wakes up many times during the night for night feedings (sometimes every hour or every 2 hours). He NEVER sleeps thru the night since he was born! So I never sleep thru the night, either.
    But I found a site:
    You can find it :
    Sleeping through the night
    More information
    What is normal when it comes to night waking?
    Sleeping through the night by Katherine Dettwyler
    It has great info abt night waking. It says that it's normal for toddler under 3 years NOT to sleep thru the night.
    They have articles about night weaning, too.
    Anyway, it's a good site. Have fun reading it!

  3. #3
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Hong Kong

    Babies do grow at night and there is a lot of brain development at this age (in fact through out the growth of the baby months most of it is brain growth). This is all the more reason that the baby needs to get the best brain food – breast milk - to grow with.

    At birth about 25% of the brain has developed. By six months the baby will have doubled its birth weight and 50% of brain growth will be complete. By 12 months the baby will have tripled its birth weight and 67% of brain growth is complete.

    It is estimated that a baby in its second year of life will get about one third of its calories from night feeds if it is allowed to breastfeed naturally. Babies of five months still have quite small stomachs and so need to have milk often. If your wife is finding night feeding very tiring try to brainstorm ways that will allow her to get more rest.

    And a final word about formula reps – remember that it is their job to undermine breastfeeding in whatever ways they can. Only by giving mothers worries about breastfeeding do they stand a chance of getting people to change to formula.

    Best wishes,

  4. #4
    jane01 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Hong Kong

    Just another viewpoint

    I should first say that I'm a mum - not a b/f consultant or any type of expert ! This is my personal viewpoint as a result of my experience with my daughter and every baby is different.

    My daughter (breastfed) was ready to cut out night feeds at about 6.5 months. At this time she was having 2/3 small meals of solids a day (just fruit, veges & rice cereal). My MHCN nurse (Australian) told me most babies were ready by about 6 months, with breastfed babies a little longer and I took this as a guide.

    Our routine was slightly different to yours. We had solids at about 6pm, followed by bath, last b/f and bed at 7pm. I also gave a dream feed (ie where I just picked her up and fed her without her barely waking) at 10pm. I found she would generally have a good feed then, as she was half asleep and not distracted. Then, no feeding until 5am. If she woke before 5am, it was for something else (teeth, comfort, bad dream, etc), not food.

    I believe my instincts were correct, because within 2 weeks she was sleeping through very consistently past 5am. During those 2 weeks she would just wake every couple of nights and I would offer whatever comfort she needed to go back to sleep, just not a b/f. At 9/10months I dropped the dream feed, no problems. Now at 18 months I boast that she is an excellent sleeper. Even when teething, she rarely wakes at night and sleeps 7pm-6/7am every night.

    You have received some good advice, above. Personally I think that both the formula rep and the Kellymom/Dr Sears/etc advice are selling you their own ideology, not what is good for you and your baby. YOU know your baby best. I think I previously read that both you and your wife are working. You both need your sleep - happy parents, happy bub. I think your bub is giving you signs he is ready, so you are very lucky.

    Good luck

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