Feeding | Nighttime Weaning
Episode 3| Nighttime Weaning
Hey, hey, welcome to episode four of the early parenting podcast. So today's episode, we are looking at what some of the signs are, that you might be observing, to determine whether it is time to drop one or a couple of your baby's feeds overnight. So listen on to find out what my top signs are for dropping a night feed.
This episode is brought to you today by my free Clean Sleeping Guide that I have on my website. You can access this baby at www.jenniferbutler.com.au/clean-sleeping Now guys, this guide is the first step I take parents through when I'm looking to help them improve their baby or toddlers sleep. You are literally getting free access to the first pillar of my Triple C Approach that I use to improve baby and toddler sleep. So head on over and download yourself a copy today, jenniferbutler.com/clean-sleeping. Okay, let's get into today's episode.
All right, signs your baby might be ready to drop a night feed:
Number one: your baby isn't interested in a feed when he or she wakes up. So if you find your starting the day and maybe offer the breast or the bottle, and your baby just flat out refuses it, and they don't even seem that interested even a half an hour later, this is a sign that they're having too much overnight. We want babies to wake up hungry just like you and I. Having that break from feeding overnight is excellent for the digestive system, hence the whole "break fast with breaking the fast" and whilst babies, dependent on the age, will have varying needs for their overnight feeds, a sign that perhaps one of the night feeds can at least be dropped is that they aren't interested in that morning feed and certainly aren't interested for a little while upon waking.
So sign number two: your baby takes a feed but maybe it's short, they're distracted or they don't seem very interested in it. So if your baby's only doing like a quick five minute feed and it's almost like they're just hopping on out of habit or they're so busy in wanting to go on to whatever activity they want to do next, then again it's like point one, yes they'll take a little sip, but that first feed of the day should be a lovely big feed, it should signify that they've had a decent rest from feeding and that their hunger levels are high. And for the formula fed baby, what that is going to look like is that their morning bottle is of a smaller quantity, especially if it's significantly smaller than what they would usually take, this can be a sign that they've had too much overnight.
Number three: the feed they take overnight is short or only a small volume. So in terms of breastfeeding, if your baby seems to only have a feed enough to just suck themselves off to sleep, then this isn't really considered a feed, more it's just a form of comfort. And that's absolutely fine if you don't mind giving that, but if you're concerned about it affecting your baby's hunger levels during the day, then that can be a sign that they don't need that feed. For a bottle fed baby, if they only have a small amount, less than a hundred mils, then this too is just like the breastfed baby in that it's almost just for comfort rather than it actually being for hunger level.
Number four: your baby is well established on solids. So a baby that's having three meals a day, good volumes of food, is still taking some milk feeds during the day, whether that's before their food or after, depending on the baby's age, and they're having plenty of water as well, then this might be a sign that it's time to drop a night feed. If they're getting all the calories and hydration they need during the day, then from a hunger and thirst point of view, they may not need to have an overnight feed. And as long as their growth is tracking as it should be, which of course you're going to be keeping in touch with your paediatrician or maternal and child health nurse to monitor, then this can be a sign that overnight feeds can be dropped.
Now point number five isn't so much a point about readiness to drop a night feed, but rather talking about it from a mindset point of view. If your baby's doing all of the above, but you don't mind offering an overnight feed to help feed your baby back to sleep and you don't mind that they have feeds overnight and maybe a few feeds, then that is absolutely okay and it should not cause you or anyone else an issue. For some people, they get to a point where they are ready to drop those feeds, or they realise that it's impacting daytime hunger and it's at that point that they decide that they want to drop some of these feeds. But like everything I say in the world of parenthood, if it don't bother you, it sure as hell doesn't bother me. You do you Mumma. Anyway, that's all from me. I hope that's been helpful for you. I'll be back again next week with another brand new episode, so I look forward to catching you then. Bye for now.
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