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Night Weaning


Night Breastfeeding and Night Weaning

Do you feel like you are breastfeeding all night long?

Breast milk is easier to digest than formula, therefore, babies that are breastfed will wake quicker and more often because they become hungry quicker.

Most babies will continue to breastfeed at least once during the night, through the first year. This time can be an awesome, as well as a frustrating and tiring time for Mom and Dad.

Here are a few tips, that could make this season in your life a little easier, even if you do decide to stop breastfeeding at night…


Night Time Breastfeeding Tips

- Co sleeping: If Mom and Baby are sleeping in the same bed, Mom could sleep while she is nursing. When her baby gets older, he/she will start latching independently at night.

- Keep the lights off: This will keep your baby drowsy. When you switch the lights on, it's like switching the “day switch” on. Breastfeeding with the lights as dim as possible, will keep your baby sleepy, so that he/she does not keep you up after breastfeeding.

- Swaddling can be very helpful for babies, until the age of about 2-3 months. Swaddling your baby, will increase the length of sleep periods. Moms can nurse their babies while they are swaddled, this keeps a baby calm and your baby might even continue to sleep while being nursed.

- Feed your baby before he/she wakes for a feed. This will ensure that your baby sleeps during a feed and does not keep you up at night.

- Remember that night nursing may become more frequent during growth spurts, illness and during teething periods. 

- Try to remain calm and patient.


How to Stop Breastfeeding at Night for Night Weaning

Tips on gentle weaning at night

- Breastfeed your baby just before you go to bed. This will give you a longer stretch of time to sleep before your baby wakes again. 

- Make sure that your baby is drinking enough during the day. This way he/she might not be as interested in the breast at night.

Night Weaning Breastfeeding

- Ensure that distractions are minimal during daytime feedings, so that your baby drinks more during these times.

- You can just say no. When your baby is at the age where he/she can understand “no”, you can just tell him/her that it's sleep time. Be firm, but loving and do not give in. A toddler can be told that “Boobies" (breast milk) is for day time “Boobies are gone until tomorrow” or something to that effect.

- Make certain that your baby finishes "drains sufficiently" at least one breast before bedtime, this will ensure that he/she consumes the hindmilk, which is high in fats and will fill him/her more than the foremilk.

Read more about foremilk/hindmilk imbalance here.

- Get Dad to take over for the night, if necessary, you can sleep in another room.

- Give extra love and affection during the day. Many times a baby wakes up at night just because he/she misses being held.

- When putting baby to sleep, make sure he/she is comfortable:

  • Teething can cause pain and discomfort and cause your baby to wake up more often at night. Give your baby something before bedtime to relieve pain, if you know that your baby is teething.
  • Body temperature. Everyone has a difficult time sleeping, if they are too cold or too hot.
  • Try to keep solid food intake to a minimum before 5 months of age, as this could lead to abdominal cramping and baby sleep problems.
  • Baby may have acid reflux. Read more about how to deal with acid reflux in infants.
  • Colds and ear infections can keep your baby up too.


Deprived of Sleep?

- Express some milk for your baby, before bedtime. Allow your partner a chance to give your baby the supplement. Avoid giving your baby an artificial nipple before 4 weeks of age. 

- Mom can start adding some solid foods to her baby’s diet during the day from 5 - 6 months onwards. You can add things like rice cereal or soft fruit. This will get him drinking less at night and therefore encourage night weaning.

Read more about introducing solids here. 



Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with breastfeeding at night and night weaning

- Night engorgement

- How to stop breastfeeding tips

- Reverse cycling - Baby swaps day and night

- From breastfeeding to bottle feeding

- Understanding why babies cry

- Working and breastfeeding

- Combination feeds ~ Breastmilk and formula


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needing a little reassurance..  
My son is 22 months old this month. He has been solely breastfed since birth. I am not apposed to him breastfeeding longer, but I am ready for him too …

please help 
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I don't see anything on here that i haven't done already...none of it works!!! I don't know what to do!!! My baby hasn't let me sleep since he was born …

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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr, Studying through Child birth international (CBC, CBD), Author and Mommy of two.

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