Feeding at night is mandatory in the first 30 days of life, despite the fact that for most parents this causes a lot of inconvenience. After the third month, the number of night feedings is reduced to one, and after the first half of the year it may be absent.
Before we wean, let’s figure out when is the best time to do it. A newborn eats more often than a 3-month-old baby because his stomach is small and breast milk is digested within three hours. As a rule, the number of feedings of a newborn is reduced to 8-12 breastfeeding or 8 times a day in the case of formula. Night feeding for a newborn is especially important, since at this time of the day mother’s milk contains more calories and contains more nutrients than daytime. If we talk about the mixture, then here there are advantages, food lasting a day, ensures the continuous supply of all the necessary substances for proper development.
30 days after birth, the number of meals is reduced to 8-10 for breastfeeding and up to 6 times a day for formula. When it’s time for complementary foods , night feedings are completely excluded, acquaintance with new nutrition begins at 7-8 months with breastfeeding and from 5-6 months if the baby eats milk from a jar. Usually, children aged 6 to 12 months easily get used to the lack of night feeding, so pediatricians recommend weaning in the second half of the year. In addition, experts are sure that if weaning before the child is 3 months old, this can lead to vitamin deficiency and even developmental delay.
How to wean a child to eat at night
The rules are the same for breastfeeding and formula. For starters, make sure your child gets the right amount of food throughout the day – if he is undernourished, you will not succeed. It is better to wean gradually – every day reduce the time of night feeding by five minutes. When the threshold reaches 5 minutes, offer the baby some water instead of milk. If the little one requires good nutrition, explain to him that at night all children and adults sleep. So that he sleeps soundly without waking up, prepare him a relaxing bath before going to bed and give him a massage. Weaning stops in case of persistent tears. You can try again in a week or two, when the child is ready for this.
Also consider situations – the child may wake up not only from hunger, perhaps it is the need for intimacy, the onset of illness, unpleasant dreams, abdominal pain or teething. The need for intimacy is just as important as nutrition, take your baby in your arms and sing him a lullaby, most likely, feeding will not be needed. If you are breastfeeding, try to replace yourself as the baby’s father, so the baby will not demand breasts and will quickly calm down on daddy’s arms. Instead of a dad, a grandmother or grandfather can approach the child
How to wean a child from night feeding – video