3 Signs It May Be Time to Stop Night Feedings

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when to stop night time feedings

Parents can’t wait to get back to their full night’s sleep, but that isn’t possible when baby is still waking up once a night to eat. They want their child to sleep through the night, but no one wants to deprive a baby of food – so it’s a tough call.

These three signs will tell you if your baby is reading to stop those night time feedings. If your baby is showing any of these signs, it’s time.

1. Your baby spends more time playing than feeding at night

Some babies wake up in the middle of the night and cry out for mom or dad even when they aren’t hungry. Typically, they’re doing this out of habit. They expect to wake up and call for a parent because that’s how they’ve always done. They may become silly and playful, and want your attention more than they want to go back to sleep. Or, baby may have developed a sleep association they need met (like being rocked or held) to fall back asleep. If your baby isn’t hungry enough to want to feed, she doesn’t need to and it’s safe to cut out the mid-night feeding.

2. Your baby is eating solid foods during the day

Solid foods are usually a lot heavier and nutritiously dense than formula or breastmilk, so they take longer to break down. This means your baby can go longer without feeling an empty tummy. Once your child begins eating solid food at every meal, you can safely begin weaning them off night feedings. If baby is consistently eating table food (the same foods we eat) every meal, it may be time.

3. Your baby isn’t eating much during the day

This doesn’t mean your baby is a light eater. A baby who isn’t each much during the day but still taking a night time feeding is expecting that feeding. Her body has budgeted those incoming calories and doesn’t feel like consuming more during the day. Definitely don’t deprive your baby of food to encourage her to eat more during the day, just encourage more caloric intake during day hours so she’ll be satisfied during the night.

This is a rough guide, but you can also get an idea if it’s time depending on your child’s age. As always, make sure to learn your baby and decide for yourself if it’s time.

  • 7-9 months: Usually two or three night feedings.
  • 10-12 months: Usually one night feeding.
  • 12 months and on: Usually no feedings.

At what point did you know it was time to stop night feedings? How did you go about it?

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