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Our children are unique and so are their feeding needs. We know with certainty newborns require night feeds. But what age should they stop? 4 months, 6 months, 9 months? It’s a topic of fierce debate (everyone seems to have an opinion) and the reality is there is no one size fits all answer. The timings will be individual just like your child.

If your child is over the one year mark, in good health, growing and developing well and on 3 meals a day it is unlikely he/she will require night feeds.

So why do they wake up frequently in the night to feed?

The first thing to remember is just because they are waking and your response is to feed them, does not mean they have woken up because of hunger.

Remember all humans wake in the night. But if your child is relying on a feed to help them to resettle after this wake up the issue it is highlighting is a lack of self settling skill and this should not be confused with hunger.

This can be a source of anxiety for a parent especially when you are used to feeding at these night waking’s and its hard to tell if its hunger or simply harder for them to resettle.

Other clues that show a lack of self settling may be the culprit include:

  1. Feeding to sleep at bedtime

If this is happening its no wonder your little one is looking for a feed to get back to sleep in the night.

  1. Settling beautifully at bedtime

You might not feed your little one to sleep at bedtime and their eyes are open when you put them down and they settle quickly and easily. If this is happening , it could be to good to be true! Its likely that they are lovely and sleepy from the feed and its making it all to easy to fall asleep so they are not using their own skill. Which is why when they wake in the night they need more and more feeds to recreate that lovely sleepiness they had at bedtime to fall asleep.

So the big question is how to move away from this?

First of all if your little one meets all the criteria like, age, eating well in day, growing and developing well etc have confidence in the fact its not hunger but rather harder that is causing those wake ups.

Instead of feeding your little one back to sleep think about other ways to comfort and soothe them off to sleep without the feed and something that you can gradually start to reduce as they get more confident at resettling themselves.

It will be a big change for all of you all but a very positive step forward in teaching your little one to sleep through the night.

You all deserve this. X


Do you need some tips to navigate night weaning? Check out this blog for more info:

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