Night weaning can be one of those things which can rise lot's of questions. When is it ok to wean at night? Should I initiate it or should I leave it to be led by my child? Can I wean a breastfed baby the same as a formula fed baby?
When Should I night wean?
It is not recommended to night wean until your baby is 6 months of age and is a healthy weight for their age. If a baby has weaned naturally before this age, there is no issue, but parent led weaning before this age isn't generally advised.
You can explore night weaning if your baby is over 6 months and you're aware that they're feeding in the night for comfort rather than for nutritional purposes.
Night weaning can be done when you and your child is ready, there is no time frame in which a child must be weaned at night time by, and you can continue to feed at night for as long as you feel you would like to without any external pressures.
How can I night wean?
Look at exploring dream feeds if your baby is between 4-8 months of age. This can help top them up and manage a longer stretch while you're asleep before their next feed.
Explore other ways of settling baby at night when they wake, implement soothing methods such as stroking their back or patting their bottom. Also consider asking another care giver to help settle them when they wake so there is less of an association with having a feed if you usually provide the feed.
Gradually increase the time between night feeds every two nights to help baby achieve longer periods at night before a feed. This can be done in conjunction with exploring other settling methods.
Top Tips for successful night weaning
Don't rush into night weaning if you or your baby aren't ready. It can be hard to ignore external pressures if they are there, but ultimately it will only be successful if you're both ready. All children will eventually naturally wean at night and all children will wean at different ages, just as they crawl, walk and talk at different ages.
When you do decide to night wean, remain consistent. If you are inconsistent with your methods this will confuse your baby and prolong the process.
Ensure baby is getting plenty of nutrients and food during the day, including ensuring they are achieving their dairy quota.
If you would like more help with night weaning and discovering alternative ways to settle your baby at night in a way that suits you and them, I can help create a tailor made plan for your family based on your individual needs. Explore my packages for something that suit you