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Written by Lavinia
Certified Paediatric Sleep Consultant
23 June 2020

Giving up night feeding... when is the right time?

If your child is six months of age or more gaining weight as expected, and his/her paediatrician tells you it's safe to stop nighttime feedings, go ahead and do it.

But perhaps that doesn't answer your question fully. Perhaps your question really is "Why is my baby still crying to be fed in the night?"

Because if he just accepted not being fed in the night time and just slept through without protest, you would not be online searching for information about it. You would instead either be in your bed enjoying undisturbed sleep or bragging to other Mums about how easy parenthood is in general.

As a sleep consultant, feeding and/or breastfeeding to sleep is the most common sleep prop I encounter. Because of how natural and comfortable it feels, people rarely consider it a "sleep prop." But a sleep prop is really anything external (out of his/her own control) that your baby depends on in order to get to sleep. So if he is reliant on being relaxed through a feed to or back to sleep, being fed is a sleep prop- meaning that when he finds himself awake in the night, instead of just going back to sleep on his own, he will cry for you to rush in with his sleep prop to relax him back to sleep.

So how do you get this to stop? The way to do this, is to allow your baby to get used to putting himself to/back to sleep without the sleep props. Stop the night feeding tonight don't start again tomorrow. The sooner your child learns the skill of how to put himself to sleep on his own without sleep props, the sooner he'll be able to sleep through the night. And as amazing as that sounds to you, it is even more amazing for your baby. Uninterrupted sleep means that baby's mind and body receives its awesome restorative, health, immunity and brain development benefits. It’s a WIN for the whole family!

Article written by Lavinia
Certified Paediatric Sleep Consultant
Based in Singapore
Trained in the Sleep Sense Program

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