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I am weaning my 10 month old boy. We seem to do well during the daytime. But during the night-time he cries a lot until I breastfeed him.

How can I night wean my baby without a struggle?

I have introduced solids for dinner. Does his frequent night-waking mean that he's hungry at night?

My grandmother suggests giving him only plain water, is this correct? Can I use formula instead?

  • If I understand your title right, he is waking three times a night to be fed (just verifying). That seems like a lot. Have you tried giving him a bottle and really filling him up before he goes to bed? Also can you clarify your goal, are you trying to wean him from the breast and onto a bottle? – user7678 Sep 9 '15 at 15:12
  • I used to feed my kids a bottle of formula as their last feed at night, and that kept them asleep all night. – Rory Alsop Sep 9 '15 at 15:19
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What we did for a few days: I (the father) slept with the baby on a separate bed, with a water bottle ready. When he woke up, I cuddled him and gave him a bit to drink and he would sleep on. The idea is that when the baby smells the (still lactating!) mother, he/she gets hungry. As said, a few days broke the habit and weaning was relativly smooth.

Of course, I don't know if this is possible in your case, but give it a thought.

  • Did the same thing and it worked for us. We started on a friday and had caffeine ready in the morning ;) – the_lotus Sep 14 '15 at 12:28
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We sort of have the same problem, at 10 months my little girl is waking up usually 3 sometimes 4 times a night. Quite often it's 3 times a night that she actis like and doesn't go back down till she's fed a bit.

That to me, and our pediatrician says 'hungry.'

This occurs even now with our new bedtime routing which is bath, book, breast....

So, she is feeding, and theoretically filling up right at bedtime. Our pediatrician wants us to try other, small, quiet things before feeding: swaddling, holding for comfort, .... and to be looking hard at where she's sleeping to ensure it's not causing these wake ups.

With weaning, your still breastfeeding or bottle feeding mother's milk, and best thing I can think of with what I've been told and seen. Ensure your little one is full, their nighttime routine is consistent and helps to settle them down, and finally that their bedding area is free from things to wake them up, and if they are spitting up at night or having bowel movements at night, then yes their stomach is going to be empty and it may take awhile to get that rhythm to happen during the day.

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One thing we found was that our kids tended to fall asleep very easy when they were breastfeeding during the day. Get a little food, get the warmth of mom's body, and it's lights out even in the middle of the afternoon. So we started making sure they did not do this. We'd find ways to keep them stimulated even as they fed during the day - play with them, rubbing their arms and legs, talking to them (not a soothing voice, but a fun playful or normal voice). Also, we stuck to a schedule - feed every three hours during the day, want it or not, and not in between, also want it or not. And no feeding at night. If you give in to them asking you for it, they will keep asking. When our kids cried at night, we'd check for a reason - dirty diaper, bugs that got into the mosquito net (we lived for 4 years in the Amazon forest), pinched skin, too cold or too hot. We'd fix those, but otherwise, we'd let them cry themselves to sleep. Before long, they figure out it's easier to just go back to sleep.

Either you train them (lovingly of course) to do what is healthy, or they will train you to do what they want.

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Are you co-sleeping or does he sleep in a crib? Have you tried Dr. Jay Gordon's methods? they are for co-sleepers but the idea is the same and can be tweaked. Basically the first week you shorten the time you feed at night, the next week you pick up and rock or pat, the third week you ignore the cries. It's a gentler way than going cold turkey all at once.

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