"Weaning at night" is a question that comes up very frequently among mothers in support groups.
1. Determining the cause of night waking
Weaning is a desperate desire of every mother. However, for some children, weaning is just a matter of time. For some children, however, parents have to give some guidance.
Wrong expectation: If you want to sleep from 9pm to 9am. The higher the expectation, the greater the disappointment".
Sleeping through the night is defined as a child over 16 weeks who has slept for more than 6 hours at night.
Normal night waking.
As the child grows and develops.
--- Limit the number of nighttime feedings to 3 for children under 3 months
--- Control the number of times under 5 months to 1-2 times
--- At 6 months of age it is completely possible to give up night feeds.
When your child wakes up frequently at night, many mothers will immediately squint and pick up their child for a random feeding. It doesn't matter how much your child eats, as long as he can shut up and not cry, the night is completely out of control.
If you don't want this to become the norm. Then it is necessary to keep yourself awake even when you get up at night to feed.
Until you are ready to tackle this, you can find someone to help you with the baby during the day. You catch up on your sleep so you can stay awake during the night.
For the first few days try to keep track of how many times your baby wakes up at night and when. See if there is any regular pattern?
Then watch your child's mental state each time he or she wakes up:
Does he or she gulp down food every time he or she wakes up? (really hungry)
Crying and crying, using your breast as a pacifier? You put it in his mouth then he fallen asleep? (Habitual night waking)
Depending on the specific behavior of your child each time he or she wakes up, we can roughly divide him or her into two categories.
The first type, nocturnal awakening with demand.
---Gulps of milk and eats a lot. Then he is really hungry. You need to feed and record the time when he wakes up because he is really hungry. Observe your child's nocturnal digestive cycle.
---Sudden, loud cries after waking up. You need to check if your child is not feeling well or has night terrors. You can turn on the light and let the child wake up completely to soothe the emotions to find out the cause and fix it.
---Grunting and writhing, red cheeks, sweating on the back of the neck. Check if your child's sleeping environment is comfortable? Is it covered too much.
---If sudden night waking is frequent in the short term (within a week), it may be a period of jerking, rolling over, or regression of sleep, and you need to make an investigation. Try to maintain the current routine.
The second type, habitual night waking.
Your child wakes up on time every day as if he or she were on an alarm. Your child must be nursed to sleep or soothed by you to fall back asleep. Nurse sleep is only a token bite and then it's over, not like he's hungry and eating hard.
This means that your previous behavior has trained him to wake up habitually at night. He is catering to you, not that he wants to drink the milk, but that you have to feed him. He just wakes up at that time on time to match you, his biological clock has been formed.
2、 How to quit night milk
So, how to quit these two kinds of nighttime milk?
I have searched for the following 7 methods. You can try to use them after observing and determining the real reason for your child waking up every night.
Let your child sleep for more than 6 hours continuously. It is best to be asleep from 23:00-6:00 (this time period can also be a good sleep for the mother). The following 7 methods are used in two situations:
Situation 1:For multiple night wakings within 23:00-6:00 in the middle of the night (most of them are habitual night wakings)
If your child has been waking up once in less than 3 hours during the night for a long time, it can be judged as frequent night waking. Some parents don't take it seriously and just stay up. As a result, the child wakes up many times until he or she is more than 1 year old. This is actually a sleep disorder that needs to be taken seriously by parents, and the sooner you go to correct it, the easier it is.
Method I. For habitual night waking, stop breastfeeding and change the sleeper
What you need to do now is to stop your breastfeeding action and soothe him in another way! Pat and pick him up and grit your teeth and try to put him to sleep. You may find that it takes quite a while to get him to sleep again at first. After a few days it will take less and less time. After a few more days he will be able to fall asleep again without you intervening by wriggling and grunting a bit on his own. At this point the child will forget about the night waking and will not wake up again at this point in time.
Remember to gradually reduce interventions until eventually no interventions! Don't artificially try to add to your child's sleep problems! Anything you do is training your child!
Some children will become cranky or even cry when they are in their mother's arms but can't get milk. At this point, it may be better to suggest that nighttime tucking in due to habitual night waking be left to your husband or someone else who can't breastfeed.
Of course, if you think it is difficult to change the way of putting to sleep at night. It is recommended to start by changing the way you put your child to sleep during the day, first to give up the habit of breastfeeding and sleeping in your arms during the day. Let the child accept and get used to lying in bed and patting, and let other members of the family also use this way to put to sleep. When the child is stable and accepted during the day, it will be easier to try to change the way you put him to sleep at night and put him to sleep.
Method 2. Change the night and space out feedings by changing the daytime routine
If you have documented that your child is really hungry and gurgling during one of the many night wakings, then you need to consider. What you need to start with is to consider.
-Do you need to space out daytime feedings?
-Are daytime naps appropriate?
-Is the child's regular routine established?
If there are no other factors to interfere with your child's daytime feeding interval, if it is 4 hours. The first sleep at night can basically be 5-8 hours.
If your child is still waking up frequently during the night despite the daytime feeding interval, you should consider habitual night waking (refer to Method 1). Or the sleep environment needs to be adjusted (refer to the sleep self-checklist).
If your child still needs to drink milk every time he/she gets up. However, the length of feeding time is short. Then try to extend the length of each feeding, so that the child must eat enough at each nighttime feeding. And make a plan to cancel the middle of the three night feeds and stop feeding him. Then the child will adjust to your behavior in response and quickly adjust to the efficiency of nighttime feedings in 2-3 days.
Situation 2: for the middle of the night at 23:00 - 6:00 within the feeding 1-2 times (most of the first type of night waking)
For children with regular daytime routine. During the daytime feeding interval of more than 3 hours, the first night sleep can generally be more than 4 hours, but the second and third sleep may be shortened to feed 2-3 hours.
Because of nighttime feedings, the child is confused and does not eat an adequate amount of milk. This results in many babies waking up at 23-6 to eat 1-3 times.
In some babies, the first sleep has been able to sleep for more than 6 hours. But due to the early bedtime, at 8-9pm. As a result, they will still get up to drink 1-2 times from 11-6pm.
For both cases, consider the following 5 ways to get your baby to sleep continuously between 23-6pm.
Method 3. Move up the nighttime feeding schedule
If your child wakes up regularly at some point between 1-3pm for a feed. You can try to make sure he gets to sleep after 23:00 by actively feeding him a daze of milk from 23-24:00.
Of course not so much in advance all at once, but try to move this night milk forward little by little. For example, if he wakes up crying for milk at 2:00 every day, you can set the alarm for the first two days at 1:30 to feed him before he wakes up. After two more days, change it to 1:00 and move it forward little by little, eventually moving it to 23:00 for feeding. Make sure he eats enough milk at 23:00.
Method 4. Delay the feeding and move the early morning meal backwards
This method is more difficult because it means that the child wakes up crying and has to be soothed in another way. Wait a little while and then consider whether to feed or not. Generally, if your child wakes up at 4-6am, you can try this method. Pushing back the feeding time can also be done in a gradual way, moving back 10-30 minutes each day.
Method three and method four both require the mother to take the initiative to debug. It is more difficult and requires mom to stay calm and patient during the night. You need to debug your mood, rest well and try to stick to it within your own acceptable range. The child's ability to adapt is still relatively strong, usually 3-7 days to see the effect. If you do not see the effect for more than 7 days, you should consider the reasons for the review and other methods.
Method 5. Intensive feeding at bedtime, plus a muddled meal at 23:00
This method is derived from the "Practical Program Parenting Method".
First, you can shorten the feeding interval before your child finishes sleeping, for example, if 9:00 is bedtime milk, you can feed one meal at 7:00 and then again at 9:00.
Secondly, you can add a dream feeding around 23:00 at night, without turning on the light or talking, and just feed (bottle feeding will be easier to do with this method). This method starts at any time during the child's first 8 weeks and can continue until the child is 8 months old.
Method 6. Dilution method
There is another method described in the Faber Sleep Book: the dilution method. Use 3/4 milk to 1/4 water the first night. Then dilute a little more every night or two, gradually becoming half milk with normal water, 1/4 milk + 3/4 water, 1/8 milk + 7/8 water. And so on, finally replacing milk entirely with water. At this point it means that the entire bottle is filled with water and there is no more milk. The bottle plays the role of a pacifier and does not provide any nutrients to be digested. The next step is simply to stop offering the bottle to the child the following day. All parents then do is help their child kick the habit of sucking on the pacifier during sleep. If the child refuses to eat during the dilution process, that means he is not hungry and instead speeds up the withdrawal. If dilution doesn't work, Faber recommends that parents try the "cut down and reduce" method.
Method 7. Reduced-frequency reduction method.
From "Faber's Sleep Book". Reduce the number of feedings one at a time, or gradually reduce the amount of a single feeding. Both of these can be used in a two-pronged way or just one. This gradual approach is more acceptable to both parents and children. If you're parent-feeding, try gradually spacing out two feedings to reduce the number of feedings. If you are bottle feeding, you can try reducing the amount each time.
Children are actually very adaptable. In practice, many mothers already envision various difficulties before they even try.
For example, they think that it is impossible for the child to accept it, that the child must cry for a long time, and that the child is traumatized by two days of crying.
If you think so, you are underestimating your child's ability to withstand and adapt.
When your goal is: not to let your child cry. You don't think, you don't guide, you just gag your child with hugs and breastfeeding. Forbid your child to cry, forbid your child to express his or her emotions. Without really thinking and analyzing the child's real needs. Then the child will definitely let you be a firefighter, as you want, and keep on making you break down and annoyed through more crying.
When your goal is: your child is crying, listen to your child's cries. Observe the child's body language and analyze the child's real needs from all angles. And turn yourself into a person who doesn't need your child to call you with cries, you can predict your child's needs in advance. By combining your child's body expressions and other language to meet the child's needs in advance, you can guide the child's development from a longer-term perspective.
A few days of crying while your child adjusts to new habits will become temporary. In the long term, the child will cry less. The child will communicate with you in other languages and the child's needs will be met. He will become content and happy and gain a real sense of stability and security in the long term. And you won't become a firefighter, tired of dealing with the never-ending crying.
So, before you make up your mind to change your child's routine, change the way he or she sleeps, and change the night waking problem. Please be prepared for the above and give yourself a few days of rest to gather enough energy and patience before trying more.
It is a process of trial and error to find the most suitable method for your child.
In addition, for breastfeeding mothers. The nighttime breastfeeding may affect the secretion of breast milk, it is advisable to suck out the breast milk regularly at night to save it.
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