3 signs that show it's time to wean your baby from night feedings

One of the questions we are often asked (through Facebook posts and emails) is:

When and how can I wean my baby from night feedings?

Most parents are naturally keen to get a good, uninterrupted night's sleep back, but they also want to make sure their baby won't go hungry.

Of course, there is no fixed nighttime weaning schedule; every baby is different, so at different stages, every baby will be ready to be weaned from night feedings. Even expert pediatricians disagree on exactly when babies are physically capable of going all night without being fed , as we discussed in a previous article.

Nighttime weaning: Nighttime feeding of babies by age

While there's no "magic age" at which every baby is ready for nighttime weaning, there are a few general guidelines that seem to work for most babies for nighttime feedings :

  • From birth to 3 months : Food every 2 to 3 hours, on demand
  • 3-4 months : 2 to 3 meals per night or every 3 to 6 hours, on request
  • 5-6 months : 1 to 2 meals at night
  • 7-9 months : 1, maybe 2, night feeding
  • 10-12 months : Sometimes 1 night feeding
  • More than 12 months : In general, no feeding

Developmental spurts, infections, and teething , of course, are factors to consider. Your baby may need nighttime feeding at these times, but under normal circumstances he would not need it.

Three signs that indicate your child is ready for nocturnal weaning.

These guidelines are helpful, but how will you know when your child is ready to be weaned at night? Pay attention to these indicators; they can be signals that your baby is ready to give up night feedings:

1. During the day, your baby does not eat as much.

If you find that your baby is not eating as usual during the day, but still wakes up to eat one or more times during the night, this is a sure sign that it may be time for night feedings decrease (or at least reduce them). Encourage your baby to eat more during the day, he would be willing to give up eating at night if he can get most/all of his calories during the day.

2. Your baby doesn't eat much at night and treats night feedings as a game.

You may start to notice that even though your child wakes up at night crying for you, he is not hungry. He may nurse a little, or drink a little from his bottle, and then he'll be wide awake and want to play . In these situations, your baby is likely waking up out of habit (or sleep associations ), not hunger. This may be a sign that his nightly feedings are no longer really necessary and that he is ready to give them up.

3. Your baby has started to eat solid foods (at the right time!)

Disclaimer: There is a right time and a wrong time to start feeding your baby solid foods. To find out when to start giving your baby solid foods, check out this article . It won't take long for your baby to be able to go without night feedings once he starts eating solid foods. Once he starts eating solid foods , your baby will continue to need one (or possibly two) night feeds, but after a few months you should be able to gradually wean him off night feeds . (Of course, if you are breastfeeding, you will need to ensure that once you reduce nighttime breastfeeding, you can maintain an adequate supply of milk.

*BONUS TIP* There is wide variation in your infant's nighttime feeding.

This could be more difficult to diagnose. But when your baby wakes up for nighttime feedings, if you see a lot of variation in times , it may be a sign that it's time to start nighttime weaning. For example, if your baby wakes up at 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. to eat one day, then wakes up at 3 a.m. the next day, then wakes up at 10:30 p.m. and doesn't wake up until the morning of the third day , this variation may mean that it is time to begin the nighttime weaning process .

Keep in mind that none of these signs alone means that your child is ready for nighttime weaning. For example, when there are big differences in the timing of his nightly feeds, a 3-month-old baby may have a few nights, but that definitely doesn't mean he's ready to stop eating at night! However, if you observe two or three of these signs at the same time , it is a clear indication that you should begin the nighttime weaning process.

If you still don't know if your baby is ready for night weaning? In general, due to what I call a "chicken and egg" dilemma that some families face during this time, I suggest you try nighttime weaning around 8 or 9 months :

A baby needs a certain amount of food during the day and if he gets it at night he will not eat more during the day and if he does not eat more during the day he needs it at night. So sometimes a baby is hungry at night, but that doesn't mean he can't go without eating all night, it just means he needs to change the amount he eats during the day. The idea is to gently help him do it.

When did your baby start weaning at night? How did you realize your baby was ready? Share your nighttime weaning experience by commenting below.

Do you want your baby to sleep through the night?
In this free guide , you'll discover 5 things you absolutely need to know.

With this unique approach and practical tools for success, this guide will help you and your baby sleep better through the night.

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Baby Water Play Mat | Tapido™

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Are you looking for a game that stimulates the awakening and development of your baby?

Our water play mat, Tapido™ will be perfect for the awakening and development of babies .

A Montessori method water awakening mat

The Water Awakening Mat is a Montessori method to help children learn the concepts of life. This method involves the use of a water-filled mattress for babies and young children.

The sensory mat is covered with different objects and animals, which can be manipulated by children. Children can also play with the water itself, making splashes and bubbles.

The Montessori method is based on the principle that children will learn faster if they are given the freedom to discover and manipulate things for themselves.

The water play mat provides children with a safe and stimulating environment to explore the world around them.

baby having fun on the play mat from the Mon Petit Ange boutique

The colorful fish on the mat catches the eye of the child and encourages him to come and play with the inflatable mat.

A sensory mat for babies ideal for their development

He can play sitting or on his stomach, strengthening his arms and legs while improving his motor skills , ideal for his proper development.

The sensations that the water mat provides when you touch it are varied and interesting, it's soft, cold, soft, supple. They stimulate your baby's visual and sensory senses .

He will also feel a sensation of imbalance and swaying when he leans on it.

The benefits of a baby water play mat

  • Development of alertness and motor skills
  • Fun aquatic universe : Your Baby will be able to swim in a marvelous and colorful marine world
  • Comfortable : Your baby can have fun pinching, squeezing and moving the fish within the mattress! There is no risk to him... or your soil.
  • Safe : Made from eco-friendly, ultra-resistant PVC & guaranteed BPA-free (in force with European safety standards EN71).
  • Ideal for transport / travel : you just have to empty it of its water and air and then fold it.

Installation of the inflatable water mattress for babies

  1. 1/ Fill the waterbed in the middle.
  2. 2/ Inflate the mattress on the contour.
  3. 3/ Watch your baby have hours of fun!

    Baby activity mat filled with water

    Some details about the educational baby water mat

    • Comfortable and flexible
    • From 3 months
    • Solid & resistant
    • Easy storage
    • Quick air and water inflation
    • Size: 66cm x 50cm

    So that the game does not deteriorate, remember to empty the water and dry it after use.

    Use the Montessori method with this water awakening mat

    The Montessori method is an educational approach that emphasizes the overall development of the child, to find out more see the site . Montessori activity mats are designed to stimulate baby's senses and help him explore his environment. They are often used for play, relaxation or napping.

    Activity mats allow babies to develop their fine and gross motor skills , and to experience different textures and sounds.

    In addition, sensory mats provide a comfortable surface for baby to play and learn safely .

    For more information on buying a Montessori activity mat, we recommend that you consult this Montessori activity mat buying guide .

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