Deciding to Night Wean at any age can be emotional for both mum and baby
That love/hate relationship with getting up at 3am to nurse or warm a bottle is something all mums can relate to. Dragging our exhausted bodies into the nursery, desperate for more sleep, but then that feeling off a warm baby snuggled in your arms, there is something kind of addictive about that!
There is no right or wrong way to night wean, and there is no perfect age to night wean. We know that babies under 6 months usually require a night feed, so we don’t encourage night weaning before 6 months.
But after 6 months it can be quite individual as to whether your baby is ready to night wean, and whether you as the parent is ready! As with all things parenting related, there is no point starting out on a journey of change if you are not ready for that change, as this leads to inconsistent reinforcement, which we try to avoid in all parenting situations.
Some signs your baby is ready to Night Wean
- Your baby is over 6 months old
- Your baby is thriving in their weight and growth
- Your baby has 4-6 breast or formula feeds a day (7am-7pm)
- Your baby is NOT hungry or interested in their first feed of the day
- Your baby has started solids and is having 1-2 meals a day
- Your baby has started on protein (meat)
- Your baby can self settle to sleep, and re-settle back to sleep
This list isn’t conclusive, but a guide for you if you are thinking about night weaning. Some babies will simply start to sleep all night and naturally night wean, this is another good sign.
All babies are different and your baby might meet this criteria at 6.5 months, but your best friends baby not until 9 months old, or even 12 months for someone else.
Some times we need to work on the self settling and re-settling skills as we work on night weaning as parents can’t re-settle without feeding. This is where a sleep consultant can be hugely beneficial.
Try not to compare your baby to everyone else’s, and just look through the lists and have a think about your baby as an individual.