When to stop night feeding
The regimen of breastfeeding a toddler infant a few decades ago looked like this:
- 0-2 months. – 6 to 17 feedings per day;
- 3-4 months. – 5 day and 1 night feeding;
- 5-6 months. – 4 – 5 day feeding (at night the child is not fed) and a bit of complementary food;
- 7-8 months. – 3 day feeding and lure;
- 9-10 months. – 2 day feeding (morning and evening) and lure;
- 11-12 months – 1 breastfeeding (before bedtime) and; adult; food.
Modern pediatricians and breastfeeding consultants today have a completely different view of both breastfeeding in general and breast feeding in the night in particular.
According to the latest scientific research, the most comfortable and physiologically natural is free feeding (or feeding on demand), and not strict adherence to the regime. In addition to the natural need to satiate, a small child needs frequent contact with the breast because for the child this is the only way he knows how to calm down. Experiencing uncomfortable sensations on any occasion, the little one starts to squeak and search for the lips with an object that can be sucked. Ideally, he is immediately given a breast. The baby becomes cozy and warm, he drinks milk, hears Mom’s heart beat, feels familiar smells – and calms down. (See what type of feeding method to choose?)
With regard to night feeding, in most of the very first months of life (up to about half a year) with a free feeding schedule, they will be as frequent as daytime (the baby will ask for breast every one and a half, two hours). This happens for two reasons:
- At first, in contrast to adults, the active phase predominates in newborns (passive in adults). Toddlers sleep restlessly and often wake up. After 6 months, the percentage of sleep phases begins to increase towards the passive, and the child will rarely wake up at night.
- Secondly, Breast milk, in contrast to ready-made milk formulas, is absorbed much more quickly, and the crumb simply needs a little refreshment even at night.
In rare cases, moms are lucky, their kids stand five; a six-hour break at night. But do not expect that this will be the story of your little girl. Many babies after 6-7 months during periods of teething experience great discomfort, and at this time hang on the chest for the whole night.
Do not treat breastfeeding at night as a heavy and tedious duty. Change your view of this process:
- Think that you are not with the child, but the child is with your breast;
- Organize a joint sleep (or move the baby cot as close to the parent bed);
- Feed your baby well before bedtime;
- Keep wet wipes and a clean diaper on hand to change it if necessary;
- Get a bedside night lamp, so as not to knock down the physiological hours of the baby bright light.