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All about Night feeds

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

What is a Night feed?

It’s a breastfeed or bottle-feed, offered in the core night or active sleep phase, which runs between 11.30 pm and 5am.

Who should have a Nightfeed?

All babies who are under 12lbs would have 2-3 feeds overnight - one of those feeds would likely be in a deeper sleep and 1-2 will be inactive sleep.

Night Feed for deep sleep

What is the difference between a night feed and a dreamfeed ?

A dream feed is given in a deep sleep and is initiated by the parent, a night feed is usually inactive sleep | core night and is often given at arousal points where the baby has woken up ( so baby led not parent led )

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When should I stop doing a nightfeed?

It can be difficult to remove night feeds, if your baby is petite, they should be at least 12 lbs before you even consider removing it, and most parents will think about removing night feds when they are working on improving their babies sleep - its very difficult to remove night feeds, if a baby has any kind of sucking related association at bedtime ( soother to sleep, nursing to sleep or bottle to sleep )

How should I remove a nightfeed?

There are two ways to remove it, you can phase it out, by reducing down how long you breastfeed for until you hit around 3 minutes, or you can reduce down how much you offer in the bottle until it’s around 2floz - please note that as mentioned before, its hard to remove if you are helping your baby fall to sleep at bedtime - when you remove night feed, you are not stopping your baby waking up, you are only changing how they go back to sleep.

You can also just cut it out cold turkey

You should remove it in the way in which you feel the MOST confident, I would not recommend cutting it out cold turkey in a child under 9 months of age, or if there are more than 2 over night feeds, you are better off using a staggered approach in this case, and phase it out by reducing it down through either volume if bottle feeding or duration if breastfeeding.

What can I expect to see when it’s taken away?

It can take up to 14 nights to see consistency over night from when the night feed is removed. You will also find that not matter how old your baby is, you will see some issues around 5am when the night feed is cut, as this is where the drive to sleep is weak.

IN what circumstance should I not remove the nightfeed.

If your baby is not gaining weight well, has had feeding issues or if you have had milk supply issues. Hold onto them until your Dr. tells you otherwise.

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