Author Topic: Help weaning DF for 9.5 month old  (Read 724 times)

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Offline sblauv

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Help weaning DF for 9.5 month old
« on: January 19, 2015, 17:47:43 pm »
My 9.5 month old DS is our second and we had gotten into a bad habit of feeding to sleep (mostly related to distractability and a crazy 2.5 yo running around).  DS would feed to sleep at 7:30 pm then wake every 45 min until a DF around midnight.  He would then wake again about every 2-2.5 hours until morning, at which times I would breastfeed him (I was so exhausted, I just wanted him to go back to sleep).

About 10 days ago we finally started sleep training and, over all, it has gone much better than expected!  DS still nurses right before bed but I ensure that he is awake before putting him in bed and he puts himself to sleep.  Nights 2-4 of sleep training, there was a DF around 11:30 pm of about 4.5oz (hubby does DF so I can get some sleep) and DS slept through the night!!!  In an attempt to wean the DF, we moved the DF to 11 pm and 4oz, and for the last couple of nights to 10:30 pm and 3oz. 

Since night 5, though, DS has been waking up a couple of times in the night.  He's just "squawking" and not actually crying, so I don't go in.  He has been able to wait until 5:30-6ish before needing to eat.  Even though I don't have to actually go in and comfort him during these NWs, it is still waking me up and I'm exhausted (pregnancy insomnia w/ DS has resulted in my not getting any sleep for 1.5 years at this point!)

I would like some pointers as to how to wean the DF AND how to help DS to actually SLEEP through the night.

Here is the routine for his 5 days of daycare, the weekends are very similar but with breastfeeding:
6am               Wake/breastfeed
7:30              4oz bottle
8                    Solids
9                    Nap (daycare he naps about 45 min and home for about 1 hour...much improved from the previous 20min naps)
11:30ish       4oz bottle
12                 Solids
1                   Nap (naps about 2 hours)
3:30              4oz bottle
5:45              breastfeed
6:15              Solids
7:15              breastfeed
7:30              bed
10:30            DF - about 3oz

Offline Ima shel Alon

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Re: Help weaning DF for 9.5 month old
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2015, 19:20:43 pm »
Hi there!

The best way to wean the DF IMO and experience is to reduce the bottle by an oz every 3 days. In our case DS just stopped waking for it when it was just an oz, but I know that there are babies who keep on waking for it. In that case you leave an oz of water but reduce the formula powder in it and after 3-4 days you just offer water.
About the rest of the night there is really nothing to do because he is not crying or "calling" you. I know that it wakes you and I know it sucks but if you'll go to him you will just create a prop IMO. I would leave it be and see if it goes away in a while. At this age the DF often disturb their sleep cycles so weaning it might actually help with the rest of the night.

I am wondering though why are you feeding so often during the day? Usually at this age baby gets milk when WU (morning and naps) which is spaced kinda 3-4 apart give or take and then after an hour from milk feed LO gets some solids.
You are feeding in the morning first milk feed, then another milk feed and the solids... and in the evening you are kind of cluster feeding still... DK, just a thought.
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Offline sblauv

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Re: Help weaning DF for 9.5 month old
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 20:36:11 pm »
Hi, thanks for the thoughts on weaning the DF.

The feeding schedule above is what his daycare has established.  They swear that he is hungry again at 7:30 and he does eat the 4 ounces they offer him.  The next two bottles are about 4 hours apart, I think.  He is super distracted and on the move during milk feeds, both BF and bottle.  It seems that he won't take the milk until it is meal time.  To ensure that he gets the milk, we started feeding him right before meal times as that is when he'll actually take the milk.

Everything that I read says to increase their milk during daytime hours so that they won't need to get it at night.  In the evening, I added the 5:45 BF in order to help him increase his daytime milk intake.  He definitely drinks more milk that way where before he would seemingly never stop eating solid food when I was only feeding him at bed.  He has been eating 6-10 ounces at night between the DF and middle of the night feed.  The hope was that the additional feed would help replace that now that he does get a wee hour BF and we're reducing the DF.  I've asked daycare to start increasing the amount in his bottles during the day, so we'll see how that goes.

Once we're able to get him off the DF, my hope is to be able to 1) have him drink more milk at his daytime feeds and 2) consolidate the two evening BFs into one.  I welcome any suggestions!  It's a lot hard to get the whole routine thing down with number 2 than it was with our first!  Luckily, the younger one has a super easy going personality (he only protested not being fed to sleep for 1 night)!

Offline Ima shel Alon

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Re: Help weaning DF for 9.5 month old
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2015, 19:41:54 pm »
  I've asked daycare to start increasing the amount in his bottles during the day, so we'll see how that goes.
I think that's what we rather did if I remember right. We increased the amount of each bottle rather than offering another feed during the day. But if it works for you then go ahead and do it.
Once we're able to get him off the DF, my hope is to be able to 1) have him drink more milk at his daytime feeds and 2) consolidate the two evening BFs into one.  I welcome any suggestions! 
I think you will just get there. He won't stay hungry, he will find a way to let you know he needs more milk, which for many if not all babies mean that they start to drain their bottles.

Feeding was always an issue for us as DS was a very hungry and big baby, but it does get easier and easier as they grow.
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