How I dropped the night feeds at 7 months
I’m lucky that I am able to documents my own daughter’s sleep and apply everything I have learned as a sleep coach. Though I know what I should be doing, there are times where I give into my mom guilt or end up resettling my baby to sleep in less-than-ideal ways. Since birth, I was always trying to follow my daughter’s lead. We had been down to one night feed for a few months already but one of my goals before she reached 8 months was to drop the feeds completely. I decided to give myself 2 weeks, plan an approach and stick to it as much as possible. There were some tough nights, but I stuck it out and by the end of the 2 weeks, she was no longer feeding at all overnight.
Dropping the night feed started naturally as you will see from day 1 of my log below and things started out well. I was okay to drop this since she was eating well throughout the day and her weight was above 7kilos. I really did want to sleep train and room share, but midway through, I opted to move out of the room as I felt it would be an easier process for me and for her. I felt that with her age and her standing, seeing me beside her crib just aggravated her when she would wake. Below is my personal log over the two week period plus an update one week after.
Night 1: woke at 2-3am. Little cries then started babbling, talking, eventually back to sleep. Woke up aft 6. Since she didn’t really cry, I didn’t feel the need to assist, and this was my sign that she could sleep through without a feed.
Night 2. Slept straight until 5am. On and off crying until 5:30, decided to check diaper for poo. Fed after and she slept until about 6:20.
Night 3: Slept straight! No wakes at all. Woke up at 6am and I ended sleep at 6:20 and fed when she was getting upset.
Night 4- somewhat failure! Woke on and off at 3am but could not resettle. I went in to check diaper and discovered her one leg got into her other leg hole of her pajamas so most likely she was uncomfortable. Fixed it, changed diaper, and laid back down and left. She did cry for a bit then would sit and bite her lovey. At 3:45, I made the decision to feed to help her settle back to sleep. She went to sleep and woke quarter to 7.
Night 5 – No feed. Slept through but woke early, around 5:30-545. Wasn’t really calling out until past 6 and I got her at 6:20am.
Night 6 – No feed again. Woke up at around 3:30 quietly then cries a little before going back to sleep. The crying I think is because of me, I got up to pee and it started when I went back. I ignored her, probably took less than 15mins and we both went back to sleep. Pitfall of room sharing. Woke around 6, stayed sitting quietly in bed and laid back down at 6:30am. Stayed quiet until 6:57am and I ended sleep and gave a feed.
Night 7 - We fed. Mainly because we dropped the third nap, and she didn’t eat well before bedtime. When she woke at 3am, I felt she was hungry, and I fed pretty much right away. She slept right away and got her out of bed at 7am.
Night 8 - What a mess! Things went well until about 1am when she just woke up. First quietly playing and babbling then crying and standing. After crying and standing for 15-20mins, I got her, changed diaper, and put her back in the crib. She still cried! I gave her 15mins and when she was still crying, I fed for a few minutes and put her back in the crib awake. This time she was able to settle back to sleep. Woke up around 6:30am
Night 9 - because of the past two night feeds, I expected a night wake and I expected it to be a bit harder. Woke at 1 something. Not hungry cries so I tried to ignore but she just kept getting louder, standing and watching me while I was in bed. Wasn’t watching the time, but when I felt it was too much, I stood up, laid her down and left the room. Took maybe 15mins after that for her to sleep. No feed. Woke up 6:10am, out of bed at 6:30. Here I am really starting to realize how being in the room affects her sleep.
I started sleeping outside.
Night 10 - no wake up and no feed. But woke up super early at 5:30am and I got her out a few minutes before 6 because she was crying nonstop. Still a win since no feed.
Night 11- No wake up and no feed. Woke up quietly at 545, hit something on the crib at 547 and started screaming then calmed down and went back to sleep at 5:50. Up at 6am and I got her at 6:15. Much better morning than yesterday so hopefully better tomorrow!
Night 12 - No feed and up for the day at 6:45. We did have a rather long wake up, about an hour at about 3:50-4:50am. She was awake and would cry out here and there, but nothing upset or loud to the point I felt she needed assistance. She eventually resettled on her own and woke happily at 645am. I followed her cries and not the time.
Night 13 - No feed and no night wake ups. Woke calmly and quietly at 5am, some babbling and noises but no crying. Around 6am, started to become more active, standing, on and off crying. At 6:15, i decided to go in and feed and let her fall asleep even for a few minutes. She did and up for the day at 6:33.
Night 14- No feed and no night wakes. Woke up for the day at 6:15am and got her out of bed for a feed at 6:30am.
Over a week later, she has pretty much slept through, except for night 15 and 16 when she woke up for a while and resettled by herself. since then, no more night wakes. She normally wakes by 6:15-6:30am, with some mornings when she wakes a little before 6am.
It was a lot tougher than I anticipated and I thought that because it was just one feed, she should adapt quickly but every baby adapts differently. When she had those long wake ups in the middle of the night, I was confident she would be able to go back to sleep and drop them altogether which she did. Trust the process, follow your plan and you will see results!