How to Night Wean a 3 month old newborn
First of all, this is purely a sharing of personal experience of being a new mum, nothing widely researched nor with expertise. The below works for my baby and it doesn’t mean it will work on all babies. But this is a method that is concluded after reading some books and websites. I truly hope that it could be a helping hand for new mums, cause I know how helpless it could feel when taking care of a newborn baby.
Our baby quit her night feed at week 12. We attempted to lengthen her sleeping time and by the 3rd night, she is able to sleep from 10:30 to 06:00.
Most websites and books suggest that if your baby would be able to sleep from 11:00 to 06:00, then it is classified as no night feeding. What we experienced was that she would sleep through till 4:30, and then the next day longer, and one day she reaches 7 or 8. The whole process takes around a week for us.
Here is our conclusion of how we get rid of night feeding for our baby.
Sleep Deprivation? No news to new parents
Patience, at least to us, is the rule of thumb in trying to get rid of night feeds.
Your baby is so small that it has only a very tiny stomach to store food. Advice from doctors is to start trying a longer stretch of bedtime until your baby weights more than 5kg. So wait until your baby is ready.
Regular feeding pattern
From birth onwards we feed our baby with breastfeeding on demand. On demand however, do have patterns exist. We feed her every 2.5 to 3.5 hours, day and night. During her growth spurts the feeding time could become every 2 to 3 hours, depends on her demand.
For bottle-fed babies, it would be easier even to have regular feeding pattern and regular feeding amount.
Regular day-night routine
Our daily routine is also very regular. Drink, change diaper, play then sleep. The sleeping ritual is drink, bath and then sleep. We avoid talking before sleep as that gets our baby excited, but perhaps bedtime story works for your baby.
Some books suggest not to include bathing as part of the sleeping routine as some babies would be simulated by bathing and actually gets more excited. Do pay attention to your baby.
Resist your baby’s crying
It’s absolutely normal that babies cry quite some. Crying is their way of communicating. I have read different ‘methods’ in books and on websites about dealing with baby crying. Some books are not against letting your baby cry for several minutes, especially when the baby is older than 3 months, while others, like what 'No-cry sleep solution' avocates, is to get your baby 'trained' without tears. It is up to your personal choice and the baby's character to find the right balance.
There are supporting groups on social media platforms such as Facebook set up for different baby training methods. You might like to join those groups to get support from fellow believers.
A Preview of Elizabeth Pantley's No-Cry Sleeping Solution
Schedule for a 3-month-old baby
Below is a detailed schedule of a 3-month-old baby:
6:30am Wake up and get breastfed. Every breastfeeding is 30 minutes, minimum 10 minutes per side. (Always start with the breast that you ended with the last feed.)
7am Finished feeding and diaper change, baby get back to bed for another 3-4 hours sleep
(Mum can sleep or wake up to do some stuff in the meantime.)
10:30am Wake up, breastfed and diaper changed.
11am – 11:30am play time together.
11:45am – 13:00pm Go out for a walk, grocery shopping
13:00 – 14:30 napping time. (Mum’s lunch time)
14:30pm Wake up, breastfed and diaper changed.
15:00 – 15:30 baby play in the cot by herself.
15:30 – 16:00 play time together.
16:00 – 18:30 napping time. (If baby wakes up earlier than 18:30, then it will become gym time.)
18:30 Wake up, breastfed and diaper changed.
19:00 dinner time, baby sit on a bouncer which is put on the dinner table so it can watch us dining (never left your baby unattended on the bouncer!!)
19:30 – 20:30 play time with daddy
20:30 – 21:30 napping time
21:30 bath time
22:00 last feed
Of course it sounds much easier than in practice. Usually we need to spend 15-30 minutes to get our baby into sleep, and even longer during growth spurts period.
However the above pattern is strictly kept and so far it worked quite well. Hope that all these are useful for new parents!