Should you combine night weaning and night intervention?


I had a phone consult recently with Meg and am hoping to follow up on something. We decided my 6 1/2-month-old son is ready for intervals through the night as well as weaning from his first of two night feedings (the pediatrician has okayed this). Is it alright to work on intervals through the night and weaning at the same time, or should we concentrate on one before the other? Also, he typically wakes for his first feeding around midnight, but for the past couple of nights has been waking up at 11:00. We’ve been bouncing him to sleep at 11:00 and then feeding him when he wakes up at midnight. If we want to begin intervals for night wakings, would you suggest that we begin the intervals if he wakes at 11:00, or should I feed him and begin the weaning process at this time? We’re a little concerned that if we begin intervals at 11:00 that he will cry until it’s time for his midnight feeding.

This is Erin, Meg is off today. I am going to ask her to message you directly on this one, because she knows all about you and your son’s situation from your call. In general I lean towards separating weaning from intervention. It’s easier to identify problem spots if you just work on weaning first and then do intervention after the weaning. That said, there are some situations where you might do both at the same time. For example if it took your son forever to get back to sleep without intervention, then it might be worth doing intervention in order to make all of that time work for you. In the scenario you describe, I would recommend feeding him whenever you are in a gray area rather than sticking to black and white rules. For example, if he wakes at 11:00 instead of 12:00, then I would just feed him and plan to do your intervention if he wakes soon after. That way you will be confident that he’s gotten his feeding and you won’t be worried that he’s starving while you do intervention. Good luck!

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