baby sleep regression

This story was produced in partnership with Dream Baby Sleep®, a group of certified experts who are successfully teaching families how to create and maintain healthy sleep.

“I just love waking up randomly in the middle of the night”… said pretty much no parent, ever. Yet that’s the reality when you’re living with a newborn. 

Have things gotten a bit foggy since you brought your little one home? 

Are you feeling grumpy, tired, forgetful… or maybe all of the above?


Is your baby using you as a human pacifier?  Follow this easy 8-step night weaning guide and get your sleep back!


We get it. After the hazy crazy newborn days, most mamas fantasize about a long, hot shower and a full night of beautiful, uninterrupted sleep.

Chin up moms! Happy days (and nights) may be just around the corner. It might be time to start night weaning.




How Will I Know If My Baby Is Ready?

It’s different for each individual baby, but you can usually start night weaning somewhere around age 4-6 months. 

First things first – you want to be sure your baby is getting enough calories during the day to sustain them. So you generally don’t want to start night weaning if your child is underweight.

Always check in with your pediatrician to get final confirmation of night weaning readiness. Your doctor can sort through any potential issues and help you make a decision based on how your baby’s growing.

Keep in mind that once you do get the green light, that doesn’t always mean your baby will flip a switch and miraculously start sleeping through the night.

It’s important to approach the weaning process gradually and gently. And to apply a sleep training method that suits your family’s needs and the temperament of your baby.


night weaning tips


Practical Night Weaning Tips 

Seven (7) simple and effective tips to gently wean your baby off their night feeding habit and get them to sleep through the night.

Tip 1 – When starting the process it helps if your baby is able to fall asleep independently at the beginning of the night. Babies who fall asleep on their own are more likely to settle themselves in the middle of the night without your intervention. 

Tip 2 – Start night weaning slowly and gradually. Nurse your baby for a shorter period of time on each breast or give them a smaller amount of milk in their bottle at night.

Tip 3 – Be sure to structure daytime feedings so that your baby is getting all the calories and nutrition they need. 

Tip 4 – Consider offering extra feedings in the evening. If your baby lies down to sleep with a full tummy, they’ll be less likely to wake up hungry in the middle of the night. 

Tip 5 – Avoid night weaning during times of transition. For example; if you’re moving, going on vacation, taking a business trip, etc. Anytime you’re suddenly less available during the day, your baby might need more connection time at night. If this is your current situation, it might make sense to wait.

Tip 6 – Get your partner involved! Your baby associates your smell with feeding. Have your partner get up to comfort the baby, or consider placing a bassinet on their side of the bed. Take advantage of the fact that daddy doesn’t smell like food.

Tip 7 – Follow a proven sleep training method and night weaning schedule. Consistency helps your baby learn!


When Night Weaning Isn’t Working

Sometimes the best intentions can go sideways. Night weaning is one of those times. 

If the process is going well for you, then awesome…. keep going!  

If not, there are a couple of reasons things might not be progressing as well as expected.


Was your baby sleeping through the night then suddenly stopped? Follow our 8-step guide for surviving baby sleep regression 


Your night weaning problems may be as simple as your baby just not being ready to go 12 hours without a meal. In this case, it makes sense to simply wait and try again in another month.

But if your baby is 10 months or older and still eating all night, there’s probably something else going on and we recommend reaching out to your pediatrician.

And it’s not always baby who isn’t ready. Other times, there might be a little bit of self-sabotage happening. 

It could be that you still see your robust 8-month old as the little newborn he was when you brought him home. Or maybe you’ve transitioned back to work and feel guilty about not spending enough bonding time during the day.

Whatever the reason, sometimes it’s us moms that aren’t quite ready to let go and start the night weaning process. If that sounds like you, it’s completely okay.

Take some time to feel truly comfortable with the decision to night wean. You’ll get there. Then once you’re ready you can start again, fully committed to the process.

If, however, your baby is taking in plenty of nutrition during the day, and you are totally ready to give up night feedings, but it’s STILL NOT happening… then it may be time to get a little help.

Check out this 8-step night weaning guide that was developed by a team of certified baby sleep professionals.

This free guide maps out a proven process that when applied consistently, can help both you and your baby to finally sleep through the night.


What The Experts Say

Dream Baby Sleep® is a group of certified experts who are successfully teaching families how to create and maintain healthy sleep. They sum up night weaning like this:

“We feed the nutritional need and not the want to prevent a sleep food association. Stepping back and allowing your baby the freedom to self soothe will help them get the restorative sleep they need.”

While a few babies will naturally drop their night feedings without any help, the vast majority of babies will continue to wake up routinely to eat. 

So you can live with night feedings for the next however many years, or you can take some simple and effective steps to gently wean your baby off their night feeding habit.


“Remember, cries are protests to the change and it does NOT mean your baby feels alone or afraid, it simply means this is different and not how you did it last night.” 

– Carolynne J. Harvey, Certified Infant and Toddler Sleep Consultant and Founder of Dream Baby Sleep® 


If you want to benchmark your progress with additional support, you can always schedule a free consultation with a certified sleep expert who will talk through your specific sleep struggles.

Help is available! Don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional. You can get both peace of mind AND a peaceful night’s rest.


night weaning


What To Expect

How long will this whole night weaning thing take anyways? Well that depends.

If you take a gradual approach, it will likely take a few weeks. Some babies adjust sooner than others. It has a lot to do with your child’s individual temperament.

Like any kind of sleep training, night weaning can be challenging. Your baby will likely fuss, and that’s to be expected.

A good video monitor can help assuage your fears. You can easily check to see if your baby is wedged in the corner of their crib or if their foot’s stuck, so you know they’re not crying from discomfort.

All this being said, the most important thing you can do is be consistent. Weaning takes longer if you don’t stick to your plan. 

It also helps to be confident in your approach. Babies can sense your mood, so when you’re confident, they are too.

Remember that sleep is a learned behavior; it’s not an innate skill. And being exhausted shouldn’t be a mom’s claim to fame.

Follow these night weaning tips or reach out to a baby sleep expert to get extra help if you need it. 

The best thing you can do for your baby and yourself is to get the tools and support you need to foster restorative, healthy sleep.


About Dream Baby Sleep:

Dream Baby Sleep® is a loving group of certified experts who are successfully teaching families how to create and maintain healthy sleep. Our diverse education and team dynamic empower us to customize a plan catered to your family’s personal needs. By studying the temperament of your baby, parenting style and family dynamic we’re able to draw from all sleep training methods available to create success for your family.


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