Cold turkey night weaning?! Am I being cruel!! Ahh!!

My little boy is seven months old and wakes 5/6 times a night, the only way I can settle him is to breastfeed! He has three meals a day plus numerous feeds from me so I know hes not hungry. He in the 91st percentile so is a good weight. 

I have decided to go cold turkey and cut the night feeds. I still go to him when he wakes to comfort him/offer water but I do not feed him. it takes about an hour each time to settle him but leaves me an emotional sobbing mess! It is fighting every natural instinct I have not to feed him when he is so distressed and clawing at my boobs!

am I doing the right thing? I feel like the worst mum in the world!!


  • You are going to him every time & comforting him so you are absolutely not doing anything wrong! He is still getting his emotional needs reaponded to (which develops trust) but you are just working on teaching him a new way to self soothe other than the boob. As you say, he does not need to be fed through the night as he's eating and feeding during the day fine. I know how absolutely terrible this time must be for you but you're doing great at persevereing and it will soon start to ease in sure! Have a look at some of 'the baby whisperers' advice for helping children to learn to soothe themselves to sleep in their cribs... like the 'pick up put down' method & also the ide of a phased withdrawal where for a few hours you might sleep on the floor by his crib so he can see you then gradually move further & further away until you are out the door. 

    Good luck & stick with it! 

  • HI, 

    My little boy is 5 mths old and I'm looking to night wean as soon as I can (obviously when he's weaned a little so is not so dependent on milk) so I was very interested in your post and of the replies you get! Rest assured you are not the worst mum in the world, breastfeeding takes it out of you and  by doing it this far is commendable. It's time to think of yourself and anyway, you'll still be there for your child but just it different ways xx

  • Hiya, thank you for the kind words! Just thought I'd update you if you are going to try the same. I actually ended up going to my GP, just to reassure myself that I was doing the right thing. He said as long as he is fully established on solids and getting enough food AND milk during the day that it was safe to go cold turkey. 

    It was four nights of absolute HELL! He was up every 45 mins, but each night got less and less until the fourth night when he slept straight through, and he has done ever since. He just didn't need the food, we just needed to break that habit of feeding to sleep! :) 

    good luck, I know every baby is different so what works for one may not for another! But just do it safely and what works for you :) 

  • Thanks so much for coming back to the forum Hannaha and letting us know how you got on - that's so helpful, and we're sure will be super useful to other parents in a similar position to you too. 

    Can we ask, when your son woke up those first few nights, how did you resettle him, if you did? 

  • Well done Hannah! thats great news that you stuck with it & he is doing better now! I bet you are very much enjoying your more restful nights! ☺️

  • thank you :) 

    yes I always went to him when he cried, just cuddled him/stroked him head/sang to him. lit would take about an hour in the beginning. 

    The best analogy I read was to imagine that you always ate a packet of crisps at 9pm.. if you cut that out, your blood Sugar would spike at 9pm And you would feel 'hungry'. You aren't hungry as you have had your dinner and do not need the crisps but your body craves the sugar at that time.  After a few days that spike In blood sugar would decrease and you wouldn't miss the crisps. Same applies for your baby... so for the first few nights, he will feel 'hungry' when he wakes.. so dont let him cry as he genuinely feels he needs you. It takes a few days for those spikes to go down. Hope that makes sense as it helped me to understand what I was doing lol 

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