Q:

What is the best way to wean an 8-month-old baby from breastfeeding at night when he refuses a bottle?

A:

Quick Answer

BabyCenter stresses that a key to weaning a baby from breastfeeding, whether during the night or day, is to begin the process slowly and gradually. Nurse the baby for a shorter amount of time on each breast. Patting and calming the baby back to sleep may lengthen the time between feedings.

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Full Answer

As the baby grows and gets more active, he may not want to stop to breastfeed during the day and instead want to make up for it during the night. Take scheduled breaks to nurse him in a quiet place during the day. Also offer feedings in the evening; he may not wake up because he is hungry at night. Eliminate feedings gradually. When the baby wakes at night, gently soothe and comfort him and let him know that it is time for sleep not eating, recommends BabyCenter.

Avoid trying to night wean during a time of transition for the family. For example, delay night weaning if getting ready to go back to work. If the mother is gone more during the day, she needs to give the baby extra cuddling in the evening so that he feels more connected and secure, making him less likely to cry for comfort during the night, notes BabyCenter.

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