When is it OK to night-wean? Do I have to night-wean? Will it affect my supply? How can I protect my supply?
I Get asked these questions A LOTTTTT.
Short answer is: this is an extremely personal decision for each family and your timeline may shift with each child you feed.
I wouldn’t recommend night weaning a young infant, certainly not before 4-6 months.
What I want to drive home is that if your latch, supply, or other elements of your feeding goals haven’t been met, throwing this into the mix certainly won’t help. Get an expert LC to help you optimize your latch and meet your goals BEFORE you jump into night-weaning.
If you’re thinking about night-weaning keep these things in mind:
✨ keep track of baby’s output! We want to make sure that baby is getting enough. Having baby weighed 10 days - 2 weeks after starting is important. Data is your friend here!
✨ if baby is or could be ill, or teething they will likely want to (and need to) feed in the night. When we are sick we often need additional fluids in the night—babies are no different. They also don’t want to go through illness or marked discomfort alone. Right?
✨ your baby will have to make up these feeds during the day. Expect more frequent feeds. It’s also helpful to offer the breast/chest every hour before bed for 2-3 hours before baby’s bed time. Aim for 7-8 daytime feeds (at least).
✨ if you’re at all worried about your supply, pump or hand express before you hit the hay. Full breasts/chest tell your brain to slow milk production, so we want to avoid milk stasis for long periods. If you notice a big drop in supply you may have to pump in the middle of the night (ugh) if you want to keep your supply up. Hand expressing after day feeds can also amp up your supply a bit. More empty breasts/chests = more milk made! Drain them! Some bodies don’t need the night pumping and adapt, others just simply do.
✨ your body may adapt to the front loaded feeds, give it a sec to get with the rhythm and then assess.
✨ If your body can’t keep up or baby isn’t feeling it, you can try again a bit down the road. Doesn’t mean it won’t work just because it doesn’t work right now.
reach out by checking out my Book Now tab! I love talking about all things feeding and would like nothing more than to help you navigate choices around sleep and protect your feeding goals no matter what you choose!