October 14, 2015
Night Feedings - Part 2, How to stop feeding through the night

You’re reading this because you feel confident it’s time to eliminate night feedings?  You must have been reading up on this and have already spoken to your doctor!  Don’t try this at home without evaluating thoroughly with your medical professional.

In the case of multiple night feedings, choose the one where your child eats the least or the one that you find the most difficult.  I would also recommend avoiding feeding the the “forbidden zone,” between 4AM and 5:30AM, unless that’s your child’s morning waking (and if it is your child’s morning waking, you need to call me).  Those are the feedings to wean first.

Option 1: Gradual Approach

This is exactly how it sounds.  For bottle fed babies, gradually reduce the volume in each feeding.  I suggest 1-2 ounces every day or every couple days.  Repeat as necessary for each night feeding.

*I don’t advise diluting the formula – most parents don’t approach this properly.  We don’t need to create an electrolyte imbalance.

For breastfed babies, follow as above.  But this time, reduce the number of minutes in each feeding.  Repeat as necessary for each night feeding.

The goal is to get the feeding down to nothing or a minimal amount.  From there, your baby may voluntarily stop waking and just sleep through. Which would be great!  If you child is still waking, and you’d like to offer reassurance or soothing to settle your child, send in the non-nursing parent or the parent who was less involved with night feedings.  The nursing parent could be a tease and may ultimately make settling more difficult.

I like this approach if we have lots of time, or find feedings are fairly organized. However, I find this can be difficult strategy for feedings that are more “snacks” or for a child who is waking very frequently through the night.

Option 2: Direct Approach

Exactly how it sounds.  Cold turkey.  I don’t always like this approach for children who are eating a lot at night, but for older children who are waking frequently, and just snacking, it’s our only way to be consistent.  You can always offer soothing, reassurance and support, but if you are trying to completely cut out night feedings, make sure you’re going to be consistent with that.

Above all, neither of these strategies will be successful if we aren’t working on all aspects of sleep training.  Pulling out night feedings without teaching your child to self settle is a lost cause.

Done all this?  Still not working?  Stay tuned for next week when we talk about why night weaning isn’t working at your house.



About the author:

KristaGuenther Krista is a mother of 3 (+1 dog who believes she’s people), a wife to a wonderful husband, and the owner and founder of Sleeperific.  Even though she’s been in the sleep consulting biz for 4 years, she still feels excited and honoured when she’s hired by a sleepy family.
October 5, 2015
Night Feedings - When to stop feeding through the night

We all know that babies arrive with itty bitty tummies. Round the clock feedings are a regular part of parenting in those first weeks and months.  Just a reminder as to how tiny those tummies really are:

Stomach Size - Infancy and Beyond

But infants turn into older babies who are more capable of eating well all day and less at night. When do night feedings become unnecessary? When is it more of a habit than a necessity for survival?

Talk to Your Doctor

First and foremost, I always recommend collaborating with your medical doctor. They have been monitoring your child’s growth and development and will be able to offer insight into your particular child’s unique needs.

Your physician will likely evaluate the following along with you:

  • Is baby healthy, growing well and hitting developmental milestones appropriately?
  • If you’ve started solids, is baby accepting those well?
  • Current age and weight
  • Duration of night (when is bedtime, when is wake time)

Some information you can consider to contribute to the decision-making:

Is my baby:

  • eating well? (full, quality feeding as opposed to just snacking)
  • going back to sleep well? (settles back to sleep well as opposed to ready to party)
  • only waking to eat? (or waking many other times)

If the answer is no to any of the above, ask yourself if the night feeding limiting your child’s ability to sleep?  If the night feeding isn’t working, is it necessary to keep it?


There comes a point where you can help your child prioritize sleep at night and prioritize eating during the day. These are important strides in self-regulation. Self-regulation refers to several complex processes that allow children to appropriately respond to their environment.[1] There are many experts in child development that suggest self-regulation in eating and sleeping patterns are some of the first to emerge in children.[2] Skipping these important first steps in self-regulation can impact a child’s ability to self-regulate in thoughts, emotions and behaviours in later life.

There isn’t any one-size fits all approach to take. I don’t think there’s a cut off that “every baby” need to be fed through the night until they’re 12 lbs, 4 months or 1 year old.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for further posts on how to eliminate night feedings and why night weaning isn’t working for your family.



[1] Bronson, M.B. 2000. Self-Regulation in Early Childhood: Nature and Nurture.   New York: Guilford

[2] Owens, Judith. “The Assessment and Management of Common Behavioral Sleep Problems in Children.” The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON. 6 March 2015. Keynote Address.

About the author:

KristaGuenther Krista is a mother of 3 (+1 dog who believes she’s people), a wife to a wonderful husband, and the owner and founder of Sleeperific.  Even though she’s been in the sleep consulting biz for 4 years, she still feels excited and honoured when she’s hired by a sleepy family.
April 5, 2015


1) Sleep matters: Sleep Consultants or Sleep Coaches clearly understand the benefits of healthy sleep, not only for your child but for parents too: improved health and wellness, better coordination and safety, increased capacity of memory and learning, as well as a happier mood and temperament.

2) Overwhelming information: From books, advice from well-meaning friends and family, to good old Google – there’s a lot of (mis)information out there. A sleep expert will help you wade through it and offer the real evidence and experience based expertise and support.

3) Certified Sleep Consultant:  Unfortunately, the term sleep consultant is not protected, meaning anyone can use that title. There’s a lot of self described experts out there. Look for a Certified Sleep Consultant or Certified Sleep Coach.  My certification process involved over 80 hours of training, along with mentored practical training with families. I’m part of an association which mandates an accredited certification, standards of practice, along with continuing education.

4) Continuing Education:  Ensure your sleep consultant is staying on top of the growing body of sleep research. I’m committed to ongoing professional development. In addition to keeping current with the latest research on pediatric sleep, I’ve participated in various symposiums and conferences with world renowned sleep researchers and physicians.

5)  Parent: Choose a sleep coach or consultant who is also a parent. I’ve been tired too (yes, this tired). I understand balancing different needs for different children at different stages. I appreciate where your children are developmentally and the enormity of the task of raising your tiny humans. You want the best for them and to be at your best for them.

6) Ongoing support:  Your sleep coach or consultant will evaluate progress objectively, while providing support emotionally.  As an educator, sleep coaches can offer information to help parents make the best decisions to reach their long term family sleep goals.

7) Planning:  A sleep coach can help you with your infant, but also help you strategize for when that infant turns into a toddler and eventually a preschooler, or when another sibling joins your home. When new circumstances arise, we can tackle them together.

8) Self Regulation:  One of the first tasks for babies as they mature is to self regulate their eating and sleeping. Self-regulation is an important step in emotional and social development.  Difficulty in self-regulation can lead to challenges when children are faced with emotional, cognitive or social challenges.

9) Strong Families: Even within a family unit, each parent can have a different way they’d like to approach sleep. Let the sleep coach be the unbiased party who can work with your family objectively, while allowing parents to be supportive of one another. Everyone can be better and accomplish more with a good night’s sleep. One of the best ways to have a joyful, thriving, cohesive and loving family is to be a well rested family.

10) The Bicycle Effect: Learning to sleep is like learning to ride a bicycle.  Just like riding a bike, once you’ve established the ability to sleep well, those skills are always there. You might be out of practice from time to time, but that learned ability does not disappear.  Teaching a child to sleep well is a gift that will last a lifetime.  An entire family gets the healthy sleep they need, but that child will learn they are capable.


 KristaGuenther Krista is a mother of 3 (+1 dog who believes she’s people), a wife to a wonderful husband, and the owner and founder of Sleeperific.  Even though she’s been in the sleep consulting biz for 4 years, she still gets really excited when she’s hired by a sleepy family.