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I'm new here. My son is soon to turn 7 months and I'm in the process of weening from breastfeeding to formula due to medical reasons. I've stopped the daytime feedings and he seems to be doing well. However, it's been rather difficult to stop the night time feedings. He refuses the bottle and wants to breastfeed. Help! Any suggestions
I want to start by welcoming you to the site, I'm always excited to meet new moms! It sounds like you have a beautiful boy who is keeping you on your toes! :) Since he has transitioned to the bottle during the day I am reassured that it is not the formula, the bottle, or the feeding technique that you are doing that is leading him to refuse the bottle at night. GIven this I have a feeling that those nighttime feeds have just as much to do with comfort as they do with nutrition. Helping babies learn to "self sooth" is something that is really important, but it can be hard to do. What self soothing is-is the ability to find a way to comfort oneself. There are many adults that have not learned to do this, so if you can help him learn this now then many developmental milestones will go much easier. What I encourage parents to do is to find something that their child finds comforting, and then offer this to them when they are upset. I have one patient who has an amazing mom that taught her adopted two year old how to sooth himself by rubbing is thumb on his cheek. I was beyond impressed as when I met this kiddo at the doctors office he was quite afraid. Mom quickly suggested to him to rub his cheek with the side of his thumb. Having had much practice he instantly quietly did so and within 1-2 minutes was talking to me and wanting to play with my stethoscope. Impressive hugh?! Now, your 7 month old is a bit young for this but there are other ways that he can self sooth. You might consider a special stuffed animal, a rattle or blanket, or other toy that he can hold when he is feeling distressed. Now this being said you might start by offering him the nighttime bottle as well as a soft blanket to hold while he feeds at night. This soft blanket is intended to offer him the comfort that breast feeding does, while he gets his nutrition from the bottle. There may be some rough days but you have been very impressive with the transitions you have already worked through with him. please do let me know how things are going. Take care, Jess
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