I must start this by saying: THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO NEWBORNS!
Oftentimes, once a baby is putting him or herself to sleep at the start of the night, and they are on a good schedule, their night wakings diminish tremendously. This does not mean they will stop waking to feed: it can be biologically normal for babies to require a night feeding within the first year of their life. Sometimes, a baby will drop the feeding on his or her own, but other times, it isn’t so cut and dry.
Here are some telltale signs a night feeding needs to be eliminated:
1) Your child is waking up shortly after going to sleep at the start of the night in order to be fed.
2) They are falling asleep during the feeding and not even taking a full feed.
3) They are waking up shortly after the feeding has taken place (or they are waking frequently after the feeding has taken place)
4) They are not falling asleep easily after they’ve been fed.
It is TOTALLY NORMAL for some babies to hold onto a night feeding and sleep training does NOT mean ignoring your child’s nutritional needs, but as your baby grows, they begin to demonstrate these signs. If a feeding that was once easily manageable becomes an issue, it may be time to reassess and drop the feeding!
There are many ways you can go about dropping a feeding. The most common two modes are:
1) Using whatever sleep training method you used at the start of the night for any and all wake ups
2) Cutting down the time/amount you feed every day or two until you are no longer feeding your child in the night