Hi, I'm hoping for some advice on how to reduce night feedings. My DS is almost 7 months and for the last few weeks his sleep has been an absolute nightmare. He goes down around 7:30 then is usually up every hour or so until about 11, then again at 1, then at 4, then up for the day around 5-5:30. I generally tend to him and feed him every time he wakes up. We are working on his sleep from multiple angles, using mostly ideas from Gail Pantley's book, "The No-Cry Sleep Solution". He spends most of the night in his crib then usually comes into bed with us after the 4AM waking so we can get a little more sleep (otherwise he would probably be up for the day at 4AM).
Anyway, we went to the pediatrician a couple of days ago and she asked about his sleep. I told her how it was going, she basically told me he needs to learn to self-soothe, that it is developmentally appropriate for him to do so, and that at this point biologically he no longer needs to eat at night and could learn to sleep through the night without any feedings. He's a pretty big boy, 18 lbs 11.5 oz and 27 inches long at not quite 7 months. We've never had any issues with his weight gain except in the first couple of days after he came home from the hospital. I work about 30 hours a week, breastfeed when I'm home and pump while at work. I have no issues with supply and have actually maintained a mild oversupply--I can pump anywhere from 5 oz-10 oz per day above what he actually eats.
Now, based on what the pediatrician said, my DH would like to night-wean or at least cut back on feedings at night. I am in agreement with cutting back on nighttime feedings, if it is possible to do so without jeopardizing my supply, but I am not ready for night-weaning and I don't think my DS truly is either, regardless of what my pediatrician says. (I do like my pediatrician a lot and think she has a great bedside manner but I don't agree with her on sleep issues and don't feel the need to listen to everything she says).
Ideally, I would like to reduce to just 1 night feeding, preferably the one right before I go to bed around 12-1AM. So in my ideal world, he would eat around 7:30 right before he goes to bed, then again around midnight, then again around 5:30 when he wakes up.
Do you think I can work on reducing the night feedings to one per night at this point without jeopardizing my supply as a working mom? Alternatively, could DH give one bottle overnight if need be--e.g. I would still feed at 7:30 PM and 12AM, but DH could give a bottle if DS wakes at 4AM? That 4AM feeding is killing me. Then I would feed again around 5:30 AM. I make plenty of milk right now and could pump enough at work to supply that nighttime bottle but I don't know if it would cause supply issues in the long run. I'm just nervous as a working mom about my supply. I know stimulation from baby is way better than pump in terms of maintaining my supply so I guess I'm a bit worried about cutting down on the night nursing, even though I really need to start getting more sleep!
I'm exhausted all the time and it's affecting my work so something has to change here. However, I want to breastfeed for minimum a year and am planning at this point to continue for longer so I also don't want to hurt my supply. DH is supportive of me continuing one night feeding if I want to, and is also supportive of me continuing to nurse beyond a year if I want. He just agrees with the doctor that biologically DS doesn't 'need' night nursing anymore and thinks I am doing it more for my own sake than DS' sake.
Co-sleeping more to get more sleep isn't an option for us--our bed is too small and as big and squirmy as DS is, none of us sleep well anymore when we're all in bed together. So that's not an option for getting more sleep.
I would really value everyone's input on this one. Thanks in advance!
ETA: I breastfeed DS directly in the morning before work at least once, sometimes twice, and again in the evening usually 3 times between when I get home and when he goes to bed, if that makes any difference.