Nighttime Feedings and Your Baby’s Sleep

Listening to your child cry during the nighttime is no fun. You want your kids to be happy, and when it comes to your baby you want to leap to the rescue. Having said that, young babies are going to wake up at night. That’s just part of what they do. By the time your baby reaches six months of age, however, he’ll probably be sleeping through the night.

In this case, sleeping through the night means sleeping between the hours of midnight and 5 AM, which isn’t necessarily a long stretch for you. It can take that long for your baby’s tummy to be big enough to hold the food she needs to sleep for that long at a time.

Of course, some babies are still going to wake up for a while needing a nighttime feeding. Some babies just grow used to being fed in the middle of the night. When that baby wakes up, he’ll cry. In many cases, at least by the age of six months, he’s not crying for food, but rather for comfort. To be sure, hell eat, but he’s not eating because he’s hungry.

Nighttime feedings don’t do any harm to your baby. If your baby needs that little bit of comfort at night, it’s just all right. At the same time, doing what you can to work away from those nighttime feedings will benefit both you and your baby.

That’s not always an easy task. You’ll need to start by making sure you feed your baby before bed, but not right before. You want to give her some time to start digesting, and to go to the bathroom before you put her down. That will help insure that she sleeps longer.

You’re also going to need to get ready for a fussy night or even several. Let your baby fuss for a bit when he first wakes up, and give him a chance to calm himself. If you do need to come and help him get back to sleep, try to do it with cuddling, nuzzling, and rocking, rather than with a feeding.