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Should You Wake Your Baby Up for Feeds at Night?


You get accustomed to nighttime feedings with your little one, then your baby starts to sleep longer.  Should you wake them up?

When it comes to feeding your baby, it takes a little bit of math, coordination, and time management.  You may be counting ounces, adjusting feeding positions, mastering the art of preparing a bottle one-handed, and making sure that you are ahead of the game when your baby is hungry.  Practice makes parenthood possible. 

Your baby will dictate how hungry they are from the moment you meet them.  Breastfeeding has every advantage in that you can feed your baby on demand.  Those first few weeks may feel like you are feeding them constantly, but it is actually about every two or three hours.  Establishing a schedule and organizing your bottle-prep station will help, especially when you are feeling sleep-deprived.

What If Your Baby Has Not Consumed the Recommended Amount of Formula for the Day?

The key word in that question is “recommended”.  If your baby is healthy and not losing weight, the lack of a few ounces over a 24-hour period will not be detrimental to their well-being.  Consider their input for the day.  Are they satisfied when you feed them during the day?  Are diapers still wet and bowel movements are normal?  Your baby is happy, so you shouldn’t feel like you need to approach them with one more bottle.  Chances are, they won’t eat it.

If, however, your baby does not exhibit these healthy signs or is already underweight, then you should consult your pediatrician with your concerns and any changes in your baby’s appetite.  They will have their own recommendations if it is a concern.

Will Your Baby Sleep if They Are Hungry?

Adequate sleep is just as important as proper nutrition.  Newborns need between 16-18 hours of sleep for about the first four months.  After that, your baby will need between 12 to 16 hours of sleep a day.  However, your baby can be so tired that they fall asleep during feedings.  Even if the bottle is not empty, your little one is satisfied, and that is all that matters.

What Can Help Your Baby Sleep at Night?

A bedtime routine is a good start to a lifetime of bedtimes.  This includes a bath, a lullaby, a book, and something to eat.  Milk is known for its properties to help bring on sleep, so organic baby formula is no exception to that.  If your baby needs a formula that will help them feeling full throughout nighttime sleep, then maybe it is time to add cereal to their diet. Solids are recommended by pediatricians for babies six months and older when your baby’s digestive system is developed enough to support solid foods such as cereal as well as the extra iron.

 Edited and reposted from November 2018

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