Mr. Parenting
Half-asleep mom bottle feeding her infant in bed during the middle of the night

Sleep Troubles And Nighttime Feedings

Although your child might stop regular nighttime feedings on his own by the time he’s 3 months old, do not expect– or insist– that such a young baby give them up entirely.

If your child is at least 3 months old, still nurses, or needs a bottle at bedtime, and needs to eat again during the night, then the extra feedings may well be triggering extra wakings. You may help him sleep better by reducing the number of these feedings if that is the case.

However, if your infant takes in a good quantity of food– from many feedings of more than 8 ounces for the night– then he has learned that specific times of night are mealtimes. To remove these feedings suddenly wouldn’t be sensible or reasonable.

The quantity of milk or juice your child drinks during the night may be substantial. If he empties four full eight-ounce bottles, that is a significant amount for even an adult to take in overnight.

Resolving The Trouble

Suppose you find that unnecessary feedings disrupt your child’s sleep during the night. In that case, you will be relieved to know that these disturbances are one of the simplest to correct.

The first step is to lower or eliminate the nighttime feedings to avoid their different sleep-disrupting results.

The 2nd is to teach your kid brand-new sleep associations so that he can fall asleep without being held, without eating, and without sucking on the breast or bottle.

To fix the problems caused by the feedings, start by slowly reducing the number of nighttime feedings, their size, or both. Just don’t stop the feedings all of a sudden. A program designed to enable new patterns to develop will be easier for him to follow.

Your goal is to gradually move your child’s sensations of hunger out of the nighttime and into the daytime. As soon as there is only a single nighttime feeding left, you can pick to stop that feeding immediately. If you prefer, you can limit the total quantity of consumed food throughout the night.

If you are dealing with sleep issues and cravings patterns simultaneously, put your child in bed as quickly as each feeding is over, even if he wakes and starts to cry. If you nurse him and he sleeps beside you, move him off of you when the feeding is done so that he can go to sleep without utilizing your breast as a pacifier. You’ve just fed him, so he is not starving– now you are just altering his expectation of what happens while he falls asleep.

Within a week, if all works out, you will have reduced or even removed the nighttime feedings. After that, continue progressive waiting at waking during the night (except for feeding times) up until the wakings stop. It must not take more than a couple of days.

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My name is

Dallas Parker

I’m a writer that researches, practices and puts the spotlight on fatherhood and how to be a proactive Dad. Read More
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