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How Often Should a Baby Feed at Night?

May 27th, 2015 Raquel Rothe

By: Brandon Peters, MD (Sleep Expert)

If you have a young baby, you might wonder: When can my sleep get back to normal?! As part of this, you may want to learn how often your baby should be feeding at night. Learn about weaning in the first 6 months of life, how you can minimize awakenings to eat in the night, and at what age those feedings should go away entirely.

First, each baby is different. Don’t try to force something to happen that may not be right for your child.

  • If more than 8 ounces of fluid are consumed overnight, it may be necessary to redistribute this intake to the daytime. This should occur gradually.

Another way to assess whether the feedings are needed is to pay attention to the number of diaper changes that occur. Most babies who are older than 3 months do not need to be changed at night. If the diapers are frequently soaked at night, this can be a sign of excessive fluid intake. A well-hydrated baby will urinate the extra fluid. Older children with bedwetting may experience this due to other reasons.

It is possible to gradually reduce the frequency and volume of feedings at night. Your child will learn to consume the needed fluid during the daytime and sleep soundly through the night. Adults don’t typically drink or eat during the night. Similarly, most babies beyond the age of 3 months shouldn’t either.

If you are concerned about your child’s need for feedings at night, or if you have difficulty weaning these nighttime feedings, speak with your pediatrician to obtain further guidance.

Source:

Ferber, R. “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems.” Simon & Schuster, The Fireside Edition, 2006.