Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Nighttime Feedings: Phasing Them Out
The first weeks with a newborn are extremely demanding. You
need to feed your baby every 2 to 3 hours. Her voracious
appetite makes any schedule impossible. You'll be up for
feedings at least twice each night. However, when your baby
is 1 month old, you can start to shape her feeding
HELPING YOUR INFANT GIVE UP MIDDLE-OF-THE-NIGHT FEEDINGS
- Don't feed your newborn more often than every 2 hours.
More frequent daytime feedings (such as hourly) lead to
frequent awakenings at night. For every time you nurse
your baby, there should be four or five times that you
snuggle your baby without nursing. Don't let her get
into the bad habit of eating every time you hold her.
(That's called grazing.)
- Put your baby in the crib drowsy but awake. Her last
waking memory needs to be of the crib, not of the breast
or bottle. If she learns how to put herself back to
sleep, she will not cry after normal awakenings. She
will cry at night only if she's hungry, sick, or
- Make middle-of-the-night feedings brief and boring.
Don't turn on the lights or talk to your baby. Feed your
child quickly and quietly. During the day you can
provide extra rocking and playtime.
With this approach and a little luck, your baby will give up
middle-of-the-night feedings between 2 and 4 months of age.