I am about to be a first time mom & I could really use some helpful advice. If your newborn wakes up in the middle of the night should you feed them?

Amanda - posted on 06/21/2012 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I am about to be a first time mom & I could really use some helpful advice. If your newborn wakes up in the middle of the night should you feed them? Some say it could start the habit of eating in the night. Or could cause teeth to rot.

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Jodi - posted on 06/21/2012

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It is normal for very young infants to need to feed every 2-4 hours (depending on the child), so yes, you feed them in the night. If you are planning on breastfeeding, you need to feed frequently to build up your milk supply too. Just remember, they have very little tummies, so they can only eat so much at a time, so you need to feed more frequently. However, it isn't uncommon for a child to still be waking at night for a feed much older.

User - posted on 06/21/2012

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Newborns should feed on demand, so feed them whenever they wake up and to begin with this will be several times a night. Don't stress about a schedule for about the first 3 months, just go with the flow.

Jenni - posted on 06/21/2012

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Newborns need to nurse every 2-3 hours, formula fed infants tend to go a bit longer, 3-4 hours but all children are different. It isn't until they're around 2-3 months that they are able to go a 6 hour stretch at night without eating. I nursed on demand and my children fell into a routine on their own. If your child is hungry you should feed them, especially young infants who are experiencing growth spurts every 3-6 weeks. It didn't cause any bad habits in my children, when they were ready to sleep 6 hours straight, they did. When they were able to sleep the entire night, they did.

Becky - posted on 06/21/2012

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Absolutely. Newborns' tummies are too small to go more than a few hours without food. It can actually be dangerous for a newborn to sleep through the night (8 hours or so). Personally, I wouldn't even consider night-weaning before 6 months at the earliest.

Chyann - posted on 06/21/2012

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Waking up in the middle of the night for feeding is common and to be expected when your baby is newborn. In fact, they eat every 2-3 hours for the first few weeks. Things you can do as a parent to avoid tooth decay is to avoid putting them to sleep with the bottle in their mouth, and using a warm wet cloth to wipe their gums clean everyday. As they get older, gerber and other companies make a gum cleanser that will do the trick.

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Stifler's - posted on 07/05/2012

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Yes you should feed them. They feed often as newborns every 1-4 hours day and night for the first few months, it's totally natural and if you're breastfeeding it keeps your milk supply up/establishes a supply for your baby to wake through the night. My kids woke until about 18 months for a feed. 12 hours is a long time to go without a drink.

Tina - posted on 07/05/2012

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That's not true I certainly fed my babies on demand. My daughter sleeps through now. Do what feels right. As a mother you learn as you go what is best for your child. No 2 children are exactly the same goodluck

Pat - posted on 07/05/2012

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Hi! Newborns will eat as often as they need depending on their cue. Feed the baby even at the middle of the night especially if youre breastfeeding.

Pat - posted on 07/05/2012

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Hi! Newborns will eat as often as they need depending on their cue. Feed the baby even at the middle of the night especially if youre breastfeeding.

Suzy - posted on 07/03/2012

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not true! if your child is crying, it can be due to hunger, so yes feed your child.

Kelly - posted on 06/28/2012

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all babies wake up in the night for a feed then in time they will learn to sleep through but this is when they are alot bigger, who ever said it could cause teeth to rot.....come on what newborn has teeth???????? wen you become a mum you automatically know your baby you will learn his/hers different cries so you will no if they re hungry or have a wet nappy dont fret to much it will all fall into place u will be suprised how well us women adapt, especially with lack of sleep. good luck and enjoy being a mummy. x

Sarah - posted on 06/23/2012

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Once your baby is here tooth rot will be the last thing on your mind :) If you are able to have a mind atleast. Everyone above is right on the eating when the baby is hungry. Good luck and just have a good time. Don't worry about everything. You will drive yourself nuts!

Sarah - posted on 06/23/2012

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Newborns stomachs are about the size of a chickpea, it doesn't take long for them to empty. Newborns should eat at least every 4 hours, but more like every 2 hrs (breastfed) or 3 hrs (formula). If you feed your baby less than every 4 hours, he/she will get dehydrated, putting them at risk for electrolyte imbalances, seizures, and death. This time will space out as they get older (over a period on months - not days). A good habit when the baby gets up is change diaper, feed baby, resettle to sleep. I would suggest getting yourself a good baby care book (if you can't afford one, the public library will have one). Sit down and read through it, because there's a lot to learn, not just about feeding, but sleeping, diapering, clothing, car seat safety, cavity prevention, bathing, safety, etc.

Elfrieda - posted on 06/22/2012

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All that advice about not feeding them at night doesn't apply until the baby's way older, like 6 or 7 months. But even then, I would still feed my son when he was hungry, I just didn't ASSUME that he needed food. By that time you'll know your baby's cues and you'll know if it's hunger or something else.

Just feed a newborn basically whenever it is hungry, and guide them onto a schedule that suits you gradually if you can. My son stopped waking up in the night to eat at around 2 months old. He would sleep for 7 hours, which is about the best you can expect from a 2 month old.

Gwen - posted on 06/22/2012

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Night feeding your infant is not going to cause tooth decay. As another poster suggested, wipe their gums with a damp cloth once or twice a day. When your baby starts getting teeth, use a little finger scrubber and some tooth gel to clean teeth once of twice a day.



After your child is older...say 1+ years, don't leave cups or bottles of milk/juice IN the crib with them. That is a bad habit that WILL lead to tooth decay.

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