late night feedings?

Erika - posted on 12/18/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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my son is just over 6 months old, he eats solids for breakfast and solids for supper, and snacks throughout the day a bit. in between these meals he is breast-fed and often i may add. but for the last couple of weeks he seems to be getting up more and more throughout the night to breastfeed, he gets lots throughout the day, and im putting him to bed with a full tummy (or so i think :s ), but he wakes up constantly wanting to feed. and im pretty sure he isnt going through a growth spurt, but more of an attatchment kind of thing. how can i bring these late night feedings to a minimal at night but make sure hes getting what he needs, and not put him into a fuss?

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Hannah - posted on 12/20/2011

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Feed him if he wants how long will he Do it for they grow up very fast I would give two bottles of formula till my daughter was two, u cannot spoil a six month old or develop bad habits, no one said being a parent was easy

Ashley - posted on 12/21/2011

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Rice Cereal and breastfeeding before bed. It will help fill him up, and make him sleep longer.

Lise - posted on 12/20/2011

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I say, feed him! He is just over 6 months, and that is SO young to not breastfeed at night (IMO). Things that increase night nursing include: teething, meeting milestones, sickness, growth spurts, and working on anything new. Keep in mind that breastfeeding is not JUST nutrition - it's connecting with mom, feeling comfort and love, etc.

I just figure no one knows how the baby feels except the baby... There are times I *need* water or food at night, even though I'm 30 and by all means "should" be able to sleep through the night. Even just comfort is a need to an infant.

Beth - posted on 12/20/2011

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6 months is a growth spurt month. Just feed him , it will pass and it's perfectly normal for an infant to wake at night to feed.



Also , breast feed him first don't give him solids until he's had his breastmilk.Milk should still be his primary source of nutrition solids are only for texture.

Elfrieda - posted on 12/19/2011

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I think it's probably discomfort of some kind, maybe a tummyache (from a new solid, maybe?) or teething. I always struggled with this, too. You don't want the baby to get used to waking up in the night by rewarding him every time he does it, but you don't want to ignore him if he needs something.

I usually end up running to him every time he cries in the night (because it's unusual) and trying to fix the problem, be it hunger or pain or nightmares, but after the problem (be it sickness, growth spurt, or teething) seems to have been resolved, I take a harder line, and let him cry, or just go in and sing to him without picking him up or giving him anything.

My 24 month old was really sick for about a week at the beginning of December, and got used to me jumping at his every whim, "You feel sad at 2 am? Well, let's play a little bit.""Oh, it's 3 am and you're hungry? Well, no wonder, since you only ate 2 bites at supper. Let's rush downstairs and give you something." and of course he got quite accustomed to this, and has had quite an unhappy adjustment now that he's well again. But it only takes a few days to "de-spoil" him, so I feel like pampering him when he's not feeling great is okay.

At 6 months old he might still need a meal at night, especially since I think 6 months is a growth spurt time. I did a "dreamfeed" with my son until he was 14 months old. I would put him to bed at whatever time, and then sneak up at 10:30 or 11 pm, right before I was going to bed, and give him a bottle (but people say it works with bf, too). He would drink it in his sleep (no burping), and then would sleep until morning. That way I knew he wasn't waking up from hunger.

That was a bit stream-of-consciousness. Sorry, hope it makes sense! :)

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Stephanie - posted on 12/20/2011

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when your baby does wake up at night keep the lights off or low and do not to to him. that way you are reaffirming it is night time not a time to be up and alert.

Mia - posted on 12/20/2011

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Cheeky baby, sounds like he's getting more than enough to eat so could be one of many reasons why he is waking. I'd be trying not to feed him if possible, offer water & try some controlled comforting to get him back to sleep. My son did this at the same age for a whole month, I just persisted with the controlled comforting & he eventually got the picture! Rule out the usual suspects for waking, teeth, pain from feeding/solids, any other health concerns, growth spurt or as the others suggest waking as they are going through a milestone period. Check with your child nurse if you're concerned about what amount of solids & bf he's having but by the sounds it's more than enough! Good luck, the night wakes at that age after they've been sleeping through sucks!!

Meaghan Van - posted on 12/20/2011

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I have a 2 yr old and a 6 month old... my 2 yr old boy was a horror at sleeping, and has only gotten into a reasonable pattern when my daughter was born. But here are some of the reasons why your little guy might not be settling... if he is getting close to moving, he may be excited about it and not able to sleep for long periods... we found when ever our son was about to reach or did reach a milestone ( sitting, crawling, walking etc.) he wouldnt sleep well. if it has anything to do with that just let him play in his crib. Now is a GREAT time to move him into his own room if you havent already. You can always leave a low wattage lamp on, so that if he wakes he can see any of his little toys to play with. Also as another person mentioned, the "dreamfeed"... It is quite something to see the difference between my daughter and my son... My daughter gets a bottle right before we put her to bed, and if she is asleep when i give it to her, then she will generally take the whole thing.. slowly.... i mean really slowly, but she sleeps beautifully through the night... I would sooo reccomend that. Also try giving him some simple foods as a bedtime snack (aka rice cereal or something with a lower energy count so it doesnt wind him up) this will help him to feel full longer as well. also a soother/pacifier will help too... but you have to be tough... oh and another thing to help discourage him, is to give him water in a bottle, every time he wakes up. The fact is that your baby boy has probably got YOU into HIS routine and not the other way around...lol... i know how it feels, i went through the same thing. SO this is what I would do in this order.
1.Night time snack before bed
2. Dreamfeed
3.Water in a bottle, or, a pacifier everytime he wakes after that.
You will have to be tough though if he knows you will soften up and give him the boob, he will keep going...lol. The fact is that if you are doing all these things, then hes almost certainly not hungry. hope this helps

Britni - posted on 12/20/2011

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My 3rd son who is now 21 months is just now not waking up in the middle of the night to nurse. He did wake up more at night when going through growth spurts, teething, sick or even if he didn't nurse as much during the day. I think most of it was for comfort he needed that extra contact with mommy and I was always happy to give it to him.

Christina - posted on 12/19/2011

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I'd try other things first (pacifier, gas drops, etc.) before feeding him. is he getting restless or just crying like something's wrong? If he's just restless then I'd try to just comfort him (not really stimulating him) and see if that helps him get back to sleep.

Erika - posted on 12/19/2011

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well the nutrition guide calls for solids moring and afternoon, and i do morning and supper to space it out. and like a baby cookie here and there (for 6 mnth and up ) but yea, teething may be the problem :D i know he has 2 just sitting there that havent broken through yet :)

Amy - posted on 12/19/2011

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That seems like a lot of solids for a 6 month old. Some babies are just beginning solids and your baby is having solids 3-4 times a day if I read that right. Remember solids before 1 are just for fun, at this age they should be offered after you've bf, and only an ounce or two. Their primary source of nutrition before 1 is breastmilk or formula, there aren't any solids that are going to match the calorie intake your little one gets from solids.

As far as the night waking there could be many many reasons. It could be a growth spurt, babies have them quite frequently. Babies also waki more frequently when they are hitting a new milestone and they're trying to master it. Could it be teething, my daughter always wants to be held and to a lesser extent nursed when she's teething. Her night time wakings become increasingly more frequent until the tooth breaks through, on our worst nights she would wake as often as every 45 minutes, there were a couple of night we just coslept for everyones sanity.

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