stopping night time feeding

Tiffany - posted on 01/18/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )




my daughter is 4 1/2 month old and is still waking during the night to feed. every once in a while she will sleep the whole night without waking so i know she can do it. how do i stop the night feeding and get her to stay asleep. she is formula feed and has rice twice a day


Becky - posted on 01/20/2010




How much is she eating? If she's eating a full bottle, then she likely is really hungry and I wouldn't deny her that. If she's just eating an ounce or so and going back to sleep, she may just be waking out of habit and wanting the sucking to go back to sleep. I agree with Heidi, try soothing her in other ways before you resort to a feeding. Put in a pacifier, rub her back, rock her if you need to (although that may become a habit too!). If you're not doing a dream feed - a late night feed right before you go to bed, try doing that. It may fill her up so she doesn't wake later.

Gotsome - posted on 01/20/2010




My little guy is also 4.5 mos old, formula fed & we stopped night feeding just over a month maybe more now. Like you he had an out of the blue sleep through the night & it got me wondering if he was feeding b/c he was hungry or was it just habit, so I tried the next night to go in & rather then turn lights on, pick up etc, just give him back his pacifier & to my surprise he turned his head over & went back to sleep! So I just kept reapeting the same routine & we haven't had a nightime feed since! We also swaddle him, so on occassion I also have to re-swaddle him as well as give him back his pacifier.

I don't know if you use a pacifier but a doctor I spoke to, who is also an advocate of pacifers - rare I know - said that babies need something to help soothe them, they don't have a natural instinct to do this for themselves, so a pacifier can be a good way to bridge the gap until they figure out how to do it for themselves.

Hope this helps!

Heidi - posted on 01/20/2010




Try soothing her back to sleep before feeding. I do agree to feed babies whenever they are hungry; I feed my child when he is hungry. However, sometimes babies wake up because they are moving though a different stage of sleep. Just like adults babies go through a relaxed state of sleep where they don't budge an inch (and you wonder if they are still breathing!) to a more active state of sleep where they may be moving around, etc. but still sleeping. They cycle through those sleep stages repeatedly every time they sleep. Sometimes as they are transitioning from the active state back to the restful state of sleep they may awaken prematurely. A soothing voice, a pacifier or mommy's embrace can often put them right back to sleep. So I would try these things first before offering food. If you are not able to get her back to sleep using these techniques, then it probably is because she is hungry so obviously feed her.

My son did just like your daughter for a couple weeks and then he started sleeping through the night consistently.

Jodie - posted on 01/18/2010




my daughter stoped have a feed during the night about a month ago shes now 4 months she has the odd 1 or 2 but she sleeps thru the night, we noticed the more we stuck to a routine the more she slept thru the night and the less she ate. Another thing we noticed was bath bottle bed worked cos it relaxed her so much she just went straight to sleep and stays asleep x


View replies by

Rebel - posted on 01/24/2010




At 2 1/2 months my sons ped said he didnt need to eat at night. (He was in 70th percentile). Well that same night he slept through the night on his own and has ever since. I think its funny, its like he heard us talking and knew I was going to try to make him anyway. hahaha Both my older daughters never slept through the night that early. All babies are different!

Sarah - posted on 01/24/2010




I feed my son atleast 6 ounces of formula before he goes to sleep at around 10 or 11 at night, and when he wakes up at 3 in the morning, I've just been giving him his pacifier, and shshsh him and he goes right back to sleep until around 7or 8. I just started to do this 3 days ago, and so far so good. My son is 4 months old.

Brandi - posted on 01/24/2010




I would say try to keep her on a sched. my little one hit 4 months this week but, she started sleeping through the night at under two months. ( I got lucky) I give her a warm bath with the lavender baby bath a few hours before bed time then a warm bottle about a half and hour to an hour before and it seems to work for us. I know a few people told me to give her cereal in her bottle but, that did nothing for her.... I do hope you find something that helps...

Stacey - posted on 01/24/2010




None my kids slept therough the night until they were 2y. Every kid is individual. Babies are growing so much not just physicaly but mentally and emotionally as well so there could be any number of reasons your bub is waking. I wouldn't worry to much as she is only little. Sleep deprevation is the finest form of torture and one day you can say you have survived it.

Justyna - posted on 01/23/2010




She is still very little and she most likely still needs the extra feeding. My first daughter woke up almost up to her 1st birthday. And my 2nd who is 17 weeks still wakes up 2x at night...but it depends on a baby .......good luck

Kathryn - posted on 01/23/2010




My son hadn't done that since he was 2 months but recently started again 2 or 3 times a night! its like he eats just as often as during the day some nights! maybe its a phase. i hope.

Katy - posted on 01/23/2010




another option to try is asking someone else to soothe the baby when they wake in the night. often the smell of mum (even for a bottle fed baby) equals food, so if someone other than you could soothe in the night, it might break the "habit" of night waking. I think my son wakes mostly out of habit too, as he often takes only a few minutes of nursing before he is asleep again, so he cant be that hungry if he is off to sleep again so quickly. a good book to read is the no cry sleep solution. i found it interesting and helpful.

Heidi - posted on 01/23/2010




Parents are always told that babies are not capable of sleeping through the night and that we are just supposed to be sleep-deprived parents all the time. That is actually not the case. My baby was sleeping 8 hours per night as early as 2 months old. Yes, all babies are different but it is possible. Just make sure your baby is getting enough nourishment during the day and she will help you drop the middle of the night feeding.

Marsha - posted on 01/22/2010




she's actually too young to stop the night feedings. I know that's not what you want to hear, but one feeding a night is about right ofr her age right now.

Sarah - posted on 01/20/2010




you guys are so lucky! My boy wakes up at least twice a night still. (4 months on the 4th) I am breastfeeding tho, so it might be diff. He has been eating rice cereal for almost a week now, hopefully he will sleep longer. Also, he goes to bed about 8 and doesnt wake up till 2 usually, so by the books, sleeping straight 5 hours is sleeping through the night, lol.. I dont remember my daughter getting up so often, but this is going back 11 yrs ago, lol. (and she was on formula)

Denise - posted on 01/20/2010




I had the same problem. i dont know if you feel comfortable with using baby food, but Sometimes when I mix baby food with the formula it keeps him full for a bit longer. Also, there is a formula that is called Enfamil Restful, that also seems to do the trick. I believe its made with added rice to help and keep babies full for a longer amount of time. It is specifically made to be used only at bedtime. You can also try using a nightly routine for bedtime. Sometimes playing, then a nice lavender bath just prior to bedtime is good. I heard that the massaging is also good. I, myself havent tried that. I know the baths and also the Enfamil before bed works for me.

Marina - posted on 01/20/2010




I agree with Jodie. We've noticed with my son that the more consistent we were with his routine, the better he slept through the night. He started sleeping all the way through at about 8 weeks old, and that was around the time I started doing his routine: bath at 8:00pm, lotion massage and little exercises, bottle, and then it was bed time by around 9:30.

However, it does really depend on the baby. Some just really do need those night time feedings.

Noreen - posted on 01/18/2010




Sleeping through the night is a milestone. Just like sitting up and rolling over. Some babies get there sooner then others. My 5 yr old was formula fed from 3 months on and he didn't start sleeping through the night without a night time bottle until he was close to a year! My 3.5 yr old was breastfed for a year, and didn't sleep through the night with out getting up atleast once to eat until he was about a year too. Some babies just need that night time feeding for whatever reason. Maybe she is truely hungry. Just think if you were to wake up in the middle of the night starving. So hungry that your belly was rumbling and it was almost painful. Would you crawl out of bed and go to the pantry or fridge and eat a snack to get you through the morning?? Sometimes you have to really put yourself in their shoes.

Abby, my 4 month old isn't sleeping through the night either yet. She gets up atleast once a night, sometime twice. But it isn't a really big deal for me because I co-sleep and breastfeed, so I just whip it out and go right back to sleep. When I was getting up with her when she was younger (mainly so I would know how long she nursed) I used that time to catch up on a show I missed w/our dvr. I also used that time to have one on one bonding time since I have 3 kids and it's very rare that I get one on one time with any. :O)

Evelyn - posted on 01/18/2010




My daughter turned exactly 4 months today. She has been sleeping through the night for a little over a month now. I have been mixing a teaspoon of rice cereal in her formula and it seems to keep her pretty satisfied throughout the night. Also having them on a routine really helps.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms