17 answers

Nighttime Feeding

When my daughter was 5 months old, I switched her to formula because she completely lost interest in breastfeeding. I welcomed not getting up 4 times a night to feed but now feel like I'm doing something wrong. My friends (most of them have babies too) act surprised that she is still waking up 2 times to eat. She eats like a pig! She is now 6 months and eating baby food followed by a bottle 2 times a day and having a 4-6 oz. bottle about every four hours (the food is one of the 4 hour periods). Let me say that I know she can have up to 8 oz. She will only drink 4-6 oz. and a very occassional 8oz.bottle. Also, she is in the 50th percentile for weight and height so she's perfect in that regard. I know when she wakes up around 12 and 5 that she is hungry. She will chow down a 6 oz. bottle easily. Friends have suggested cluster feeding but that has only lead to my wasting a TON of formula! Has anyone had a similar problem? I honestly don't mind getting up at night but I don't want to start a habit either. Should I just let her keep going with her current schedule? Thanks in advance for the help!

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My little one also ate twice a night until about 6 months old. I didnt get rid of the 12 oclock feeding until she was only taking 2 or 3 oz. At that point I let her fuss and then she was fine after a night or two. I dont think she would be eating if she wasnt hungry. Have you tried doing other things like just repositioning or rocking before offering the bottle? I dont think you are doing anything wrong, babies are just different and when you feel she is ready, you can wean her from those feedings. Dont worry:)

I was told to give my baby a bottle with water when she will wake up at night. I did it for 3 nights and after that she satrted sleeping through the night. Give it a try. It has worked for my baby and all my nephews and nieces. It will be hard to hear her cry those 3 nights but it is so worth it.

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K.-

I sounds like our daughters are cut from the same cloth. Mine is 6 months also and formula fed from 2 months on. She's also in the 50% for height and 25% for weight. She eats like a piggy too. Two to three times a day she eats solids followed by a 6-8 oz bottle. Then she gets a mid day, afternoon, and before bed bottle that is about 10 oz. She does sleep through the night so I think that's why she eats the 10 oz bottles. (With cereal added to the bottle by the way.) She also will "sample" what mommy and daddy are having if it's appropriate for her to try it. For example mashed potatoes and such. I've asked her doctor about it and as long as she's not losing or gaining too much weight she's fine. She's told me, and I read this too, that babies will eat when they are hungry and fill up and not eat any more when they are done. They naturally will only eat what they need. So while our daughters are eating till they look like ticks ready to explode they are happy and healthy. Just don't give her too big of a hug after a full meal. I've done this and YIKES! I think they just have fast metabolisms.

My suggestion would be to see if your daughter will take a bigger bottle before bed. This might help her last longer at night. But again, I wouldn't worry about what she's doing or about what the other moms say. Your daughter is just different from your friends babies but she's similar to others out there in the world.

Good luck and enjoy your happy baby!
Jen
http://www.mommysjoy.com

1 mom found this helpful

I dont think that you are doing anything wrong. Every baby is different so try to resist the urge to compare yours to your friends :)

When my son was your daughters age he ate in very similar intervals (Funny, it was like I was reading about my own kiddo!) And he would go to bed at 7:00 and always wake up at 1:00 AM and 5:00AM on the dot for a 6 oz bottle. He was like clockwork. We just went with it. sure we could have let him cry it out and try to force him to sleep through the night, but I could just tell by his vocalizations that he was truly hungry so we fed him.

However that passed as all phases do and soon he was not waking up for nightime feedings. He is going to be one year this month and he still occasionally wakes up hungry in the middle of the night, but it is really rare and usually seems to coincide with a growth spurt.

You are doing great mama! Hang in there.

1 mom found this helpful

All infants are different and will wean nightime feedings at thier own pace. It is perfectly normal for your child to be waking up 2x a night at 5 mths but you should be helping her wean the midnight feed around this time.

I was told to give my baby a bottle with water when she will wake up at night. I did it for 3 nights and after that she satrted sleeping through the night. Give it a try. It has worked for my baby and all my nephews and nieces. It will be hard to hear her cry those 3 nights but it is so worth it.

Every child is different. I have to remind myself of this every once in a while. My son is 7 months and has slept through the night 3 times. He wakes up and wants to eat no later than 2:00am and then on a good day at 6:00sm. I tried the cluster feed and it turned into outfit change at midnight because the diaper didn't hold (night diaper). Your baby is still young and sounds to be healthy and normal. Soon enough she will sleep through the midnight feeding. They change weekly. Sounds like you are taking great care of your daughter.

If you don't have issues with being up at night, and it's good you don't because your baby needs you, then just keep doing what you are doing. You are responding to her needs, and she is hungry and growing and developing new "tricks" every day at this age. Keep up the good work and remember every baby is different and every mommy has a different idea of what is "normal", so do your thing and enjoy your daughter. Just tell your friends you are happy with your schedule and move on to the next topic.

My little one also ate twice a night until about 6 months old. I didnt get rid of the 12 oclock feeding until she was only taking 2 or 3 oz. At that point I let her fuss and then she was fine after a night or two. I dont think she would be eating if she wasnt hungry. Have you tried doing other things like just repositioning or rocking before offering the bottle? I dont think you are doing anything wrong, babies are just different and when you feel she is ready, you can wean her from those feedings. Dont worry:)

Sounds like your daughter is very normal to me, I have a 7 month old son when he was 5 months old did the same thing. He would wake up between 11:30pm-1:00am and again between 4:30-5:30am and proceed to drink an 8-10 ounce bottle. I wouldn't compare your baby with your friend’s babies because it will only make you crazy; every baby is so different. You know your baby best.

We started our son on rice or oatmeal cereal before he hit 6 months because he started to wake up three times a night, at various times. We began with plain cereal then slowly mixed the cereal with fruits or veggie purees until he now eats it four times a day; and usually only wakes up between 4-5am as long as he eats his last bowl of rice cereal around 7:30-8pm...If we miss his cereal we still need to feed him a bottle around 12:30am. This works for us so far. :)

At night, try putting on a slow flow (level 1) nipple to make it harder for her to suck on. If she is truly that hungry, you will be able to tell because she will get frustrated. Or fall asleep only to wake up a little bit later because she is hungry. Or, if she falls asleep and doesn't wake up til several hours later, then it is a habit and she's not that hungry. She only wants the sucking sensation that babies need especially when not being breastfed (bottles make it easy, breastfeeding makes them work for it and get the sucking need calmed). Train her to take a pacifier at night if that's the case. She doesn't sound fat and so I wouldn't worry about her in that regard unless it becomes a problem. All babies are different. *in regard to a previous post, babies can overeat. There are many cases of this and some so bad that cps had to intervene. If the parents always offer a bottle to soothe the baby instead of figuring out what's wrong, then the baby will soothe himself with a bottle. I'm not saying that's what you're doing, but you do have to watch it. I think I did this with my first child. You don't know what else to do and you assume they're hungry. She got fat very fast, my doctor was baffled. In hindsight, I was feeding her too often. But, better that then not enough. :-)

Could you increase her baby food intake to three times a day in addition to the bottles? I guess I would be a little concerned that she was developing a habit. My first baby would wake up once a night to nurse, and she actively nursed, but my pediatrician said that she could be going all night without eating and would be fine. She also said that sleeping 12 hours at night was very much within reason. We let her cry for a couple of nights (yes it was torture), but it broke the habit. I would also be wary of cluster feeding as that's just snacking and can lead to the habit of not eating full meals. Sounds like you are doing a great job, though! I hope my personal experience is helpful.

There is no problem. For a 6 month old, 5 hours is considered a full night's sleep (sad but true). Dr. Brazelton has a great book on sleep that discusses common sleep patterns for infants. It's short and sweet - so you can read it in the space of one or two naps. Every child is different and yours is doing just fine. I have never heard of a parent initiating cluster feeding - that's generally something that a baby starts whenever a growth spurt is on the way (and not all babies do it). You know your daughter. If she is thriving with her current schedule, then don't worry about how long she's "supposed" to sleep and enjoy your time with her.

Hello K., the first thing you need to remember is, everyone is different. Genetically she may be at a higher metabolic rate than your friends kids, so she will consume more, but her body will use what it consumes (that is why she is not over weight). The second thing you want to consider is, kids eat more when they are in a growth spurt, and less when thay are on a plateau. Become concerned in the event of excessive weight gain or loss.

Hi K.,
I wouldn't worry about how much your daughter is eating. As the pediatrician told me, babies only eat when they are hungry. They won't over eat. My daughter ate like yours, my son hardly ate at all. Both are just fine..(16yrs and 8 yrs). Kids tend to eat a lot and then sleep a lot when they are growing. Your daughter may just be going thru a growth spurt. If you aren't feeding her baby food at 5:00, you might trying that and then her bottle. Personally, I'd keep doing what your doing as long as you are comfortable with it but if you're that concerned, call and speak to a nurse or mention it to your pedi. the next time you're in for an appt.

I would keep doing what your doing as long as it works for you and your daughter. My son is almost six months old and still wakes for one feeding a night and during the day he has baby food three times a day and his bottles are only 4-5 oz. sometimes 6 oz. but that is all he wants and he is doing well. However, I do agree with other posts that you should try and wean the 12 feeding soon. Try slowing reducing the amount of formula you are giving her at that feeding and she how she does. But I wouldn't stress about it too much it sounds like she is doing fine.

Your baby is only 6 months old!! If she will wake up, eat, and go back to sleep and you don't mind, then don't worry about it. Children grow in spurts. Sometimes they eat like no tomorrow, and then sometimes you wonder if you can get them to eat at all!! Every baby is different, and eventually she will give it up and sleep all night. Only you know what is right for your baby.

I find it so annoying when other moms butt in on feeding issues! you know your child the best and if it's working for you and she is healthy, then you are doing the right thing. She is still quite young and growing, so there is nothing wrong with feeding her when she needs it! There is no need to rush trying to get her to sleep through the night--it will probably just make everyone miserable at this point. Just keep doing what you know and you will have a healthy happy baby!!

I had similar problems. My baby is now 8 months old, and doesn't wake up anymore. I started giving her formula and giving her baby food at 6 months, and she was still waking up for feedings at night. I was exhausted so my husband went and looked up how much she needed everyday and found that she was just eating at night from habit. She didn't actually need it. We decided that if she woke up at night to only give her a couple of ounces of water and that was all. She did cry, and it took a couple of days, but she got used to it, and now she sleeps very peacefully through the night and doesn't wake up. Every now and then she'll wake up again and really need a bottle, but it tends to coincide with a growth spurt and only lasts a night or two. She is a lot happier now during the days because she is getting such a good night's sleep. I hope this helped.

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