21 answers

Sleeping Through the Night - Does She Still Need Feeding?

I have a three and a half month old and she has recently been 'ferberized'. She did really well with this method but is waking up earlier than I'd like. She usually takes her last bottle around 7:30 and is waking up anywhere from 4am to 7am crying. She is still only on formula and won't take cereal yet. My question is this - should she be able to go from 7:30 to 6 or 7 without needing food at her age? Or is it unreasonable for me to expect her to be able to skip that 4/5/6am bottle? Even when I feed her at 8:30 or 9pm, she still wakes up very early.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

you should feed her right before going to bed and then at around 11 pm (or before you go to bed) I did mine at around 10 pm and he would go all the way to 7... I think she is too little to go all night without food!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


Are you saying that she wont take a little rice cereal in her formula? You would still be able to give her formula via a bottle, it would just be a slightly thickened version.

More Answers

At this young, they are usually still eating every 4-5 hours...yes, it is unreasonable for you to expect her to skip that bottle...and she is still too young for cereal...Plus, thats a myth that cereal will make your child sleep longer.
I would be more worried that she isnt waking for 8 or more hours straight at this age....That is something you should look at, IMO.
And it actually frightens me that you decided to use this method at such a young age, as well. Even Ferber has stated that anything younger than 4 months is harmful to the baby...He actually recommends this for only 6 months and up....

At 3 months old, babies do not learn how to soothe themselves back to sleep--they learn that if they cry, no-one is going to come help them.

I am very scared for your child right now...you are expecting things WAY too young....

2 moms found this helpful

12 hours is a very long time for one that little to go without eating. She's still very young. She's telling you what she needs. That's the biggest thing as new moms we have to learn. The books can tell us all kinds of things but bottom line is we need to listen to our little ones and our gut. And I don't think the first responder was chastising you. I think she was genuinely concerned. I am not a fan of the cry it out method either. Our babies cry because they are talking to us, telling us what they need or want. Every book I read said not to hold the baby until they were asleep because they'd never learn to put themselves back to sleep. Well, I held me son every night, put him down in bed and he slept well and put himself back to sleep. Listen to what your baby is telling you she needs and you'll do fine.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, I believe it is unrealistic for you to expect her to skip that feeding. 12 hours is a very long time for her to go without eating. You are very lucky that at such a young age she is giving you 6+ hours, you should consider anything more a gift. I always give my daughter her last feeding around 8PM and consider it a gift if sleep past 3AM. I tried feeding her later but she always woke up around the same time. It was as if she had an alarm clock in her tummy that rang no matter what time her last feeding was. It will get better I promise. I spoke to my pediatrician about this at her 4 month visit and he assured me that this was very normal. My daughter is now 41/2 months and just started cereal at lunch and is sleeping about 10 hours. It just takes time. You need to put your daughter’s needs before your own. That's our job as parents! Your profile says that you are a stay at home mom…if you feel tired nap in the afternoon when she does.

1 mom found this helpful

She is still so young. She has a lot of growing to do and will need to eat that early bottle. My son just turned 4 months. He was sleeping from 9-5, and that was great. But when he hit 3.5 months, he began waking up again about every two hours to eat. It's normal to do. It's the age. They need food to get them through their growth spurts. She's too young to spoil, so feed her when she needs it. To have gotten her to sleep that long in the first place is amazing. My first woke up at least twice a night for the first 12 months. At that point, I realized she was just wanting mommy, so I did the whole cry it out thing, and then she stopped. So, don't worry, she's growing and needs those extra feedings. My doctor told me with my son that he is needing more calories, so to start him on cereal now that he is 4 months, but he will not eat it. He doesn't like the whole spoon thing. Hopefully he will soon, and your little girl too. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

you should feed her right before going to bed and then at around 11 pm (or before you go to bed) I did mine at around 10 pm and he would go all the way to 7... I think she is too little to go all night without food!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

She is still young and she needs the nutrition whenever she can get it. Too many people try to rush a baby into sleeping through the night and while it may be good for your need for sleep, it is not so good for the baby's health. They have an internal clock that God has so intelligently placed within them that says, oh boy, it's been a long time since this little body has been fed, I better wake someone up and let them know that I am growing and need fuel to keep me going in a healthy way.
I would say, be patient, even if it takes many more months, which is not unrealistic either. I would also not give cereal until 6 months or older. Their bodies are still so young and it could take away from their nutritional intake. Cereal is not really meant to provide good vitamins and nutrition, it is really just to 1)expand their taste buds and 2)as a filler so they don't feel hungry. But it gives them a false sense of fullness b/c it doesn't really provide anything that they need at such a young age.
Take Care,
T. (mom of 4)

1 mom found this helpful

Yes she needs to eat. If she sleeps til 7 she's going for nearly 12 hours, and at 3.5 months that's a really long time. It's 9 hours if she sleeps til 4, and that's remarkable. Topping her off later might have more of an effect as you go on though; it was a good strategy for me.

A babies' digestive tract is a lot shorter than a grown person. It really does "go through" them faster. So when they're tiny, they need to eat more often.
When you have a new baby, no matter how many books you read or people you talk to, you still end up having to figure things out for yourself. Everything is new and sometimes scary. You don't know what to expect. And that's because each baby is a different person. What works for one may not do diddly for another.
It's still a little too early for baby to go that long without her early morning bottle. If you're a stay home mom, you have the chance to get her early, give her a nice quiet feeding and then relax or go back to bed if she decides to go back to sleep. Interrupted sleep is incredibly frustrating, but you can get through it. You can also take advantage of her naptimes during the day and have a nap yourself.
Enjoy your new baby! Don't fret over the sound of her crying at 4am. There are many moms who would cherish the sound of a new baby crying at any time. Before you know it she'll be learning how to get into your "baby-proofed" cabinets and climbing on the sofa and those quiet feeding times will seem like a distant, sweet dream.

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