Author Topic: Night Feeds and the Breast Fed Baby  (Read 31683 times)

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Offline RachelC

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Night Feeds and the Breast Fed Baby
« on: July 27, 2007, 19:29:29 pm »
At what age did your breastfed baby start sleeping through the night (8+ hours)?

3 Months         51   (35.4%)
4 Months         17   (11.8%)
5 Months         7     (4.9%)
6 Months         10   (6.9%)
Over 6 Months  59   (41%)

At what age did your breastfed baby drop all night feeds (ie, no feeds 7pm-7am)?

under 6 weeks            2     (2.2%)
6 weeks - 4 months     33   (35.9%)
4 months - 6 months    7     (7.6%)
6 - 9 months              24    (26.1%)
9 -12 months             13    (14.1%)
12- 18 months            7     (7.6%)
18 months+                6     (6.5%)

These were two polls that we had running on the bf boards.  This can be a guide if you are wondering when those night feeds are going to stop.  As you can see from the results, it varies a lot and you can expect to continue to see a night feed until at least 6 months.  Please keep in mind, you cannot compare your baby to your friend’s baby, your neighbor's baby, or your mother’s baby!  Also, traditionally, formula fed babies tend to sleep through the night sooner than their breastfed counterparts due to the composition and digestibility of breast milk.

Although the night feed may seem to be gone early on, sometimes a growth spurt will bring it back.  If the night feed from a growth spurt sticks around for more than a week, you may want to think about assisting in removing that feed (various techniques used depending on your lo’s age and situation). 

Teething, illness and other milestones (rolling over, crawling, standing, walking….) can also cause night wakings that may not be hunger related.  You do want to follow your lo’s cues and feed if he/she is hungry, but if he/she has been sleeping through the night and is suddenly waking, there may be an underlying reason apart from hunger.  In times of illness, I would tend to err on the side of caution and feed at night, in order to get more fluids into your lo.

A good day routine will help to keep night feeds at bay.  Many babies will wake at night if they missed a cluster feed, got to bed too late (ie, overtired), snacked during the day (as opposed to full feeds each bf session), etc.

Here is a resource with a lot more information on night feeds that you may find very helpful and reassuring:

Here is some information on weaning night feeds and if that is the right route to go:
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 22:38:05 pm by Erin M »

Proud to have breastfed for a combined total of 35 months