How Should Babies Be Fed at Night?

Night feeding in babies is one of the issues that confuses mothers. How should night feeding be, how long should it last, How to stop night feeding in babies, is it really necessary, are you wondering the answer to these questions?

In this article, we have explained the answers to all questions such as how is night feeding for babies, is night food necessary!

Why is night feeding important for babies?

Night feeding in babies is actually a spontaneous situation. Newborn babies sleep and feed very often. These babies need to be fed every 3-4 hours a day. So it is not possible for them to sleep through the night. Especially in the first 2 months, they wake up at least 2 times a night. This is because they are hungry! Because their small stomachs cannot stand being hungry for a long time and they wake up hungry. During this time, your baby needs to be fed whenever he wants to grow and be healthy. For this reason, night feeding is of great importance for newborn babies, especially in the first 4 months.

This applies to all babies who are breastfed or formula fed. In these months, the baby’s sleep pattern is intertwined with nutrition.

When should night feeding be stopped in babies?

Night feeding in babies continues as a need until the 6th month. However, with the 6th month, this situation ceases to be necessary, because now the baby starts to eat additional foods and the desire to feed every 2-3 hours disappears. After this stage, the hours when the baby wakes up and feeds at night become a habit, and the baby wakes up even if he is not hungry at these times.

Tracy Hogg gave some tips on this subject in her book “Miracle Solutions to Babysitting Problems”. According to Hogg, if your baby;

  • If he wakes up at the same time every night,
  • If she holds a pacifier when you give it,
  • If he licks his lips when he wakes up,
  • If he puts his hand in his mouth, you can tell he’s waking up because he’s hungry. But if he is unresponsive and cries with screams, the reason for waking up is different.

Should babies be given night food?

We said that babies are likely to wake up hungry at night. However, this will decrease after 6 months. If she still wakes up frequently, you can put in a small feeding clock, which Tracy Hogg calls a “dream feed”. Let’s briefly explain what dream feeding is. This meal, called dream food, can be in the form of feeding your baby a little before going to sleep or giving half a bottle of follow-on milk. In this way, the baby stays full for longer at night and the number of waking up hungry is reduced. This routine will also help your baby’s sleep patterns settle down.

However, let’s make this warning, you should definitely clean your mouth after night feeding so that your baby does not have bottle rot .

But apart from these, there is another condition known as “night food”. These foods usually contain foods such as semolina, rice flour, and are custard-like foods. However, your baby does not need these formulas. In particular, rice flour does not have any benefits for the baby. Night pudding for babies only makes the baby empty weight, it does not have a nutritional feature. In other words, “Does night feeding cause weight gain in babies?” Our answer to the question is yes. For this reason, you should not give these foods so that your baby can sleep comfortably and not wake up.

How to stop night feeding in babies?

Night feeding of babies due to habit now causes different problems. Excess weight, gas, nightmares are the consequences of unnecessary night feeding. Therefore, as we said, night feedings should be terminated after the 7th month.

So how do you stop your baby from feeding at night? Let us give you some suggestions.

  • Babies love habits. So create a routine. For example, always feed your baby at the same time at night.
  • A pacifier or sleeping companion can be a good alternative. Your baby will feel more comfortable this way.
  • Don’t pick up your baby when he’s asleep for fear of starving. Don’t offer nighttime feedings unless he or she requests it.
  • Observe him closely when he wakes up. Don’t try to feed if it doesn’t show signs of hunger. This causes the baby to get used to this routine.

Night feeding in infants decreases spontaneously towards the 12th month. In other words, a 1-year-old baby does not need to be fed at night.

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