baby sleep coaching

Night Feeds - Hunger or Habit?

Often when parents come to me their babies are still feeding through the night and they are not sure if their baby is hungry or if it is more of a habit. Here are some signs to look out for that you may be able to drop an overnight feed:


💜Is your baby hungry when they wake up in the morning? If your baby is not interested in their morning feed, it is possible they have consumed too much milk overnight and their tummy is still full.


💜Is your baby snack feeding overnight? If your baby is not able to take a full feed, it is possible they were not hungry enough for the milk in the first place, therefore it is unlikely hunger woke them.


💜Is your baby >8 months of age? At 8 months, typically most babies don’t require an overnight feed. However, every baby is different and some babies over 8 months can still require a night feed.


💜Is your baby on 3 solids meals per day? As your baby gets closer to 12 months of age, their milk need reduces and solids become their main source of nutrition. It is unlikely they will need a milk feed overnight once solids are well established.


If you think your baby is waking from habit rather than hunger, try weaning the overnight feed(s) by reducing the quantity in the bottle or duration of breastfeed, gradually, over a few nights. Once they are down to minimal amounts of milk, you can stop the feed and support you baby back to sleep.


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