Posted by: Maya | 2008/01/31


Night feeds

Hi Doc,

I've heard 2 conflicting theories as to why babies wake at night for feeds.
The one is that they are not getting enough food during the day, or that they are 'hungry babies'.
The other is that it is developmental, and that babies start sleeping more when they are developmentally ready, and that it makes no difference how much they eat during the day.
Which one is correct and why?

The reason I ask is that my 5 month old dropped his 11pm feed at 9 weeks for a 2 week period and has been demanding it again ever since. My paed said that it was a sign he's ready for solids, but even after introducing solids into his diet at 3 1/2 months he still wakes for that feed. He is breastfed?

Expert's Reply



Both theories apply at certain stages of a baby's development. Babies get into a routine in the early part of their lives and your baby is on a very regular routine. He is obviously not ready to drop his late night feed yet but over the next month or so he probably will do so especially as his solid intake increases in quantity and in range.

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