If your baby is more than 4 months old and is waking to feed more than twice a night, it may be time for a change. You can help your baby—and yourself—sleep better and longer. The goal is to help your baby learn self-comfort so that you are not your baby's only source of comfort at night.
During the newborn phase, your baby needs to eat every 1 to 3 hours. Feeding your baby on demand leaves you little time to sleep between nighttime feedings, but it only lasts a few weeks. You can expect your baby to start feeding less often at night than during the day.
After 2 months of age, babies settle into a regular feeding schedule. A breastfed baby nurses about every 3 to 5 hours. A bottle-fed baby will eat less often than that, because formula takes longer to digest than breast milk does. So by 4 months, your baby may be able to go 5 or more hours at night between feedings.
Adding cereal to a bottle will not make a baby sleep through the night. Babies do not need solid foods until they are 6 months old.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 27, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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