HiPP Organic

HiPP's Baby & Nutrition Blog

Night-time milk feeds

Posted on 22 March 2011 by Helen

Hi Everyone!

I've just come off a call from the mother of a 11 month old baby who keeps waking up at night wanting milk. She wanted to know what she should do.

The first thing I did was to reassure her that this is quite a common problem and she's not alone. Babies often wake up a number of times throughout the night. Their crying might make you think they are hungry and needing a feed, but most babies don't need night time feeds after the age of about 6-8 months from a nutritional point of view. They should be getting enough energy and nutrition from their milk and foods during their day to meet their requirements.

The aim is to get them to fall back to sleep again without needing the cue of being fed first. Although it may seem much easier to feed them than trying to work out another way of settling them (especially if they are breastfed), feeding your baby during the night won't help them sleep better; in fact, it may prolong the problem and make it worse.

When they wake during the night, you should make sure they are comfortable and then try to settle them in a way that suits you and your baby. There are various things you might want to try –

  • Make sure you have a consistent bedtime routine and stick to it whenever possible. If your baby wakes at night, try to be consistent at these times too
  • If your baby wakes up at night, give them a few minutes to settle themselves before going to them. If they keep crying, talk to and comfort them, but don't pick them up, take them to your bed, or feed them. If absolutely necessary, offer a drink of water, not milk.
  • Let them find their own way back to sleep using self-comforting techniques such as thumb sucking, cuddling a soft toy or comfort blanket.

I know it probably sounds easier said than done, but it usually works if you stick with it. You can find more advice and tips on helping your baby get a good night's sleep on the HiPP Baby Club.

Until next time...



Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Baby development, Milk feeding

Actions: Permalink | Comments (2)

Comments (2) -

Nicola United Kingdom

4/7/2011 8:56:36 PM #

Hi, if my daughter wakes up at night the last thing i would think is that she is hungry,because she has a regular feeding routine every day where i know she gets enough.

After 6 weeks she slept through the night 11pm - 7am and a few months after that 7pm-7am , if she wakes up crying i give her some water, put her dummy back in and leave the room and she normally falls straight back to sleep. Unless she cries for longer or after i have give the water i know its down to teething or sometimes she will just want a quick cuddle and seen as she hardly ever does it i will give her a cuddle and settle her back down.

There was a time after a period of teething that she got used to me going in and cuddling her back to sleep that she would wake and want it, but i knew she was playing up and let her cry it out and it only happened for about two days and i have never had problems with her waking up.

As long as they are getting enough in the day i dont think a baby would wake in the night for milk so unless you give it because then she/he would get used to it and need it x

Helen United Kingdom

4/11/2011 1:39:03 PM #

Hi Nicola, many thanks for sharing your experience, this is very much appreciated and may help other mums. Best wishes, Helen

Pingbacks and trackbacks (1)+

Comments are closed