While not ideal for your beauty sleep, it’s completely normal for your newborn to wake every few hours during the night to be fed.
When babies are born, they have small stomachs and need frequent feeds around the clock to ensure healthy growth and development. Night feeds can be mentally and physically tiring, especially in the early weeks. But there are ways you can make night feeds more manageable.
How often to feed newborns
Most newborns eat every 2 to 3 hours, or 8 to 12 times every 24 hours. Babies might only take in half ounce per feeding for the first day or two of life, but after that will usually drink 1 to 2 ounces at each feeding.
As babies go through growth spurts they may feed more frequently and cluster feed to support their body’s developmental needs.
They may also feed more frequently when they teeth and are unwell as they seek comfort and reassurance and sometimes is not just food.
Here are our tips to help each night feed be as relaxed as possible, so you can both get back to sleep...
Changing your baby’s nappy
6) Only change their nappy if necessary
may wake him up, so avoid it unless he does a poo or is sodden.
"However, if your baby falls asleep during his feed it may be worth trying to change his nappy half way through to wake him up for a proper feed," says Arti.
9) Ask for help
If you’re really struggling, ask your partner to help with the feeds – he could give expressed milk in a bottle.
Alternatively, enlist the help of a friend or family if you need the night off.
While you may still need to get up and pump
, you’ll be able to go straight back to sleep after and let the other person soothe your baby back to sleep.
When do babies stop feeding at night?
From six months of age, if your baby is developing well, it’s OK to think about night weaning for breastfed babies and phasing out night feeds for bottle-fed babies. At this age, most babies are getting enough food during the day for healthy growth and development.
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