When to Stop Feeding Your Baby at Night?

Being a parent is a very rewarding opportunity or rather a blessing. The early stages of parenthood bring in a lot of exhilaration but as the time progresses the responsibilities associated with parenthood magnifies up to a greater extent.

Night feeding is a process which is advisable to practice within the starting two or three months. But gradually a parent has to put this practice to an end or otherwise, the baby’s night time condition will deteriorate. Furthermore, it causes disturbances in the baby’s sleep. So the question is how to know that it is the time to prevent suckling at night?

baby feeding

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As a matter of fact a baby will usually demand something to fill his or her appetite before the good night sleep. But this craving must be stopped. A plain-sailing approach to the fact is that every child has a different development progress. So a detailed guide on night weaning is discussed below, in order to ease up the matter.

When to get aware of the fact that the desire of night feeding must be replaced with other alternatives?

On general terms, the baby’s desire of night time feeding contracts within the five or six months. However, in certain cases this time can be extended or shortened depending upon the baby’s growth. A parent can initiate the process by taking into consideration the following instructions:

  • Feeding should be done with a timed interval of three hours, until the baby is three months old.
  • The night time intake must be restricted to a maximum of three feedings between three to four months of age.
  • The night time intake can be further reduced to not more than two feeding, especially between five to six months.
  • Between six to nine months, it is strongly appreciated to limit the intake to one feeding. And this very instruction should be followed until the baby reaches twelve months of age.
  • Beyond twelve months, it is highly recommended to stop the night time feeding once and for all.

Apart from a genuine desire of appetite, other factors which may contribute to night time craving, are sickness and other illness associated with the baby. So a parent should be attentive to the baby’s reactions at all times, and maintain a good check and balance. Report to the doctor if the baby delivers an unusual behavior.

baby feeding

Photo’s credit: Istockphoto.com

How to identify that the practice of night time feeding should be eliminated?

Well, as stated above, if the baby enters the seventh month, then it is prominent that feeding at night should be stopped. But as for the condition of doubt, below are some hints which you can follow in order to clear the doubt:

  • If the baby demonstrates alertness and activeness, then it means that the baby needs to romp. In this case, it is better suggested to share love and fondness with the baby rather than the unnecessary feeding of the baby.
  • If the baby enjoys the food at certain intervals during the day, and doesn’t crave for night time feeding, then it is a clear sign that the baby’s night time hunger has decreased.
  • Do make sure that the baby gets enough nutrients during the day.
  • Moreover, if the bay is in the process of digesting thick meals, then it is an indicator that the baby would not require feeding at night.
  • In addition to that, unlike liquids, thick meals contains rich nutrient in high quantities. As a result of that, it covers the baby’s need for night feeding.

What are the doctor’s views on feeding the baby at night?

Practicing doctors such as those who perform in the department of PAEDS or other child specialist have their sayings on this matter. The urgency to feed the baby at night may result to different issues. These are the issues which make the baby uncomfortable at night. Leaked napkins are one of the issues as they make the baby intensely uncomfortable and can only be consoled by feeding at night.

Moreover, if the ingested food doesn’t properly assimilate, then it may be one of the issues directed towards night feeding. In order to counter this problem, a parent must refer to the different kinds of effective sleep measures. A parent must know how to properly put the baby into a healthy yet comfortable sleep.

An end to the discussion

It is not advisable to start experiments on your baby on your own. You should not take the initiative until you are completely aware of what you are doing. Before changing your baby’s habits, refer to all the guides and explanation on how to comfort the baby at night. Your baby’s health should be your top concern. Last but not the least, visit your doctor regularly to ensure the baby’s health.

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