Is My Baby Hungry at Night or Just Using Feedings for Comfort?

For babies over 4 months of age

Its 3am, your 8 month old is crying. Half asleep, you pull yourself out of bed and drag yourself into her room. With one eye open, you pick up your baby, sit in the glider in her room and feed her. She immediately settles down so you are pretty sure she must have just been hungry. She eats for only a few minutes and falls asleep on you in your arms. You gently transfer her back into her crib and slowly make your way back to your bed, happy knowing that you can sleep for a few more hours. It 4am and she’s up again! You think to yourself “What the heck?! I JUST fed her, is she still hungry?!” You go back into her room and do the exact same routine you did an hour ago.

Does this situation sound familiar?!

So… how do you know if your baby is waking at night because they are actually hungry or because they are using feedings for comfort?

First things first, you always want to check with your pediatrician before dropping any night time feeds!

Did you know?

The age at which a baby is capable of sleeping through the night varies from baby to baby. Most experts say that anywhere between 3-6 months of age is when a baby is capable of sleeping that 8-12 hour stretch. Making sure to get full feedings of bottles/solids during the day will help to limit them waking during the night because they are hungry.

Knowing your baby’s hunger cues will help you determine if your baby is waking because they are actually hungry or just needing some help falling back asleep.

Here is a helpful chart to compare hunger cues vs comfort:

So in the middle of the night, when your baby starts to stir and you are wondering why they could be waking…remember your hunger cues!

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