Why does my baby always wake at night for feeds?

All babies are unique and all have their own individual feeding needs. It’s not unusual for a baby to want a night feed for the first three months at least because their tummies are so tiny that they need to feed during the day and night in order to take in enough milk.. Other than that, there are many possible reasons why your baby is still waking for feeds.

Possible reasons include:

  • They could be thirsty or hungry.
  • Are they teething?
  • Check the temperature of the room – are they cold?
  • If your baby is feeling unwell (for instance if they have a raised temperature), this could disturb them.
  • Or maybe they just enjoy the warmth of your body and the comfort of your special cuddles at night.

baby sleeping crop close up

Breaking the pattern

Whether your baby really needs to wake during the night for feeds really depends on their age.

A newborn baby needs to wake during the night because they only have a small stomach so can only take a small amount of milk at a time. To meet their nutritional requirements, they need to feed regularly through the day and night.

Older babies and toddlers sometimes get into a habit of waking for feeds in the night that they don’t really need. To break the pattern you can try reducing the number and length of daytime naps they have. This will mean they’re more tired and will need to sleep for longer at night-time. Being awake more in the day means they will feed more so you don’t need to worry about them being hungry when they start missing feeds during the night. Or you could try comforting them in other ways, for instance with a cuddle, or a drink of water when they do wake.

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