“Does my baby need a night feeding?” Aaaahhhh the million dollar question that so many parents ask. Of course, it depends on many things like your child’s age, weight, health and eating habits during the day. Newborns need to eat in the middle of the night because their tummies are so small that they will only be taking in 2 to 3 ounces at a time and thus need calories during the night.
However, if you have a healthy baby that is over five to six months of age and solidly feeding through the day but continues to get up every two to three hours for a feed, it is not likely because they are hungry. It’s probably safe to assume that they have become accustomed to feeding as a way of returning back to sleep during the night. Nursing or the bottle has become a “prop” in this case.
So what to do if you suspect this is the case? I would encourage you to look at HOW your baby goes to sleep at bedtime and at naps. Are you feeding your baby at sleep times, are they falling asleep on the breast or bottle? If so, then I would encourage you to help them become more independent in their sleep habits so that when they wake in the middle of the night they can return back to sleep without a feed.