Feeding Baby at Night

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Whether you bottle feed or breast feed your baby, feeding times are some of the most intimate bonding times between a parent and a child. You should by all means make feeding times a time to snuggly, make eye contact, and otherwise let baby know that he is the most precious thing in your world. Sing softly to him, rock him, and enjoy these moments while you have them. But, if baby is having trouble going back to sleep after night time feedings, scale back the attention during night time feedings a bit.

Deliberately making your baby’s feeding times boring may go against some of your parental instincts, but in the end it’s better for baby, you, and everyone else involved. As much as baby needs nourishment, love, and affection while she is growing up, she also needs plenty of sleep. Incidentally, mom and dad also need a good deal of sleep. And if your baby is overstimulated when she wakes up to eat at night, none of you are going to get the sleep you need.

Make sure the area where you feed your baby at night is dark and uninteresting. This is not the time to turn all the lights on, hand your baby noisy toys, or look through bright colored picture books. Dim the lights, or turn them off entirely if you can still see well enough to take care of the baby, if you don’t have dimmer switches, turn a light on in the next room and just crack the door to let in enough light so you can see without making the room too bright.

With many babies, you can sing softly or speak to them quietly as you feed and rock them. Other babies will become overly excited when they hear you, and will want to fight going back to sleep. You know your baby better than anyone else, and can judge for yourself whether or not to sing to her to help her get back to sleep.

Finally, take turns feeding baby at night. Even if you exclusively breast feed, you can turn the baby over to dad’s care when the baby is done suckling. Allowing dad to be a part of baby’s night time feeding and soothing routine helps dad to form those critical early bonds with baby, too.

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This entry was posted in About Your Baby.


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