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When should my baby not need to nurse in the middle of the night?

My baby is a little over 6 weeks old and he typically still shows hunger signs (licking lips, sucking hands) but curious if I should start looking to just soothe vs feed him right away

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Asked by shem817 at 8:19 PM on Jun. 21, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (4 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Breastmilk fully digests in a matter of about 2 hours, a baby this small definitely needs to be fed on demand (as much for their nutrition, as to ensure your supply).
    by about 6 months you should be able to drop middle of the night feedings. Use a bassinet, or co-sleep so that you don't have to get up every time to feed him.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 8:21 PM on Jun. 21, 2010

  • Realistically, assume that you will be night parenting for at least the first year. There are many many growth spurts and it is very common for babies to wake more than once in the first 6 months to feed (they are hungry because the are rapidly growing and their stomachs are small). At at least once there after as there are major growth spurts and milestones after 6 months also. If your baby sleeps a 5 hours stretch consider that a "sleep through" but don't expect it to stay the same -- sleep patterns vary (that's normal). That's realistic.

    Answer by amileegirl at 8:27 PM on Jun. 21, 2010

  • My daughter was about 14 months.

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:43 PM on Jun. 21, 2010

  • Around a year old. Every baby is different. Most start to skip night feedings some where between 9 months and 15 months. My DD stopped night feedings at 13 months but my DS wouldn't drop them until 18 months. A 6 week old is no where near ready to give up night time feedings. He needs to eat when hungry and sleep when tired. I'm really confused by all of the modern day moms that seem to expect their young infants to sleep through the night and not get hungry during the night.

    Answer by ThrivingMom at 9:49 PM on Jun. 21, 2010

  • All 4 of my breastfed babies dropped their middle of the night feedings by 2 months and were sleeping 8-9 hours/night straight through.

    Answer by missanc at 10:02 PM on Jun. 21, 2010

  • Just FYI...I'm not expecting my baby to sleep through the night yet, I was simply trying to gather feedback. Thank you for responding!

    Answer by shem817 at 10:05 PM on Jun. 21, 2010

  • No calendar date. It *should* happen when baby actually *does* it. And that will happen at about the time when you're inured to little sleep!

    Answer by gdiamante at 10:21 PM on Jun. 21, 2010

  • my DD is 14 months and still gets up to nurse at night. At 6 weeks you definitely need to just nurse on demand.

    Answer by SoniaL at 10:21 PM on Jun. 21, 2010

  • I think most breastfed babies are ready to sleep through the night without needing to nurse at around a year old, some sooner, some later of course! Most babies need to nurse 8-12 times every 24 hours until after baby starts taking in enough solids to replace feedings.
    Where baby sleeps can make a big difference in how disruptive baby's needs are to your sleep. Having baby right next to you (such as in a co-sleeper or even bassinet) or in bed with you so that you can just pull baby to you and nurse without having to get up can make nighttime mothering a lot more tolerable, and even enjoyable :-)

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 10:23 PM on Jun. 21, 2010

  • All three of my children were over 2 years. My grandson is 21 mo and still nursing many times at night. I would be concerned around 2.5 years.


    Answer by Gailll at 3:22 AM on Jun. 22, 2010

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