A trained night feeder is a baby who:
From birth to the age of 2 months, most babies awaken twice each night for feedings. Between the ages of 2 and 4 months, most babies need one feeding in the middle of the night. By 4 months of age, most bottle-fed babies sleep more than 7 hours without feeding. Most breast-fed babies can sleep 7 hours at night by 5 months of age. Normal children of this age do not need calories during the night to stay healthy.
Some common reasons that babies older than 4 months wake up at night to be fed include:
If you try the following recommendations, your child's behavior will probably improve in 2 weeks. The older your child is, the harder it will be to change your child's habits. Children over 1 year old will fight sleep even when they are tired. They will vigorously protest any change and may cry for hours. However, if you don't take these steps, your child won't start sleeping through the night until 3 or 4 years of age, when busy daytime schedules finally exhaust your child.
Try the following suggestions if your child is over 4 months old and wakes up and cries one or more times at night to be fed.
After the last feeding of the day at 9 to 10 PM, feed your baby only once during the night. Provide this nighttime feeding only if 4 or more hours have passed since the last feeding. Make this nighttime feeding boring and brief (no longer than 20 minutes). Stop it before your child falls asleep, and replace it with holding only.
If the crib is in your bedroom, move it to a separate room. If this is impossible, cover one of the side rails with a blanket so your baby can't see you when he wakes up.
If your baby has napped for more than 2 hours, wake her up. If she has the habit of taking 3 naps during the day, try to change the habit to 2 naps each day.
Change the diaper only if it is soiled or you are treating a bad diaper rash. If you must change your child's diaper, use as little light as possible (for example, a flashlight), do it quickly, and don't provide any entertainment.
Call during regular hours if: